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Notes

  • 1. According to Hahn (2012), “being in the immediate neighbourhood”, Russia is “caught even more tightly” in the Syrian crisis than the United States.
  • 2. In his detailed analysis of Russian approaches to military intervention, Allison (2013) also argues that Russia has defended a particular set of norms, leading to “normative friction” (p. 208) with the West.
  • 3. The report wrote: “The shelling of Tskhinvali by the Georgian armed forces during the night of 7 to 8 August 2008 marked the beginning of the large-scale armed conflict in Georgia, yet it was only the culminating point of a long period of increasing tensions, provocations and incidents”
  • (p. 11).
  • 4. NATO’s invitation to Montenegro in December 2015 to begin accession talks sparked an angry Russian reaction, showing that Russia remains opposed to NATO enlargement even outside the former Soviet Union.
  • 5. For detailed analysis of the Ukrainian crisis from contrasting perspectives, see Sakwa (2015) and Wilson (2014).
  • 6. In practice, Putin’s control of events and of the secessionist forces is probably exaggerated in mainstream accounts, as was Milosevic’s control over Serb nationalists outside Serbia; but as with Milosevic, Putin is trapped by his own nationalist rhetoric which is instrumental to his popular support.
  • 7. Although a report by Elena Milashina (2015) in Novaiagazeta suggested that the Syrian conflict has also been seen as an opportunity for Russia, with special services helping Islamists from the Russian Caucasus to go to fight in Syria, hoping thereby to remove a domestic threat.
 
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