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The Russia File

Jun 29, 2023

The 2022 invasion of Ukraine was supposed to illustrate the Russian army’s ability to conduct a “contactless,” “surgical” military operation with minimal civilian casualties and damage to critical national infrastructure. Yet troops began committing war crimes in Ukraine virtually from the first days of the invasion. Did the Russian military anticipate applying such a level of brutality to civilians? If not, how did it become so widespread so quickly? What role has Russia’s early operational and tactical failures, its doctrinal causes, and its general military culture played in enabling such shocking violence? Izabella Tabarovsky speaks to Israeli military analysts Sarah-Masha Fainberg and Daniel Rakov to uncover the enabling factors of Russian culture of violence against Ukrainian civilians. The conversation was recorded on May 16.

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