As Russia continues its assault on Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin has upped the ante in recent weeks. Last month, the Kremlin chief threatened t
As Russia continues its assault on Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin has upped the ante in recent weeks. Last month, the Kremlin chief threatened the use of nuclear weapons as he warned NATO countries against getting involved in Ukraine. He said: “To those who allow themselves such statements regarding Russia, I want to remind you that our country also has various means of destruction, and for separate components and more modern than those of NATO countries and when the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, to protect Russia and our people, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal. It’s not a bluff.”
The decision-making processes in the Kremlin and the Russian military are usually shrouded in secrecy. However, the Russian military doctrine provides some indication as to how the country’s forces could act in conflict scenarios.
The military doctrine of the Russia is a strategic planning document which lays out various scenarios in which Moscow could take military action.
It lists 11 dangers that Russia could respond to. They are:
1. Striving to give NATO forces global functions, moving NATO infrastructure closer to Russia’s borders.
2. Attempt to destabilise the situation in various states and regions and undermine strategic stability.
3. Deployment of foreign military contingents in countries and waters adjacent to Russia and its allies.
4. Deployment of strategic anti-missile defense systems, undermining global stability and violating the established nuclear balance of forces, the militarisation of space, and deployment of non-nuclear precision weapons.
5. Territorial claims against Russia and its allies and interference in internal affairs.
6. Spread of weapons of mass destruction, missiles and missile technology, increase in the number of nuclear states.
7. Violation by some states of international agreements and non-compliance with previously concluded arms limitation and reduction treaties.
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8. Use of military force in adjacent states in violation of the UN Charter and other international legal norms.
9. Presence of sources and escalation of military conflict in territories adjacent to Russia and its allies.
10. Spread of international terrorism.
11. Occurrence of sources of inter-ethnic (inter-faith) tensions, activity of international armed radical groups in areas adjacent to Russia and its allies, growth of separatism and forcible extremism in various regions of the world.
Russia also lists five actions that constitute a military threat. They are:
1. A sharpening of the military-political situation and creation of conditions for the use of military force.
2. Hindrance of the working of the state and military command and control system, interference in the functioning of its strategic nuclear forces, missile attack warning systems, space monitoring systems, nuclear warhead.
3. Storage facilities, nuclear power and other potentially dangerous facilities.
4. Creation and training of illegal armed formations and their activity on Russian territory or that of its allies.
5. Demonstration of force in the course of conducting exercises in states adjacent to Russia or its allies with provocative intent.
The latest version was published in 2021, but previous versions have also laid out other “threats” such as the “intention to place weapons in outer space”. This is despite evidence that Russia is developing weapons for outer space itself.
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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has left many fearing that a global conflict could be on the horizon. In August, Warrant Officer Paul Carney told British troops to prepare for war with Russia, as reported by The Mirror.
He said the UK military is now “shaping itself to meet the threat from Russia and was ready to counter any aggression” Soldiers were reportedly asked to prepare “families and loved ones” for the possibility of being sent to fight.
Mr Carney said: “My ask is that you have discussions about a potential deployment with them now. Find the numbers for the support networks and the relevant people who can help them, such as the unit welfare officer and padre.
“This is key as we could be out of contact for extended periods on tour. Making sure our loved ones have the support they need is vital for us too, as we’re not going to give 100% on tour if we are worried about home.”