I suspect this throw away mentality is somewhat ingrained in russian military culture, even today. The new years assault of Grozny in 94 comes to mind. Pavel Grachev can be likened to the STAVKA mentality of the past with his promise to swiftly crush the Chechen separatist forces "in a couple of hours with a single airborne regiment."
He was rumoured to launch the disastrous storming of Grozny while drunk during the celebrations of his January 1 birthday. As TIME commented in 1995: "Grachev had remarked recently that only an 'incompetent commander' would order tanks into the streets of central Grozny, where they would be vulnerable (...) Yet at the end of December he did it." Eventually, in July 1996, Yeltsin sacked the disgraced Grachev following his 1996 re-election. The war soon ended in a Russian defeat, with hundreds of thousands of military and civilian casualties.
I guess history repeats itself. Here we again see incompetent commanders and the higher leadership looking for scapegoats. Disgraced generals were dime a dozen during the chechen wars.
< Message edited by schmolywar -- 2/6/2012 2:19:53 AM >
"The Russian advance over this hastily improvised road, constructed with the aid of the most primitive facilities, was, for a time,accompanied by the strains of band music.".
-Peculiarities of russian warfare