As a full-fledged war between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed irregulars rages on in Ukraine’s eastern region of Donbas, Western defence experts are only now beginning to thoroughly assess the military lessons of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
© RIA Novosti / "Infogra"

Meanwhile, the Russian military again looks poised to intervene in eastern Ukraine as it launches yet another major military build-up of its forces along the Ukrainian border. Understanding the array of forces the Russian military might use in a potential full-scale intervention of eastern Ukraine in a major conventional war requires that Western experts revisit the strategic dimensions of last year’s Zapad-2013 Russian military exercises. A report by Dr. Pauli Järvenpää closely analyzes the Zapad exercise and offers a Finnish perspective on the modernization gains achieved by the Russian armed forces in recent years, as well as the respective areas where these forces are trying to make improvements to their strategic shortcomings.

At this writing, the precarious situation in and around Ukraine continues. The very same troops that took part in the Zapad-2013 exercise just a few months before — according to Russian sources, roughly 150,000 of them — were put on a high alert in a “snap combat exercise” while the Ukrainian crisis was first developing.

Russia’s annexation of Crimea earlier this year and the forces Moscow used in its operations across southeastern Ukraine possessed the same sets of capabilities and skills practised in the Zapad-2013 exercises. This was brought unmistakably home in March 2014, by the highly publicized and televised appearance of President Vladimir Putin, who was observing a massive live-fire demonstration at the Kirilovski training site on the Karelian Isthmus west of St. Petersburg, all while Russian troops were infiltrating Crimea.

As these exercises demonstrated, in many ways Zapad-2013 and the operations in Crimea were part of the same thread in Russian military thinking and operations. This fact must not be forgotten should Russia opt to launch a full-scale conventional war against Ukraine in the near future.

You can read the report here.

The Jamestown Foundation

Įvertink šį straipnį
Norėdami tobulėti, suteikiame jums galimybę įvertinti skaitomą DELFI turinį.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(0 žmonių įvertino)
Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments

Lithuania, Poland to sign new deals on defense cooperation

New Lithuanian-Polish agreements on defense will be signed during Lithuanian president Dalia...

Lithuania now has substantial legal arguments to deny access for electricity produced in the unsafe Astravyets Plant

On 7 February 2019, the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in...

Overcoming of schisms goes further or the Ecumenical Patriarchate strikes back

The Patriarchate of Constantinople will expand its presence in Russia through the parishes of the...

Ukrainian, Lithuanian presidents meet on cooperation

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and his Lithuanian counterpart Dalia Grybauskaitė met on...

Lithuanian, Ukrainian presidents to meet on security issues

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė is to meet with his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko...