Russia's invasion of Ukraine is related to the geopolitical shift in balance away from the Soviet Union-US superpower system towards the eastward expansion of the US sphere of influence and the retreat of Russia's sphere of influence to its own borders. Or, to put it another way: the expansion of NATO to the east. In 2008, it stated that it planned — some day — to enroll Ukraine, though that is still seen as a far-off prospect, and in 2014 mass protests in the country forced out the Russia-friendly president Viktor Yanukovych. Russia swiftly invaded and annexed Crimea and Moscow also fomented a separatist rebellion that took control of part of the Donbas region of Ukraine. (1) Another problem for Russia was the US ballistic missile defense system Aegis Ashore in Romania and the planned one in Poland. Thus, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said for example in November 2018: "There is a new problematic issue, which has caused, perhaps, our greatest alarm and which we have started to raise before the United States in the bilateral format in the context of the treaty. It relates to the ground-based deployment of universal Mk-41 launchers as part of Aegis Ashore systems being deployed in Europe allegedly for solving solely anti-missile tasks". (2)
On 24.02.2022, the day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Putin explains it this way: „Any further expansion of the North Atlantic alliance’s infrastructure or the ongoing efforts to gain a military foothold of the Ukrainian territory are unacceptable for us. Of course, the question is not about NATO itself. It merely serves as a tool of US foreign policy. […] For the United States and its allies, it is a policy of containing Russia, with obvious geopolitical dividends. For our country, it is a matter of life and death, a matter of our historical future as a nation. […] It is the red line which we have spoken about on numerous occasions. They have crossed it.“ Later in the speech he said: „The purpose of this operation is to protect people who, for eight years now, have been facing humiliation and genocide perpetrated by the Kiev regime. To this end, we will seek to demilitarise and denazify Ukraine […]. It is not our plan to occupy the Ukrainian territory.“ (3)
2. Russia's War in Ukraine
Russia's invasion of Ukraine can be divided into three or four phases: The first phase, starting on February 24, is an attempt to take over Ukraine in a blitzkrieg lasting days or weeks - or in Russian parlance: in a military special operation - and to establish a Russia-friendly regime in Kyiv. The second phase begins at the beginning of April after the failure of the blitzkrieg strategy and the beginning of the war of attrition - whereby this change in strategy entails decisive problems for the further course of the war for Russia. Finally, from the beginning of September, the third phase is characterized by the counter-offensives by the Ukraine. (4) In fall/ winter 2022 one could add a fourth phase – that of Russia‘s stabilization of the front and its missile and drone attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure.
2.1 Phase 1: The Blitzkrieg
On February 24, Russia attacked Ukraine with armor and airborne forces on four fronts: from the north from Belarus and from the northeast towards Kyiv, from the eastern front towards Kharkiv and from the southern front, i.e. from the already occupied Crimea, west toward Odesa, north toward Zaporizhzhia, and east toward Mariupol. Russia attacked with 110 Battalion Tactical Groups (BTGs), that is approximately 142,000 forces. Besides, it utilized irregular forces, as the militias from Donetsk and Luhansk.
But the first logistical problems already showed at the end of February, when the Russians advanced on Kyiv: The first armored units already pushed into Kyiv’s suburbs when the main body of Russian ground units was still miles away, their advance slowed by Ukrainian anti-armor munitions. The first of these units were thus, isolated with limited or no logistics. Over time it became increasingly difficult for the Russian army to move food, fuel, munitions, spare parts, and other supplies to forward-deployed forces as it failed to secure its critical lines of communication. Thus, when forwarddeployed Russian vehicles broke down, many had to be abandoned because of a lack of spare parts, mechanics, and recovery vehicles. (5) In short, because of the rapid advance on Kyiv the problem of long and unprotected supply routes arose. The Ukrainian counter-offensive began here in mid-March and the Russian troops were unable to encircle the capital. In the south, the Russian attack was more successful and they managed to capture some cities, most notably Kherson.
„Действительно, в ходе первого этапа вторжения именно коммуникации российских войск, те самые "фланги и тыл", о которых пишет Свечин, стали самым слабым местом российской армии. Если российская армия разыгрывала в Украине классический блицкриг, то украинская использовала также отработанную еще во время Второй мировой войны тактику обороны, построенную вокруг хорошо защищенных опорных пунктов [...]. Штурмовать такие позиции долго, и когда нападающий обходит их стороной, то обороняющиеся силы начинают атаковать его тылы и коммуникации мобильными группами. Сокрушительной победы, которая, согласно "Стратегии", помогла бы в борьбе с такой украинской тактикой, у России не случилось. Киев не был захвачен, правительство не было свергнуто, ВСУ - не рассеяны. Выбранная стратегия оказалась ошибкой, которая, если судить по "Стратегии", основывалась на неправильных расчетах, отсутствии политической цели и планов войны.“
("Indeed, during the first stage of the invasion, it was the communications of the Russian troops, the very "flanks and rear" that Svechin writes about, that became the weakest point of the Russian army. If the Russian army played a classic blitzkrieg in Ukraine, then the Ukrainian one also used the defense tactics worked out during the Second World War, built around well-defended strongholds [...]. It takes a long time to storm such positions, and when the attacker bypasses them, the defending forces begin to attack his rear and communications with mobile groups. The crushing victory that, according to the "Strategy", would have helped in the fight against such Ukrainian tactics, did not happen to Russia. Kyiv was not captured, the government was not overthrown, the Armed Forces of Ukraine were not dispersed. The chosen strategy turned out to be a mistake, which, judging by the "Strategy", was based on incorrect calculations, the absence of a political goal and plans for the war.") (6)
This problem of logistics, thus, appears when a blitzkrieg startegy fails. As for the reason why it failed in the case of Russia, Pavel K. Baev mentions, besides the Russian assertion of its ability to deter NATO, the strategic guidelines. According to these guidelines Russia was thought to establish air dominance and execute deep offensive maneuvers by armored BTGs (Battalion Tactical Groups) to gain a quick victory over Ukraine. But they only led to the confusion of poorly coordinated attacks without proper air support. Finally, he also sees a negative effect of the Russian conservative and corrupt strategic culture which resulted in the demoralization of poorly led combat units. (7)
2.2 Phase 2: The War of Attrition
Russia withdrew its troops from Kyiv, from the regions Sumy and Chernihiv and strengthened the grouping in Donbass, where Ukraine's armed forces had well-prepared positions. The Russian troops now stopped trying to make deep breakthroughs, but instead began to advance slowly. In doing so, they used their advantage in artillery and slowly made their way with massive shelling in the Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk regions. Instead of the two northern fronts, there was now a new south-eastern front alongside the eastern and southern fronts. In this phase Russia made slow and steady progress capturing cities like Mariupol, Sievierodonetsk and Lysichansk. Though the Russians had a clear superiority when it came to artillery, Ukraine got modern western arms like the HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems) with which it could conduct precision strikes on Russian missile batteries and ammunition depots and slowly reduce the Russian superiority in artillery.
One problem could emerge now from the change from blitzkrieg to war of attrition: and that comes, according to Svechin, from the kind of economic policy that is related to each form of warfare:
„Подготовка войны на сокрушение может быть проведена путем такого чрезвычайного усиления военного бюджета, которое остановит или даже подорвет развитие производительных сил государства. Подготовка же войны на измор должна, главным образом, заботиться об общем, пропорциальном развитии и оздоровлении экономики государства, так как больная экономика тяжелых испытаний измора, конечно, выдержать не может.“
(Preparations for a war of destruction can be carried out by such an extraordinary increase in the military budget as will stop or even undermine the development of the productive forces of the state. The preparation for a war of attrition should mainly be concerned with the general, proportionate development and improvement of the state economy, since an ailing economy, of course, cannot endure the severe tests of exhaustion.) (8)
One thing one should not forget to mention here: Russia‘s industry has not only to compare with the Ukrainian one, but also with the additional weapons that the county gets from its supporting western partner states.
During this phase of the war the geopolitical environment in Eastern Europe turns: While in 2017 NATO deployed small multinational battalion-sized battlegroups (1,000-1,500 troops each of them) in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, since February, NATO has deployed additional battlegroups in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Slovakia and decided on a more robust forward presence, including brigade-sized units: „At the extraordinary NATO Summit in Brussels on 24 March 2022, Allied Heads of State and Government agreed to establish four more multinational battlegroups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. The establishment of four more battlegroups, together with the reinforcement of the existing four battlegroups in the northeast, has extended the Alliance’s forward presence along NATO’s eastern flank – from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south – and effectively doubled the number of troops on the ground. At the 2022 NATO Summit in Madrid, Allies agreed to enhance the multinational battlegroups from battalion size to brigade size, where and when required. Allies also agreed a new NATO Force Model that will include more troops at high readiness and further measures to boost NATO’s ability to reinforce Allies in the east.“ (9)
As for the U.S., since February, it has increased its troops in Europe from 80,000 to more than 100,000 service members. In late June President Biden announced that the U.S. would enhance its military presence in Europe, including more naval destroyers stationed in Spain, two F-35 squadrons positioned in Britain and a permanent headquarters in Poland for the U.S. 5th Army Corps. (10)In May Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO (11). This could make the Baltic Sea effectively a NATO lake. „Accession would tighten the strategic Nordic grip on the Baltic Sea — Russia’s maritime point of access to the city of St. Petersburg and its Kaliningrad exclave. Finland and Sweden also join them, along with Iceland, at the heart of the triangle formed with the North Atlantic and maritime areas in the Arctic, to where Russia projects its military might from the northern Kola Peninsula. Integrated NATO military planning will become a lot simpler, making the region easier to defend. […] If Finland joins, it would double the length of the alliance’s border with Russia, adding a further 1,300 kilometers (830 miles) for Moscow to defend.“ (12)
2.3 Phase 3: Ukrainian counteroffensives
In this phase it becomes clearer that Russia is running low on sophisticated missiles. As its attacks show, Russia seems to prefer now outdated, unguided and imprecise missiles, including some from the Soviet era. According to western intelligence officials „Russia used up many of its most accurate weapons, including cruise missiles and certain ballistic missiles, in the early days of the invasion. Russia’s arms industry has long relied heavily on imported electronic parts. As a result, analysts say, sanctions and export controls appear to have limited the Kremlin’s ability to restock its supplies, leaving it to rely more on unguided munitions.“ (13) US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin confirmed this assessment on November 16, when he said in a press briefing that the Russians lost a lot of troops and a lot of important military gear. „So, the numbers of tanks that they've lost, the numbers of armored personnel carriers, pretty staggering numbers. As important, the numbers of precision guided munitions that they've rifled through in this endeavor is striking.“ And because of trade restrictions the Russians wouldn‘t be able to reproduce those munitions quickly. (14)
A further sign for Russia‘s military supply problems as a result of the sanctions could be that Russia has been buying military drones from Iran and, according to intelligence sources, artillery shells and rockets from North Korea. „Russia has begun raining Iranian-made drones and loitering munitions down on Ukraine, using them to attack both infrastructure and civilians. So far, the operational impact of these drones appears to be limited. However, if Russia deploys them in greater numbers, begins to use them in combination with other systems or in swarms, or better integrates them within its military operations, they could still pose a significant threat to Ukrainian forces, civilians, and infrastructure.“ Used are for example the Mohajer-6, used for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance as well as strike operations, and the Shahed-136, a small satellite-guided missile used only to directly attack targets. (15)
The third phase starts on September 6th with the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Kharkiv oblast (in the northeast of Ukraine) where it could retake a large territory in a few days. In preparation of this counterattack the Ukrainians were already talking in summer about a looming counteroffensive on the southern Ukrainian Kherson Oblast and shifted some of their forces there. At the same time they used US-supplied HIMARS in Kherson and Kharkiv to destroy key elements of the Russian defence up to 70 kilometers behind Russian lines, such as command centres, ammunition dumps, supply hubs and bridges. The Russians were confused about where the counterattack would start and moved a significant amount of its forces from the north-east to the south (35). Mason Clark, ISW Russia team lead, explains that when the counteroffensive in Kharkiv started the Russians had already moved their trained troops to Kherson to fight the long announced Ukrainian counteroffensive there. But thus, they had left the northeast vulnerable since it was mostly guarded by inexperienced soldiers. So, when the Ukrainians did strike their attack in Kharkiv, they didn‘t hit much resistance there (16). Some days later, Taras Berezovets, press officer for the Bohun brigade of Ukraine’s special forces, said that the announced counteroffensive in Kherson was, in reality, a trick to divert Russian attention: “[It] was a big special disinformation operation”. “[Russia] thought it would be in the south and moved their equipment. Then, instead of the south, the offensive happened where they least expected, and this caused them to panic and flee.” (36)
As a reaction to this defeat, Russia declared a partial mobilization of military reservists on 21.09.2022 (17). But although Defense Minister Shoigu planned to mobilize 300,000 recruits (18), the exact number of people to be mobilized is classified. In the above-mentionned Ukaz the respective paragraph 7 remains a secret. The "Novaya Gazeta. Europe" wrote the following day that it had a source in the presidential administration who told them that this secret seventh paragraph allowed the Ministry of Defense to call up one million people (19). Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied this and called the reports "a lie." (20). On November 5, the UK Ministry of Defence stated that many new recruits were being deployed to the front lines in Ukraine without any training or proper equipment: „Newly mobilised conscripts likely have minimal training or no training at all. […] Deploying forces with little or no training provides little additional offensive combat capability.“ (21)
About three weeks after the start of the counteroffensive Russia annexes four Ukrainian oblasts after so-called referendums: „Today we will sign treaties on the accession of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Lugansk People’s Republic, Zaporozhye Region and Kherson Region to the Russian Federation.“ Putin declares, then he adds: „I want the Kiev authorities and their true handlers in the West to hear me now, and I want everyone to remember this: the people living in Lugansk and Donetsk, in Kherson and Zaporozhye have become our citizens, forever. […] We will defend our land with all the forces and resources we have, and we will do everything we can to ensure the safety of our people.“ (22)
But the Ukrainians were not impressed. The next successful Ukrainian counteroffensive took place in the south, in the Kherson oblast at the beginning of October: Near the town Kherson in the south of Ukraine a Ukrainian tank offensive achieved a big breakthrough, as they broke through the front and advanced rapidly along the west bank of the Dnipro River in the direction of the town Dudchany, about 30 kilometers to the south. As Ukraine already had destroyed the bridges crossing the river, a substancial advanve could have cut off entirely up to 25.000 Russian troops from their supply lines (23). After weeks of Ukrainian artillery fire, Russian general Surovikin recommended Defense Minister Shoigu on November 9 the retreat of the Russian troops of the west side of the Dnipro river because of the growing difficulties to supply these troops:
„Порядка 80-90% ракет сбиваются российскими средствами ПВО. В то же время до 20% из них все же достигают своих целей. Инженерные подразделения группировки войск практически ежедневно восстанавливают днепровские переправы и принимают меры по поддержанию их в работоспособном состоянии", - сказал Суровикин. По его словам, в этих условиях город Херсон и прилегающие населенные пункты не могут полноценно снабжаться и функционировать.“
„About 80-90% of the missiles are shot down by Russian air defense systems. At the same time, up to 20% of them still reach their targets. The engineering units of the group of troops restore the Dnieper crossings almost daily and take measures to keep them in working condition," Surovikin said. According to him, under these conditions, the city of Kherson and the surrounding settlements cannot be fully supplied and function.“ (24)
In the fall of 2022, after the West had meanwhile provided Ukraine with military support worth more than 40 billion US dollars, it was slowly becoming clear that it too could become problems with the delivery of weapons: namely if it continued to only send weapons from existing stocks and does not give the defense industry new long-term orders for additional production. In December the US has already sent a third of its stockpile of Javelin anti-tank missiles and a third of its Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine, but the defense industry cannot replace them anytime soon. And as for the Europeans, their weapons stocks are even skimpier (25). At the same time a study of December 2022 by the Polski Instytut Spraw Międzynarodowych found that Ukraine had, compared to Russia, serious gaps regarding heavy conventional armaments, such as heavy gun and rocket artillery, armored and motorized troops, long-range missiles, air force, drones and loitering munitions, and anti-aircraft defense systems, and that this asymmetry persisted despite high Russian losses (37). This means that the West is now faced with the decision of whether it wants to start exploiting its decisive long-term advantage in the conflict with Russia: that of its more efficient armaments industries.
2.4: Phase 4: Stabilization of the front, drone and missile warfare
As for the beginning of winter, the offensives have come to an halt and the Russians dig in, build trenches and tank trap fortifications in eastern Kherson oblast, east of the Dnipro, and in eastern Ukraine. In the south they especially fortify their positions along critical ground lines of communications connecting them with southeastern rear areas in Kherson Oblast and Crimea as well as with eastern rear areas around Melitopol, Zaporizhia Oblast (26). Also in the east of the country Russia is building a vast network of trenches, traps and obstacles, multiple rows of defenses lining major highways just behind the frontlines. Thus, they hope to slow Ukraine’s army and buy crucial time to mobilize and train additional troops (27). A good example for the World War I style trench warfare in Eastern Ukraine is the one in the region of Popasna and Bakhmut where the Wagner mercenary-group successfully sends former prisoners with three weeks of training into the trenches to fight against the Ukrainian army (31). As for the latter one, the Ukrainians, they are waiting for the Russians in Bakhmut, a town which they made a fortress, as Wagner-chief Prigozhin himself told: “In Artemovsk [the Russian name for Bakhmut], every house has become a fortress. Our guys sometimes fight for more than a day over one house. Sometimes they fight for weeks over one house. And behind this house, there is still a new line of defence, and not one. And how many such lines of defence are there in Artemovsk? Five hundred would probably not be an exaggeration.” (33)
At the same time, beginning in October 2022, Russia attacks the Ukrainian energy system in an attempt to implement the concept of a Strategic Operation for the Destruction of Critically Important Targets (SODCIT) to “demoralize the population and ultimately force the state’s leaders to capitulate” (28). Thus on December 16, for example, the Ukrainian energy supplier Ukrenergo announced: „Нагадаємо, 16 грудня, внаслідок масованих ракетних обстрілів з боку РФ електроенергетичної інфраструктури України відбулася втрата понад 50% споживання об'єднаної енергетичної системи.“ („We will remind, on December 16, as a result of massive missile attacks by the Russian Federation on the electric power infrastructure of Ukraine, there was a loss of more than 50% of the consumption of the unified energy system.“ (29)
But while Ukraine will get, as a consequence of these bombardings, at least one US Patriot air defense battery to protect at longer ranges (30), Russia could get a problem with the availability of suitable weapons for its attacks. Thus, the UK Ministry of Defence wrote on 01.12.: „its [the SODCIT‘s] effectiveness as a strategy has likely been blunted because Russia has already expended a large proportion of its suitable missiles against tactical targets.“ On 6th January 2023 Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov published a tweet about Russia‘s high-precision missile arsenal showing that Russia probably has expended 81 percent of its strategic missile stocks, 22 percent of its tactical missile stocks, and 88 percent of its Shahed drones (34). Vadym Skibitsky, the representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine (GUR), said on 4th January 2023 that Russian forces already have used about 660 Iranian-made Shahed-drones in Ukraine and that they used them now in massive swarms to break through the Ukrainian air defenses (32). At the end of January the US and Germany decided to send battle tanks to Ukraine providing a pathway for about a dozen other European countries to donate their own German-made Leopard 2s to Ukraine. In spring or summer the country could get 31 US M1 Abrams, 14 German Leopard 2, 14 British Challenger 2 and 14 Polish Leopard 2 for example. In all, at least 105 Western tanks have been committed. But considering the thousands of tanks the Russians still have available, the Ukrainians say they need at least 300 Western tanks to make a difference in the war. David Silbey, a military historian at Cornell University, thinks that the West can‘t deliver as much tanks as the Russians have, “[b]ut, given the quality advantage of the Leopard or Abrams over even the most modern Russian tank, if the West could supply 500 to 1,000 tanks, it would make a massive difference to the Ukrainians and to the war”, he said (44).
On the other hand, Russian president Putin said on 18th January 2023, two days before the meeting of Ukraine‘s most important military supporters in Ramstein, that Russia had no problems with the availability of weapons. At a visit of the Obukhov plant, which is part of the Almaz-Antey aerospace defense concern, he talked with workers, who already worked three shifts a day, and spoke about the revival of the Russian defense inductry taking place since 2013: „после того как отдельные наши так называемые партнёры ушли с нашего рынка, а уровень нашего производства стал достаточно высоким, наши предприятия весьма легко перехватывают то, что было оставлено этими самыми партнёрами. То есть мы сами стали в состоянии производить то, что вчера ещё не могли. Конечно, это не значит, что мы можем производить все 100 процентов, но мы добьёмся того уровня производства, который нам нужен.“ („after some of our so-called partners have left our market, and our production level has become quite high, our enterprises very easily intercept what was left by these same partners. That is, we ourselves have become able to produce what yesterday we could not. Of course, this does not mean that we can produce everything 100 percent, but we will achieve the level of production that we need.“) (38).
As for the defense spendings, according to the document "The main directions of the budget, tax and customs tariff policy for 2023-2025", in 2022 Russia spent 4.68 trillion rubles (39) instead of the planned 3.50 trillion (40). (1 trillion of Russian Rubles are 14.7 billion US-$). And in 2023 these spendings could reach more than 5 trillion instead of the planned 3.47 trillion. In addition, there are the 4.42 trillion rubles for national security and law enforcement (41), originally planned to amount to 2.97 trillion rubles (42). These include the Russian national guard Rosgvardia and some units of the FSB who are directly involved in the war. Russian mercenaries like the Wagner group are indirectly and at least partly funded by this budget, which may amount to a third of the NSLE spending. Arms procurement in 2022 totalled at least 2.5 trillion rubles and in 2023 will be no less than 2.5–2.6 trillion rubles. But the main problem is the productivity of the Russian defense industry, followed by a workforce deficit in the defense sector of about 400,000 people (43).
(1) Dan Bilefsky, Richard Pérez-Peña and Eric Nagourney: The Roots of the Ukraine War: How the Crisis Developed, 12.10.2022, https://www.nytimes.com/article/russia-ukraine-nato-europe.html
(2) Russia slams US Aegis Ashore missile deployment in Europe as direct breach of INF Treaty, TASS, 26.11.2018, https://tass.com/politics/1032585
(3) Address by the President of the Russian Federation, 24.02.2022, en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/67843
(4) Blitzkrieg to Attrition - 3 Stages of Russian Failure, 02.11.2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_Bafq2HEQc
(5) Seth G. Jones: Russia’s Ill-Fated Invasion of Ukraine Lessons in Modern Warfare, CSIS Briefs, June 2022
(6) Павел Аксенов: Невыученные уроки "Стратегии" Свечина. Разбираем войну в Украине при помощи классического военного труда, 12.09.2022, https://www.bbc.com/russian/features-62757109
(7) Pavel Baev: Russia’s War in Ukraine: Misleading Doctrine, Misguided Strategy, Russie.Nei.Reports, No. 40, Ifri, October 2022
(8) А.А.Свечин: “Стратегия. Искусство политики и войны”, 1928 год, quoted in: Павел Аксенов: Невыученные уроки "Стратегии" Свечина
(9) NATO: NATO’s military presence in the east of the Alliance, last updated 21.12.2022, https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_136388
(10) Tamara Keith: Biden is boosting U.S. troops in Europe because of Russia's war in Ukraine, 29.06.2022, https://www.npr.org/2022/06/29/1108536666/biden-is-boosting-u-s-troops-in-europe-because-of-russias-war-in-ukraine
(11) NATO: News: Finland and Sweden complete NATO accession talks, 04.07.2022, https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_197737.htm
(12) Lorne Cook: Russia Ukraine war: What it means if Finland and Sweden join Nato – explainer, 13.05.2022, https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/russia-ukraine-war-what-it-means-if-finland-and-sweden-join-nato-explainer/A2YAEZXXOITUOHX57REJH3HFWE/
(13) Mike Ives: Here’s what Russia’s attacks may indicate about its weapons stockpile, 11.10.2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/11/world/europe/russia-missiles-weapons-stockpile.html
(14) Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Army General Mark A. Milley, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Hold a Press Briefing Following Ukrainian Defense Contact Group Meeting, 16.11.2022, https://www.defense.gov/News/Transcripts/Transcript/Article/3220910/secretary-of-defense-lloyd-j-austin-iii-and-army-general-mark-a-milley-chairman/
(15) Federico Borsari: No loitering: What Russia’s Iranian drones could mean for Ukraine, European Council on Foreign Relations, 21 October 2022, https://ecfr.eu/article/no-loitering-what-russias-iranian-drones-could-mean-for-ukraine/
(16) How Ukraine got the upper hand against Russia, 17.09.2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7INxfISGFs
(17) Указ «Об объявлении частичной мобилизации в Российской Федерации», 21 сентября 2022 года, http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/69391
(18) Путин объявил о частичной мобилизации в России, BBC News Russian, 21.09.2022, https://www.bbc.com/russian/news-62977634
(19) засекреченный пункт указа о мобилизации позволяет Минобороны призвать один миллион человек, 22.09.2022, https://novayagazeta-eu.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/novayagazeta.eu/amp/articles/2022/09/22/istochnik-zasekrechennyi-punkt-ukaza-o-mobilizatsii-pozvoliaet-minoborony-prizvat-odin-million-chelovek-news
(20) Песков опроверг информацию о планах мобилизовать миллион человек, РИА Новости, 22.09.2022, https://ria.ru/20220922/mobilizatsiya-1818694689.html
(21) UK Ministry of Defence, Intelligence update Ukraine, 05.11.2022, https://twitter.com/defencehq/status/1588785131975856128
(22) Signing of treaties on accession of Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics and Zaporozhye and Kherson regions to Russia, 30.09.2022, http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/69465
(24) Суровикин заявил о невозможности полноценно снабжать Херсон, РИА Новости, 09.11.2022, https://ria.ru/20221109/kherson-1830315852.html
(25) John Paul Rathbone, Sylvia Pfeifer, Steff Chávez: Military briefing: Ukraine war exposes ‘hard reality’ of west’s weapons capacity, https://www.ft.com/content/a781fb71-49bb-4052-ab05-a87386bf3d5e, 02.12.2022
(26) ISW, 27.11.2022, https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-november-27
(27) Marco Hernandez and Josh Holder: Defenses Carved Into the Earth, The New York Times, 14.12.2022, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/12/14/world/europe/russian-trench-fortifications-in-ukraine.html
(28) UK Ministry of Defence, Intelligence update Ukraine, 01.12.2022, https://twitter.com/DefenceHQ/status/1598206953087541248?s=20&t=BKjQ7fo-pqswQOWxRZjAvw(29) https://suspilne.media/339628-rf-moze-gotuvati-novij-nastup-es-pogodiv-devatij-paket-sankcij-proti-rosii-296-den-vijni-onlajn/
(30) US Department of Defense, Ukraine Getting Patriot Battery, Other Defense Weapons, 21.12.2022, https://www.defense.gov/News/News-Stories/Article/Article/3253206/ukraine-getting-patriot-battery-other-defense-weapons/
(31) about the Wagner tactics there is a good article by Jury Butusov: Юрій Бутусов: Тактика "Вагнера": як досягають результатів зеки з тритижневою підготовкою та як їх б’ють?, 24.11.2022, https://censor.net/ua/resonance/3382797/taktyka_vagnera_yak_dosyagayut_rezultativ_zeky_z_trytyjnevoyu_pidgotovkoyu_ta_yak_yih_byut.
(32) Головне управління розвідки Міністерства оборони України: російські терористи використали близько 660 іранських “шахедів”, 4 січня 2023 року, https://gur.gov.ua/content/rosiiski-terorysty-vykorystaly-blyzko-660-iranskykh-shakhediv.html
(33) quoted in: Peter Beaumont and Pjotr Sauer: ‘Every house a fortress’: Wagnerleader counts cost as Russia stalls in Bakhmut, 03.01.2023, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jan/03/ukraine-wagner-leader-counts-cost-as-russian-offensive-stalls-in-bakhmut
(34) Ukrainian Defense Minister Reznikov on twitter, 06.01.2023: https://mobile.twitter.com/oleksiireznikov/status/1611449870040109058
(35) Henry Foy, Sam Joiner, Sam Learner and Caroline Nevitt: The 90km journey that changed the course of the war in Ukraine, 28.09.2022, https://ig.ft.com/ukraine-counteroffensive/(36) quoted in: Isobel Koshiw, Lorenzo Tondo and Artem Mazhulin: Ukraine’s southern offensive ‘was designed to trick Russia’, 10.09.2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/10/ukraines-publicised-southern-offensive-was-disinformation-campaign
(37) Marcin Andrzej Piotrowski: Pomoc wojskowo-techniczna dla Ukrainy ocena potrzeb krótko-i srednioterminowych, Polski Instytut Spraw Międzynarodowych, December 2022
(38) Посещение Обуховского завода, 18 января 2023 года, kremlin.ru/events/president/news/70368
(39) „Расходы на национальную оборону в этом году вырастут на треть“, Ведомости, 23 сентября 2022, https://www.vedomosti.ru/economics/articles/2022/09/23/942188-rashodi-na-natsionalnuyu-oboronu
(40) МИНИСТЕРСТВО ФИНАНСОВ РОССИЙСКОЙ ФЕДЕРАЦИИ: О федеральном бюджете на 2022 год и на плановый период 2023 и 2024 годов, page 49, https://minfin.gov.ru/common/upload/library/2021/12/main/Prezentatsiya_FB_22-24.pdf
(41) ГОСУДАРСТВЕННАЯ ДУМА ФЕДЕРАЛЬНОГО СОБРАНИЯ РОССИЙСКОЙ ФЕДЕРАЦИИ: Проект федерального бюджета на 2023–2025 годы принят в первом чтении 26.10.2022, duma.gov.ru/news/55593/ and amendments: Комитет по обороне обсудил поправки к проекту бюджета на 2023–2025 годы, 10.11.2022, duma.gov.ru/news/55716/
(42) О федеральном бюджете на 2022 год и на плановый период 2023 и 2024 годов, page 49, quoted above
(43) Pavel Luzin: Doomed to Failure — Russia’s Efforts to Restore its Military Muscle, 15.11.2022, https://cepa.org/article/doomed-to-failure-russias-efforts-to-restore-its-military-muscle/
(44) Lara Jakes and Thomas Gibbons-Neff: Western tanks are coming to Ukraine, but will they be enough?, 26.01.2023, https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2023/01/26/world/battle-tanks-ukraine-war-impact/
(44) Lara Jakes and Thomas Gibbons-Neff: Western tanks are coming to Ukraine, but will they be enough?, 26.01.2023, https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2023/01/26/world/battle-tanks-ukraine-war-impact/