Colouring Russian views of conflict in the 21st century

Tracey German The perceived threat posed to Russia from so-called coloured revolutions – popular uprisings attributed by Moscow to malign sponsorship by external forces – has become a central theme in Russian security discourse. There is a deep-rooted concern that coloured revolutions are part of the character of conflict in the 21st century, a new… Read More Colouring Russian views of conflict in the 21st century

Historical Reflections On The ‘Grey Zone’

Geraint Hughes Following Anna Karenina’s suicide in Tolstoy’s eponymous novel, her lover Count Vronsky enlists to fight for the Serbs against the Turks. Vronsky’s decision reflected the contemporary reality of Russian volunteers taking up arms against the Ottoman Empire during the Balkan crises that preceded the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, and it provides a reminder… Read More Historical Reflections On The ‘Grey Zone’

Covid-19 and why state resilience in the United Kingdom needs to be strengthened: The link to the changing character of war and lessons from Russia

Rod Thornton As the United Kingdom struggles to cope with the effects of the Covid-19 virus, it is becoming clearer just how weak the county’s state resilience system is. Shortages of the most basic of medical items indicates a system that is not prepared to deal with times of extreme duress. The option of last… Read More Covid-19 and why state resilience in the United Kingdom needs to be strengthened: The link to the changing character of war and lessons from Russia

Deterring Russian cyber warfare: the practical, legal and ethical constraints faced by the United Kingdom

Rod Thornton and Marina Miron Contrary to its normal positioning in terms of defence policy, the United Kingdom has come across as notably aggressive when it comes to advertising its offensive cyber warfare capabilities. Indeed, ‘Britain’ as one Russian source accusingly – and accurately – puts it, was ‘the first country in the world to… Read More Deterring Russian cyber warfare: the practical, legal and ethical constraints faced by the United Kingdom

The End of the Prague Spring – Fifty Years On

DR GERAINT HUGHES On the night of the 20th-21st August 1968, Soviet paratroopers and spetsnaz soldiers seized Ruzyne airport outside Prague, proceeding subsequently to take over key points in the Czechoslovak capital. The following day, 22 Soviet Army divisions – augmented by contingents from four other ‘fraternal’ Warsaw Pact states (Bulgaria, the German Democratic Republic,… Read More The End of the Prague Spring – Fifty Years On

The Impact of the Organisational Mind-set on the Perception of the Future in the Armed Forces

Dr Bence Nemeth, DR Nicholas Dew, Dr Mie Augier Armed forces have always been attempting to foresee threats and security challenges to figure out what kind of tasks they will likely encounter in the future. Thus, anticipating the future and having an idea about what might come helps to provide assumptions and starting points for… Read More The Impact of the Organisational Mind-set on the Perception of the Future in the Armed Forces

The Russian military’s ‘permanent’ commitment in Syria and the Eastern Mediterranean

DR ROD THORNTON, Defence Studies Department, King’s College London The Russian military appears to be in Syria very much for the long haul. Indeed, the adjective ‘permanent’ [postoyannyi] has been applied by senior Russian political and military figures to describe both the presence of the Russian forces on land in Syria and the Russian Navy’s… Read More The Russian military’s ‘permanent’ commitment in Syria and the Eastern Mediterranean

Is the use of nuclear weapons more likely now? Well, yes…

DR ROD THORNTON Nuclear weapons are, it seems, becoming more and more of a factor in the thinking about how future major wars will be conducted. The recently released United States Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) points to the fact that Washington now wants to increase the size of its nuclear arsenal. Specifically, it seeks to… Read More Is the use of nuclear weapons more likely now? Well, yes…

Current Russian and Chinese ways of warfare: the end (?) of military violence in peer-state conflict

DR ROD THORNTON When it comes to the winning of wars, it might be thought that military organisations today, just as they have always done, would be concentrating their efforts on how best to use kinetic force. Military violence is, after all, what militaries do. But not, it seems, any more – or at least… Read More Current Russian and Chinese ways of warfare: the end (?) of military violence in peer-state conflict