Russia-2013: How To Blow Off Steam?

Introducing visas and closing borders with Central Asian countries should not be the first steps in solving the problem of ethnic hatred in Russia. Instead, there should come a transformation of the entire Russian state, a regime change, and a resolution of the problem of the North Caucasus.

Corruption Run Riot

Biryulyovo was not the first anti-immigrant outburst in Russia, or even the biggest one, and it is unlikely to be the last. The core issue is systemic corruption in the police, migration service, and municipalities, which the new measures taken by the government in response to Biryulyovo are unlikely to reduce, much less to end.


Last weekend, two districts of Moscow became a battlefield between the police and the people described as nationalists by mass media or as hooligans by the authorities. Moscow has been a place of pogroms many times, but this time the authorities were more efficient than in previous cases.

How Putin Is Solving the Russian National Identity Problem

The values put forward by Putin are not traditional values, but rather their imitations. These false offerings can only discredit the new values of freedom, solidarity, and mutual help that are taking root among some segments of the Russian population.

Russia, a Euro-Pacific Nation

As a Euro-Pacific nation, Russia is in a good position to connect directly with all important economic, technological, political, military, and cultural players in the world—and keep the right balance among them in its foreign policy.

The Great Illusion

Ukraine will most probably sign an association agreement with the European Union. This is good news for Russia, including Vladimir Putin—although he would emphatically disagree.

How Ukraine Ruins Putin’s Dream

The Ukrainian elite has reached consensus on what it does not want—it does not want to be suffocated by the Kremlin’s embrace. For Putin the growing readiness of Ukraine to turn to Europe despite the formidable costs of this decision is a real disaster: his Eurasian Union cannot be a serious entity without the second large Slavic state limping along.

Never Leave Home Without a Tank

As Russia proceeds with its massive rearmament program, its arms exports, a lifeline in the 1990s, will be important, but no longer critical. The truly critical question is, what Russia itself will be arming against.

Jubilee With Everything But the Unexpected

The tenth-anniversary Valdai Club meeting was named “Russia’s diversity for the Modern World.” Nevertheless, the issue of diversity was put to the side by other hot current issues: the recent Russian elections, corruption, and Syria.

A Putin Problem

Vladimir Putin has taken the new aggressive turn in domestic policy and in the neighborhood. That has simply left him with no friends in the West.
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