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Zaluzhnyy outlines Ukraine's priorities for winning war

Basic weapons, such as missiles and shells, remain essential.

Zaluzhnyy outlines Ukraine's priorities for winning war
Valeriy Zaluzhnyy
Photo: EPA/UPG

In an article for The Economist, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valeriy Zaluzhnyy has said the war is moving to a new stage of "positional" warfare of static and attritional fighting, and named five priorities for Ukraine to win.

This will benefit Russia, he argued, allowing it to rebuild its military power, eventually threatening Ukraine’s armed forces and the state itself.

To overcome this situation, five priorities need to be considered.

1. Basic weapons, such as missiles and shells, remain essential. But Ukraine’s armed forces need key military capabilities and technologies to break out of this kind of war. The most important one is air power. Control of the skies is essential to large-scale ground operations. At the start of the war we had 120 warplanes. Of these, only one-third were usable.

2. Electronic warfare (EW), such as jamming communication and navigation signals. EW is the key to victory in the drone war. Russia modernised its EW forces over the past decade, creating a new branch of its army and building 60 new types of equipment. "We also need more access to electronic intelligence from our allies, including data from assets that collect signals intelligence, and expanded production lines for our anti-drone EW systems within Ukraine and abroad," Zaluzhnyy said.

3. Counter-battery fire: defeating enemy artillery. In this war, as in most past wars, artillery, rocket and missile fire make up 60-80% of all the military tasks. "For now, we have managed to achieve parity with Russia through a smaller quantity of more accurate firepower. But this may not last. We need to build up our local GPS fields," he said. "And we need our partners to send us better artillery-reconnaissance equipment that can locate Russian guns."

4. 4. Mine-breaching technology. "We need radar-like sensors that use invisible pulses of light to detect mines in the ground and smoke-projection systems to conceal the activities of our de-mining units," he said.

5. Build up our reserves. "Russia has failed to capitalise on its hefty manpower advantage because Vladimir Putin is worried that a general mobilisation might spark a political crisis, and because Russia cannot train and equip enough people. However, our capacity to train reserves on our own territory is also limited," Zaluzhnyy noted.

"Russia should not be underestimated. It has suffered heavy losses and expended a lot of ammunition. But it will have superiority in weapons, equipment, missiles and ammunition for a considerable time. Its defence industry is increasing its output, despite unprecedented sanctions. Our NATO partners are dramatically increasing their production capacity, too. But it takes at least a year to do this and, in some cases, such as aircraft and command-and-control systems, two years," he warned.

He added that Ukraine needs to focus on" modern command and control—so we can visualise the battlefield more effectively than Russia and make decisions more quickly".

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