The Tale of Two Russian Occupations: Georgia and Ukraine – Russian Roulette Episode 115

In this episode of Russian Roulette, Heather sits down with Mykola Bielieskov, Ph.D. student at the National Institute for Strategic Studies (NISS), Ukraine, and Natia Seskuria, associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).

We discuss the effectiveness and shortcomings of Russia’s hard and soft power influence tools in Georgia and Ukraine, including its “borderization” policy in Georgia, its “passportization” in Donbas, and the role of the Orthodox Church. Finally, we finish the conversation with recommendations regarding how the West can resist the challenges presented by Russia’s occupation of Georgia and Ukraine’s territories.

Both Natia and Mykola participated in CSIS “Understanding the Russian Military Today” executive education program in June and this episode is inspired by their papers written as part of their independent research. In his paper, Mykola dissects Russia’s military buildup near Ukraine’s borders this spring, while in her paper, Natia focuses on Russia’s “hybrid aggression” and influence tools in Georgia. Definitely check out their papers!

Read Natia’s bio here and follow her on Twitter @nseskuria

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This event was funded by the Russia Strategic Initiative U.S. European Command, Stuttgart Germany.
Opinions, arguments, viewpoints, and conclusions expressed in this work do not represent those of RSI, U.S. EUCOM, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.