September 23, 2023


Equality opinion

Russian Military Strategy: Organizing Operations for the Initial Period of War

Relations with China were "naive", now we have finished the "Golden Era"

Investigate Thoughts

  1. How is Russia developing its armed forces method to mitigate perceived weak spot?
  2. In a time period of crisis, is Russia preparing to exploit local advantages to strike the lightning blow and get the so-named decisive struggle, or is it setting up an armed force based mostly generally on defensive operational ideas to exhaust NATO of its benefits in the initial period of time of war?

Russia has defined its nationwide passions in phrases of resisting the U.S.-backed European integration technique, complicated or supplanting U.S. impact all around the world, and pursuing an “unbiased foreign coverage” that could deliver it into conflict with China at some place in the foreseeable future.

Beneath the ailments existing at the time of this crafting, a fantastic energy war with the North Atlantic Treaty Firm (NATO) is the most probable massive-scale state of affairs for which the Russian armed service need to put together. How is it planning? What is its technique? The authors of this report discover and take a look at critical things to evaluate the orientation of Russia’s army system. The components the authors think about are the overall balance of electricity, Russian diplomacy with China, Russian views on the character of upcoming war, and key tendencies in force readiness and mobilization. The authors also discover current operational ideas to realize how Russia could execute that military services tactic.

The investigation for this report was performed in 2021, prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Key Findings

There is tiny proof that Russia is orienting its armed service tactic toward attrition and protection

With the notable exception of countrywide air defenses, attrition and protection are not prioritized in Russian navy assumed and operational scheduling.

Russia’s emphasis in the original interval is oriented towards preemption to decrease or wipe out NATO’s capacity to perform an aerospace assault and sustain the war

Even if Russia preemptively moved into NATO territory on the ground, the gains could be fleeting if Russia is not equipped to deny air superiority and lessen NATO’s army-economic potential. These duties most likely negate the possibility of a NATO-Russia war that is confined to a solitary region in any state of affairs.

Russian concentration on indirect or uneven techniques to warfare partly resembles the Air War Options Division-1 of the late 1930s

This division sought to swiftly destroy German air bases, electric electricity plants, transportation networks, oil refineries, aluminum crops, and other critical infrastructure with out which planners assumed that it would be extremely hard to continue on the war. These classes of steps are prevalent in Russian military assumed and operational preparing.

In comparison with the West, Russia has a big and ready armed forces, inhabitants, and territory

Despite substantially of the proof pointing to Russia staking its military services method on destruction in the first period, new endeavours to establish a more efficient condition mobilization technique propose that the Russian leadership is hedging from a protracted contingency.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter A person


  • Chapter Two

    Situational Components That Impact Russian Military services Tactic

  • Chapter 3

    Trends in Pressure Framework and Mobilization Readiness

  • Chapter 4

    Firm of Functions — from Destruction to Speak to War

  • Chapter Five


This publication was funded by the Russia Strategic Initiative, United States European Command, and done inside the International Safety and Protection Coverage Heart of the RAND National Safety Investigation Division (NSRD).

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