Russian forces are “highly likely” continuing to struggle when fighting at night throughout the Ukraine conflict, according to a recent update by British intelligence.
The report highlights Russia’s shortage of essential night vision equipment and lack of night training as key factors behind this disadvantage.
“In late November 2022, a social media user claiming to be a Russian soldier serving in Kherson highlighted the shortage of night vision goggles (NVGs) and low-light cameras for uncrewed aerial vehicles,” the update states. The soldier apparently cited access to NVGs as a frequent request in equipment wish lists from Russian troops to their families and supporters.
In contrast, the update indicates Ukrainian forces have often received provision of night vision devices from international partners. “There is also likely a cultural element to Russia’s problem: Russian military training has rarely emphasized night exercises, instead typically building towards set-piece, daylight events to impress visiting senior officers,” the reprot continues.
Meanwhile, the Russian soldier is quoted as claiming, “Ukrainian forces ‘move mostly at night.'”
Nighttime is important for military operations in Ukraine because the battlefield has been completely transformed by combat and reconnaissance drones. Consequently, Ukrainian soldiers have reported engaging in assault operations only in dim light, which is one of the reasons for the difficulties with Ukraine’s counteroffensive.
Read about the transformed nature of the battlefield in our interivewlated: