Is there anything in the Russian Federation grand strategy?

Long-term planning looks like zigzagirovanie declared between puzzles and threatening reality

The question of the presence of the so-called Russian grand strategy is very entertaining. In the West, usually rooted in a world of Russian control of some deep obmyslennyh, purposeful and strategic plans vseobyatnyh determining foreign policy and military development in the long term.

Such plans were attributed to Western observers without exception Russian emperors — from Peter I to Nicholas II and all Russian favorites — from Lenin to Gorbachev. Accordingly, any acts of the Russian Federation and the Soviet Union were interpreted as appropriate to some long shirokomyslennym plans — even the most reflexive and improvised, such as, for example, as the invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.

Documents are friendly disposition

This trend continues to live in the West, and now, the good, single-minded, authoritarian style of Vladimir Fishing season in the policy making environment Tipo presence at today's Russian control long vision. On the other hand, specifically under Putin really were very active long-term strategy for the formation of a sample of the Russian Federation in the economy and politics of security. Although, of course, these samples were nearly all are the result of ideological zeal to ensure Putin transform its power into a perpetual, but they are all the same and reflect the intention to form a strategic vision.

The latest incarnation of a long planning security policy under Putin — Medvedev became Russian national security strategy of the Federation until 2020, approved by the Decree of President Dmitry Medvedev on 12 May 2009, and the Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation, signed the decree Medvedev on 5 February 2010.

Yet, in my opinion, at this point in Russia in the field of strategic planning there is a very mnogosmyslennyh situation in general suitable for Russian history, but more true manifested concretely in Putin's political system. This situation is true that Russia's policy in the sphere of security is very poorly to formalization, and accordingly, all formal schemes and texts designed to formulate the policy on the present and future, are fairly conventional, schematic and cut off from the real activity of temper. This fully applies to the various doctrines, strategies, plans and concepts in the abundance of Russian authorities issued in the last decade, not excepting the two last mentioned Tipo "fundamental" document (national security strategy and military doctrine). Therefore it is necessary perfectly aware that certain formal documents are not decisive for the actions of Russian rule, and are faster than the politically propagandistic (or more precisely say friendly) character.

Is there a Russian "grand strategy"?

The real Russian strategy of action (if it can generally use the term "strategy") is defined as an unusual compromise between the actions of different reasons, and the rest of the treatment groups and in almost all is a kind zigzagirovanie between the declared plans and puzzles and threatening reality. Russian policy under Putin has been and continues to be largely reactive, followed by the events that responds to external causes and difficult to describe in the definitions of long-term planning. This is facilitated and personal property of Vladimir Putin, which fugitive oligarch Boris Berezovsky, put it in the sense that "Putin is well able to take advantage of situations, but can not create the situation." Hence the de facto general prevalence in Putin's political strategy on the strategy.

On the other hand, it is hard not to build, that with all this, Putin has some fairly robust amount of views on the nature of the Russian state and its policies, and that Putin's OUTDOOR defense policy is based on some relatively strong performances. But specifically, these eyes so far are not very formalized and apparently only partially amenable to remodel.

In the end, it is necessary to point out that Putin's vision is partly opportunistic in nature, based on the mood of a significant majority of the population of the Russian Federation. Putin quickly follows these sentiments, but does not define them. Putin's eyes to a large extent correspond to the established consensus on security policy in the middle of the Russian population and Russian elites. This largely contributed to the breadth of support for Putin in the past decade, during the existence of the so-called Putin majority. And revealing that even at this point, during the collapse of the "Putin majority" issues of foreign policy and security policy are not actually in Russia subject to harsh debates and does not even contested by opposition politicians and layers (not counting quite so unbridled ultra-marginal) .

In general, speaking more broadly, we can say that in Russia we now look a few main sources of the main areas of security policy:

  • defining the vision and the amount of political and mental systems Putin as an authoritarian favorite, almost entirely sets the political agenda of the day or, as the practical activities of Putin;
  • formal declaration of the doctrine and strategy of the era of Putin and Medvedev's presidency;
  • common "natural" consensus vision and policy objectives in the field of security prevailing in Russian elites and the public.


If you can read about the existence of the Russian Federation "grand strategy", then the "big strategy"Represents a resultant integrated designated sources, and therefore it makes sense to try to give a concrete description of this result. So Makar, here referred specifically to attempt a kind of "reverse engineering" of today's Russian "grand strategy" and isolating the main parts that allow to realize the logic of the political elite of the country in making those or other security solutions. Focusing specifically on the issues of military qualities.

Russian consensus and controversy

Quite obvious that in Russia in the last decade and a half evenly formed a national consensus on the goals and objectives of the municipal building. The fundamental national objective in this vision may be referred to as the recovery of in the majestic power economically, politically and militarily. With all of this principle is the nuance of such vision and consciousness of Russian elites need to radically modernize the country specifically for the revival of its great power status.

Is there a Russian "grand strategy"?

In fact, specifically the interpretation of this formula and make the basis for determining the main directions of military construction, the main tasks of the Armed Forces RF, possible threats and potential enemies.

The main problem of Russian security policy in this section is that this aspiration is at variance with the policy of the United States and the West, which, in principle, not impartially show care for the strengthening of in the economic, political and military terms. On the other hand, our homeland, and the West are interested in the economic and political cooperat
ion, and the West is the main resource for the modernization of the Russian Federation.

It intends to present the entire mnogosmyslennyh nature of military-political relations between Russia and the West, where both parties hold each other regarding the controversial policy of "friendliness and restraint." Impartially, on the one hand, our home looks to the West as a prime resource for modernization, and on the other — the U.S. and the West once considered (and often justified), the main external obstacles to the restoration and modernization of the state and therefore as previously identified as possible enemies of Russia.

An additional complicating factor in this section are the business RF with the coming of her neighbors. We can say that in general, none of the countries bordering on Russia (including a large part of the former USSR), in principle, is not interested in the revival of Russia. Specifically, this event is the main prerequisite for their rampant pro-Western orientation, eagerness to join NATO, and so on. The nationalist post-Soviet education (first Baltic States, Ukraine and Georgia) is actually at the moment are the main problem of the concrete for the security of our country. Partly because of the Russian Federation is obliged to deal effectively with it all neighboring countries as potential enemies to one degree or another.

On the other hand, is of course, that the republics of the former Soviet Union are a natural sphere of state interests of. They are related to a myriad of social, political and economic threads from the Russian Federation. Therefore, from the standpoint of the Russian elite, the resurgence of Russia as a majestic power is impossible without saving Russian influence (and better and dominance) in the former Russian republics. The forms and methods of impact — the question of separate discussion. But it is clear that the preservation of this impact is impossible without breaking today's anti-Russian trends in the domestic and external policies of these republics, and without the intervention of the West in what is interpreted by Moscow as a "historic zone of Russian interests."

In the end, for Russia, the threat of terrorism and separatism.

Based on the above, we can conclude that Russia faces three main types of military threats (according to the degree of probability):

  • conflicts "post-Soviet type" as inside of in the form of a separatist rebellion and secession attempts and similar in nature, conflicts with the adjacent former Russian republics, in most of the self-perceiving Russia as a major threat to the sovereignty and their own interests in weakening though what method the impact on the Russian its territory and Russia as a country in general;
  • threat of conflict with the United States as the dominant superpower in the world today, and with the US-led "Western bloc";
  • ability conflicts with non-member states in the "Western bloc", first with China. At the current time, this type of risk is seen in almost all of the least of their own value due to the relatively small cross between the interests of the Russian Federation with such countries. Still need to see that Russia retains a fairly significant military potential in the Far East.


With all this considered a leading risk conflicts of the first type, which found a pleasant expression in orientation conducted since 2008 under the control of the Minister of Defense Serdyukov's military reform. Its essence lies in the transformation of the Armed Forces of the classic mobilization of the forces of constant high alert. Basic conceptual framework of military reform is a reorientation of the Russian Armed Forces to a new kind of role priemuschestvenno in limited conflicts such as the five-day campaign in 2008 against Georgia. Under these puzzles built and brand new structure of the Russian Armed Forces — Armed Forces should be more flexible, mobile, constantly combat-ready, able to Hassle-response and to harnessing the first in a limited-scale conflicts in the countryside Russian Federation and other countries of the former Soviet Union, also in adjacent areas.

It should be noted that our homeland stores and stores in the foreseeable future, complete military an advantage over the former post-Soviet countries, providing its military and strategic dominance in the territory of the former USSR. As for the military threat from the West, as can be seen, the main type of such danger — is the ability of the political and military involvement in the conflicts in the former Soviet Union from Western states. Such intervention is seen as the main threat to the public purposes of in the Eurasia.

Should send out another nuance. So intensely promoted by Russian concept of a "multipolar world" in itself for itself a priori conflict, giving the world the game "free forces", including the power. "A lot of poles" on the planet will inevitably compete among themselves and try to surround themselves with their areas of influence. This means that our homeland should be mentally prepared to fight for their position and must possess a fairly powerful military capabilities to bear on him in this fight. Certainly, with the Russian military and industrial capability, stable imperial traditions and unique geopolitical position in the center of Eurasia, Russia is much greater than other nations capable of acquiring positions of one of the strongest powers. Therefore, from the standpoint of Moscow, a multipolar world (and even partially geopolitical chaos) is beneficial for Russia, creating a unique ability to promote Russian interests.

With all of this at once Russian Federation has a policy of expanding relations with Western countries, also is no longer with the West in a state of ideological confrontation. In the end, Moscow must reckon with the rise of new forces in the world — first in China.

The composition of these reasons causes so Makarov, Russia to conduct multi-vector military construction, preparing to repel a wide range of threats, and in parallel with the preparation of a variety of probable types of conflict — from counterinsurgency, and interventions in the former Russian republics to the likely large-scale conventional land war with NATO or China and global nuclear war with the United States. Indeed, such a multi-vector makes great difficulties for the development of the Armed Forces and defense planning, particularly in combination with a large territory of the Russian Federation and the length of its borders and in the criteria for the continuing lack of resources.

So Makar, the main specific objectives of Russian military building can be defined:

  • provision of military and political pressure on the domestic and foreign policies of the former Russian republics and the application to them of military force if requested by the municipal interests;
  • U.S. military deterrence and NATO countries, first in order to prevent Western intervention in conflicts in the former Soviet Union and in the likely actions of the Russian Federation in relation to the former Russian republics;
  • role in the suppression of internal threats of separatism and terrorism.

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