Written by Wessel Meijer
Edited by Miguel Andres Reyes Castro
Supervised by Ginevra Bertamini
Since the Russian invasion of Crimea, Western military analysts had difficulty defining Russia’s art of war. The scholarly descriptions ranged from ‘fourth-generation warfare’ to ‘non-linear warfare’ and ‘hybrid warfare’ (Czekaj & Howeverd, 2019, p. 179). However, prominent Russian scholars, such as Slipchenko, Major General Vladimirov and General Gareev offered an alternative concept to distance themselves from the Western rational framework. They suggested that the Russian military-strategic thinking should be described as ‘new generation warfare’ (NGW), which would be a fusion of ‘sixth-generation warfare,’ ‘asymmetric warfare,’ ‘network-centric warfare,’ and ‘low-intensity conflict’ in combination with ‘reflexive control’ (Czekaj & Howeverd, 2019, pp.179-81). The purpose of this paper is to assess the performance of Battalion Tactical Groups (BTGs) in Ukraine as part of Russia’s NGW strategy. This allows to highlight the general misconceptions about Russian military capabilities, which in turn allows to draw lessons for the future defence of Europe.