From Stalin to Putin: Russian Strategic Culture in the XXI Century, Its Continuity, and Change

By Polina Sinovets

The last two years have attracted the world’s attention to Russia. The annexation of Crimea, the hybrid war in Eastern Ukraine, and finally the unexpected interference in Syria—all these actions bring us back to the question of understanding the Russian motivation properly. Generally, it includes the whole interpretation of Russian strategic culture which is based on the research and analysis of the different factors: from literature and history to religion and political nature of the Russian state. Significant attempts to understand Moscow’s strategic culture were made by the American experts during the Cold War; therefore the article analyzes the main pillars of Russian strategic culture, its continuity and change in comparison to Soviet times as well as the main reactions of Moscow for what it considers to be a threat.