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5.07.2017
The Chimera of Chinese Investment in Russia’s Far East Ports

The Chimera of Chinese Investment in Russia’s Far East Ports

China has no port of its own on the Sea of Japan, and Russia could use this to its advantage. But for Russia to attract Chinese cargo, it is essential to simplify customs controls and seriously invest in roads and ports. Considering that both of these factors are Russia’s responsibility, the completion of the Primorye transport corridors has been stalled for a long time.
26.06.2017
Putin’s Post-Political Government

Putin’s Post-Political Government

This year’s Direct Line with Vladimir Putin revealed that politics has been entirely removed from the public sphere in Russia. Government decisions are now made with zero input from the people.
23.06.2017
Bigger, Not Better: Russia Makes the SCO a Useless Club

Bigger, Not Better: Russia Makes the SCO a Useless Club

The Kremlin is still anxious about the expansion of Chinese influence in Central Asia, which is why it has turned the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, set up in order to work out widely accepted rules of the game for Eurasia, into a useless bureaucracy. Now, Beijing can develop relations with other SCO members without worrying about what Moscow thinks.
22.06.2017
The Accidental Formation of Russia’s War Coalition

The Accidental Formation of Russia’s War Coalition

The Ukraine war that broke out in 2014 became possible due to the governmentalizing of the Russian economy during the 2008 crisis. But these actions didn’t anticipate war. The manual control of the Russian economy formed to fight the crisis became an important component in fighting sanctions, and even in equipping the Donbas. But it was initially planned for different needs.
20.06.2017
Alexei Navalny’s Protest Gambit

Alexei Navalny’s Protest Gambit

Russians are engaging in increasingly confrontational forms of protest, choosing to voice their discontent with the regime at unauthorized rallies rather than at state-sanctioned gatherings. As arrests and restrictions on civil liberties mount in response to the rallies, the authorities will seem ever more hostile and unjust.
16.06.2017
Volodin vs. Kiriyenko: The Battle for Influence in Russia’s Power Vertical

Volodin vs. Kiriyenko: The Battle for Influence in Russia’s Power Vertical

The State Duma has joined the presidential administration as the second source of power in Russian domestic policymaking, and the tension between the two is threatening to open up a rift in Putin’s power vertical.
13.06.2017
Moscow’s Man in Moldova

Moscow’s Man in Moldova

Moscow’s support for Moldovan President Igor Dodon doesn’t mean that it is trying to pull Chisinau away from the EU. The Kremlin realizes that its options in Moldova have become more limited in recent years, and it has tempered its expectations accordingly. Now, the Kremlin is trying to find a way to let Moldova enjoy free trade agreements with both the EU and the CIS.
8.06.2017
When Propaganda Backfires: Why Russia’s Politicization Is Unavoidable

When Propaganda Backfires: Why Russia’s Politicization Is Unavoidable

In 2014, ordinary people in Russia were called upon to be active and create history. But you can’t be active on the geopolitical stage while remaining passive in domestic politics. People are starting to apply their newly found political activity to the agenda at home.
6.06.2017
Macron’s Grand Gesture Toward Russia Might Just Pay Off

Macron’s Grand Gesture Toward Russia Might Just Pay Off

By inviting Putin to Versailles, Macron threw his hat in the ring for the role of a new geopolitical leader in Europe. He made this decision in the context of not just bilateral relations but also France’s relations with the West and the EU. Macron is trying to demonstrate his ability to confront the bad guys, draw red lines, and differentiate between pragmatic objectives and overarching values.
31.05.2017
Fanning the Flames in Macedonia

Fanning the Flames in Macedonia

The main cause of the latest crisis in Macedonia is neither Russia’s machinations nor enmity between ethnic Albanians and ethnic Macedonians: it is the EU’s unfulfilled promise that Macedonia has a European future.
29.05.2017
China’s Belt and Road Project: What’s at Stake for Xi Jinping

China’s Belt and Road Project: What’s at Stake for Xi Jinping

The recent Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation that took place in Beijing is China’s claim to a more prominent role in determining the rules of the game on a global stage. But in the unpredictable world of Chinese politics, the forum was as much about President Xi Jinping’s standing and an attempt to curtail speculation that he is not in total control.
25.05.2017
The Test for Russia Is Not the 2018 Election But What Follows

The Test for Russia Is Not the 2018 Election But What Follows

The 2018 presidential election in Russia is expected to go ahead without a hitch for Putin, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t see other problems in 2018. The real challenge will be the mismatch between the public’s expectations and the decisions that the regime will inevitably have to make after the election.
24.05.2017
The Silk Road to Nowhere

The Silk Road to Nowhere

It will take years for Russia to increase trade with China. To do so, Russia will need to strengthen its institutions, overcome non-tariff barriers to the Chinese market, and enhance its reputation among Chinese investors.
11.05.2017
What Can Japan Offer Russia?

What Can Japan Offer Russia?

The window of opportunity for improving Russo-Japanese relations is still open, at least for now. Russia’s main objectives are to attract Japanese investment into its national economic development programs and to continue to diversify its policies in the Asia-Pacific and on the international stage, where Japan plays an important and increasingly independent role.
8.05.2017
Mirrored Morality: Russian Society, Eurovision, and a New Ethics

Mirrored Morality: Russian Society, Eurovision, and a New Ethics

Even as Russia officially proclaims moral conservatism, the official tactic of nominating a wheelchair-bound singer for the Eurovision Song Contest suggests a different approach. A political gambit reflects a wider trend. Much of Russian society is becoming more tolerant of difference and more Europeanized than it has been for a century.
2.05.2017
Moscow Housing Demolition Program Creates New Wave of Angry Urbanites

Moscow Housing Demolition Program Creates New Wave of Angry Urbanites

The authorities are in a no-win situation as a result of their unpopular plans to demolish five-story residential buildings in Moscow. If they stick to their guns, angry urbanites are bound to take to the streets in protest. If they yield to public demands, they’ll demonstrate the effectiveness of mass protests.
24.04.2017
Yeltsin’s Overcoat

Yeltsin’s Overcoat

Ten years after Boris Yeltsin’s death, we’re only beginning to grapple with the legacy of his transformative presidency.
19.04.2017
Generation YouTube: How Millennials Are Shaping Russian Politics

Generation YouTube: How Millennials Are Shaping Russian Politics

Millennials are becoming an important force in Russian politics, one that both the regime and the opposition are trying to harness. YouTube, VKontakte, and other social media platforms present a promising way to reach Russian youth.
11.04.2017
The Race to Be Putin’s Next Prime Minister Is Heating Up

The Race to Be Putin’s Next Prime Minister Is Heating Up

How can Vladimir Putin avoid the political fallout that will inevitably come from firing Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev? Facing corruption allegations and losing support within the government, Medvedev is quickly becoming a “suitcase without a handle” for Putin.
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