Putin's Grand Strategy: Russia's Campaign of Controlled Instability in Ukraine and Beyond

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This thesis addresses the great lengths to which Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation have gone to foster “controlled instability” in the former Soviet Union. It is said that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and with Western policy makers who appear unwilling to act on intelligence regarding Russian actions as well as incontrovertible evidence of Putin’s aggressive strategy, this Western failure to learn has contributed significantly to a repeat of various Russian behaviors during past conflicts. Russian actions pose a clear and present danger to the stability of the global community. Because many of the current events are not yet published in texts or are classified, the author has had to depend heavily upon open-source references from the internet to provide key events as they chronologically happened, particularly when analyzing the crisis in Ukraine. In writing the thesis, my observations have been validated by Russia’s recent incursion into Syria to fortify the Russian leadership’s interests as a result of the continued inaction of Western policy makers. As a result, we will see significant additional instances of controlled instability from Russia in the future.

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