War in Ukraine
If the Russians commit to a major assault [in Kyiv] and they haven't broken the back of the resistance, it will be very bloody and their troops might break," says Watling, a research fellow in land warfare and military Sciences at the Royal United Services Institute. He says Russians will want to "whittle down" the resistance before they commit their forces. Watling says there is evidence of low morale among Russian troops, citing lost and confused advance units - and their initial surprise at coming under fire from Ukrainians. "We have heard reports of them damaging their own equipment because they don't want to go in to fight," he said. But he says the effect of low morale will diminish as Russian troops come together to fight in larger formations, as their mission becomes clearer and as Ukrainians begin to run out of ammunition.