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Title: Ukraine has taken 17,000 Russians off the battlefield without firing a shot, US Army special-ops general says
Source: Business Insider
URL Source: ... fdc26c&ei=21#image=AA1eKuoG|16
Published: Nov 1, 2023
Author: Stavros Atlamazoglou
Post Date: 2023-11-02 21:25:01 by BTP Holdings
Keywords: None
Views: 181
Comments: 6

Ukraine has taken 17,000 Russians off the battlefield without firing a shot, US Army special-ops general says

Story by (Stavros Atlamazoglou) • 1 November 2023

Russian soldiers during the Vostok military exercise at a training area south of Vladivostok in September 2018. MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP via Getty Images
© MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP via Getty Images

> Russia has taken hundreds of thousands of casualties since attacking Ukraine last year.
> Thousands more troops have deserted, a reflection of the Russian military's deep morale problems.
> Ukrainian information warfare has helped drive those Russians away, according to a top US general.

Today, a lot has — and hasn't — changed.
©Ignacio Marin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

In the 20 months since Russia attacked Ukraine in the largest offensive military operation in Europe since World War II, hundreds of thousands of Russian troops have been killed or wounded.

Since invading on February 24, 2022, Russian forces have lost ground in Ukraine and had thousands of pieces of artillery, armor, and other equipment destroyed. Defeat has followed defeat, and the outlook for President Vladimir Putin and for Russia doesn't look good. Ukraine isn't only using bullets and bombs against Russian forces. Thanks to its information operations, Kyiv has helped take 17,000 Russians off the battlefield without even firing a shot, according to the head of US Army Special Operations Command.

When messaging leads to desertions

President Vladimir Putin at a Navy Day parade in St. Petersburg in July 2017. Valya Egorshin/NurPhoto via Getty Images
© Valya Egorshin/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Rapid advances in communications technology and the widespread use of social-media platforms have made it easier for state and non-state actors to reach vast audiences to promote their own interests and undermine those of their rivals.

Ukraine's messaging efforts have been an important tool for convincing thousands of Russians to leave their posts, according to Lt. Gen. Jonathan Braga, commanding general of US Army Special Operations Command.

"Messaging has played a huge role just in the tactical and operational sense" in Ukraine, Braga said at the Association of the US Army's annual conference in October.

"We've supported our Ukrainian partners there. You've had 17,000 Russians desert," Braga said. "That's 17,000 soldiers you didn't have to blow up on the battlefield or destroy. That has weakened the defensive mechanisms" of Russian forces.

Using the avenues provided by social media, a military or intelligence service can gather detailed information about an adversary, its equipment, and its personnel and deploy that information to target individual troops and undermine their morale.

Russians draftees begin military training in Rostov in October 2022. Arkady Budnitsky/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
© Arkady Budnitsky/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

"At the tactical level, eroding will and morale with individual soldiers, to eroding the overall capability of the unit, it's inherent and it's a traditional military activity to impose doubt into the minds of the adversary," Braga said.

Ukraine has mounted a remarkable array of operations in the information space. Whether it's cajoling allies to send more weapons or mocking Russia's battlefield shortcomings, the Ukrainians have shown great skill in using information to their advantage.

Ukraine war in maps: Russian military units generally undermanned, says ISW

There are countless examples of poor Russian morale those Ukrainian operations can take advantage of, and the Kremlin has tried to counter the effects Braga described. Those include brutal measures like executing soldiers who retreat or fail to follow orders, much like the Soviets did in World War II.

To be sure, Russia has its own potent propaganda machine. During the Cold War, the KGB used information operations as part of a larger "active measures" campaign to subvert the West and undermine NATO.

In the weeks leading up to Ukraine's large-scale counteroffensive this summer, the Kremlin sent guidelines to news outlets, instructing them to describe Ukrainian capabilities in a positive light to heighten perceptions of the Russian military's success when it repelled Kyiv's forces.

US soldiers with role players during the Psychological Operations Qualification Course at Camp Mackall in North Carolina in June 2021. US Army/K. Kassens
© US Army/K. Kassens

The US military also recognizes the potential of information operations, and as the commander of US Army special-operations forces, Braga knows a thing or two about conducting them.

The threat of near-peer warfare with China or Russia has pushed the US military and intelligence community to invest more in information operations so it can shape the information battlefield before, during, and after hostilities.

In the US special-operations community, the Army's Psychological Operations Groups and the Civil Affairs Brigade do most of the work when it comes to information operations and shaping the narrative. US Army Special Forces soldiers are also tasked with developing specific cultural and linguistic knowledge to facilitate their training of partner forces.

Those "soft" skills can also be used against adversaries, especially those who can't be convinced to quit the fight through force of arms alone.

"It's our responsibility to impose cost and belief in the adversary's mindset. At the ultimate, warfare is about a contest of wills. You can have an annihilation strategy" to destroy the enemy, Braga said, but "at the end of the day, you have to convince a human to stop doing what they're doing."

Poster Comment:

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#1. To: BTP Holdings (#0)

the russians were rolling on the ground laughing their asses off at what the ukcraine called their counter offensive.

ghostrider  posted on  2023-11-02   21:55:49 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#2. To: BTP Holdings (#0)

And I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale, good deal for interested buyers.

"After tomorrow those SOB's will never embarrass me again. That’s not a threat. That’s a promise.” – LBJ to his mistress Madeleine Brown on the eve of JFK assassination

FormerLurker  posted on  2023-11-02   23:08:32 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#3. To: BTP Holdings (#0)

Pure BS. US propaganda. Zelensky has had almost 500,000 war dead.

The Truth of 911 Shall Set You Free From The Lie

Horse  posted on  2023-11-02   23:43:26 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#4. To: BTP Holdings (#0)

Ukraine’s Top Commander Says War Has Hit a "Stalemate"
That even Ukrainian officials except Zelensky (who they regard as delusional) are now admitting this shows how futile this war is.
Sending another $60b will only prolong the destruction and kill more Ukrainian conscripts.

GayZ is a good example of why you never put homo/pedo/tranny in charge of ANYTHING.

“The most terrifying force of death comes from the hands of Men who wanted to be left Alone.
TRUE TERROR will arrive at these people’s door, and they will cry, scream, and beg for mercy…
but it will fall upon the deaf ears of the Men who just wanted to be left alone.”

Esso  posted on  2023-11-03   7:26:57 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#5. To: Horse (#3)

Zelensky has had almost 500,000 war dead.

Do you have a source for this info? ;)

"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one." Edmund Burke

BTP Holdings  posted on  2023-11-03   8:18:18 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#6. To: BTP Holdings (#5)

Rybar is a Russian military blogger on twitter. Col Douglas Macgregor said over 400,000 a month ago. He is on YouTube. I posted dome of his videos here.

The Truth of 911 Shall Set You Free From The Lie

Horse  posted on  2023-11-04   5:03:33 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

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