Don’t Overreact to Russia and Its Forty “New” Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles

Putin’s announcement that Moscow plans to add more than 40 intercontinental ballistic missiles to its nuclear arsenal is troubling mainly because of its political and psychological impact on NATO allies. But it is no cause for alarm.

Mr. Putin Meets the Pope

Putin might be looking for a partner in Pope Francis, but the issues that divide them are many. With the Ukraine conflict again on the verge of escalation, that divide will likely only get larger.

Chechnya’s Strongman vs. Moscow’s Men in Uniform: What Next?

The latest friction between Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov and Moscow’s siloviki was not an attack intended to unseat Kadyrov. It was not even a conflict per se. Instead, it was an attempt to reformat Moscow’s approach to Chechnya. The contract with Kadyrov isn’t being annulled; it’s just being rewritten before its next extension.

Closing the Book on Russian Liberals

In order to keep the ranks closed and to sustain the Stockholm syndrome of the fortress’s defenders there must be constant discoveries of “a fifth column” and “national traitors.” That’s the only sense in which Russian authorities need liberals.

Vladimir Putin’s Wooden Casket

Russia’s current president is not planning on staying at the helm forever, since he is not ready to raise the retirement age. His inaction will destroy Russia’s economy, at the very latest by 2030.

A Chechen Dragon Splits Moscow

The Chechen connection to the Nemtsov’s murder has split the ruling elite. Putin’s problem is that Kadyrov has completely cleared Chechnya of all rivals, either Chechen or Russian—having fed and groomed his “dragon,” he has no Plan B in Chechnya.

Life After Caesar: What Happens When the Leader Doesn’t Return

What happens to an authoritarian country that’s left without its leader and the founder of the regime?

Will the Chechen Connection Lead to Ramzan Kadyrov?

Putin and Kadyrov resemble Siamese twins, whose separation will result in complication for both of them, and thus for the country at large. Neither one of them stood to benefit from Boris Nemtsov’s death.

Nemtsov’s Murder: The Islamic Connection

The perpetrators of violence have staked their claim to power, or at least a more active role in formulating the regime’s identity and methods. If we are to assume that the president is not directly linked to Nemtsov’s murder, it seems that someone else wants to push Putin in a more decisive and punitive direction.

The Chechen Connection?

It is impossible to imagine Ramzan Kadyrov calling his subordinates and directly instructing them to commit the murder of Boris Nemtsov. However, the xenophobia and fear of the West characteristic of some segments of Russia’s Muslim community, including Muslims in the North Caucasus, creates a favorable climate for such acts.
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