Russia Is Perfecting the Art of Crushing Uprisings Against Authoritarian Regimes by Patrick Tucker – Defense One
After Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014, much was made about the Kremlin’s use of hybrid warfare to destabilize and conquer. But in the years since, Moscow has taken gray-zone tools and created something completely different: a type of security force for hire by dictators looking to secure their rule.
In a little-noticed July 2018 article in the Russian Military-Industrial Courier, the commander of Russia’s Southern military district discusses the successful use of non-uniformed mercenary fighters, local regime-supported militias, and regular troops to crush Syrian rebels rising up against the Assad regime. In “The Staff of Future Wars,” Col. Gen. Aleksandr Vladimirovich Dvornikov argues that techniques pioneered in Syria could be exported to nearly any environment where President Vladimir Putin sees fit to intervene against a popular uprising.
The piece escaped the attention of most Western observers. But not Mark Voyger, a former cultural adviser at NATO Allied Land Command and former senior adviser on Russian and Eurasian affairs to then-Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, commander of United States Army Europe…