The Russian military has shifted their focus away from relying on short terms of service for mass conscripted individuals and instead put their resources into specialization and readiness.
There are American special operations forces in close proximity to Russian forces on 3 separate continents according to the latest SOFcast produced by USSOCOM. Their observation has been that the Russian forces are more often than not are preparing or already prepared to counter-irregular warfare threats in the event of a Russian military operation.
Counter-irregular warfare is defined as either counterinsurgency, foreign internal defense, or counter terrorism.
Russian counter-irregular forces prior to 2015 struggled to form effective combinations of force while those deployed more recently in Syria and Libya prove otherwise. Moscow is able to operate using different levels of military, intelligence and domestic security services, and private sector forces.
Russia’s expeditionary counter-irregular packages are tailored and professional. They present an enticing option to developing countries with authoritarian regimes who seek a military answer to an irregular threat but don’t wish to go through the moral examinations that precede Western support.