We're now halfway through 2022's Big Reveal and we've still got plenty more to come! Today Commissioning Editor Tom Milner takes us through what we can expect from the Raid series next year.
Our one title this year in RAID is Mark Galeotti’s Putin Takes Crimea 2014. Commissioned before the invasion of Ukraine, this has turned out to be a sadly timely account of how in 2014 Russia’s combination of deniable special forces, cyber-warfare, subversion and sabotage successfully seized the territory of Crimea, and lit the fuse that would lead to the current war.
Let us know what you think in the comments!
Putin Takes Crimea 2014
By Mark Galeotti
An authoritative history and analysis of how Putin's Russia conquered the Crimea in 2014 using 'grey zone' techniques of warfare, blending operations by anonymous special forces with cyber, sabotage, and propaganda.
Russia’s annexation of the Crimea in 2014 was an almost bloodless conquest. It was, however, a crucial operation for our understanding of modern warfare, fought as much through propaganda, cyberattacks and subversion as force of arms, and features a fascinating series of characters and episodes, from Russian special forces and Ukrainian defectors to gangsters sworn in as ‘self-defence volunteers’, and even naval confrontations.
This is a fascinating account of the Crimea operation from a uniquely well-qualified authority on modern Russian forces at war. It explores how a chain of learning experiences led Russia to develop its new model of ‘hybrid’ or ‘grey zone’ warfare, from the Soviet war in Afghanistan, to the wars in Chechnya, the 2008 invasion of Georgia, and the lessons Moscow drew from Western interventions in Iraq, Kosovo and Libya. It offers a detailed look at the strategic planning for the raid, the preparations, and a day-by-day account of the initial seizure of the Crimea, from the first choreographed appearance of ‘spontaneous’ protesters through to the deployment of the ‘little green men’ – unbadged Russian special forces, called ‘polite people’ by the Russians – to secure Crimea. This included taking key buildings, bottling up Ukrainian forces, and sealing the neck of the peninsula, followed by a massive consolidation of Russian power.
This was a textbook operation that, in a way, proved paradoxically too successful, as it encouraged Moscow to try and use the same tactics in Ukraine’s south-eastern Donbas region. What was intended to be a short operation to bring Kyiv to heel turned into a long-term, low-intensity war between 2014 and 2022, when Russia launched its all-out invasion of Ukraine.
In this book Mark Galeotti explores what the Crimea operation says about the development of Russia’s warfighting doctrine in the last decade. It will also look at Crimea today, and the way Moscow has built it up as a military bastion.