Russia has routinely engaged in operations in the gray zone—the space between overt military conflict and normal peacetime competition—in furtherance of its revisionist aims. While these actions have been most readily apparent in Russia’s near abroad, their reach is in fact global. Nonetheless, the ways in which Russia exerts itself in areas farther afield, where it cannot effectively project military force and/or leverage ethnically Russian local populations, are distinct. This contribution begins by explaining why Russia would be interested in intervening in Colombia, given its extremely close security and economic relations with the US, as well as its desire to retaliate against the US for its perceived meddling in Russia’s traditional sphere of influence (e.g. Ukraine). It then examines how Russia may shift from tacitly supporting Colombia’s FARC insurgents on the battlefield to exploiting fissures relating to the peace process at the ballot box.
Koven, Barnett S. and Abigail C. Kamp. 2019. "Weaponizing Peace: Colombia’s Demobilized FARC as a Lever of Russian Influence." SMA White Paper (May). https://nsiteam.com/sma-white-paper-russian-strategic-intentions/