Asymmetrical Warfare and the Russia-Ukraine War

On March 7, 2024, the United States Embassy in Moscow published a brief security alert warning American citizens to avoid concert halls and large gatherings as a terrorist attack by unnamed extremists in Moscow was at hand. The news release read as follows:

The Embassy is monitoring reports that extremists have imminent plans to target large gatherings in Moscow, to include concerts, and U.S. citizens should be advised to avoid large gatherings over the next 48 hours.

The warning further advised citizens to “avoid crowds”, “monitor local media for updates”, and “be aware of your surroundings”.

Even though nothing untoward happened in the days immediately following the ominous press release, it was eerily prescient nonetheless. On Friday March 22, gunmen stormed the Crocus concert hall in Moscow brandishing automatic weapons. They fired on the crowd. Security camera footage along with recordings captured on mobile phones rapidly found their way onto social media and into breaking news reports. Video showed frantic crowds in the concert venue fleeing, rushing down stairwells in a panic. Clips showed gunmen wielding weapons and firing into the crowd. Other cameras captured the concert venue ablaze with flames lambent throughout the building’s upper floors; dozens of ambulances with flashing lights gathered in the parking lot below. Footage from the attack was also taken by concertgoers on their smart phones from balconies and in the concert hall itself. In so much of the video, rapid fire shots can be heard as people panic, running pell-mell for the exit. It was chaotic.

Footage from the incident has been widely shared by different news agencies around the world. One video, released by Islamic State purported to show “exclusive scenes. . .of the bloody attack on Christians yesterday in the city of Krasnogorsk in Moscow.” It was deemed too violent to be posted in its entirety by the Daily Mail. According to the news story, one of the assailants yelled “Bring the machine gun. Kill them and have no mercy on them” while filming the mayhem. The very same video was shared by Live Leak Private on Telegram, in its uncensored version. The clip shows a gunman from the first-person perspective of a GoPro-type camera admonishing his fellow militant to open fire on victims at close range. The video shows the automatic weapon wielding assailant firing shots from his rifle. It then shows another terrorist slitting the throat of a wounded man.

Initial reports flooded in from dozens of different news outlets that reported Islamic State (IS) otherwise known as ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. Preliminary casualty reports noted that approximately 60 people had been killed and 145 were injured by bullets, burns, and smoke inhalation. These initial numbers were amended upwards: as of March 27, Russia Today reported that 143 people died. Of the wounded, 83 people were still undergoing treatment and 40 had been released from hospital.

The neoconservatives that control United States foreign policy are attempting to goad Russia into a situation akin to the arms race of the 1980s, an arms race that the Soviet Union could not win. The warmongering neocons want an escalated conflict with Russia and are unabashed about using every means at their disposal to achieve that aim. The attack on the Crocus concert hall was just one of the “asymmetric” means hinted at by Victoria Nuland (who has recently resigned) in one of her recent speeches, which will be discussed below. There is mounting evidence that the terrorists were indeed working on behalf of the United States security apparatus — one of the nasty surprises adumbrated by Nuland. Essentially, they were wound up and set loose. The aforementioned warning published by the United States Embassy in Moscow was our first major hint. The expansionist designs of the heavily Jewish neoconservative movement in the United States have purposefully run headlong into a war with Vladamir Putin’s own imperial ambitions of an expanded Russia. Tragically, White ethnic Ukrainians and White ethnic Russians are caught in the middle of this vicious war of Imperial expansion. It is Empire versus Empire in an increasingly vicious proxy war.

It is very possible that Vladamir Putin allowed the attack to go ahead in order to justify an escalation of the conflict and to justify “mass mobilisation, strengthen domestic support for the Ukraine war, and make opposition to his rule even more difficult.” The Daily Mail reported on April 1, that Moscow was warned by Iran that a terrorist attack was imminent prior to the attack on the concert hall, but Moscow maintains that it received no prior alert. A report in the Kyiv Independent  has reported that the Russians are mobilizing in upwards of 30,000 troops per month. This is in conjunction with the military industrial output of the Russian state that is producing more munitions than Ukraine or the U.S. If anything is clear from this incident, it is that both sides have used it to justify an escalation of hostilities.

The term asymmetrical warfare can refer to conflict between belligerents where “relative military power, strategy, or tactics differ significantly.” The Russo-Ukrainian war is an example of this, as Russia’s military power is far superior to that of Ukraine which must rely heavily on outside support. Asymmetrical war is synonymous with other terms such as guerrilla warfare, insurgency, counterinsurgency, rebellion, terrorism, and counterterrorism. It is irregular warfare waged by combatants that are not conventional military forces. They often use the tactics common among weaker powers or transnational terrorist organizations against powerful militaries or states. By way of example, the ragtag militias of post-war Iraq or the black pajama-clad Vietcong, Taliban thugs or the AK-47 toting warlord gangs of Somalia spring to mind.

Moreover, asymmetrical tactics are often used clandestinely by powerful states to facilitate plausible deniability. Targeted assassinations, improvised explosive devices, bombings, the deliberate killing of civilians in public venues or even cyberattacks all can arguably fall within its purview. For instance the sabotage of Nord Stream pipelines in September 2022, the assassination of Alexander Dugin’s daughter, Darya Dugina, who was killed when her car exploded near Moscow in August 2022; and the assassination of pro-Kremlin blogger Vladlen Tatarsky who was killed in an explosion at a St. Petersburg café that sent 24 people innocent bystanders to the hospital in April 2023.

Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland made a speech in commemoration of the two-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine war and hinted at the future use of underhanded tactics:

With the $60 billion supplemental that the Administration has requested of Congress, we can ensure Ukraine not only survives but thrives. [See Sen. J. D. Vance’s NYTimes op-ed for a rejoinder.]

With this support, in 2024, we can help ensure Ukraine can continue to fight, to build, to recover, and to reform.

With this money, Ukraine will be able to fight back in the East and accelerate the asymmetric warfare that his been most effective on the battlefield. And as I said in Kyiv three weeks ago, this supplemental funding will ensure Putin faces some nasty surprises on the battlefield this year.

Similarly, Pepe Escobar has outlined several points that speak to an American effort to use proxies against Russia. Escobar has provided a detailed timeline of events that point to the use of asymmetric warfare techniques by the United States that masquerade as terrorism.

The ephemeral prestige of empire is imperilled by a state of near constant warfare. The establishment of empires has also invariably cost millions of White lives. The same can be said for Russia’s imperial ambitions: if the Russian empire continues its war on Ukrainian soil, then it too will continue to bleed.

When two opposed great powers are actively seeking ways to escalate conflict — often in the most underhanded and violent ways possible — the results are devastating for the White soldiers and civilians caught in the middle. Ethnonationalism is the best vehicle for peace and stability, not misguided Imperial adventures presided over by a hostile ruling class.


3 replies
  1. Gnome Chompsky
    Gnome Chompsky says:

    The article has some interesting and, from my judgement, true points.

    Citing the Daily Mail is another matter. Their coverage is almost like a Monty Python skit version of reality. On two British men who are not professional mercenaries and are fighting on the Russian side, Daily Mail coverage was on the ‘Hang them for treason.’ level. If they didn’t use those precise words, they did use ‘Charge them with treason.’, missing the point that the U.K. is not officially at war with the Russian Federation.

    The Daily Mail has an effective model, but except for a very few of their writers, it’s mainly promoting half-undressed ‘famous for being famous’ women, and rubbish articles on the Saxe-Coburg family.

    It is always like that, or worse.

  2. Weaver
    Weaver says:

    Very interesting that Putin might have allowed the attack, Russia’s 9/11.

    Even Japan is taking in immigrants. Ethnonationalism offers us unique societies that care for their people and a multitude of backups in case one or another fails.

    Israel and Ukraine suggest nationalism leads to war, but I love how this article argues otherwise. Ukraine still has potential as an independent, neutral state, resistant to both the US and Russia. Hopefully it kicks out Zelensky and declares independence.

  3. Pierre de Craon
    Pierre de Craon says:

    This is an insightful, well-written, and well-organized article. Nowhere else have I encountered this author’s perspective on and analysis of the international situation. Yet his argumentation is so cogent that it carries real weight.

    Although I have less sympathy for what one might fairly call Mr. Alfredsson’s implication that Vladimir Putin is an imperialist and an amoral schemer, I don’t deny that there is evidence for seeing Putin that way. Whether or not the evidence is both necessary and sufficient will surely emerge in good time.

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