Russia's 'Elite' Units Might Not Be So Elite

Featured in Newsweek

War in Ukraine


Acclaim for "elite" units also comes from when, where and how they operate, according to Ed Arnold, a research fellow for European security at the London-based Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) think tank. ..."Elite" units can provide morale boosts for friendly troops—or inspire fear in the opposing forces—and can often get access to better equipment or more training, Arnold told Newsweek. Because of this, they will also be selected for tasks in which they can be trusted to get the job done, he added. ...The "elite" units have "never actually been tested on the battlefield in the way that they are currently fighting at the moment, and I think that's exposed them," Arnold said. But it's not just about the regiments themselves, Arnold stressed, it's also about the planning and command decisions taken around the fighters that reflect poorly on the soldiers on the ground.