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An RS-24 Yars/SS-27 Mod 2 solid-propellant intercontinental ballistic missile during the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War, May 9, 2015 in Moscow, Russia. The Victory Day parade commemorates the end of World War II in Europe.

Understanding Russia’s regional reach

Russia’s 21st Century Imperialism

October 2021, Number 11.04

“Russia conceives of itself as a great power, with Moscow as the controlling civilizational center within a geopolitical bloc, a sphere of influence that encapsulates “historical Russia.” As such, Russia has the historical duty to act as the “sword and the shield” within this space. Russia determines who is friend and who is enemy, the extent to which third-party activity can occur, and the strategic orientation of lesser, controlled states within the sphere. We can identify five fundamental drivers of Russian strategic behavior that help explain its interactions with states within its sphere: regime continuity and great power status; threat perception; ingrained imperial attitudes; ability to effectively coerce as the ultimate means of legitimizing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s political authority; and a return to messianism in foreign policy...”

Excerpt from Graeme P. Herd, “Russia’s 21st Century Imperialism,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 11, No. 4, 2021: 7-9.

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