PředmětyPředměty(verze: 944)
Předmět, akademický rok 2023/2024
   Přihlásit přes CAS
Russian and Post-Soviet Security - JPM711
Anglický název: Russian and Post-Soviet Security
Český název: Otázky postsovětské bezpečnosti
Zajišťuje: Katedra bezpečnostních studií (23-KBS)
Fakulta: Fakulta sociálních věd
Platnost: od 2023
Semestr: oba
E-Kredity: 6
Způsob provedení zkoušky: písemná
Rozsah, examinace: 1/1, Zk [HT]
Počet míst: zimní:18 / 15 (18)
letní:neurčen / neurčen (18)
Minimální obsazenost: neomezen
4EU+: ne
Virtuální mobilita / počet míst pro virtuální mobilitu: ne
Stav předmětu: vyučován
Jazyk výuky: angličtina
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Úroveň: specializační
Poznámka: předmět je možno zapsat mimo plán
povolen pro zápis po webu
při zápisu přednost, je-li ve stud. plánu
předmět lze zapsat v ZS i LS
Garant: prof. PhDr. Emil Aslan, Ph.D.
Mgr. Martin Laryš, Ph.D.
Vyučující: David Erkomaishvili, Ph.D.
Mgr. Martin Laryš, Ph.D.
Třída: Courses for incoming students
Neslučitelnost : JMM065
Je neslučitelnost pro: JMM065
Je záměnnost pro: JMM065
Anotace - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Martin Laryš, Ph.D. (04.01.2022)
This course aims to give the students conceptually informed and empirically-driven insight of key security issues facing Russia and post-Soviet region. The course discusses main priorities of the Russian security and economic policy in the region. With a focus on political violence as the common denominator of most of the security issues, the course is also focused on jihadist violence, secessionist conflicts and “hybrid” war. The course offers a balanced insight into the key regional security issues, that is not confined to the empirical complexity of the case studies, but allows students to analyse these phenomena with respect to the general literature.
Metody výuky - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Martin Laryš, Ph.D. (25.08.2023)

David Erkomaishvili's Personal Meeting Room: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_MDM3NzZhZjYtNjc4Ny00OTUzLWFmODYtYWY0Y2I5MDIwYjdh%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%2273844aaf-f10c-4dee-aaaf-5eeb27962a5d%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%22c4d110d9-aacd-4da5-bd09-3ec6352bd625%22%7d




Sylabus - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Martin Laryš, Ph.D. (25.08.2023)


Russian and Post-Soviet Security (JPM711)

Martin Laryš (martin.larys@fsv.cuni.cz)

David Erkomaishvili (david.erkomashvili@fsv.cuni.cz)



Course description

This course aims to give the students conceptually informed and empirically-driven insight of key security issues facing Russia and post-Soviet region. The course discusses main priorities of the Russian security and economic policy in the region. With a focus on political violence as the common denominator of most of the security issues, the course is also focused on jihadist violence, secessionist conflicts and “hybrid” war. The course offers a balanced insight into the key regional security issues, that is not confined to the empirical complexity of the case studies, but allows students to analyse these phenomena with respect to the general literature.


Aims of the course

After completing the course, students shall be able to understand the concepts of Jihadist terrorism, ethnic separatism, and interstate war and apply them in the context of Russia and Eurasia. In addition to learning basic facts on the topic of the course, this rather seminar-style course is intended to contribute to developing methodological and analytical skills among the students. Students are strongly encouraged to attend all the classes; attendance, key to a successful complement of the course, is not a formal requirement, though.


Structure of the course:


Week 1: Introduction to the course (ML + DE), 5 October


Week 2: Russian Security Policy in the post-Soviet Region: Fight against the “Colour Revolutions” (DE), 12 October


In a more general perspective this seminar will evaluate how Russia distinguishes between friends and enemies in the post-Soviet region. This session will focus on the Russia’s fear of “colour revolutions” (Georgia, Ukraine), and the reasons behind this fear.



King, Charles. “The Five-Day War: Managing Moscow after the Georgia Crisis.” Foreign Affairs 87 (2008), 2-11 (10 pages).

Way, L. A. The limits of autocracy promotion: The case of Russia in the “near abroad.” European Journal of Political Research, 54(4), (2015), 691–706 (16 pages).

Klein, Margarete. “Russia’s Military Policy in the Post-Soviet Space: Aims, Instruments and Perspectives”. German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Berlin., (2019) 7-40 (33 pages).

Hedenskog Jakob, Gudrun Persson and Carolina Vendil Pallin. “Russian Security Policy, In.: Persson Gudrun (ed.) Russian Military Capability in Ten-Year Perspective – 2016”, Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI), (2016) 97-133 (36 pages).

95 pages in total


1A: Not in our backyard: How Russia tries to prevent color revolutions in post-Soviet region?

1B: Why international opinion (doesn’t) matter: Understanding global attitudes to the Russian-Georgian August War


Week 3: Russian Foreign Policy: Autocracy Promotion and Democracy Subversion (DE), 19 October


This session will focus on Russian support of the authoritarian regimes in the world as a “conservative super-power” and subversive tactics in the West (disinformation campaigns, support of the anti-democratic parties and movements).


Issaev Leonid and Alisa Shishkina. “Russia in the Middle East: In Search of Its Place,” In.: Muhlberger Wolfgang and Toni Alaranta, Political Narratives in the Middle East and North Africa, Springer, (2020) 95-115 (20 pages).

Galeotti Mark. “Active Measures: Russia’s Covert Geopolitical Operations,” Security Insights (2019), (7 pages).

Galeotti Mark. “The Intelligence and Security Services and Strategic Decision-Making,” Security Insights (2019), (6 pages).

Galeotti Mark. “Russia’s Security Council: Where Policy, Personality, and Process Meet,” Security Insights (2019), (8 pages).

Gorenburg Dmitry. “Russian Foreign Policy Narratives,” Security Insights (2019), (10 pages).

Rouvinski Vladimir. Russian-Venezuelan Relations at a Crossroads,” Latin American Program, Kennan Institute (2019), (20 pages).

Matusevich Maxim. “Russia in Africa: A Search for Continuity in a Post-Cold War Era,” Insight Turkey (2019), (15 pages).


86 pages in total



2A: Tell me who your friends are: Russian support of the authoritarian regimes in the Middle East and Latin America (choose and present one case).


2B: Empire of Fakes: Disseminating disinformation and conspiracy theories as the Russian subversive tactics in West.



Week 4: Russian Economic Statecraft in the Post-Soviet Region: Trade Wars with Ukraine and Moldova (ML), 26 October


Russian trade wars in the post-Soviet space will be discussed in this seminar jointly with other topics such as use of economic pressures and incentives; economic integration as one of the forces of Russian foreign policy in post-Soviet space (case of Eurasian Economic Union), and Russian energy policy as a tool for political influence.



Cenusa, Denis et al. “Russia’s Punitive Trade Policy Measures towards Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia,” Centre for European Policy Studies Working Document (2014), (13 pages).

Nygren, B. “Russian Resource Policies towards the CIS Countries,” In.: Freire, M. R. – Kanet, R. (eds): Russia and its Near Neighbors, Palgrave Macmillan, (2012) 223-245 (22 pages).

Roberts, Sean P. and Arkady Moshes, “The Eurasian Economic Union: a case of reproductive integration?” Post-Soviet Affairs (2016) (24 pages).

Laruelle, Marlene. Eurasia, Eurasianism, Eurasian Union: Terminological Gaps and Overlaps, PONARS Eurasia (2015) (5 pages).

Newnham Randall, “Oil, carrots, and sticks: Russia’s energy resources as a foreign policy tool,” Journal of Eurasian Studies (2011) (10 pages).

74 pages in total.


3A: Russian Trade Wars with Moldova and Georgia

3B: Energy policy as the political weapon: The Case of Ukraine



Week 5: Secessionist conflicts in the post-Soviet Region: Case of South Caucasus (DE), 2 November


This seminar will be dealing with the definitions of ethnic separatism, causes of ethnic separatism, security challenges of unrecognized separatist republics in the post-Soviet space (Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia, Abkhazia), and the role of Russia in these conflicts.


Welt, Cory. Explaining Ethnic Conflict in the South Caucasus: Mountainous Karabagh, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia. Diss. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (2004). - Chapters 1 and 2 (48 pages).

Cornell, Svante E. “Autonomy as a Source of Conflict: Caucasian Conflicts in Theoretical Perspective.” World Politics 54.2 (2002): 245–276. (31 pages)

Melander, Erik. “The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Revisited: Was the War Inevitable?” Journal of Cold War Studies 3.2 (2001): 48–75. (27 pages).

106 pages in total


4A: Secessionist conflicts in the South Caucasus: A comparative analysis of their causes

4B: Russia, Turkey, and Iran: On the external factors of the South Caucasian ethnic wars


Week 6: Consequences of the Secessionist Conflicts in the post-Soviet Region: Para-states under the Russian patronage (DE), 9 November


This seminar will give the students understandings of how para-states emerged as a consequence of the secessionist conflicts in the post-Soviet region in the 1990s, how they serve as the Moscow’s policy tool in the area considered exclusive sphere of influence by the Kremlin. Other aspects, such as functioning of the para-states, their economy, role of the other external actors, will be discussed.


Riegl, Martin, and Bohumil Doboš. "Post-Soviet De Facto States and Russian Geopolitical Strategy." Central European Journal of International & Security Studies 12, no. 1 (2018). 31 pages

Blakkisrud, Helge, and Pål Kolstø. “From Secessionist Conflict Toward a Functioning State: Processes of State- and Nation-Building in Transnistria,” Post-Soviet Affairs, 2:27, (2011)178-210 (32 pages).

Hoch, Tomáš, and Vincent Kopeček (eds.), “De Facto States in Eurasia,” Routledge, (2018) 208-225, 247-262 (32 pages).


95 pages in total.



5A: Transnistria as an outpost of Russian influence in Moldova and Ukraine

5B: Price of recognition: Policy of Kremlin in recognizing (non-recognizing) independence of para-states in the post-Soviet space


Week 7: Militant Far-Right: Comparison of Russia and Ukraine (ML), 16 November


This session is focusing on the comparison of the far-right movements in Russia and Ukraine – their willingness to participate in political violence, insurgencies, instrumentalization by the states and support of foreign far-right movements.



Holzer, Jan, Laryš, Martin, and Mareš, Miroslav “Militant Right-Wing Extremism in Putin’s Russia – Legacies, Forms and Threats,” Routledge (2018): Chapters 3 and 6 (61 pages).

Umland Andreas. “Irregular Militias and Radical Nationalism in Post-Euromaydan Ukraine: The Prehistory and Emergence of the “Azov” Battalion in 2014, Terrorism and Political Violence 31(1): (2019), 105-131 (26 pages).

Yudina Natalia and Alexander Verkhovsky. “Russian Nationalist Veterans of the Donbas War,” Nationalities Papers 47(5): (2019), 734-749 (16 pages).

103 pages in total


6A: Enemies of the state: Oppositional radical nationalism in Putin’s Russia

6B: Either with us or against us: How Russia uses radical political parties in Europe


Week 8: Organized Crime: The Cases of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (ML), 23 November


This seminar will be driven by a discussion on organized crime and its links to the ethnic violence, religious extremism, and inter-state disputes.



Roy Allison, “Virtual regionalism, regional structures and regime security in Central Asia”, Central Asian Survey, 27:2 (2008), 185-202 (17 pages).

De Danieli, Filippo. “Beyond the drug-terror nexus: Drug trafficking and state-crime relations in Central Asia,” International Journal of Drug Policy, (2014) (6 pages).

Bakiev, Erlan.  “The Power Shift from Government to Organized Crime in Kyrgyzstan,” In.: Mirh Anja (ed.), Between Peace and Conflict in the East and the West, OSCE, (2013) 139-158 (19 pages).

Doolotkeldieva, Asel. “The 2020 Violent Change in Government in Kyrgyzstan Amid the Covid-19 Pandemic: Three Distinct Stories in One,” In.: Mirh Anja (ed.), Between Peace and Conflict in the East and the West, OSCE, (2021) 157-175 (18 pages).

ACLED. “Everlasting of Ever-Changing? Violence Along the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan Border,” (2020) June 8. (7 pages).


67 pages in total



7A: Afghanistan 2.0, how NATO’s withdrawal reshapes Central Asian security 

7B: On the borderline: Ethnic violence and inter-state disputes in Central Asia


Week 9: Mid-term test, 30 November  


Week 10: Jihadists in the post-Soviet region and the Middle East (DE), 7 December


This class will focus on the (a) definitions of jihadist terrorism and the (b) causes of jihadist terrorism. The emergence of the Jihadi fighters through the radicalization in the war in Chechnya. North Caucasian Islamist insurgency, and their further relocation to the Middle East (Iraq and Syria).



Souleimanov, Emil Aslan. “The Caucasus Emirate: Genealogy of an Islamist Insurgency.” Middle East Policy 18.4 (2011): 155–168. (13 pages).

Souleimanov, Emil Aslan, and Huseyn Aliyev. “Blood Revenge and Violent Mobilization: Evidence from the Chechen Wars.” International Security 40.2 (2015): 158–180. (23 pages).

Souleimanov, Emil A. "Globalizing Jihad? North Caucasians in the Syrian Civil War." Middle East Policy 21.3 (2014): 154-162. (8 pages)

Lemon Edward, Mironova Vera, Tobey Wiliam, “Jihadists from Ex-Soviet Central Asia: Where Are They? Why Did They Radicalize? What Next?” Russia Matters,(2018) 6-36 (30 pages).

Sanderson, Tom et al. “Russian-Speaking Foreign Fighters in Iraq and Syria,” Center for Strategic and International Studies (2017), (28 pages).


102 pages in total



9A: From Chechnya with jihad: How a local insurgency shaped the North Caucasus

9B: Joining a Holy War: Why North Caucasians and Central Asians Joined the Syrian Civil War


Week 11: Russia’s Delegated Rebellion to Eastern Ukraine in 2014-2022 (ML), 14 December  


This seminar discusses the concepts delegated rebellion, reasons and dynamics of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.



Kudelia, S. (2016): The Donbas Rift, Russian Politics and Law, 54:1, 5-27 (22 pages).

Malyarenko, T. (2016): Paramilitary motivation in Ukraine – beyond integration and abolition, Southeastern European and Black Sea Studies (27 pages).

Charap Samuel. “Moscow’s Calibrated Coercion in Ukraine and Russian Strategic Culture,” Security Insights (2020), (8 pages).

Kuromiya Hiroaki. - “The War in Donbas in Historical Perspective,” The Soviet and post-Soviet Review 46: (2019) 245-262 (17 pages).

Fischer, Sabine, “The Donbas Conflict: Opposing Interests and Narratives, Difficult Peace Process,” German Institute for International and Security Affairs, (2019) 5-33 (28 pages).

102 pages in total.


10A: Russia’s Delegation of the Rebellion: How Russia delegated the rebellion to the rebel proxies

10B: Russia’s Delegation of the Rebellion: Russian official and unofficial propaganda narratives


Week 12: Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine in 2022 – Reasons and Consequences (ML), 21 December


The seminar discusses the reasons and consequences (for Russia and Ukraine) of the unprecedented Russia’s full-scale military invasion of Ukraine.



Zochowski, P. and Nieczypor, K. (2022). A creeping annexation. Russia’s plans to partition Ukraine, Centre for Eastern Studies, No. 460, 28 June. (6 pages)

Slaviuk, N. and Bui, T. (2022). The Impact of the War on the Economic Development, Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, 4 July. (10 pages)

International Crisis Group (2019). Rebels without a Cause: Russia’s Proxies in Eastern Ukraine, Europe Report No. 254, 16 July. (30 pages).

Gady, F.-S. and M. Kofman (2023). Ukraine’s Strategy of Attrition, Survival, 65:2, 7-22. (17 pages).

Gould-Davies, N. (2023) How the war has changed Russia, Survival, 65:2, 23-26 (5 pages).

Malyarenko, T. and B. Kormych (2023) New wild fields: How the Russian war leads to the demodernization of Ukraine’s occupied territories, Nationalities Papers (19 pages).


87 pages in total.



11A: Why has Putin Invaded Ukraine: Rational Calculations or Irrational Imperialist Insanity?

11B: What went wrong in the Russia’s invasion and why?



Students are expected to attend all classes, read all reading assignments before each class, and actively participate in discussions. This course is reading-intensive (approx. 80-100pp per week), which makes a daily reading routine a necessity. Students are encouraged to follow the topics covered throughout the course in the media.

The students’ performance in the course will be assessed based on the following criteria:

·      One in-class mid-term test (20%). Test questions will be related to the first section of the course, will mostly draw from the weekly readings, and will test the students’ factual knowledge. No notes, electronic devices or literature may be used during the test. The duration of the open-answer test is 60 min. Students are expected to attend the test. Only those in serious and duly documented circumstances may be excused from the test and are to take the test a week later. Those failing to take the test whatsoever may continue attending the course, but will not acquire up to 20% ascribed to the mid-term test.

·      One 10min brief and highly analytical presentation on a chosen topic (30%) either individually or in pairs (due to recent high numbers of enrolled students). Power points are not formally required, but are welcomed and may be emailed to the lecturer and/or fellow students before class. Formally structured (introduction-main theses-core-conclusion-bibliography + three topic-related questions for class discussion) one-page handouts should be distributed to fellow students and the lecturer at the beginning of each presentation. Note that presentations are to be delivered in due time; they cannot be rescheduled. Failure to deliver an assigned presentation in due time or to provide a good reason for absence from the day of presentation may result in one’s disqualification from the course. Should the students have any doubts about the structure or scope of their presentation, they are encouraged to consult the issues with the lecturer beforehand to ensure they score well on the presentation.

·      Research papers (40%), of around 2500 words, in Word files, to be emailed to the lecturer (martin.larys@fsv.cuni.cz) due December/May 15th (depending on the semester) noon Central European Time. Penalties for late submission are as follows: within 24 hours: 5%; within 48 hours: 10%; 48+ hours: not accepted. Research papers have to be original pieces of research, based on the knowledge of the related scholarly literature and centered on preferably innovative research questions. Research papers are to be written by two authors, one in charge of the non-empirical sections (theoretical and conceptual introduction, literature review) and one in charge of the empirical sections. The names of both authors and their respective share (i.e. authorship of non-empirical vs. empirical sections) should be clearly stated on the front page with each author given mark individually on his or her part of the paper. Research papers have to be in-depth and highly analytical rather than superficial and descriptive. They should contain references (in Chicago or Harvard Manual of Style; students should make sure that all references are quoted accurately as the papers might be run on plagiarism software), be formally organized, and have both general (conceptual and theoretical) and empirical parts. Particular attention should be paid to the interconnectedness of the theoretical and empirical sections, with empirical sections illustrating the theoretical argument. Research papers shall have the following structure: Introduction, Conceptualizing (a brief definition of the studied concept or phenomenon), General (sorting out related theories/literature review/presenting one’s research questions), Empirical (providing empirical evidence), Conclusion. More specifically, the theoretical part must draw on the conceptual and theoretical perspectives covered throughout the course; in the empirical part the students are encouraged to select and analyze comparatively two case studies. Single case studies may be accepted only in exceptional cases upon prior approval from the lecturer. Students are encouraged to discuss with the lecturer their preferred topics in advance (at least 4 weeks). The lecturer may assign topics as well. Note that the research papers cannot be written on the same topic as the presentations.


·      Active class participation (10%) based primarily on the discussion of the weekly readings; failure to demonstrate the familiarity with the assigned texts will prevent the students from scoring.




A - Excellent    91%-100%

B - Very good  81%-90%

C - Fairly good 71%-80%

D – Poor 61%-70%

E – Very poor 51%-60%

F - Fail 0-50%


Note that the acquired scores for the presentations, research papers, mid-term test, and research papers are not negotiable, either individually or as a total. Nor may they be improved through additional performance unless specifically suggested by the lecturers. Only those acquiring up to 5 points below the minimum threshold for passing the course (45%) may go through extra re-examination to attain an E.


Course rules

The Code of Study and Examination of Charles University in Prague provides the general framework of study rules at the university. According to art. 6, par. 17 of this Code, “a student may not take any examination in any subject entered in his study plan more than three times, i.e. he shall have the right to two resit dates; no extraordinary resit date shall be permitted.  (…) If a student fails to appear for an examination on the date for which he has enrolled without duly excusing himself, he shall not be marked; the provision of neither this nor of the first sentence shall constitute the right to arrange for a special examination date.”

Any written assignment composed by the student shall be an original piece. The practices of plagiarism, defined by the Dean’s Provision no. 18/2015, are seen as “a major violation of the rules of academic ethics” and “will be penalized in accordance with Disciplinarian Regulations of the faculty.”


Univerzita Karlova | Informační systém UK