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1.09.2020
Domestic Geopolitics: Belarusian Protests and Russia’s Power Transition

Domestic Geopolitics: Belarusian Protests and Russia’s Power Transition

Any internal political activity is becoming conclusively geopoliticized. Elections in Belarus or Russia, for example, are not an expression of feedback between the public and the government, but an act of defensive foreign policy.
31.08.2020
In Libya’s War, Russia Is Directionless—and Falling Behind

In Libya’s War, Russia Is Directionless—and Falling Behind

At some level, Russia’s approach to the war in Libya seems successful. Yet Russia can only achieve so much without a clear idea of what its interests in Libya are and what the country is good for beyond a demonstration of the influence Moscow has gained by intervening militarily in Syria—possibilities that are shrinking as the United States turns its attention anew to the country’s years-long war.
26.08.2020
Navalny’s Poisoning Is the Act of a Sickly Regime

Navalny’s Poisoning Is the Act of a Sickly Regime

The formation of a “protection services” market is a dangerous trend for the Russian power system. Navalny may have been poisoned by people who believe that the regime is no longer capable of dealing with threats itself.
22.08.2020
Dictator’s Dilemma: Why Lukashenko Is Still Clinging On

Dictator’s Dilemma: Why Lukashenko Is Still Clinging On

Lukashenko faced the classic autocrat’s dilemma: avoid a revolution by making compromises and introducing elements of real democracy, or—regardless of the growing price of hanging on to power—fall back on costly repression with costly consequences.
17.08.2020
Turmoil in Belarus: Looking Beyond the Horizon

Turmoil in Belarus: Looking Beyond the Horizon

Friends of Belarus need to recognize that a revolution is not the end, but merely the beginning of what is certain to be a long and difficult road toward making it a “normal country.” 
17.08.2020
Game Over for Lukashenko: the Kremlin’s Next Move

Game Over for Lukashenko: the Kremlin’s Next Move

The Kremlin has had enough of Lukashenko, but it cannot allow Belarus to follow the path of Ukraine and become another anti-Russian, NATO-leaning bulwark on its borders.
15.08.2020
Belarus’s Fight for Freedom

Belarus’s Fight for Freedom

The impending collapse of the Belarusian regime and whatever comes next reveal a lot more than events in Ukraine did about possible political transformation in Russia.
13.08.2020
Belarus Protests Signal the Autumn of Lukashenko’s Regime

Belarus Protests Signal the Autumn of Lukashenko’s Regime

It’s not yet clear how the country will emerge from this political crisis, but it’s safe to say things won’t go back to the way they were.
10.08.2020
Can Russia-West Divide Save “Europe’s Last Dictator” in Belarus?

Can Russia-West Divide Save “Europe’s Last Dictator” in Belarus?

Both Russia and the West may be sick and tired of the mercurial Belarusian autocrat, but they still see him as the lesser evil.
5.08.2020
Developing Artificial Intelligence in Russia: Objectives and Reality

Developing Artificial Intelligence in Russia: Objectives and Reality

Even if AI development becomes Russia’s highest priority, Moscow has no chance of catching up with Washington and Beijing in this field. Under favorable conditions, however, Russia is quite capable of becoming a serious player and even a local leader in certain areas.
4.08.2020
Mercenaries’ Arrests Deepen Minsk-Moscow Rift

Mercenaries’ Arrests Deepen Minsk-Moscow Rift

Whatever the truth behind the arrests of alleged Russian mercenaries in Belarus, the incident cannot fail to exacerbate the main problem in the relationship between Minsk and Moscow: a protracted crisis of trust.
31.07.2020
Russia’s Permanent Revolution of Dignity

Russia’s Permanent Revolution of Dignity

Each new wave of Russian protests since 2011—whether political or initially depoliticized (over landfills, housing development projects and so on)—is at heart prompted by an insult to people’s dignity.
27.07.2020
Russia’s In-System Opposition Gets Second Chance in Khabarovsk

Russia’s In-System Opposition Gets Second Chance in Khabarovsk

In appointing LDPR deputy Degtyarev as the new governor of Khabarovsk, Putin is not promoting one of his own men, but making the LDPR responsible for extinguishing the fire of discontent raging in the region.
23.07.2020
Can Russia Mediate New Clashes Between Armenia and Azerbaijan?

Can Russia Mediate New Clashes Between Armenia and Azerbaijan?

It’s in neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan’s interests for Russia to pick a side in their conflict: Nagorno-Karabakh would go from being a unique place where Russia and the West cooperate to yet another theater for their rivalry, with all the ensuing risks and dangers.
17.07.2020
Ukraine’s Unpopular Populist: What Next for Zelensky?

Ukraine’s Unpopular Populist: What Next for Zelensky?

A further fall in President Zelensky’s ratings could become a serious demotivating factor for the former TV star. His transformation from the “people’s president” into yet another Ukrainian politician with broken promises, a state dacha, and a dodgy entourage will primarily weigh on the president himself.
13.07.2020
Will EU Green Deal Force Russia to Clean Up Its Act?

Will EU Green Deal Force Russia to Clean Up Its Act?

Russia’s inaction on climate change could lead to new problems in its relationship with the EU. Its Green Deal, for example, envisages the introduction of an EU carbon border tax, which alarms Russian exporters.
10.07.2020
Podcast: Russian Foreign Policy in a Post-Pandemic World

Podcast: Russian Foreign Policy in a Post-Pandemic World

Alexander Gabuev is joined by Dmitri Trenin and Elena Chernenko to discuss what impact the global pandemic has had—and will continue to have—on Russian foreign policy.
10.07.2020
Silencing Dissent: Russian Culture on Trial

Silencing Dissent: Russian Culture on Trial

The Serebrennikov case reveals a split within the Russian elite, and Putin’s refusal to back one side or the other. One part of it wants to re-Sovietize culture and punish artists who do not fit with their conservative agenda, while others continue to value artistic freedom.   
6.07.2020
Embattled Lukashenko Loses Friends in East and West

Embattled Lukashenko Loses Friends in East and West

Belarus is moving toward a new geopolitical identity. Instead of its status as a peacekeeper between East and West, Minsk may soon find that it lacks a good relationship with either side.
1.07.2020
The Taming of the Elite: Putin’s Referendum

The Taming of the Elite: Putin’s Referendum

Putin’s attempt to renew his mandate in the July 1 constitutional plebiscite is a challenge to those who surround him and a rejection of Russia’s changing reality. Essentially, he is banning his associates from looking around for a successor and from discussing their own future.
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