(艺术指导。 Jean-Dominique Lavoix-Carli)

The September 2022 Ukrainian counter-offensive against Russia is hailed as very successful. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the “true heroes” who allowed for a “very rapid liberation” of 8000 sq km by 14 September 22 “in the east, notably in the Kharkiv Oblast, and the south, notably in the Kherson oblast”, (e.g. BBC新闻,22年9月12日。 有线电视新闻网,22年9月14日)。

Yet, U.S. President Joe Biden and other American officials, as well as Germany Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht first cautioned against a feeling of “premature victory”, of a “turning point in the war”, even though they acknowledge the territorial gains (Lolita Baldor and Ellen Knickmeyer, “美国领导人避免在乌克兰战斗进展中跳胜利舞“, AP, 13 September 22; Reuters, “德国表示,判断乌克兰的反攻是否是转折点为时尚早“, 14 September 22). As time passed, on 18 September, President Biden appeared as far more confident in an interview, stating that “They’re defeating Russia” (Reuters, “乌克兰称军队越过东北部的奥斯基尔河,泽伦斯基发誓不会放松警惕“, 19 September 2022).

前面是什么?

在这篇文章中,我们将首先简要地强调为什么看一套全面的情景是重要的,以及为什么在一场战争的背景下,信息被使用宣传或psyops而退化,这就更加重要。然后,我们将重点关注的不是西方青睐的预测乌克兰胜利的情景,因为这种情景是众所周知的,而是描述另一种情景,与最常见的叙述不同。我们将把它称为 "红色方案",指的是 红队 (从敌人的角度出发)。我们主要提出解释,而不是情景叙述(讲故事),使用地图追踪两位主角对乌克兰地形的控制的演变,并每天建立由 战争研究学院.首先,我们提出了我们的关键假设,然后按照战争期间的各个阶段进行了解释说明。

对替代方案的需求

有用的和可操作的方案是在一个具有不断变化的可能性的集合中构成的

Many commentators tend to focus on a single scenario highlighting a Ukrainian victory and a Russian defeat. The current Ukrainian counter-offensive goes hand in hand with the Russian “debacle”, “rout”, “disaster”, “disintegration”, etc. This is indeed one scenario. Its narrative runs more or less as follows:

目前的反攻预示着乌克兰军队即将获得成功,同时显示出俄罗斯军队内部根深蒂固的问题,这将导致一连串的失败,直到莫斯科被征服。

然而,适当的预见性必须考虑所有可能的情况(见 常见问题 on scenarios), even those that are unlikely, contrary to one’s objectives or unpalatable. Actually those scenarios are even more interesting because they are those that allow for the best planning, for truly countering the enemy and finally for victory and success.

看到一个场景发生的可能性实际上是与场景本身的叙述相分离的东西。一组情景的关键变量既被用来制作叙述,又被用来评估情景的概率。然而,为这套方案创造一个特定的情景并不意味着这种情景比另一种情景更有可能。一套好的情景必须考虑所有可能的情景。然后根据现实情况,对每一种情景的概率进行评估、变化和演化。这就是情景变得最有用的地方,因为它们有助于引导政策。然而,为了能够达到这个崇高的目标,我们首先需要有一套完整的情景,而不仅仅是几个符合我们的目标、信念和愿望的愉快的情景。

克服潜在的宣传

Furthermore, a swift Ukrainian victory by heroes in the framework of a Russian rout could also be a way to narrate events that is part of the information operations (I/Os – psyops) of Ukraine and its allies (see Helene Lavoix, “信息战与乌克兰战争", The Red Team Analysis Society, 24 May 2022). More surprisingly but not impossible, it could even be part of Russian I/Os and deception, as Russia is meant to be a master at using “反射性控制” (refleksivnoe upravlenie / рефлексивного управления).

As during war information is degraded and as we shall not know with certainty what is truly taking place on the ground until archives are opened – i.e. in 30, 60, or 100 years according to cases and countries, we need to rely on scenarios. Scenarios allow to make hypotheses and to take into account uncertainty, which is key when information is lacking or of dubious quality. Furthermore it will help us stretching our minds, asking inconvenient questions and thus think out of the box.

A Red Scenario – Main hypotheses

我们对这种情况的第一个假设是,俄罗斯在乌克兰有两个主要的领土目标,而且只有两个。

The first territorial objective, as declared when Russia launched its “special operation”, is to free and protect the territory of the two separatist Republics of the Donbass: the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) (俄罗斯联邦总统的讲话2022年2月24日06:00,克里姆林宫,莫斯科)。

第二个目的可以从俄罗斯的同一讲话中推断出来,包括保护克里米亚(同上)。这意味着为该半岛创造战略纵深,这将使其免受任何乌克兰的威胁。

North Crimean Canal. Connects the Denpr at the Kakhovka reservoir with the east of Crimea – 裴利赫特, CC BY-SA 3.0,通过维基共享资源

2月24日,俄军在战争刚开始时就采取了一项行动,突出了这个目标的重要性。它恢复了北克里米亚运河的水流量(皮夫尼奇诺-克里姆斯基区在乌克兰的第聂伯河和克里米亚之间,于2014年被乌克兰切断了(《世界报》)。路透社, "莫斯科称俄军疏通了通往被吞并的克里米亚的运河水流,” 24 February 2022).

这些领土目标显示在下面的地图上。克里米亚必要的战略纵深的大小是一种估计,并可能根据其他因素而变化。其他地方的行动将根据这张地图进行评估。

War in Ukraine 2022 – Russian objectives – Red scenario (on an ISW map as background)

第二个假设是,俄罗斯领导层既不疯也不傻,也没有完全脱离现实,也没有任何关于俄罗斯政治当局的极端外号和毫无根据的情感断言。这并不意味着领导层不会感到惊讶。就像任何系统一样,分析和评估可能有缺陷。行动可能不按计划进行。战争的迷雾在运作。

第三个假设或者说原则是,如果在使用先前的推理和理解框架时无法解释或理解某件事情,那么很可能最初的思路是有缺陷的。

A Red Scenario – Phases in the war

Phase 1 – 24 Feb 2022 to 29 March 2022

为征服南方(顿涅茨克州和卢甘斯克州以外)创造条件

Considering the Russian territorial objectives for this scenario, all operations carried out outside Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and the southern part of Zaporizhzhia oblasts are either “decoy” operations or “negotiation” ones.

它们的目的是将敌人及其盟友的注意力和精力集中在非必要的、实际上是虚假的目标上。在最好的情况下,如果取得了收益,它们将在谈判中被用来交换,反对构成真正目标的领土,或反对其他关键目标,如乌克兰的中立性。

这一阶段于3月29日结束。然后,在伊斯坦布尔举行的谈判框架内,俄罗斯国防部宣布 "从根本上减少基辅和切尔尼戈夫方向的军事活动",以 "增加相互信任,以便在未来的谈判中与乌克兰达成并签署和平协议"(邓小平; 亚洲时报 3月29日)。

就其领土目标而言,在一个月内,俄罗斯方面通过占领赫尔松州和扎波罗热州的大部分地区,成功地为克里米亚创造了战略纵深。它实现了与顿涅茨克州的交界,或者说,从俄罗斯的角度来看,是与朝鲜半岛的交界。它使后者有了与大海的联系。最后,它征服了卢甘斯克的大部分地区。

However, hardly any progress was made in the western part of Donetsk Oblast, which remained strongly in Ukrainian hands. There, the 2015 “contact line” acts as a quasi border where an attrition war started and would last.

All other territorial gains and operations – which includes Kiev, despite Western beliefs – were secondary or part of Russian psyops and could be abandoned to consolidate the territory taken that is part of the objectives.

“Contact line” or “line of contact”: “A stretch of land that separates conflict-affected people residing in Government (GCA) and non-Government-controlled areas (NGCA) of eastern Ukraine” (UNOCHA).它贯穿了大约420公里。在2015年和2022年2月之间,它几乎没有移动(ICG, 乌克兰顿巴斯地区的冲突).定义在 执行明斯克协议的一揽子措施, 2015年2月12日。

On 1st April 2022, the massacres of Bucha and other locations around Kiev was then revealed, creating widespread outrage (e.g. Eliot Higgins, “俄罗斯的布卡 "事实 "与证据的对比", Bellingcat谈判停止了。)尽管土耳其最初希望看到谈判继续进行,但谈判还是停止了(萨巴赫日报, "土耳其总理恰武什奥卢表示,土耳其期待更多的俄乌和谈“, 7 April 22).

Phase 2 – April 2022

Withdrawal from the north and repositioning of forces on real territorial objectives with, as potential “decoy area”, Kharkiv Oblast

在整个4月,俄军如3月底所说的那样从所有北方领土撤出。他们在领土重要的地方重新部署了部队,并开始巩固他们已经征服的地方。同时,他们也开始了缓慢的磨合,以征服或解放LPR的卢甘斯克州和DPR的顿涅茨克州的领土。

The only remaining territory not belonging to their main goals is in Kharkiv oblast. This area could then be used as “decoy” or way to pin down Ukrainian forces on areas that did not matter to the Russian side. The slow withdrawal from Kharkiv region started then.

Phase 3 – May 2022 to date

消耗战,解放/征服卢甘斯克和顿涅茨克州的领土,尽可能地保留南部各州。

Phase 3-1 – The conquest of Luhansk Oblast – Attrition warfare elsewhere

到2022年6月25日,在卢甘斯克,塞维罗涅茨克完全落入俄罗斯军队手中(ISW, 俄罗斯进攻性运动评估,6月25日).7月2日,莱辛斯克市紧随其后,7月3日到达卢甘斯克州的边界(ISW, 俄罗斯进攻性运动评估,7月3日).

哈尔科夫州仍然是一个可有可无的地区,不属于俄罗斯的真正目标。它的一部分在俄罗斯人手中,但到5月中旬,乌克兰部队已经收复了这块领土的一小部分,在哈尔科夫(市)的东部。

在其他地方,前线与以前的时期相比几乎没有移动。消耗战得到了解决,在顿涅茨克州有相当多的进攻性目标,在赫尔松州和扎波罗热州有防御性目标。

假设乌克兰从西方盟友,特别是美国那里得到的新武器,以及情报和特种部队的支持,以及随后的乌克兰行动并没有改变克里米亚的战略形势,那么俄罗斯可能主要寻求巩固其在南部的收获。

然而,顿涅茨克西部地区显然仍然顽固地遥不可及。由于它是需要实现的最后一个目标,那么它应该是下一阶段的重点。

Hypothetical Phase 3-2 – Conquering Donetsk, Keeping what was taken and Ending the War?

又是反射性的控制?

俄罗斯必须找到一种方法来征服顿涅茨克州的剩余部分,这代表着很大一部分领土,需要克服根深蒂固的乌克兰防御。同时,它还必须保留重要的东西,即与它的真正目标相一致的被征服的领土。

This also means countering the Ukrainian counter-offensive officially started on 29 August 22, but with earlier premises (Reuters, “乌克兰称期待已久的南部攻势已经开始“, 29 August 2022, Oleksiy Yarmolenko, Tetyana Lohvynenko, “俄军牺牲在顿巴斯的大规模攻势以加强其在南部的地位‘, 12 August 22).

By 14 September, Ukrainian troops have re-conquered 8000 sq km of Kharkiv oblast (DW, “乌克兰在东北地区稳定反攻成果“, 14 September 2022). Notably the Ukrainian army could mobilise enough men, with a smart strategy to surprise “the rather small Russian forces of the 144th Motorised Division reinforced with disparate independent units” (Michel Goya, “1918年在乌克兰?", La Voix de l’Epée, 11 September 2022). Russian forces did not really fight and the “massive Russian forces stationned in Izium retreated eastwards” (ibid.). Izium was re-taken by Ukraine (Ibid.). Actually, according to the maps below, the territory liberated seems to have stabilised on 12 September, and even up to 18 September with different declarations however (see below).

无论用什么说辞来解释乌克兰在哈尔科夫州取得的成功,不管是俄罗斯军队撤离以重新部署在其他地方(俄罗斯 国防部电报) or plain defeat in losing a territory (by Western analysts and Russian nationalists military bloggers and discussions in the Duma as stressed by the ISW “俄罗斯进攻性运动评估,9月13日“), it remains that the territory held in Karkhiv was not part of the main Russian objectives. This area could, of course, have a tactical, operational and strategic use, but yet it was not part of the Russian aims. Furthermore, its value in obtaining territorial gains in Donetsk may not have been that high considering the absence of results of the previous months. Hence losing it may not be as crucial as commentators, whatever their nationality, including Russian, may think, if – and this is a key “if” – a new front line along the river Oskil, or along the border of Luhansk oblast is established.

The Russian “recognition” of defeat in Kharkiv that is hailed in the West as something new (see details in ISW, “俄罗斯进攻性运动评估,9月13日“) may not matter that much either, as long it is not followed by other defeats or series thereof in areas corresponding to main territorial objectives. In that light, the loss of a very small part of Luhansk oblast on 10 September may be far more important, if it were to be followed by other losses.

Moreover, considering Russian practice of reflexive control and psyops, we should not forget the possibility that not only the change of rhetoric regarding the Ukrainian victory in Kharkiv – i.e. Russia recognising defeat there – but also, most importantly the very swift loss of territory could actually be part of an information operation.

这可能是一个俄罗斯版本的 坚韧行动当盟军在D日登陆的地点上欺骗了德国人。就反射性控制而言,我们可以想象,俄罗斯人的行为方式促使乌克兰及其盟国决定对哈尔科夫州进行军事攻击。

One possible indication that deception could have been at work comes from an inconsistency highlighted by military experts. Specialists wonder about the inability of the Russian army to detect “five armoured-mechanised brigades near the front in Zmiv”, despite all the Russian intelligence capabilities (Goya, “1918年在乌克兰?“). The only explanations that are offered are a failure of tactical assessment in the chain of command and failure of understanding at highest level (e.g. Goya, “1918年在乌克兰?“). Of course, these explanations may very well be correct. Yet, one possibility is not envisioned: would it be possible that detection took place and that nothing was done, purposefully, because something else is at work, indeed deception.

那么我们需要思考的问题是:俄罗斯领导层对不防守并因此失去领土有什么兴趣?然后承认失败?这能为哪些目标服务?对这些问题的回答是多方面的。例如,就承认战败而言,ISW 细节 其中一些,特别是在对乌克兰有影响的俄罗斯国内政治方面。除此之外,我们还应该加上一些答案,例如,与真正将俄罗斯和亲俄部队重新定位在主要目标上有关的答案,与将乌克兰部队从俄罗斯的主要目标上击垮有关的答案,以及与创造可能有利于乌克兰部队过度自信的条件有关的答案。

Of course, an alternative would be that indeed the Russian tried to focus their war effort elsewhere considering that Kharkiv oblast was not part of the main aims, that American and Ukrainian intelligence spotted it and that they smartly took advantage of the Russian strategy. If ever a “Reflexive Control” operation was at work, then in would have backfired.

Whatever the explanation, the Ukrainian advance also signals the disappearance of the last non-key position held by Russia, while a large part of Donetsk oblast remains to be conquered. A new line of front must be established that will be a defense line to protect Luhansk oblast, i.e. from a pro-Russian perspective, the LPR. This new front line could run along the Oskil River with as main cities Logachevka-Dvorichana -Kupyansk-Boroza-Lyman, possibly joining the Siverskyi Donets river. It would allow Russia to keep use of the railway, and protect le LPR “border”.

However, by 19 September 22, Ukraine would already be on the Eastern bank in some ares, and either fighting to keep that position, while Russia tries to repel Ukrainian forces (e.g. ISW, “俄罗斯进攻性运动评估,9月18日“), or in full control of it according to Ukrainian Armed Forces and President (Reuters, “乌克兰称军队越过东北部的奥斯基尔河,泽伦斯基发誓不会放松警惕“, 19 September 2022).

If Russia proved unable to construct and hold that new front line, or if it considered the threat has now increased considerably considering the support given to Ukraine, then Russia might resort to escalate longer range attacks behind the front line to disrupt Ukrainian advances, as signaled by attacks during the first part of September (e.g. The Guardian, “俄罗斯的打击使乌克兰哈尔科夫地区的电力和供水中断“, 11 September), or to other means. 这可能意味着向扩大战争范围的转变。俄罗斯可以用乌克兰使用的类似战略来为这些攻击辩护,因为乌克兰现在使用了更远的武器。 支持,如情报 由其盟友提供,特别是美国人, as well as foreign “mercenaries” and “advisors”.

Once the retreat, plus holding of the new front line, and repositioning are done, Russian and pro-Russian forces will likely focus on their main objectives, Donetsk oblast, while defending elsewhere, with the right bank of the Dniepr in Kherson Oblast – which includes Kherson – as potential focal line of defence for the south.

选择对顿涅茨克州的攻势可以得到俄罗斯在9月第二周在巴哈姆特以南的推进的支持,如下图所示。Spirne、Adviivka和Marinka南部也发生了战斗。从面积上看,俄罗斯的进展仍然很小,而且前进的行动只发生了不到一周。因此,我们更多的是处于信号领域,而不是确定的领域。

Ending the war? Patience and length of time…

最后,我们可以思考一下下面的假设情况。让我们想象一下,俄罗斯将征服整个顿涅茨克州,并成功地保留它在其他地方征服的东西。那么它将如何结束战争?

The polarisation at work in Ukraine and among its allies – i.e. the U.S. and Europe, would probably forbid any peace negotiations allowing Russia and the separatist Republics of the Donbass to keep the territory conquered. (e.g. Reuters, “乌克兰称军队越过东北部的奥斯基尔河,泽伦斯基发誓不会放松警惕“, 19 September 2022)

如果我们假设俄罗斯领导层很清楚这个关键的陷阱,那么我们可能会想,俄罗斯的一个可能的战略就是不争取时间,或者准备好等待,直到国际条件发生变化。

The key actors which positions would need to change are Ukraine’s allies. The latter, from a Russian point of view, need to favour stopping the war and reaching a negotiated settlement recognising the territory conquered by Russia, the DPR and the LPR, plus probably the neutrality of Ukraine.

The Russian political authorities may thus position themselves for a kind of “intense frozen war” that would last at least over the winter 2022-2023.

他们的赌注是,欧洲显然无法在没有能源或能源状况复杂的情况下维持一个冬天,而极有可能引发深度衰退(黑石的评论 12 September 2022; Jennifer Sor, “贝莱德表示,由于能源危机使通货膨胀率上升并拖累GDP,欧洲将陷入严重的经济衰退。“, 12 September 2022).

Relatively, Russia may suffer less of the sanctions it faces, all the more so it benefits from the rise in energy prices. Indeed, for example, a Russian economy ministry document expects to see “Russian earnings from energy exports to $337.5 billion this year, a 38% rise on 2021 revenue from oil” (路透社, 17 August 22). However, Russia still has to face recession and probably long term economic damage (Bloomberg, “俄罗斯私下警告说,经济将长期受到严重破坏“, 6 September 22).

Nonetheless, Russia is also most likely to withstand pain with more equanimity, compared with European populations, which are already showing signs of rebellion against energy prices (Reuters, “Can’t pay, don’t pay” – Italian group urges energy bill strike“, 15 September 2022).

Furthermore, the very aggressive American actions worldwide, aiming at remaining the leader of the world and enforcing its international order, notably against China, only strengthen the partnership and friendship between Russia and China (e.g. Al Jazeera, “法国和美国代表团访问台湾,与中国的紧张关系持续发酵“, 8 September 2022; Helene Lavoix, “中国和美国之间的战争--规范性问题“, 4 July 2022, and “美国的国家利益“, 22 June 22, The Red Team Analysis Society)Ministry of foreign affairs of the People’s Republic of China, “国家主席习近平会见俄罗斯总统弗拉基米尔-普京“, 15 September 2022). As a result, Russia is likely to have time on its side. Finally, the American stance may get out of hand, fundamentally upsetting the global strategic terrain.

因此,俄罗斯可能会选择等待和继续等待,而乌克兰的战争仍在继续,并伴随着痛苦和艰辛,欧洲和俄罗斯都遭受着严重的经济衰退。

冬天来了。

特色图片。俄罗斯T-90坦克在伏尔加格勒地区的阅兵式上;2010年。 www.volganet.ru, CC BY-SA 3.0,通过维基共享资源。

由Dr Helene Lavoix (MSc PhD Lond)发布

Helene Lavoix博士伦敦大学博士(国际关系) ,是Red Team Analysis Society的总裁/CEO。她专门研究国际关系、国家和国际安全问题的战略预见和早期预警。她目前的工作重点是乌克兰战争、国际秩序和中国的崛起、行星越轨行为和国际关系、战略预见和预警方法、激进化以及新技术和安全。

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