Rodric Braithwaite

How the West misunderstood Russia’s military capabilities 

Putin’s new army looked lean and mean, but old, inherent weaknesses persisted: over-rigid commanders, demoralised soldiers and shaky logistics

Vladimir Putin in Moscow last month. [Getty Images]

Books about Putin’s war against Ukraine are like the No.11 bus: you wait for ages, then a whole bunch turn up at once. Owen Matthews and Mark Galeotti are among the first. They will eventually be superseded by the scholarly histories. Meanwhile they bring clarity to a picture confused by instant comment in the media.

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