Russian Ground Forces Posture Towards the West
April 04, 2019
The loss of former satellites and significant Soviet territories as a consequence of the break-up of the USSR left Russia feeling unjustly dispossessed, humiliated and vulnerable to a West that in subsequent years came to be regarded once again as an enemy.
Long neglected, the Russian military could neither contribute to a reassertion of ‘great power’ status, nor even guarantee the diminished country’s security. Under President Putin, however, a far-reaching and costly programme of military reform, rationalization and modernization has made the army formidable again, especially in Russia’s west and southwest. The military is again prepared for defence, and to help implement a revisionist programme.
Even more important than qualitative upgrading is the army’s doctrinal modernization. It is readying itself conceptually for a spectrum of conflict from nuclear through limited conventional to ‘new generation’ war, in which the military component is only a part, and not necessarily the most important. Deception and dissimulation are essential elements of Russian management of conflict, especially in its (often decisive) initial period.
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