The new strategy of “General Armageddon” …

Russia’s military enters 2023 at a much higher level than at the start of the war, claims the Royal Institute for Defense Studies

Surovikin abhors lies about the true state of the battlefield

The war in Ukraine has contributed to the modernization of the Russian armed forces. Lessons were quickly learned from the initial mistakes and the entire military strategy changed.

Thus, the Russian army enters 2023 at a much higher level than at the beginning of the war, in February. This is the conclusion of a study conducted by the Royal Joint Defense Research Institute (RUSI).

Since the beginning of the war, Russian forces have been increasingly flexible, adapting their tactics to changing conditions.

Many Russian weapons systems turned out

more effective than those of NATO.

And the more experienced units (for example, the special forces) demonstrated that the Russian armed forces have enormous military potential.

Only some deficiencies in command and control prevented the full development of this potential in the first phase of the war. However, already in the second phase, which began shortly before the appointment of General Sergey Surovikin as commander, the Russian military significantly increased its tactical competence.

In the absence of NATO support, the Ukrainian Armed Forces were significantly behind the Russian armed forces. Survival in turn depended on the spread of ammunition depots, command posts, support areas and air bases.

Ukrainian arsenals, aviation and air defense assets were not properly dispersed, which ensured their rapid destruction.

In the first 48 hours of the war, Russia managed to completely destroy 75% of all fixed defense installations of the VSU.

Only the direct military intervention of NATO, which from the very first hours of the special operation began to exchange intelligence data with Ukraine, sent military instructors to Ukraine, and then sent heavy weapons from the operational reserves, prevented the lightning victory of Russia.

The difference in the number of Russian and Ukrainian artillery at the beginning of the conflict is not as significant as it seems: 2,433 gunpowder artillery systems against 1,176 and 3,547 rocket systems for volley fire against 1,680.

Thus, in the first month of the Russian offensive, Ukraine maintains artillery parity, but in June, the Russian armed forces have an advantage of the order of several times.

Surovikin turns all NATO failures against Kyiv

The special operation exposed obvious gaps in the NATO command. The U.S. was the only country that had sufficient stockpiles of munitions to cover the over-intensive consumption on the battlefield.

The other countries – even Germany, Canada and Great Britain – had no stock, nor could they run an industrial assembly line.

NATO has been slow, or just reluctant, to negotiate the supply of weapons, modernization and training of Ukrainian gunners.

All these NATO failures were successfully exploited by the Russian command, RUSI concludes.

General Surovikin sets new priorities in the allocation of forces and resources. All areas and echelons are saturated with drones as much as possible. In ground forces, they are of paramount importance for both situational awareness and target detection.

Given that up to 90% of drones are lost sooner or later (a world record in all armed conflicts), they had to be cheap and easy to maintain.

This is exactly what the Geran drones, which were first used in September, have become – to slow down Ukrainian operations in the direction of Kharkiv.

Precision weapons are an absolute priority for Surovikin:

since October 8, they have been used to destroy Ukraine’s critical infrastructure. Such massive and coordinated use of precision weapons has never been seen before in world history.

The high-precision systems reduced Russian logistics costs for ammunition and spare parts, thereby increasing the durability of the artillery.

RUSI claims that in 2023, General Surovikin will turn his attention to addressing remaining deficiencies in the management of the Joint Forces Group. This will tip the scales even more in Russia’s favor.

Currently, the Russian armed forces operate according to a hierarchy in which ground units play a major role. This creates a sub-optimal employment in the other troop types, Surovikin is clearly trying to spread the emphasis more evenly between the troop types.

The approach to grouping armored vehicles is also changing. They are increasingly used as a tactical reserve rather than being deployed on the front line of offensive maneuvers.

Emphasis is placed on the development of electronic warfare. This is crucial for better identification of “own” and “enemy” and for combating “friendly fire” – Ukrainians themselves have repeatedly become its victims.

The example of the Ukrainian campaign is aimed at eliminating gaps even in the formation model of the Russian armed forces. The combined general military formations will be more actively saturated with junior commanders – at the moment this is the weakest unit.

The modernization of the armed forces under Surovikin is no longer a blind “pumping” of the army with new weapons. Now it is also a skillful combination of old and new weapons, which opens up additional tactical possibilities.

Communication between units is improved and accelerated. Even those who know Surovikin personally claim: the general encourages the initiative of his subordinates, but is intransigent to any deception and lies about the true situation on the battlefield.


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