NEW DELHI: Russian President Vladimir Putin says the Ukraine operation is going according to plan. But when Russian troops entered the neighbouring country on February 24 and the days that followed, the Russian military was not its usual self. But the troops changed strategy soon after, as Lt Gen Shokin Chauhan (Retd), who has exercised with Russian troops when he was commander of 1 Corps, says. He spoke to StratNews Global Editor-in-Chief Nitin A. Gokhale on ‘The Gist’.
Having actually seen the Russian general operate with me, there are two things I noticed that they do. One is they use overwhelming force. They do not hesitate in the use of artillery and missiles. And they use very large and very, very overwhelming force of artillery. I have noticed that in this particular operation, they’re not using that mainly because of the kind of destruction that they might do to Ukraine. So probably they’ve been told at the highest level that reduce the destruction because what they did from the 24th to 28th (February) was not really the way Russia fights war. But from the first (of March) onwards, you would notice a larger use of standoff weapons, a larger use of them targeting certain government buildings and probably a larger number of people dying. Because it’s not that the Ukrainian resistance was great. It’s just that they realised that maybe they’ve were being slowed down. The issue about them being slowed down has been talked about so much that maybe they didn’t do so well. I would go to the other point, in the first four days, and it’s just four days, it’s too short for any nation to think that they can do any kind of regime change. Surely they are being realistic and they are realistic people.