Russia announced last month that it plans to withdraw its eight helicopters and the 120 personnel who service them from the U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan. In an email interview, Alexander Nikitin, director of the Center for Euro-Atlantic Security at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations and president emeritus of the Russian Political Science Association, discussed Russia’s involvement with international peacekeeping.
WPR: What has been Russia's recent involvement in international peacekeeping activities?
Alexander Nikitin: Current Russian participation in U.N. peacekeeping operations remains on a quite low level for a great power and a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. In 2010, Russia occupied 39th place among peacekeeper providers, falling to 51st in 2011. In the fall of 2011, Russia supplied 225 uniformed peacekeepers: 135 military, 68 military observers and 22 police. No civilian peacekeepers have been sent in recent years.