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Russia
AN ASSESSMENT OF THE RUSSIAN AIRBORNE TROOPS AND THEIR ROLE ON TOMORROW’S BATTLEFIELD  By Jörgen Elfving

During the last several years, the Russian Airborne Troops (Vozdushno-Desantnye Voyska—VDV) have undergone important changes in organization as well as the procurement of equipment—a process that is by no means complete. For the foreseeable future, the VDV is set to expand the number of units and continue to introduce modern combat vehicles like the BMD-4M and BTR-MDM. At the same time, however, the changes represent at least a partial return to Soviet practices with the reintroduction ...Read more >

49 Pages
536.86 KB
RUSSIAN ELECTRONIC, INFORMATION, NAVIGATION, AND RECONNAISSANCE-STRIKE AND -FIRE OPERATIONS: DEFINITIONS AND USE   By Timothy Thomas

Russia has been investigating a host of strike and fire concepts for at least a few decades, with one of the first reconnaissance-strike discussions documented in 1984. The quotation above indicates that reconnaissance-strike is not the only strike means under consideration in Russia, and that the number has increased over the years. In terms of terminology and context, Russia’s strike and fire forms are different from those of other nations. The forms under discussion in Russia ...Read more >

35 Pages
1.28 MB
RUSSIAN ROBOTICS: A LOOK AT DEFINITIONS, PRINCIPLES, USES, AND OTHER TRENDS  By Timothy Thomas

Robots have been used in combat in one form or another since at least World War II, and they have also seen use in local conflicts of the last century. However, these robotic devices were simpler in form than those of today. Their integration with other devices was simply not possible. Now the paradigm has changed. The current robotization of combat operations involves devices that are powered with digital and artificial intelligence (AI) command and control devices. ...Read more >

46 Pages
1.03 MB
RUSSIA’S CONDUCT OF WAR: HOW AND WITH WHAT ASSETS  By Timothy Thomas

This product is designed to offer analysts and leaders a summation of some of the most important concepts and theories influencing how and with what assets Russia might conduct war. It is divided into three sections as follows: THE LEADER’S GUIDANCE: The analysis begins with a look at recent guidance from Russia’s Chief of the General Staff, Valery ...Read more >

53 Pages
1.49 MB
EXERCISE KAVKAZ 2020 - A FINAL TEST OF RUSSIAN MILITARY REFORM?  By THE NATO STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE

The year 2020 was one of tectonic geopolitical shifts. Strategic competition between Russia and the West intensified, while the COVID-19 pandemic had major strategic implications globally and affected the state of international affairs. In 2020 Russia conducted Kavkaz 2020, a major exercise from its annual cycle, which aimed to convey the Kremlin’s ability to adapt to changing conditions of warfare and to project and integrate military ...Read more >

62 Pages
11.34 MB
RUSSIAN MILITARY CAPABILITY IN A TEN-YEAR PERSPECTIVE – 2019  By Fredrik Westerlund and Susanne Oxenstierna (eds)

Comparing current Russian military power to that of a decade ago, Russia has clearly made substantial progress in transforming its military into an efficient fighting force. Observing this achievement, it is relevant to ask: What military capability will Russia possess in another ten years? This report provides a forecast of Russian military capability towards 2029. It is based on analyses of the Armed Forces and their fighting power, and of political and economic factors that affect ...Read more >

148 Pages
3.26 MB
THE REVOLUTION IN RUSSIAN MILITARY DECISION-MAKING  By Roger McDermott

Russia’s Armed Forces have experienced considerable change and modernization since the reforms initiated in late 2008. While these processes have impacted structures, personnel, equipment and weapons systems across the entire range of combat arms and branches, as well as combat support and combat service support, a widely underestimated area of improvement lies in the realm of military decision-making. This process itself witnessed widespread change and efforts to enhance both the ...Read more >

40 Pages
2.30 MB
RUSSIA’S “NEW” MILITARY THEORY: UPDATING CLASSICAL AND ASYMMETRIC TECHNIQUES   By Timothy Thomas

A new understanding of warfare appears under development in Russia. Whether it is actually “new” is open for discussion, but ideas were advanced by Russia’s top leadership indicating that is the case. In June 2019 Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu stated that modern conflict requires new approaches and that developing a new theory of warfare is the main task of the Armed Forces. Shoygu offered that “conflicts of a new generation involve a combination of ...Read more >

11 Pages
180.65 KB
KREMLIN KONTROL: RUSSIA S POLITICAL-MILITARY REALITY  By Timothy L. Thomas

Authoritarian regimes are, by their very nature, insecure. They tend to view Western democracies as an existential threat to their way of rule and they fear the development of any type of opposition or protests in the streets. In Russia's case, the latter fear of protests leading to a "color revolution" often appears as important as the ISIS threat to its southern border.Lacking political ...Read more >

280 Pages
2.23 MB
RUSSIA’S VIEW OF MISSION COMMAND OF BATTALION TACTICAL GROUPS IN THE ERA OF “HYBRID WAR”  By Charles Bartles and Lester W. Grau

American battle command is not Russian battle command. The US Army’s operations process is not the Russian Army operations process and the U.S. Army Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) process does not exist in the Russian Army. There is no Russian courses of action development. The Russian commander initiates the planning process by making his decision about how the mission will be accomplished and then the staff conducts the necessary coordination and war-gaming to convert the ...Read more >

10 Pages
1.02 MB
FACTORS INFLUENCING RUSSIAN FORCE MODERNIZATION   By Charles Bartles

THE military that the Russian Federation inherited in the 1990s had a bloated command structure designed for the command and control of literally thousands of divisions , regiments, and battalions, with the vast majority of these units being 'skeleton units' manned by small cadres that would help flesh out the unit with conscripts and reservists in the event of a mass mobilization. ...Read more >

7 Pages
1.15 MB
FACTORS INFLUENCING RUSSIAN FORCE MODERNIZATION  By Dr. Lester Grau and Charles K. Bartles

A wide-spread Russian perception is that Russia is back as a significant Eurasian power whose opinions and desires need to be understood and accommodated. Russia has regained its national pride, confidence and sense of destiny. Russia still feels threatened from the south and the west and is taking political and military steps to deal with that unease. Historically, Russia feels most secure when it has a strong leader and a strong military. Russians are willing to forego much in order to ...Read more >

13 Pages
1.23 MB
RUSSIAN PERSPECTIVES ON NETWORKCENTRIC WARFARE: THE KEY AIM OF SERDYUKOV’S REFORM  By Roger N. McDermott

The reform of the Russian conventional armed forces, announced in the aftermath of the Russia-Georgia War in August 2008, as part of an agenda that became known as the “new look” cannot be understood, or properly assessed, unless its fundamental drivers are defined. Overall, following Defense Minister, Anatoliy Serdyukov, declaring the key features of the reform on October 14, 2008 on the day he briefed a closed session of the defense ministry collegium, the reform agenda appeared ...Read more >

24 Pages
4.19 MB
THREE DISCUSSIONS OF RUSSIAN CONCEPTS: 1.RUSSIAN INFORMATION WEAPONS 2.BALTIC DEFENSES (ESTONIA, LATVIA, LITHUANIA) AGAINST RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA AND 3.RUSSIA’S DEVELOPMENT OF NON-LETHAL WEAPONS  By Timothy Thomas

Information weapons (IWes) have a comprehensive meaning in Russia that encompasses both strategic and operational applications. IWes are considered as nonnuclear strategic weapons that have the capability, with their cyber and precision-weaponry components (among others), to conduct economic, social, or physical disorganization or destruction of an opponent’s infrastructure or normal operating procedures and induce deterrence without the use of nuclear weapons or ground-based ...Read more >

74 Pages
1.37 MB
RUSSIAN MILITARY ART AND ADVANCED WEAPONRY   By Timothy Thomas

Russian General Staff Chief Valery Gerasimov has continually requested that the Academy of Military Science provide him with ideas about new forms and methods of warfare. One source defined “methods” as the use of weaponry and military art. 1 Weaponry is now advanced and is characterized by new speeds, ranges, and agilities, which introduce new ways for Russian commanders to apply force. Military art takes into consideration advanced ...Read more >

49 Pages
1.45 MB
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