Mick Ryan, AM Profile picture
Strategist, Leader & Author | Retired Army Major General | #IntellectualEdge | @MilWritersGuild | #scifi | #WarTransformed | #miltwitter | @CSIS Adjunct Fellow
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May 23 25 tweets 7 min read
While the Russian Army’s offensive in the east continues, it is likely in the short term that they will reach the limit of their offensive capability. As such, today I explore what transitioning to a defensive strategy might mean for the Russians in Ukraine. 1/25 Image 2/ The Russian Army has been attempting to re-boot its efforts in Ukraine. It fired senior commanders accused of failure, reorganised combat units, begun digging in defensive positions north of Kharkiv & conducted additional strategic missile strikes across Ukraine.
May 21 25 tweets 9 min read
War is an incredibly destructive human endeavour. And despite their courage and resilience, the war in #Ukraine has been a violent tragedy for the people of Ukraine. But the war is also a learning opportunity for military institutions around the world. 1/25 2/ In his book, “War: What Is It Good For?” Ian Morris argues that war throughout history has benefitted humans because it led to bigger, more complex societies, ruled by governments which then suppressed as much internal violence as possible.
May 17 25 tweets 7 min read
Today, an examination of the Ukrainian strategy of 'corrosion', that - so far - has seen it successfully fend off a larger and (theoretically, at least) more powerful invader. 1/25 Image via @UAWeapons 2/ Throughout their Ukraine campaign, Russia’s military has been forced to continually re-assess its strategic objectives. The Russian Plan A - seize Kyiv, Kharkiv and other key points, capture government leaders and force a political accommodation – failed. Image from @war_mapper
May 15 26 tweets 8 min read
The battle of Kharkiv has been won by #Ukraine, with Russian forces withdrawing to the north & east. Today, analysis on what is next for Ukraine’s military as it exploits a faltering Russian eastern offensive. 1/25 Image 2/ The war in the east, and the war in #Ukraine more generally, is approaching an important turning point. vox.com/policy-and-pol…
May 13 23 tweets 7 min read
I was going to do a thread today on the implications of Ukraine’s offensive around Kharkiv. Instead, I have pushed that to tomorrow in order to discuss the Russian river crossing operation over the Severskyi Donets this week in #Ukraine. 1/ 2/ This Russian river crossing has gained attention because it resulted in the loss of (probably) a battalion tactical group and some critical engineer equipment. The reality is, it is worse than that. thedrive.com/the-war-zone/d…
May 11 5 tweets 1 min read
Another good product from @war_mapper which shows the gains from the Ukrainian counter offensive around Kharkiv since late April. 1/5 2/5 This recaptures Ukrainian territory and should get the city out of Russian field artillery range - a significant humanitarian and political achievement.
May 10 17 tweets 5 min read
It is 76 days since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. This thread explores Putin’s Victory Day speech. It was a speech that might have been called “Victory Day 2022: No Escalation to See Here.” 1/17 smh.com.au/national/why-p… 2/17 Western analysts were watching President Putin’s Victory Day speech with intense scrutiny this year. It was, as expected, full of patriotic statements of great past deeds and the sacrifices of the Russian people. foreignpolicy.com/2022/05/09/rus…
May 9 24 tweets 5 min read
It is 75 days since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. Today I provide an update on Ukraine’s options to exploit a faltering Russian offensive in the east. 1/24 (Image - @UAWeapons) Image 2/24 The Russians have reoriented their operational design to focus on eastern Ukraine as its main effort, with the south being a supporting effort. They have also stepped up their strategic operations to degrade Ukraine’s defensive capacity. abc.net.au/news/2022-04-1…
May 8 25 tweets 7 min read
It is 73 days since the Russian invasion of #Ukraine began. In this thread, I explore the considerations for any mobilisation of the Russian military, should direction to do so be given by President Putin on 9 May. 1/25 2/25 There is speculation about whether President Putin, during his 9 May speech, will announce some form of mobilization for the war in Ukraine. I don’t take a stand on ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Rather, I explore mobilization considerations for Russia. foreignpolicy.com/2022/05/06/wor…
May 6 25 tweets 7 min read
It is 71 days since the Russian invasion of #Ukraine began. As Russia continues its missile attacks on cities across Ukraine, I explore the strategic rationale for such strikes. 1/25 2/25 Over the past week, the Russian military has launched a series of strategic strikes on targets across Ukraine. These are part of a broader Russian strategy to attack Ukraine’s strategic defence capacity while attempting to overwhelm its forces in the east.
May 3 7 tweets 2 min read
This is a great @HN_Schlottman product. The green squares are Brigades, which normally have between 2 & 4 fighting units. There are a few takeaways I wanted to share in a short (for me) thread… 1/7 2/7 First, noting that these maps will always have some inaccuracies, the Russians are still not concentrating mass on any ‘main effort’. They continue to ‘penny packet’ their ground forces across a wide front. It would be interesting if the same holds for their Air Force.
May 2 20 tweets 4 min read
It's 66 days since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. Today, a short thread on ‘what if Russia loses?’ It is not a prediction. But, it offers some thoughts, based on my ABC article, about such an outcome. 1/20 abc.net.au/news/2022-05-0… 2/20 It was a fascinating week for those who analyse the war in #Ukraine. First, President Biden sent a request to Congress for US$33 billion dollars in military, economic and humanitarian aid for Ukraine. Then, the US Congress approved new Lend Lease legislation.
May 1 25 tweets 6 min read
It is 66 days since the Russian invasion of #Ukraine began. Today I explore Ukraine’s options to respond to a faltering Russian offensive in the east. 1/25 (Image - @washingtonpost) 2/25 Russia has made many errors in this war. It commenced with a bad strategy, underpinned by flawed assumptions about Ukrainian nationhood, Ukrainian military capacity and the capacity of the West to intervene. From this has flowed multiple military shortfalls.
Apr 29 20 tweets 4 min read
It is 64 days since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. Today, an examination of the implications of Gerasimov ‘taking charge’ of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 1/20 2/20 There are unconfirmed reports that General Gerasimov has moved to Ukraine and may be taking overall command of the Russian campaign. This is still in the realm of speculation. Therefore lets use this thread as a bit of a thought experiment.
Apr 27 15 tweets 4 min read
It is 63 days since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. Today I update my analysis of Russia’s shift to the east and the key issues impacting on operations. 1/15 (Image - @RALee) 2/15 As I explored several times in the past month, Russia has two key options to operationalise their strategic objectives in the east. These are either deep or shallow operational envelopments.
Apr 26 25 tweets 8 min read
It is 61 days since the Russian invasion of #Ukraine began. Today, I explore how the Ukrainians might employ Western aid within a combined arms construct. 1/25 (Image - @UAWeapons) 2/25 During the war so far, many nations have contributed humanitarian aid and military supplies and equipment to Ukraine. Every little bit counts – wars are expensive in people, weapons, personal protective ensemble and consumables such as ammunition, food and fuel.
Apr 25 25 tweets 7 min read
It is 60 days since the Russian invasion of #Ukraine began. Today, following on from my thread yesterday on the Russian eastern offensive, I will explore whether they can hold the ground they have already seized. 1/25 (Image - @IAPonomarenko) 2/25 During the war, the Russians have seized ground in the north, east and south of Ukraine. As we know, the Russians were forced out of northern Ukraine through a combination of Ukrainian resistance, local offensives as well as poor Russian tactics, leadership, & logistics.
Apr 24 25 tweets 7 min read
It is 59 days since the Russian invasion of #Ukraine began. Today I will update my analysis of Russia’s shift to the east and examine the prospects for Russian success there. 1/25 (Image - @UAWeapons) 2/25 I will conduct my analysis using the construct of ‘fighting power’. This is something we use in the Australian Army to describe the optimal development & combination of the intellectual, physical and moral aspects of war. More here: researchcentre.army.gov.au/sites/default/…
Apr 18 16 tweets 4 min read
It is 54 days since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. As Russia begins its new offensive across a 400km front in the east, I explore their strategic shaping activities to support it in this thread and my @abcnews article. 1/16 abc.net.au/news/2022-04-1… 2/16 Over easter, the Russian military conducted a series of strategic strikes on targets across Ukraine. These are part of Russia's 'strategic operations' to attack Ukraine’s strategic defence capacity while attempting to overwhelm its forces in the east. cna.org/CNA_files/pdf/…
Apr 18 25 tweets 6 min read
It is 53 days since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. Today I update my analysis of Russia’s shift to the east and examine key variables that will impact on operations in this part of #Ukraine. 1/25 (Image - @RALee85) 2/25 Russia, having ‘reset’ their theory of victory for their invasion of Ukraine, is building up its forces in the east. That said, they will continue strategic strikes across Ukraine, and remain alert to opportunities in the south. Image – UAWardata.com
Apr 16 25 tweets 7 min read
It is 7 weeks since the Russian invasion of #Ukraine began. Today I examine how the Russians have fared in the ongoing adaptation battle, which is a feature in all wars. 1/25 (Image - @UAWeapons) 2/25 It is impossible for the military to anticipate every eventuality in war. With human capacity for surprise, resilience, and intelligence, as well as selfishness, cowardness and stupidity, there are a range of potential outcomes that are possible in warfare.