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Russia and Ukraine: a return to conventional warfare?

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This is a digital-only ThinkIn.

The widely circulating images of Russian tanks and armoured cars rolling into Ukraine are powerful and deeply alarming. But at the same time, they are not exactly the futuristic images of modern warfare that one might have imagined from 2022. Instead, many of the photos are of Russian vehicles stuck in the mud or with burst tyres. This makes it seem as if Russia's military isn’t quite as well-funded, and highly technical as many have imagined. Reports have instead suggested that Ukrainian forces have destroyed numerous Russian armoured vehicles using cheap drones from Turkey. Why is this the case? Is the invasion of Ukraine hampered by poor maintenance, obsolete hardware or general lack of preparation? As Nato strengthens the presence of troops, planes and defensive weapons across bases in member countries, are Nato forces better prepared?

editor and invited experts

Giles Whittell
Sensemaker Editor

Bettina Renz
Professor of International Security, University of Nottingham

Sam Cranny-Evans
Research analyst, Military Sciences, RUSI