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RUSSIA'S WAR AGAINST UKRAINE: SECURITY DILEMMA OR WHAT?

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Abstract

In the spring of 2021, particularly in March and April, international news agencies began reporting Russian military build-up along Ukraine’s borders and in the Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014. Although the war rhetoric in news agencies relatively softened over the summer, it has begun to escalate once again starting from October 2021 which led to Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine on 24 February 2022. This article seeks to answer the following questions: Why did Russia decide to invade Ukraine despite its upper hand in the peace negotiations with Kyiv? What is Russia’s endgame in Ukraine? Should we focus on relations between Russia and the United States, bypassing Ukraine, to find out a plausible explanation for the war? To what extent do Putin’s personal desires play a role in escalating tensions?
18
Nisan 2022 • Sayı: 10
Russia-Ukraine War: A Gateway to Chaos in Eurasia?/Rusya-Ukrayna Savașı: Avrasya’da Kaosa Aralanan Kapı mı? - 1
RUSSIA’S WAR AGAINST UKRAINE:
SECURITY DILEMMA OR WHAT?
Assoc. Prof. Ibrahim Muradov
Department of International Relations and Audit, Dnipro University of Technology, Dnipro, Ukraine
In the spring of 2021, particularly in March and April,
international news agencies began reporting Russian
military build-up along Ukraine’s borders and in the
Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in
2014. It is estimated that Russia has deployed about
80,000 - 120,000 troops on the Ukrainian border in the
spring of 2021.1Russias military build-up led to a phone
call between US President Joe Biden and his Russian
counterpart, Vladimir Putin.2Nevertheless, the phone
conversation between the leaders did not yield any tangi-
ble results. Yuri Ushakov, Putins foreign policy adviser,
for example, noted that there was little reason to be opti-
mistic. Likewise, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said
that the negotiations were not easy.3Meanwhile, US of-
ficials claimed that most of the soldiers remained in their
positions, even though Russias Ministry of Defense an-
nounced that it had ordered its soldiers to return to their
bases by May 1st .4Although the war rhetoric in news
agencies relatively softened over the summer, it has begun
to escalate once again starting from October 2021 which
led to Russias full-scale war against Ukraine on 24 Feb-
ruary 2022.
This article seeks to answer the following questions:
Why did Russia decide to invade Ukraine despite its
upper hand in the peace negotiations with Kyiv? What is
Russias endgame in Ukraine? Should we focus on rela-
tions between Russia and the United States, bypassing
Ukraine, to find out a plausible explanation for the war?
To what extent do Putin’s personal desires play a role in
escalating tensions? To answer these questions, we need
to divide our way of thinking into at least three levels of
analysis: systemic, state, and individual. To do that, it
would be useful to begin with examining the enigma
through the systemic level of analysis.
Was It Related to NATO Enlargement?
Even in the early 1990’s when liberal euphoria reigned
in the country, the Kremlin had begun to voice its dissat-
isfaction with the West’s attitude towards Russia. NATO’s
Operation Deliberate Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina
alerted the Russian authorities in 1995. Regarding the op-
eration, Yeltsin stated: “NATO expansion would mean
the return of ‘the flames of war’ to Europe”.5Russian
complaints about NATO’s eastward expansion intensified
dramatically under the Putin administration. In his well-
known speech at the Munich Conference on Security Pol-
icy in 2007, Putin stated: “I think it is obvious that
NATO expansion does not have any relation with the
modernization of the Alliance itself or with ensuring se-
curity in Europe. On the contrary, it represents a serious
Russia blames NATO enlargement for the escalation of tensions in its relations with the
West. For Moscow, NATO's eastward expansion poses a threat to Russia's national security.
In fact, Russia indicates the unipolar international order as the source of the escalation.
provocation that reduces the level of mutual trust. And
we have the right to ask: against whom is this expansion
intended?” 6
Regarding Russia’s military build-up on Ukraine’s
borders, Russia initially demanded a highly controversial
list of security guarantees, including a ban on Ukraine’s
membership in NATO and a demand to limit troop de-
ployments to NATO’s eastern flank. In essence, the
Kremlin demanded that NATO forces be returned to the
positions where they were deployed in 1997. The Krem-
lin’s proposed agreement clearly demanded: “All member
states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization commit
themselves to refrain from any further enlargement of
NATO, including the accession of Ukraine as well as
other States.7
All in all, Russia blames NATO enlargement for the
escalation of tensions in its relations with the West. For
Moscow, NATO’s eastward expansion poses a threat to
Russias national security. In fact, Russia indicates the
unipolar international order as the source of the escala-
tion. In his abovementioned speech in 2007, Putin
blamed the USA for its attempt to design a unilateral
world order. According to Russian officials, NATO en-
largement is not independent of the unipolar world order
that the USA has forced the whole world to accept. On
the contrary, the Kremlin emphasizes that it has no choice
but to take countermeasures against the insecurity created
by the unipolar world order. In this sense, it can be de-
ductively asserted that the crisis in Ukraine, from
Moscow’s point of view, stems from an ‘unfair’ interna-
tional order.
This reasoning can be simplified under the heading
of the international systemic level of analysis and can be
concluded that, for the Kremlin, the current world order
poses a threat to Russia’s national security and therefore
its response is reflective. The systemic level of analysis pro-
vides an explanation for international outcomes in rela-
tion to the impact of the international system on
Looking at the war in Ukraine
from a systemic perspective,
the crisis stems from the
transformation of the international
system from bipolar to unipolar.
AVRASYA DÜNYASI
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Russia’s War Against Ukraine: Security Dilemma or What?
April 2022 • No: 10
international actors. In other words, the systemic level of
analysis elucidates the relationship between the interna-
tional system and state behaviors. Advocates of the sys-
temic level of analysis, the frequency of the outbreak of
wars in international relations varies depending on the
types of the international system (unipolar, bipolar, mul-
tipolar, etc). For instance, John J. Mearsheimer, in his
often-cited article published in 1990, claimed that a mul-
tipolar world would be more violent than a bipolar one.8
Looking at the war in Ukraine from a systemic perspec-
tive, the crisis stems from the transformation of the in-
ternational system from bipolar to unipolar. According to
Moscow, post-cold war NATO’s eastward expansion
caused a ‘security dilemma.’ The situation in which the
measures taken by State A to ensure its own security cause
the insecurity of State B, and therefore the countermea-
sures of state B, is called the ‘security dilemma’ in inter-
national relations. In this respect, Russia’s actions can be
justified and even called defensive rather than offensive
actions.
However, considering only the international systemic
level of analysis would be inadequate to finalize our ar-
gument on recent Russia’s war against Ukraine. It would
be insufficient because, first, NATO’s expansion into Rus-
sia’s borders does not take place with Ukraine’s possible
NATO membership. Since its inception, NATO has been
on the borders of Russia, as Norway is a founding mem-
ber of the organization. In addition, NATO enlargement
to the Russian borders took place with the membership
of the Baltic states in 2004. Second, although NATO fol-
lows an open-door policy, it did not give any sign of
Ukraine’s membership in the organization. Even at the
Bucharest NATO Summit in April 2008, NATO leaders
avoided offering Membership Action Plan (MAP) to
Ukraine which is the first step to enter NATO.9The MAP
for Ukraine has been off the NATO agenda since the no-
torious August 2008 War between Russia and Georgia.
Just before the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of
Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz made it clear,
once again, that Ukraine’s NATO membership was prac-
tically not on the agenda.10 Nevertheless, the Kremlin, as
mentioned above, demanded security guarantees from the
West, including the prevention of Ukraine’s NATO mem-
bership. Consequently, NATO enlargement alone hardly
explains Russias war against Ukraine, and further expla-
nations are therefore needed.
Was It about Putin?
Alongside the international systemic level of analysis,
the individual level of analysis is worth considering to
broaden our understanding of why Moscow launched a
war against Ukraine. Proponents of the individual level
of analysis argue that war arises from human nature or
behavior. Those who think that violent conflict is embed-
ded in human nature tend to generalize human action.
In contrast, advocates of the individual level of analysis,
blaming human behavior as a source of warfare, mainly
pay attention to human psychology, characteristics,
worldview, or environment to shed light on the causes of
war.11 Regarding Russias war against Ukraine, the focus
will be on Putin’s worldview rather than human nature,
which cannot help us to explain this particular war. It is
worth considering this level of analysis because few can
deny the significance of Putin in the recent war between
Russia and Ukraine. For instance, in his July 2021 article,
Putin explicitly states that Russians and Ukrainians are
‘one people’ and the sovereignty of Ukraine depends on
its relations with Russia. “I am confident that the true
sovereignty of Ukraine is possible only in partnership with
Russia.”12 Moreover, Putin considers Ukraine as an artifi-
cial country created by Lenin during the establishment of
the Soviet Union.13 He claims that Ukraine has never had
a tradition of genuine statehood. Putin alleges that mod-
ern Ukraine was founded on the historical territory of
Russia.14
According to some experts, Putin seeks to re-establish
Moscow’s control over Ukraine for his reputation. For in-
stance, Mark Galeotti, a London-based scholar on Russ-
ian security affairs, pointed out that the tension between
Kyiv and Moscow (before the war) was not about Russia
but Putin.15 Galeotti claimed that Russians see Ukrainians
as part of the ‘family.’ In other words, a possible war be-
tween Ukraine and Russia would be unpopular among
Russians and may even damage Putin’s credibility. Gale-
otti added that Putin is very curious about his historical
legacy. For Galeotti, “The last thing he [Putin] wants is
for his legacy in the history books to be the guy who lost
Ukraine”. 16 In short, Putin wants to consolidate his place
in history by re-establishing Russian control over its
neighbor.
Commenting on the crisis, Taras Kuzio, professor at
the National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy, stated:
“The roots of this artificial crisis lie in Putins pan-Rus-
sianist obsession that Ukraine is a ‘Russian land’ and
Ukrainians are a branch of the pan-Russian nation. Every-
thing else flows from that. If Ukraine is ‘Russian’ it has no
The individual level of analysis
suggests that the recent Russia’s
war against Ukraine stems from
Putin's worldview to secure his
position in the history books as a
leader who brings the ‘stolen’ Ukraine
back into the Russian orbit.
AVRASYA DÜNYASI
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Assoc. Prof. Ibrahim Muradov
Nisan 2022 • Sayı: 10
right to decide a destiny separate from Russia.17 Alexander
Baunov, a senior researcher at the Carnegie Moscow Cen-
ter, drew attention to the relationship between the Krem-
lin’s control over Kyiv and Putin’s political career. Baunov
underlines: “It appears that what he manages to achieve
in Ukraine will be the deciding factor in whether or not
Putin stays on after 2024.18 Others argue that Putin wants
Ukraine back to Moscow’s orbit to “correct what he has
long viewed as a catastrophe of the 20th century: the dis-
integration of the former Soviet Union.19
The individual level of analysis suggests that the re-
cent Russias war against Ukraine stems from Putin’s
worldview to secure his position in the history books as a
leader who brings the ‘stolen’ Ukraine back into the Russ-
ian orbit. Nevertheless, the individual level of analysis
would be too narrow to provide a genuine understanding
of the war. The individual level can hardly ensure a satis-
factory explanation to, for example, the foreign policy of
Russia towards Ukraine prior to Putin’s presidency since
the relations between Moscow and Kyiv were not easy
even in the 1990s. The former one was not very eager to
recognize Ukraine’s independence and explicitly restricted
Kyiv’s sovereignty through its military base at Sevastopol,
in Crimea.
If systemic and individual levels of analysis fail to pro-
vide a full account of Russias aggression against Ukraine,
then we must approach the issue through the lens of state-
level analysis, which will be the focus of the following sec-
tion.
State-level of Analysis and
Russia’s War Against Ukraine
The state-level analysis focuses on political or eco-
nomic models of states to understand their foreign policy
orientations. In other words, those who try to explain the
main driving force behind the origin of the war in the
context of state-level analysis argue that certain political
or economic models are more likely to cause war, regard-
less of the behavior of individuals or types of the interna-
tional system.20 Besides, the sociological structure of a
society can be taken into account in addition to the po-
litical and economic models of states, to reveal the source
of the war. In short, the state-level of analysis suggests
opening the ‘black boxes’ (as the structuralists see the
states) to comprehend the origin of war. In this study, the
state-level analysis will be considered as a guide to under-
standing the final phase of Russias war against Ukraine.
The state-level analysis will not be considered as a guide
because it explains any war better than other levels of
analysis. In essence, each level of analysis may be more re-
vealing than other levels of analysis for a particular war,
depending on the circumstances. State-level analysis was
adopted as the main point of view of this study, as it is
more in line with the developments that led to the war.
Let’s start with the Orange Revolution in Ukraine. In
2004, the Ukrainian people managed to say ‘no’ to Rus-
sia’s favorite candidate, Viktor Yanukovych, during the
presidential election. Instead, pro-European candidate
Viktor Yushchenko became the new president of Ukraine.
Although at first Ukrainian-Russian relations were nega-
tively affected by the victory of the pro-European candi-
date, its influence did not last long as Yanukovych
remained a decisive figure in Ukrainian politics; he be-
came the prime minister in 2006 and the president in
2010. However, the Euromaidan Revolution, which
began at the end of 2013, turned everything upside down
for Moscow. The Kremlin-backed Yanukovych was
ousted, and a new era commenced in Ukrainian politics
that determined relations with Moscow. In return,
Moscow illegally annexed the Crimean Peninsula and
destabilized Eastern Ukraine in 2014.
Although Kyiv managed to ensure stability in Kharkiv
and Odesa, it could not fully regain control over Donetsk
and Lugansk oblasts (Donbas region) due to Russia’s di-
rect and indirect involvement in the war. In Moscow’s
view, despite all the negative developments in relation to
Kyiv, the situation was not so bad. It is no secret that nei-
ther the EU nor NATO has offered Ukraine membership,
even after Russias war against Ukraine since 2014. Al-
though previously someone could claim that Ukraine
could become a member of these organizations, obviously,
after the destabilization of the Donbas, there was no seri-
ous prospect of any membership. Moreover, by calling the
conflict a civil war ,the Kremlin succeeded to design itself
as a mediator in the context of the Minsk Agreements,
the first of which was signed in September 2014 and the
second in February 2015. The agreements evidently
showed that Moscow authorities were plotting against
Kyiv. The agreements were aimed at granting autonomy
status to the Donbas region, which, in other words,
meant the federalization of Ukraine. In the meantime, it
should be noted that Kyiv signed the agreements because
it had no choice to prevent further casualties first, in the
August 2014 war, and second, in the February 2015 war.
It is vital to understand why Russia put its advanta-
geous position at risk by escalating the situation since
Russia held the upper hand in the peace negotiations, in
which the process itself guaranteed Moscow’s interests
along with its consequences if implemented. The straight-
forward answer to this question is time, and connected to
both the Russian and Ukrainian political systems. From
the beginning of the Orange and then Euromaidan revo-
lutions, Russian officials, media, and elites developed a
specific political discourse on the developments of
Ukrainian politics. The newly elected government in
AVRASYA DÜNYASI
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Russia’s War Against Ukraine: Security Dilemma or What?
April 2022 • No: 10
AVRASYA DÜNYASI
Ukraine was labeled a junta regime, while Euromaidan
proponents were called fascists. They viewed the Ukrain-
ian political formation as illegal and a puppet of the West.
Either propgating or truly believing that Ukraine is
not a real state, the Russians thought that the collapse
of Ukraine would happen very soon. The Russian au-
thorities, elites, and media that make up the Russian po-
litical structure hoped very much to see Ukraine’s failure
in the post-Euromaidan era because it is directly related
to the existence of their political regime. Russian polit-
ical discourse is based on the assumption that they have
a distinctive civilization and thereby a sui-generis politi-
cal model. For them, their model is incompatible with
the Western model but it deserves equally to be re-
spected. However, Ukraine’s attempts at the path of de-
mocratization similar to the Western model constituted
an antinomy for the Russky Mir (Russian World), which
claims Ukraine to be a part of it. In this regard,
Ukraine’s attempts had to fail either on their own or
through other means for the sake of the Russian model.
In essence, the Russian authorities assumed that Ukraine
would fall to pieces on its own, which could reinforce
Russian discourse. However, Ukraine has continued to
exist by getting stronger, far from disintegrating. Over
time, Kyiv has modernized the Ukrainian Army in co-
operation with countries such as the USA, England, and
Turkey, and this process was accelerating depending on
the Russian threat. In this respect, time was working in
favor of Kyiv.
Meanwhile, some developments in Ukrainian politics
paved the way for the Kremlin to make its final decision
on Ukraine. Russia first hoped to achieve its objectives
when Russian-speaking Volodymyr Zelensky became the
new president of Ukraine in 2019. The newly elected
president promised to revive the Normandy Format ne-
gotiations in the context of the Minsk Agreements to re-
solve the Donbas Conflict. As he promised, Zelensky
relaunched the three-year stalled negotiations in Nor-
mandy Format in December 2019. Following the nego-
tiations, the parties decided to create an Advisory Council
which allowed for a direct dialogue between Kyiv officials
and the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lu-
gansk Peoples Republics (DPR and LPR) in March
2020.21 However, the council could not be formed, as
Ukrainians objected, seeing the format as a concession.
Upon the backlash of Ukrainians, the Kremlin under-
stood that any attempt to implement the Minsk Agree-
ments would be blocked by Kyiv.
After the Normandy Format negotiations and an at-
tempt to form an Advisory Council, the politically inex-
perienced Zelensky realized that the Minsk Agreements
were designed as a trap for Ukraine. Therefore, Zelensky
began to pursue the path of the former president, Petro
Poroshenko. In February 2021, Zelensky issued a decree
to shut down three TV channels owned by Viktor
Medvedchuk, a pro-Kremlin politician. These develop-
ments further reinforced the perception in the Kremlin
that the Zelensky administration was returning to Kyiv’s
previous policy. Moreover, Medvedchuk was placed under
house arrest in May 2021. Realizing that it could not pre-
vent the modernization of the Ukrainian Army and the
consolidation of the Ukrainian identity, the Kremlin ac-
tivated the hard power option. The first attempt at the
military build-up along the Ukrainian border took place
in March-April 2021. Although not hampering Kremlin
to have high-level negotiations with the United States, the
first attempt at military build-up did not yield tangible
results for Moscow.
Ukraine maintained its cooperation with the interna-
tional partners to modernize its army throughout 2021.
Understanding the long-term risk, Moscow began a new
phase of military build-up along Ukraine’s borders, in-
cluding the border between Ukraine and Belarus, and de-
manded an impracticable deal from the West. Escalation
initially led to the Kremlins recognition of the ‘Luhansk
Peoples Republic’ and ‘Donetsk People’s Republic,’ after
which the full-scale invasion of Ukraine began on Febru-
ary 24, 2022.
Conclusion
This article aimed to analyze the reason behind Rus-
sia’s decision to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
To this end, three levels of analysis (system, individual,
and state) were chosen to seek an answer to why the
Kremlin chose to go to war despite its leverage on Kyiv
in the context of the Donbas Conflict. Despite their ex-
planatory advantages, this study suggests, systemic and
individual levels are insufficient to shed light on the war.
The final phase of Russias war against Ukraine, above
all, took place under conditions that many experts would
consider irrational. It was irrational because Russia
achieved its goal in Ukraine in the context of the Minsk
22
Assoc. Prof. Ibrahim Muradov
Nisan 2022 • Sayı: 10
Ukraine’s attempts at the path of
democratization similar to the Western
model constituted an antinomy for the
Russky Mir (Russian World), which
claims Ukraine to be a part of it. In this
regard, Ukraine's attempts had to fail
either on their own or through other
means for the sake of the Russian
model.
AVRASYA DÜNYASI
Agreements, regardless of its implementation. The con-
flict in Donbas itself was a guarantee that Ukraine would
not become a member of either NATO or the EU. More-
over, these organizations did not show any signs of an af-
firmative view of Ukraine’s membership. Besides, NATO
enlargement to the borders of Russia took place in 2004,
even if Ukraine was granted membership, this would not
be the first time. In this view, NATO eastward enlarge-
ment, which can be translated as a ‘security dilemma
from Moscow’s point of view, could not be the main rea-
son for the immediate war against Ukraine. Therefore,
the international systemic level of analysis fails to provide
a meaningful explanation for Russias war against
Ukraine. However, the Kremlin deliberately used this nar-
rative to persuade its people to invade Ukraine. Other-
wise, it would not be easy to explain the invasion to the
Russians, as they have very special relations with the
Ukrainians.
Although Putin’s view of Ukraine contributes to ex-
plaining Russias war against Ukraine at the level of indi-
vidual analysis, (he sees Ukraine as an artificial state
founded by Lenin on the historical lands of Russia during
the establishment of the Soviet Union) it would be a very
superficial argument to explain the full-scale war. It is a
known fact that Russia aims to maintain its influence on
post-Soviet countries in the wake of the collapse of the
Soviet Union. In this sense, one of the most important
instruments of Moscow is the conflicts in the post-Soviet
geography. Since Russia secured its military presence on
the Crimean peninsula and denuclearized Ukraine in the
1990s, it had already restricted Ukraine’s sovereignty. This
means that Russias intentions towards Ukraine were not
limited to Putin’s worldview. Moreover, recent polls con-
ducted by a group of independent Russian sociologists
show that 71 percent of Russians support Russia’s war
against Ukraine (Special Operations as they call it).22
Therefore, the individual level of analysis is inadequate
to shed light on the war.
As this article suggests, the main reason that moti-
vated Russia to initiate the war was time. Examining the
time factor within the scope of state-level analysis assures
a better understanding of the cause of war. The Kremlin
officials realized that Kyiv has no intention to implement
the Minsk Accords and tries to prolong the negotiations
to gain time. Time was working in favor of Kyiv, allowing
the country to modernize its army, consolidate its identity
and follow a democratization path similar to the Western
model. In this context, the strategy of Kyiv evoked the
strategy of Baku which waited patiently for a long time
in order to liberate its occupied territories. For almost
three decades, Azerbaijan has sought favorable conditions
for going to war with Armenia, while modernizing its mil-
itary, participating in peace negotiations, and maintaining
a balanced foreign policy. Needless to say that the two
cases contain a number of dissimilarities and therefore can
not be compared with each other directly but in the sense
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Russia’s War Against Ukraine: Security Dilemma or What?
April 2022 • No: 10
AVRASYA DÜNYASI
of time factor, both countries were in an advantageous
position.
Realizing the long-term risk, Moscow decided to
lunch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine to weaken the coun-
try’s military and undermine Ukrainian identity. The
Kremlin officials thought that the cost of not commenc-
ing the war would be greater in the following years. In
short, contrary to the Kremlin’s previous expectations,
Ukraine was getting stronger day by day and solidifying
itself as a sovereign state. In essence, when Vladimir Putin
announced that they were launching a ‘special operation
against Ukraine, he specifically highlighted the two fac-
tors mentioned above. He stated that the main goal of the
operation is the ‘demilitarization’ and ‘denazification’ of
Ukraine.23 These two concepts are perfectly compatible
with the assertion put forward in this study that Moscow,
perceiving the long-term threats from the modernization
of the Ukrainian Army and the consolidation of Ukrain-
ian identity, launched a war against Ukraine. Ukraine was
getting stronger in the process of time, which the Kremlin
perceived as a great danger and therefore the process had
to be halted which began to be put into action in the form
of a war against Ukraine.
24
Assoc. Prof. Ibrahim Muradov
Nisan 2022 • Sayı: 10
1 Matthias Williams and Robin Emmott, “Ukraine Says Russia
Will Soon Have over 120,000 Troops on Its Borders,” Reuters,
2021, https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/russia-reach-over-
120000-troops-ukraines-border-week-ukraine-says-2021-04-
20/.
2 The White House, “Readout of President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
Call with President Vladimir Putin of Russia,” 2021.
3 Sarah Rainsford, “Biden-Putin Summit: US and Russian Leaders
Meet for Tense Geneva Talks,” BBC News, 2021,
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-57494283.
4 Joseph Choi, “Russia Keeping 80K Troops at Border amid
NATO Exercise, US Officials Say,” The Hill, May 5, 2021,
https://thehill.com/policy/international/russia/551996-russia-
keeping-80k-troops-at-border-amid-nato-exercise-us.
5 Allen C. Lynch, “The Realism of Russia’s Foreign Policy.” Europe
- Asia Studies 53, no. 1 (2001): 7–31.
https://doi.org/10.1080/09668130124714.
6 Putin Vladimir, “Speech and the Following Discussion at the
Munich Conference on Security Policy.” Kremlin.ru, 2007.
http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/page/376
7 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. “Agree-
ment on Measures to Ensure the Security of The Russian Feder-
ation and Member States of the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization,” 2021.
https://mid.ru/ru/foreign_policy/rso/nato/1790803/?lang=en&c
lear_cache=Y.
8 John J. Mearsheimer, “Back to the Future: Instability in Europe
after the Cold War,The MIT Press 15, no. 1 (1990).
9 NATO, “Bucharest Summit Declaration,” 2008,
https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_8443.htm.
10 Hans Von Der Burchard, “Scholz, Zelensky Play down Talk of
NATO Membership for Ukraine,” Poitico, 2022,
https://www.politico.eu/article/ukraines-nato-membership-not-
on-the-agenda-says-scholz/.
11 Ibrahim Muradov, Introduction to International Peace and Conflict
Studies (Dnipro: Dnipro University of Technology, 2021),
https://doi.org/10.1109/stc-csit.2018.8526665.
12 Vladimir Putin, “On the Historical Unity of Russians and
Ukrainians,” Kremlin.ru, 2021,
http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/66181.
13 Dasha Zubkova, “Putin Said That Lenin Created Ukraine,
2021, https://ukranews.com/en/news/823393-putin-said-that-
lenin-created-ukraine.
14 Vladimir Putin, “Address by the President of the Russian Feder-
ation,” Kremlin.ru, 2022,
http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/67828.
15 Dylan Matthews, “‘It’s Not about Russia. It’s about Putin’: An
Expert Explains Putin’s Endgame in Ukraine,” 2022,
https://www.vox.com/22917832/vladimir-putin-ukraine-mili-
tary-invasion.
16 Dylan Matthews, “‘It’s Not about Russia. It’s about Putin’: An
Expert Explains Putin’s Endgame in Ukraine,” 2022.
https://www.vox.com/22917832/vladimir-putin-ukraine-mili-
tary-invasion.
17 Taras Kuzio, “Putin’s Obsession with Ukraine as a ‘Russian
Land,’” E-International Relations, 2022, https://www.e-
ir.info/2022/01/17/opinion-putins-obsession-with-ukraine-as-
a-russian-land/.
18 Alexander Baunov, “Will Putin Get What He Wants on
Ukraine?,” The Moscow Times, 2021, https://www.themoscow-
times.com/2021/12/09/will-putin-get-what-he-wants-on-
ukraine-a75775.
19 Sorcha Bradley, “What Does Vladimir Putin Want from
Ukraine?” The Week, 2022.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/world-news/955527/what-
does-vladimir-putin-want-ukraine; Dan Bilefsky, and Richard
Pérez-Peña. “How the Ukraine Crisis Developed, and Where It
Might Be Headed.” The New York Times, 2022.
https://www.nytimes.com/article/russia-ukraine-nato-
europe.html.
20 Muradov, Introduction to International Peace and Conflict Stud-
ies.
21 Ibrahim Muradov, “Peace At Any Price? An Overview of Donbas
Conflict And Ongoing Peace Process,” Caucasian Center for In-
ternational Relations and Strategic Studies, 2020, https://www.qaf-
sam.az/pages/article-details/584/2.
22 “Независимые Социологи: 71% Россиян Испытывает
Гордость Из-За Войны с Украиной,” Radio Svoboda, 2022,
https://www.svoboda.org/a/nezavisimye-sotsiologi-71-rossiyan-
ispytyvaet-gordostj-iz-za-voyny-s-ukrainoy/31757535.html?fb-
clid=IwAR2xf7faNn8o3Pf-Rs6ZnCfrN8DHsERp4_Zafrnydtoc
tYMwoXE2lzuiYoE.
23 Anton Troianovski, “Putin Announces a ‘Military Operation’ in
Ukraine as the U.N. Security Council Pleads with Him to Pull
Back.,” The New York Times, 2022,
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/23/world/europe/putin-an-
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Endnotes
Article
Current Russia’s policy towards Ukraine is a sample of regionalization and re‐territorialization based on (geo‐)political reasons only. Kremlin uses different ‘markers’ and tools to reshape Ukrainian regional identity. The main purpose of the article is to discover the role of media in creating and sharing the Kremlin’s narratives as a tool for the legitimization of its war on Ukraine and the manipulation of the citizens’ minds in both countries. The paper is based on the Regional Studies and Discourse Analysis methodology that enables it to be moved from the meta‐level to the level of discursive practices in which Russian officials’ rhetoric is changing the regional identity of the neighbouring countries. Therefore, the paper starts by arguing whether a place for critical thinking in Russian mass media. Then it identifies and describes key Kremlins’ narratives represented in the Russian media on ‘special operation’ in Ukraine 2022. The presented conclusions are grounded on a discursive analysis of the articles of major Russian daily nationwide quality newspapers and online news portals (Moscow times, Kommersant, Izvestiya, Rossiyskaya Gazeta). The article aspires to conclude that Russian officials’ rhetoric widely spread by Russian media is necessary to perceive as a tool of the Kremlin’s conscious task to reformat regional identity both Russian and Ukrainian. A shift from the ‘Ukraine loses the war’ to ‘Russia is at war with the West’ to save Ukrainians, to protect Russia, its identity and even civilization, and the introduction of a special glossary can be used for the re‐territorialisation that allows the existing geopolitical space changing.
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Book
This textbook provides an introduction to International Peace and Conflict Studies. As the book is designed for undergraduate students, it delivers an outline of international peace and conflict studies. It primarily addresses the concepts of conflict and peace to familiarize students with the relevant terms they are projected to deal with. Subsequently, the book concentrates on the level of analysis issue to widen the horizons of students in understanding international conflict and the peace process. Later, it introduces the mainstream International Relations Theories in relation to the investigation of international conflict and the peace process. The textbook then analyzes some of the possible ways claiming to tackle international conflict and thereby achieve peace in international relations. In the end, the study sheds light on the international conflict in the context of globalization to equip readers with the latest developments in international peace and conflict studies.
Article
John Mearsheimer is Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science, University of Chicago. This article emerged from a paper written for a February 1990 conference at Ditchley Park, England, on the future of Europe, organized by James Callaghan, Gerald Ford, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, and Helmut Schmidt. An abridged version of this article appears in the Atlantic, August 1990. I am grateful to Robert Art, Stacy Bergstrom, Richard Betts, Anne-Marie Burley, Dale Copeland, Michael Desch, Markus Fischer, Henk Goemans, Joseph Grieco, Ted Hopf, Craig Koerner, Andrew Kydd, Alicia Levine, James Nolt, Roger Petersen, Barry Posen, Denny Roy, Jack Snyder, Ashley Tellis, Marc Trachtenberg, Stephen Van Evera, Andrew Wallace, and Stephen Walt for their most helpful comments. 1. There is considerable support within NATO's higher circles, including the Bush administration, for maintaining NATO beyond the Cold War. NATO leaders have not clearly articulated the concrete goals that NATO would serve in a post-Cold War Europe, but they appear to conceive the future NATO as a means for ensuring German security, thereby removing possible German motives for aggressive policies; and as a means to protect other NATO states against German aggression. However, the Germans, who now provide the largest portion of the Alliance's standing forces, are likely to resist such a role for NATO. A security structure of this sort assumes that Germany cannot be trusted and that NATO must be maintained to keep it in line. A united Germany is not likely to accept for very long a structure that rests on this premise. Germans accepted NATO throughout the Cold War because it secured Germany against the Soviet threat that developed in the wake of World War II. Without that specific threat, which now appears to be diminishing rapidly, Germany is likely to reject the continued maintenance of NATO as we know it. 2. I am not arguing that a complete end to the Cold War is inevitable; also quite likely is an intermediate outcome, under which the status quo is substantially modified, but the main outlines of the current order remain in place. Specifically, the Soviet Union may withdraw much of its force from Eastern Europe, but leave significant forces behind. If so, NATO force levels would probably shrink markedly, but NATO may continue to maintain significant forces in Germany. Britain and the United States would withdraw some but not all of their troops from the Continent. If this outcome develops, the basic bipolar military competition that has defined the map of Europe throughout the Cold War will continue. I leave this scenario unexamined, and instead explore what follows from a complete end to the Cold War in Europe because this latter scenario is the less examined of the two, and because the consequences, and therefore the desirability, of completely ending the Cold War would still remain an issue if the intermediate outcome occurred. 3. The impact of such a change on human rights in Eastern Europe will not be considered directly in this article. Eastern Europeans have suffered great hardship as a result of the Soviet occupation. The Soviets have imposed oppressive political regimes on the region, denying Eastern Europeans basic freedoms. Soviet withdrawal from Eastern Europe will probably change that situation for the better, although the change is likely to be more of a mixed blessing than most realize. First, it is not clear that communism will be promptly replaced in all Eastern European countries with political systems that place a high premium on protecting minority rights and civil liberties. Second, the longstanding blood feuds among the nationalities in Eastern Europe are likely to re-emerge in a multipolar Europe, regardless of the existing political order. If wars break out in Eastern Europe, human rights are sure to suffer. 4. It is commonplace to characterize the polarity—bipolar or multipolar—of the international system at large, not a specific region. The focus in this article, however, is not on the global distribution of power, but on the distribution of power in Europe. Polarity arguments can be used to assess the prospects for stability in a particular region, provided the global and regional balances are distinguished from one...
Article
THE EMERGENCE OF AN INDEPENDENT RUSSIAN FEDERATION amidst the disintegration of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991 has constrained Russia and Russian and Russian policy elites to fashion novel forms of statehood and national identity at home as well as new conceptions of the Russian national interest in its foreign relations. 1 Most striking, perhaps, has been the Russian effort to maintain the appearance of great power status abroad while most of the sinews of Russian power have withered into evanescence at home. How successful has the Russian government been in projecting international influence from an increasingly fragile domestic foundation? How has it managed the delicate balance between asserting Russian prerogatives and maintaining Russia's relations with the G-7 powers, on whom it is financially dependent2 and without whom, most Russian foreign policy elites agree, Russia's most vital national interests cannot be secured?3 What does the answer to this question imply for both the evolution of Russian foreign policy and, more broadly, the nature of the nascent post-Cold War international political system?
Ukraine Says Russia Will Soon Have over 120,000 Troops on Its Borders
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Matthias Williams and Robin Emmott, "Ukraine Says Russia Will Soon Have over 120,000 Troops on Its Borders," Reuters, 2021, https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/russia-reach-over-120000-troops-ukraines-border-week-ukraine-says-2021-04-20/.
Readout of President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Call with President Vladimir Putin of Russia
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The White House, "Readout of President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Call with President Vladimir Putin of Russia," 2021.
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Sarah Rainsford, "Biden-Putin Summit: US and Russian Leaders Meet for Tense Geneva Talks," BBC News, 2021, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-57494283.
Russia Keeping 80K Troops at Border amid NATO Exercise, US Officials Say
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Joseph Choi, "Russia Keeping 80K Troops at Border amid NATO Exercise, US Officials Say," The Hill, May 5, 2021, https://thehill.com/policy/international/russia/551996-russiakeeping-80k-troops-at-border-amid-nato-exercise-us.
Speech and the Following Discussion at the Munich Conference on Security Policy
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Putin Vladimir, "Speech and the Following Discussion at the Munich Conference on Security Policy." Kremlin.ru, 2007. http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/page/376
Scholz, Zelensky Play down Talk of NATO Membership for Ukraine
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  • Der Burchard
Hans Von Der Burchard, "Scholz, Zelensky Play down Talk of NATO Membership for Ukraine," Poitico, 2022, https://www.politico.eu/article/ukraines-nato-membership-noton-the-agenda-says-scholz/.