Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



International Relations

First Advisor

Jean Krasno

Second Advisor

Kimberly Gamble-Payne


Putin, Russia, threat, propaganda, foreign policy, domestic policy, warfare, strategy, long-term, Ukraine, regional power, influence, hard power


The state of Russia has experienced multiple shifts during various phases of its development and, along with that, it has influenced the world of international diplomacy on a grand scale. From being the world`s second superpower with huge military and political capabilities to becoming a disintegrated regional power, there definitely has been a certain degree of change which has impacted both the Russian political establishment as well as ordinary people. The slow process of the degradation of the “big empire” actually had its roots during Soviet times when the Soviet Union faced the Chernobyl catastrophe, the war in Afghanistan, the Perestroika period and the epoque of Velvet revolutions. The economy simply could not sustain these above mentioned challenges and resulted in the collapse of the USSR. Naturally, this had an immense impact on the people who knew their country as a great superpower all these years.

Putin`s arrival to power had a profound impact on Russia`s behavior both domestically as well as internationally. Moreover, it has brought Russia to become increasingly active on the international arena in comparison to how it used to be during Yeltsin`s administration. This thesis will cover the roots of Putin’s behavior, which lies in utilizing external threat as a main instrument for both domestic and foreign policies. Clearly, there is some kind of strategy involved which is very difficult for the West to understand. This thesis examines this strategy and whether it is a viable plan for Putin.

The methodology for this thesis is largely secondary sources of various authors, along with a significant number of newspaper articles. The latter is significant in this particular topic because it is in the process of developing and will be developing, taking into consideration current events on the border with Ukraine. In addition, a portion of statistical data will be presented, such as the population percentage, federal election results, demographics, and others.



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