By the beginning of the twenty-first century, Russia had recovered from its domestic crisis, and so had its global ambitions. While Moscow’s principal interests still lie mostly toward the West, the Middle East is back on Moscow’s radar screen and Russia’s withdrawal from the region has been reversed.
While autocratic governments that incorporate elements of democracy may be stable in the short term, such systems cannot be sustained in the long term. In Russia’s case, the system is unlikely to survive Putin himself.
Systemic reform of the Russian Interior Ministry will require more than President Medvedev’s recent order to dismiss eighteen high-ranking police officials and to halve the ministry’s head office. Staff reductions are not enough to address the fundamental flaws that plague the institution.
More than ever, preventing nuclear weapons proliferation requires cooperation among the United States, Russia, and China, plus emerging powers. To achieve this cooperation, measures must be crafted to uphold the bargain between disarmament and nonproliferation.
While Russian leaders support the idea of a world free of nuclear weapons in theory, the Russian security community is still committed to the principle of nuclear deterrence.
Recently, calls for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s resignation were heard at rallies in different parts of Russia. Although unrelated, these gatherings underscore the growing cracks in the Kremlin’s political system of centralized power, opaque decision-making, and unaccountability.
While the U.S. policy on Afghanistan has been accused of inconsistency, recent events suggest a comprehensive policy is taking shape, one that takes into account transformations in the threats the country faces.
Recent arguments against a withdrawal of U.S. nuclear weapons from Germany are based on anachronistic perceptions regarding NATO’s nuclear weapons capacity, but bring up important points concerning broader implications for nuclear disarmament.
A treaty to replace the expired START agreement is an essential step not only toward global nuclear disarmament, but also toward managing the risks associated with Russia's nuclear arsenal, which still poses the single greatest existential threat to the United States.
The terrorist attack in Pune shows there is still opposition in India to normalizing relations with Pakistan. Since the international community supports normalization, however, this opposition stands little chance of success.
Magomedov, the new president of Dagestan, is a compromise figure selected to help calm the region. There is every chance that he could be a success for the Kremlin, with the apparent support of Dagestan’s parliament.
On February 11, Iran will mark the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution with a resilient opposition movement, its population divided, and the threat of international sanctions.
While there has been an increase in heated rhetoric over sensitive issues between Beijing and Washington, both governments are trying to prevent emotions from getting out of control, aware that the United States and China must work together to resolve a multitude of transnational challenges.
On January 30, 10,000 people protested in Kalingrad against the policies of United Russia and, in particular, the region's governor, millionaire Georgy Boos. The large protest demonstrates a disconnect between the authorities and the people of the region.
Viktor Yanukovich will likely be the winner of the presidential election in Ukraine, and once in office, he will have to confront the biggest risk to Ukraine's independence and security: a continuation of divided government and policy paralysis.
Viktor Yanukovich's apparent victory in the second round of presidential elections should not be interpreted as the end of Ukraine's democratic experiment. Ukrainian politics is set to remain multi-polar for the foreseeable future.
Armenia and Turkey have a chance to move forward from their troubled past by ratifying the historic protocols signed in October 2009. While the governments in both Yerevan and Ankara face strong opposition to the protocols, a failure to ratify the agreement could have disastrous consequences for the entire region.
The conference in London failed to suggest viable solutions to the real problems facing Afghanistan, including President Karzai’s lack of credibility, the prevalence of local corruption, and the fragmentation of power into the hands of armed local militias.
Russia's system of government administration is inefficient, unable to cope with both a transition of political power and the economic crisis at the same time. To ensure its own survival, the Russian regime must modernize itself.
A year after his enthronement, Patriarch Kirill has re-energized the Russian Orthodox Church, shored up his own support base, and laid the foundations for a new – if politically controversial – role for the Church in state and society.