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The first big war of the 21st century
Material posted: Publication date: 29-06-2022
The return to the era of "big" wars – bloody, intense conflicts waged with the use of the entire arsenal, not counting nuclear weapons, can be considered a sign of the final end of the thirty-year era of the unipolar world order. The journal "Russia in Global Politics" together with the Center for Integrated European and International Studies of the Higher School of Economics continues to publish a series of articles about changes in the international arena.

Generations of officers who had to participate in the first full-fledged war in generations were brought up in wars with an irregular enemy. As a result, the conflict revealed serious shortcomings in the strategy, tactics, technical equipment and combat training of troops on the part of both Russia and Ukraine and its Western allies supporting it.

Another example of successful actions is the participation of Russian troops in the CSTO operation to stabilize the situation in Kazakhstan in January 2022. Russia was able to deploy a significant contingent in a neighboring country as soon as possible, which, without engaging in direct clashes with the enemy, allowed to stabilize the situation in an important neighboring country and prevent its sliding into a civil war.

The Moskva was sunk the day after the surrender of a large group (more than 1,000 people) of Ukrainian marines in Mariupol, an event that caught the Ukrainian authorities by surprise and forced them to clumsily dodge and lie. As a result, a serious blow to the enemy's morale was completely leveled. Instead, a psychological blow was inflicted on our society and the army.

Speaking about the combat aircraft of the Aerospace Forces (VKS), which could be used within the framework of its launch, judging by the available publications on the procurement of aircraft by the Ministry of Defense, we mean several Su-57, about a hundred Su-35, about 110 Su-30 of various modifications, about 120 Su-34 fighter-bombers and about 140 upgraded Su-25s. Up to three dozen Su-30s are available in the fleet aviation.

To fully understand the situation, it is important to take into account that Ukraine at the time of the conflict had one of the densest and most powerful air defense systems in the world, which included dozens of combat-ready S-300 divisions of early modifications, as well as a large number of anti-aircraft missile systems (SAM) Buk-M1, Osa-AKM, Tor and the like. All these are the production systems of the 1980s, outdated, but quite dangerous even for modern aircraft.

Much less, but quite non-zero value was also represented by Ukrainian aviation. The number of its combat-ready vehicles at the time of the conflict is difficult to establish. But a large number of vehicles in storage (most likely, many more than 200 at the time of the outbreak of the conflict) allowed the Ukrainian side to constantly commission new aircraft – either as spare parts for Soviet vehicles from Eastern Europe arrived, or by assembling one serviceable aircraft from three faulty ones.

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