Due to Russia’s continuous malicious actions against the Baltic and Scandinavian countries, as well as its ongoing war against Ukraine, most European countries have recently been forced to take a critical look at their national defense strategies and military capabilities. These reviews unearthed serious capability gaps, resulting in the emergence of so-called total defense strategies based on peacetime social resilience and war time resistance. This article focuses on resistance, arguing that the current manifestations of such a strategy do not ensure maximum results for the countries because their fundamental characteristics and principles were derived from cases that are limited in spatial and temporal scope. The article suggests that lessons must be also learned from recent experiences such as the Chechen resistance against Russia, Hezbollah’s fight against Israel, the Iraqi and Taliban insurgencies, the Syrian insurgency, and other similar cases. This article offers a starting point for identifying such critical lessons by analyzing the First Russo-Chechen War through a research model built on the common principles of Mao Zedong, Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, and General Vo Nguyen Giap.
The experience of the past decade shows a steadily increasing role of the armed forces in the implementation of Moscow’s strategic aspirations. The aim of this work is to present the geopolitical ambitions of Russia in competition with the West and the role of the armed forces in satisfying these ambitions, as well as to evaluate their modernisation.
The article identifies the directions of Moscow’s strategic aspirations and presents a vision of Russia’s future war. The reforms carried out by the Russian national defence ministers Anatoliy Serdyukov and Sergey Shoygu are evaluated. The conclusions resulting from the involvement of Russian armed forces in the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria are explained. It indicates the changes that will take place in particular branches of the armed forces in the near and long terms.