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Page added on September 29, 2008

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Russian Army’s weakness exposed

The main elements of the North Caucasian Military District’s 58th Army have already been re-deployed to Russia. The bravest officers and men have received government decorations. Those killed in action have been buried. And now it is high time to assess the operation’s lessons.

Those, who fought in Georgia this August, know that Russian peace-keepers sustained the greatest casualties during the first hours of the Georgian aggression because Moscow and Vladikavkaz, where the 58th Army’s headquarters is located, failed to promptly order troops to repel the attack and to send elements of the 58th Army to South Ossetia.

Moreover, Russian forces did not know the firing positions of Georgia’s Grad multiple-launch rocket systems, Gvozdika self-propelled guns and T-72 tank units.

Nor did the Russian Army have any dependable reconnaissance systems, including unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs).

Although Russian and foreign UCAVs are regularly displayed at the annual MAKS international aerospace show in Zhukovsky near Moscow, including at the MAKS-2007 show, the Russian Army still lacks them because the national Defense Ministry decided to stop buying them in 2006.

Consequently, the Russians had no choice but to send a Tupolev Tu-22M3 Backfire strategic bomber on a reconnaissance mission and to use Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot ground-attack jets to hit Georgian MLRS batteries.

The Georgians downed four Rus

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