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ISW: Russia using Soviet deep combat theory

by Rachel Amran February 14, 2024 6:45 AM 2 min read
Oleksandr Syrskyi (L). (Syrskyi/Telegram)
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Russian forces are working to restore maneuver to the battlefield through Soviet deep battle theory but are struggling with implementing the strategy due to current Ukrainian capabilities, the Institute for the Study of War reported in its daily assessment on Feb. 13.

Ukrainian military analyst Kostyantyn Mashovets observed that Russian forces are trying to implement a Soviet deep combat theory to rapidly break through Ukrainian defenses but are failing to achieve its intended effects.

The deep battle theory was created in the 1920s and 1930s to restore maneuver to the battlefield by engaging the enemy on multiple fronts while also targeting enemy assets at all levels with artillery, airstrikes, and rear attacks together with frontal attacks to break defensive lines.

ISW assesses that the Russian military could break Ukrainian defensive lines if it could effectively plan and carry out deep battle campaigns. Additionally, Ukrainian forces could also successfully implement these campaigns if Western supporters properly resourced them.

Earlier this week, Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said in an interview with the German ZDF channel that Ukrainian troops have switched from offensive to defensive posture and aim to exhaust advancing Russian forces.

According to Syrskyi, Russian troops are attacking along the entire front line. He describes the situation as "difficult" and "quite tense."

The General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces reported that as of Feb.13, Russian forces are trying to advance in the Lyman, Bakhmut, Marinka, Avdiivka, and Zaporizhzhia sectors in the east and south of Ukraine.

Who is General Syrskyi, Ukraine’s new chief commander?
Following months of reports about a rift in Ukraine’s political and military leadership, President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi, who had led Ukraine’s military since before the full-scale invasion. Zelensky replaced Zaluzhnyi with General Oleksandr Syrskyi, who…
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