G5 Doctoral dissertation (article)
Russian strategic culture in cyberspace : theory of strategic culture - a tool to explain Russia's cyber threat perception and response to cyber threats (2019)

Kari, M. J. (2019). Russian strategic culture in cyberspace : theory of strategic culture - a tool to explain Russia's cyber threat perception and response to cyber threats [Doctoral dissertation]. Jyväskylän yliopisto. JYU dissertations, 122. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-7837-2

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Kari, Martti J.

eISBN: 978-951-39-7837-2

Journal or series: JYU dissertations

eISSN: 2489-9003

Publication year: 2019

Number in series: 122

Number of pages in the book: 1 verkkoaineisto (117 sivua, 48 sivua useina numerointijaksoina, 36 numeroimatonta sivua) :

Publisher: Jyväskylän yliopisto

Place of Publication: Jyväskylä

Publication country: Finland

Publication language: English

Persistent website address: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-7837-2

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel


A limited amount of information has been published about the cyber threat scenarios of the Russian Federation. However, official Russian documents contain enough information to build a description of the Russian cyber threat picture. This thesis, consisting of six interconnected articles, discusses the Russian perception of cyber threats and the country’s response to these threats. The data consist of 140 official Russian documents, including strategies, information security and military doctrines, draft legislation and laws. Grounded theory is used to guide the data collection and to code the data as well as to construct a model of Russian cyber threat perception. Then the theory of strategic culture is used to explain and interpret this model. The theory of strategic culture consists of basic assumptions about the strategic environment, including threat perception, as well as assumptions about the options to respond to the threats. The theory of strategic culture identifies the factors that influence the formulation and outcome of a state’s strategic culture. These factors may encompass historical, geographical, technological or political factors. The Russian cyber threat assessment reflects tensions in the international situation. One of the underlying assumptions axioms of Russian history is that the Soviet Union was a besieged fortress, surrounded by enemies and under constant threat of attack from the West. This narrative is present in the Russian cyber threat perception just as it is part of the country’s general threat assessment. To protect itself, Russia is preparing to isolate the Russian segment of the Internet from the global Internet and improving the protection of its critical information infrastructure. As a further protective measure but also as a means monitor the opposition, Russia has increased surveillance of the Internet and banned user anonymity. Russia is making an effort to replace imported information and communication technology with Russian production. As an augmentation to previous research, this thesis, by using the theory of strategic culture, explains the long-term motives and reasons of Russia´s behaviour in cyberspace. This thesis estimates that the besieged fortress narrative guides Russia´s state behaviour in cyberspace also in future.

Keywords: cyber security; cyberwarfare; cyberspace; infrastructures; Internet; threats; threat perceptions; perceived enemies; military strategy; security policy

Free keywords: Russian strategic culture; cyber threat; Russian segmet of the internet; critical information infrastructure; Russian segment of the internet

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2019

Last updated on 2022-19-08 at 19:38