April 19, 2024
lesson from Ukraine for Filipinos
What are the lessons from Ukraine for Filipinos? Here are ten things that might be considered applicable for our current situation!

With Russia capturing Bakhmut after throwing everything including the kitchen sink, as well as Ukraine undergoing its second giant counteroffensive, there are a couple of lessons from Ukraine for Filipinos who may want to think about our own backyard.

  1. Drones are a must.

The Philippine Armed Forces, surprisingly, brought a metric ton of surveillance drones for its branches over the past few years. It also has plans to buy unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) for, well, our soldiers.

Ukraine showed that even Mavic drones could be just as effective when it comes to delivering attacks on ground-based enemies. They also showed a lot of ingenuity when it came to the conversion, upgrading, and usage of drones on the battlefield.

This just shows that drones are needed at all levels across multiple roles: attack, reconnaissance, surveillance, diversion, and electronic warfare (where possible).

  1. Air defense is a huge need.

Even with a decent air defense network and the generous help of the West, Ukraine has actually been at the verge of finishing its stockpile of anti-air missiles multiple times. Still, with their reported high interception rates, it clearly shows that an integrated, resilient, and robust air defense system is needed to protect Philippine skies.

  1. Preparing to resist is a necessity.

From public infrastructure that could withstand high-intensity explosions and heavy attacks to having multiple bomb shelters and the ability to train/arm citizens (plus a focus on civil defense, strategic stockpiling of vital supplies, timely/accurate disaster relief, dispersion of assets, fast mobility and quick repair of infrastructure), preparing to resist is the best way to prevent having to do the resistance in the first place.

  1. Assets for small unit tactics are needed.

Whether it’s portable grenade launchers, portable SAM launchers, anti-tank weapons, machine guns, anti-materiel rifles or anything that could help lock down an area, create ambushes, and provide a modicum of defense/allow for smaller units to fight above their weight – these should be procured at the numbers needed to help the country mount a credible defense when the foe lands on the shore.

  1. Mobility is king.

This has proven true for the battles around Kyiv as well as the Kharkiv counteroffensive; mobile assets that could go around obstacles and make the opponent’s life harder as well as take advantage of gaps and is a necessity in the 21st century setting. Also, this means: MRAPs, more armored vehicles, ATVs, light tactical vehicles, you name it.

  1. Tank-to-tank battles may be rare – yet tanks are still king.

Heavy, accurate, consistent, mobile, and direct fire support is something that could be provided by tanks alone, as proven in the battlefields of Ukraine. This means that the Philippines should get more tanks (or similar platforms that can bring that kind of firepower) to allow the infantry to focus on being grunts and hold ground.

  1. Medicine and triage are keys to save lives.

Especially in a tropical environment, more emphasis should be put on things like tactical combat casualty care (TCCC), trauma care, preventing infections, etc. – this will improve and save more lives, both those of combat units and of non-combatants alike.

  1. Information is the key.

This is one of the biggest lessons from Ukraine for Filipinos – no, seriously: Memory, storytelling, and rapid dissemination of information (along with the art of sorting out propaganda and using critical thinking to reduce/eliminate fake news) are among the key factors needed to resist an opponent in the 21st century. Knowledge of human psychology, culture, and having a strong “heart” are needed too, especially when it comes to having to deal with a different foe.

  1. Ammunition. More. Most. Beyond. Period.

We should get more ammunition. Better yet, we should make our own. That’s the role of the Government Arsenal: Time to create not just bullets, but 40mm grenades, RPG rockets, 155mm artillery shells, and everything in between. If we can even get local manufacturers to do it (and spread out the supply chain), the better.

  1. Military engineering is a must.

From building trenches to repairing airfields; from breaching buildings to demolishing huge swaths of land and creating blockers; from defending ports to keeping the sea lanes open, from creating bridges to blowing up infrastructure where necessary, military engineering has played a big role in the Ukraine conflict. Given its lessons from Marawi, our country would do well to keep developing its military engineering capabilities.


  1. Investment in civilian deterrence, monitoring, and presence

Luckily, the Philippine Coast Guard and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources are working very hard to achieve this. While this hasn’t been a Ukraine topic, this applies to our current situation right now – this fits the current situation and realities on the ground. Hopefully, they’ll get not just ships – but helicopters, planes, drones, and the men and logistics needed to operate them.

Hoping that you enjoyed reading these lessons from Ukraine for Filipinos. Thank you and may you have a great weekend ahead!

For reading up on suggestions towards improving Philippine education, you can read it all here!

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