Armed Conflicts and Unrecognized “republics” as Instruments of Russia’s Influence on Post-Soviet Countries

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The study is an attempt to generalize the practice of Russia’s implementation of its influence in the post-Soviet space in the context of hybrid aggression as the essence of Russia’s international policy in the region. The main focus of this aggression is directed against those countries of the former Soviet republics that have declared their clear course of European and Euro-Atlantic integration (Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova) and thus stand in the way of Russia’s imperial ambitions.

In order to implement its plans, Russia comprehensively uses a wide range of tools and methods of influence of both non-military (“soft power”) and military (“hard power”) nature. Such influence is carried out systematically, for many years and has a complex and comprehensive character in various spheres. Moreover, the methods and ways of influence, as well as their priority, are not stable and differ depending on the country of their application.

Among them, not the least place is given by Russia to the manipulation of armed conflicts, which is part of the well-established mechanism of the so called hybrid wars in order to strengthen its geopolitical influence. Supporting or using certain forces in active armed conflicts or threatening to resume the active phase of “frozen” armed conflicts can be a serious tool of foreign policy pressure and give Moscow real military-political advantages in the region.

Such conflicts have a decisive impact on the agenda of their localization countries and bring enormous damage to their economic and human potential. The “frozen” conflicts in Georgia and Moldova, as well as the still active conflict in eastern Ukraine, have become clear obstacles to the rapid progress of these countries on the path to European and Euro-Atlantic integration and create a very negative background for their democratic and economic development.

As Russia has not yet achieved its goals in the conflict zones in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, it is most likely that no significant positive changes in their settlement should be expected in the near future. One of the most effective mechanisms to protect Russia from expansionist encroachments for these countries may be maximum rapprochement with the EU and NATO, and in the long run – accession to these organizations. Such a step will be a kind of victory in the hybrid war with Russia. After all, it is precisely in order to prevent such an option that Russia has created and / or maintains the above-mentioned zones of instability.


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How to Cite
Kordun, O. (2021) “Armed Conflicts and Unrecognized ‘republics’ as Instruments of Russia’s Influence on Post-Soviet Countries”, Problems of World History, (16), pp. 54-73. doi: 10.46869/2707-6776-2021-16-2.

Author Biography

O. Kordun

Kordun Oleksiy – PhD in History, the State Institution “Institute of World History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine”.


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