February 10, 2023

Bureaucrat’s Gambit: Why Is Dmitry Rogozin Sending Russian Uncrewed Ground Vehicles to Ukraine—and Does It Matter?

On February 2, 2023, Russia’s Dmitry Rogozin—a former Roskosmos (space agency) director who has since reinvented himself as a frontline soldier in eastern Ukraine—announced on his Telegram channel that several Marker UGVs (uncrewed ground vehicles) have arrived in the Donbas. His message included a video of two UGVs offloaded from trucks, with a caption that included a promise to start uploading target images and combat algorithms (to the vehicle’s command-and-control modules), and to install antitank weapons, possibly to confront Western-provided Abrams and Leopard tanks.

The Marker’s appearance in the Donbas ahead of other, much larger and heavier vehicles may be more a reflection of a crafty former bureaucrat with the right connections than an actual MOD combat stress test

Russia’s Marker UGV has made the news rounds since its official unveiling around four years ago, mostly due to Russian state media advertising it as proof of the country’s high-tech research and development of sophisticated military weapons and systems. Developed jointly by the Advanced Research Foundation (ARF, a Russian organization with a similar mission set to the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and Android Technologies, one of Russia’s main developers of robotics, the Marker is presented as a test bed for autonomous, robotic and artificial intelligence technologies.

Read the full article from the Modern War Institute.

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