Russia Is Fighting Yesterday’s War As Putin’s Empire Cracks

Barry Gander
7 min readOct 17, 2022
Ukraine’s “Punisher” drones automatically fly up to 30 miles inside enemy territory and disrupt Russia’s supply lines by identifying and targeting convoys and ammunition dumps.

The current war is one of silicon, not steel.

Russia is floundering in an age when processors direct missiles and robot drones drop bombs from the clouds. Russia is still in an era of coal and iron and chunks of metal rusting along roadsides, blow open by smart munitions.

Ukraine pulled ahead of Russia in terms of smart weapons years before Russia invaded. Oleksiy Savchenko helped develop one of the most lethal and inexpensive weapons now used by thousands of Ukrainian service members. In 2014, he was among the protesters whose months-long rallies in Kyiv ultimately removed pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Named Kropiva (nettle) the software turns any Android-based tablet into an online map that can acquire and transmit coordinates for correcting artillery fire from its user, a drone or a radar. It also gets meteorological data that can affect each shot — the speed and direction of wind, temperature and humidity. The calculations are made and transmitted within seconds. The Russian way of guiding fire requires manual data entry and the use of artillery tables for calculations; this takes up to 15 minutes.

A tablet with Nettle software is Ukraine’s smart solution for artillery fire precision

The Ukrainian solution is simple, cheap and smart.

And Ukraine is benefitting from a deluge of smart silicon weapons from its Western allies.

Russia is out of its depth and cannot win. This truth is gradually dawning on the subject peoples of Russia.

Are there signs that they are reacting?

A social edifice like the Russian fascist state can shatter in a seeming instant; from granite to grains in a few days. Russia has been teetering on collapse since 1905, when the Tsar’s armies lost to the Japanese. There were riots in the streets, and order was barely maintained. Order did break down completely, overnight. in 1917, when the Tsar was finally overthrown as the German army approached. The resulting monolithic Soviet state was overthrown on December 25, 1991, when a slow approach to democratization suddenly became an avalanche.

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Barry Gander

A Canadian from Connecticut: 2 strikes against me! I'm a top writer, looking for the Meaning under the headlines. Follow me on Mastodon @Barry