Espreso. Global
Review

Optimization of Ukraine's General Staff, strikes on temporarily occupied territories. Weekly military review

25 May, 2024 Saturday
13:48

In his weekly review, military expert Serhiy Zgurets comments on the large-scale use of ATACMS missiles by the Ukrainian Armed Forces against the Russian troops, the reduction of certain units in the General Staff, and the automation of technological processes in the Ukrainian army

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Strikes with ATACMS missiles against invading Russian forces

The Ukrainian Armed Forces demonstrated skillful and quite accurate use of ATACMS tactical missiles against Russian targets on the night of May 23. Another long-range strike was launched against the occupation forces in Crimea, attacking several targets - Saki, Simferopol, Dzhankoi, Hvardiiske and Perevalne. The details of the consequences will be revealed later, but for now we can say for sure that the ATACMS tactical missiles hit the Space Communications Center near Alushta, where the Russian enemy was taking certain measures to build up its capabilities.

This strike can be logically linked to the fact that the day before, Ukrainian drones managed to damage the Voronezh-DM radar station, which was located near Armavir in the Krasnodar Krai. This radar is part of Russia's strategic missile early warning system and was designed to detect ballistic, strategic, and cruise missiles at a distance of up to 6,000 kilometers, with its main coverage area being the Balkans, the Mediterranean, the NATO area, and Asia, including the Persian Gulf. Actually, this story about the radar hit is a rather complicated story, because Voronezh-DM is a strategic facility of the Russian nuclear forces, and we can expect propaganda hysteria from Russia now.

Also today, video details related to ATACMS strikes on an important target, the S-400 air defense missile system, have been released. I think this is a unique video, the most significant, because it actually shows the battle between two missile systems. We can talk about the triumph of ATACMS, we see that the S-400 fires 6 missiles, and then the hit of ATACMS, which leads to the destruction of the Russian SAM.

The scene is documented as the village of Mospyne in the Donetsk region. It is not far from the contact line, up to 60 km. Given that this complex had just appeared a few days ago, the most effective way to combat such targets was just used. First of all, the ATACMS missiles, which were developed in the 1980s, have proven to be the best way to combat cluster munitions and airplanes. Ironically, this system has been equipped with a new ballistic target detection system, a new radar, and in fact, we see that the S-400 is unable to counteract ATACMS, which has, let's say, more historical roots than the Triumph system.

Large-scale layoffs in the General Staff

As of May 24, more than a million people liable for military service have already updated their registration information. By the way, on May 24 there was an intriguing press conference by representatives of the General Staff, where it was said that certain structural units of the General Staff will be reduced by 60% in the process of optimization.

This was announced by Yevhen Ostrianskyi, Head of the Main Department of Defense Planning of the Ukrainian General Staff. It is known that new structures will be created, and officers from the reduced staff will be sent to other positions at the operational and tactical level. These are various components related to Ukraine's military draft, optimization, and finding the right ways to use Ukraine's mobilization resources.

Lieutenant Colonel Pavlo Kyshkar, a senior officer of the Ground Forces Command and head of the Defense Ministry's Accelerator project office, believes this step is right.

"It is ideologically correct for the authorities to start with themselves, there are also enough men in the army who are not in combat positions, and if the leadership of the Armed Forces declared that in two or three years people of mobilization age would be removed from non-combat positions, they could be replaced by women, men with certain disabilities, loss of limbs, people who already have a pension certificate, it would be right. Staffs are also elements in the management and leadership of the troops, they are also an element of such power, so the state authorities should start mobilizing from themselves. We will no longer have men of military age, so everyone must prepare, and in all government agencies, not just the Ministry of Defense, men of military age must be replaced in a certain period of time by qualified, trained people who are not men of military age. Such an ideology, if it starts with the Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces of Ukraine, has the right to live and is effective," the senior officer emphasized.

The serviceman is convinced that the system should be reduced to the level of one signature — one responsibility, because in wartime all decision-making procedures should be accelerated to one day.

Mobilization via the Reserve+ app

The head of the Defense Ministry's Accelerator project office supports the functionality of the new app, as now the summons can be served online and no time is wasted on catching men liable for military service.

"I support these drastic changes, and let our men who do not want to do military service forgive me, but we don't have many options. Therefore, this system has the right to live, and it should be given the legislative authority to communicate directly with our men. Medical restrictions, deferment for businesses — all of this can and should be incorporated into Reserve+, explained the lieutenant colonel.

Technical automation of control systems in the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Reserve+ is now being presented as a significant step towards accelerating the registration of persons liable for military service, but when we talk about the digital component in the life of the Armed Forces, I will probably still mention other components related to troop management.

Some of Ukraine's operational and strategic and tactical departments use the Dzvin-AS automated system, which was adopted last year. This operational and tactical level combat management system allows Ukraine to significantly speed up the preparation of combat missions and their practice, reduces the workload of staff officers and, most importantly, records the decisions of each commander at each stage of the combat mission, which is extremely important. The system makes it possible to see what decisions were made by a particular commander. It even helps the commander to make the right decisions, and now the Ministry of Defense, in my opinion, should be interested in scaling this system to a significant number of headquarters and departments. There is a demand for this system. I think this is one of the options that also relate to the process of automation and synchronization of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

" As for the development of automated systems on the battlefield, I have repeatedly said that the future war is a war of robots, and we can win only if we have a technological advantage," Kyshkar said.

At the same time, he said, the army is in no hurry to digitize all paperwork because they do not trust it: "I think that after the digitalization of this process, with each commander having an electronic signature and a corresponding secure gadget, and the Ukrainian army has such technologies, we will simplify this process as much as possible to three clicks for a platoon commander, four or five for a company commander."

Kyshkar emphasized that the army's write-off processes need to be improved, but the amounts announced by the Defense Ministry need to be revised.

"The amounts are too small, because a company commander cannot write off more than UAH 100 thousand of property. I remind you that a night sight costs more than 100 thousand UAH, and this is actually a consumable for an infantry commander, so these amounts need to be revised. The control procedures, in particular with the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), need to be simplified, they should also see these processes that take place with military property online. I think that such databases will be introduced by September this year," said a senior officer of the Ground Forces Command.

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