Cover Osteuropa 3/2015

In Osteuropa 3/2015

A Year of Violence
Russia’s State Crisis and the War against Ukraine

Jan C. Behrends

Deutsche Fassung


The annexation of the Crimea and the undeclared war against Ukraine once again show the significant role violence plays in post-Soviet Russia. The forms of violence range from coercion to resolve economic conflicts to the 1993 coup and the shelling of the Russian Supreme Soviet, from the “war on terror” against its own citizens in the North Caucasus to open or hybrid wars beyond its own borders. The extraordinary role of violence is an ex-pression of a deep structural crisis of Russian statehood and the deformation of politics. Russia’s leadership acts in a friend-or-foe modus, using repression at home and aggression abroad. The stabilisation and consolidation of Ukraine and its neighbours in Eastern Europe is the central task of European security policy and German “Ostpolitik”. In Russia, those social forces that advocate civil values deserve support.

(Osteuropa 3/2015, pp. 47–66)