1st Edition

Reassessing Russia's Security Policy

By Nurlan Aliyev Copyright 2024

    This book provides a detailed analysis of the evolution of Russia’s security policy. Based on extensive original research, including an analysis of official documents, political and military elite speeches, interviews, and reports, and considering the subject from the early 20th century onward, the book evaluates how far Russia’s security policy is underpinned by “strategic asymmetry”—the acceptance by Russia of its inferior military position, and the pursuit of its strategic aims through the application of a variety of methods, military and non-military, including the manipulation of public opinion, the use of economic leverage, and external security approaches—known as Russia’s “hybrid war operations”—to gain the advantage over a militarily and economically superior adversary. The book discusses how Russia’s security policy has been and is being applied in specific cases, including the present war in Ukraine, the Russian anti-satellite program, and Russia’s contemporary Afghan policy. The aim of the book is to explain how and why Russia uses different security strategies and methods using these three cases.

    Acknowledgments viii

    Introduction 1

    1 The evolution of Russian security thought 7

    2 Determinants of Russia’s security policy 41

    3 The Soviet legacy of Russia’s security policy 81

    4 Evolution of the Russian Federation’s security concept 116

    5 Functions of Russia’s foreign security policy: New approaches 147

    6 The implementation of Russia’s foreign policy and the role of its security policy 192

    7 Russia’s security and foreign policy approaches: Ukraine, star wars, and Afghanistan 229

    Why does Russia prefer strategic asymmetry? 280

    Index 288


    Nurlan Aliyev is a lecturer in the University of Economics and Human Sciences in Warsaw, Poland.