Dara Massicot Profile picture
Senior policy researcher at @RANDCorporation focusing on defense issues in Russia. Opinions mine. RTs not endorsements.
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May 18 14 tweets 5 min read
The Russian military’s stumbles in Ukraine do not end at technical equipment issues, poor training, or corruption. Something is still wrong within the force, no matter how extensively it has been modernized. My latest, below. (1/x) foreignaffairs.com/articles/russi… via @ForeignAffairs The Russian military’s stumbles in Ukraine are linked by a core underlying theme and unresolved problem: the continued disregard for the lives and wellbeing of its personnel (2/x)
May 12 15 tweets 4 min read
📣📣 New report with many relevant insights on Russian Air Force capability and operational patterns. Road to Damascus: The Russian Air Campaign in Syria: 2015 to 2018. rand.org/pubs/research_… via @RANDCorporation. Image A great team led by Adam Grissom and Christopher Mouton - the report is well worth your time. 👍 Cc @Justin_Br0nk @GuyPlopsky @P63285001 @KofmanMichael @konrad_muzyka @jeffaedmonds @OlyaOliker @CombatAir
May 2 8 tweets 3 min read
Much commentary about Gen Gerasimov’s presence in Ukraine & Russian military command. I wanted to open up the vault about his previous experience as a field commander and how that’s relevant too. (Below in Chechnya). /1 It’s surprising to many here in the west that someone of his rank would go to the front. There are larger issues and implications here at play about his visit, and I think @MarkHertling covered them well here /2
Feb 6 12 tweets 3 min read
Now that more Russian military personnel are moving into position near Ukraine, the Kremlin and military’s continued silence & disregard to their own troops and families is unsustainable and may backfire. Signs of early cracks and other considerations below: 👇(/1) A majority of Russia’s professionally manned BTGs and soldiers are likely deploying near Ukraine or Belarus now, with no national address to the Russian people or little discernible info to soldiers’ families about why —other than training.(/2)
Jan 14 8 tweets 2 min read
On my mind: with half the Russian army deploying near Ukraine, there are few errant social media posts for such a large force. Whether this force is contract (or even conscript), little is coming from the families or remaining Russian NGOs. Silence is odd but many factors why 👇 Phone policy: The MOD has spent years cracking down on unauthorized soldier phone use, especially on deployments. I believe they recently offer their own MOD smart phones to certain groups, and encrypted phones to intel types (/2)
Dec 21, 2021 9 tweets 3 min read
MOD collegiums are not usually a forum for launching major updates. Mostly they are updates mil policy and modernization. Today's event was a little different and Putin again laid down his thinking on Ukraine. Storm clouds gather. My observations below (1/x). 1st: Putin's remarks are not new but lately but when you hear the tone and the alignment of forces behind it - it's an old pain & old frustration w/the security situation near Russia's border. Through his "doorstep" remarks he's all but saying he's unwilling to be cornered(2/x)
Nov 21, 2021 9 tweets 2 min read
Lots to unpack from today’s Military Times interview - Ukrainian Military Intelligence assessment on Russian forces and what they might do. They predict a winter-spring offensive (/thread) Here is the link (/2) : militarytimes.com/flashpoints/20…
Jul 5, 2021 19 tweets 3 min read
I compared Russia’s new National Security Strategy with the 2015 NSS and other recent RS strategies.The new NSS incorporates familiar concepts. It reads as very closed off: more survivalist in tone and all refs to cooperation with the West were deleted. Observations below. / There’s been some reorganization throughout, and IMO not to the betterment of the document. What’s new in the 2021 NSS: ✅ 2/
Jan 8, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
I’m not an Iran expert. But I am a military analyst. When I see the impact points of Iran’s strike on Asad air base, I don’t see purely symbolic strikes designed to avoid casualties, as some have speculated. The strikes appear to target the base’s military capability. The missiles struck equipment and storage buildings on the infrastructure (populated) side of the base. The impacts *are not* scattershot across empty fields or airstrips on the southern side of the base (image from December)