Recent changes in personnel levels, coupled with equipment modernisation and operational experience, has made Russia’s elite airborne force (the VDV) an even more formidable force. As Russia shifts its gaze from perceived threats along its southern borders to those along its western ones, together with a fundamental shift to a military doctrine that once more sees NATO as the primary threat, the temptation to use the VDV as a military solution to political problems will likely only grow.
Russian forces and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine have significant advantages over Ukrainian forces in the area of electronic warfare. Russian forces are effectively able to nullify the Ukrainian communications and GPS signals in the regions they are deployed to. The advantages the Russians are enjoying in this area are directly contributing to the losses suffered by the Ukrainian armed forces. Western supporters of Kiev might consider supplying the Ukrainians with defensive capabilities, including electronic countermeasures.
When uniformed irregular forces wearing no insignia moved to control key locations in Crimea in March 2014, few believed the Kremlin’s claim that they were local volunteer self-defence forces. It soon became clear that the men preparing the way for Russia’s annexation of Crimea were from elite Russian military units, including paratroopers and special forces from Russian Airborne Troops. With its origins in the 1930s, Russia’s airborne force is currently the largest and most highly-mechanised in the world. Their presence in Crimea and eastern Ukraine only confirms their status as an elite force within the Russian military.
Open Briefing has identified at least 200 different UAVs in use or in development by China, India, Iran, Israel, Russia and Turkey, with 29 of these being armed drones. The study also assesses the likely future use of armed drones by each country.
Open Briefing has today published a major new study that identifies at least 200 different UAVs in use or in development by China, India, Iran, Israel, Russia and Turkey, with 29 of these being armed drones.
Open Briefing: An Israeli strike against Iran is highly unlikely between the US presidential elections in November 2012 and the Israeli elections in January 2013, and unlikely between January and the Iranian presidential elections in June 2013.
Open Briefing: Russia has forward deployed a squadron of MiG-31BM “Foxhounds” (a two-seat, long-range, supersonic, all-weather interceptor aircraft) to Rogachevo Arctic Airbase off the northern coast of Russia.
Open Briefing: A video purportedly showing missing freelance journalist Austin Tice has been posted on YouTube. Our analysis concludes that this is Tice but irregularities suggest the video might have been staged by Syrian government forces.