Russia’s Military Operation in Ukraine: Goals, Tactics and Strategy, Including Potential Ones

NEW – August 26, 2022

Despite numerous fantasies that colourfully describe the virtual defeat of Russia, the alignment is already well known and for those who understand it looks like an accomplished victory of ours. This is what I will proceed from in the analysis of the Special Military Operation (SMO).

So, the situation on the battlefields:

1. The UAF at the time of the SMO is about 250,000 well-trained bayonets. In a short time, the number was increased to 350,000. The potential mobilisation reserve (even taking into account the draft dodgers) is definitely several million.

2. The UAF is the strongest (after Turkey) army in Europe, surpassing the strength of the army of any European country. For example, the army of Germany – 180,000, France – 120,000, Britain – 80,000, etc. Taking into account the experience of fighting against a strong enemy, the UAF is the most efficient, motivated and experienced, potentially capable of defeating any European army.

3. All European countries supply weapons and ammunition to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, both outdated (but quite suitable) Soviet systems, for which there is no need for additional training, and quite modern Western ones, under which the Ukrainian military receive training on an ongoing basis.

4. For 8 years, on the territory of Donbass controlled by Kiev the most powerful defensive lines were equipped that have no analogues in modern history and, perhaps, are comparable only to the volumes of earth and concrete works in the First World War.

5. The Russian army in a limited contingent (about 130,000), which suffered significant losses in the first weeks of the operation, quickly reorganised and changed tactics, focusing on remote “Uragan” artillery fire (several thousand shells daily), as well as the use of high-precision missiles and aircraft, destroying them as weapons warehouses and infrastructure, as well as destroying advanced Ukrainian defensive lines. As a result, personnel losses were reduced to a minimum with a simultaneous catastrophic increase in losses among the Ukrainian Armed Forces and other law enforcement agencies of Ukraine. Land units (first of all, PMCs, units of the L/DPR People’s Militia and Chechen units) come into direct fire contact only at the final stage, making a sweep of the captured lines with the remnants of manpower that were subjected to heavy Russian artillery fire. This is already making a tremendous impression on Western military experts and, most importantly, breaks the traditional idea that the losses of the attackers are always much higher than the defenders, which was the expectation. It is also believed that there should always be 2-3 times more advancing ones. But more on that below.

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6. The Russian army does not experience any shortage of shells, missiles and other ammunition, the military-industrial complex and logistics work in mobilisation mode, continuously supplying the warring units with everything necessary. Also, at the same time, high-precision strikes on Ukrainian targets led to a severe shortage of ammunition, as well as weapons (including Western ones), the losses of which are measured in many thousands of units.

7. Both leaks online and data from Western intelligence agencies today lead to approximately the same data on the losses of the Ukrainian Armed Forces: about 80,000 killed and at least the same number of wounded, completely out of action. In total, at least 150,000 fighters. If we add to this figure all other losses of other law enforcement units (nationalist battalions, territorial defence, police, SBU…), then the total losses are estimated at 230,000-250,000. At the same time, the losses of the Russian Armed Forces are an order of magnitude less.

8. The main strategy of a special operation is that the calendar and, especially, any significant calendar dates have zero value. The SMO will last as long as it is necessary to achieve the main goals set at the very beginning: the denazification and demilitarisation of Ukraine. The chosen tactics described above (point 5) have two main objectives: minimising the loss of personnel of the Russian army, and also, using every opportunity, preserving the maximum number of civilian lives of former Ukraine.

9. A task that is already being completed in parallel and arose in the course of the SMO due to the position and actions of Europe: the demilitarisation of the NATO alliance, massively supplying weapons and ammunition to the Ukrainian Armed Forces that are regularly disposed of by missile strikes of the Russian army, significantly depleting Western military resources.

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10. Finally, the last thing: through the energy resource education of the European Union, which is facing a severe energy crisis and without going beyond the outlined framework of a special operation, to denazify the Western elites. The calendar does not matter here either, only the strategic goal is important: with the help of an indicative SMO, at least for a long time, to deprive the West of the desire to even declare the possibility of fighting against Russia and to escalate the Nazi ideology in their societies for this, as a result of which sane contractual elites can come to power in Europe.


The text makes no mention at all of the United States and its significant role in the unfolding conflict. In my opinion, their grip will not only not weaken over time, but will also strengthen. There are many unknowns in this equation, including those related to provocations and their goals in Southeast Asia. Therefore, Russia’s strategy can potentially be modified and spread across the ocean, especially if potential allies catch up.

For example, the probability of a US default with the write-off of the entire set of debts (public debt and not only) is getting closer and closer. In this case, yes, America gets a chance to start with a clean slate, which is a plus for it. However, at the same time, the dollar will lose its role as the world’s reserve currency and means of payment, which will dramatically reduce the role of the United States. But at the same time, trillions of reserves of many countries are actually disappearing, including China, which will also be among the affected countries. Finally, the demand for Chinese goods will fall sharply, which will also lead to a decline in the Chinese economy. This will break the tight export-import dependence of the United States and China, which will allow the latter to act more decisively in international politics, including in the direction of possible joint efforts with Russia.

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Russia, of course, will also be among the victims due to the fall in the entire global economy and falling demand for goods and energy carriers, but this fall will not be critical and will allow attracting to its side those who are currently acting as an observer, waiting for the winner.

And one last thing: the stronger the internal crisis, the more actively the image of an external enemy is pumped up, on which one must write off one’s failures – the law of the” jungle”, which is characteristic of almost any system and at all times. Despite the obvious height of the crisis in the West, I consider that the main economic events are ahead, including in potential theatres of military operations. That is precisely why on August 25th the President issued a decree on increasing the full-time strength of the Russian Armed Forces from 01.01.2023 to 2.039 million units, including 1.150 million military personnel.

As for the energy crisis, today’s $3,000 per 1,000 m3 is just the beginning. Therefore, contrary to the forecasts of economists about the ceiling of $4,000, I believe that the price of gas on the spot market at the peak will reach $6,000.

Aleksandr Dubrovsky

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