The Role Of Realism In Russia

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Under leadership of Vladimir Putin, The Russian Federation has undertaken actions over the past two years that can be compared to actions and ideas supported by realist theory. The fundamental property of realism is that a state believes the international system to be anarchic and will act in a “self-help system” meaning to states only act in their best interests. In such, Russia has been considered to be pursuing the interests of their own state above all else in an attempt of self-preservation. Russia’s recent activities has severely strained their relationships with previous allies in the international system by going against the norms of the system, which is another aspect of realism, believing there is no supranational authority to enforce …show more content…
They have taken it upon themselves to invade and consequently annex a sovereign nation in the name of “protecting its legitimate security interests” (Daly 2014). Russia claims that they had a legitimate claim to Crimea, over NATO, and that they’re nation’s “behavior towards Ukraine is actually a reasonable response to Western attempts to wrest Ukraine from Russia’s sphere of influence” (Motyl 2015). The annexation of Crimea by the Russian federation along with their subsequent strengthening of the black sea fleet was purely a way for Russia to further increase its strength, which is a blatant use of realist ideas of securing your own international security followed by further strengthening your political and economic systems in other states (Daly 2014). Furthermore, Aspects regarding the ongoing conflict in Syria can also be traced back from the theory of realism. For starters, Russia was amongst one of the only nations not to join the UN sponsored resolutions calling on Syrian President Assad to step down, instead Russia went against the mast and supported Syrian president in order to protect Russian interests (Hahn 2012). Due to Syria’s close proximity to Russia, the Russian government fears that if the current regime in Syria comes to an end, the United States will take actions to instill a democratic system in the nation thereby furthering the United States power in Russia’s sphere of influence. In other terms, Russia is taking the realist approach of zero-sum, meaning Russia can win as long as United states loses; which is why Russia continues to support President Assad. Regardless of the fact that Syria is in desperate need of humanitarian intervention, Russia is continuing to stick by the realism theory of political responsibility in pursuit on one’s own interest, meaning that as long as Russia’s self-interest are not being negatively affected by the humanitarian

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