Internal Dynamics in Russia

February 2019 No Comments

“Internal Dynamics in Russia”

Speaker: Zaborowski, M. (CCJ-5 / Combined Strategic Analysis Group (CSAG))

Date: 13 February 2019

Speaker Session Preview

SMA hosted a speaker session presented by LTCOL Maciej Zaborowski (CCJ-5 / Combined Strategic Analysis Group (CSAG)) as a part of its SMA EUCOM Speaker Series. During his presentation, LTCOL Zaborowski focused on Russia’s history and traditions. He argued that “comprehending how Russians see themselves and their place in the world is vital for understanding the sources and legitimacy of Russian leaders and their actions.” To begin, LTCOL Zaborowski highlighted a series of events from Russia’s early history, including the transition of the Moscow Duchy into the Russian Empire and the reigns of both Peter the Great and Catherine the Great. He then discussed more recent (i.e. post-World War I) historical occurrences, including the increase of German influence in Russia, the Bolshevik Revolution, Komintern, and the formation of the Soviet Union. He then stated that Russians “are a very unique people and see themselves as such.” LTCOL Zaborowski proceeded to discuss some of the key attributes that Russians possess about which US decision makers should be mindful, including their religious background, their strong connection to Russia’s history, and their desire for great leaders. He also highlighted some other factors that play into understanding the Russian people, including their “imperial thinking,” their connectivity, and their perception of sacrifice. He then spoke about the characteristics typically found in a Russian leader and explained how President Vladimir Putin was able to secure his position by embodying these attributes. To conclude, LTCOL Zaborowski discussed what we can expect from Russia in the near future and stated his own personal viewpoint, which is that “to understand Russia and its people, one has to suffer from them.”

Speaker Session Audio File

Download LT COL Zaborowski’s Biography, Paper, and Slides


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