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The present strategic disarray of the western democracies is both a by-product of the West’s failure to grasp the moral-cultural dimension of the end-game of the Cold War and a reflection of the crisis of civilizational morale that has beset western Europe in recent decades. Thus it is important to revisit the distinctive character of the Revolution of 1989/1991 in central and eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. That dramatic transition in European politics was born from many factors, including the re-armament of the West under the leadership of U.S. President Ronald Reagan. But the political Revolution of 1989/1991 was also the result of a revolution of conscience in central and eastern Europe, in which the reclamation of national identity and culture eventually gave rise to “soft power” tools of resistance that the hard power typically deployed by communist regimes in the face of dissent could not match. Lithuania, which embodied the oft-ignored truth that a tenacious national culture can, over time, produce democratic political change, is thus in a position to remind the West that freedom is never free; that the dignity of the human person, human rights, and the rule of law must be affirmed culturally by a robust civil society if they are to be defended politically and militarily; and that moral relativism is an insecure foundation on which to build, sustain, or defend the institutions of democratic self-governance.
Russia’s attempts to influence public opinion outside its borders attracted increased interest in the context of its involvement in the war in Ukraine, Brexit referendum, the elections in the US and other political processes in the West. This article focuses on the assumption that Russian activities in the information environment of NATO and the EU member states among other things are aimed at undermining public trust in democratic governance institutions. Russian state-owned media is one of the tools about how Kremlin disseminates and promotes its worldview within and outside Russia’s borders; therefore, the research questions being addressed in this paper are related to the relationship between political trust and consumption of Russian media. To study this issue, Latvia was chosen as an outstanding case due to the relatively large presence of Russian media content in its information environment. The paper examines the trends of Russian media consumption and political trust in Latvia to assess if this is a fruitful further research area since linking political trust and Russia’s information activities is a new perspective on the issue. The theoretical part of the paper outlines the concept of political trust and the factors affecting it as they are identified in previous research, with a specific focus on the impact of media on political trust. The empirical part of the paper examines the trends in the growth of the audience of the TV channels retranslating Russian media content and political trust in Latvia in the period from 2007 to 2017. Considering that political trust in Latvia is increasing alongside with an increase in Russian media consumption, this paper suggests several further research directions with a focus on political and economic performance indicators and the impact of domestic media.
The Rise and Fall of Belarus' Geopolitical Strategy
By deploying a combination of foreign policy analysis tools at the system, state and, to a certain extent, individual level this article is undertaking to trace the trajectory and some critical junctions of Belarus' foreign policy strategy in the 21st century. Special focus is given to the implications of president Alexander Lukashenko's recent crackdown on domestic opposition for the mechanism of geopolitical balancing between Russia and the West that has been in place for more than a decade.
The world financial and economic crisis has sharpened contradictions between Belarus and Russia and forced Minsk to seek ways for cooperation with Western partners. After the beginning of the normalization of relations with the European Union the Belarusian authorities have intensified its policy of balancing between the East and the West. For Minsk the EU's role in this arrangement has grown beyond its previous rhetorical importance. Belarus has actively tried to equalize its Eastern and Western policy poles and also to complement them with a new "Southern arc" by boosting relationships with Asian, Latin American, and the Arab states.
Under the conditions of globalization Minsk started to use networking geopolitical technologies to promote cooperation with China, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Libya, Syria and other states, which are geographically distant, but whose political and economic interests are in various degrees compatible with those of Belarus. In this way Minsk has attempted to become a political and economic player outside its traditional geopolitical zone and to compensate for the costs of problematic dealings with its neighbors Russia and the EU.
Meanwhile, because of a reluctant and forced adaptation to the external environment Belarus' foreign policy remains extremely contradictory and despite some correctives it retains many inadequate tenets.
A brutal dispersal by the Belarusian authorities of a peaceful action of pro-democratic forces on the day of presidential elections (December 19, 2010) and the following massive political repressions became a watershed that marked the failure of the regime's preceding domestic and foreign policies, exposed its obsession with power and destroyed the balancing mechanism for its geopolitical ‘avatars’ designed individually for the East, West and ‘South’.
All Zapad exercises which took place after the collapse of the former Soviet Union (in 1999, 2009, 2013 and 2017) attracted the attention of neighboring countries and led to different estimates and conclusions. Every exercise had something particular happening which could not be explained or understood in the West. Step by step, while analyzing Zapad exercises and changes in Russia and its armed forces, sufficient information was gathered allowing for the partial explanation of the behavior of Russian forces during different exercises, and the reasons why they acted in such a manner. Contrary to NATO and a majority of Western countries, the Russian military plans and executes military activities differently. This could be explained by the czarist and Soviet military giving preference to Prussian General Staff (GS) traditions and philosophy. The General Staff, which advocated its own methods, allowed the national leadership to manage and use military instruments more effectively. The recent Russian military tends to keep those traditions alive, while believing that modern technological progress could reduce (if not eliminate) the weaknesses of the Prussian GS philosophy and increase its stronger aspects. The Russian military believes that detailed operation planning in advance, with synchronization of actions in its core and the ability of forces to implement plans and the leadership to control and command an entire operation can turn the military into an effective fighting and foreign policy tool. Zapad exercises have shown that they are used to test the concept and planning of a potential Russian war with a strong opponent in the West (Zapad operation). The concept and plan are both backed up with adequate assumptions. An entire operation (war) is planned to be waged in three stages. The essence of the war (and plan) is a synchronization of military actions in time and space. Since 1999, all of this has been tested, in the earlier years in separate stages, and during Zapad 2017 tests were carried out in a more complex way and covered all three stages. It is worth to note that at least two times (in 2009 and 2017), Russia used Zapad exercises not only to test its plans and troops, but as a deception and strategic communication message as well. It appears that in both cases, some success was achieved.
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The paper presents an analytical evaluation of the advantages of computer simulation of emergency situations within crisis management processes optimization. It affirms the efficiency of the preparation of crisis staffs, their coordination, communication and cooperation on the practical example of the SIMEX simulation tool.
Military operations have an evolving character that responds to the changes in the nature of the conflict. The basic nature of the operation is given by the operational themes. These have a major impact on related military activities and on their tactical tasks. The commander at the tactical level, in order to achieve the end state of the operation, must fully understand the mission, respect the superior’s intent and perceive the conditions, circumstances and influences of each individual characteristic element of the assigned area of operation. The instruments to achieve this status of comprehension are tactical variables (Mission, Enemy, Terrain and Weather, Troops available, Time available, Civil considerations - METT-TC). The aim of the article is to describe tactical variables, which at the tactical level serve as the tool for mission analysis.
Policajného zboru v Bratislave, 2012. ISBN 978-80-8054-538-3.
 Majchút, I.: Armed forces as a tool for co-operation. Nieuchronna polisemia, potencjalna synergia: międzynarodowe, narodowe i lokalne aspekty bezpieczeństwa w Polsce i Słowacji, Ostrowiec Św. Stowarzyszenie Nauka Edukacja Rozwój, 2012. ISBN 978-83- 89466-46-4.
 Pikner, I.; Galatík, V.: The Use Of The Armed Forces In The Postmodern Wars. In: The 21th International Scientific Conference Knowledge-Based Organization. Management and Military Sciences. Sibiu, Romania: "Nicolae