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


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 16 May, the German authorities announced an investigation into Petr Bystron, an AfD party MP, “for links to a covert Kremlin campaign to spread pro-Russian disinformation across Europe.”


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

  • Warsaw reported escalating efforts by Russia to push migrants into Poland through its border with Belarus, stating that “the information that groups of migrants crossing our border illegally are backed up by Russia has been confirmed.” The Polish authorities also stated: “In countries like Somalia, Eritrea, Yemen or Ethiopia, there are Russian outposts that recruit groups of people. Such groups are usually brought to Moscow and then transported to Belarus.”
  • The German authorities said that Russia had been launching cyber attacks against Germany “not just aimed at individual parties or specific politicians, but at shaking confidence in our democracy.” Other countries reportedly targeted by Russia in the attacks included Czechia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Sweden.


Objective 5: Thwarting policies of the US and its allies in the MENA region

  • Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan stated on 5 May that during his organization’s ongoing war with Israel, Russia and China had provided Hamas with “good protection in the United Nations, against the American attempt to criminalize the resistance by means of a Security Council resolution.”


Objective 9: Achieving de-sovereignization of Ukraine

  • In the Russo-Ukrainian War, Russia attacked in the Kharkiv region across the interstate border on 10 May. After advancing several kilometers into Ukrainian territory along a section of the frontline, the Russians got bogged down. On the rest of the frontline, heavy fighting continued amid Russian attacks, with Russians gaining some new ground on several sections of the frontline west of the city of Donetsk.
  • The Economist’s material from 12 May described the ongoing Russian campaign in Europe to sabotage the foreign aid to Ukraine.


Objective 10: Achieving decisive influence over Georgia

  • In her statement on 30 May 2024, the Russian foreign ministry’s speaker Zakharova highlighted importance of the roads running through Georgia for the “North-South international transport corridor.” Regarding the North-South corridor, Zakharova said it was being created in the European part of Russia and was supposed to “connect the ports in the Baltic and Arctic with the ports on the shore of the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean,” playing a key role in Putin’s concept of Greater Eurasian Partnership.
  • After the Ivanishvili regime adopted the Russian-style “foreign influence” law designed to suppress the civil society in Georgia on 14 May, one of the Russian regime’s foreign policy speakers, Grigory Karasin, expressed Moscow’s support for the law on 18 May, and attacked Salome Zourabichvili for vetoing it. Following Tbilisi’s final adoption of the law through overcoming the presidential veto, Moscow’s representatives praised this action, expressing support for the regime in Georgia.


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

  • On 20 May, the Africa Intelligence reported that “Russia has been strengthening its military presence alongside Khalifa Haftar in eastern and southern Libya for some weeks now.”


Objective 16: Entrenching Russian influence in sub-Saharan Africa

  • Russia’s Wagner Group reportedly brokered an agreement between Chad and CAR to reopen their international border at a checkpoint near the town of Sido for the first time in 10 years.
    The development may indicate increased cooperation by the regime in Chad with Russia and the regime in CAR in suppressing the CAR rebel groups.
  • In early May, reports emerged that dozens of Russian soldiers had arrived in Chad to protect the country’s president Déby ahead of the presidential election.
  • On 28 May, Russia reported its troops had liberated 21 Chadian soldiers kept as prisoners by Islamist rebels. The Russian operation to free the prisoners reportedly was conducted in coordination with the Chadian authorities.
  • On 2 May, it was reported that Russian troops deployed to Niger had entered the military base in the country’s capital still hosting US troops.
  • In the second half of May, Russian sources reported the Wagner Group troops’ participation in the Malian operations against jihadist rebels in the area of Mali‘s border with Niger and Burkina Faso.
  • On 24 May, Russia launched construction of a solar power station in Sanankoroba near Mali’s capital Bamako.
  • On 21 May, the Africa Intelligence reported an upsurge of Russian soft power efforts in Kenya, with Moscow “leveraging universities, sport and religion with Kenya’s elite.”


Objective 20: Alignment with China

  • On 16 May, Russia and China issued a joint statement on deepening their strategic cooperation, promising robust mutual support “in defense of vitally important interests” including on the issues of sovereignty and territorial integrity. The statement directly targeted Taiwan and expressed Russian support for the “unification of the country” by Beijing.
  • On 20 May, Russian foreign ministry’s speaker Zakharova denounced “separatist forces” on Taiwan as well as “Washington and its satellites” for causing tensions in the Taiwan Strait and “hindering peaceful unification of China.”
  • US officials said in May 2024 that they had seen Chinese and Russian militaries “for the first time exercising together in relation to Taiwan.”