Myths and misconceptions around Russian military intent

How they affect Western policy, and what can be done
Other resource Updated 22 September 2022 Published 14 July 2022
Russian president Vladimir Putin visits the national defence control centre in Moscow to oversee the test launch of the Avangard hypersonic missile in December 2018. Photo by MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images.

This Chatham House research aims to address some of the longer-term conceptual challenges in understanding Russian hard power, which are not directly linked to current operations in Ukraine.

It challenges some ideas about Russian military power and doctrine which have become entrenched among non-specialists but are based on false premises or a misreading of Russia’s own aims, objectives and methods. Some of these misconceptions may have major implications for any future confrontation between Russia and one or more adversaries, potentially including NATO members.

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