By: Weronika Grzebalska, Next Generation Symposium Fellow (2017)
Russia recently held one of the largest “war games” since the Cold War, on its Western borders. The drill exercised combat scenarios recently used in Ukraine and tested the compatibility of the Belarusian army with Russian forces. Politicians from Poland, Ukraine and Baltic states viewed the exercise as aggressive as they mistrust the Kremlin and fear possible security threats in the region. They used the drill to justify the ongoing “social militarisation” of their respective countries. This is essentially a rise of state support or enthusiasm for voluntary defence organisations which are sometimes armed, committed to “national causes” and often have roots in right-wing political organisations. Yet is the “Russian threat” the sole reason why right-wing politicians in the region want to militarise their societies?
Find the full blog post on The Conversation here.