Catherine the Great’s Foreign Policy Reconsidered

In: Journal of Modern Russian History and Historiography
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  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow
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Catherine ii’s foreign policy has been traditionally considered very successful. She won three wars and incorporated large territories into the Russian Empire making her country one of Europe’s great powers. But arguments for this kind of evaluation miss Catherine’s own perspective. The article argues that the empress failed to reach any of the initial goals she had put forward. Her foreign policy lacked a considered long-term strategy and from the very start was characterized by a series of mistakes. Catherine did turn Russia into a great power but with quite a different reputation from what she initially had planned.

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