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British Defence Intelligence Update Ukraine – 01 December 2022

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  • Since October 2022, Russia has repeatedly attacked Ukraine’s electricity distribution grid, primarily with cruise missiles.
  • This is likely the first example of Russia attempting to implement the concept of a Strategic Operation for the Destruction of Critically Important Targets (SODCIT), a key component of the military doctrine it has adopted in recent years.
  • Russia envisioned SODCIT as using long-range missiles to strike an enemy state’s critical national infrastructure, rather than its military forces, to demoralise the population and ultimately force the state’s leaders to capitulate.
  • Russia’s strikes continue to cause power shortages resulting in indiscriminate, widespread humanitarian suffering across Ukraine.
  • However, its effectiveness as a strategy has likely been blunted because Russia has already expended a large proportion of its suitable missiles against tactical targets.
  • Also, with Ukraine having successfully mobilised for nine months, material and psychological effect of the SODCIT is likely less than if it was deployed in the initial period of a war.

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