Early Lessons from the Ukraine War (Part 2)

By | March 14, 2022

[March 14, 2022]  Yesterday, I wrote about five lessons from the Ukraine War1.  While there are many lessons at the military tactical and grand strategic levels, today’s article focuses on the military-national level.  In other words, lessons for senior leaders.

Today is the 19th day of this war, and little has changed for the past week.  Russia’s Plan A (as I call it) has failed to topple the Ukrainian government quickly, and the Ukraine people are putting up a determined defense.  Now, we are well into Plan B, and it is what the Russian military does best; surround the area you want and use massive artillery barrages to weaken the defenders before moving in.

Here are five more lessons from the Ukraine War:

  1. Flexibility: Reports from the battlefield show a significant difference in the operational and logistical flexibility of tactical units from each country.  Russian forces are confined mainly to highways with supply transport systems and armored vehicles.  Ukrainian forces are breaking up into small raiding, anti-tank units and are defeating those Russian forces.
  2. Logistics: USMC Gen. Robert Barrow rightly said, “Amateurs talk about tactics, but professionals study logistics.”   The Russian army has several serious logistical obstacles to overcome on the ground.  Much of this is a self-inflicted wound because they were unprepared for an extracted fight with the Ukrainians.  Running out of fuel, ammo, and food in a fight is bad news.
  3. Drones: Turkish TB2 and other aerial drones are used effectively by both sides. These drones are used for reconnaissance and in a direct attack role.  Many impressive videos are viewable on the Internet.  Much of the footage is propaganda, both true and false mixed together.
  4. Morale: When things go well for your team, morale soars to its greatest heights.  In this war, the Russian fight is not going well; loss of soldiers, lack of food, fuel, and ammo, a stubborn Ukrainian resistance, and a world turned against them.  Videos of captured Russian soldiers show them demoralized and sad.  Those captured soldiers are telling a story of a dispirited Russian army.
  5. Outside Leadership: Generally speaking, most of the world has come out against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  Companies are pulling their products and services out of Russia, and political leaders are lining up to denounce Russia.  While much of the West’s leadership has been halting, weak, and ineffective, there remains a high degree of consensus that we must oppose Russia.  It is making a difference.


  1. https://www.theleadermaker.com/early-lessons-from-the-ukraine-war-part-1/


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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

24 thoughts on “Early Lessons from the Ukraine War (Part 2)

  1. Pumpkin Spice

    This two-part series on the Russian-Ukraine War by Gen. Satterfield has been helpful for me. I’m using these lessons as talking points when I discuss the war with my liberal relatives (they are smart, they know they are smart, and I know they are stupid – at least when it comes to ideas like this).

  2. Eye Cat

    US Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley (who Gen. Satterfield says is a total failure and immoral actor) said that the Ukraine would collapse as a nation under the Russian assault within three days. Once again, he is wrong. How can this idiot stay in his position? I’m not so sure he is even competent anymore.

    1. JT Patterson

      Frog march Gen. Milley out the door to show the world we don’t tolerate failures. Nope, won’t happen in WOKE America.

      1. Autistic Techie

        Shocking how terrible Gen. Milley is for our nation. Oh, where is he anyway? Haven’t see him genuflexing in front of cameras for a couple of weeks now.

  3. Otto Z. Zuckermann

    Russian Plan A has failed. I’m not so sure about that. I think their early lack of success was predicated on the idea they could easily squash Ukraine’s will to fight and that was merely Phase One of a multiphase military plan to take over the country. we shall see what happens in the next 72 hours.

  4. Valkerie

    Russian military morale = down!
    Ukrainian morale = up!
    General Satterfield once again comes thru with a great article. Go Ukraine … win this war.

    1. Frank Graham

      I’m with you Valkerie. Much is riding on the outcome of the world in this war. The old ways of war that Putin is undertaking is now in question whether it will ever be used again. China is now MORE hesitant to use its bloated, unpracticed, untrained military to take over Taiwan. Good!

      1. Willie Strumburger

        We shall see over the next couple of days as the Ukraine capital of Kyiv falls into Russian hands.

    1. Bryan Z. Lee

      In his work, “Drones and Robots: On the Changing Practice of Warfare,” ethicist Daniel Statman argues that drone warfare is legal and ethical. I recommend his work.

  5. Plato

    War is not only a matter of equipment, artillery, group troops or air force; it is largely a matter of spirit, or morale. Chiang Kai-shek

  6. Max Foster

    Good two-part series on lessons from the Russo-Ukraine War. Those of us who are interested in learning a little more about leadership and what those who lead can do (Ukraine Pres Zelensky0 or not do (US Pres Biden), can surely learn more when real leadership is put to the test. This is an example of when ideology loses out over reality and altho Biden will never learn (senile?), I’m afraid that none of his sycophants will learn either.

    1. Tom Bushmaster

      Max, great comment. A good study in comparison of real leadership vs. fake leadership. Just look at what VP K. Harris said the other day about Ukraine being part of NATO. Duh!!! Ukraine is not part of NATO and every body knows it. Gee, can she do something other read from the teleprompter without making a mistake.

    2. Mikka Solarno

      Yes, excellent comment Max. Thanks for making this leadership forum worthwhile reading. Gen. Satterfield has set the stage with his article. We can take it further here.

      1. Dead Pool Guy

        Our obligation to do so. Max and others are doing it now.

  7. Goalie for Cal State

    Nice addition to yesterday’s article. Thanks Gen. Satterfield for being on top of this conflict. I will add, just my opinion, but I think the lessons you list here are probably similar to most wars. War is won by the side that manages the chaos the best. But it is still chaos.

    1. Rev. Michael Cain

      Chaos! Yep! That is also the policy of Pres Biden === chaos for all.

      1. Harold M. Smith II

        … and when Biden screws up, as he always does (or his handlers do), then he blames everybody else for interferring with his plans, not the plans themselves.

    2. Len Jakosky

      What? You mean that socialist slow Joe Biden actually has a brain that functions? No way! ha ha ha ha ha ha


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