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10.04.2017
“The Russians Did It”: How the Kremlin Became the Default Culprit

“The Russians Did It”: How the Kremlin Became the Default Culprit

The world will see the Kremlin as the culprit whether or not Denis Voronenkov’s murder is ever solved: for too long, Russian authorities have portrayed their country as one that doesn’t hesitate to violate every international norm—including by murdering their own citizens abroad.
6.04.2017
A Refreeze in Minsk: Combining Crackdown With International Convergence

A Refreeze in Minsk: Combining Crackdown With International Convergence

The West’s reaction to the crackdown on protests in Belarus has so far been muted. Brussels noticed that Belarusian siloviki showed at least some restraint in their response, which indicates that all is not lost. Western diplomats don’t want to throw away years of progress toward convergence with Minsk because of something that could be written off as a brief spark of rage.
6.04.2017
Why the Terrorist Attack in St. Petersburg Is Dividing Russian Society

Why the Terrorist Attack in St. Petersburg Is Dividing Russian Society

There is a broad consensus in Russia that the Kremlin’s hardline stance on terror has kept Russians safe from attack. This guarantee of security has allowed authorities to ignore a host of social and economic problems. But there is a significant downside to this model: any attack on Russian soil begins to erode the underpinnings of the Kremlin’s social contract.
5.04.2017
“We Went Skiing”: How the Kremlin Lost the Ability to Speak Normally

“We Went Skiing”: How the Kremlin Lost the Ability to Speak Normally

Russian authorities have nothing else to say because they have lost the ability to communicate either in real or in virtual time, and they have never learned the language of today’s reality. In this reality, not all dissent is political; some of it is a moral stance against dishonesty.
4.04.2017
St. Petersburg Comes to Terms With Terror

St. Petersburg Comes to Terms With Terror

A journalist in St. Petersburg describes scenes of disbelief, charity, and solidarity as citizens of Russia’s second city reacted to an unprecedented terrorist act.
31.03.2017
The Storm Clouds of 2017: Russia’s New Protests

The Storm Clouds of 2017: Russia’s New Protests

The recent mass anti-corruption protests called across Russia on March 26 pose an unexpected challenge to the Kremlin. The protesters are younger and less prosperous than their counterparts in 2011–2012. If Russia is on the brink of a new kind of revolution, then all sides need to act responsibly.
28.03.2017
The Trump Effect and Russians’ Attitudes Toward the United States

The Trump Effect and Russians’ Attitudes Toward the United States

Russians’ fondness for Donald Trump doesn’t mean that anti-American sentiment has suddenly disappeared in Russia. But even though Trump’s election is unlikely to reverse decades of mistrust, his statements about improving relations with Russia have already had an impact on Russians’ attitudes toward the United States.
22.03.2017
The Power Struggle Dividing Uzbekistan’s Leadership

The Power Struggle Dividing Uzbekistan’s Leadership

In the apparent battle between Uzbekistan’s two most influential politicians, security service head Rustam Inoyatov will have to either support the new president’s agenda, or attempt to return Uzbekistan to the way it was under the totalitarian late leader Karimov. But the resources he has to achieve the latter are getting smaller and smaller every day.
20.03.2017
Three Dimensions: Can North Korea be Contained?

Three Dimensions: Can North Korea be Contained?

In his first trip to Asia, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has had to contend with North Korea's recent provocations and heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Carnegie.ru asked three experts, one in South Korea, one in Russia, and one in the United States, to comment on the question: "Can North Korea be contained?"
14.03.2017
What’s at Stake in the Armenian Elections?

What’s at Stake in the Armenian Elections?

The parliamentary elections in Armenia aren’t just about President Serzh Sargsyan’s effort to stay in power by swapping his current post for the prime ministership. Armenia’s international allegiances are also up for grabs, leaving Moscow to choose between supporting some opposition politicians and simply throwing its weight behind the ruling party.
10.03.2017
Borderline Anxiety: Putin’s Central Asia Tour

Borderline Anxiety: Putin’s Central Asia Tour

Putin’s recent trip to Central Asia showed that he is willing to pay Russia’s partners in the region for their geopolitical loyalty—even if some republics have refrained from joining the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).
3.03.2017
Russia’s New Old Wave of Technocratic Governors

Russia’s New Old Wave of Technocratic Governors

Revitalizing regional governance will only be possible if the Kremlin changes federal budget appropriations to benefit the provinces in addition to appointing ambitious young governors. Recent gubernatorial appointments should thus be seen as little more than a shrewd PR move by Deputy Chief of the Presidential Administration Sergey Kiriyenko and his team.
21.02.2017
Why Turkmenistan Bothered Holding Presidential Elections

Why Turkmenistan Bothered Holding Presidential Elections

Declining hydrocarbon prices and a gas dispute with Russia have kept Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov from bringing back the luster and prosperity of Turkmenistan’s golden age. The next few years promise to be even harder for Turkmenistan’s economy, which is why parliament decided to extend Berdymukhamedov’s term in office from five to seven years.
9.02.2017
Opposition From Within: Russia’s New Counter-Elite

Opposition From Within: Russia’s New Counter-Elite

In political systems that block change through elections, the main guarantee of a regime’s stability is its capacity to absorb a potential counter-elite. At the moment, the regime is preventing any such renewal from occurring. Yet a counter-elite is in the process of formation nonetheless—one that can eventually take Russia in a new direction.
8.02.2017
The Far-Reaching Consequences of Belarus’s Conflict with Russia

The Far-Reaching Consequences of Belarus’s Conflict with Russia

Even if Minsk and Moscow are able to resolve their current dispute, the standoff will go down in history, at least in Belarus. After Belarus’s declaration of independence and the creation of its state infrastructure—its bureaucracy, currency, and armed forces—this conflict will be one of the most important stages in the country’s movement away from Russia.
6.02.2017
Continuity in Kazakhstan: Nazarbayev’s Curious Appeal for Constitutional Reform

Continuity in Kazakhstan: Nazarbayev’s Curious Appeal for Constitutional Reform

If none of the Kazakh president’s current associates will agree to accept the right of another to become the country’s second national leader, it’s inevitable that Kazakhstan will be ruled by some kind of collective leadership after Nazarbayev. However, nothing in the president’s special address suggested any mechanism for the transfer of power.
31.01.2017
The Beginning of the End of Russia’s Power Vertical

The Beginning of the End of Russia’s Power Vertical

Instead of consolidating in the run-up to the 2018 presidential election, Russian elites have started making the structures they manage more autonomous. Uncertain about the future of the system, governors, directors of state-run enterprises, and heads of state bodies are carving out their own personal empires. Once centripetal, the Russian political system is now governed by centrifugal forces.
30.01.2017
The Benefits of Living in Russia’s Hybrid State

The Benefits of Living in Russia’s Hybrid State

It’s completely rational for the elites to avoid change, although it betrays their inability to look beyond the horizon. They are not frightened enough by the current stagnation to initiate changes in the system for their own sake. But what they do fear greatly is losing everything all at once by pulling some crumbling brick out of the system, causing the whole construction to come crashing down.
23.12.2016
History Unvarnished: In Search of Alternative Russian Heroes

History Unvarnished: In Search of Alternative Russian Heroes

For centuries, Russian history has glorified the state and those who sacrifice themselves for the state. It’s time to commemorate a different kind of hero.
22.12.2016
Russia Enters a Time of Transition, by Stealth

Russia Enters a Time of Transition, by Stealth

There are multiple indications that public support for the ruling regime in Russia is provisional and the country is entering a period of post-Putin transition. Neither the authorities nor the opposition is prepared for it.
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