Russia eyes ‘new forms of warfare’
Russia will continue to modernize its armed forces, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu told a meeting of senior military officials on Tuesday. The Ukraine offensive has confirmed the validity of the strategy that Moscow has chosen in reforming its military, the veteran official insisted.
“Consistent implementation of the action plan by the Defense Ministry is aimed at further developing the army and the navy, providing them with advanced military equipment. In addition to that, the adoption of new forms of warfare will allow the troops to better adapt to the conditions of modern military confrontation,” Shoigu said.
The minister didn’t elaborate on what forms of warfare he was referring to. The meeting was focused on the ministry’s modernization programs and the development of military infrastructure, particularly in the Arctic region.
Shoigu reported progress in the use of orbital assets for military communication. Last month, the Russian military deployed a new advanced communication satellite of the Meridian M model to provide service in the Arctic, he said. Another satellite of this type is to be placed into orbit before the end of the year, Shoigu added.
“Communications troops are performing their duties well as part of operations outside of Russia. New organizational methods have been tested, which allow reliable control of troops in difficult geographic and interference conditions,” he said.
The minister added that the military has managed to significantly decrease “the time required to provide targeting information to long-range precision weapon systems, such as Kalibr and Kinzhal.”
Kalibr is a Russian ship- and submarine-launched cruise missile, which serves the same purpose as the US Tomahawk system. Moscow has used the weapon extensively during the attack on Ukraine.
Kinzhal is an air-launched hypersonic quasi-ballistic missile meant to hit high-value targets. Its speed makes it virtually impossible to intercept for modern air-defense systems. Russia tested the weapon system in actual combat for the first time in Ukraine last month.
Russia attacked its neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.