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


Goal 1: Decreased ability and will of the Western states to act in defense of the existing international order and oppose Russia’s foreign strategy

  • On 17 April, the Washington Post publicized the Russian foreign ministry’s secret document from April 2023, revealing Moscow’s intention to “weaken its Western adversaries, including the United States,” including by “an ‘offensive information campaign’ and other measures spanning ‘the military-political, economic and trade and informational psychological spheres.’”


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

  • On 12 April, Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander de Croo stated that Russia was trying to bring more pro-Russian candidates into the European Parliament in the coming European Parliament elections.
  • Der Spiegel’s material from 26 April detailed the German AfD party’s role in Russia’s subversive efforts against the West. Among other information, the article revealed that in the fall of 2022 the Russian presidential administration had written a large “manifesto” aiming to develop a political strategy for AfD and help it “increase its poll numbers and gain a majority in elections at all levels.”


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

  • The French president Macron stated on 4 April that Russia was conducting a disinformation campaign to undermine the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics.
  • Leaked internal Kremlin documents publicized by a Washington Post material on 8 April revealed Russia’s subversive efforts against America, involving “thousands of fabricated news articles, social media posts and comments that promote American isolationism, stir fear over the United States’ border security and attempt to amplify U.S. economic and racial tensions.”


Objective 9: Achieving de-sovereignization of Ukraine

  • In the Russo-Ukrainian War during April 2024, the Russians continued to push and slowly advance on several sections of the frontline, particularly west and northwest of Avdiivka and west of Bakhmut.
  • The US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs and Intelligence Committees chairs admitted that Russian anti-Ukraine propaganda had infiltrated the Congress with some Republican members repeating Russian disinformation messages, and also “infected a good chunk” of the Republican Party base.
  • The Washington Post’s 8 April material highlighted the leaked internal Kremlin documents showing an ongoing Russian campaign in the US “that seeks to influence congressional and other political debates to stoke anti-Ukraine sentiment.”
  • On 17 April, the German police arrested Russian spies accused of “planning to bomb industrial and military sites in Germany to disrupt the delivery of aid to Ukraine.”


Objective 10: Achieving decisive influence over Georgia

  • After the Ivanishvili regime in Georgia launched its plans to adopt the Russian-style “foreign agents” law designed to suppress the Georgian civil society, Moscow started a campaign of diplomatic support for the Georgian ruling regime and its plans to adopt the law. On 4 April, the Kremlin’s official speaker Dmitry Peskov said that such laws were being adopted in “almost every country, because no one wants foreign meddling in their affairs,” and were “normal practice.” During 17-19 April, support for the law was expressed by Dmitry Medvedev, foreign minister Lavrov, State Duma speaker Volodin, and, once again, Peskov. On 23 April, the Duma’s committee head Piskarev attacked those Russian citizens residing in Georgia who had joined protest rallies against the law and called on them to stop doing so. Meanwhile, on 18 April the US State Department spokesperson stated that the law was “Kremlin-inspired.”


Objective 11: Achieving decisive influence over Moldova

  • Pro-Russian leadership of Moldova’s Gagauzia region demanded special status for the Russian language on 19 April.
  • A congress of Moldovan pro-Russian figures “supporting Moldova joining the [Russia’s] Eurasian Economic Union and opposing integration with the European Union” opened in Moscow on 21 April. Politician Ilan Shor and the head of Moldova’s Gagauzia region Yevgenia Gutsul were among the participants.


Objective 14: Entrenching Russian influence in the MENA region and Objective 16: Entrenching Russian influence in sub-Saharan Africa

  • In the first half of April, Russian naval vessels brought weapons shipments to the port of Tobruk, in the eastern part of Libya under control of the Russia-affiliated rebel leader Khalifa Haftar. The weapons were designated for Russia’s Africa Corps (forces operating on the African continent, largely in sub-Saharan Africa).


Objective 15: Entrenching Russian influence in the Western Balkans

  • A new government of Serbia formed in April was joined by pro-Russian politicians, with Aleksandar Vulin appointed as deputy prime minister, and Nenad Popovic – a minister without portfolio.


Objective 16: Entrenching Russian influence in sub-Saharan Africa

  • On 10-12 April, Russian troops under the Africa Corps label deployed to Niger for the “joint formation and training of the Niger army.” The Russian troops arrived “along with a state-of-the-art air defence system.” Meanwhile, on 19 April the final decision to withdraw American troops from Niger was announced.
  • Russian sources reported on 11 April that the Malian regime forces operating against either Tuareg or jihadist rebels in northern Mali together with the Russian Wagner Group had entered the territory of Mauritania in village Medala and the area of town Fassala.
  • On 22 April, the Intelligence Online reported a Russian campaign of recruiting drone experts to operate in the Central African Republic.


Objective 18: Gaining strategic presence on the waterways connecting the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean basins

  • The Russian ambassador to Sudan said that the Sudanese government intended to establish a Russian naval station in Port Sudan, the Russian TASS agency reported on 12 April.


Objective 19: Gaining strategic superiority in the Arctic region

  • Reports emerged that Russia “plans to build a network of drone bases along its entire Arctic coast” in order to “monitor foreign activity along the Northern Sea Route (NSR)” and help “counter any challenge to Russia in the Arctic.” Reportedly, some of the envisioned drone bases “are already being established in Kamchatka and Sakhalin,” with Moscow intending to expand the chain of bases “westward along the NSR to as far as Murmansk.”


Objective 21: Alignment with Iran

  • On 2 April, Moscow called the Israeli strike on the leadership of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in the Iranian consulate in Damascus “a violation of all the foundations of international law and an act of aggression.”



Objective 26: Developing cooperation platforms with non-Western powers

  • On 26 April, Russia expressed support for Bolivia’s intention to join BRICS.