The abuse of special forces, particularly Spetsnaz commandos, and the lack of efficient line infantry, which resulted in heavy deaths and a tactical conundrum for the Russian military, are highlighted in a recent assessment on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
A recent report on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine highlights the misuse of special forces, specifically Spetsnaz commandos, during the conflict. The Russian military’s focus on creating elite formations prior to the war led to the assignment of missions that should have been carried out by conventional units, resulting in a shortage of effective line infantry. Consequently, Spetsnaz units were deployed as light infantry, leading to high casualties and fewer available forces for special operations. The report also discusses the tactical flaws in Russia’s invasion plan, where special forces were not utilized as intended and were left without a clear role. The expansion of Spetsnaz units further exacerbated the shortage of competent contract infantry within the wider Russian military. This highlights the tension between elite forces and conventional units, which is not unique to Russia but presents a significant challenge for the country’s military in the face of mounting losses in Ukraine.