Author: David Batashvili, Research Fellow at Rondeli Foundation


The Rondeli Foundation’s Russian Geostrategy Monitor is a monthly brief that tracks Russian geostrategy worldwide employing the framework set in The Structure of Modern Russia’s Foreign Strategy. Russian geostrategic activities are also tracked on the regularly updated interactive Russian Geostrategy Map.

Issue 14 covers Russian geostrategy for the month of February 2024. The numbering and contents of the Outcomes, Goals and Objectives follows The Structure of Modern Russia’s Foreign Strategy framework.



Outcome 1: Replacement of the United States’ international preeminence with a ‘multipolar’ or ‘polycentric’ system, with Russia in the position of one of the principal ‘poles’


  • On 16 February 2024, the Kremlin regime’s party United Russia launched a forum “For the Nations’ Freedom,” with the stated goal to fight “neocolonialism.” The Russian foreign minister Lavrov took part in the event. Lavrov denounced the West and its global leadership. One of his numerous accusations was the claim that “large European and American companies” had been conducting human biological experiments on residents of the city of Mariupol before its occupation by Russia, “on children and adults,” using drugs “almost completely suppressing work of the immune system and stimulating growth of cancer cells.” This was done, according to Lavrov, to spread “illnesses and epidemics among representatives of the Slavic race.” After finishing the long list of accusations against the West, Lavrov spoke with optimism about the looming end of its “neocolonial hegemony” and the coming “multipolar” world order.


Objective 2: Strengthening the Western political forces considered by Moscow to be inimical to the Western-led international order, and the Kremlin’s relationships with such forces


  • The US Department of Justice revealed on 20 February that Alexander Smirnov, a dual US-Israeli citizen with “high-level ties with Russian intelligence,” lied to the FBI when falsely claiming that bribes had been “paid to the Bidens via a Ukrainian energy firm, Burisma.”


Objective 3: Enhancing internal political instability and polarization within Western states


  • In February 2024, Russia continued to push migrants from the Middle East into Finland across the Russian-Finnish border, which was described by the Finns as a hybrid warfare campaign against their country.


  • On 20 February, the Prime Minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas stated that Estonia had “successfully stopped a hybrid operation by Russia’s security services on our territory.” The Estonian security service said that the purpose of the Russian operation was “to sow fear and create tension in Estonian society.”


  • On 27 February, the French intelligence service DGSI issued a warning about Russian subversive operations aimed at internal destabilization of targeted countries through amplifying existing dissensions on sensitive issues, recently conducted in France, Germany, Poland, Spain and Latvia.


Objective 5: Thwarting policies of the US and its allies in the MENA region and Objective 21: Alignment with Iran


  • On 22 February, Israeli sources reported that Russia had decided to establish a joint intelligence committee with Iran and the Assad regime, in order to resist Israel’s intelligence operations in southern Syria.


Objective 7: Achieving instability in the Western Balkans


  • In a statement made on 6 February, Russian foreign ministry speaker Zakharova called the authorities of Kosovo a “criminal regime,” and accused them of having “completely transferred to the active phase of anti-Serb ethnic cleansings.”


  • In the same statement, Zakharova expressed Moscow’s support for unnamed “patriotic” political forces in Serbia, saying that “a lot depends on their readiness to stand together and jointly defend fundamental interests of the Serbian people.”


Objective 9: Achieving de-sovereignization of Ukraine


  • Deputy chairman of the Security Council and former president of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, said on 22 February that Russia needed to take Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, calling it “a Russian city.” Medvedev also said that the Ukrainian government had to be “destroyed,” and that all that might be left of independent Ukraine once Russia was done would be a small territory around the city of Lviv in the west of the country. Odesa was another major Ukrainian city that Medvedev called “ours” and “Russian.”


  • On 22 February, the Russian ambassador in Canada, Stepanov, published an article where he stated that regime change in Ukraine remained among the objectives of Russia’s war against this country, adding that “the fascist Kyiv regime has no place in the modern world,” and promising ruthless repression in Ukraine after the Russian victory.


  • In the Russo-Ukrainian War, during February 2024 Russians continued to press on many sections of the frontline, taking the town of Avdiivka.


  • On 16 February, the Washington Post published a material describing Russia’s political disinformation campaign against Ukraine aiming at “discrediting Kyiv’s military and political leadership, splitting the Ukrainian elite, demoralizing Ukrainian troops and disorienting the Ukrainian population.”


  • On 1 February, The Insider published a material about efforts by the Russian FSB security service and its collaborators from the German AfD party to undermine the support that Germany and other European countries give Ukraine to help it resist the Russian invasion.


  • A French watchdog monitoring foreign digital interference, VIGINUM, reported it had identified 193 websites spreading Russian propaganda in Europe by presenting the Russian invasion of Ukraine positively and “denigrating Ukraine and its leaders.”


  • On 26 February, the Financial Times wrote about an ongoing Russian anti-Ukrainian propaganda campaign in Italy involving local collaborators.


Objective 15: Entrenching Russian influence in the Western Balkans


  • On 13 February, an article by the CSIS think tank described the influence of pro-Russian politicians in the Montenegro government, including the speaker of parliament Andrija Mandić and his For the Future of Montenegro party.


Objective 16: Entrenching Russian influence in sub-Saharan Africa


  • On 1 February, the Africa Intelligence reported that warlord Khalifa Haftar, who controls eastern and southern Libya and has close relations with Moscow, “was forging closer ties” with Russia’s satellite regime in Niger “with the approval of Moscow.” The Africa Intelligence also noted that Haftar and the regime in Niger together control a border “which migrants cross on their way to Europe.”


  • On 15 February, Russia’s satellite regimes in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger reiterated their plan to establish a “Tri-State Confederation.”


  • On 9 February, the Africa Intelligence reported that an employee of the private US security company Bancroft Global Development operating in the Central African Republic had been “briefly arrested and interrogated by the police, with the involvement of Russian paramilitaries” in the CAR capital Bangui.


  • On 8 February, a material by the Wall Street Journal detailed a Russian disinformation campaign concerning health issues against the US in Africa, led by a Russian propagandist outlet called ‘African Initiative’.


Objective 17: Entrenching Russian influence in the Western hemisphere


  • On 21 February, Russia’s foreign minister Lavrov, on a visit to Venezuela, expressed Moscow’s “firm support” of the efforts by the Maduro regime “to stabilize the internal situation considering the coming presidential election in Venezuela.”


  • On 28 February, Russia’s Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev, also visiting Venezuela, discussed the Russian-Venezuelan cooperation in the sphere of “counter-measures against color revolutions” with his hosts. Russian propaganda uses the term “color revolutions” to label democratic movements against autocratic regimes.


  • On 26 February, Russia’s Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev said during his visit to Nicaragua that Russia would help Latin American countries counter US “attempts to interfere in their internal affairs” and “campaigns to discredit their legitimate authorities.”


Objective 20: Alignment with China


  • On 1 February, China and Russia held interagency consultations on the “issues of the military use of Artificial Intelligence


Objective 21: Alignment with Iran


  • A Russian rocket launching from the Vostochny Cosmodrome (in Amur Oblast, Russia) on 29 February delivered to Earth’s orbit an Iranian intelligence satellite.