This article examines different approaches assessing the impact of external actors to modernize non-democratic regimes, foreign aid role in the process of democratic transformation and the most popular external actors’ strategies to support democratization. Particular attention is given to the studies defining the Kremlin’s role in authoritarian regimes survival in the former Soviet Union, which considers Western democracies attempts to influence the transformation of post-communist regimes as a geopolitical threat to its dominance in the post-Soviet region.

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