Russia

The Wagner Group as a Tool of Russian Hybrid Warfare

Author: Marek Górka
Institution: Koszalin University of Technology (Poland)
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6964-1581
Year of publication: 2023
Source: Show
Pages: 83-98
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/ppsy202324
PDF: ppsy/52/ppsy202324-5.pdf

Unrest, conflicts, and wars in various parts of the world have created huge political and business opportunities for private military companies. They can gather intelligence, provide security for rich and powerful political actors, and provide mercenaries to interest groups worldwide. Private Russian military forces with close ties to President Vladimir Putin are used in war zones and continue expanding their presence in many regions worldwide. The Wagner Group is the most famous Russian mercenary unit. It gained notoriety mainly by supporting Russian forces in the conflict in Ukraine in 2014. At that time, it also provided one of the services that the authorities in the Kremlin particularly appreciate in their actions, and that is the lack of attribution for conducting armed conflicts, thanks to which mercenaries play the role of separatist fighters. Since then, the organisation has been deployed in many countries, including Syria, Libya, Mali, the Central African Republic, Sudan, and Venezuela, always to covertly support representatives of regimes favoured by Putin. Like all other mercenary units in Russia, the Wagner Group does not officially exist, because Russian law does not allow mercenary activities. The article has two main objectives: first, to present an analysis of the activities of the Wagner Group, using the currently available information; second, to prove that the concept of hybrid warfare could best explain the Kremlin’s use of Russian mercenaries.

Quo Vadis, America? U.S. National Security Strategy under President Joe Biden

Author: Ewelina Waśko-Owsiejczuk
Institution: University of Białystok
Year of publication: 2023
Source: Show
Pages: 114-140
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/athena.2023.79.06
PDF: apsp/79/apsp7906.pdf

The research purpose of the paper is to analyze the key assumptions outlined in the US National Security Strategy 2022. The paper will look for answers to the following questions: What is national security strategy? Is it an important document? What and for whom does it matter? What direction will US policy take under Joe Biden’s administration? What tools and methods will be used? What are the goals and priorities set in the document? Which countries are among the closest allies and biggest adversaries? What impact had the Russian aggression against Ukraine on the shape of the US National Security Strategy 2022? The main research method will be source analysis and criticism, as well as a comparative method to contrast the current NSS with previous ones. The research thesis assumes that the priority of the current US security strategy remains the one initiated during previous White House administrations – the rivalry with China, which in tandem with Russia aims to change the modern international order, threatening the national interests of the United States of America. The conducted analysis, on the one hand, confirms the thesis, and, on the other hand, points to inconsistencies in US strategic thinking (which takes the form of a “wish list”), which can significantly affect the effectiveness of the implementation of the set goals and objectives.

Media w służbie reżimu. Przykład Rosji i wyzwania dla demokracji

Author: Waldemar Tomaszewski
Institution: Uniwersytet Warmińsko-Mazurski w Olsztynie
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2598-2867
Year of publication: 2023
Source: Show
Pages: 50-63
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/ksm20230404
PDF: ksm/40/ksm4004.pdf

The Media in the Service of the Regime. The Example of Russia and Challenges to Democracy

The subject of the article are the media. The activity of the media was analyzed in the context of their use to achieve the goals of the undemocratic regime. Considerations were also made on the admissibility of limiting the freedom of the media in democratic regimes. The relationship between the activities of the media and state security was adopted as the leading context. Answers were sought to the following questions: is freedom of the media the main value in the state?; can the freedom of the media be limited in a democratic regime?; if we consider that the freedom of the media may be limited, what conditions must be met for this? As a hypothesis, it was assumed that: freedom of the media is an undeniable value of democracy, but it cannot be a superior value over securing the survival of the state. The following methods were mainly used: institutional and legal, comparative and systemic. One of the main conclusions is that: freedom of action of the media can be their privilege only during the normal, i.e. safe functioning of the state, and the actions of the media cannot be contrary to the supreme values of the Nation and threaten the survival of the state.

Czynniki determinujące kontynuowanie wojny rosyjsko-ukraińskiej

Author: Marcin Koczan
Institution: Uniwersytet Wrocławski
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8039-6820
Year of publication: 2023
Source: Show
Pages: 110-124
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/npw20233705
PDF: npw/37/npw3705.pdf

Factors determining the continuation of the Russian-Ukrainian war

On February 24, 2022, Russian troops attacked the territory of Ukraine, starting a new phase of the conflict that has been ongoing since 2014. Due to the difference in potential between Russia and Ukraine, most analysts expected a relatively quick end of military operation. Although several months have passed since the attack, there are no signs that the war will end soon. On the contrary, most indications indicate that the conflict will not end any time soon. The authorities of both sides declare their willingness to start peace negotiations, but they set preconditions unacceptable to the other side. Societies seem determined to continue the war, or at least there are no widespread symptoms of defeatism. Russia’s military potential has not reached a critical level that would make it impossible to wage a full-scale war, and the economic situation is better than predicted a few months ago. Ukraine’s continued resistance depends on the extent of assistance it receives from its allies. The article describes the factors that prove the continuation of military operations, but also the reasons for ending the war.

Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe wobec Rosji, Ukrainy i Białorusi w latach 2015–2019

Author: Tomasz R. Dębowski
Institution: Uniwersytet Wrocławski
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9933-8911
Year of publication: 2023
Source: Show
Pages: 192-211
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/npw20233709
PDF: npw/37/npw3709.pdf

The Polish People’s Party towards Russia, Ukraine and Belarus in 2015–2019

Eastern policy is one of the most important areas of Polish foreign policy. It regards the countries (of the former Soviet Union), that do not belong to the Euro-Atlantic structures. In 2015, Law and Justice won the parliamentary elections in Poland. Witold Waszczykowski was assigned as the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and was replaced in January 2018 by Jacek Czaputowicz. The aim of the study is to find an answer to the question: what was the attitude of the Polish People’s Party to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus in 2015–2019 and what premises influenced its shape? A working hypothesis was adopted: “The Polish People’s Party in 2015–2019 opted for a partnership model of Poland’s relations with Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, shaped on the basis of pragmatic premises”. The time limit for the research covered the period from July 17th, 2015 to November 11th, 2019. The analysis of the collected material made possible to answer the question (contained in the introduction to the article), and also confirmed the validity of the adopted working hypothesis. Moreover, it showed that for the Polish People’s Party, matters concerning eastern policy were not the leading thread in the reflection on Polish foreign policy.

Turkey forever balances between East and West

Author: Karolina Wanda Olszowska
Institution: Jagiellonian University in Kraków
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0535-912X
Year of publication: 2023
Source: Show
Pages: 239-255
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/npw20233711
PDF: npw/37/npw3711.pdf

Turkey forever balances between East and West

When looking at contemporary Turkish politics, an incorrect notion is often circulated that Turkey has only in recent years, as far back as under Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, begun a policy of balancing between East and West. The purpose of this article is to analyze Turkey’s posture – in terms of balancing between spheres of influence – after the end of World War II until Turkey joined NATO and then compare it with Turkey’s stance during the Justice and Development Party government in the context of relations with the United States and Russia. This will help answer the question: to what extent is Ankara’s current balkanizing attitude something surprising? Aren’t specific patterns of the 1945–1952 period similar to those of the 21st century, and the differences are the attitudes of Washington and Moscow rather than Ankara?

The Russian Federation and Polish Security: a Risk Analysis

Author: Andrzej Szeptycki
Institution: University of Warsaw, Poland
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2729-6967
Year of publication: 2023
Source: Show
Pages: 33-47
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/CEJSS.2023104
PDF: cejss/1/cejss104.pdf

Poland considers the Russian Federation as a major threat for its security; these fears have considerably increased since the Russian aggression against Ukraine in early 2022. This article analyses Russia’s policy towards Poland through the risk matrix, taking into account four elements: Poland’s assets, existing threats, vulnerabilities and finally countermeasures adopted by Poland. It focuses on four security sectors: military, economic, political, and societal. The risk of a full-scale military attack on Poland is possible, though a low intensity ‘hybrid’ conflict seems more probable. The overall dependence of the Polish economy on Russia (trade, foreign direct investments) is relatively narrow. However, the energy ties remain relatively strong, which constitutes a risk for Poland, especially since both EU and Russia strive to limit their cooperation in the field of energy. In the political sector, there is a high risk that Russia’s interference could contribute to the deconstruction of the existing political system based on European values, such as democracy and the rule of law. In the societal sector, the assessment of Poland’s vulnerability is not unanimous. Russia has failed to successfully fuel a Polish-Ukrainian societal conflict. Poland had to face however two refugee crises – on Belarussian (2021) and on the Ukrainian (2022) borders; in both cases they were at least indirectly provoked by the Russian Federation.

Rola cyberprzestrzeni w wojnie Rosji z Ukrainą

Author: Agnieszka Warchoł
Institution: Uniwersytet Pedagogiczny im. KEN w Krakowie
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0786-6440
Year of publication: 2023
Source: Show
Pages: 64-79
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/npw20233904
PDF: npw/39/npw3904.pdf

The role of cyberspace in Russia’s war against Ukraine

The aim of article is to present the ways in which cyberspace has been used in Russia’s war against Ukraine. The article consists of several parts. The first deals with Ukraine’s preparations for potential Russian cyber attacks. In the second part, the author presents information on the use of cyberspace in the Russian-Ukrainian war. The last part presents possible scenarios for the use of cyberspace in wars in the future. The study used the following research methods: historical method, comparative analysis, literature analysis and criticism, source analysis and criticism, and case study.

Characteristics of calculating the power of states in Eastern Europe: a powermetric approach

Author: Erwin Metera
Institution: Political Science Alumni Association of the University of Warsaw
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9003-5810
Year of publication: 2023
Source: Show
Pages: 102-118
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/npw20233906
PDF: npw/39/npw3906.pdf

The conducted research indicates the elements characteristic of power relations among states in Eastern Europe by describing them in mathematical terms. Using existing assumptions and resulting universal powermetric models, the study adapts them to the specifics of the region, enabling the implementation of the negative role of the imports of Russian energy resources in calculating the power of individual states. The role of trade links based on the two main energy resources – natural gas and crude oil – has been indicated. Imports of these raw materials from Russia, which constitute a significant part of the balance of resources used in the energy sectors of the importing countries, are the source of reduction of the geopolitical position of these states in the region, in relation to the position held by the Russian Federation. By taking into account the negative impact of trade in energy resources due to their use by the Russian Federation as a tool in achieving geostrategic goals, the conclusions obtained in the study allow for an increase in the accuracy of existing powermetric models in research on power distribution in Eastern Europe.

Ukrainian and Russian Relations: An Analysis of the Post-Donbas Crisis

Author: Mukesh Shankar Bharti
Institution: Amity University, India
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3693-7247
Year of publication: 2023
Source: Show
Pages: 43-57
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/CPLS.2023305
PDF: cpls/7/cpls705.pdf

The article aims to assess the relationship between Ukraine and Russia since the Donbas crisis. The regional rivalry between Ukraine and Russia has largely contributed to the instability of Eastern Europe. The article describes the concerns of the geopolitical game of influence between the West, led by the United States, and Russia. The article explores Ukraine’s eastern border conflict as a live myth-making process. The study used the empirical and theoretical literature to find the objectives of this research. This article outlines the objectives of the Donbas region crisis output, Ukraine and Russia relations, and the EU sanctions against Russia, comparing the expectations of the political, economic and cultural aspects. The new conflict between Ukraine and Russia validates a new kind of geopolitical adventurism and blurs both the territorial and imaginary borders of the Russian state. As a result, the Ukrainian eastern crisis in the Donbas region has highlighted the fragility of the Russian national identity and the incompleteness of the Russian administration.

Wojna w Ukrainie – przyczyny i skutki po ponad roku trwania

Author: Zbigniew Wiktor
Institution: Emerytowany prof. Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego
Year of publication: 2023
Source: Show
Pages: 30-59
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/so2023302
PDF: so/27/so2702.pdf

War in Ukraine – Causes and Consequences after More than a Year

The war in Ukraine has been going on for more than a year now and there is no indication that it will end soon. The causes of its outbreak are very complex. One of them was the victory of the counter-revolution and the collapse of socialism, followed by the collapse of the former Soviet Union in December 1991. At that time, fifteen independent republics were established to varying degrees – their disintegration took place not only ideologically and politically, but also economically. In many of them, nationalisms arose or were revived, including those based on religion, which included not only the main former union republics, but also numerous national minorities, particularly the Baltic states, the Caucasus, and the Volga region. Some of them turned into local wars. An important role in the disintegration of the countries of the former Soviet Union and the weakening of the Russian Federation was played by external forces, imperialist states, mainly the US, some European countries, NATO in general, and the rivalling with Russia European Union and other forces of international capital. The war in Ukraine has deeper causes, and in case of Russia’s defeat, it will have further adverse consequences for it as a great power, and may even become the beginning of its disintegration. Hence, the result is the full determination of the Russian ruling forces to achieve victory. At the same time, Ukraine enjoys the support of the entire „global West”, led by the US, NATO, and the European Union. The war was preceded by numerous growing contradictions and accompanying conflicts, which took the form of the ‚Orange Revolution’ in 2004, the so-called Revolution of Dignity and the Maidan coup, the declaration of independence by Crimea and the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics in 2014. It took another eight years for the conflict to escalate into a full-blown war, although Russia officially still defines it as a „special military operation”.

Польско-турецкие отношения: генезис, история развития, состояние на современном этапе

Author: Ahmet Burak
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1894-5948
Year of publication: 2023
Source: Show
Pages: 20-30
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/so2023202
PDF: so/26/so2602.pdf

Polish-Turkish Relations: Genesis, History of Development, and State at the Present Stage

Türkiye and Poland are located in different geopolitical areas, so ideological and social factors strongly impede political dialogue between them. Turkish Polish relations have a long history. In 2014, both countries celebrated the 600th anniversary of diplomatic relations. Despite numerous conflicts in history, both states have consistently made efforts to maintain and improve mutual relations. Currently, in the language of diplomacy, bilateral relations between states are still friendly. The paper’s author demonstrates whether they can really be defined as such.

The Role of Political Leadership in a Hybrid Regime: The Case Study of Alexei Navalny’s Team

Author: Agnieszka Miarka
Institution: University of Silesia in Katowice (Poland)
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2851-1676
Year of publication: 2024
Source: Show
Pages: 35-54
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/ppsy202403
PDF: ppsy/53-1/ppsy2024103.pdf

The article aims to explain Navalny’s team’s political strategy after his arrest, focusing on the activity before the State Duma elections. This is an important issue from the point of view of the impact of leadership on a political organization in a system evolving from a hybrid regime to an authoritarian regime. As confirmed by the author’s research, the organization adapts to new conditions without a leader. Still, it is predestined to disintegrate and reduce the effectiveness of implementing the updated political strategy.

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