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Sunset over rural Crimea

Moscow believes support of separatist movements is rational.

The Kazakh View

October 2014, Number 05.04

“The events that took place in Ukraine, after the declaration in November 2013 that the Ukrainian leadership would not utilize the Eastern Partnership agreement with the European Union, clearly illustrate the growing importance and influence of irregular armed groups. The concept of “irregular armed groups” is not new by any means, but the idea of using this concept to explain current geopolitical trends is novel.

The West unequivocally condemned Russian interference in the Ukrainian crisis. One thing is clear: The smaller the geographical distance between your state and a state experiencing civil war, the less opportunity you have to make strategic choices. Conversely, the greater the distance separating you and insurgents demanding your assistance, the easier it will be for you to decline.

The situation is even more complicated in cases when deciding whether to support irredentists —i.e., citizens of another country who are ethnically close to your own countrymen. Refusing to provide support in such a case will inevitably lead to internal political destabilization and can even delegitimize the state authorities...”

Excerpt from Svetlana Kozhirova, “The Kazakh View,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 5, No. 4, 2014: 40-43.

Svetlana Kozhirova is a senior researcher at the Center for Military-Strategic Research of the Kazakhstan Ministry of Defense and also a professor of international relations at Eurasian National University in Astana.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.