The war in Ukraine is yet to exhibit a conclusive imbalance of forces and means. What we are witnessing today is the result of a cluster of Russian intelligence failures.
The annexation of Crimea was an example of a successful deployment of clandestine means at the height of their strategic influence. The aftermath of that operation brought the remaining Russian influence assets to their culmination point, thus calling for a clear change of strategy. Eight years and two Minsk Agreements later, Moscow had not achieved the desired results and decided to extend the puppet network into Kyiv’s central government.
There was one common denominator between the covert strategic assets on which the Kremlin relied – their expiration date had passed. Their premature culmination might explain the complete strategic blunder that was the 2022 invasion. The Russian efforts against Ukraine were exposed both on the ground and in cyberspace, which helped Ukraine gain external support and build up resilience.
Download and read: From Shadows to Spotlight: The Kremlin’s Not-So-Covert Gambit for Ukraine (PDF)