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Sunday, January 29, 2023

A Tale of Two Bears: Russian Experience in Syria and Ukraine | Modern War Institute

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Russian Military Campaign in Ukraine in 2018: An Analysis of Russian Counter-Insurgency Operations


Russian soldiers have struggled in Ukraine to accomplish their most audacious goals. Ukrainian opposition forces may soon encounter Russian skills for counter–irregular warfare (CIW) perfected in Syria over the last decade. Understanding how Russia used CIW in Syria will help paint a complete picture of Russia’s prospective capabilities and illuminate the obstacles facing a future Ukrainian insurgency. Russian actions in Syria were mainly reliant on the advise-assist-accompaniment strategy, including personnel from the Russian Special Operations Forces Command. The Russian CIW model now contains a genuine capacity for foreign internal defense.

This has expressed itself in occupied Kherson via an overt reliance on Rozgvardia soldiers to combat nascent citizen opposition. Similar civil affairs activities modeled after reconciliation centers may arise in Ukraine’s seized territories. The integration of Russian private military corporations (PMCs) in Syria was arguably successful. The assassination of several hundred Syrian government and Wagner Group fighters by US troops in Deir ez-Zor in 2018 boosted Russia’s case for PMCs. Russia has fallen short of its aim of integrating strike-capable drones, which was a priority during the Syria operations.

Drones will be utilized more often in occupied parts of Ukraine to target opposition forces. Russian drones are a critical component of the Russian military and continue to grow in relevance and capability. The Russian military has been warned of the perils of unprotected communications platforms during large-scale combat operations in Ukraine. The urban context presents a unique set of difficulties for irregular combatants engaged in combat with Russian soldiers. Bringing the war to a city would undoubtedly result in Russia using massive firepower rather than tolerating armed resistance.

Source: https://mwi.usma.edu/a-tale-of-two-bears-russian-experience-in-syria-and-ukraine/


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