Ukraine war insights by Austrian military analyst Tom Cooper

August 18,2022 1015
Ukraine war insights by Austrian military analyst Tom Cooper

Austrian military analyst Tom Cooper has written the final installment in a series of posts on the state of the battlefield as of early August 2022.

Mr Cooper writes, “Once the Western supplies are in the country, Ukrainians have also proved very imaginative in hiding these — which was badly necessary before the VSRF emptied its stocks of ballistic- and cruise missiles… Not an easy task, but apparently one the ZSU is solving quite well, through de-centralisation: it has lots of ‘minor’ ammunition depots behind the frontline, and the Russians have massive problems just with trying to find these.”

According to Mr Cooper, the Russians still have a developed network of informants about western materiel shipments from the west, but, “Problem is what happens next: about 99% of times, the Russians are losing the track of shipments shortly after these enter Ukraine, and have no means to find them again…Thus, internal security in Ukraine is functioning reasonably well.”

Among Ukraine’s weaknesses, the analyst notes, “there are far too few night vision goggles, armor plates and ballistic helmets for all of its infantry, and even several special forces units are still lacking ambulance vehicles. Thus, if anybody wants to help: I recommend donating to those instances that are caring about such provisions.”

He also once again draws attention to the critical lack of artillery: “The Russian superiority in artillery is resulting in frequent artillery duels, Ukrainian artillery units are usually operating spread over large areas, often in very small detachments… Above all, ZSU still has much too little artillery: at most, it is operating about 500–550 tube-pieces and some 200 multiple rocket launchers (against some 2,500 artillery pieces and over 1,000 multiple rocket launchers of the VSRF).”

According to Mr Cooper, “Even if the number of M140s and M270s meanwhile increased to some 24–25, they are still so few, that Ukraine can’t do more but to effectively interdict the Russian logistics in specific area for two or three days, rarely longer — as would be necessary. This is why the Russians were still able to unleash such a massive barrage on Pisky and then Avdiivka less than two weeks after Ukrainian HIMARS have blown up most of their ammo depots in the Donetsk area.”