Russian actions since 2007 appear increasingly to constitute a realist approach to international affairs. Russia appears to be behaving as a rising power, attempting to become a regional or global superpower. Essential to this pursuit, a state must gather information strategically. We examine one feature of strategic information gathering, called a test, a state action that asserts power but also garners information as it elicits a global response. Through a test framework, we provide a realist explanation to understanding Russia’s foreign affairs and its pursuit of power in the near abroad, Western Europe, Middle East, Asia, and foreign elections.