Training for War – Russia’s Strategic-level Military Exercises 2009–2017


  • Johan Norberg

Publish date: 2018-11-05

Report number: FOI-R--4627--SE

Pages: 110

Written in: English


  • Russia
  • military
  • exercise
  • strategic
  • operational
  • tactical
  • mission
  • command and control
  • quantity
  • combat readiness
  • fighting power
  • military power
  • operation
  • military doctrine
  • military conflict
  • armed conflict
  • local war regional war
  • large-scale war
  • global war
  • world war
  • military organisation


Before 2009, Russia handled armed conflicts and local wars. Military exercises since 2009 display an ambition and capabilities increasingly pertaining to regional wars. Russian strategic-level military exercises, comprehensive surprise combatreadiness inspections (SCRI) at military district or service level, as well as annual strategic-level exercises (STRATEX) 2009-2017, reflect a determined and persistent political and military effort to improve the fighting power of Russia's Armed Forces. An analysis of such exercises, based on the ability to carry out assigned missions, command and control complexity, the quantities of soldiers and equipment involved, as well as combat readiness, shows that the fighting power of Russia's Armed Forces clearly increased during this period. Russia's war against Ukraine and its involvement in Syria demonstrate an increasing willingness to use military power. Russia's political leadership in 2018 has a more credible and able military tool to influence other countries, either indirectly, by threatening or compelling them, or directly, by attacking them, than it did a decade earlier.