In the wake of the murder of one of Russia’s most fervent opposition leaders, Boris Nemtsov, Russia remains less in a state of shock than in a state of confusion about what this means for the country’s future. Eurasia Outlook asked Carnegie’s experts to share their thoughts on how the event will change political life in Russia.
Regardless of who the shooter was and whose orders he was carrying out, a country where a critic of the regime is forced to fear being killed on the street rather than being arrested at a political rally is an entirely different country altogether.
Western leaders’ recent attempts to assure a diplomatic resolution of the Ukraine crisis may come to no avail. Is it possible to restore the peaceful, European status quo amidst such rapidly growing East-West animosity? Eurasia Outlook asked Carnegie’s experts to share their thoughts.
When Russian diplomats talk about Ukraine, they are actually speaking to just one man—Vladimir Putin. Moscow does not see any value in reaching out to the broad policy community in the West. The scary thing is that this behavior is not a consequence of the Ukrainian crisis, but one of its major sources.
Some experts’ concern that the amended version of the Russian military doctrine would significantly alter conditions for nuclear weapons’ use in the context of the Ukraine crisis and the resulting sharp escalation of the military and political situation has turned out to be premature.
Ramzan Kadyrov, head of the Chechen Republic in the North Caucasus, is now firmly entrenched in Russian politics at the federal-level, and it appears that he is there to stay, because Putin and Kadyrov really need each other.
The current political crisis in Russia’s relations with the West gives a strong impetus to Russian rapprochement with Asian countries. However, many analysts are of the opinion that no significant progress in this area has been achieved as of yet.