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.
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.
As Washington contemplates reducing its contingent in Germany, it would appear that the so-called German question is rearing its head again in European politics.
John Bolton suggests that Putin can play Trump like a fiddle. The truth is that under the forty-fifth U.S. president, the bilateral relationship with Russia is now as bad as at any time since the early 1980s.
Moscow’s trump card in the Balkans is its right to veto Kosovo’s accession to the UN. A likely agreement between Serbia and Kosovo will leave Russia superfluous to requirements.
Telegram, launched in 2013, has long bothered the government not just because of its sophisticated encryption technique, but also because it quickly became an important platform of political discussion.
Putin is using the upcoming public vote on changing the constitution to make ordinary people his accomplices in the process of extending his rule and sanctioning the predominance of an ultraconservative ideology.
US and EU sanctions against the Chinese telecoms group have bolstered Sino-Russian co-operation
As long as the Kosovo dispute remains a make-or-break factor in Serbian politics, every Serbian government will need an open door in Moscow.
Russia is rapidly approaching a situation in which the public will lose the right to decide anything once and for all, because the authorities simply have no remaining political will or the resources to persuade the people.
The steep economic downturn and pre-election repression in Belarus are not the most favorable backdrop for President Lukashenko’s reelection. It’s not entirely clear what resources—other than force—Lukashenko plans to rely on for his sixth presidential term.
Two key mobilizing events—the vote to change the constitution and the Victory Day parade—were supposed to force Russians to temporarily forget about their low incomes and stagnating GDP. The pandemic meant they had to be postponed. Now—as lockdown measures are lifted—the Kremlin is trying to return to the scenario of rallying around the flag.
Increased coronavirus infection rates among Russian churchgoers could seriously damage attitudes toward Orthodoxy for a long time. The state has also seen for itself that the church is unable to deal with its own flock.
In trying to shirk responsibility for the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, the Russian leadership is destroying the loyal majority it spent years building.
The current crisis has exposed how the Russian regime has changed in several key ways. It is divided and lacks strategy, and President Putin shows no interest in giving it a new direction.
In a world where major powers are unconstrained by mutual obligations regarding their most powerful arms, proper communication is key to avoid fateful mistakes.
The coronavirus pandemic has turned the mounting tension between the center and the regions into an open conflict. Now threats loom of revenge by the old elites and a new wave of populism exploiting the idea of regional independence.
Two figures from within the political establishment are set to challenge Alexander Lukashenko in the presidential election this summer, laying the ground for a shake-up of politics in Belarus.
Putin has chosen the local governors to play the bad guys responsible for the health-care failures and personal constraints. For himself he has chosen the role of benefactor, bestowing gifts in the form of nonworking days and financial assistance.
The inflow of coronavirus cases entering China from Russia won’t ruin the two countries’ flourishing relationship based on pragmatic interests. The Chinese are more disappointed in the anti-China rhetoric coming from the White House than in Russia’s inability to swiftly combat the coronavirus outbreak.