President Vladimir Putin has signed a new military doctrine that describes NATO’s military buildup near the Russian borders as the top military threat amid Russia-West tensions over Ukraine.
For the first time, the new doctrine says that Russia could use precision weapons “as part of strategic deterrent measures.” The document doesn’t spell out conditions for their use.
The most consequential part of the doctrine refers to Russia’s aim to protect its citizens abroad.
This is through the “lawful use of the armed forces … to ensure the protection of its citizens, outside the Russian Federation in accordance with the generally recognized principles and norms of international law and international treaties of the Russian Federation.”
Russia’s military doctrine goes through revisions every few years. This is the fourth time the Kremlin rewrote its doctrine since the collapse of the Soviet Union—once when Boris Yeltsin was president, in 2000 under Vladimir Putin and again in 2010 under Dmitry Medvedev.