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Little Masquerade: Russia's Evolving Employment Of Maskirovka

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Technical Report,05 Jul 2015,26 May 2016

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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A little masquerade is the literal English translation of the Russian maskirovka. Synonymous with deception, maskirovka is a complex Russian cultural phenomenon that defies easy definition. Despite the Wests lack of interest in its former protagonist, the Russian Federation Armed Forces enjoyed continuity with its former Soviet character. The Russian Federation Armed Forces carried forward military theory, doctrine, and thought in the intervening years between the collapse of the Soviet Union and resurgence of Russian assertiveness. This included the importance of deception in the achievement of military objectives. Maskirovka is culturally rooted in Russian society and an important facet of Russian military operations. This monograph analyses the evolution of Russias employment of maskirovka from the Second World War through the invasion of Ukraine in 2014. It argues that Russias employment of maskirovka has evolved from a concept employed by the military to a concept employed by the whole of government. Once a means used to create advantageous conditions on the battlefield, maskirovka evolved to create ambiguity and uncertainty in the operating environment to enable freedom of action for achievement of Russian military and political objectives.

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