The recent escalation of military activities in Donetsk and Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine and military power projection in Syria demonstrate massive improvements in Moscow’s military capabilities. Russia is using hybrid warfare and conventional military operations to achieve its geopolitical goals: apply massive pressure against the democratically elected government of Ukraine, keep Kyiv from European integration, and punish Ukraine for its Western and Euro-Atlantic choices. It also has created a credible threat against the Baltic states – NATO members. In Syria, Russia-led military operations successfully buttressed the Assad regime, assured Russian military presence in strategic coastal towns of Tartus and Latakiya, and established an air base in Khmeimim.
The Russian military has learned to coordinate operations with several Middle Eastern allies: the Syrian Army, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, and the Hezbollah terrorist organization. Apart from Moscow’s geopolitical objectives, these operations are designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of Russian-made weapons to potential foreign buyers, to test new Russian military capabilities, and to display new capacities to potential adversaries. Russia is now the main adversary of NATO in Europe and the second great power in the Levant – after the United States and its allies.
The Atlantic Council will bring together a panel of experts to discuss Russia’s military power and the lessons learned from Russia’s military performance in Syria and Ukraine.
We hope you can join us for this timely discussion.
Ambassador John Herbst
Director, Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center
A conversation with:
Dr. Evelyn Farkas
Senior Fellow, Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center; Future Europe Initiative;
Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security
Mr. Alexander Golts
Visitng Fellow, Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Deputy Editor
Brigadier General (Ret.) Peter Zwack
Senior Russia-Eurasia Fellow, Institute of National Strategic Studies
National Defense University
Dr. Ariel Cohen
Senior Fellow, Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center
On Twitter? Follow @ACEurasia and #RussiaFactor
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