The impact of the Russian Federation upon the countries of Central and Eastern Europe

Redakcja zeszytu: Beata Surmacz

ISSN: 1732-1395

e-ISSN: 2719-2911

Liczba stron: 231

Wydawca: Instytut Europy Środkowej

Wydanie: Lublin 2020




The challenges for Central Europe posed by the rivalry of the Russian Federation below the threshold of war

Liczba wyświetleń: 1291
This article identifies the political challenges for Central Europe resulting from the Russian Federation conducting competition below the threshold of war. The main research methods, both inductive and deductive, were analysis and a survey of the existing literature. There is still aggression in international rivalry, and its level is deliberately regulated so as not to cross the threshold of open armed conflict as defined by international law. The contemporary rivalry of the Russian Federation takes on an unlimited scope and goes beyond the physical sphere: the main emphasis in its application is on non-military and non-lethal forms of influence that can be easily combined with kinetic ones. The exploitation of the space between the binary borders of war and peace was practically verified both under the Tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union. It has been confirmed that a great deal of importance in Russia is now attached to unconventional activities and that their application offers great opportunities to achieve strategic objectives without the need to resort to direct military confrontation.
M. Banasik, The challenges for Central Europe posed by the rivalry of the Russian Federation below the threshold of war, „Rocznik Instytutu Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej” 18(2020), z. 3, s. 9-26, DOI:

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Ethnic heterogeneity as a potential target of active measures of Russia: Identification of vulnerabilities of Polish-Ukrainian relations

Liczba wyświetleń: 1458
This article raises the issue of how the Russian Federation could benefit from the instrumental use of ethnic heterogeneity to pursue its geopolitical interests. The paper focuses on the recent case of a Polish-Ukrainian historical memory dispute which affected relations between Warsaw and Kyiv. The research focus is on how vulnerable Poland and Ukraine are to Russian active measures which potentially target not only national minorities but also groups of people who are only temporarily present in these states, such as economic migrants and tourists. An analysis is conducted of Russia’s geopolitical objectives and its strategy toward Polish-Ukrainian relations in the broader context of the rivalry between Russia and the West. The analysis is conducted within the framework of the neorealist theory of international relations. The case study of specific events discloses how Russia could exacerbate tensions between nations and the role of ethnic heterogeneity in this regard. Against this backdrop, the author shows how Russia may challenge other states of the Euro-Atlantic community with similar active measures.
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The conflict over the autocephaly of Ukrainian Orthodoxy as an element of the hybrid war

Liczba wyświetleń: 1239
The issue of the autocephaly of Ukrainian Orthodoxy has once again demonstrated that the concept of atheism and the fight against religion propagated by the communists did not bring the expected results. On the contrary, religion has become a factor that connects societies in the republics of the former USSR with the former metropolis, especially for Slavic and Orthodox populations. It should not come as a surprise, therefore, that the problem of the autocephaly of Ukrainian Orthodoxy has been exploited in the current Russian-Ukrainian dispute, described as a post-imperial hybrid war. The aim of this article is to show how both sides of the conflict are using the issue of the autocephaly of Ukrainian Orthodoxy.
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Little Moscow on the Vltava river – Russian communities in the Czech Republic in the context of socio-political order and homeland security

Liczba wyświetleń: 1213
The central concern of this paper is the growing influx of Russian migrants to the Czech Republic and the consequences for political and social order. With nearly 40,000 migrants, Russians are the fourth biggest foreign community in Czechia. Due to their material status, the history of bilateral relations, and the significant role of their homeland in Czech politics, the growing Russian community poses a problem for Czech society. The fear of Russian dominance – in political as well as economical dimensions – as well as resentment about the communistic era, is still present among Czech people. Although most Russians come to Czech to study or to do business and are not engaged in political activity, relations between migrants and the host society can be strained. Mutual prejudices make themselves felt in moments of the political crisis between two countries, such as the recent row over Soviet monuments in Prague. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the Russian community could easily become a tool for Kremlin propaganda. Russians appreciate the opportunity to live in a rich, liberal and democratic society and even though they keep strong emotional ties with their homeland they are not keen to affirm all of Moscow’s deeds.
W. Bednarek, Little Moscow on the Vltava river – Russian communities in the Czech Republic in the context of socio-political order and homeland security, „Rocznik Instytutu Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej” 18(2020), z. 3, s. 73-92, DOI:

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Russia’s economic soft power: The case of Serbia

Liczba wyświetleń: 1394
Serbia inherited Yugoslavia’s tendency to pursue its foreign policy in terms of “multi-vector” policy and balancing between the West and the East to achieve its own political goals and maintain the attention of other countries. Despite the desire to join the European Union, as officially declared by the state authorities, Serbia also strives to maintain a “strategic partnership” with Russia. This paper presents Russia’s interests in the policy towards Serbia in the economic sphere over the years, starting from 1999. It points to the complexity of Serbian-Russian economic relations and their relationship with political issues. Russia, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, can significantly affect Serbia’s internal and foreign policy, making it dependent on guarding Serbia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and through the lack of recognition of Kosovo’s independence by pursuing its own interests, manifested by an increasing Russian presence in the energy sector.
S. Baniak, Russia’s economic soft power: The case of Serbia, „Rocznik Instytutu Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej” 18(2020), z. 3, s. 93-114, DOI:

Bechev, D., Rival Power: Russia’s Influence in Southeast Europe, New Haven (CT), 2017.

Breban, D., Serbia – Between the hammer and the anvil: anoverview of the security of supply in South-Eastern Europe, Belgrade Centre for Security Policy, 2018,

Bugajski, J., Cold Peace. Russia’s New Imperialism, Westport (CT), 2004.

Curanović, A., Czynnik religijny w polityce zagranicznej Federacji Rosyjskiej, Warszawa, 2010,

Engelbrekt, K., Vassilev, I., ‘European energy policy meets Russian bilateralism. The case of South-Eastern Europe’, in: K. Engelbrekt, B. Nygren, Russia and Europe. Building bridges, digging trenches, Abingdon-on-Thames, 2010,

Gvosdev, N.K., Gas, Guns, and Oil: Russia’s “Ruble Diplomacy” in the Balkans, Wilson Center 2011,

Headley, J., Russia and the Balkans. Foreign Policy from Yeltsin to Putin, New York, 2008,

Kałan, D., ‘Bałkański przystanek gazociągu SouthStream’, Biuletyn PISM, no. 75 (1187), 2014,

Łoskot-Strachota, A., ‘Ekspansja Gazpromu w UE – kooperacja czy dominacja’, Raport OSW, 2009,

LSEE Research on South Eastern Europe & SEESOX South East European Studies at Oxford, London School of Economics, Russia in the Balkans. Conference Report (13 March 2015),

Panagiotou, R., ‘The Impact of the Economic Crisis on the Western Balkans and their EU Accession Prospects’, EUI Working Paper, no. 64, 2012.

Petrillo, E.R., ‘Russian foreign policy towards the Balkans: which perspective?’, ISPI Analysis, no. 169, 2013,

Pivovarenko, A., ‘Modern Russia in the Modern Balkans: Soft Power through Investment’, RIAC, 23 May 2014,

Pronińska, K.M., Bezpieczeństwo energetyczne w stosunkach UE–Rosja. Geopolityka

i ekonomia surowców energetycznych, Warszawa, 2012.

Simić, J., “Ekonomski aspekti strateškog partnerstva Srbije i Rusije”, Centar za evroatlantske studiuje, Novi vek, no. 6, 2014,

Studija Centra za evroatlantskestudije, Širomzatvorenihočiju. Jačanjeruskemekemoći

u Srbiji – ciljevi, instrumenti i efekti, 2016,

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The Political Economy of Russian Loans, World View Stratfor, 16 January 2014,

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The image of the Russian Federation on the canvas of social research

Liczba wyświetleń: 1218
The starting point for this article was research conducted from February to April 2017 and in January and February 2020. The purpose of the work is to show the image and position of the Russian Federation in the eyes of respondents who participated (incl. residents of Moscow, Arkhangelsk, Saint Petersburg and Vladivostok) in in-depth interviews conducted by the author. The principal analysis concerns the results obtained in 2017, and the specific changes observed three years after the initial surveys were completed.
N. Sienko, The image of the Russian Federation on the canvas of social research, „Rocznik Instytutu Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej” 18(2020), z. 3, s. 115-140, DOI:

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Unique or modular? Armenian Velvet Revolution in comparative approach

Liczba wyświetleń: 1309
Most of the previous revolutions in the post-Soviet sphere were concentrated around two dimensions: reluctance to challenge abuses of power and the will to redirect the external trajectory. The Armenian Velvet Revolution marked the change of the axiology of revolution. Civil disobedience was only focused on the corrupt political system based on clientelism and patronage. It was not addressing any issues related to the international situation. In statements, activists avoided references to foreign policy and change of geopolitical direction. The purpose of the paper is to identify convergent and separate features characterizing the Velvet Revolution in comparison with breakthroughs classified as revolutions in the post-Soviet space after 1989. The research question is how the Armenian Velvet Revolution’s features stand out from previous revolutionary changes of power in the post-Soviet space, and to what extent they are convergent. The theoretical framework is based on multi-dimensional academic reflection on the factors characterizing particular revolutionary waves in post-Soviet space. Using comparatively the rich achievements of study on the Autumn of Nations, Color Revolutions, and Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity, this essay aims to inscribe the unique and modular factors characterizing the Armenian Velvet Revolution into a broader spectrum of theoretical and practical considerations on political breakthroughs in post-Soviet space.
B. Krzysztan, Unique or modular? Armenian Velvet Revolution in comparative approach, „Rocznik Instytutu Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej” 18(2020), z. 3, s. 143-171, DOI:

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Feldman, D.L., Alibašić, H., ‘The Remarkable 2018 “Velvet Revolution”: Armenia’s Experiment Against Government Corruption’, Public Integrity, 0, no. 0 (11 April 2019),

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Shirinyan, A., ‘Bridging the Gaps in Armenia’s Political Space: The Political Party System after the “Velvet Revolution” ’, Caucasus Analytical Digest, 108, 2019.

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The Republic of Serbia: Stuck in the grey zone of democratization?

Liczba wyświetleń: 1355
The Republic of Serbia is a state overburdened with complex issues regarding its political transformation. These problems are a consequence of the dynamic changes which have occurred over the last 30 years. It should be remembered that Serbia underwent a transformation from an authoritarian to a democratic state in a relatively short period of time. Unfortunately, these dynamic political, economic, and social modifications coincided with serious systemic changes and this had an adverse impact on Serbian democracy. The political problems which directly influence the process of democratization are becoming more and more visible over time. One such problem is undoubtedly the fact that state power is in the hands of one political party: the Serbian Progressive Party. For states going through a transformation, such a concentration of power could have negative effects on the quality of democracy. This article evaluates the non-democratic trends in Serbia which stem from the strengthening of the Serbian Progressive Party, especially on the level of state power. The article also suggests that this development might lead to Serbia being categorized as a country which has become stuck in the so-called grey zone of democratization.
W. Hebda, The Republic of Serbia: Stuck in the grey zone of democratization?, „Rocznik Instytutu Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej” 18(2020), z. 3, s. 173-194, DOI:

Beširević, V., ‘Governing without judges: The politics of the Constitutional Court in Serbia’, International Journal of Constitutional Law, no. 12 (4), 2014,

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Bujwid-Kurek, E., ‘EU aspirations of the Republic of Serbia – an overview’, Przegląd Europejski, no. 40 (2), 2016,

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Džihić, V., Segert, D., ‘Lessons from “Post-Yugoslav” Democratization. Functional Problems of Stateness and the Limits of Democracy’, East European Politics and Societies, no. 26 (2), 2012,

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‘Miskovic acquitted on one charge, faces retrial on another’,, 27 October 2017,

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Recovering Forgotten History: A study case of politics of memory in Poland

Liczba wyświetleń: 1397
The Conference on “Recovering Forgotten History” is one of the oldest attempts undertaken in the III Republic to defend Poland’s (and East- Central Europe’s) image abroad, especially in the US. From 2006, the Conference has organized its seminars, originally bi-annually and now annually, to provide a forum for discussions between the authors of English-language history textbooks and monographs, and Polish historians who review those publications. Arguments are scholarly, grounded in evidence of primary sources and historiography, therefore, they are convincing in combatting Western prejudices and clichés about Poland and East-Central Europe. Additionally, the Conference provides opportunities for sightseeing of Poland’s historical places. As a result, the work of the Conference leads not only to the removal of countless mistakes and misinterpretations in the reviewed books but also to a change of guests’ attitudes toward this part of Europe. For the most part, they are academic teachers, who can also influence students through their classes. The Conference achieves all of this while having very modest means at its disposal.
K. Łazarski, Recovering Forgotten History: A study case of Politics of Memory in Poland, „Rocznik Instytutu Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej” 18(2020), z. 3, s. 195-223, DOI:

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Łazarski, K., ‘Przywracanie zapomnianej historii: czy wizerunek Polski w świecie może być zmieniony?’, Arcana, no. 4-5/111-113, 2013.

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