Head of the Organising Committee
Sanna Turoma
sanna.turoma [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Coordinator
Kaarina Aitamurto
kaarina.aitamurto [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Secretary
Maarit Elo-Valente
maarit.elo-valente [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Intern
Miikka Piiroinen
miikka.piiroinen [at] helsinki.fi

Conference e-mail:
fcree-aleksconf [at] helsinki.fi

The Aleksanteri Institute

Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki
phone +358-(0)50-3565 802

aleksanteri [at] helsinki.fi


Past Aleksanteri Conferences

Dumitru Minzarari (University of Michigan, USA)

Russia's Strategic Culture and its Hybrid Warfare in CIS Area

A story tells that when Joseph Stalin was told about the influence the Pope has, he asked sarcastically how many divisions the latter has got. Military force had historically played a key role in the Russia's foreign policy. However, after the collapse of the USSR there has been very little belief among Western countries that Russia would dare to use unilaterally its military force in operations outside its borders. Neither there has been any strong consideration that Russia would manage to rebuild its military so quickly. What has influenced the Russian strategic culture (how political elites envisage the use of military power) after the collapse of the USSR apart from economic considerations, so that it switched from military passive stance towards active military involvement? The use of "polite people" or "green men" (the reference to Russian special forces deployed under disguise in Crimea), has brought back the discussion about the use of Russia's military forces abroad, even inside the Russian society itself. In responding to this puzzle the paper is going to combine the scholarship on security studies with the research on the transformation of modern Russia's cultural and value-based spaces. In this framework, the paper intends to explore how the Russia's political elites' efforts to politically consolidate its people has lead to the acceptance of the use of force abroad. It will then address the costs of war factor, exploiting the mechanism behind modern warfare, and how social obstacles, such as international laws and customs could increase the cost of using force. Finally, it will conceptually connect all three elements, - the strategic culture, the post-Soviet identity building, and the modern warfare costs, - in order to emphasize why the so-called 'hybrid warfare' has been perceived by the Russian elites as an optimal policy choice in Ukraine.