‘Esprit de corps' is the term often used within the military to describe the morale of one's own troops. There's a positive ring to it and denotes a confidence in victory.
Readers of military ‘morale' accounts of soldiers in battle, expect emotionally detached stories of the genuine mental fortitude of the fighters. The most recent assessment of British intelligence see low morale on both sides as a detriment in maintaining a winning war effort.
But the analysis concludes that Russians are more acutely debilitated from a low fighting spirit than Ukrainians. Reports of entire Russian units refusing to obey orders are not uncommon.
During the Russian troop build-up prior to their February assault, morale was predicted to be the determining factor in the win-defeat end of hostilities. Two levels of morale were identified: the morale of individual soldiers and the morale of each country and its people.
At the level of an individual are Ukrainian soldiers, who purposefully fight for their homeland, superior to Russian soldiers whose motivation for fighting is fuzzy?
For the collective nation, does the Ukrainian national will to defy an enemy for a long, difficult and deadly battle have more endurance than the morale of the Russian nation?
Before the war started many observers agreed that the longer the Ukrainian army was able to resist the enemy, the more it will gain in confidence and improve its knowhow of the best means to fight this adversary.
(Read more: Estonian Life No. 32 2022 paber- and PDF/digi)
Laas Leivat, Toronto