The Ukraine crisis was not just about Ukraine, or even Europe. It was about the global order, which promises a long competition with a yet-unforeseen result.
As it attempts to step back from the brink of a new Cold War, the West will have to make sure that Putin does not interpret backtracking as a reward for bad behavior
The Victory Day parade in Moscow has sent a number of important messages, which outsiders would do well to reflect upon.
Ukrainian society—particularly sectors that pushed for greater accountability and transparency during the EuroMaidan Revolution—and Western governments, particularly the United States, are pushing Poroshenko to rein in the oligarchs.
The intensity of Moscow’s current contact with Tehran is unprecedented in Russia’s post-Soviet history. Yet despite the potential for improvement, there are serious obstacles that may hamper or even halt cooperation.
Vafa Guluzade was Azerbaijan’s leading foreign policy advocate in a very difficult period and part of the most promising initiative to resolve the Karabakh conflict. He has never been adequately replaced.
The conflict in Ukraine is anything but frozen. The dynamics of this conflict are driven as much by Ukrainian domestic affairs and local commanders’ decisions in the conflict zone as they are by any Cold War-style stand-off between East and West.
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.
Kim Jong-un eagerly and easily communicates with foreigners, but at the same time avoids meeting foreign heads of state. After three years in power he has never once met with a single one of his foreign colleagues.
Old totalitarian practices can reemerge with new symbols, from new directions. And a struggle against the symbols of past unfreedom isn’t enough to protect against a lack of liberty in its latest incarnation.
The new S-400 missile system can reach distances of up to 400 km. This range signifies a fundamental change in the rules of the game in Taiwan and the Senkaku Islands, two potential hot spots in where China is involved.
The most pressing threat to Kazakhstan’s stability may turn out to be Nazarbayev himself. He is an elderly man who also reportedly suffers from cancer and he has no clear successor.
Moscow no longer needs liberals to imitate democracy or political process.
Russia is tilting toward China in the face of political and economic pressure from the United States and Europe. This does not presage a new Sino-Russian bloc, but the epoch of post-communist Russia’s integration with the West is over.
There is little reason to believe that the Russian middle class will react to the ongoing financial and economic crisis with protests or renewed calls for change. Instead, it seems almost certain that it will opt for strategies of survival and perseverance.
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