Russia Has Shifted Its Strategy to Long-Range Artillery Attacks in Ukraine

Massive Russian artillery is decimating Ukrainian defenses and causing enormous collateral damage to civilians.
russian artillery

Russian artillery has been wreaking havoc in Ukraine, and it appears that Russia is beginning to learn from its mistakes. 

Now, the Russian strategy is more effective. They are focusing on artillery, drones, and communication jammers to outgun Ukrainian weapons – and this new approach is already showing results, forcing Ukraine to retreat in many cities in the Donbas region.

Russian new strategies based on long-range attacks

Firing TOS-1A MRLs
Firing TOS-1A MRLs by Vitaly V. Kuzmin. Licensed under CC by CC 4.0

Russia’s ground forces have been clearly ineffective compared to the artillery. Shelling Ukrainian positions have been more effective than two months of deploying infantry and old Soviet tanks.


It enables Russia to launch attacks from a safe distance, making it more difficult for the enemy to strike back. So, this new tactic is resulting in superior performance and is decimating Ukrainian defenses very fast.

Additionally, Russians are deploying drones to strengthen artillery strikes, providing various advantages such as increased accuracy and the ability to target multiple areas simultaneously.

The Russian artillery is not very precise; it destroys everything in its path, including civilian areas, which breaks the morale of the Ukrainian troops (and population).


Russian artillery outnumbers the Ukrainian power

Since the start of the offensive in Donbas, Russia has been busy deploying its artillery on the Ukrainian border and has been able to fire day and night on Ukrainian camps.

In addition, it is reported that Russian military units have begun deploying dumb artillery batteries to divert and absorb Ukrainian air strikes. They have been using damaged or destroyed equipment to create the illusion of a fully operational artillery battery. 

On the other hand, Russia has been using electronic warfare to jam Ukrainian communications, making it difficult for them to coordinate their defenses. This has had a devastating effect on Ukrainian morale and has made it very difficult for them to fight back effectively.


Similarly, Russia has a significant advantage in terms of range. Russia’s longer-range artillery can reach targets in Ukraine that are out of range of Ukrainian units. This gives Russia the ability to target critical infrastructure and military facilities without putting its own troops at risk.

For instance, they have made surprisingly extensive use of its Tochka-U ballistic missiles for counter-battery strikes. The Tochka-U is a short-range, tactical missile designed to destroy targets such as tanks, artillery, and bunkers. 

Tochka-U rep parad Yekat
Tochka-U rep parad Yekat by Владислав Фальшивомонетчик. Licensed under CC by CC 3.0

However, Russia has also used the Tochka-U to target enemy missile launchers, radar installations, and even military infrastructure such as roads and bridges. This widespread use of the Tochka-U has been described as “wasteful” by some observers, as the missile is not well suited for many of these targets. 


Another weapon fired from the Russian artillery units is cluster munitions.

They are banned by most countries worldwide, but Russia is apparently using them extensively in Ukraine. These munitions are extremely dangerous because they release a large number of small bomblets that can kill anyone within a wide area.

The US wants to counter the Russian artillery as soon as possible

HIMARS Russian Artillery
HIMARS by Public Domain.

This superior firepower has allowed Russia to make significant gains in recent weeks. This is a major setback for Ukraine, highlighting the need for more support from the international community that is already sending more HIMARS and NASSAMS pieces to counterattack the Russian artillery.


So, if Ukraine keeps receiving more artillery units such as HIMARS/M270 from the US, it will increase the Ukrainian capacity to counterattack the Russian advances… However, the result will be uncertain for the Ukrainian side anyway.

Feature image credit: 305th Brigade’s exercise 2020 by Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation under CC BY 4.0

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