[I went to hear Edward Lucas last night in Toronto, here is one link he passed on to me during an interview I had with him—One question I asked him was: Could Ukraine have responded any other way to the situation in Crimea….the report below concludes NO--Walter Derzko]
Source: Source: RUSSIA’S NEW GENERATION WARFARE IN UKRAINE: IMPLICATIONS FOR LATVIAN DEFENSE POLICY
How Russia captured Crimea so quickly and Why Ukraine and NATO are paralyzed
"Instead of relying on a mass deployment of tanks and artillery, the Crimean campaign deployed less than 10,000 assault troops – mostly naval infantry, already stationed in Crimea, backed by a few battalions
of airborne troops and Spetsnaz commandos – against 16,000 Ukrainian military personnel.
Changes in the Character of Armed Conflict According to General Valery
Gerasimov, Chief of the Russian General Staff
Traditional Military Methods
- Military action starts after strategic deployment
(Declaration of War).
- Frontal clashes between large units consisting mostly
of ground units.
- Defeat of manpower, firepower, taking control of
regions and borders to gain territorial control.
- Destruction of economic power and territorial annexation.
- Combat operations on land, air and sea.
- Management of troops by rigid hierarchy and governance.
New Military Methods
- Military action starts by groups of troops during
peacetime (war is not declared at all).
- Non-contact clashes between highly maneuverable
interspecific fighting groups.
- Annihilation of the enemy’s military and economic
power by short-time precise strikes in strategic military
and civilian infrastructure.
- Massive use of high-precision weapons and special
operations, robotics, and weapons that use new physical
principles (direct-energy weapons – lasers,
shortwave radiation, etc).
- Use of armed civilians (4 civilians to 1 military).
- Simultaneous strike on the enemy’s units and facilities
in all of the territory.
- Simultaneous battle on land, air, sea, and in the
- Use of asymmetric and indirect methods.
- Management of troops in a unified informational
This is what Russian military thinkers call “New Generation Warfare”.
As a result, it follows that the main guidelines for developing Russian military capabilities by 2020 are:8
i. From direct destruction to direct influence;
ii. from direct annihilation of the opponent to its inner decay;
iii. from a war with weapons and technology to a culture war;
iv. from a war with conventional forces to specially prepared forces and commercial irregular
v. from the traditional (3D) battleground to information/psychological warfare and war of
vi. from direct clash to contactless war;
vii. from a superficial and compartmented war to a total war, including the enemy’s internal
side and base;
viii. from war in the physical environment to a war in the human consciousness and in cyberspace;
ix. from symmetric to asymmetric warfare by a combination of political, economic, information,
technological, and ecological campaigns;
x. From war in a defined period of time to a state of permanent war as the natural condition in national life.
Thus, the Russian view of modern warfare is based on the idea that the main battlespace is the mind and, as a result, new-generation wars are to be dominated by information and psychological warfare, in order to achieve superiority in troops and weapons control, morally and psychologically depressing the enemy’s armed forces personnel and civil population.
The phases of new-generation war can be schematized as (Tchekinov & Bogdanov,2013, pp. 15-22):
First Phase: non-military asymmetric warfare (encompassing information, moral, psychological, ideological, diplomatic, and economic measures as part of a plan to establish a favorable
political, economic, and military setup).
Second Phase: special operations to mislead political and military leaders by coordinated
measures carried out by diplomatic channels, media, and top government and military agencies
by leaking false data, orders, directives, and instructions.
Third Phase: intimidation, deceiving, and bribing government and military officers, with the
objective of making them abandon their service duties.
Fourth Phase: destabilizing propaganda to increase discontent among the population,
boosted by the arrival of Russian bands of militants, escalating subversion.
Fifth Phase: establishment of no-fly zones over the country to be attacked, imposition of
blockades, and extensive use of private military companies in close cooperation with armed
Sixth Phase: commencement of military action, immediately preceded by large-scale reconnaissance
and subversive missions. All types, forms, methods, and forces, including special
operations forces, space, radio, radio engineering, electronic, diplomatic, and secret service
intelligence, and industrial espionage.
Seventh Phase: combination of targeted information operation, electronic warfare operation, aerospace operation, continuous airforce harassment, combined with the use of highprecision weapons launched from various platforms (long-range artillery, and weapons based on new physical principles, including microwaves, radiation, non-lethal biological weapons).
Eighth Phase: roll over the remaining points of resistance and destroy surviving enemy units by special operations conducted by reconnaissance units to spot which enemy units have survived and transmit their coordinates to the attacker's missile and artillery units; fire barrages to annihilate the defender's resisting army units by effective advanced weapons; airdrop operations to surround points of resistance; and territory mopping-up operations by
In other words, the Russians have placed the idea of influence at the very center of their operational planning and used all possible levers to achieve this: skillful internal communications; deception operations; psychological operations and well-constructed external communications. Crucially, they have demonstrated an innate understanding of the three key target audiences and their probably behavior: the Russian speaking majority in Crimea; the
Ukrainian government; the international community, specifically NATO and the EU. Armed
with this information they knew what to do, when and what the outcomes were likely to be, demonstrating that that the ancient Soviet art of reflexive control is alive and well in the Kremlin.
This is very relevant to understanding its strategic significance, since it is the operationalization of a new form of warfare that cannot be characterized as a military campaign in the classic sense of the term.
Source: RUSSIA’S NEW GENERATION WARFARE IN UKRAINE: IMPLICATIONS FOR LATVIAN DEFENSE POLICY http://www.naa.mil.lv/~/media/NAA/AZPC/Publikacijas/PP%2002-2014.ashx