A Contribution to the Critical Analysis of the Russian Military Strategy in the War in Ukraine

Nebojša Vuković ORCID logo

Published on 9 December 2022

ABSTRACT: This paper contains an analysis of the military strategy that was implemented by the Russian armed forces in the first 7 months of the war in Ukraine, that is, until the announcement of the partial mobilisation and the holding of referendums in four Ukrainian regions on joining the Russian Federation . The author of the paper critically examines the concept of the so-called special military operation (SMO) and presents the (hypo)thesis that its implementation was based on incorrect assumptions of a political and military nature . The paper’s main hypothesis rests on the position that (un)expectedly poor operational and strategic achievements of the armed forces of the Russian Federation on the Ukrainian battlefield in the first 7 months are the result of an improperly formulated strategy that was a product of the calculating, “compromising” and “consensus” approach of the Russian political leadership to the war itself . Such an approach (a foggy operation objective accompanied by the consequent use of limited capacities and the peacetime order in the Russian background) essentially prevented the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation from changing the outcome of the war in their favour in the past period. The author used special scientific methods: analytical and synthetic, the method of generalisation and specification, as well as the general method used in social sciences, i .e . comparison .

KEY WORDS: military strategy, Russia, Ukraine, war, special military operation