chapter  9
10 Pages

Russian strategic culture

The generational approach and the counter-intelligence state thesis
WithMette Skak

This chapter presents major findings on Russian strategic culture beginning with those of Stephen Blank who suggested Soviet atavisms within contemporary Russian strategic culture. Studying Russian strategic culture is much about identifying Soviet atavisms among contemporary Kremlin decision makers as the way to operationalise culture as old habits dying hard. The chapter explores the official Russian threat perception in various doctrines and strategies. It focuses on the strategic culture of Vladimir Putin’s post-Soviet Russia and the added value of strategic culture as a method for studying security. The counter-intelligence thesis about the chekist distortion of Russian security policy turns the Kremlin quest for regime security into the grand strategy, meaning the essence of Russian security policymaking. Climate change is mentioned as threatening global food production, and among its benchmarks it lists productivity in Russia, but the document specifies no reform strategy.