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The tradition of sport acting as a kind of hybrid war has seamlessly continued in Russia into the post-Soviet period. It is victory at any cost, because victory has political significance. It’s soft power, the face of the country, the image of an invincible nation ruled by a wise leader.
Russia can strengthen its geopolitical positioning in Europe in some respects by seeking to cooperate more with Germany, its most important European partner.
The Kerch Bridge is the conclusion of Crimea’s incorporation into Russia, both physically and politically. Any haggling over on what terms Russia might return Crimea to Ukraine is now definitively null and void.
While the proxy war in Syria does hold the potential for a clash between U.S. and Russian forces, it is only one of several theaters in which a larger conflict between the two countries is playing out.
The One World of Pax Americana that has existed since the end of the Cold War is already history. US global dominance is still in place, but the peace has been shattered again. The new era is not a replay of the 20th century contest. It may be equally dangerous, but in its own way.
Policymakers need to learn from their military subordinates: They should keep their heads cool and think of the consequences of their actions, both intended and unintended.
Alexander Lukashenko has built a highly consolidated, adaptive authoritarian regime. Examining how the Belarusian political system is structured and how its relationships with its citizens, Russia, and the West have evolved may help shed light on possible paths that Minsk could take as Lukashenko ages and economic challenges continue to mount.
China and Russia have been cooperating closely over the past three decades. But since the Ukraine crisis, the process has become more dynamic. Moscow and Beijing are now coordinating their policies on a wider range of issues.
With US-Russian relations already confrontational and Sino-US relations becoming visibly more tense, the context for major power interaction on the North Korean nuclear issue has substantially changed from what it was only five years ago.
A consensus among the Kremlin’s supporters has become an ideology: Russia may have problems, but it is united by anti-Western, isolationist, and conservative values.