Russian Aid in Syria: An Underestimated Instrument of Soft Power
Since its intervention in late 2015, much focus has been placed on Russia’s military and political intervention in the Syrian conflict. However, less explored has been Russia’s quieter humanitarian involvement in the country. In the past two years alone, at least 26 Russian entities have conducted over a thousand aid missions to communities around Syria.
Forming a self-sufficient shadow aid system rivaling international and UN-led efforts in the country, Russian aid is an often overlooked and underestimated instrument of Russia’s soft power. Providing a dangerous alternative narrative to the Syrian regime about the humanitarian environment in Syria, the problematic and symbolic way Russian conducts aid in Syria re-enforces to the regime what an ideal international partnership looks likes, boosts and diversifies Russia’s influence with the Syrian government, and ultimately allows it to promote a favorable view of itself in the region.
Join Jonathan Robinson as he discusses Russia’s aid efforts in Syria in more detail, presents potential opportunities to begin to counter this threat, and answer questions from the audience.
About this Lecture
Lectures of Opportunity offers U.S. Naval War College (NWC) students, faculty, and staff an opportunity to learn more about national and international socio-political subjects that may be of relevance to the NWC community.