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May 30

Russian Military Modernization and Military Operations in the Crimea, North Caucasus and Georgia

Russia’s military actions in the Crimea and Eastern Ukraine have shattered two decades of relative peace in post-Cold War Europe. Twenty-two years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia is rebuilding its military strength and once again rising in regional influence. 

President Vladimir Putin has committed a considerable portion of the Russian GDP toward modernizing its military over the next 10 years. Russia’s aggression in the Crimea clearly demonstrates that its military has come a long way from the defeats in Chechnya in the 1994-1996 war and its lackluster performance in Georgia in 2008. The Russian military has also learned lessons from its prolonged counterinsurgency operations in the North Caucasus. If successful, the Putin military modernization will allow Russia to increase its power relative to its former Soviet and NATO neighbors and expand influence along its periphery – in the former Soviet republics, in Central and Eastern Europe, and in the Middle East – presenting further challenges for the United States and its Western allies and their decision makers. 

This discussion will be based on the recent monograph, “Russia’s Counterinsurgency in North Caucasus: Performance and Consequences,” published by the U.S. Army War College in March and on a new Heritage Foundation Backgrounder, “A U.S. Response to Russia’s Military Modernization,” both authored by Ariel Cohen.

More About the Speakers

Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. 
Senior Research Fellow in Russian and Eurasian Studies, The Heritage Foundation

Stephen Blank, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow for Russia, American Foreign Policy Council

Hosted By

Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D. Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D.

Director, Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy Read More