The Washington PostThe Washington Post

It’s hard for Russia to invade Ukraine when its soldiers don’t want to be there

By Jason Lyall

01 Mar 2022 · 4 min read

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has stumbled out of the starting gate. Gambling on rapid marches to force a quick surrender in Kyiv, the Russian Army appears shocked by dogged Ukrainian resistance. While still grinding forward, Russian operations have been plagued by poor coordination, snarled logistics lines, and a curious reluctance to deploy all elements of Russian military power, including air power. Now media reports suggest Russia is about to step up attacks on nonmilitary targets.

Why has Russia struggled? While analysts have mostly focused on hardware and doctrine, many of Russia's problems can be traced to a single source: low morale.

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