Protecting the status quo: the defense against a Russian color revolution
Conley, Timothy D.
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This thesis examines Russia's reaction to the recent electoral revolutions and mass protest movements across Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, all of which the Russians labeled color revolutions. More explicitly, it analyzes Russian understanding of the color revolution threat, the Russian security forces' actions to address vulnerabilities to the threat, the non-military actions taken to minimize the threat, and the military efforts made to both support and to gain the support of Russia's regional allies. Russia's understanding and reaction to the color revolution threat is one largely driven by the West's perceived role in color revolutions. Russia has succeeded in severing the ties between Western democratization efforts and Russian civil society, while Russia's new National Guard strengthens the tie between the Kremlin and the country's internal coercive forces. However, Russia's military has largely not reacted to the threat, and the country's efforts to gain allies against the threat have received only half-hearted support. Overall, Russia's anti-color revolution strategy, if it can be called a strategy, has been executed unevenly across the various ministries; but understanding how Russia perceives and reacts to the threat is essential, especially if Russia uses what it has learned to foment a color revolution in a NATO country.
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