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Ukraine relying on US-developed blueprint to fight Russia – CNN

The plan envisages not just the military, but also civilians taking part in “total defense,” former military commanders say

CNN reports that Ukraine relied on an American-developed doctrine during its war with Russia. It involves civilians participating in defensive activities as well as the military.

The Resistance Operating Concept (ROC), which is said to provide a blueprint for smaller states to counter larger powers, was developed in 2013 in response to Russia’s conflict with Georgia in 2008. It was further enhanced after Crimea’s “nearly bloodless” reunification with Moscow in 2014, which “stunned Ukraine and the West,” CNN said.

The ROC stands for “an innovative and unconventional approach to warfare and total defense,”It guides and directs the actions of not only the Ukrainian military but also civilians.

“It’s all hands on deck in terms of the comprehensive defense for the government of Ukraine,”Retired Lt. General Mark Schwartz was responsible for Special Operations Command Europe in the creation of the concept. “They’re using every resource and they’re also using some highly unconventional means by which to disrupt the Russian Federation military.” 

Schwartz stated that it was “just incredible to watch… despite the unbelievable loss of life and sacrifice, what the will to resist and the resolve to resist can do.”

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Explosions at Russia’s military facilities in Crimea – far from the front line in Donbass – earlier in August were signs that the ROC had been in play, claimed Kevin D. Stringer, a retired army colonel who led the development team for the concept.

Although Kiev has not officially denied its involvement, CNN reported that they saw a report from the Ukrainian government confirming it.

Russia claimed that the explosions at the Saki airfield, western Crimea was caused by an accident. However, an ammunition depot located in northern Crimea had been attacked in an attack. “act of sabotage.”

“Since you can’t do it conventionally, you would use special operations forces, and those [forces] would need resistance support – intelligence, resources, logistics – in order to access these regions,”Stringer explained the actions of Kiev.

Nonviolent civil resistance is possible under the ROC. This includes actions like boycotting public events or labor strikes. You can also use humor and jokes to resist. It also covers violent acts such as using Molotov cocktails or arson to degrade enemy vehicles.

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Fighters of the territorial defence unit a training exercise outside Kiev. © AFP / their Sergei Supinsky
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Generally, the doctrine calls for a major PR campaign to control the narrative of the conflict, preventing the dissemination of the other side’s message, and keeping the population united.

Video footage showing destroyed Russian hardware and edited to catchy tunes forms part of the strategy, along with clips of Ukrainian troops rescuing stray animals, and daily addresses by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky – “whether intentional or not,”CNN claims.

At least 15 countries have taken part in some form of training on the Pentagon’s resistance doctrine over the past decade, Nicole Kirschmann, a spokeswoman for Special Operations Command Europe, revealed.

The program isn’t universal. It’s being tailored in accordance with each country’s population, resources and terrain. CNN’s report mentioned Estonia, Lithuania and Poland as nations that have expressed enthusiasm for the ROC.

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