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.
It will be difficult for Uzbekistan’s new president to bring about foundational change without moving toward some kind of glasnost. Though Uzbekistan’s tightly controlled political system has its limits, Mirziyoyev will have to loosen the reins in one way or another.
Vladimir Putin’s annual address to the Federation Council typically lets him map out the country’s foreign and domestic policy course for the coming year. Yet Putin’s speech this time—one of his longest and strangest ever—was essentially an admission that he has little sense of what the events of the coming months will bring or how he plans to deal with them.
The budget clearly illustrates its authors’ thinking. They fear popular discontent and so don’t want to risk taking unpopular steps. The regime’s main goal is short-term stability, so it keeps supporting the paternalistic governing model, which is increasingly trapped in the cycle of social spending.
I was able to read the secret police files of my grandfather, who died in the Russian gulag in 1946, and then cross-reference the names of the men who persecuted him in the new database published by Memorial. Russia’s grandsons need to confront the truth about what their grandfathers did—but the Russian state would prefer its people to live with historical amnesia.
The main obstacle to energy negotiations between Russia and the EU is the clash between their perceptions of energy security. Moscow claims that the biggest threat to European energy security is Ukraine’s unreliability as a gas transit country, while Brussels believes the construction of new Russian pipelines circumventing Ukraine will do nothing to improve the EU’s energy security.
Tajikistan, plagued by frequent widespread blackouts, has begun construction of an ambitious dam project that could significantly ease the country’s perennial energy shortages. However, in a region notorious for water disputes, neighboring Uzbekistan is staunchly opposed to the dam. A long-term solution is essential to maintaining peace in the region.
To Putin, Trump is a person who has not exactly had anything good to say about Russia, but has at least refrained from attacking or blaming Russia, which has become the norm in America today.
Following Donald Trump’s victory, Carnegie.ru asked three experts, one in Russia, one in Ukraine, and one in the United States, to comment on the question: “What impact will Trump’s victory have on Ukraine?”
Speculations about the U.S. policy in South Asia may be right or wrong. But at least one thing is clear. In his policy toward South Asia, Trump will follow his understanding of pragmatic and realistic interests of the United States, and not seek how to please leaders of South Asian countries and beyond, including Russia.
Since this spring, it has become clear that Russia’s political system of managed chaos is devolving into a free-for-all in which Rosneft chief Igor Sechin and his small cadre of current and former FSB officers have the upper hand.
Putin is creating the environment that can provide him with security and insurance and control the wars with the Kremlin’s inner circle. Russia’s political elites have already received a lot of signals from him: If somebody behaves in a wrong way, he will be either dismissed or accused of corruption.
The Kremlin has tried to use billionaires to do its bidding in post-Soviet states before—with mixed success. When it comes to Alisher Usmanov, the hurdles to a successful partnership are particularly high.
The election of the pro-Russian socialist Igor Dodon as Moldova’s new president obscures the fact that the country’s main nominally pro-European oligarch won most from the outcome.
Russians’ high expectations of Donald Trump may be disappointed. Trump and Putin have a lot in common, and Trump’s victory has dashed the hopes of those Russians who believe in American democracy. But the new American president-elect’s unpredictable personality could also make for a stormy relationship.
Russia’s propaganda masters didn’t expect Trump to win. State media outlets praised him every which way and painted him as a good friend to Russia, unofficially backed by the Kremlin. But the idea was that Trump would be cheated of his victory in yet another example of how great a role Putin plays on the world stage and how unscrupulous the American elite is.
The Cold War analogy is misleading. Relations between the West and Russia are certainly bad and dangerous now but they are bad and dangerous in new ways.
Russia and the West are less and less willing to compromise with Belarus. Both know that Belarus is in a weak negotiating position and are demanding more of Minsk than ever before.
The world reacts to the election of Donald Trump and its potential implications.
It’s not surprising that the members of the EAEU are struggling to adopt a Customs Code. In many ways, the problem stems from Kyrgyzstan’s accession to the EAEU, which mostly benefits Chinese exporters to Russia, who now have less red tape to deal with and more contraband routes available. The Russian budget, which may miss out on about $340 million a year, is the biggest loser.