Military Strategy Magazine  /  Volume 9, Issue 3, What Would the Greats Say About War in the 21st Century  /  

Soviet Theory Forgotten: Russian Military Strategy in the War in Ukraine

Soviet Theory Forgotten: Russian Military Strategy in the War in Ukraine Soviet Theory Forgotten: Russian Military Strategy in the War in Ukraine
By Vitaly V. Kuzmin -, CC BY-SA 4.0,
To cite this article: Klug, Jon, “Soviet Theory Forgotten: Russian Military Strategy in the War in Ukraine,” Military Strategy Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 3, Special Issue, ‘What Would the Greats Say About War in the 21st Century’, spring 2024, pages 30-37.
Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the position of the U.S. Army War College, the Department of the Army, or the U.S. Department of Defense.

Shocking images of Russian artillery explosions, aircraft strikes, and tanks rolling across the Ukrainian border on February 24, 2022, reintroduced Europe to land war on a scale that had not been seen since the Allied extirpation of the Nazi regime. Not only did this Russian offensive usher major international war back to the European continent, but it also upended many twenty-first-century cherished notions, such as American political scientist Francis Fukuyama’s “end of history” to British military historian Richard Overy’s claim that the Second World War was “The Last Imperial War.” The Russian offensive opened at a breakneck pace as a stunned world looked on in confusion. However, problems quickly arose. Despite wishful Russian assumptions to the contrary, the Ukrainian will did not crack; instead, resistance increased dramatically. Future historians will undoubtedly point to the Battle of Antonov Airport, located in Hostomel near the strategically critical Ukrainian capital Kyiv, where the initial Russian offensive culminated. Kyiv held, and the Russian tide receded, resulting in the character of the war transitioning from a lightning coup de main to a long, grinding conflict.

The outcome of the initial failed Russian offensive and the subsequent war in Ukraine is an opportunity to employ the theme of this Special Edition: What would a military theorist say about strategy in the twenty-first century? This article’s variation on that theme is to explore what the old Soviet military theorists—the progenitors of concepts like operational art, deep battle, and deep operations in the 1920s and 30s—would say about the Russian twenty-first-century military strategy and performance in Ukraine. Led by the so-called “Soviet Clausewitz” Aleksandr A. Svechin, the “Red Bonaparte” Mikail N. Tukhachevsky, Vladimir K. Triandafillov, and Georgii S. Isserson would take the Russian inheritors of their thought to task on many points.

To demonstrate how the Soviet theorists would critique the Russian war effort in Ukraine, this article uses four sections to explore how the Soviet military theorists might critique today’s Russian Army operations in Ukraine. The first section is devoted to the pertinent theory of the four most important Red Army military theorists, providing a framework to evaluate the Russian strategy and operations. The subsequent sections use the military theorists to critique the Russian strategy, preparations, and failed initial offensive; the period of positional warfare, and how the war may end.

Soviet Military Theory: A Framework

The Soviet Red Army produced a mass of literature on military theory, which is far too voluminous to recapitulate in a short article, let alone a section of one. The focus here is to provide the salient points of four of the earliest and, arguably, most important Soviet military theorists to act as a framework for the other sections. Before the twentieth century, armies had collided at a single point, a single battlefield that determined a campaign and often the war. However, Soviet military theorists observed changes in the character of warfare during the First World War—where mass armies fought with continuous fronts with great depth and reserves, causing battlefield casualties at an industrial level—and that continued with the Russian Civil War and the Russo-Polish War. The Red Army’s theoretical answer was a holistic concept of military art of which strategy, operational art, and tactics were its constituent fields, of which “deep battle” and “deep operations” would play an essential role as the Soviet theorists refined their knowledge.[i] While somewhat out of chronological order, the best way to explore the four theorists is by detailing their contributions based on their influence: Svechin, Tukhachevsky, Triandafillov, and Isserson.

Although not well-known in the West, Svechin is the most important of the Soviet theorists for several reasons. He was both the first and the most influential of the Soviet theorists—all the work of those who followed him, no matter the importance or novelty of their contributions, is derivative from Svechin. As a result, it is impossible to conceive of Red Army military theory, such as it is, without his work. Two critical previous military theorists influenced Svechin’s thinking. Carl von Clausewitz’ On War shaped Svechin’s thinking on strategy and the strength of the defense; hence, those who studied Svechin called him the “Soviet Clausewitz” or “Red Clausewitz.”[ii] Finally, Hans Delbrück’s ideas on annihilation and attrition shaped Svechin’s thoughts on the defense and conceptualization of positional warfare.[iii]

Svechin captured his thoughts in his book Strategy, which he began writing in the early 1920s and finalized in 1927.[iv] First, he defined strategy as “the art of combining preparations for war and the grouping of operations for achieving the goal set by the war for armed forces. Strategy decides issues associated with the employment of the armed forces and all the resources of a country for achieving ultimate war aims.”[v] As part of his discussion of national strategy, Svechin emphasized the importance of political and economic preparation for war, a defense industrial base capable of resourcing campaigns, and sufficient war stocks built up before the conflict.[vi]

In addition to his thoughts on strategy, and most importantly for military theory, Svechin introduced the concepts of operations and operational art in Strategy.[vii] His study of the First World War demonstrated that mass armies of recent wars proved too resilient to damage so that no single effort could translate to strategic success; instead, only long-term tactical attrition could eventually lead to the attacker suspending the offensive or the destruction of the defender’s forward forces or, more typically, the defender withdrawing. Regardless, armies in the defense during the First World War usually had forces arrayed in depth, preventing the attacker from achieving significant penetration. This problem led to the notion of operations. Svechin wrote, “We call an operation that act of war in the course of which troop efforts are directed, without any interruption, to a specific region in a theater of military operations to achieve a specific intermediate aim.”[viii] For a military effort to be an operation, it had to be significant enough in time, space, and force to change conditions at the theater level. Thus, operations required a significant grouping of forces to attack multiple geographic objectives throughout the depth of the enemy in one continuous effort. A series of these operations would very likely be necessary to successfully reach the strategic ends, all of which harkens back to his definition of strategy when he mentioned “the grouping of operations.” However, something was needed to conceptually tie together tactical efforts, operations, the sequencing of operations, and the overall military strategy into a unified whole. Part of the Soviet solution was replacing the two-part formula of strategy and tactics with the Soviet three-part notion of three fields that equated to tactics, operational art, and strategy,[ix] reflected in today’s Western military doctrine as levels of warfare. The corresponding activities for tactics, operational art, and strategy were combat, operations, and war, respectively.

Svechin’s conceptual solution was operational art, which he introduced in his book Strategy. This notion linked tactics and military strategy, giving meaning to the former and seeking to realize the latter. In Svechin’s words, “Tactics make the steps from which operational leaps are assembled; strategy points out the path.”[x] He also noted the importance of tactical action coupled with logistics, “The material of operational art is tactics and…being supplied with all materiel necessary.”[xi] If operational art does not effectively tie tactics, operations, and strategy—and logistics—the military effort devolves into positional warfare, undermining the overall strategy. Svechin added, “It is easy to get involved in positional warfare, even against one’s own will, but it is not so easy to get out of it; no one managed to do it in the World War.”[xii] He added that positional warfare may lead to “the temporary renunciation of the pursuit of positive military goals.”[xiii] In other words, if an army cannot muster sufficient force in time and space to change a condition at the theater level, it conducts pointless, unconnected tactical engagements or even the massive effort along the Somme in 1916. Tukhachevsky, Triandafillov, and Isserson subsequently built upon Svechin’s work.

Nicknamed the “Red Napoleon,”[xiv] Tukhachevsky continued to develop military theory in great detail for the middle of the three fields—operational art. Where Svechin championed defensive efforts as part of a larger strategy, Tukhachevsky instead emphasized the offensive, as the Red Army was to act as a vanguard of communist revolution in other states. He understood “the impossibility, on a modern wide front, of destroying the enemy army by one blow forces the achievement of that end by a series of successive operations.”[xv] Furthermore, he argued these operations must be mobile and offensive. Like Svechin, Tukhachevsky also understood the criticality of logistics and preparation and that the Red Army was lagging in this regard, often driving this point home in his writing. For example, in a 1926 study on the prospect of war, he wrote, “At present neither the USSR nor the Red Army is ready for war…national sustenance lags far behind it, placing the outcome of the war under threat.”[xvi] Given this grave shortcoming, he favored short wars, as the USSR could not afford a protracted war or, put another way, a war dominated by protracted positional warfare. During a 1926 military conference, Tukhachevsky successfully made the case for an initial period of positional warfare followed by mobile warfare.

Tukhachevsky collaborated closely with Triandafillov and incorporated Triandafillov’s previous work into a joint effort.[xvii] Sometimes called the “father of Soviet operational art,”[xviii] Triandafillov did much of the intellectual spade work on the concept of deep battle, which attacked an enemy in tactical and operational depth through combined arms, mass, multiple echelons, and penetration on multiple axes. Historian David Glantz wrote that Triandafillov felt “only successive operations over a month to a depth of 150-200 kilometers could produce strategic victory,” and strategic victory meant complete systematic destruction of the opposing force. Also, Triandafillov “introduced the idea of using tanks supported by air forces to effect penetration of the tactical enemy defense and extend the offensive into the operational depth to achieve strategic aims.”[xix] Consequently, he argued that doing so required mechanization and industrialization to create vast arrays of tanks, artillery, aviation, and airborne units. Triandafillov also recommended a new formation to conduct operations: shock armies. These large armies comprised four to five rifle corps with lavish organic artillery and enablers; additionally, they required two dedicated railroad lines for logistical support.[xx] More numerous holding armies would fix enemy forces to support shock armies. With these ideas in mind and support from Tukhachevsky, Triandafillov wrote The Character of Operations of Modern Armies, published in 1929. More importantly, this work prepared their joint authoring of the Red Army’s first doctrine, Polevoi Ustav (Field Regulations) 1929 or PU-29.[xxi] Two years later Triandafillov died in an airplane crash.[xxii]

Despite losing the brilliant Triandafillov, Tukhachevsky and the new 34-year-old rising star Isserson continued to expand Soviet military theory.[xxiii] In February 1933, the Red Army incorporated deep battle into its provisional doctrine. The following year, Tukhachevsky, Isserson, and other supporters finally defeated the old guard of officers who advocated for a defensive attritional approach. This victory opened the door to expand deep battle into deep operations, which Isserson did in his 1936 book The Evolution of Operational Art. Isserson detailed broad front offensives with multiple areas of concentration and creating offensive depth using multiple echelons of Red Army forces.[xxiv] He also specified the requirements for the correlation of forces necessary to conduct deep operations successfully.[xxv] Expanding another of Triandafillov’s ideas, Isserson discussed shock armies and even larger shock groups. He explored the role of fronts (a Red Army equivalent of Western army groups) and subordinate mobile units—such as mechanized corps and cavalry corps—in exploiting an opening created by the breakthrough development echelon of a shock army.[xxvi] However, the supply issue that prevented fully realizing continuous, consecutive operations remained unsolved. The Soviets’ defense industrial base was insufficient to resource the Red Army’s operational concept fully. Like Triandafillov’s book and PU-29, the Red Army’s 1936 Field Regulations, or PU-36, followed Isserson’s book.[xxvii] The doctrine in PU-36 solidified deep operations, a more refined and expansive version of deep battle, into Red Army doctrine. But it was not to last.

In 1937, Stalin began a long and bloody purge of the Red Army officer corps, including the execution of Svechin and Tukhachevsky, that liquidated the Red Army’s intelligentsia, and Soviet military theory reverted to the old guard’s preference for defensive, positional warfare. However, during border incidents with Japan and the early years of the Nazi-Soviet War, individual Red Army officers, such as Marshal Georgy Zhukov, implemented the theory and doctrine that had reached its apogee in 1936. After reeling against the German onslaught in the early years of the war, the Red Army began to turn to the tide and demonstrate the power of the prewar military theory with experienced and logistically supported forces. As the first of three examples, the Red Army used deep operations in November 1942 to penetrate the Germans’ defenses in two places, exploit and form a double envelopment around the city, and thereby create an immense pocket centered on Stalingrad. In the summer of 1943, the Red Army started on the defensive during the Battle of Kursk. When the German offensive had culminated, the Red Army commenced a series of successive offensive operations with fresh forces, pushing the front far west into Ukraine. The following summer, the Red Army demonstrated the full power of deep operations with its masterpiece Operation Bagration, destroying nearly sixty German divisions and the German Army Group Center as an organized fighting force.

War in Ukraine: Failed Coup De Main

Using Soviet theorists to evaluate the Russian Army in the War in Ukraine requires an overview of the war as we know it today. In the infancy of its third year, the War in Ukraine appears to have been essentially two wars: a failed Russian coup de main and an ongoing brutal war of attrition. Russian expert Michael Kofman further breaks the war down into six phases:

These are the initial invasion of February 24–March 25, 2022, the battle for the Donbas of March 25–August 31, Ukrainian offensives between September and November 2022, the Russian winter offensives between December 2022 and April 2023, Ukraine’s offensive between June and September of 2023, and the follow-on period during which Russia had retaken the strategic initiative from October 2023 through the winter of 2024.[xxviii]

Russian President Vladimir Putin, his government, and his military laid the groundwork for the coup de main long before the actual attack through subversive efforts. In early 2022, the Russians planned to completely subjugate Ukraine in a lighting three-day seizure of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, followed by a six-week denouement to complete the conquest. This vision of rapid Russian victory was based on several assumptions, starting with the belief that Russian subversive efforts had eroded the will of the Ukrainian people to resist to the point they no longer had the will—or, for that matter, the physical means necessary—to resist the Russian military. Naturally, merely crossing the border with a massive show of force would start a cascade of collapse that would quickly end in Russian victory.[xxix] It had the same ring as the words of another dictator who claimed, “We have only to kick in the door, and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down.”

At first blush, Tukhachevsky, Triandafillov, and Isserson would have applauded the offensive nature of the initial Russian attack, but they and Svenchin would have been appalled with the details of the minimal preparation, driven by the assumptions of minimal Ukrainian resistance and six weeks to victory and coupled with the desire for minimal preparation to maintain the best chance for strategic surprise. Many units got no actual warning of the impending operation. There was no real mobilization and little logistical stockpiling of ammunition or spare parts. The maintenance situation was abysmal, exposing embarrassing peacetime corruption and malaise.[xxx] Even though he perhaps understood that Putin and his generals intended this operation to be short, Svechin would have been appalled by how poorly prepared the Russian Army was and how years of neglect led to a lack of professionalism and downright criminality. Similarly, Tukhachevsky, Triandafillov, and Isserason all understood that preparation for war was necessary for the logistical lifeblood to flow through lines of communication sufficient to match the voracious appetite of deep operations.

At the time of the initial invasion, the Russian Army would seem to have been designed for this operation, as it primarily intended to bully smaller neighbors in rapidly decided campaigns. However, Putin’s “Special Military Operation” was geographically much more extensive than recent Russian conflicts, with an initial frontage of over one thousand kilometers. As part of its mission to wage quick border conflicts, the Russian Army had reduced higher echelon headquarters and logistics in favor of electromagnetic, fires, and cyber capabilities. Also, the Russian Army’s focus was the brigade (the “unit of action” using U.S. Army vocabulary) and, more specifically, its battalion tactical groups.[xxxi] This brigade-level focus starkly contrasts with what the four theorists would have been familiar with or how the Red Army operated in the Great Patriotic War. Granted, the character of war has changed, but the Russian Army attacked with essentially one echelon and reserves—a far cry from the multi-echeloned approach championed by Triandafillov, Tukhachevsky, and Isserson. But, again, the Russian Army expected to march into Kyiv with very little resistance.

The entire Russian plan revolved around seizing Kyiv, and the most critical task for that effort was taking Hostomel Aiport. The plan reminded me of a Russian “A Bridge Too Far,” save the newer version used ground forces to link up with heliborne rather than air-dropped troops. The Ukrainian air defenses downed several Russian helicopters, and the Ukrainian National Guard unit protecting the airfield put up a strong defense; however, sufficient Russian forces landed to take the airport. Unfortunately for the Russian airborne troops, the reinforcements were loaded on fixed-wing transport aircraft but were diverted, perhaps due to the damaged and blocked runway, Ukrainian artillery, the loss of several helicopters from the first wave, or a combination thereof. Meanwhile, stiff Ukrainian resistance prevented the overland force from linking up with the air assault. A collection of Ukrainian forces, including veterans and civilian volunteers, counterattacked that night and defeated the isolated Russian airborne. However, the Ukrainians holding the critical airfield learned of the imminent arrival of the Russian overland force, so they rendered the runway unusable and withdrew. When the Russians took the airfield, it was too badly damaged to use to move reinforcements by air.[xxxii]

Svechin would have been apoplectic over the lackadaisical planning and execution. He would undoubtedly not have approved of any high-risk/high-reward strategy; instead, he would have advised adopting much lower-risk approaches. Another point of contention would have been that the Russians had not prepared the industrial base and logistical support should the coup de main not succeed. Svechin’s treatment of strategy during wartime is largely independent of the effects of politics, which significantly affected the initial invasion of Ukraine. However, the War in Ukraine has been associated so closely with Putin that its decisions have become “tacticized” due to the ideological character of the war. Tukhachevksy would have liked the bold and offensive nature of the actual plan. When Triandafillov and Isserson voiced concerns about not having sequels with adequate preparation or logistical support, Tukhachevsky would have nodded sagely.

War in Ukraine: Ongoing Positional Warfare

With the failure of the Hostomel mission, the Russian plan and, indeed, the entire offensive began to unravel. The Russians were slow to react to the realities of the situation. Despite having chosen a high-risk/high-reward coup de main approach, it appeared they had no sequels (plans for when operations go unexpectedly well or unexpectedly bad). Granted, at that point and with the level of preparation involved, little could have been done to salvage a good outcome, as the initial strategy for the “Special Military Operation” was based on several erroneous assumptions—the strength of Ukrainian will, the overall level of military resistance, and the West’s level of support—that made the operation unsalvageable when they did not hold. At that point, the failure of the operation is overdetermined. By April 1, the Russians began pulling back from around the capital city and within a week had withdrawn from the Kyiv Oblast.[xxxiii]

After their initial coup de main failed and the invalidation of several critical assumptions, the Russians faced a new strategic situation. Now what? And what would the four Soviet theorists have advised? The character of war during Svechin’s era prevented a single decisive battle, and he would have seen the Russian situation in March 2022 as one where the character of war prevented a single decisive battle. At that point, he would have recommended a strategic defensive posture to build up capabilities for a protracted conflict while employing positional warfare as the operational foundation of Russian military strategy. Tukhachevsky, Triandafillov, and Isserson would have agreed, but they would have wanted to stay on the strategic defensive only as long as was necessary to build enough strength to execute deep operations. Svechin would have recommended exercising more strategic patience. However, all four would have agreed to keep pressure on the Ukrainians and that the goal was to restore maneuver to the battlefield.

The Russians, and Ukrainians for that matter, opted to wage positional warfare after listening to Tukhachevsky more and Svechin less. When one side built enough combat power, they would conduct multiple tactical offensive operations, “trying to ‘lean’ on the front of the enemy,” as an Institute for the Study of War article put it.[xxxiv] In other words, both sides wanted to pin down their opponent and gain territory where possible all while keeping an eye on restoring maneuver for a larger-scale, operational-level offensive. It was not to be. Instead, a dynamic formed where one side would temporarily have built enough combat power to go on a larger positional warfare offensive. That offensive would culminate, and the other side would soon start a similar counteroffensive. This dynamic played out with the Russian battle for the Donbas of March 25–August 31, the Ukrainian offensives between September and November 2022, the Russian winter offensives between December 2022 and April 2023, Ukraine’s offensive between June and September of 2023, and then the period during which Russia had retaken the strategic initiative from October 2023 through the winter of 2024.[xxxv] As Svechin said, “It is easy to get involved in positional warfare, even against one’s will, but it is not so easy to get out of it.”[xxxvi]

Conclusion: Where Does The Ukraine War End?

The Russians reportedly were within 27 kilometers of Kyiv. Perhaps they could see the Motherland Monument—updated with a Ukrainian coat of arms after the failed Russian attack—like the myth that the most advanced elements of the German Army could see the spires of the Kremlin from 29 kilometers away. Regardless of the validity of this speculation, the historical parallel reveals the hard truth that the Russian attack on Kyiv may ironically be their own Barbarossa—an offensive tantalizingly close to victory, yet the tide turned, perhaps never to return. While this is a pleasant long-term thought for the Ukrainians, the Russian bear is a resilient foe that is patiently hibernating, waiting for the West’s will to support Ukraine to wane and the Ukrainian will to crack under the strain of grinding positional warfare. Overall, the Soviet Union employed the military theory of Svechin, Triandafillov, Tukhachevsky, and Isserson far better in the Second World War than Russia did in Ukraine roughly eighty years later; however, Putin and his generals may have adopted a long-term strategy in line with Svechin’s writing.

Predictions are always dangerous, but several scenarios seem likely. The first is that Western political debates slow the delivery and reduce the magnitude of aid, especially military equipment, sapping the energy and undermining the will of the Ukrainian people. Russia would wait to see the results of upcoming political elections while continuing to conduct positional warfare to attrit Ukrainian forces, who have a much smaller pool of manpower to draw upon. The Ukrainians would strive to hold as far forward as possible, holding as much territory and protecting as much of its populace as possible. In this scenario, sadly, if the Ukrainian military were to fail, it would likely fail catastrophically. Any Ukrainian resistance movement would be challenged by poor geography for insurgency and the Russian intimate knowledge of Ukrainian culture and language. However, Ukrainian separatists held out after the Second World War until the mid-1950s.

The second scenario is less dire for Ukraine but is still gloomy. If the West can support Ukraine with a consistent flow of aid, the Ukrainian military could keep the current line of contact. However, Ukraine has far less manpower to mobilize than its foe, Russia. In this scenario, the tail of the conflict will be long. Given the Russian occupation of much Ukrainian territory, it is difficult to see Putin giving up Crimea or lacking some kind of guarantee that Ukraine will not become a member of NATO. On the other hand, it is equally challenging to envision the Ukrainians being willing to negotiate away any of their pre-2022 territories, likely now including Crimea, without further loss of territory. This situation seems to point to positional warfare occurring for the foreseeable future. Barring a “black swan” event, more blood and treasure must be shed and spent before negotiations start.


[i] David M. Glantz, “Introduction” and introduction to “Chapter One: The Formative Years, 1927-1940,” in The Evolution of Soviet Operational Art, 1927-1991, Volume 1 (London: Frank Cass, 1995), xiii-xviii, and 1-4.
[ii] Carl von Clausewitz, On War, translated by Michael Howard and Peter Paret (Princeton, Princeton University Perss, 1976), 127-132 and 357-359. For “Red Clausewitz,” see James J. Schneider, The Structure of Strategic Revolution (Presido Press, Novato: 1994), 136. For “Soviet Clausewitz,” see East View Press, Strategy, Fact Sheet,, accessed October 22, 2023.
[iii] Schneider, The Structure of Strategic Revolution, 139; and Jacob W. Kipp, “Soviet Military Doctrine and the Origins of Operational Art, 1917-1936,” in Soviet Military Doctrine from Lenin to Gorbachev, 1915-1991, edited by Willard C. Frank, Jr., and Philip S. Gillette (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 108-109.
[iv] Jacob W. Kipp, “Preface,” in Aleksandr A. Svechin, Strategy (1927, repr., Minneapolis: East View Press, 1992), 38.
[v] Svechin, Strategy, 69.
[vi] Kipp, “Soviet Military Doctrine and the Origins of Operational Art,” 108-109.
[vii] Svechin, 68-69. Also, see Schneider, 51, for his definition: “Operational art is the creative use of distributed operations for the purpose of strategy.”
[viii] Svechin, “Strategy and Operational Art,” in Evolution of Soviet Operational Art, 5.
[ix] Richard W. Harrison, The Russian Way of War: Operational Art, 1904-1940 (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2001), 140-141.
[x] Svechin, Strategy, 269.
[xi] Ibid.
[xii] Svehcin, Strategy, 255.
[xiii] Ibid., 256.
[xiv] For example see, Hugh Blewett-Mundy, “Russia and its Red Napoleons,” Center for European Analysis, April 26, 2023,
[xv] Quoted in David M. Glantz, The Military Strategy of the Soviet Union: A History (London: Frank Cass, 1991), 44.
[xvi] Quoted in Schneider, 201.
[xvii] This includes the work of many others, such as Nikolai E. Varfolomeev, to numerous to list here.
[xviii] Bruce W. Menning, “Introduction,” in The Evolution of Operational Art, translated by Bruce W. Menning (1936, reprint, Fort Leavenworth: Combat Studies Institute, 2013), xvi. Menning discusses Triandafillov.
[xix] Glantz, Military Strategy of the Soviet Union, 44.
[xx] James J. Schneider, “Introduction,” in The Nature of Operations of Modern Armies (1929, reprint, New York: Routledge, 1994), xli; and Vladimir K. Triandafillov, The Nature of Operations of Modern Armies (1929, reprint, New York: Routledge, 1994), 12-25, 65, 90-94, 107-118, 127-129, 137-138, and 144-157.
[xxi] Wilson C. Blythe, “A History of Operational Art, Military Review: The Professional Journal of the U.S. Army 98, no. 6 (November-December 2018): 41.
[xxii] Jacob W. Kipp, “Foreword,” in The Nature of Operations of Modern Armies (1929, reprint, New York: Routledge, 1994), vii.
[xxiii] Menning, xvi.
[xxiv] Isserson, The Evolution of Operational Art, translated by Bruce W. Menning (1936, reprint, Fort Leavenworth: Combat Studies Institute, 2013), 59-70 and 100-102. Also see, Richard W. Harrison, Architect of Soviet Victory in World War II: The Life and Theories of G. S. Isserson (Jefferson, NC: McFarland: 2010), 104-117 ad 122-129.
[xxv] Isserson, 49-53.
[xxvi] Ibid., 139-151.
[xxvii] Glantz, The Military Strategy of the Soviet Union, 101-103; Harrison Architect of Soviet Victory in World War II, 204-209; Kipp, “Soviet Military Doctrine and the Origins of Operational Art,” 114-119; and Menning, xxii.
[xxviii] Michael Kofman, “The Russia-Ukraine War: Military Operations and Battlefield Dynamics,” in War in Ukraine: Conflict, Strategy, and the Return of a Fractured World, edited by Hal Brands, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2024), 102-103.
[xxix] Anne Applebaum, “How the War Will End,” in War in Ukraine: Conflict, Strategy, and the Return of a Fractured World, edited by Hal Brands, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2024), 85; Kofman, “The Russia-Ukraine War,” 101 and 105; and Liam Collins, Michael Kofman, and John Spencer, “The Battle for Hostomel Airport: A Key Moment in Russia’s Defeat in Kyiv,” War on the Rocks, August 10, 2023,
[xxx] Kofman, “The Russia-Ukraine War,” 103.
[xxxi] Ibid., 105-106.
[xxxii] Collins, Kofman, and Spencer.
[xxxiii] Ibid.
[xxxiv] Peiter Garicano, Grace Mappes, and Frederick W. Kagan, “Positional Warfare in Alexander Svechin’s Strategy,” Institute for the Study of War (March 29, 2024), 1-3.
[xxxv] Kofman, “The Russia-Ukraine War,” 108.
[xxxvi] Svechin quoted in, Garicano, Mappes, and W. Kagan, 7.