Accession Number:



Lessons from Russia's Operations in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Research Report]

Corporate Author:

RAND Corporation

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Russia sought to regain its influence over Ukraine and retake ownership of Crimea after the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych by pro-Western forces. This report examines the two overlapping operations to understand the Russian campaign in Ukraine in early 2014. Events unfolded rapidly after the February 22, 2014, ouster of Yanukovych, as Russia executed a covert operation using both its naval infantry forces already in place and special forces lifted to Crimea. Russia disguised troop movements with a snap exercise, which also deployed a distraction force near Ukrainian borders. Leveraging mobility, speed of action, surprise, and the capability to command forces securely at the small-unit level, Russian troops quickly seized control of the peninsula.


Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]