Futura Doctrina
War Shorts
Operation Kursk II

Operation Kursk II

The Russian Plan to Not Lose in 2023
Image: The Russian War of War, Grau and Battles, 2016

In a September 1986 report for the U.S. Army’s Combat Studies Institute, Colonel David Glantz wrote that:

In July 1943, after arduous months of developing defensive techniques, often at a high cost in terms of men and material, the Soviets met blitzkrieg head-on and proved that defense against it was feasible. The titanic, grinding Kursk operation validated, in part, Clausewitz' views. But it also demonstrated that careful study of force organization and employment and application of the fruits of that study can produce either offensive or defensive victory.

In some respects, this mirrors the learning and adaptation demonstrated by the Russians at the tactical and operational level over the past 16 months in Ukraine. While this has been uneven, and not of the same general quality and impact as Ukraine’s adaptation, it has seen some improvements in Russian combat capability.

More broadly, the Russians have adapted their strategy, embracing a waiting game approach in the hope that they can hold on long enough for Ukraine’s Western supporters to grow tired of the war.

Therefore, in this episode of my War Shorts podcast, I explore the components of a Russian plan to ‘not lose’ in 2023 in a defensive campaign I have called Operation Kursk II.

It goes without say, my great hope is that they fail in this response to the Ukrainian offensive of 2023.


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Futura Doctrina
War Shorts
A Futura Doctrina podcast with short, focussed commentary from Mick about contemporary issues related to war, strategy and strategic competition.
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Mick Ryan