RUSSIA'S ASSERTIVENESS: UNJUSTIFIED AGGRESSION OR RATIONAL CALCULATION?

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Why is Russia behaving as it is now? It has become a common place to describe the current Russian foreign policy as assertive and even aggressive - but what rationale is there behind this assertiveness? Are there serious calculations and even strategy behind it - or is Russia's policy just impulsive reaction to external events? Dr Igor Sutyagin, Senior Research Fellow for Russian Studies at the Royal United Services Institute will share some findings on these and other questions.

Igor Sutyagin

Dr Igor Sutyagin's research is concerned with Russian security policy, strategic armaments developments and broader nuclear arms control, anti-ballistic missile defence systems. Prior to joining RUSI, Dr Sutyagin completed his PhD in History of Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Moscow Institute for the USA and Canada Studies (Russian Academy of Science) where he worked for twelve years at the Political-Military Studies Department, holding the position of the head of section for US military-technical and military-economy policy.

Igor has authored over 100 articles and booklets published in the Soviet Union/Russia, the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland. He is also the co-author of the book Russian Strategic Nuclear Weapons. In addition to his PhD degree, Igor has a Masters Degree in Radio-physics and Electronics from the Physics Department, Moscow State University (1988). He has spent nearly 11 years in Russian jail on the base of accusation which was found by the European Court of Human Rights to be imposed with violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. Igor was released in 2011 (with three other Russian citizens) in exchange for the release of a group of spies arrested in the United States.