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Ukraine war dynamics - Ground Forces chief on new battle tactics

Ukraine war dynamics - Ground Forces chief on new battle tactics Commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Pavliuk (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

The war in Ukraine has changed and now a different combat tactic dominates the frontline. The change is due to the massive use of drones on both sides, says Lieutenant General Oleksandr Pavliuk, Commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in an interview with The Times.

Drones have become dominant on the battlefield, now unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are more deadly than artillery or aviation. Drones have altered the geography and tactics of the battlefield, and infantry has dug in deeper.

Pavliuk says drones now kill more soldiers on both sides than anything else. They can see almost everything, not only on the frontline but also at depths of 10-30 km on both sides.

As the commander explained, neither side can now create a large striking force without being noticed and targeted by long-range strike UAVs and artillery. This new reality has forced both sides to operate with significantly smaller assault groups.

He adds that the Ukrainian army has shifted away from moving battalions or even companies.

At the same time, Pavliuk acknowledges that winning the war solely on the battlefield is not possible. In his opinion, strengthening sanctions could hinder Russia from increasing its stockpiles of missiles it uses to target Ukrainian energy facilities. He stresses that only greater international isolation of the Kremlin could stop the fighting.

He believes that exhaustion on the battlefield will not end the war. The end of the war will come through technological advantage and real isolation of Russia, he says. Right now, many countries "sit on their hands", waiting to see how this war ends, just hoping it won't affect them, the commander adds.

Using drones in the war

Both Ukraine and Russia actively use drones in the war, including ordinary for short-range reconnaissance and long-range strike UAVs.

Russia constantly attacks Ukraine with kamikaze drones of Iranian origin. Ukraine, in turn, significantly increased drone production during the war. For example, Ukraine has created a fleet of maritime drones that attack Russian targets at sea.

Ukrainian intelligence has confirmed that Russian troops have started launching drones from the territory of the occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. Russian FPV drones were also detected above the Zaporizhzhia NPP nuclear reactor.