As explained in Parts One through Three of “Beyond Ukraine”, Russia strategists have essentially calcified the country’s approach towards undermining the influence of the European community in integration efforts of former Soviet republics. Cultivating support for insurrectionist activity in order to undermine the territorial integrity of states such as Ukrain and Georgia is one part of a larger strategy to ensure Russian dominance over the affairs and policies of its near abroad.
Due to a confluence of factors to include enlargement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU) and the evolution of former Soviet republics such as Ukraine and Georgia away from their former patrons in Moscow, the Kremlin initiated a more aggressive policy of interference in key separatist regions in the post-Soviet space in Eastern Ukraine last winter. Culminating with the annexation of Crimea and the intensification of insurgent rebellion in Donbas, Russian clandestine support for rebellion in Ukraine is reflective of a resurgent Russian foreign policy of domination over its near abroad states from Eastern Europe through Central Asia. In attempting to identify where Russian intelligence and military assets may next be applied in this nascent new geopolitical battle with the West, Russian strategists have targeted separatist regions in Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia.
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