Now Available – Military Reform and Militarism in Russia

By Aleksandr Golts

Translated By Maia Kipp


With tensions between Russia and the West at an all-time high, Moscow appears to be preparing for large-scale war. Now more than ever, there is an increased need to understand the past and future directions of Russian military reform and what they mean for NATO.

In Military Reform and Militarism in Russia, Aleksandr Golts takes a hard look at the evolution of the Russian military, from the collapse of the Soviet Union to its present involvement in wars in eastern Ukraine and Syria. Golts focuses on the evolution of military reform inside Russia since 2005; additionally, he examines the new phenomenon of Russian militarism and its origins in a Russian system that is hostile to both civilian control as well as civil society. The book reaches an important milestone in new works on Russian security in the age of Putin by explaining why Russian society has supported the concept of militarism in Russia.

This important study traces the roots of Russian militarism since the age of Ivan the Terrible, providing new understanding as to why this phenomenon has reemerged so strongly in Russia under Putin. Golts also examines the current state of Russian military reforms through the prism of Russian history by exploring the centuries-old struggle between the “technocrats,” who pushed force modernization, and the “magicians,” who still believe in mass armies and want to prepare for a general war. This in turn has modern-day repercussions for the West, determining how the Kremlin will use the Russian military abroad or in a potential future confrontation with NATO.


Published: December 2018

Paperback, 381 pp.