ISSN 0024-5089
Copyright © 2018 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.

Volume 64, No.4 - Winter 2018
Editor of this issue:Almantas Samalavičius


Russia: Containing Democracy at Home and Abroad

Ginta T. Palubinskas

Over the course of the past two decades, Putin’s Russia has become increasingly more authoritarian and seeks to contain and to discredit democracy both at home and abroad. It is targeting young democracies, as well as old democracies, and systematically chipping away at the international rules-based system. Violence, disruption, obstruction, and disinformation are the hallmarks of Russia’s multifaceted anti-democracy campaign. Russia fears the emergence of democracy within its borders as well as its existence in other countries, so much so, that it spends blood and treasure to contain it. Studies show that, generally speaking, democracies do not go to war with other democracies. This raises the question – why is Russia so opposed to a system of government that represents the rule of the people and is so determined to suppress not only the voice of its own people, but of those in other countries? This paper examines Russia’s attempts to suppress democratic development in the post-soviet region specifically and to discredit democratic government in general. Findings show that Russia is driven by the fear of democratic contagion, which could lead to domestic demand for a transformation of its own system, which may wrest power and wealth from the current autocratic regime.