Post-Cold War Russian Revisionism and Conspiratorial Thinking: Revealing Centuries of State Security and Intelligence Dependence
Scheie, Trina Marie
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The purpose of this research study is to draw attention to the lack of academic concentration on the connection between revisionist thinking in Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the contemporary structure of the intelligence apparatus. This is not a well-studied area in academia, yet it has considerable importance, especially for nations like the United States that have a vested interest in knowing Russia’s modus operandi well. This research study seeks to provide evidence of the claim that conspiracies about the collapse of the USSR that were spread in the post-Soviet era to some degree dictate contemporary Russian intelligence operations, especially those conducted against the United States. Further, it aims to incorporate Russia’s ambivalence towards dispelling these conspiracy theories as evidence of revising history in order to suit contemporary political needs, which is a common crime committed by many states around the world. When Russia uses this tool with the purpose of brainwashing its own population into believing the revisionist history championed by historians and ex-government officials, especially that surrounding significant state failures, it further legitimizes an ‘us-against-them’ mentality. The presence of this conspiracy-fueled thinking is a well-established topic within academia, both in Russian studies and psychology in general, but there has yet to be a link drawn between this knowledge and its effects on contemporary Russian intelligence operations.