Preliminary Lessons in Conventional Warfighting from Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

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RUSSIA’S FULL-SCALE INVASION of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 has seen the return
of conventional warfighting to Europe. This has provided an unparalleled opportunity
to assess Russia’s military capabilities and the impacts of a range of modern weapons
on the battlefield. Ensuring that the correct lessons are drawn from the conflict is vital in two
key respects: for Ukraine, if it is to receive appropriate military support from its international
partners; and for NATO members, if they are to ensure they are militarily capable of deterring
aggression in the future.
Debates about the relative merits of armour, anti-armour weapons, electronic warfare (EW)
and airpower have been fierce among external observers of the conflict. Most of these debates,
however, have lacked any grounding in data. Much of the discourse surrounding the war has
drawn on fragmentary online videos that show specific activities detached from a wider tactical
or operational context. A great many definitive statements have been made about Russian
capabilities based on the propaganda material produced by both sides.

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