Deterrence

TASS/Scanpix

NATO’s Hypersonic Challenge

Russia is investing in the development of a variety of hypersonic delivery systems. These can travel to targets at five or more times the speed of sound, elude defences by evasive manoeuvring, and deliver munitions with great precision.

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Reuters/Scanpix

Zapad-2021—Logistics and Key Fighting Concepts

Between 10–16 September 2021, Russia and its ally Belarus conducted the active phase of the Zapad-2021 command-staff exercise. Zapad tests Russian warfighting capabilities in the Western operational direction and thus it has a strong anti-NATO character. This has always been the case.

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Between Bad, Worse, and Worst: Europe Faces Tough Tests This Winter

Europe is under growing pressure from the East. First, the dictator of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, after a test run of weaponised waves of migrants against the Lithuanian and Latvian borders over the summer, has now sent not just hundreds but thousands of migrants to breach the borders of the European Union. Kuźnica, on the Polish border, was only the first major attempt; many more are likely to follow to coerce the EU into accepting the regime in Minsk as legitimate and lifting the sanctions.

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Russian forces landing a shore during a military drill along the Opuk training ground not far from the town of Kerch, on the Kerch Peninsula in the east of the occupied Crimea. The announcement by Russia’s Defence Minister, Sergey Shoygu, on 22 April that Russia would be withdrawing the forces it had assembled for the ‘snap exercises’ launched on 7 April has been met by as much confusion as relief.

Ukraine: A Crisis Recedes, a Fog of Ambiguity Descends

The announcement by Russia’s Defence Minister, Sergey Shoygu, on 22 April that Russia would be withdrawing the forces it had assembled for the ‘snap exercises’ launched on 7 April has been met by as much confusion as relief. In the time that has passed since that announcement, statements by the Biden administration and the proposed Biden-Putin summit have increased confusion rather than dispelled it.

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Some Initial Lessons Identified for the West from Russia’s Action against Ukraine

The exact reasons for the build-up of Russian forces in and around Ukraine are known only to President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle, but it would be unwise to believe that there is no link between this show of force and the signals Moscow receives from Kyiv and Western capitals. Western nations should not be or appear to be deterred by Russian information operations and troop build-ups.

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Growing Military Activity in the Arctic and Baltic Regions

The last six months have offered numerous examples indicating that the level of military activity in the Arctic and Baltic regions continues to increase slowly but steadily. Russian and Western forces have in different ways increased their presence in these contested regions and nations are strengthening relevant military capabilities.

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