Why Russia Refuses to Defend in Depth, but Defends Forward

A persistent error they consistently choose not to rectify

Shankar Narayan
5 min readSep 25


Tanks (Licensed image)

It has been a few days now since Ukrainian troops started knocking on the doors of Verbove in the Robotyne Section. I began noticing something really weird, or I may say, something really stupid.

You must have been watching how Ukraine is advancing around Bakhmut. They lost the town in the last week of May. Since that day, they haven’t set foot inside the town, but instead, they have been grinding the Russian forces to the east and west of the town. They are advancing on the flanks. They will capture the supply routes. Then they will encircle the town and allow the Russian units to get out of the town on their own.

This reduces the cost of lives Ukraine has to pay for the town’s capture. If you are a member of Putin’s regime, you should know that your enemy has a plan, and he generally sticks to it. Ukraine did exactly the same while liberating Robotyne. This is not a set-in-stone strategy; Ukraine will never do something like that, but this is their preferred strategy if they think the enemy is trying to draw them into urban combat.

What Should the Russians Have Done Then?

As soon as Ukraine got closer to Verbove, the Russian command should have known Ukraine would not enter the town. They would not have a Hollywood-style face-off in the streets. Ukraine would advance either through the north of Verbove or through the south. Since you are the ones who designed all the field fortifications in the area, you should know which line is weaker between the two and expect Ukraine to push through that line.

Let us sit in the Russian chair, without Putin’s influence in the decision-making for two minutes. If I think Ukraine will push through A or B or AB. What will be my options?

Screenshot from Deepstatelive. Sketches added by author.

I would have ordered all the troops to the north of Verbove to withdraw from their current positions and come bearing down on the Ukrainian troops trying to enter this A line, or I would have, at the very least…



Shankar Narayan

Lov stats and hate status-quo. Forecasted all the states Biden won in 2020. Correctly forecasted the twin Georgia elections in 2021, House and Senate in 2022.