Technologies of asymmetric counteraction to external aggression and ways of their effective development

On August 2, 2020, a round table on "Technologies of asymmetric counteraction to external aggression and ways of their effective development" was held by the Ukrainian Security Studies Institute (USSI) in Ukrinform Agency.


Volodymyr Gorbulin – Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Ukrainian  Security Studies Institute, Academician, First Vice President of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Member of the Supervisory Board of Ukroboronprom;

Oleksiy Danilov – Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine;

Oleh Uruskyi – Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine – Minister for Strategic Industries of Ukraine;

Valentyn Badrak – the USSI Board member, Director of the Center for Army, Conversion and Disarmament Studies (CACDS);

Serhiy Zgurets – the USSI Board member, Director of the « Defense Express media and consulting company».

The chairman of the USSI Supervisory Board, Volodymyr Gorbulin opened the round table discussion speaking on Ukrainian technologies  and the extraordinary changes in the way modern wars are waged in the world.

First, we all understand that incomparable military potentials will not allow Ukraine to achieve victory in direct confrontation, in the field. On the other hand there is an unprecedented increase in the aggressiveness of Putin’s Russia this year – for the first time since Ilovaisk and Debaltseve. Russia not only has not abandoned its intention to reshape Ukraine in its own way, but is carefully honing all available levers. Among them, the military occupies a decisive place. At this stage, Russia is deliberately waging a low-tech war against us, since it allows to refuse to be a party to the conflict.

But it may not always be so, and we must be prepared for this. And to prepare not a linear, direct response, but an asymmetric one. ” – Mr. Gorbulin stressed.

«Given the hybrid nature of threats to Ukraine, when creating an asymmetric potential to counter the aggressor, it would be quite logical to combine a number of components,»- the academician emphasized.

«In particular,- non-force levers and power capabilities. We refer to non-force levers the development of counterintelligence, intelligence agencies and special information structures that can prevent deployed Moscow information terror, conducting information and psychological operations with cyberattacks, social networks and the media use.

«We refer to power capabilities as territorial defense in the form of formalized and legally enshrined system, professional high-tech Armed Forces with developed elements of asymmetric counteraction. These elements include the implemented missile programs that will allow to hit strategic enemy targets at a distance (first 300-500 km, and in the future – up to 1500 km).»- Mr. Gorbulin said.

Аcademician Gorbulin also expressed the opinion that prerequisites for the creation of high-tech Armed Forces in Ukraine do exist. That is why we pin great hopes on the defense-industrial reform, which is now beginning with the establishement of the Ministry for Strategic Industries and the appointment of the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine – Minister of Strategic Industries of Ukraine.

“For the first time in the last 20 years, it is possible to create a triangle ” science-industry-Armed Forces»  under the political leadership of our higher authorities.

The most important goal of this reform is to strengthen the capacity to build national defense through active, systematic rearmament and effective introduction of new technologies in the field of defense. “We have all entered the zone of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. And instead of lagging behind in terms of building defense capabilities, we should immediately make a hyper leap.»-Volodymyr Gorbulin said in conclusion.

Oleh Urusky , Deputy Prime Minister for the military-industrial complex, Minister for Strategic Industries of Ukraine announced the total change in the entire management of Ukroboronprom  in the nearest future.

“Both leadership and management of the “Ukroboronprom” State Concern will be changed in the nearest future. “This was stated during a round table in Ukrinform by Oleg Urusky, Vice Prime Minister for Strategic Industries of Ukraine.

” Ukroboronprom ” Concern is being a subject to significant transformation, because it cannot exist in the form it exists today. Management will also be changed, as far as I know, in the nearest future there should be a change in the leadership of the concern and the entire team that worked there for the last year, “- Mr. Urusky said.

The vice-premier added that the name of the Ukroboronprom concern may also be changed, because “this name has already become toxic in Ukraine.”

In addition, Mr. Urusky added that Ukroboronprom will turn into a state managed company.

“It will be a management company with completely different functions and with minimum  interference in the economic activities of the holdings,” – Oleh Urusky explained.

According to him, an aerospace holding company to unite the State Space Agency enterprises  and aviation enterprises,  Antonov State Enterprise in particular,  will also be established.

Also Mr. Urusky informed that all the corporatized enterprises of the State Space Agency will form “Yuzhny” (South) Rocket and Space Center in Ukraine. This center will also become part of an aerospace holding company.

It was stated by Vice Prime Minister – Minister for Strategic Industries of Ukraine Oleg Urusky during a round table in Ukrinform that the defense industry reform provides the corporatization of the military-industrial complex companies and enterprises.

“Speaking of the main elements of this reform we mean the corporatization of defense industry enterprises. We must decide who will remain a player on the field in the defense industry, because the same Ukroboronprom concern has a number of enterprises which no longer belong to the defense industry. There are also those that are economically unprofitable today, “- Mr. Urusky said.

He informed also that after determining the list of remaining in the structure enterprises which will serve as bricks to build up the Ukrainian defense industrial complex, corporatization of these enterprises will be carried out, while at the first stage, 100% of the shares to be owned by the state.

“This will radically change the approaches to enterprise management. Thus, approximately 5 to 8 areas for economic associations will be determined, such as precision weapons, radar systems, shipbuilding, special chemicals and ammunition, armored vehicles, “- Vice Prime Minister said.

Within the framework of the reform the management of the Ministry for Strategic Industries will establish two holding companies, one with the conditional name “Defense Systems of Ukraine”,  on the Ukroboronprom basis and the second company will be an aerospace company, formed by the enterprises of the State Space Agency, aviation enterprises, Antonov State Enterprise in particular.

Mr. Urusky also announced the creation of an Agency for Defense Technologies and added that this will be executed in cooperation of the Ministry with the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

“I think it makes sense for the Central Research Institute for Armaments and Military Equipment to join this process, as well as the Applied Sciences Section of the National Academy of Sciences … This way we will be able to create an effective platform to form a new vision and to look significantly ahead “.

According to Mr. Urusky, the transformation of the defense industry requires a long period of time, however, it is important that it does not drag on for years and effective results to be achieved under the presidency of Volodymyr Zelensky: “One or two years. We have no more time.”

Mr. Urusky also said that the Ministry of Defense “needs a revolution, because we live by Soviet approaches,” and they need to be substantially revised, since they restrain the development of industry.”

Oleksiy Danilov – Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine – during the round table “Technologies of asymmetric counteraction to external aggression and ways of their effective development” stated that the development of human potential and training of specialists in the security and defense sphere is a key condition for the formation of a powerful defense-industrial complex.

According to Mr. Danilov, thanks to the efforts of the NSDC Staff, a comprehensive analysis was conducted and a joint stance with the Office of the President of Ukraine was developed on the process of reforming the defense-industrial complex and developing relevant long-term and medium-term defense planning documents.

This resulted, in particular, in the adoption in February 2020 of a strategic decision to establish a relevant ministry – the Ministry for Strategic Industries of Ukraine and introduce the post of Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine responsible of the development of strategic technologies and innovations, whose powers include the issues of reforming the defense-industrial complex and developing the space industry.

Mr. Danilov stressed that one of the key conditions for the formation of a powerful defense-industrial complex is primarily the development of human potential in the industry. “Without people, without the brains of Ukrainians, we will not win”, – he said adding that the NSDC Staff conducted an analysis of the state of higher education and training in the national security and defense sphere, which will soon be submitted to President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

According to the NSDC Secretary, cyber, biological and information wars are coming to the forefront in the world today, and “the whole world today fight a war through intelligence”, which requires Ukraine to take decisions relevant to modern threats.

Touching upon the issue of financing the security and defense sector of Ukraine, Mr. Danilov stressed that this year the largest amount of financing for all the years of independence is envisaged – 246 billion hryvnias.

In this context, the priorities for the formation of the powerful defense industry, according to Mr. Danilov, are the further development of advanced missile systems, the development of domestic aviation and cyber defense systems.

“Existing government programs make us hostages of the past”,- Serhiy Zgurets, the USSI Board member and the director of the « Defense Express» media and consulting company» said during the round table.

According to Mr. Zgurets, we have become hostages of state programs. “There is a presidential decree on updating existing programs, namely the program of the Armed Forces of Ukraine development and the defense industry development program, the ammunition program and others. The realization of the mentioned programs is just about opening those doors that are very important for us – robotization, artificial intelligence, databases and  large amounts data processing  algorithms, etc.  These important components provide precisely the technological vision of the future and do not exist in our programs …

In addition, Sergei Zgurets noted that representatives of private companies are concerned about  state funds for production development expense, because the rules of the game are structured in such a way that those existing state funds can only be used by state-owned companies.

“Let us recall Radionics, on whose potential the implementation of the “Neptune” program depends. The creation of control complexes is a bottleneck: there is a sufficient number of units of a modern machine tool park with minimum tolerances required for this enterprise, but so far the rules of the game do not allow private company to be a full-fledged participant. Those rules of the game must be changed! “- stressed Serhiy Zgurets.

According to Mr. Zgurets, another need for private enterprises creating  new  technological models (for example, homing heads) is a modern element base.

«This modern element base, unfortunately, is manufactured by a certain number of developed countries and these countries sometimes treat us as a reservation. We cannot receive those elements that will provide us with a real step forward. And this is a question directly to the government: to find a way and to get access to such an element base. If technological countries do not allow us to obtain such components, then we need to look for partners with less ambitions, but more inclined to cooperate. Working with countries such as Turkey may become a stage in the acquisition of new competencies and will facilitate the transfer of certain components to our industrial base. “- Serhiy Zgurets said.

«The aggression of the Russian Federation should be resisted through the reform of the “defense industry –  Valentyn Badrak , the USSI  Board member and Director of the Center for Army, Conversion and Disarmament Studies (CACDS) stressed during the round table of the USSI.

According to Mr. Badrak, an asymmetric approach to countering the Russian aggressor can be efficient and effective.

Mr. Badrak also said that  format change of the national defense industrial complex is the main condition for technological growth.

“Now Ukraine is approaching the long-awaited reform of the defense industry and the high-tech sector, it is what USSI experts insisted on for a long time. Representatives of the non-governmental analytical sector are especially pleased that the developed model is almost 100 percent identical to the one we proposed in 2019.

«Now we all  hope for the wisdom and consistency of the reformers’ team, as well as for government and it`s structures close interaction, as well as with the private sector, which can become a driving force for technological growth, “- said Valentyn Badrak in conclusion.