March 09, 2022

'A rush to failure': How the Russian military started off so badly in Ukraine

Featuring Jeffrey Edmonds

Source: NBC News

Journalist Phil McCausland

The first week of Russia's invasion of Ukraine does not appear to have gone to plan.

Russia's attempts at a fast-paced assault haven't brought its forces inside Kyiv, the capital and the seat of the Western-leaning government the Kremlin appears intent on removing. Instead, the strategy has stretched supply lines and morale to a breaking point, while Russian tanks and military equipment have, at times, gotten stuck in mud or run out of gas.

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Jeffrey Edmonds, who served as the director for Russia on the National Security Council in the Obama administration, said he believes a failure in political leadership has brought Russia to this point after one week of battle.

"The Russian leadership actually believed the things they've said about the Ukrainians and didn't think they would put up a resistance," said Edmonds, now a senior analyst at CNA, a military think tank.

"Because of that and because they thought the war wouldn't be popular, they kept the scope of the invasion secret, even from the military, until the very last days."

That left the military without the ability to plan a full-scale invasion and made them scramble to hit the Kremlin’s deadlines, Edmonds said.

Read more from NBC News.

Authors

  • Jeffrey Edmonds

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    Jeffrey Edmonds is an expert on US national security, especially as it relates to Russia. He works full time for CNA's Russia Studies Program. His research focuses on the Russ...