Why so aggressive Russia?

The world is unsure how to respond to Russia's unprecedented aggression across the globe

The world is unsure how to respond to Russia’s unprecedented aggression across the globe

In the minds of young collegiate scholars, International conflict (contemporarily) is best defined as unrest in the Middle East, borne out of religious extremism and characterized by unbridled aggression towards the west. Names like Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden have long characterized the very essence of conflict. As such, few of us have been substantively exposed to other sorts of international conflict, in which our national security is not a factor and in which world powers make significant and even aggressive moves. That is why the world was so thoroughly shocked when Russia somewhat unexpectedly annexed Crimea, a small peninsula in Ukraine. It is gravely important to consider the implications of this action, but perhaps even more so, to explore the possible motivations and internal/external factors that ultimately led Russian President Vladimir Putin to approve this action.

The clear answers are two fold, one being a matter of national pride and the other a calculated international affairs move. In the case of the former, historical context is crucial to our understanding. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 the western world, none the least being the United States, generally treated Russia as a faded and irrelevant nation. The Russian economy was in shambles with little to no support from developed nations. As such, this move could be portrayed as a post-imperialistic attempt to re-establish a sense of Russian pride. It is also crucial to consider the US involvement in the transition of the Ukrainian government. Ukraine has long been a bastion of Russian influence, though admittedly that influence has waned over the past two decades. The United States was directly involved in supplanting the previous Ukrainian government, and as a result, it is reasonable to draw a correlation with Russian outrage. Certainly, this was a primary motivation behind Russian aggression.

In regards to the latter, being a calculated geopolitical move, one only needs to gauge the world’s reaction to the Russian annexation in order to realize that Russia is most certainly considered a serious actor in contemporary international affairs. Directly following this bold move, the world’s eyes were riveted on the unfolding “crisis”, the airwaves suddenly filled with posturing pundits and poignant images. World leaders began to rumble and arguably for the first time since the conclusion of the cold war, the world was wholly preoccupied by the movements and motivations of Russia. The Council of the European Union met to discuss how to proceed with diplomatic relations with Russia and scores of countries applied sanctions to key players in Russia’s oligarchy.

In review, Russian leaders have a long list of practical domestic and international motivations to act aggressively with particular interest in Ukraine given their waning influence there. These conclusions however leave us with more questions than answers. Some things to consider in your comments below:

  • What sort of trajectory will Russia take in the Future?
  • Will Russian aggression escalate or decrease in Ukraine?
  • Is Russian involvement in Syria a deliberate attempt to draw attention away from aggression within the European continent?
  • What is the appropriate response from the Ukrainian government? The United States?
  • What are some possible end goals for Russia? How might this crisis conclude?

Examine the following three links to investigate expert analysis and policy responses to Russian aggression:

Russian Aggression Nearing Cold War era levels

Baltic Nations call for UN action against Russia

What Russia is up to in Ukraine: Economic Motivationshttps://www.google.com/search?q=russian+aggression&biw=1440&bih=751&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&sqi=2&ved=0CAgQ_AUoA2oVChMI8rin6dTiyAIViRo-Ch3s9AMj#imgrc=L9denDaO6WuvrM%3A

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7 thoughts on “Why so aggressive Russia?

  1. Russia’s pride is still based on it’s Soviet glory days where they were an expanding power able to compete with the U.S. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 the Russian economy was nearly ruined and they struggled to get support from developed nations. In order to reclaim the glory days, President Vladimir Putin has been engaging in aggressive and rash actions such as annexing Crimea and trying to invade Ukraine. It seems Russia’s actions are rooted based on Putin’s pride and wanting to be taken serious by its international neighbors.

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  2. I think that Russia’s aggression will continue to increase until Russia gets more of what they want. I personally think that Russia’s intervention in the Syrian conflict is a way to distract people about what is going on in Ukraine. I definitely think that some measure needs to be taken by the United States to help Ukraine but I am not sure what. I think US military intervention might be too much.

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  3. I think that it goes back to Putin and his wish to bring Russia back to the greatness of the Soviet Union. As a KGB officer in the USSR and now president of Russia he has seen both sides of the coin. External wars, especially ones where your add land and wealth to your country like Russia has in Crimea, are always great for moral amongst the citizens. I think Putin is acting the way he is internationally to try to bolster the failing Russian state and in an attempt to regain lost soviet powers.

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  4. I think that Russia knows that the world doesn’t really favor its involvement in Ukraine, and uses its involvement in Syria as a distraction to make a point that Russia is involved in the worlds issues and conflicts and is “doing good” fighting an international Terrorist organization who is the evil of this world so to speak.

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  5. I believe Russia have no choice without being aggressive because they are being watched from lots of countries and still they are enemies of democratic states. Russia, China and North Korea are not that close as before but, still they are part of allies. However, they have been losing powers for decades and trying to seek the method to enhance their power. So, being aggressive would be one of the great strategy for them to show other nations that they are still alive and well.

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  6. I agree with the other commenters. Russia will more then likely continue with their aggression, not only in Ukraine, but they may also take a foothold within the Middle East due to the conflict in the region already. However, going off to fight in one region will not ‘make up’ for the wrongs done in another. Their economy is also weakened as of recently,so economic sanctions might be able to calm them or persuade them to settle down.

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  7. Interesting post! I believe that it is also worth noting the dramatic, reactionary nature of Russian domestic politics in the 21st century under Vladimir Putin and post-collapse of the Soviet Union. I do not think that Vladimir Putin is attempting to re-establish the “vanquished” USSR and Soviet-style communism; however, given Russia’s expansionist and imperialistic pursuits of late, as well as the conservative, fascist-autocratic nature of Putin’s government, I would posit that he is more interested in reviving the Imperial Russian Empire of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, along with its theocratic oligarchy (the Russian Orthodox Church) and the country’s spheres of influence – particularly in the Middle East.

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