Discerning the early stages of the rebirth of a new Russian empire from the ashes of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Putin and Russia’s Imperial Revival argues that Russia’s recent overtly aggressive actions and foreign policy doctrines have signaled a renewal of the Cold War. At the least, Russia’s actions represent the potential for renewal. This book explains these developments in a historical context.
The book begins by describing Russia’s initial policy of rapprochement after the collapse of the Soviet Union and its development into a foreign policy of threatened or actual armed aggression. It identifies today’s Russia as a nation determined to re-establish itself as a political and military force. As a prominent figure in the development and continuation of its current foreign policy, Vladimir Putin plays a central role in the topics covered.
Previous literature often treats Putin as an individual phenomenon examining his connections to corruption or the secret police, but here David E. McNabb examines him as the latest in a long history of Russian despots who followed similar expansionist policies. He details some of the tactics Putin uses to instill fear and dominate political policies of republics newly independent from Russia. These tactics include the use of energy as a weapon, cyber terrorism, and military support for ethnic Russian separatists in other sovereign nations, most recently exemplified by Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine via armed invasion.
In an attempt to demystify Russia’s re-emergence as an international political force, Vladimir Putin and Russia’s Imperial Revival grounds its analyses in history. It explores as far back as the establishment of the first Russian empire, and regards Putin as a leader determined to establish a fifth imperial incarnation. It provides a nuanced understanding of how Russia arrived at its current position through recent and distant internal and international events.
Table of Contents
A MILLENNIUM OF EMPIRE BUILDING
The Collapse and Rebirth of an Empire
Rebuilding a Nation
Shaping Putin’s Foreign Policy
Rise of the Phoenix
Regaining Status Lost
Ending Ties with the West
A Renewal of the Cold War?
Resurrecting Relations with "Special-Interest" Neighbors
Stages in the Building of a Russian Empire
The Kievan Rus Empire
The Muscovite Empire
The Romanov Empire
The Soviet Empire
FROM UNCERTAINTY TO SUPREME CONFIDENCE
Russia’s Foreign Policy in Transition
Factors Shaping Post-Soviet Foreign Policy
A New Role for Russia?
Rebuilding the State
Russia, the EU, and NATO
The Putin-Era Foreign Policy of Consolidation
Evolution of the Consolidation Policy
Putin-Era Foreign Relations
Foreign Policy Goals
Russia’s Use of Soft Power
Building Defensive Barriers
Building Barriers in the West
Building Barriers in the East
Colonization and Deportation in the Conquered Territories
RUSSIA’S FOREIGN POLICY WEAPONS
Reforming and Rearming Russia’s Military
The Need for Reforms
2000-2008 Military Reforms
2008-2015 Military Reforms and Reorganizations
All-Forces Personnel Reductions
Rearming the Russian Military
Russia’s Undeclared Cyber Wars
2007: Cyber War with Estonia
2008: Cyber War with Lithuania
2009: Kyrgyzstan under Cyber Attack
2009: Cyber and Shooting War with Georgia
Cyber Wars with Ukraine
The Energy Weapon in Russia’s Foreign Policy
State Control of Energy Resources
Control of Transit Routes and Modes
Means for Implementing the Energy Weapon
Acquiescence of Target Countries
RUSSIA’S FOREIGN POLICY IN ACTION
Russian Aggression in Ukraine: Empire Revival
History of Russian-Ukraine Relations
What Happens Next?
Russian Intimidation in the Baltic and Nordic States
Future Regional Security Scenarios
Changes in the West’s View of Post-Soviet Russia
Russian Foreign Policy after Putin
What Role for Russia?
The Putin/Medvedev Power Vertical
Alternative Foreign Policy Strategies
The Recurring Foreign Policy Aim
Implications for the West
Russia’s Relations with the West
Scenarios for a Russia after Putin
David E. McNabb, PhD, is a professor emeritus at Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Washington; an adjunct professor at Olympic College, Bremerton, Washington; and a recent consultant for an agency of the federal government. He earned his PhD at Oregon State University. He has authored 12 books with another forthcoming, is a joint author of two books, and author or joint author of nearly 100 articles and conference papers. His research interests are in the transformation of government institutions in the United States and in the Baltic states. He is or has been a member of several organizations related to political science, public administration, and European studies.