Comparative analysis of Russian expansionism in Transnistria region, Donbas region, and Crimea, in Abkhazia and South Ossetia: similarities and differences

Ukraine has a questionable advantage to be the third object of Russian military aggression in the recent decennies, following Moldova and Georgia. Comparative analysis of Russian involvement in conflicts in Transnistria, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, the war between Russia and Georgia, and finally Russian aggression in the East of Ukraine as well as occupation and annexation of Crimea confirms that they all represent an encompassing systemic phenomenon of Russian foreign policy – Russian expansionism.

Resisting Russian expansionism is feasible, notwithstanding obvious disproportions of military power, economic capabilities, and available resources. At least, the aggressor is limited in choice of tactics and instruments and prefers to follow a trodden path. Ukraine has already learned lessons from Georgian and Moldovan experience, thus avoiding some eventually incorrigible mistakes. Yet there is much more to learn about Russian aggression in Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova in order to subsequently exchange the experience and take some joint efforts. A better understanding of sources, motives, and the main features of Russian expansionism would greatly contribute to the elaboration of a coherent collective international response to the Russian aggression.

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