Russian Military Development

Putin’s War in Ukraine: Alternative Russian Futures, Assumptions and Risk Calculus

Russia’s “besieged fortress” narrative generates grievances and resentments that enable President Putin to claim that Russia is “rising from its knees.” In this supposed existential construct, only Putin himself as a strong protector leader ensures regime continuity, stability, a sphere of influence and Russia’s strategic autonomy. If at some level Putin perceives Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a breakout from “encirclement,” all is not “going according to plan.”

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10 Briefs on Russia’s War in Ukraine

Russia’s war in Ukraine has undoubtedly been game-changing for Europe’s security, challenging the long-held beliefs and assumptions of many Western nations and prompting dramatic shifts in policy, for example, in Germany, Finland, and Sweden. The war’s conduct has also produced significant surprises, not least the unexpectedly poor performance of Russia’s supposedly reformed military.

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Russia’s War in Ukraine: The Early Air War

The fifth brief of the series looks at the early air war. Russia’s failure to conduct a devastating air offensive and secure air superiority, despite having all the advantages on paper at the start of its war in Ukraine, was a great surprise to observers and had major strategic impact.

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Russia’s War in Ukraine: Russian Military Logistics

In the third brief of the series, Dr Ronald Ti examines Russia’s failures in planning and executing logistics operations for its war in Ukraine. In large part, these failures can be attributed to systemic weaknesses such as its ‘push’ (rather than ‘pull’) approach to expeditionary logistics, overly centralised command, a lack of non-commissioned officers, and a culture of bullying and corruption.

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The Rise of Russia’s Military Robots: Theory, Practice and Implications

Russia’s military exercises, operations and defence industry exhibitions are showcasing an increasing number of unmanned aerial, land and maritime platforms. Some examples are dismissed by Western observers as evident failures and signs of unrealistic ambitions, even as a sort of “Potemkin village” display. However, there is no denying the fact that Russia’s defence leadership, military theorists and military practitioners are showing keen interest in robotic military applications featuring varying degrees of autonomy in performing their tasks.

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Kalev Stoicescu on Vikerraadio: Secrecy About the Nuclear Explosion Close to Russia’s Severodvinsk

ICDS research fellow Kalev Stoicescu told radio Vikerraadio (Estonian Public Broadcasting, ERR) that the blast that occurred on 8 August, 2019, in the vicinity of Severodvinsk, and emitted (at least temporarily) radiation is clearly linked to a highly sensitive Russian military project/experiment, which explains the secrecy, i.e. scarce and rather contradictory explanations by Russian authorities (Ministry of Defence and Rosatom).

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