Sergei Baburkin is Professor of History at Yaroslavl State Pedagogical University, Russia and a former Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

The sinking of the Russian submarine Kursk was a decisive event in the debate over Russian security policy. With a record of defeat ranging from Afghanistan to the Chechnyan agony, the strength of Russia's military is increasingly subject to question. This comes at a point when the very definition of security in post-Cold War Russia is changing. What is emerging is a new doctrine that will complement traditional military power with a new concern for human rights. Sergei Baburkin describes the situation and the action of politics devoted to a romantic reconstruction of Russian power and those of a more practical disposition.