“A Large Russian Force Looking for Targets”
In the opening plenary sessions of IAV 2018 at Twickenham on 23 Jan Maj.-Gen. Borys Krementetskyi of the Ukraine Air Force – a man with current command experience in eastern Ukraine – gave delegates an update on the conflict that has developed since Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014.
An understandably impassioned presentation, backed with well selected and prepared visual aids, Gen. Krementskyi left delegates convinced that the efforts to defeat Russian ambitions in the region are worth maintaining – and certainly increasing. The Russian military machine is indulging in a subtle, well-crafted and immensely well-resourced form of hybrid warfare in Ukraine: massive deployment of artillery and EW assets, tremendous support for the activities of well-directed sabotage groups, the deployment of troops on a rotational basis and the relentless use of opportunities to test new equipment, tactics or procedures (particularly with regard to unmanned systems) characterise recent and future predicted Russian activity, which serves primarily to keep Moscow’s opponents off balance.
Gen. Krementskiy also pointed to a little considered aspect of the conflict, stating unequivocally that every hostile unit involved above company level is commanded by a native, career Russian officer – whatever the makeup or ostensible affiliation of the unit. “There is a definite policy in this regard: future Russian ground commanders are being trained in Ukraine – air force officers in Syria,” he told delegates.
Russia is waging war in Ukraine on all fronts, he claimed – military, political, diplomatic, economic and terror – a true implementation of modern hybrid warfare. “This is a large Russian force looking for targets,” he warned his audience.