“It’s far too early for a strategic analysis,” writes Ryan. “But it is time to assess the Russian response.”
The Russian “Quadruple Loser”
In a series of tweets, Ryan has focused on Russian General Valeriy Gerassimov, the supreme commander of Russian forces in Ukraine. Ryan calls Gerassimov the “Quadruple Loser”. The reason are four crushing defeats in the course of the war so far:
- The original invasion plan
- The chaotic weeks after the announcement of the mobilization
- The reforms of the past few years, despite which the Russian army made no progress
- The failed offensive in the spring, for which he was responsible
The Australian military expert now sees three options for Gerassimov to defend himself against the ongoing Ukrainian offensive.
Gerassimov now has three options in Ukraine
Option 1: stay strong. That’s Gerassimov’s preferred option, Ryan writes. The already occupied areas are defended. In the optimal case for Gerassimov, the occupied territories are held. At the same time, background preparations are underway for Russian offensives later in the year.
Option 2: Stay tough with counterattacks. An option similar to the first, according to Ryan. The occupied territory is defended. At the same time, the Russian army launched local counterattacks to test the Ukrainian lines for weak points. But: “The Russian army has so far shown no sense of achieving large profits with its offensive actions.”
Option 3: Rebuild the defense. “The most difficult politically, but militarily efficient option,” writes Ryan in his Twitter thread. In this scenario, the Russian army shifts its defense focus to the eastern territories and Crimea. “This could be a useful contingency option for the Russians,” writes Ryan. “In the current political climate, however, the option should not be viewed favorably.”