Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2021

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Joshua First

Second Advisor

William Schenck

Third Advisor

Ashleen Williams

Relational Format



The purpose of this thesis is to assess Russia's effectiveness at using military exercises to affect the policies of neighboring Eastern European states. This is first done through an analysis of three Russian military exercises: Zapad-2017, Kavkaz-2020, and Ocean Shield-2020. The overview and results of the exercises are discussed. Then, three Eastern European countries are assessed as targets of Russian military aggression: Belarus, Lithuania, and Ukraine. The relationships between these countries and Russia are then reviewed before discussing how each country was impacted by one or more of the three aforementioned Russian military exercises. Following this analysis, a brief assessment is made of Russian military aggression producing conditions favorable to Russian national interests.

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