The plan of research is developed in accordance with the National Defence University Strategy and the Finnish Defence Forces research program. The Russia Group participates in and leads international and national research projects. The current research themes and topics include the following:

Russian military power and military thought

In the field of military science, the research will focus on the following key issues:

  • The initial period of war in the Russian art of war (post-doc)
  • Russian military policy and use of the Armed Forces (post-doc)
  • Hybrid methods in the Russian art of war (dissertation project)
  • Russian military interests in the Baltic Sea (dissertation project)
  • Technological development and foresight in the art of war (dissertation project)

Russia as an actor in 2035 world

Russian foreign and security policy is guided by a realist approach to world politics and aims to enhance the country’s international status vis-à-vis its main competitors. Russia is taking advantage of and, in this way, contributing to the rupture of contractual institutions and the international system. The research projects create new knowledge on Russia’s strategic thinking, in particular, on threat perceptions, the changing character and means of contemporary conflicts, and national security interests in the framework of world politics. The current research projects include:

  • The changing conceptualization of security and threats in the Russian context (Mannerheim Chair research project)
  • Critical uncertainties in the operating environment analysis (Matine 2021)
  • Russian foreign policy and the idea of political struggle (dissertation project)
  • Gender and military-patriotic education in Russia (dissertation project)


Northern Europe in Russia’s Foreign and Security Policy (2020-2022)

The Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA), Aleksanteri Institute (AI) and the National Defence University (NDU) are jointly conducting a research project titled “Northern Europe in Russia’s Foreign and Security Policy”. The project is part of the Finnish Government’s 2020 analysis, assessment and research activities (VN-TEAS) and will conclude in April 2022.

During the last few years, the security environment of Finland’s surrounding neighbourhood has been a subject of increasing political and scholarly interest. Competent research has also been conducted on Russian strategic thought. Typically, international studies have examined Russia’s role based on their own premises, in which the Northern European region is seen as a security issue concerning the western countries and NATO.

The main objective of the project is to produce a comprehensive research-based analysis on the aims, methods and operational logic of Russia’s foreign and security policy in Northern Europe. By utilizing a wide breadth of Russian primary sources, the final report will in particular analyse how the security architecture of Northern Europe is viewed from the Russian perspective, how Russia’s actions in the region reflect this strategic thinking in practice and what the significance of Northern Europe in the larger context of Russia’s foreign and security policy is. In addition, the project is aiming to strengthen and deepen scholarly contacts and cooperation between Russian and Finnish researchers.

The project will commence under the auspices of FIIA’s Finnish Foreign and Security Policy –project. The research team will consist of Research Fellow Jyri Lavikainen (FIIA), Senior Associate Analyst Sinikukka Saari (EUISS), University Lecturer Sirke Mäkinen (AI), Senior Researcher Pentti Forsström (NDU), Assistant Professor Katri Pynnöniemi (NDU), Project Researcher Outi Helin (NDU), Leading Researcher Harri Mikkola (FIIA) and Senior Research Fellow Matti Pesu (FIIA).


Russia’s Strategic Planning Documents

In the following we have gathered essential Russian strategic planning documents for public use. Newest version in bold.

Федеральный закон “О стратегическом планировании в Российской Федерации” / Law about Strategic Planning in the Russian Federation (2014)

Стратегия национальной безопасности / National Security Strategy (2021)

Военная Доктрина Российской Федерации / Military Doctrine / Venäjän sotilasdoktriini (2014)

Концепция внешней политики Российской Федерации / Foreign Policy Concept (2016)

Энергетическая Стратегия Российской Федерации на период до 2035 года / Russia’s Energy Strategy until 2035 (2020)

Об Основах государственной политики Российской Федерации в Арктике на период до 2035 года / On the Foundations of the Russian Federation State Policy in the Arctic for the Period up to 2035 (2020)

О Стратегии развития Арктической зоны Российской Федерации и обеспечения национальной безопасности на период до 2035 года / On the Strategy on the development of Russian Arctic zone and protection of Russia’s national interests for the period until 2035 (2020)

Об утверждении Основ государственной политики Российской Федерации в области военно-морской деятельности на период до 2030 года / On the Approval of the Fundamentals of the State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Field of Naval Operations for the period until 2030 (2017)

Об Основах государственной политики Российской Федерации в области ядерного сдерживания / On the Basic Principles of State Policy of the Russian Federation on Nuclear Deterrence (2020)

О развитии искусственного интеллекта в Российской Федерации / On the Development of Artificial Intelligence in the Russian Federation (2019)

Об утверждении Доктрины информационной безопасности Российской Федерации / On the approval of Information Security Doctrine of the Russian Federation (2016)

О Стратегии научно-технологического развития Российской Федерации / On the Strategy of Scientific Technology Development of the Russian Federation (2016)

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