The aim of this article is to analyze the main characteristic features of the security culture of the Russian Federation (RF) during Medvedev’s presidency in the context of the Russian foreign and security policy in the period 2008–2012. The second aim of this paper is to demonstrate that the continuity of the main features of the Russian security culture represents a possible starting point for understanding the reasons for the current Russian military intervention in Crimea. The main features of the Russian security culture will be searched for on three levels: firstly, the level of key foreign and security strategic documents of the RF; secondly, that of the Russian position toward military interventions; and finally, that of Russia’s relations with the West.
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According to Daniel Treisman, there are several interpretations or motives that led Putin to occupy and annex the Crimea. Firstly ‘the Crimean operation was a response to the threat of NATO’s further expansion along Russia’s western border.’ Secondly, ‘the annexation of Crimea was part of a Russian project to gradually recapture the former territories of the Soviet Union.’ Finally thirdly, ‘the annexation of Crimea was a hastily response to the unforeseen fall of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’ (Treisman 2016, p. 47).
Although Medvedev stated already on August 12, 2008, that he had ordered the armed forces to end their military operations in Georgia, the Russian troops actually finally left Georgia at the turn of August and September 2008.
At the same time, Russia views the Muslim-populated Caucasus and Central Asia regions as a key national security challenge. Of the 50 million Muslims who lived in the USSR, some 20 million remained in Russia; the rest became citizens of the six Muslim nations situated along Russia’s border (Magen 2013, p. 24).
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Tichý, L. Russian strategy in the age of Dmitry Medvedev. Int Polit 55, 189–206 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41311-017-0078-0
- Russian Federation
- Security culture
- Military interventions