Stunning incompetence US general disparages Putin as Russian army runs out of missiles

Russian military 'tactical incompetence' slammed by US general

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General John Allen, who is a former Commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force, blasted the “stunning incompetence of the Russian military” in a damning assessment last night. Russian shortcomings in Ukraine have shocked military experts around the world as its forces continue to suffer heavy casualties and are low on supplies. Speaking on BBC Newsnight, General Allen remarked that the “strategic, operational and tactical incompetence of the Russian military has been stunning”.

He added: “It’s hard to say what is in Vladimir Putin’s mind at this moment.

“They say war is an extension of politics by other means.

“Vladimir Putin clearly believed at the beginning of this conflict that he would be able to sweep aside the Ukrainian army.

“He thought the Ukrainian people would not oppose the entrance of the Russian military into Ukraine and that the government would fall.”

The damning verdict of Russia’s military prowess comes as a new report from the Pentagon overnight suggested that Russia was running out of precision-guided munitions.

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A senior Pentagon official said on Thursday that Russia was now more likely to rely on so-called dumb bombs and artillery. 

Three US officials told the Guardian that Russia was already suffering failure rates as high as 60 percent for some of its precision-guided missiles

This echoes similar reports of chaos among Russian military ranks stuck in Ukraine.

An Associated Press report on the ground remarked that Vladimir Putin’s forces have proved to be “ill-prepared, poorly coordinated and surprisingly stoppable”.

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While the exact extent of Russian troop losses is not known, NATO estimates that between 7,000 and 15,000 have died in the first four weeks.

That number of losses is as many as Russia lost in a decade of war in Afghanistan.

Robert Gates, the former CIA director, and US defence secretary, said President Putin “has got to be stunningly disappointed” in his military’s performance.

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He told a global political forum recently: “Here we are in Ukraine seeing conscripts not knowing why they’re there, not being very well trained, and just huge problems with command and control, and incredibly lousy tactics.”

The latest intelligence assessment from the UK’s Ministry of Defence this morning claims that Ukraine has been able to re-take towns and defensive positions east of the capital Kyiv.

The UK’s analysis adds that Russia’s supply lines are over-extended, as the war drags on into its fifth week.

The ministry said Ukraine is striking “high-value targets” that is forcing Russian forces to divert resources.

The MoD said: “It is likely that the Ukrainians will continue to target logistical assets in Russian-held areas.

“This will force the Russian military to prioritise the defence of their supply chain.”

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