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British Defence Intelligence Update Ukraine – 29 November 2022


  • Over the last three months, Russian forces in Ukraine have likely largely stopped deploying as Battalion Tactical Groups (BTGs).
  • The BTG concept has played a major part in Russian military doctrine for the last ten years, and saw battalions integrated with a full range of supporting sub-units, including armour, reconnaissance and (in a departure from usual Western practice) artillery.
  • Several intrinsic weaknesses of the BTG concept have been exposed in the high intensity, large-scale combat of the Ukraine war so far. BTGs’ relatively small allocation of combat infantry has often proved insufficient.
  • Decentralised distribution of artillery has not allowed Russia to fully leverage its advantage in numbers of guns; and few BTG commanders have been empowered to flexibly exploit opportunities in the way the BTG model was designed to promote.

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