On October 18, the Valdai Club presented its new report titled “Warfare in a New Epoch: The Return of Big Armies.”
The conflict in Ukraine has become the largest one in terms of casualties, the number of troops involved and duration since the Iran-Iraq War of 1980–1988. However, the difference is that the fighting in Ukraine is the result of contradictions between the world’s largest nuclear powers: Russia and the United States. The mere presence of nuclear weapons in their respective arsenals sets up a different framework for the war.
The authors of the report cite the Korean War as the closest historical precedent. The tactics of warfare and the military equipment used were different, but from a political standpoint, the conflict in Korea is similar to the one in Ukraine. As in Korea, the struggle in Ukraine began during a period of restructuring in the system of international relations, and is being fought for the right to influence the future world order.
The report’s authors believe that the Russian and Ukrainian armed forces lacked warfare skills early in the conflict, but over the course of a year and a half, both armies have transformed. The experience gained during wars against a weaker enemy turned out to be not only useless, but harmful in the context of the Ukrainian conflict. Its role in the modern development of military tactics has been obviated, according to the authors of the report, by the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7 and subsequent clashes.
What are the current trends in the development of weapons and methods of warfare? How do hostilities affect the Russian economy and society? What role do information technology and the media play in the confrontation? How will the Ukrainian conflict affect China’s policy and strategic planning? Participants in the discussion tried to answer these and other questions.
- Evgeny Buzhinsky, Lieutenant-General (Retired), Ph.D. Military Sciences, Chairman of PIR Center
- Vasily Kashin, co-author of the report, Director at the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies, HSE University
- Gregory Simons, independent expert (Sweden)
- Dmitry Stefanovich, Researcher at the Centre for International Security, IMEMO RAS
Working languages: Russian, English.
- Andrey Sushentsov, co-author of the report, Programme Director of the Valdai International Discussion Club, Dean of the School of International Relations at MGIMO University, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.