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Estonia General Staff: Russia uses “amoeba tactics” to exploit openings in Ukrainian defenses

Russian military employs “amoeba tactics” in Ukraine, spreading forces thinly, aiming for opportunistic gains, Estonian Maj-Gen Enno Mõts explains, adding that Russia’s air attacks aim to strain Western support by escalating reconstruction costs.
Major General Enno Mõts, chief of the General Staff of the Estonian Defense Forces. Screenshot from a ERR video..
Estonia General Staff: Russia uses “amoeba tactics” to exploit openings in Ukrainian defenses

Major General Enno Mõts, chief of the General Staff of the Estonian Defense Forces, says the Russian military is using the so-called “amoeba tactics” in Ukraine. He explained that Russian troops, lacking the capability for a deep breakthrough, are deploying smaller forces across various locations, hoping that an opportunity to squeeze through might suddenly emerge, Mõts said in an interview, according to ERR.

“The Russians themselves are using what could be called ‘amoeba tactics.’ Whether it is conscious or not, but as I said, they do not have the capacity for a deep breakthrough, but they are pushing everywhere, despite so to speak burning through the lives of their soldiers, their equipment, and hoping that somewhere, suddenly, an opportunity will arise. This is their pattern of action in a way, which is not only characteristic of their actions on the battlefield, but you could say globally,” Mõts said.

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The general says the Russian regime’s eyes are constantly on Estonia and other Baltic states, waiting for an opportunity to orchestrate something.

Basically, exactly the same kind of strategy was actually taking place in Africa, where Russia was spreading out, arrogantly pushing itself forward in all directions, and the European troops and coalitions eventually got out of there altogether, were pushed out, but the Russians are there and sort of carrying on,” he added.

Russia can bomb Kharkiv but can’t seize it

Mõts says Russia’s increased attacks on northeastern Ukraine’s Kharkiv City are an attempt to widen the front line, as this would, in turn, force Ukraine to widen its defenses, which would mean thinning them. While Russia has the power to bomb Kharkiv, the Estonian General Staff chief says it does not have the power to take the city.

Major General Enno Mõts noted that controlling a city would require significantly more troops than Russia currently possesses:

It can fight its way through the city itself in one go, but to keep it under control will require significantly more troops,” he stated.

He also mentioned that although Russia has more troops in Ukraine now than two years ago, “their level of training and their level of command is low, at group company level.” Mõts added that there have been recent attempts to integrate company armored attacks, but these actions are relatively isolated.

Infrastructure attacks not purely war of attrition, but to undermine Western support

Since March, Russia has launched a series of missile and drone attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure. Major General Enno Mõts commented on the strategy behind these attacks.

Military: Russians use scorched earth tactics in Donbas, destroying everything with KAB bombs

They are, in my estimation, deliberately exploiting this weakness,” he said, elaborating that the targeting includes critical and civilian infrastructure, describing it as “purely a war of attrition tactic.”

Mõts further explained that this tactic of attrition extends beyond Ukraine, stating,

“But one can think a little bit further, that this attrition is not only against the Ukrainian population,” he said, noting, “It is actually against Western society as well,” because the eventual reconstruction of Ukraine will depend significantly on Western capital and support.

FT: Russia shifts tactics, targets Ukraine’s less protected power plants:

Major General Enno Mõts elaborated on articulated the broader strategic implications of Russia’s infrastructure attacks, saying:

And again I would boldly state the idea that this is not just about breaking down the defenses of Ukrainians alone, but it is also about breaking down the unity of the West, because the whole reconstruction of Ukraine’s future is going to require a lot of resources,” he said, noting that now these resources are being redirected towards war efforts. 

He noted that creating this dilemma disrupts the smooth flow of supplies and warned that it could ultimately backfire if it leads to a failure to provide necessary resources.

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