Russia as a revisionist power

7e47e87527ba085fba22a8e0034e5fb8--moscow-kremlin-professional-developmentAfter the Cold War, the United States became one and only hegemon on the global stage. Oppose to this, the collapse of the USSR crippled not just a Russia’s economy but power and pride. Since the fall of the Byzantine empire, Russia is considering herself as the successor of the Roman empire and call herself the “Third Rome”. Rulers of Russia often describe themselves as hands of the Messiah, who could save the world from the global evil. This ideas still have an influence over the ruling elite of Russia. 

From Russia’s point of view, current world order is not agreeable and out to change. Russia repeatedly trying to reestablish its influence over parts of the northern hemisphere and achieve equal status as the United States. Russia thinks that the current global environment is a total decay in the fields of morality and because of this, they considering liberal-democracy and its principles one of the main menaces of Russia itself.

How Russia operate in the current political environment? Russia is not ready to accept existing status-quo and trying to undermine it through aggressive interventions in its neighbourhood and elsewhere especially in the Middle East and Northern Europe. Russia knows that when local and regional powers see that global order is crumbling and protecting them from the international threats, especially from Russia is real, when they see that the United States can’t be a world’s policeman and when they see that there is a much capable power then the United States, then they leave current ideals, losing trust in international law and prepare to accept Russia as a new global player. This is a policy of “Surrender or Destroy”. The plan is easy, when you are the hegemon it is up to you to protect your status. If someone, other than you come to change that you have to act or accept of revision. Latter is what Russia aspires.

Russia carried out military interventions in Georgia, Ukraine by which intentionally breach the internationally accepted sovereignty of these independent countries. Georgia, which is the main ally for the US in the south Caucasus, was first. Russia wanted to show Georgians, that no one comes for help if you do not accept my influence over the region. Despite partial occupation, Georgia did not accept Russia’s conditions and carry on its aspiration towards the EU and NATO. The second one was Ukraine. Russia considering eastern and southern parts of Ukraine an undivided part of Russia and calls it Novorossiya. This is not a conspiracy theory or politically aggrandizing project but a real issue in the cycles of current Russian philosophers and scientists.

Russia is not accepting current world order and another her aggression within its neighbourhood or outside it are yet to come. Russia sees the world in a multi-polar dimension, where different regional hegemons are ruling the dividing world and sometimes competing for each other near their borders of influence. This can remind us, famous geographer, Halford Mackinder’s works about the Heartland and Rimland theory, where he describes the war between global sea and land powers, but Russia considers the world in the same way. All of that creates global menace which is not comes from not just a security dilemma but from the desire of Russia’s ruling elite to dominate some parts of the world and challenge the US.

Giorgi Koberidze
Senior Fellow

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