Rules Based Audio: Mick Ryan on Russian military strategy in Ukraine
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Rules Based Audio: Mick Ryan on Russian military strategy in Ukraine

In this episode of Rules Based Audio, Sasha Fegan speaks to Major General Mick Ryan about Russia’s military strategy in Ukraine, and his new book War Transformed: The Future of Twenty-First-Century Great Power Competition and Conflict

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to surprise Western analysts, many of whom thought President Vladimir Putin’s incendiary rhetoric and troop build-up along Ukraine’s border were a bluff.

In recent days the surprises have kept coming – despite Russia’s encirclement of Kyiv, its air and ground forces appear to have been far less successful than expected. Likewise, Russia’s much-feared skills in information operations have been no match for Ukraine’s deft control of the propaganda narrative. In turn, this has helped harden Western resolve against Russia and inspired Sweden and Finland to pursue NATO membership. 

What is Putin’s endgame and how serious is his threat of nuclear escalation?


Major General Mick Ryan AM served as a member of the Australian Defence Force for more than 35 years. He held a range of roles from operational to command, and contributed to planning and strategic reviews of the defence force, as well as writing the Army’s contributions to the Defence White Paper and Force Structure Review. He was most recently commander of the Australia Defence College.

Sasha Fegan is a Research Associate with the Australia’s Security and the Rules Based Order Project at the Lowy Institute.

Areas of expertise: Disinformation, inauthentic behaviour, grey zone operations, propaganda, soft power, information warfare, broadcast and social media, information resilience.