Kontinuitet og forandring i russisk strategisk kultur
Continuity and change in Russian strategic culture. Case: The war in Ukraine
The strategic cultural approach to Russian security policy is employed stressing the primacy of Kremlin regime security. Insights from studies of post-Soviet Russian strategic culture are revisited when analyzing ongoing Russian warfare against Ukraine. As for the key Kremlin decision to invade on 24th February 2022, strategic culture analysis allows for possible idiosyncrasies, groupthink and outright dysfunctional strategic cultures. Strategic culture argues a constructivist ‘logic of appropriateness’ when explaining security policy outcomes like war at the expense of the ‘logic of consequence’ which presupposes rational cost/benefit calculus by decision makers. Atrocities against civilians and the utter destruction characterizing Russian warfare have Soviet and Russian precedents, whereas e.g. Putin’s use of not just nuclear threats but also nuclear power plants represents novelty. The main surprise, however, is the poor performance of the ostensibly modernized and reformed Russian Army. If Russia is defeated, this might bring change within Russian strategic culture.