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23.07.2018
Russia Must Show Caution Now That It Has Publicly Sided With Trump

Russia Must Show Caution Now That It Has Publicly Sided With Trump

Having publicly entered internal U.S. politics, Russia must be prepared for various unpleasant surprises.
12.07.2018
Lucky With Trump: Putin Prepares for Helsinki

Lucky With Trump: Putin Prepares for Helsinki

The Kremlin is seeking ways of de-escalating tensions with the West without making major concessions. It sees the isolationist unpredictable Trump as a partner in this endeavor.
12.07.2018
Détente Revisited in Helsinki

Détente Revisited in Helsinki

Helsinki will mark the first détente in the four-year-old Hybrid War between Russia and the United States. But there will be no major breakthrough. President Putin regards a meeting with the U.S. president not as a reward but as a resumption of normal business.
11.07.2018
Craving Respect: The Russian Public’s Wish List in Helsinki

Craving Respect: The Russian Public’s Wish List in Helsinki

Opinion polls and focus groups show that, despite intense anti-American feelings in Russia, Russians do pin hopes on the Putin-Trump summit. They want to see a de-escalation in confrontation and a re-focus away from foreign affairs by Putin, and they want Washington to show respect for Russia.
6.07.2018
The Doors are Still Closing: Russia and the World Cup

The Doors are Still Closing: Russia and the World Cup

Russia has opened its doors to thousands of foreigners for the World Cup, but the realities of Putin’s Russia are bigger than the feel-good spirit provided by the football.
5.07.2018
The Specter of Revolution: Moldova’s Future Hangs On Protests

The Specter of Revolution: Moldova’s Future Hangs On Protests

The decision to annul the opposition’s victory in Chi?inau’s mayoral election is among the most confrontational taken by Moldova’s self-avowedly pro-European authorities. But the convergence of internal and external factors that the anti-government protests need to succeed has not yet occurred. The defeat of anti-government forces shortly before decisive parliamentary elections will leave Moldovan society even more apathetic.
4.07.2018
Despite the Helsinki Summit, the Hybrid War Is Here to Stay

Despite the Helsinki Summit, the Hybrid War Is Here to Stay

Since 2014, Russia and the US have been engaged in a hybrid war, characterized by conflict in financial, technological, and ideological spheres. Regardless of the results of the summit, this hybrid war is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. However, the relationship can and must be stabilized through clear understanding by both parties of the other side’s behavior and motivations
3.07.2018
Illusory Stability: Putin’s Regime Is Readier Than Ever for Change

Illusory Stability: Putin’s Regime Is Readier Than Ever for Change

The events of the last four years in Russia show that its fabled stability and lack of change have stopped being the top political value. Today, the Russian regime is more ready than ever for transformation. Before, any decisions had to be approved by the president and were made at a snail’s pace because Putin had no time. Now, it’s the other way around: decisions are made quickly precisely because Putin has no time.
29.06.2018
Putin and Yumashev: Survivors of the Nineties

Putin and Yumashev: Survivors of the Nineties

Vladimir Putin learned the art of political survival in the Kremlin of the 1990s. Little wonder that he has decided to keep on his former co-conspirator from that era, Valentin Yumashev.
25.06.2018
Belarus, the Tactical Peacemaker

Belarus, the Tactical Peacemaker

Belarus’s newfound role as a peacemaker has helped Minsk gain previously unimaginable freedom of maneuver with both the West and Russia. Minsk will likely continue to defend and uphold its status as a mediator, even if warring parties do not want to negotiate.
22.06.2018
The Boomerang of 1968: Reflections on Prague, Paris, and Moscow Fifty Years On

The Boomerang of 1968: Reflections on Prague, Paris, and Moscow Fifty Years On

The Prague Spring was the nobler and more enduring face of 1968. The Western protests were mostly about middle-class counterculture and were subsumed by a culture of consumerism, while the Eastern European tradition of anti-totalitarian dissent has endured.
21.06.2018
Expect No Changes From Russia’s New Presidential Administration

Expect No Changes From Russia’s New Presidential Administration

To predict what the Kremlin will do, we need look no further than the ambitious but unrealized initiatives of the mid-2000s, such as enlarging the regions and tax reforms. The same is true of the Kremlin’s staffing policy: even if there are some reshuffles, the positions of power go to experienced and well-known individuals. Vladimir Putin is comfortable talking to familiar people on familiar subjects. His closest associates are well aware of this fact and have adjusted to their boss’s preferences.
19.06.2018
A Russian Writes to European Friends

A Russian Writes to European Friends

There are several misperceptions about Russia that make relations with Europe worse than they need to be. Acknowledging these illusions is the first step to Russia and Europe being able to understand each other.
15.06.2018
Bullying the Big Cities: The Kremlin’s New Approach

Bullying the Big Cities: The Kremlin’s New Approach

The regional unification of record-high presidential election results has closed the Kremlin bureaucrats’ eyes to the diversity of different parts of the country, their elites, and the preferences of their electorates. In this model, regional masters of balance and public politics are extraneous. But the expulsion of old regional barons is risky: the banner of public pushback and local patriotism could be picked up by new regional politicians who might be even less convenient for Moscow.
13.06.2018
Everyone Wins: Russia, China, and the Trump-Kim Summit

Everyone Wins: Russia, China, and the Trump-Kim Summit

The summit of Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Singapore brought the Korean peninsula closer to peace, but it was more about symbolism than substance. Its most important outcome is to bring North Korea out of diplomatic isolation—something that is welcome to both China and Russia.
8.06.2018
Russian Oligarchs in the Era of Sanctions

Russian Oligarchs in the Era of Sanctions

The West’s economic sanctions against Russia have divided the country’s most prominent businessmen into those who would like to remain “private” and those who never needed this.
4.06.2018
Truth Without Borders: Why Faking a Journalist’s Death Won’t Help Ukraine

Truth Without Borders: Why Faking a Journalist’s Death Won’t Help Ukraine

As the world debates the danger of manipulating public opinion through fake news, Ukraine has created a false narrative of global significance. Blurring the borders of truth is unlikely to help Ukraine in the long run. But the country’s desire for a spectacular victory over its enemy outweighed other concerns.
28.05.2018
What Russia’s New Government Tells Us About Succession After Putin

What Russia’s New Government Tells Us About Succession After Putin

Now in his fourth presidential term, Vladimir Putin faces a succession problem: the constitution prevents him from running again in 2024. With few simple transition options available, Putin may choose a compromise: to hand some presidential powers to the prime minister, increase the ruling party’s role, and introduce a second center of power in the executive branch.
25.05.2018
The Balkan Cycle: Why Russo-Bulgarian Relations Are Growing Again

The Balkan Cycle: Why Russo-Bulgarian Relations Are Growing Again

The Bulgarian public and the country’s major political parties regret the deterioration of Russo-Bulgarian relations since 2009, when, under Western pressure, Sofia withdrew from almost all of its joint projects with Moscow, including the Belene Nuclear Power Plant and South Stream pipeline. These moves yielded no tangible benefits for Bulgaria and even had some adverse effects. Now, calls for a more pragmatic and self-centered approach to Bulgaria’s relations with Russia are gaining momentum.
25.05.2018
Political Dispersion: Russia’s New Cabinet

Political Dispersion: Russia’s New Cabinet

The political and administrative dispersion of governance is under way in Russia: regulatory functions are being scattered among government and near-government players, which will inevitably result in the formation of first moderate and then increasingly pronounced polycentricity within the state. Initiative will eventually stop being punishable.
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