- A new approach to high energy evolution based on a linear equation for QCD generating functional is developed. This approach opens a possibility for systematic study of correlations inside targets, and, in particular, inside realistic nuclei. Our results are presented as three new equations. The first one is a linear equation for QCD generating functional (and for scattering amplitude) that sums the ‘fan’ diagrams. For the amplitude this equation is equivalent to the non-linear Balitsky–Kovchegov equation. The second equation is a generalization of the Balitsky–Kovchegov non-linear equation to interactions with realistic nuclei. It includes a new correlation parameter which incorporates, in a model-dependent way, correlations inside the nuclei. The third equation is a non-linear equation for QCD generating functional (and for scattering amplitude) that in addition to the ‘fan’ diagrams sums the Glauber–Mueller multiple rescatterings.