Dealing with the Russian Bear: Central Asian Responses to the Russian Use of Military Force in the Post-Soviet Sphere
Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
The Russian Federation, under the regime of Vladimir Putin, has intervened militarily three times in the post-Soviet space to achieve geopolitical objectives. Central Asian alliance behavior and change in security policies towards Russian military actions in the post-Soviet sphere directly challenge the expectations of traditional international relations theory. In the three instances where the Russian Federation has used military force against a territory of a former Soviet republic, Central Asian states appear to be adopting a new strategy which this paper characterizes as “oppositional neutrality”. As a response to Russia’s use of military force, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan all displayed varying levels of adherence to oppositional neutrality. Through oppositional neutrality, these nations were able to continue to reap the benefits of their relations with Russia while also keeping the avenue of external partnerships open.
Woodworth, Aliia, "Dealing with the Russian Bear: Central Asian Responses to the Russian Use of Military Force in the Post-Soviet Sphere" (2023). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 2044.
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