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Russia: Beware the Pyrrhic Victory!

Chewing up people and units in fight for Bakhmut.

There is a battle raging in and around the “former” city of Bakhmut on the eastern front in the war between Russia and Ukraine. Russia is on the attack and Ukraine is defending.

Bakhmut was a city of 70,000 people, but now is a hollow shell and a death trap for soldiers who fight there. I’ve trained and practiced in what used to be called “Combat in Cities” and now is about urban warfare. There are many ways to die in that type of scenario. One night I “died” multiple times when encountering booby traps in the night, etc.

The Russians are throwing the masses of troops (and prisoners) they drafted last year into the fight. Some call it a meat grinder. Previously I wrote about how in Russian military terms, the loss of soldiers is not a big deal. They wear down the enemy with sheer numbers. That is what happened on the eastern front to the Germans. They were just overwhelmed by numbers of tanks, planes and soldiers.

However, the warning I have for Russia is that there is a term, “Pyrrhic victory.” This is where you win a battle but lose the war. See the definition below:

Pyrrhic victory is named after King Pyrrhus of Epirus, whose army suffered irreplaceable casualties in defeating the Romans at the Battle of Heraclea in 280 BC and the Battle of Asculum in 279 BC, during the Pyrrhic War.”

If the slaughter keeps up, the Russians will need another draft of new recruits. The danger to Ukraine is that they don’t have the same population base as Russia to draw upon, and both sides of the war are running out of ammunition of all types.

This latter issue has sent a strong message to European allies and here in the USA. Stockpiles of artillery ammunition that were once considered adequate, are now nowhere near adequate. But, it can take a couple of years to start up a new munitions factory.

I do think that 2023 may be decisive for one side or the other. Perhaps both will become totally exhausted by the war.
Disaster Zone by Eric Holdeman is dedicated to sharing information about the world of emergency management and homeland security.