The active phase of the Russian invasion of Ukraine was supposed to take 10 days, after which Moscow planned to occupy the country and annex its territories by August. This is stated in the report of the British Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), which was prepared by military experts Jack Watling and Nick Reynolds, as well as the former head of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Danilyuk and the ex-commander of the Air Assault Forces of Ukraine Mikhail Zabrodsky.
According to the original plan, the Russian occupation forces were to quickly occupy Kyiv through rapid and sudden advances and disinformation campaigns that were calculated to keep Ukrainian troops away from the capital.
During the initial stage of the war, disinformation campaigns allowed invaders to achieve a numerical advantage of 12:1 in the territories north of Kyiv. The authors of the report draw attention to the fact that the degree of secrecy of the invasion plan was so high that the military leadership at the level of deputy chiefs of departments of the General Staff learned about it a few days before the start of the war. As a result, the Russian troops in their positions turned out to be absolutely unprepared for the implementation of the plan.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian side managed to achieve great success in terms of disinformation. Thus, the Ukrainian Armed Forces camouflaged their air bases by stretching 1:1 scale photographs of blown up hangars over them, the report says. According to experts, this even led the Russian military to seriously discuss the possibility of using underground airfields by Ukrainian troops.
In addition, the report cites the use of HIMARS MLRS mockups in order to force the Russian military to spend ammunition to destroy them.