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Title: The Russian understanding of war
Author: Jonsson, Oscar Anders
ISNI:       0000 0004 7970 0121
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis aims to map military-theoretical development in Russia with a particular focus on the idea that the nature of war is defined by armed violence to a political goal. This idea has been the orthodoxy in Russia, but now non-military and non-violent means are seen to become so important that they are challenging this understanding. However, there has been no recent study in the Western debate placing the development of the nature of war at its centre. The research question is thus as follows: has the Russian understanding of the nature of war changed, and if so, how? This question is answered inductively in an idea-centred analysis of Russian military theorists, political elites and security doctrines. This thesis argues that the Russian understanding of the nature of war has since the creation of the Soviet Union, and thereafter in the Russian Federation, been defined by armed violence applied for political purposes. However, this study's main finding is that the understanding of non-military means - most notably information warfare and the creation of Colour Revolutions - have broadened the Russian understanding of the nature of war. The way in which leading theorists, elites and doctrines have come to view these non-military means as violent, more effective than military means, blurring the boundaries between war and peace, and an ongoing form of warfare suggests that the traditional understanding of war has been broadened beyond armed violence. These notions have been discussed for a longer while in the Russian military-theoretical debate, but they did not gain mainstream adoption until 2012-14.
Supervisor: Deyermond, Ruth Margaret ; Betz, David James Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available