This discussion paper suggests that in order to understand the drivers of Russian behaviour in the global arena, it is imperative to look at broader underlying trends of the Russian Orthodox Church’s influence that are increasingly noticeable beyond the realm of domestic policies.

Aruuke Uran Kyzy 29 June 2020

This paper is divided into four parts. The first section provides a historical background on the re-establishment of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) in Russia. The second section evaluates the characteristics of religion and politics in today’s Russia. The third section sheds light on the institutional structure of the Church inside the state. Lastly, the fourth section analyses how Russia uses the ROC as a means of legitimising its military interventions. This discussion paper suggests that in order to understand the drivers of Russian behaviour in the global arena, it is imperative to look at broader underlying trends of the ROC’s influence that are increasingly noticeable beyond the realm of domestic policies.

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