The London-based Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) has published a report outlining how Russian forces have adapted their tactics in its invasion of Ukraine and the challenges this has created for the Ukrainian military.
Authored by Jack Watling and Nick Reynolds, the report states that “by any reasonable metric, 2022 was a disaster for the Russian military” as a combination of uneven and inadequate training, poor force employment, insufficient forces for a sustained large-scale offensive “collectively caused the loss of many of its most capable troops and much of its modern equipment.”
Although Russia’s ground forces suffered the most, elements of the navy and airforce also experienced substantial attrition. The flow of Western weapons systems to Ukraine meant that Russian forces faced challenges they had never dealt with.
The restructuring of the Russian armed forces and the pressure from new battlefield factors have significantly forced the Russian military to change how it conducts military operations. RUSI notes that previous examinations of the Russian military have “focused on the parsing of the Russian doctrine”; however, the relevance of the doctrine and how the Russian military fights are “becoming increasingly uneven.” For Ukraine and its allies to calibrate their ongoing operations, it is essential that Russia’s evolving tactics are understood, and “although the Russian military may change considerably before its forces directly confront NATO, the evolution is worth tracking.”