The Next Russian Military Intervention: Wikistrat Report

The Next Russian Military Intervention report cover

Wikistrat is pleased to release an executive summary of its recent crowdsourced simulation, “The Next Russian Military Intervention”. In this online simulation, Wikistrat asked its analytic community to explore where, when and how might future Russian military interventions may take place.

Over five days, 66 analysts developed dozens of competing scenarios, exploring all types of interventions, from small-scale missions against criminals and terrorists to outright invasions and massive cyber-attacks.

Russia’s late-February invasion of Ukraine’s Crimea province stands as part of a long history of Russian interventionism in Moscow’s former Soviet sphere. From its support for Transnistrian secession from Moldova in the early 1990s to the 2008 war with Georgia, Russia has repeatedly asserted its influence while claiming to protect Russian nationals or other Russian interests. Its military doctrine even formalizes a role for the armed forces protecting ethnic Russians anywhere in the world.

Given its imperial history, long borders, rearmament program and ethnic/strategic/economic interests in neighboring states, it seems just a matter of time before another Russian intervention abroad – whether a full-scale invasion, a deniable incursion by irregulars, or even simple intimidation through troop movements or cyber-attacks.

Five of the most interesting, plausible and alarming scenarios explored in the simulation were compiled by Wikistrat Senior Analyst Prof. Mark Galeotti into an executive summary, available for download at this link.

Scenarios include:

  • 2015: Russia responds to sanctions over Ukraine with an offensive cyber campaign
  • 2016: Russia backs a coup against Lukashenko amid post-election uprising in Belarus
  • 2017: Using military contractors in Somalia to make a point
  • 2018: Sending troops into Eastern Kazakhstan
  • 2020: Blocking construction of a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan

About the author

Mark Galeotti

Mark Galeotti
Wikistrat Senior Analyst
Professor of Global Affairs at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs

For more information about Wikistrat and for access to the full simulation archive, contact [email protected]

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