Small Wars Journal

Why Russia Starts So Many Conflicts On Its Own Borders

Why Russia Starts So Many Conflicts On Its Own Borders by Anna Ohanyan – Washington Post

The conventional wisdom is that Russia is too nuclear and too big to fail. But it’s also too big to secure — and that means Moscow has pursued a somewhat counterintuitive foreign policy in the surrounding regions.

To protect its borders, Russia splinters and shatters its borderlands, from Donbas in Europe to Damascus in Asia. Russia’s vast Eurasian borderlands have become the Kremlin’s buffer zones — a nearly uninterrupted expanse of armed conflict and war…

Read the entire WaPo news analysis piece

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From our author -- Anna Ohanyan's -- article above: 

"The Kremlin has two main goals: retain influence in its former Soviet space, and elevate Russia’s significance in world politics. The problem is that fractured regions can become global security threats. They can harden ongoing conflicts, distort development and undermine prospects of democratic futures in the developing world, as discussed by Richard Giragosian." 

From MG Linder's "The Battlefield of Tomorrow Fought Today:  Winning in the Human Domain"

"Differing from the previous Tsarist regional empire and the Soviet globalist one, the new Russian foreign policy has a more pragmatic goal. It aims to build different types of buffer zones against NATO encroachment to the West and U.S. counter-terrorism efforts in Central Asia." 

http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/the-battlefield-of-tomorrow-fought-today-winning-in-the-human-domain

Thus, from the perspective offered above, should we, indeed, conclude that:

a.  Russia today is employing a "containment" strategy? (In this regard, see LTG Linder's thought above.)  This, so as to:

b.  Thwart/undermine the U.S./Western goal and strategy of advancing market-democracy throughout the world?  (In this regard, see our author Anna Ohanyan's thought above.)