The Sources of Post-Soviet Conduct

The Sources of Post-Soviet Conduct

The Sources of Post-Soviet Conduct is the tenth of a series of reports in the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Russia Political Economy Project. To learn more about this initiative, click here. To download the report, click here.

Executive Summary

The Russian Federation’s recently provocative foreign policy results in part from structural weakness in the Russian domestic regime, a quasi-feudal system that requires certain actions abroad to maintain itself in power at home. Lacking real enemies, the Kremlin must create imaginary ones to convince the Russian population that the government is performing at least one useful function: protecting the country from foreign threats. Lacking legitimacy, the Kremlin must seek to undermine the legitimacy of governments abroad. Responsive policy should focus on creating new circumstances that undermine the utility of the Kremlin’s domestically useful, but internationally disruptive, policies.