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Russia’s relations with the West are not about to get any better.
The 2024 election will be one in which the generation of “Putin’s children,” those who have made their careers and profited from the twenty years of Putin’s presidency, face a serious challenge to keep the assets they have acquired.
The extreme sentences handed down to defendants in what is being called the “Network Case” is an ominous sign.
If the thirst for political change continues to gain momentum in Russia, a full-scale demand for political freedoms and alternatives may emerge quite soon.
The Russian president may never leave the political stage—but he's now ready to take a step back.
Although former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov was actually the first senior official to demand the return of Crimea, he remains best known for his signature cap and businesslike approach to managing the capital.
Moscow never wanted an annexation—it just wanted a bargaining chip. Understanding that is the key to settling the conflict once and for all.
The combination of aggressive conformism and petty indifference is the basis of the regime’s popular support.
So long as Serbia does not formally recognize Kosovo’s independence, it must rely on Russia’s veto power in the UN Security Council. That dependency gives Russia a nontrivial degree of influence, both in the region and within Serbia itself.
Russia and China’s strategic military cooperation is becoming ever closer. President Putin has announced that Russia is helping China build an early warning system to spot intercontinental ballistic missile launches.