INTERVIEWS

Russian Diplomacy Today Sees Its Mission in Maintaining a Global Balance of Interests
M. Zakharov

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Keywords: countries of the Global South and East, BRICS, Russian-Chinese relations, digital diplomacy, AI, Foreign Policy Concept, role of Russian diplomacy

Question: Today, Russia celebrates Diplomats’ Day. International Affairs extends best wishes to you and all Russian diplomats on your professional holiday and wishes you success in your work defending Russia’s national interests in an increasingly complex international situation. Today, we find ourselves in situation marked by intense confrontation with the West, disregard for international law, and a reevaluation of the established system of checks and balances in global politics. The US is trying to impose a “rules-based world order” on the entire international community. Is it possible to counter the Westerners ‘hegemony? What are the prospects for establishing dialogue with the US?…

Diplomacy for All Times: On the 90th Anniversary of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A. Yakovenko

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International Affairs: Alexander Vladimirovich [Yakovenko], what was the reason for the establishment of the predecessor of the Diplomatic Academy, the Institute for the Training of Diplomatic and Consular Workers, in February 1934?

Alexander Yakovenko: By that time, the Soviet state had achieved internal stability and political, economic, and military strength, which its opponents could not ignore. In 1934, the Soviet Union joined the League of Nations, and foreign policy activity was intensifying. At the same time, the West was in the Great Depression, which it was able to escape from only through World War II. An anxious, prewar atmosphere was forming. The shortcomings of the post-World War I Versailles settlement, in which Soviet Russia was prevented by the Western powers from participating, were evident…

“We Have a Hard Battle Ahead, Not an Easy Fight”
A. Fursov

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Armen Oganesyan, editor-in-chief, International Affairs: Audrey Ilich [Fursov], what main trends of 2023 could you note?

Andrei Fursov: Ukraine’s so-called counteroffensive failed, and it is clear that there will be no more counteroffensive operations. The [Russian] Special Military Operation [in Ukraine] (SMO) is shifting to a completely new stage. Yet another zone has appeared in the military cycle that began with the events in Syria – i.e., the Middle East. Unfortunately, it is not the last one. And this is a trend..

VIEWPOINT

Hegel and the Theory of International Relations: General Paradigm of the Hegelian System
A. Dugin

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LET us trace the influence of Hegel’s philosophy on the theory of international relations. It is most pronounced in Marxism and liberalism, while Hegel did not have much influence on realism. Let us examine this topic in more detail.

Hegel articulated his views on politics most comprehensively in his Philosophy of Right.1 These views are based on his philosophy as a whole and represent an integral part of the entire system. Nevertheless, Hegel’s theory of the Political is presented in a rather original way and should be briefly described in order to identify his set of views on international politics…

WORLD ISSUES

Diplomacy as the Art of Intelligence
K. Terentyev

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THE fairly impressive scientific and technological progress of humankind is rooted in the continuous accumulation and generalization of knowledge and experience. According to many experts, machine learning and large computing power, the latest achievements of which are connected with artificial intelligence (AI), will accelerate social and political changes that will affect the general paradigm of our existence.1

These technologies and their development are a mixed blessing. New inventions can potentially improve human lives, yet the wider application of AI functions pushes a steadily growing number of professional human skills out of the realm of human labor and, therefore, raises social tension. The latest advances in the development of neural language models anticipate radical changes in the creative industry2 – i.e., in the area in which cognitive abilities are used. The final aim of the contemporary stage of technological development is so-called “artificial general intelligence” (AGI)3 – a supermind that would perceive the world through human eyes, as it were. This is a truly visionary prospect…

The Question of International Law, as Well as Norms, Rules, and Principles in the Field of ICTs in the Context of International Security: Issues and Analyses
H. Balouji

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FOR over two decades, discussions on ICTs in the context of international security within the United Nations have failed to reach a definitive conclusion, leaving proponents and opponents in a perpetual debate. A major challenge in this ongoing issue revolves around the development of a legally binding document in the field of ICTs in the context of international security.

This paper aims to explore the reasons and doubts raised by supporters of both perspectives while emphasizing the importance of technical considerations over political influences. By focusing on objective technical solutions, a clearer path forward can be identified…

COMMENTARIES AND ESSAYS

International Relations of Russian Federation Members in the Context of Contemporary Geopolitics
A. Lukashik

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Keywords: Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation, international relations and foreign economic relations of Russian Federation constituent entities, interregional forums, coordinating role of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, legislative framework of international activities of Russian regions

THE complex geopolitical situation, the aggressive sanctions policy of the collective West, as well as its desire to isolate our country, demonize everything associated with it, inflict a strategic defeat on it, reverse objective trends in the international arena, prevent the establishment of a multipolar world, and dictate its terms to other states unimpeded have radically changed the foreign policy context and necessitated a profound adjustment of Russia’s foreign policy in world affairs. The new Foreign Policy Concept, approved by the president of the Russian Federation on March 31, 2023, sets clear policy for action under today’s difficult conditions and consolidates basic guidelines aimed at strengthening Russia’s place and role in the international coordinate system as an active participant in the processes and one of the centers of global governance…

NATO: Waging High-Tech Warfare
Yu. Belobrov

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Keywords: NATO, Emerging and Disruptive Technologies, high-tech wars, military and industrial advantage, collective cooperation

THE rapid technological progress observed in the last decade throughout the world, especially in China and Russia, threatens the established sources of military and industrial dominance of the collective West on the world stage. NATO views this as an alarming trend, and in an attempt to stop it, bloc members are making a determined effort to preserve their military-technological leadership and the international order structured around their policies. To this end, they are initiating a new arms race, partially through the active incorporation into the military sphere of the latest breakthrough technologies (Emerging and Disruptive Technologies – EDT), which, they believe, can reverse the emerging multipolarity of international relations and radically change the nature of future wars. Thus, the Allies are stepping up collective efforts to master innovative technologies and introduce them into the operational activities of NATO and all member nations to ensure their victory in future high-tech wars. They emphasize the urgency of adapting the armed forces of said countries to the realities of global technological advancement. As the communique adopted at the Alliance summit in Vilnius in 2023 directly stated: “We are accelerating our own efforts to ensure that the Alliance maintains its technological edge in emerging and disruptive technologies to retain our interoperability and military advantage including through dual-use solutions.

The US National Debt: Its Status Quo and Likely Future
P. Sadykhov

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Keywords: global financial crisis (GFC), budget deficit, gross domestic product (GDP), Treasury bonds, Treasurys, World Bank

THE sharp exacerbation of Russia’s relations with the West, mainly with the US, has spurred discussions on the US national debt in Russia’s media and economic literature, usually with negative forecasts. It is often even claimed that the American financial system is set to collapse, and that this may destabilize global finance and trigger a new global financial and economic crisis…

US Disinformation Campaigns Against Russia in Latin American Countries
M. Troyansky, T. Silakova

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DISINFORMATION, or, in the most general terms, the dissemination of false information, has become a serious threat to democratic systems. The deliberate dissemination of false, biased, or fabricated information with hostile intent foments social tensions, erodes public faith, and incites hatred.

The US is actively conducting disinformation campaigns against Russia in Latin American countries. This is generating considerable discussion and controversy, since it reflects the ongoing struggle for influence and geopolitical supremacy…

Hybridization of the French National Rally Party
A. Badayeva

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Keywords: National Rally, National Front, Marine Le Pen, Jean-Marie Le Pen, Jordan Bardella, nationalism, right-wing populism, French 2022 presidential election

FOR more than half a century, representatives of the Le Pen family have held on to their leading positions in France’s far-right National Rally party and, despite numerous political obstacles, they continue their confident march toward power. The majoritarian electoral system, the cooperation of the elite and its reluctance to cede power, along with the tenacity demonstrated by National Rally’s leadership have led to a gradual transformation and hybridization of the French far-right, its ideological drift toward the center, and the softening of its previously radical image…

The Principle of Harmony Among the Orthodox Churches and Its Disruption
Hegumen Dionysius

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Keywords: Orthodox Churches, the principle of harmony, the West and the East, Russian Orthodox Church, the Supreme Ecclesiastical Court, schism and Church unity

TODAY, the Orthodox Church is trying to remedy the repercussions of the schism caused by the unilateral actions of representatives of the Constantinople Patriarchate. According to Orthodox ecclesiology, however, the Church remains united even if one of its parts detaches from it; it never loses its oneness. As Christ the Savior said: so that “all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you” (John 17: 21). Likewise, in the Symbol of Faith (Nicene Creed), we sing or read: “I believe in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.”…

RUSSIA AND OTHER NATIONS

Saudi Arabia and Russia’s Eastward Reorientation
A. Baklanov

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AS ONE of the priorities in its increasingly distinct eastward foreign policy reorientation, Russia is seeking to bolster relations with Arab and Muslim countries on the basis of confidence, mutual benefit, and partnership principles.

Our relations with Saudi Arabia, financially and economically the most powerful nation in the Middle East and an “energy superpower” with tremendous investment potential, play a special, largely symbolic role in this respect. The kingdom is the leader of the Muslim world, home to the two main Islamic holy sites and the headquarters of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)…

Environmental Protection as an Area of Russia’s Cooperation With Central Asian Countries
K. Muratshina

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Keywords: Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, cooperation, environmental protection

THE countries of Central Asia are close partners of Russia and cooperate with it in a variety of fields. Between 2019 and 2022, the author of this article made a study of cultural, scientific, and academic cooperation between Russia and Central Asian countries in the decade from 2010 to 2020. One area where these nations collaborated was environmental protection or conservation, and this field of cooperation is the subject of this article. Legally, environmental protection may be a separate field of relations between nations, but agreements between Russia and Central Asian states1 put it in general sections on noneconomic relations, which is logical, since environmental protection involves not only technical but also scientific, educational, and informational activities…

MULTILATERAL ORGANIZATIONS

CSTO: Unchanged Priorities in a Changing World Order
I. Tasmagambetov

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OVER the last two decades, the world has been changing so rapidly that at any given moment it is difficult to determine the methodological basis for an objective assessment of what is happening in world politics. The transition from the old world order to the new, polycentric one is accompanied by extremely complex international processes. They are so complex that it is often difficult to identify even the scale of these processes. For example, a local crisis can easily turn into a regional crisis, and a regional crisis can turn into a global crisis with consequences that are hard to predict.

The formation of a polycentric world order, whose development trends are set forth in the strategic planning documents of many modern states, determines not only the nature of contemporary threats and challenges to international and national security, but also ambiguously affects the possibilities of resolving the long-standing differences that emerged in past eras. During the Cold War, the rivalry between the two poles of power was often projected onto peripheral regions – in other words, the two superpowers influenced the parties to the conflict in one way or another, and the course of the latter was determined by tacit agreements between Moscow and Washington…

The CSTO and the Problem of Hybrid Warfare (FREE content)
N. Kharitonova

The Development of Industrial Cooperation Among EAEU Member States
A. Donchenko

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TODAY, globalization, which went hand in hand with the industrial leadership of “developed countries,” is being replaced by regionalization, which is founded on conditions of equality and cooperation in the common interest. This process should be seen as a positive phenomenon that creates a favorable trade and economic environment for the development of national economies and helps to reduce the heavy burden on the resource base as a whole.

THE Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) is an illustrative example of an international organization of regional economic integration. As the architecture of the global technological system is changing, the EAEU is facing the task of deepening cooperation. Import substitution has received a new impetus, due not only to the sanctions pressure, but also to the significant impact of parallel imports on many sectors of the Union’s economy. Also on the agenda is the issue of reducing the level of import dependence with respect to a number of finished products, primarily in the electronic component base and machine tool industry (this indicator is estimated to be no less than 60%).1 Resolution of these issues is closely linked with the involvement of the scientific research base: the Eurasian technological platforms whose work is aimed at consolidating, among…

Can BRICS Provide a Format for Cooperation on Water Issues?
S. Lavrov

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CONTROL of and access to freshwater resources are an increasing focal point of world politics. It is an objective reality that, due either to the work of blind fortune or as an act of providence, some of the countries possessing the largest renewable freshwater resources belong to international alliances that are very important for Russia: BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). These countries are Brazil, Russia, India, and China. All four are members of BRICS, and Russia, China, and India are also members of the SCO. Brazil, Russia, and China are among the world’s top five holders of freshwater resources, and India is one of the top 10. Although different sources compile different rankings due to differences in evaluation methods, statistics from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) provide reliable guidelines, and no one disputes the leadership of Brazil and Russia, with a big gap between them and the rest of the world, nor does anyone question China’s place as the world’s fourth or fifth, or India being in or around 10th place. Add to this SCO member Kyrgyzstan, with estimated freshwater resources of 2,458 cubic kilometers, including 650 km3 in glaciers. The country is behind China, with its 2,840 km3 but ahead of Colombia, which has 2,132 km3. Then there is Tajikistan, another SCO member, with its glaciers alone containing about 845 km3 of water.1

Why then do they not come together to propose global rules on the distribution and use of water? Why is the global water industry one more…

Russian Phase of the Multilateral Social and Cultural Program “BRICS People Choosing Life” Kicks Off
L. Sekacheva

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“BRICS People Choosing Life,” an international and interregional social and cultural program with the motto “From the ecology of mind and body to the ecology of the world,” was launched in 2022 and is overseen by “BRICS. World of Traditions,” a regional public organization.

The program consists of multilateral projects designed to foster the unity of the BRICS countries, give people spiritual and moral support, imbue children and teenagers with ideas based on the moral legacies of outstanding thinkers who lived in what are now the BRICS countries, to improve people’s physical health, to conserve and popularize the cultural and historical heritage of the BRICS nations, and to boost trade and economic relations among them…

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

Report on the Kuban CyberSecurity Conference (CSC 2023)
A. Vikhlyayev

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Improving the International Legal Regulation of Global Law-Enforcement Cooperation in Countering Crimes Committed With the Use of Information and Communications Technologies

THE active introduction and use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) today largely defines the progressive development of every government and the world as a whole. Machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics, and new products in the realm of high technology are becoming engines for economic growth. Meanwhile, digital platforms and electronic document management fundamentally increase the efficiency of organizations, businesses, and social and educational institutions, making it easier to accomplish a multitude of everyday tasks…

HISTORY AND MEMOIRS

Uncovering Facts: The Truth About the Great Patriotic War in the English-Language Press of 1941 to 1945
N. Narochnitskaya

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Keywords: USSR’s role in defeating Nazi Germany, falsifications. Great Patriotic War, world press, Stalingrad: The City of Steel, 1942-1943, interview, US ambassador to the USSR

OVER the past few decades, Western countries have systematically sought to “cancel” the historic role of the Soviet Union in defeating Nazi Germany. Behind this is a plot by transatlantic liberal ideologists to undermine the prestige of modern Russia as the legal successor to the USSR symbolizing the fight against attempts to establish a lasting unipolar, hegemonistic world order. European Parliament Resolution 2019/2819 of September 19, 2019, “on the importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe,” is a good example…

The Military, Political, and Psychological Significance of the Battle of Leningrad (1941-1944)
M. Myagkov

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Keywords: siege of Leningrad, genocide, Leningrad Symphony No. 7 by Dmitry Shostakovich, Nevsky Pyatachok, heroism and courage, Soviet people

IN PLANNING Operation Barbarossa, Adolf Hitler and his generals assumed that the capture of Leningrad would give Germany not only military but also political and psychological advantages and hasten the defeat of the Red Army. The Soviet Union would lose a city that was the cradle of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution and was a special symbol of the country. In addition, Hitler considered it very important to prevent the Soviet command from moving forces from the Leningrad area to other parts of the front…

A State From the German Inkstand: How Lithuanian Independence Was Proclaimed (1917-1918)
A. Dyukov

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“AT POLISH passports they bulge out their eyes in thick-skulled policemen’s donkeyness, as if to say: what the devil are these geographical novelties?” Vladimir Mayakovsky wrote in 1929 in his poem “My Soviet Passport.” By that time, the Second Polish Republic was 11 years old and no longer a “geographical novelty.” In the second decade of the 20th century, however, the world was puzzled by the appearance of one new national state after another on the map of Eastern Europe. Poland was merely one of them, and not unexpected. But while Europe had been aware of Poles as a European people, Lithuanians remained an object of study of prominent linguists and ethnographers.1 Then in 1918, even this tiny ethnicity suddenly acquired its statehood as the Lithuanian Republic. Regrettably, in historiography, the events related to the proclamation of its independence are presented as a smooth process very much in line with the narrative offered by the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry back in the 1920s. It is equally regrettable that the key documents accessible to the Russian reader in the collection of documents sanctified, so to speak, by the Joint Russian-Lithuanian Commission of Historians are falsified.2 This article, drawing on documents from the Political Archive of the [German] Federal Foreign Office (Politische Archiv des Ausw√§rtigen Amts), attempts to rectify somewhat this regrettable state of affairs.

The documents quoted here were translated into Russian by Leonid Lannik (Candidate of Science, History) as part of a project initiated by the Historical Memory foundation to prepare for publication documents related to the circumstances under which Lithuania acquired independence in 1918. I want to thank Leonid Lannik for his gargantuan efforts that made this article possible…

Personalities in the History of Russia’s Diplomatic Presence in Jerusalem (1858-1880)
F. Georgi

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Keywords: Russian Empire, Middle East, the Holy Land, Jerusalem, Israel, National Library of Israel, consulate, digital diplomacy, online exhibition

THE Russian Imperial Consulate operated in Jerusalem for nearly 60 years in the latter half of the 19th and early 20th centuries (1858-1914). In 1891, it was upgraded to a consulate general. Its history is rife with glorious achievements of Russian diplomats who added many glorious pages to the chronicle of Russia’s presence in the Holy Land. An album of photographs of officers of the consulate of the Russian Empire in Jerusalem kept in the National Library of Israel is a unique artifact. It contains photos of all consuls and most of their colleagues and family members from 1858 to 1914, many of them named and dated in Russian…

BOOK REVIEWS

O.G. Karpovich, M.G. Troyansky. Anatomy of the Ukraine Crisis
M. Zakharova

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Keywords: Ukraine crisis, events in the Balkans, NATO expansion, “color revolutions,” the return of Crimea, Donbass, Novorossiya

A COLLECTION of selected articles titled Anatomy of the Ukraine Crisis (in Russian)* by Oleg Karpovich, vice-rector for research, and Mikhail Troyansky, vice-rector for advanced training and professional development of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will undoubtedly be of interest to both foreign affairs specialists and the general reader. This monograph by authoritative Russian researchers in the field of international relations, security, and strategic stability, whose works have been widely recognized in the Russian scientific, expert, and diplomatic communities, will, I am sure, become a significant contribution to the discussion on the background and prospects for the development of the Ukraine crisis…

V.P. Kozin. U.S. Basic Military Strategies: Their Analysis and Practical Employment
S. Filatov

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IN LATE 2023, a monograph came out that St. Petersburg State University described as unique. U.S. Basic Military Strategies: Their Analysis and Practical Employment* was published in Russian and in English at the same time.

In this new work on military-political problems, Vladimir Kozin, a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Military Sciences, analyzes six main military strategies of the US. There are three factors that make this study unique…

Mukhametshin F.M. Russia and Moldova: Between Past Heritage and Future Horizons
O. Karpovich

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THOSE who have not been to Moldova should definitely visit this land of beautiful, bright, and unforgettable landscapes, of good neighborliness and multiculturalism. This is a well-established description of the people who live there.

The current government of the republic, however, spares no effort to hide or even dissolve in its European aspirations the real sympathies of the Moldovan people toward Russia and Russians. In fact, more than once have the leaders of the Moldovan people decided the fates of millions; this happened in 2018 and, probably, in the early 1990s. And now Moldovan statehood is once again under threat. The book by Farit Mukhametshin and Vyacheslav Stepanov Russia and Moldova: Between Past Heritage and Future Horizons: Essays of Post-Soviet Times (1991-2020)* is about this and many other pressing issues of post-Soviet realities…