Now We Know Why Russia’s Troops Are Failing

( )- According to the UK Ministry of Defense, Russian troops don’t have the practical know-how to properly fit their tanks with Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) which is leading to “heavy attrition” in combat.

In a UK Defense Intelligence report last week, the Ministry of Defense notes that ERA, when used correctly, “degrades the effectiveness of incoming projectiles before they hit the tank.” With Russia’s failure to fit and properly employ ERA, the attrition of its Main Battle Tanks in Ukraine is heavy.

The MOD concludes that the problem is likely caused by the lack of trained tank crews. A lack of proper training to maintain ERA results in “either poor fitting of the explosive elements, or it being left off entirely.”

The deficiencies may be contributing to “widespread incidents of turret ejection” that have been witnessed in Ukraine.

The MOD said the inability to fit ERA is just another example of the “failures by Russian commanders to enforce low-level battle disciple” and is likely a “significant factor behind the poor performances of Russia’s forces.”

Explosive Reactive Armor is designed to detonate outwards if a tank is hit by an incoming projectile, counterbalancing the incoming blast and reducing its power. ERA is especially effective against shaped charges.

A visiting war studies fellow at King’s College London suggested the problem with ERA is an example of the struggle Russia has with its “largely conscript army.”

Mike Martin told Newsweek that, unlike professional armies, conscripts aren’t known for technical competence since they aren’t conscripted long enough to obtain the skills necessary. And by the time they figure things out, most conscripts, who only serve for a year, are ready to leave service.

Martin explained that while professional armies are good at technical forms of warfare, conscript armies are only “good at attritional warfare,” adding “you don’t need much training to be cannon fodder.”

He told Newsweek that if Russian troops can’t properly fit ERA to the tanks, they won’t be able to defend against the Javelin anti-tank missiles the West has been sending Ukraine.