From Chechnya to Syria, from Georgia to Ukraine … the Russian army is still on the way to war

By launching, on February 24, a “special military operation” Against Ukraine, according to the Kremlin-imposed expression, Vladimir Putin has clashed with the Russian army in the fourth war since taking power—not to mention deploying troops to other foreign domains.

The areas of operations and antagonists are different, but the situations also have similarities.

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First of all, the necessity that is invoked to justify military intervention. The war against terrorism in Chechnya, in 1999, but also in Syria in 2015. Support for pro-Russian minorities oppressed by Georgia in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, in 2008, as well as in Ukraine in 2014 and 2022. In Libya (2016) and in Nagorno-Karabakh (2020 ), Russia joined external conflicts to enhance its influence.

Then, through the established strategy, it combines intense aerial bombardment, ground deployment and destabilization operations.

In addition to the interventions officially carried out by the regular army, there are also those conducted by mercenaries from the Wagner Group, the shadow army said to be dependent on the oligarch Yevgeny Prigoin, close to the Kremlin, and with official support from the authorities.

Holland

Azerbaijan

Germany

Ireland

France

Denmark

Spain

Slovakia

Italia

Mac. from n.

Belgium

Sweden

Armenia

Ukraine

Russia

Bulgaria

Romania

Finland

Cyprus

Syrian Arab Republic

Lux.

Libya

Belarus

Slovenia

Hungary

Georgia

Portugal

Czech

Malta

Moldova

United kingdom

Latvia

Lithuania

the black Mountain

Greece

Albania

Norway

Croatia

Poland

Estonia

turkey

Kazakhstan

A member country of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

A partner country wishing to join NATO

Russian enclave (separatist territory or territory annexed by Moscow)

Soviet borders until 1991

A member state of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)

Chechnya | 1999-2009

In September, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin launched an “anti-terror operation” in Chechnya, whose separatists are accused of carrying out attacks in Russia. Grozny, already devastated by the war from 1994 to 1996, was bombed by the Air Force. Control of the region is surrounded by the installation of Akhmed Kadyrov in power. The new Russian strongman won the 2000 presidential election in the first round.

Georgia | 2008

After clashes between the separatists of South Ossetia and the Georgian army, the latter intervened militarily. The conflict extends to Abkhazia. Russia deploys 40,000 troops to support the separatists. Three months ago, NATO welcomed the “Euro-Atlantic Aspirations of Ukraine and Georgia”. Within five days, Tbilisi’s forces are crushed. Moscow recognizes the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which retains control of 20% of Georgian territory.

Ukraine| 2014

While Moscow annexed Crimea by referendum in March, separatists in Donbass declared their independence in April, sparking war in this region of eastern Ukraine, with Russian military support.

Syrian Arab Republic | 2015

On September 30, Vladimir Putin launched a large-scale military intervention to save the regime in Damascus, which now controls a few parts of the territory. The massive aerial bombardment reflects the balance of power. Bashar al-Assad is in power. The Russian army maintains strategic military positions in the eastern Mediterranean.

Libya | 2016

Gaddafi’s fall and death in 2011, thanks to NATO’s support for the Libyan revolution, is seen as a humiliation by Moscow, which sees its influence waning in a region that has long gravitated toward the Soviet orbit. Since 2016, during the second Libyan civil war, Russia has been sending weapons and mercenaries to support Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, against the Tripoli government.

Nagorno-Karabakh | 2020

At the end of September, Azerbaijan launched a victorious offensive and captured the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, with the support of Armenia. Moscow, bound by a military alliance with Yerevan, does not interfere in the conflict, but imposes itself as a mediator. According to the peace agreement signed on November 9, Russia is deploying a separation force of 2,000 men for a period of five years, strengthening its military presence in the South Caucasus.

Ukraine| 2022

Under the pretext of protecting ethnic Russians and Russian speakers from a “Nazi” state “without a legal presence”, Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24, using in particular his forces stationed in Belarus and his allies from the Donetsk and Luhansk republics. This “special military operation” must reassert its power in the face of a NATO presence, which is condemned as aggressive.

sources: SIPRI. Airwars.org; leviwamab; Study Institute of War; the world

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