Matching Items (9)

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A Strategic Analysis on the Effectiveness of Russian Information Warfare

Description

Though information warfare has been around for centuries, the advent of the Information Age has made this type of warfare increasingly utilized by both state and non-state actors to varying

Though information warfare has been around for centuries, the advent of the Information Age has made this type of warfare increasingly utilized by both state and non-state actors to varying effects in conflicts across the world. Technological advances have ignited increases in computing power, information computerization, the proliferation of powerful information technology, and communication speeds. This study investigates Russian information warfare doctrine- specifically, the tactics employed in information warfare campaigns and the effects of such campaigns. The Russian hybrid warfare campaigns in Ukraine and Syria will serve as the focal case studies. I argue that Russian information warfare doctrine is inelastic, in that the core tactics used do not change in different conflicts. This study will dissect Russian information warfare principles, provide an overview of the Russian political objectives in both battlespaces, analyze the effectiveness of information warfare tactics when applied in two different engagement spheres, and will explore the reasons why the same tactics had different effects. The study finds that doctrinally identical information warfare tactics were used in both Ukraine and Syria. To provide further significance, the study discusses the policy implications that static Russian information warfare doctrine has regarding the future of information warfare in conflict.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Kogalym: City of Oil

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This thesis examines the influence of the Russian oil firm Lukoil on the economic and cultural landscape of the town of Kogalym. Analyzing the propensity of Lukoil to facilitate the

This thesis examines the influence of the Russian oil firm Lukoil on the economic and cultural landscape of the town of Kogalym. Analyzing the propensity of Lukoil to facilitate the creation of both physical and cultural infrastructure, I scrutinize the effects of intervention for the sake of profit. Especially in rural Siberian towns that are in close proximity to petroleum reserves, oil companies often fund cultural tradition, identity, and education projects. In doing this, these corporations decide which elements of Russian culture are worthy of celebration and remembrance. I further argue that vulnerable people are typically subjugated by oil firms in the pursuit of revenue. Able-bodied men are exploited for their labor, women are counted on to turn temporary settlements-which I define as "shift cities"-into thriving cities, and indigenous Russians are expected to give up land that could aid in the oil production process. With seemingly endless wealth at its disposal, companies like Lukoil attempt to instill "ideal" values into the residents of their cities in an attempt to curate a group of people that feel indebted to the firms for funding their livelihoods. By autonomously deciding what defines Russian identity, I argue that these oil conglomerates ultimately exert financial and cultural control on the people they purport to be helping. This is not without consequence, and I carefully explore the unintended effects of this intervention, such as the rise of illicit economies, arrested development shift cities, the plight of indigenous Russians who find themselves in land disputes with oil firms, and the environmental consequences of the imperfect Russian oil infrastructure.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Russia's War on Democracy: Analyzing Disinformation in the United States, Latvia, and Colombia

Description

Disinformation has long been a tactic used by the Russian government to achieve its goals. Today, Vladimir Putin aims to achieve several things: weaken the United States’ strength on the

Disinformation has long been a tactic used by the Russian government to achieve its goals. Today, Vladimir Putin aims to achieve several things: weaken the United States’ strength on the world stage, relieve Western sanctions on himself and his inner circle, and reassert dominant influence over Russia’s near abroad (the Baltics, Ukraine, etc.). This research analyzed disinformation in English, Spanish, and Russian; noting the dominant narratives and geopolitical goals Russia hoped to achieve by destabilizing democracy in each country/region.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Becoming Russian through Ballet: The Russian Soul Revealed in the Memoirs of Six Prominent Dancers

Description

What makes a Russian dancer Russian? In 1909 Sergei Diaghilev essentially created a tradition of "Russian ballet" through his Ballets Russes, which brought the stars of the imperial Petersburg theater

What makes a Russian dancer Russian? In 1909 Sergei Diaghilev essentially created a tradition of "Russian ballet" through his Ballets Russes, which brought the stars of the imperial Petersburg theater to Paris and other Western capitals. By commissioning new and innovative works, such as Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and Firebird, Diaghilev revolutionized the standard repertoire of dance ensembles around the world. Ballet dancers such as Vaslav Nijinsky, Anna Pavlova, Mathilde Kschessinska, Dame Alicia Markova, all worked closely with Diaghilev. Post-Diaghilev, Rudolf Nureyev (an ethnic Tatar) and Mikhail Baryshnikov were both born in the Russian-dominated Soviet Union, and later escaped to live and dance in the West. All of these artists, despite their varied origins, considered themselves to be Russian dancers. Why? What, in their view, made them Russian? Careful and original analysis of their memoirs and other writings suggests that Russian identity is highly complex and composed of many different elements. Some dancers inherited their Russian identity from their parents. Others acquired their Russian identity through language, religious conversion to Orthodox Christianity, a common tradition of ballet training, participation in distinctly Russian dance companies, or culture. In general, these dancers do not regard "Russianness" as innate; instead, Russian identity is created and achieved through cultural practices. By participating in the educational tradition of the Imperial ballet, these dancers become Russian.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

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The New Iron Curtain?: Russian Foreign Policy Objectives in the Near Abroad

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The purpose of this paper is to examine why the Russian government has been taking political, economic, and military actions in Belarus and Ukraine, and the extent to which the

The purpose of this paper is to examine why the Russian government has been taking political, economic, and military actions in Belarus and Ukraine, and the extent to which the Russian people support these actions. Many observers in the West seem to believe that the Russian government is forcing its political will onto Russian citizens. However, public opinion research indicates that Russian citizens express a genuine support for the regime's political behavior in neighboring countries. Russian citizens seem to support the decisions to build closer relations with countries they consider culturally significant or culturally similar to themselves. Perhaps the clearest examples of these sentiments occur in relationships with Belarus and Ukraine. This is especially apparent when compared to Russian relations with the Baltic nations. Although these nations are home to a large numbers of Russians, the citizens of Russia do not consider the Baltics as significant as Belarus or Ukraine because of pronounced cultural differences. In this context, it seems as though Russian public opinion drives government action toward international relations with the Near Abroad nations perhaps just as much as the government influences public opinion.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Constructing Soviet Community in Five Objects

Description

The Constructivists were a prominent group of Avant Garde artists that began to work in the years preceding the Bolshevik revolution and continued to work prominently until Stalin came to

The Constructivists were a prominent group of Avant Garde artists that began to work in the years preceding the Bolshevik revolution and continued to work prominently until Stalin came to power. As other Avant Garde movements became prevalent throughout Europe, Constructivism became the Modernist movement that encapsulated Russia’s Socialist future. Constructivist artist-workers embraced the idea that objects of art must be useful in the daily life of a Soviet worker as well as representative of the future for which communists were working. As such, they aligned with the new national ideals aesthetically by illustrating national and political goals in a functional way. Constructivists wanted to create objects that would signify and enable future Soviet life through their usefulness and their ideological intensity. This thesis argues that Constructivist objects served a third purpose as productive agents of community.
Each chapter of this thesis closely studies a different object of a different medium to trace relationships between Constructivist objects and Soviet community. El Lissitzky’s PROUN Manifesto illuminates the creation of an artistic community. Alexander Rodchenko’s print Propaganda communicates between a state and its people. Varvara Stepanova’s Sportswear designs facilitate a society of workers. Alexandra Exter’s Marionettes combine common everyday objects and children’s theater. Vladimir Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International, envisions the ideal Soviet society as place in which socialists could convene. And Liubov Popova’s Painterly Architectonics relates the functional and aesthetic goals of Constructivism from Russia to the international art world. Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities, Bruno Latour’s Reassembling the Social, and Pierre Bourdieu’s Distinction each provide the framework for discussing the intersections of art objects and community. Anderson explores nationhood through the lens of language and print media, Latour studies how social interaction on an individual basis might rely upon the physical objects around them, whereas Bourdieu addresses hierarchies in distinguishing objects of art in class-based societies by outlining the conflicts between cultural capital and tastemaking in the analysis of objects.
Through the exploration of each Constructivist object, this thesis explores individual, national, and international communities while considering their changing political, social contexts.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Moscow’s Middle Eastern Power Play: Putin’s Revisionist Objectives in Turkey, Iran, and Syria

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Russian President Vladimir Putin is a revisionist leader seeking to restore Russia’s status as a great power and rival U.S. global dominance by constructing a multipolar world order at the

Russian President Vladimir Putin is a revisionist leader seeking to restore Russia’s status as a great power and rival U.S. global dominance by constructing a multipolar world order at the expense of the United States. Putin’s aggressive tendencies are not limited to Europe and the former Soviet sphere as Putin has expanded his revisionist ambitions into other regional theaters, including the Middle East. Putin has pursued an active foreign policy in the Middle East, exploiting the volatile region plagued with a historical predisposition to great power competition as a crucial part of his revisionist grand strategy. Putin is a realist, and employs a ruthless strategy of pragmatic flexibility, capitalizing on historical relations between the Soviet Union and Middle Eastern regimes when possible, but is also skilled at adapting to new circumstances and developments, and exploiting them for Russia’s strategic benefit. Putin has engaged in heightened relations and involvement with Turkey, Iran, and Syria. In Turkey, Putin has taken advantage of that country’s central location and used Turkey as a hub for the expansion of the Russian energy industry, placing pressure on NATO and the European Union. Putin has opportunistically used Iran’s controversial nuclear program to Russia’s benefit by acting as Iran’s primary international sponsor and patron for its nuclear program, elevating Russia’s regional prestige as a rival to the United States, and countering American foreign policy objectives. Putin intervened decisively on behalf of the Assad regime in the Syrian civil war, thwarting U.S. calls for regime change in Damascus and forcefully asserting Russia as a formidable regional power with veto-authority in matters of global power dynamics at Washington’s expense. Putin’s achievements with Turkey, Iran, and Syria serve to complement his larger grand strategic objectives to rival the United States as a great power and to create a multipolar world order. Putin’s ruthless, opportunistic foreign policy poses significant challenges to U.S. foreign policy and endangers the liberal world order. Washington must come to terms with the threat posed by a revisionist Russia and adopt a more assertive policy toward Putin.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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The Origins of Secessionist Violence: Culture, Redistribution, and Security

Description

This dissertation attempts to explain the variation in violence at the time of state secession. Why do some governments respond to secessionist demands with violence and others settle such disputes

This dissertation attempts to explain the variation in violence at the time of state secession. Why do some governments respond to secessionist demands with violence and others settle such disputes peacefully? Previous research emphasized the high value of the secessionist region, the state’s fear of a domino effect, and the political fragmentation of the state and secessionist region elites, as the primary explanations for the violent response of the state to secession. I seek to provide a more comprehensive theory for the variation of secessionist violence that integrates individual, regional, state, and international factors. Drawing on a rational choice approach, and recent research on dehumanization, I argue that the state’s response to secessionist claims depends on the degree of economic redistribution in the country, the cultural differential between the dominant group of the state and the secessionist group, and the international security of the state. My theory predicts that the state is less likely to use violence against secessionists when there is a high degree of economic redistribution, a small cultural difference between the dominant and secessionist group, and the state enjoys a high level of external security. A state willing to redistribute in favor of the secessionist region dampens support for secession in the region and reduces the need to use violence by the state. Due to cognitive biases of the human brain, it is easier to marginalize culturally distinct groups than culturally similar groups. As a result, a high cultural differential is often associated with greater probability of secessionist violence. When the international security of the state is under threat, the government of the state can more easily convince its population to use force against the secessionist region, regardless of other considerations. In sum, my theory implies that economic redistribution, cultural differences, and international security shape state responses to secessionist claims. I test these theoretical conjectures using a new dataset on peaceful and violent secessionist campaigns, along with several case studies based on field research and primary source materials and find strong supportive evidence for them.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Socialist in Form, National in Content: Soviet Culture in the Tatar Autonomous Republic, 1934-1968

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This dissertation explores the roles of ethnic minority cultural elites in the development of socialist culture in the Soviet Union from the mid-1930s through the late 1960s. Although Marxist ideology

This dissertation explores the roles of ethnic minority cultural elites in the development of socialist culture in the Soviet Union from the mid-1930s through the late 1960s. Although Marxist ideology predicted the fading away of national allegiances under communism, Soviet authorities embraced a variety of administrative and educational policies dedicated to the political, economic, and cultural modernization of the country’s non-Russian populations. I analyze the nature and implementation of these policies from the perspective of ethnic Tatars, a Muslim Turkic group and contemporary Russia’s largest minority. Tatar cultural elites utilized Soviet-approved cultural forms and filled them with Tatar cultural content from both the pre-Revolutionary past and the socialist present, creating art and literature that they saw as contributing to both the Tatar nation and to Soviet socialism. I argue that these Tatar cultural elites believed in the emancipatory potential of Soviet socialism and that they felt that national liberation and national development were intrinsic parts of the Soviet experiment. Such idealism remained present in elite discourses through the 1930s, 1940s, and into the 1950s, but after Stalin’s death it was joined by open disillusionment with what some Tatars identified as a nascent Russocentrism in Soviet culture. The coexistence of these two strands of thought among Tatar cultural elites suggests that the integration of Tatar national culture into the broad, internationalist culture envisioned by Soviet authorities in Moscow was a complex and disputed process which produced a variety of outcomes that continue to characterize Tatar culture in the post-Soviet period.

This dissertation is based on significant archival research and utilizes various state and Communist Party documents, as well as memoirs, letters, and other personal sources in both Russian and Tatar. It challenges traditional periodization by bridging the Stalin and post-Stalin eras and emphasizes on-the-ground developments rather than official state policy. Finally, it offers insight into the relationship between communism and ethnic difference and presents a nuanced vision of Soviet power that helps to explain the continuing role of nationalism in the contemporary Russian Federation and other post-communist states.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019