Russia's reactions to the color revolutions
Hinkle, Katherine T.
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The color revolutions, the popular democratic protests that occurred in Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan from 2003–2005 and overturned the pro-Russian regimes in those nations, played a significant role in the development of Russia's relationship with the West. They created a narrative of a continuous wave of pro-democracy, pro-reform movements sweeping through the former Soviet Union (FSU) that had the potential to spread across the FSU, including to Russia itself. This thesis examines Russia's reaction to the color revolutions as they fit within this narrative of anti-Westernism. Russian officials saw the West as the cause of the color revolutions and claimed that Western-funded NGOs were deliberately working to undermine the regimes of the color revolution countries, by aiding the activists and youth movements that propelled the demonstrations to victory. The color revolutions added to the feeling of Western encroachment on Russia's sphere of influence and contributed to Western involvement in the post-Communist domain, along with NATO and EU expansions in post-Soviet nations and United States' deals for basing rights in post-Soviet Central Asia. Because Russia feared the results of Western democracy-promotion and election-monitoring, officials attempted to thwart both activities and developed the narrative of sovereign democracy as a means of justifying their actions.
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