FOUNDATIONS BUILT ON SAND: THE OPERATIONAL ART UNDERPINNING RUSSIA’S INVASION OF UKRAINE

By Mr J. Kent

 

Introduction

If, as Soviet military theorist A.A. Svechin argues, “tactics makes the steps from which operational leaps are assembled; strategy points out the path,” then there are numerous potential causes of failure in war.[i] In the case of Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, which Russia intended as a complete three-day campaign, failure was systemic.[ii] At the tactical level, Russia’s military surprised external observers by performing well below the standard that had been expected.[iii] Moreover, the British military thinker Lawrence Freedman argues that achieving the invasion’s operational objectives would not necessarily have led to Russia achieving its strategic objectives.[iv] This failure then begs the question of whether the plan for invasion failed due to poor execution, poor planning or some combination of the two. Military planning is underpinned by two interdependent concepts; operational design and arrangement of military actions.[v]  During operational design, planners apply the art and science of war to “visualise the environment and problem space” and generate an operational approach that sets out how the force will achieve its objectives.[vi] It is against this situational understanding and operational approach that planners arrange military operations to develop an operational plan for execution.[vii] This dependency creates the possibility that well-arranged military operations may fail due to errors made in operational design. Therefore, any examination of Russia’s operational art during the invasion of Ukraine must seek to understand why the Russian military arrived at and implemented the operational approach it did.

This article will argue that Russia’s arrangement of military operations during its invasion of Ukraine was logically coherent but unsuccessful due to its reliance on an operational approach fatally undermined by a flawed operational design. This thesis will be advanced in three parts. First, the impact of the Kremlin’s strategic guidance and contemporary Russian military thought will be examined to illustrate how these factors undermined Russian operational design and led to the development of an operational approach divorced from reality. Subsequently, the article will explore how Russian military planners attempted to apply the concepts of main effort, sequencing, operational reach and culminating point, in arranging military operations against their selected operational approach. Finally, the article details how despite this internally logical arrangement of military operations, Russia’s execution of the invasion failed due to its reliance on a fundamentally flawed operational approach.

External and Internal Influences on Russian Operational Design

Generating a viable operational approach to guide the arrangement of military operations depends on the successful conduct of operational design. Operational design occurs within the scoping and framing, mission analysis, and beginning of course of action development steps of the joint military appreciation process (JMAP) and assists military planners in understanding the operational environment, the desired strategic endstate, and potential ways of achieving that endstate.[viii] The result is an operational approach, underpinned by an accepted definition of the military problem to be solved, that describes what the force must do to achieve the desired endstate.[ix] To borrow Svechin’s analogy of placing steps to reach a proscribed destination, operational design is therefore how planners understand where and how they should place the steps.[x] This process is challenging as the generation of solutions to complex problems depends on how the problems are defined by practitioners.[xi] Therefore, operational design is vulnerable to internal and external influences that may distort the definition of the problem and operational enviroment. Should this distortion be sufficiently large that the perceived operating environment and problem are significantly different to reality, the resulting flawed operational approach may doom even the most competent arrangement of military operations to failure.

Strategic guidance from the Kremlin significantly impacted Russian military planners’ operational design. Strategic guidance should aid operational design by articulating the desired strategic endstate and limitations on using military force.[xii] In the case of Russia’s invasion, it appears that the Kremlin, aided by the Foreign Security Service (FSB), clearly articulated the strategic objectives of decapitating Ukraine’s leadership, defeating Ukraine’s military and destroying Ukraine’s sovereignty.[xiii] Russian strategic guidance also extended to proscribing military planners’ understanding of the operational environment and setting limitations on using force. These interventions included assumptions that Ukraine’s military was incapable and unwilling to resist the Russian invasion, that speed and limiting the use of fires could dislocate Ukraine from western support, and that strategic ambiguity would generate surprise and domestic support.[xiv] That the Kremlin provided this guidance was not inherently problematic; setting limitations is essential for aligning operational approaches to strategic needs. However, due to the secrecy in which the Kremlin and FSB conducted strategic planning and the late inclusion of the Russian General Staff into the process, these assumptions were not adequately examined as part of operational design, or if they were, military planners could not challenge their validity.[xv] Consequently, the Kremlin’s strategic guidance and secrecy limited military planners’ ability to accurately frame the operational environment, creating the opportunity to develop an operational approach misaligned with reality.

The Russian military’s adoption of hybrid warfare, a contemporary evolution of Soviet deep battle, as a conceptual framework for operations exacerbated the distortions of reality introduced into operational design by the Kremlin’s strategic guidance. Since its implementation in the Second World War, the Soviet concept of deep battle asserted that the penetration of enemy defences at an operational level required the layering of simultaneous effects across the entire depth of the adversary’s defence.[xvi] Doing so brought about paralysis and the opportunity for operational exploitation to defeat the enemy’s armed forces.[xvii] Deep battle achieved this through the overwhelming concentration of combat power at the point of penetration and subsequent exploitation by mobile forces, supported by long-range fires and aerial warfare to paralyse the defensive system in depth.[xviii] At first glance, hybrid warfare, which emphasises information warfare and non-conventional approaches to conflict and uses small independent combat elements such as battalion tactical groups (BTGs), seems a departure from deep battle.[xix] However, if the means of hybrid warfare differ, the intended effect is the same. Information warfare attacks the adversary throughout the depth of their defence to hasten command paralysis and enable manoeuvre in the same way as fires.[xx] Recent Russian success in Crimea and Syria led Russian military planners to perceive this evolution as a more economical form of warfare that strategically dislocated victims from Western support.[xxi] Therefore, theory and practice primed Russian operational planners to incorporate the Kremlin’s limitations and assumptions in their operational design.

The Russian operational approach to the invasion was a logical result of adherence to strategic guidance and dogmatic faith in the efficacy of hybrid warfare. Russian planners successfully identified Ukrainian leadership in Kyiv as the adversary centre of gravity, providing a solid foundation for the operational approach.[xxii] Furthermore, Russia’s assessed weakness of Ukraine’s capacity and willingness to resist, and the strategic desirability of a short war, further dictated a direct operational approach that attacked Kyiv directly.[xxiii] To support this approach and exploit Ukraine’s perceived weakness, Russia sought to use simultaneity of manoeuvre, fires, and information warfare to defeat Ukraine’s armed forces.[xxiv] Finally, an operational approach reliant on speed and information warfare rather than mass and fires had the appeal of reducing the need for a sizeable logistical buildup, economising the operation, supporting Russian attempts to gain surprise, and isolating Ukraine from western support. The resultant operational approach consisted of a coup de main against Kyiv and simultaneous offensives from the east and south, with minimal effort spent preparing Russian forces or degrading Ukraine’s defences via fires or information warfare.[xxv] The success of the operational approach would subsequently depend on the validity of the assumptions underpinning it and the Russian military’s ability to execute it.

Arranging Military Operations on Flawed Foundations

Once Russian planners generated an operational approach, the next step was the arrangement of military operations to develop a detailed plan for execution. The arrangement of military operations aims to organise, sequence, and resource the operational approach.[xxvi] This planning action occurs during the course of action development, analysis and decision steps of the JMAP and planners are aided by eight elements that assist in applying the science of war.[xxvii] A method of evaluating Russia’s initial invasion of Ukraine is by examining how the elements of main effort, sequencing, operational reach and culminating point were applied. Given the operational approach’s emphasis on rapidly defeating Ukraine’s centre of gravity, the effective resourcing of the main effort to seize Kyiv and the arrangement of supporting efforts in the East and South to support this would be crucial. Furthermore, careful sequencing was necessary to attack Ukraine’s defences in depth to enable operational penetration and compensate for Russian forces’ lack of mass.[xxviii] Finally, the main and supporting efforts required sufficient operational reach to achieve their physically distant but temporally close objectives. Russian application of these interdependent elements would either ameliorate or aggravate the consequences of its flawed operational design.

Correctly balancing the Russian main effort against Kyiv and supporting efforts aimed at paralysing Ukraine’s armed forces was crucial to the success of the operational approach. Russian planners conceived of four lines of operation (LOOs). The first LOO which aimed to achieve the war’s strategic objectives rapidly was the airborne and armoured thrust from Belarus to execute a coup de main.[xxix] Supporting this main effort were eastern and north-eastern LOOs to consolidate control of the Donbas and Luhansk regions and seize Kharkiv.[xxx] Finally, Russian forces would advance from Crimea to secure Ukraine’s southern coast and isolate Ukrainian forces east of the Dnieper river.[xxxi] Secondary LOOs are most effective when they achieve operational objectives and support the conduct of the main effort.[xxxii] Russian planners likely anticipated that their planned supporting efforts did this in two ways. First, by attacking and penetrating along the south and east of Ukraine’s defences, they fixed Ukrainian forces in place and prevented their redeployment to Kyiv, easing the way for the main effort. Secondly, the application of manoeuvre, fires, and information warfare across the breadth and depth of Ukraine’s defence was a modern application of deep battle which sought to paralyse Ukrainian command and control, rendering them vulnerable to the coup de main. Therefore, conceptually, Russian planners utilised the concept of main and supporting efforts in a coherent manner that logically linked to the operational approach.

The correct sequencing of LOOs is necessary to synchronise their effects across time and space so that they are mutually supporting and supportable. Assumptions and guidance from operational design, stressing the weakness of Ukrainian forces and the feasibility of a rapid victory, shaped Russian planners’ use of sequencing in favour of simultaneous operations. By simultaneously executing all LOOs, Russia intended to shatter Ukrainian resistance and deny Ukraine the ability to generate combat power in any one place. Likewise, fires, special operations, and information warfare across Ukraine would create conditions for penetration and exploitation by the relatively small BTGs.[xxxiii] A consequence of this decision was that each LOO was not supported by the fires, reserves, or logistic support traditionally required under the schema of deep battle.[xxxiv] It is possible that Russian planners recognised this shortfall but accepted the risk because of the outcomes of operational design. First, Russia’s low estimation of Ukrainian capability and will to resist, partly due to the ease of victory in 2014, caused planners to estimate that relatively little combat power and sustainment would be required to achieve operational-level penetration and exploitation.[xxxv] Moreover, past success in conducting hybrid warfare and strategic direction to minimise collateral damage potentially caused an overestimation of the efficacy of substituting information warfare and BTGs for traditional fires and mass. Therefore, Russia’s decision to conduct simultaneous operations on four fronts was a logical result of its operational design rather than an outright failure to apply the sequencing element of arranging military operations.

Having set out the path of their operational approach and placed the steps, it then fell to Russian planners to ensure combat forces had the operational reach required to travel the path. The American theorist of operational art Milan Vego defines operational reach as “the distance over which one’s military power can be massed and employed decisively,” but the concept can also be understood temporally.[xxxvi] When a force reaches or exceeds its operational reach in either space or time, it culminates and is no longer capable of achieving its objectives, often requiring an operational pause to reconstitute and potentially ceding the initiative.[xxxvii] Russian planners needed to sufficiently resource each LOO to achieve its operational objectives, necessitating the application of military science to determine its forces’ logistic needs. However, the operational approach posed significant challenges to providing logistic support to generate the needed operational reach. First, the Kremlin’s policy of strategic ambiguity, which treated the massing of troops as an extension of Exercise Zapad-21 and hid the intent to invade Ukraine from its military logistic planners, prevented the buildup of logistic material or detailed planning for its distribution once the invasion began.[xxxviii] Furthermore, the intended use of battalion tactical groups (BTGs) operating independently as a single echelon without a robust command and control structure increased the challenge of supplying those formations or coordinating deliberate pauses to reconstitute culminated elements.[xxxix] With so little planned logistic support, whether or not Russian forces possessed the operational reach to achieve their objectives depended primarily on whether the assessments made during operational design regarding likely Ukrainian resistance were accurate.

The Plan in Motion

Despite Russian planners’ coherent arrangement of military operations to meet the given operational approach, the initial invasion of Ukraine failed due to inadequate framing of the problem and environment during operational design. The key assumptions underpinning Russia’s operational approach of ‘hybrid-deep battle’ proved false. Instead of crumbling, the Ukrainian armed forces mounted a tenacious defence in depth against the Russian offensives which traded space for time to culminate the attackers.[xl] Moreover, information warfare to supplement the limited use of fires proved ineffective at degrading the will and capacity to fight of the well-prepared Ukrainians.[xli] As a result, the Russian fusion of hybrid warfare and deep-battle could not achieve the effects required in Ukraine’s depth to enable operational-level penetration by its forces.[xlii] Finally, the Kremlin’s policy of strategic ambiguity aimed at achieving surprise failed due to American intelligence sharing with the Ukrainians.[xliii] Removing these conditions meant that the arrangement of military operations was no longer adequate to generate the combat power necessary to gain operational and  hence strategic objectives.

Russian sequencing of military operations, which stressed simultaneity and the application of force across the depth and breadth of Ukraine, was ineffective against determined Ukrainian opposition. In the close fight, Russian BTGs operating independently across the three LOOs lacked the combat power necessary to penetrate and reduce Ukrainian defensive positions, particularly in urban terrain.[xliv] Furthermore, the ineffective and dispersed application of fires and information warfare failed to break down Ukrainian defences in depth to support operational-level penetration and exploitation. Consequently, those BTGs that could achieve tactical penetration by defeating or bypassing Ukrainian defensive positions encountered further defensive positions in depth that had been neither paralysed nor degraded. Furthermore, as BTGs were conducting operations across the breadth of the LOOs rather than in highly concentrated penetration sectors, Russian forces could not concentrate combat power at points of success to generate operational breakthroughs using mass and speed before Ukraine brought reserves forward.[xlv] By March 5th, Russian forces had effectively ceased their advances, failing to achieve the operational breakthroughs and exploitations needed to defeat Ukraine quickly.[xlvi] While this failure was partly due to Russian tactical deficiencies, the operational-level decision to pursue all LOOs simultaneously robbed the Russians of any opportunity for a decisive victory on any of them.

Russian calculations of their forces’ operational reach had been predicated on assumptions that the selected operational approach would quickly defeat Ukraine’s military at a minimal cost. Instead, the combined effects of determined Ukrainian resistance and the failure of information warfare and fires to degrade the depth of Ukraine’s defences caused Russian forces’ combat power to diminish rapidly.[xlvii] Accordingly, the operational reach of combat units became insufficient in both time and space to achieve the invasion’s objectives. Due to a failure by commanders to recognise this reality or an inability to provide logistic support due to the challenges caused by the policy of strategic ambiguity and simultaneous sequencing of operations, forces fought until they exceeded their operational reach and culminated.[xlviii] This event undermined Russian operations in two ways. First, culmination led to unplanned operational pauses, best illustrated by the halt of Russian forces north of Kyiv only three days into the invasion, which allowed Ukraine to deploy reserves and, in some cases, take the tactical initiative.[xlix] Secondly, by pushing units past the point of culmination, those units were left vulnerable to well-developed Ukrainian counterattacks, further degrading Russian combat power and boosting Ukrainian morale.[l] By basing estimates of operational reach on assumptions about the enemy rather than generating and sustaining it through sound logistics planning and operational sequencing, Russia set the conditions for operational failure.

The dissipation of combat power caused by simultaneous operations and inadequate operational reach doomed Russia’s attempt to execute a coup de main against Kyiv. In the opening hours of the war, Russian airborne forces seized Hostomel Airport near Kyiv but were unable to secure it for use as an airhead from which to decapitate Ukraine’s leadership.[li] This failure was primarily due to the inability of Russian joint fires and air power to generate local air superiority, thereby preventing aerial reinforcement.[lii] While this failure may reflect limitations in Russian capability, the Russian choice to conduct simultaneous strikes across Ukraine rather than focus on the main effort; and strategic limitations on the employment of fires bears the most significant share of the blame. Furthermore, Kagan and Clark contend that supporting LOOs were resourced beyond the level required to fix Ukrainian forces in place and prevent their use to defend Kyiv.[liii] The excess combat power allocated to these LOOs was essentially wasted effort that could have been better employed directly in support of the main effort. The battle for Hostomel lasted several weeks, but Russian forces advancing from Belarus lacked the operational reach necessary to seize Kyiv, and Russia publicly abandoned the LOO on the 25th of March, falsely claiming the LOO had achieved its objectives.[liv] Russia’s flawed operational approach, founded on the faulty operational design, caused the main effort to be underresourced and unsupported by other LOOs, and when it failed, any hopes of a quick Russian strategic victory evaporated.

Conclusion

With the benefit of hindsight and observation of the conflict’s progress, it is clear that the Russian military has unanticipated deficiencies at all levels, making the invasion unlikely to succeed. In this light, it would be easy for Western military planners to dismiss Russian operational planning as incompetent and offering few new insights. Indeed, the lessons to be learnt by evaluating how Russia arranged its military operations; the need for logistic sustainment and management of tempo to generate operational reach, the hazards of simultaneous sequencing of multiple LOOs with insufficient forces, and the requirement to properly resource and synchronise support to the main effort are unremarkable and unsurprising to any student of military art. Instead, examining the rationale behind Russian planners’ arrangement of military operations offers more opportunity for insight into the practice of operational art.

Unchallengeable assumptions about the operational environment introduced by strategic guidance and overconfidence in the utility of hybrid warfare at the operational level undermined Russian operational design. The strategic guidance of the Kremlin, supported by the FSB, asserted Ukrainian weakness and demanded a short war on short notice with minimal forces. The secrecy of strategic planning and the state of Russian civil-military relations denied military planners the ability to challenge these factors during operational design. Nevertheless, the blame lies not just with the Kremlin, as the Russian military’s overconfidence in its conceptual framework of hybrid deep-battle, and recent successes in Syria, Crimea and Georgia, made them complacent and ready to accept the FSBs analysis and limitations. As a result, the Russian operational design failed to define the operational environment accurately and thus produced a profoundly flawed operational approach. The Russian invasion did not fail because of an inability by Russian planners to apply the concepts of main effort, sequencing, operational reach and culminating point but because they applied those concepts to a faulty operational approach produced by a flawed operational design. Therefore, Russia’s failure is a stark reminder that without an accurate definition of the strategic and operational problems to be solved, even a competent arrangement of military operations is unlikely to succeed.

 

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Footnotes

[i] A.A. Svechin quoted in David M. Glantz, Soviet Military Operational Art: In Pursuit of Deep Battle (London: Frank Cass and Company Limited, 1991), 23.

[ii] Matthew Sussex, “Putin’s War in Ukraine: missteps, prospects, and implications,” Australian Journal of Defence and Strategic Studies 4, no. 1 (2022): 91, https://doi.org/10.51174/AJDSS.0401/NVPQ4045.

[iii] Rob Johnson, “Dysfunctional Warfare: The Invasion of Ukraine,” Parameters 52, no. 2 (2022): 7-11, https://press.armywarcollege.edu/parameters/vol52/iss2/8/.

[iv] Lawrence Freedman, “A Reckless Gamble,” Comment is Freed, 25 February 2022, https://samf.substack.com/p/a-reckless-gamble.

[v] Australian Defence Force, Australian Defence Force Philosophical Doctrine 5: Planning (Canberra: Australian Defence Force, 2021), 15. This article utilises the term operational design in accordance with Australian and American definitions which conceive of operational design as an activity by which commanders and staff understand complex systems, including the operational environment and problem to be solved, and results in a framework (Or operational approach) against which the arrangement of military operations is conducted. The NZDF uses a very different definition in NZDDP 5-0 which states, “Operational Design develops and refines a commander’s operational ideas to provide detailed, executable plans. It is the practical extension of operational art and uses design elements to provide structure to commander’s ideas.” The author contends that this definition is out of date and disconnected from contemporary concepts of operational design, representing something more akin to the arrangement of military operations in ADF doctrine. Furthermore, this definition and resulting conceptualisation is inconsistent with the definition of operational design in ADFP 5-01 Joint Military Appreciation Process, the NZDFs approved procedural planning doctrine. This is a significant inconsistency which the NZDF should look to resolve.

[vi] Australian Defence Force, ADFP – 5, 16.

[vii] Australian Defence Force, ADFP – 5, 55.

[viii] Australian Defence Force, ADFP – 5, 16.

[ix] Australian Defence Force, ADFP – 5, 12.

[x] A.A. Svechin quoted in David M. Glantz, Soviet Military Operational Art: In Pursuit of Deep Battle (London: Frank Cass and Company Limited, 1991), 23.

[xi] Andreas Fisher, Samuel Greiff, and Joachim Funke, “The Process of Solving Complex Problems,” Journal of Problem Solving 4, no. 1 (2011): 23-24, https://web-archive.southampton.ac.uk/cogprints.org/9042/1/Fischer%20Greiff%20Funke%202012.pdf.

[xii] Vego, Joint Operational Warfare, I-44 – I-45; Matthe C. Gaetke, Certainty is Illusion: The Myth of Strategic Guidance (Thesis: School of Advanced Military Studies, 2015), 8-11, https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/AD1001374.pdf.

[xiii] Frank Ledwidge, “Ukraine War: What are Russia’s Strategic Aims and How Effectively Are They Achieving Them?,” The Conversation, March 3 2022, https://theconversation.com/ukraine-war-what-are-russias-strategic-aims-and-how-effectively-are-they-achieving-them-178243.

[xiv] Sussex, “Putin’s War in Ukraine,” 93; Johnson, “Dysfunctional Warfare,” 8; Jeffrey Edmonds, “Start with the Political: Explaining Russia’s Bungled invasion of Ukraine,” War on the Rocks, April 28 2022, https://warontherocks.com/2022/04/start-with-the-political-explaining-russias-bungled-invasion-of-ukraine/.

[xv] Jonathan Tepperman, “Putin in his Labyrinth: Alexander Gaubev on his view from Moscow,” The Octavian Report, March 14 2022, https://octavian.substack.com/p/inside-the-bear-alexander-gabuev.

[xvi] David Glantz, Soviet Military Operational Art, 147-152.

[xvii] Robert Watt, “Feeling the Full Force of a Four Front Offensive: Re-Interpreting the Red Army’s 1944 Belorussian and L’vov-Peremshyl’Operations,” Journal of Slavic Military Studies 21, no. 4 (2008): 677.

[xviii] David Glantz, Soviet Operational Art, 224-227, https://doi.org/10.1080/13518040802497564.

[xix] Mason Clark, Russian Hybrid Warfare (Washington D.C: Institute for the Study of War, 2020), 15-21, https://www.understandingwar.org/report/russian-hybrid-warfare.

[xx] Amos C. Fox, Hybrid Warfare: The 21st Century Russian Way of Warfare (Thesis: School of Advanced Military Studies, 2017), 24-25, https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/AD1038987.pdf.

[xxi] Lawrence Freedman, “The Fight For Ukraine,” Comment is Freed, 27 February 2022, https://samf.substack.com/p/the-fight-for-ukraine.

[xxii] Frederick W. Kagan and Mason Clark, “How not to Invade a Nation,” Foreign Affairs, April 29 2022, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/ukraine/2022-04-29/how-not-invade-nation; Milan Vego, Joint Operational Warfare, IX-90.

[xxiii] Milan Vego, Joint Operational Warfare, IX-108 – IX-109.

[xxiv] Frederick W. Kagan and Mason Clark, “How not to Invade a Nation.”

[xxv] Robert Dalsjo, Michael Jonsson, and Johann Norberg, “A Brutal Examination: Russian Military Capability in light of the Ukraine War,” Survival 64, no. 3 (2022): 9, https://doi.org/10.1080/00396338.2022.2078044.

[xxvi] Australian Defence Force, ADFP 5-0, 55-56.

[xxvii] Australian Defence Force, ADFP 5-0, 55-56.

[xxviii] Isaac Chotiner, “Is Russia’s Miitary a Paper Tiger?,” The New Yorker, April 21 2022, https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/is-the-russian-military-a-paper-tiger.

[xxix] Rob Johnson, “Dysfunctional Warfare,” 7.

[xxx] Seth G. Jones, Russia’s Ill-Fated Invasion of Ukraine: Lessons in Modern Warfare (Washington D.C.: Centre for Strategic and International Studies 2022), 1-2, https://www.csis.org/analysis/russias-ill-fated-invasion-ukraine-lessons-modern-warfare; Mason Clark, George Barros, and Kateryna Stepanenko, “Russia-Ukraine Warning Update: Initial Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment,” Institute for the Study of War, 24 Feb 2022, https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russia-ukraine-warning-update-initial-russian-offensive-campaign-assessment.

[xxxi] Mason Clark, George Barros, and Kateryna Stepanenko, “Russia-Ukraine Warning Update: Initial Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment.”

[xxxii] Milan Vego, Joint Operational Warfare, II-8; IX-114 – IX-115; United States Marine Corps, MCDP 1-3: Tactics (Washington D.C.: USMC, 2018), 2-19 – 2-20.

[xxxiii] Jones, Russia’s Ill-Fated Invasion, 2.

[xxxiv] Frederick W. Kagan and Mason Clark, “How not to Invade a Nation.”

[xxxv] Nigel-Gould Davies, “Putin’s Strategic Failure and the Risk of Escalation,” International Institute for Strategic Studies, 1 March 2022, https://www.iiss.org/blogs/analysis/2022/03/putin-strategic-failure.

[xxxvi] Milan Vego, Joint Operational Warfare, VIII-78.

[xxxvii] David M. Cowan, The Utility of the Operational Pause in Sequencing Battles to Achieve an Operational Advantage (Thesis: School of Advanced Military Studies, 1987), 24-27, https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/ADA185491.pdf; John F. Kalb, A Foundation for Operational Planning: The Concepts of Centre of Gravity, Decisive Point, and the Culminating Point (Thesis: School of Advanced Military Studies, 1987), 9-12, https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/ADA184709.pdf.

[xxxviii] Per Skoglund, Tore Listou, Thomas Ekstrom, “Russian Logistics in the Ukrainian War: Can Operational Failures be Attributed to Logistics,” Scandinavian Journal of Military Studies 5, no.1 (2022): 104-105, Scandinavian Journal of Military Studies 5, no.1 (2022): 99-110. http://doi.org/10.31374/sjms.158.

[xxxix] Amos C. Fox, “Reflections on Russia’s 2022 Invasion of Ukraine: Combined Arms Warfare, The Battalion Tactical Group, and Wars in a Fishbowl,” Association of the United States Army, September 29 2022, https://www.ausa.org/publications/reflections-russias-2022-invasion-ukraine-combined-arms-warfare-battalion-tactical; Skoglun, Listou and Ekstrom,” Russian Logistics in the Ukrainian War,” 102-103:106-107; Dalsjo, Jonsson, and Norberg, “A Brutal Examination: Russian Military Capability in light of the Ukraine War,” 11.

[xl] Lawrence Freedman, “Russia’s Plan C,” Comment is Freed, 2 March 2022, https://samf.substack.com/p/russias-plan-c; Matthew Sussex, “Putin’s War in Ukraine,” 93; Jones, “Russia’s Ill-fated Invasion,” 7.

[xli] Stephanie Carvin, “How to Explore the Failure of Russia’s Information Operations in Ukraine,” Centre for International Governance Innovation, March 25 2022, https://www.cigionline.org/articles/how-to-explain-the-failure-of-russias-information-operations-in-ukraine/; Annabel Petersen, “With the Hybrid War, Russia and the West both play a Losing Hand,” International Centre for Defence and Security, August 25 2022, https://icds.ee/en/with-the-hybrid-war-russia-and-the-west-both-played-a-losing-hand.

[xlii] Sam Cranny Evans and Sidharth Kaushal, “The Intellectual Failures behind Russia’s Bungled Invasion,” RUSI, 1 April 2022, https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/commentary/intellectual-failures-behind-russias-bungled-invasion.

[xliii] Amy Zegart, “The Weapon the West used against Putin,” The Atlantic, March 5 2022, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/03/russia-ukraine-invasion-classified-intelligence/626557/.

[xliv] Jones, “Russia’s Ill-fated Invasion,” 5-6; Christopher A. Lawrence, “Some initial observations on the Russian Batallion Tactical Group (BTG) concept,” The Dupuy Institute, April 11 2022, http://www.dupuyinstitute.org/blog/2022/04/11/some-initial-observations-on-the-russian-army-battalion-tactical-group-btg-concept.

[xlv] Jan Kofron and Jakub Stauder, “Why Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has Struggled to achieve breakthrough,” The Loop, viewed 20 October 2022, https://theloop.ecpr.eu/why-russian-invasion-of-ukraine-has-struggled-to-achieve-breakthrough/; Lawrence Freedman, “Space and Time,” Comment is Freed, 6 March 2022, https://samf.substack.com/p/space-and-time.

[xlvi] Frederick W. Kagan, George Barros, and Kateryna Stepanenko, “Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment 5,” Institute for the Study of War, 5 March 2022, https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-march-5.

[xlvii] Johnson, “Dysfunctional Warfare,” 7.

[xlviii] Jones, “Russia’s Ill-Fated invasion,” 6.; John B. Gilliam and Ryan C. Van Wie, Interim Security Insights and Implications from the first Two Months of the Russia-Ukraine War (Washington D.C.: Brookings, 2022), 7-8, https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/FP_20220512_ukraine_war_gilliam_van_wie.pdf.

[xlix]  Mason Clark, George Barros, and Kateryna Stepanenko, “Russia-Ukraine Warning Update: Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, February 27,” Institute for the Study of War, 27 February 2022, https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russia-ukraine-warning-update-russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-february-27.

[l] Lawrence Freedman, “Space and Time.”; Mason Clark, George Barros, and Kateryna Stepanenko, “Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, March 12,” Institute for the Study of War, 12 March 2022, https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/ukraine-conflict-updates.

[li] Rob Johnson, “Dysfunctional Warfare,” 5; Matthew Sussex, “Putin’s War in Ukraine,” 94.

[lii] Rob Johnson, “Dysfunctional Warfare,” 5; Justin Bronk, “Is the Russian Air Force actually incapabale of Complex Operations?” RUSI, 4 March 2022, https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/rusi-defence-systems/russian-air-force-actually-incapable-complex-air-operations.

[liii] Kagan and Clark, “How not to Invade a Nation.”

[liv] Mark Trevelyan and Alexander Winning, “Russia states more limited war goal to ‘liberate’ Donbas,” Reuters, 26 March 2022, https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/russia-says-first-phase-ukraine-operation-mostly-complete-focus-now-donbass-2022-03-25/; Michael Koffman and Ryan Evans, A New Phase of the Russo-Ukrainian War Begins, War on the Rocks Podcast, podcast audio, March 27 2022, https://warontherocks.com/2022/03/a-new-phase-of-the-russo-ukrainian-war-begins/.