Russian strategic concerns in the Ukraine conflict.

Russia and Ukraine: military-strategic options, and possible risks, for Moscow,  Johan Norberg & Fredrik Westerlund:

strategic map Back Sea region

“In conclusion, there are military-strategic reasons for Russia not committing additional forces to an extended operation in Ukraine. The risk of military overstretch is significant if forces get bogged down. Even the less ambitious options outlined, such as repeating Crimea-style operations elsewhere, would tie up a considerable share of Russia’s available forces west of the Urals. However, it should be noted that this may not prevent the political leadership from deciding to intervene on a wider scale. Furthermore, if Russian military planners do not expect any significant armed resistance in Ukraine, the risk of temporarily committing forces for a large-scale invasion may be considered acceptable in view of the prospective gains. However, forecasting the size and duration of military force commitments is difficult, as both the Soviet and NATO operations in Afghanistan and the Russian counter-insurgency operations in Chechnya have shown.”*

IISS home page often provides insights, and analyses not readily available in the daily press. We are watching the developments in Ukraine with a great deal of concern, and very mixed emotions, as the history of the region has been a difficult one.

* Russia and Ukraine: military-strategic options, and possible risks, for Moscow, Johan Norberg & Fredrik Westerlund, in Military Balance Blog Posts from the IISS Defence and Military Analysis Programme, 07 April, 2014, http://www.iiss.org/en/militarybalanceblog/blogsections/2014-3bea/april-7347/russia-and-ukraine-3b92 (last viewed 08 April, 2014).

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