U.S. Army Special Operations Command Counter-Unconventional Warfare White Paperhttps://publicintelligence.net/usasoc-c ... l-warfare/
October 13, 2014
Among state actors and on the very frontiers of NATO, Russia’s actions in Ukraine embrace UW fully. Russia currently employs special operations forces, intelligence agents, political provocateurs, and media representatives, as well as transnational criminal elements in eastern and southern Ukraine. Funded by the Kremlin and operating with differing degrees of deniability or even acknowledgement, the Russian government uses “little green men” for classic UW objectives. These objectives include causing chaos and disrupting civil order, while seeking to provoke excessive responses by the state’s security organs—thus delegitimizing the Kiev government. Additionally, Russian elements have organized pro-Russian separatists, filling out their ranks with advisors and fighters. Russia’s UW has also included funding, arming, tactical coordination, and fire support for separatist operations. While enabling a frequency of tactical success against Ukrainian forces putting the latter at a distinct strategic disadvantage, insurgency aided by Russian UW has gained local supporters, while intimidating dissenters into acquiescing to a separation from the government in Kiev.
Russian UW is thus the central, most game-changing component of a Hybrid Warfare effort involving conventional forces, economic intimidation of regional countries, influence operations, force-posturing all along NATO borders, and diplomatic intervention. Sponsorship of separatist insurgency in Ukraine accords well with current Russian military doctrine and strategy, which embrace “asymmetrical actions… [including] special-operations forces and internal opposition to create a permanently operating front through the entire territory of the enemy state.”