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29.08.2017
Russian Society Wants Change—But of What Nature?

Russian Society Wants Change—But of What Nature?

Sociological research shows that up to two-thirds of the population supports changes in Russia. But they are not necessarily the kind of changes that the democratic community likes to discuss, and the majority of those polled have no understanding of how their desired changes might come about.
28.08.2017
Alexei Navalny’s Techno-Populism

Alexei Navalny’s Techno-Populism

Is opposition leader Alexei Navalny a “Kremlin project,” a “future tyrant,” or “Russia’s only hope?” Conversations about Navalny often proceed along these moral lines, though it is Navalny’s practicality—especially in the technological realm—that has been the driving force of his popularity.
24.08.2017
Looking out Five Years: What Should Washington and Its European Allies Expect From Moscow?

Looking out Five Years: What Should Washington and Its European Allies Expect From Moscow?

Russians have become skeptical about a truly global order. At best, interactions with Western countries will be transactional, based on national interests when those happen to coincide or come close.
23.08.2017
Corruption Case Puts Sechin in the Spotlight

Corruption Case Puts Sechin in the Spotlight

The high-profile trial of former Russian economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev is not playing out according to the script that most analysts had expected. The prosecution’s case increasingly relies on the testimony of one man, state oil chief Igor Sechin, making this master of Kremlin intrigue potentially politically vulnerable.
22.08.2017
Looking out Five Years: Ideological, Geopolitical, and Economic Drivers of Russian Foreign Policy

Looking out Five Years: Ideological, Geopolitical, and Economic Drivers of Russian Foreign Policy

Putin has embraced patriotism and Eurasianism, but Russia must soon confront economic, security, and demographic headwinds, as well as the imperative of reform.
17.08.2017
Looking out Five Years: Who Will Decide Russian Foreign Policy?

Looking out Five Years: Who Will Decide Russian Foreign Policy?

Putin directs a foreign policy devoted to the concept of Russia as a great power. Even if he steps down as president in 2024, Putin will likely continue as Russia’s primary leader for years to come.
16.08.2017
Why China Censored Material About Putin on Social Media

Why China Censored Material About Putin on Social Media

China’s brief ban on social media posts mentioning Putin sheds light not only on Chinese Internet regulation but also on broader elements of Xi Jinping’s political system.
10.08.2017
Demands on Russian Foreign Policy And Its Drivers: Looking Out Five Years

Demands on Russian Foreign Policy And Its Drivers: Looking Out Five Years

Russia’s foreign policy priorities in the coming years hinge upon solidifying Russia’s great power status outside the post-Soviet space as well as reducing the country’s political isolation.
10.08.2017
Russia Sanctions and American Splits

Russia Sanctions and American Splits

The latest U.S. sanctions on Moscow and the expulsion of U.S. diplomats from Russia are not only hurting relations with Russia but also causing divisions between Western politicians.
9.08.2017
A New Russian for the Old President

A New Russian for the Old President

Vladimir Putin’s recent conversations with “ordinary Russians” are not an attempt to engage in direct democracy. Rather, they are intended to present the president with a new, artificial image of the Russian people; Kremlin officials are manufacturing conversations in which ordinary Russians are shown to be concerned with the same issues as their president.
8.08.2017
Russia and China Join Forces in Attempt to Dominate the Skies

Russia and China Join Forces in Attempt to Dominate the Skies

Considering the close attention that Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are paying to their countries’ joint jumbo jet project, it is clearly political. Russia and China have grand ambitions: they want their own civil aviation industries to be on a par with those of industry leaders like the United States and France. Moscow and Beijing are willing to team up for the sake of these ambitions, since neither can catch up to Boeing or Airbus on its own.
7.08.2017
Never Sans Sheriff: Consolidating Power in Transdniestria

Never Sans Sheriff: Consolidating Power in Transdniestria

Former president Yevgeny Shevchuk’s flight from Tiraspol may signal the culmination of Sheriff’s consolidation of power in Transdniestria, giving the country’s leaders a chance to devise a strategic development program for the first time in twenty years.
24.07.2017
How the Gulag Lives On in Russia’s Prison Economy

How the Gulag Lives On in Russia’s Prison Economy

When the state has mineral resources, it hires a company like Royal Dutch Shell to extract the oil and share the profits. But when it has an abundant supply of labor, it turns a blind eye to its resources being used in tolling schemes right out of the 1990s. The existing penitentiary system is not in the interests of the state or the prisoners.
21.07.2017
Russia’s Choice of Moral Rhetoric Over Pragmatism Is a Ticking Time Bomb

Russia’s Choice of Moral Rhetoric Over Pragmatism Is a Ticking Time Bomb

The demise of pragmatic politics will only amplify discontent with the regime and benefit populist opposition politicians. The public will no longer tolerate the regime’s strategy of tackling material problems with spiritual discourse, and will demand immediate practical solutions. As public discontent with the old regime grows stronger, new politicians will have an easy time promising quick material gains.
17.07.2017
Keeping Moscow Focused on China

Keeping Moscow Focused on China

Now that Chinese big investment projects have all but dried up, Moscow risks turning its attention away from Asia. Once again, Russia may miss the opportunity to profit from one of the world’s largest markets—and an especially important one for Russia in light of continuing Western sanctions.
14.07.2017
Misremembering Russia’s War

Misremembering Russia’s War

The increased frequency in Russia of military ceremonies and parades removes the need to reflect on the real history of the Great Patriotic War against Germany. Nowadays, even the anniversary of the German invasion of June 22, 1941, no longer presents an opportunity to commemorate and mourn.
13.07.2017
Making the Best of a No-Win Encounter: Putin and Trump Meet

Making the Best of a No-Win Encounter: Putin and Trump Meet

Expectations of the first meeting between presidents Putin and Trump were low, and the U.S. president stood to lose out however the encounter went. But any agreement to manage the risks in the relationship counts as an achievement.
12.07.2017
The Boundaries of Friendship: Russia’s Border Dispute with Belarus

The Boundaries of Friendship: Russia’s Border Dispute with Belarus

The dispute over newly established security zones on the Russia-Belarus border reveals that Moscow no longer sees Minsk as a reliable defense partner.
11.07.2017
Suspense in Kyrgyzstan: Who Will Be the Next President?

Suspense in Kyrgyzstan: Who Will Be the Next President?

In any other post-Soviet country, the president’s choice of successor would have informed the choice of the ruling party, but not in Kyrgyzstan. There is a flurry of activity in Bishkek, which foreshadows a sharp collision at the Social Democratic party convention, and possibly a fracturing of the ruling party. As a result, the authorities may back a completely different candidate.
10.07.2017
The Real Story of North Korean Labor Camps in Russia

The Real Story of North Korean Labor Camps in Russia

The U.S. State Department’s effort to portray North Korean migrant labor in Russia as slavery is misguided; working abroad is one of the only ways for North Koreans to climb the social ladder and provide their families with a modicum of financial stability.
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