Russia retains interests throughout the post-Soviet regions, but Moscow’s considerable influence is no longer dominant.
When Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO's secretary-general, addresses an audience at Carnegie Europe on Friday, 18th September, he will speak about the possibility of a new dialogue between two former foes – NATO and Russia. Dmitri Trenin suggests that these discussions could initially take place through the NATO-Russia Council of 2002, but in time, that they might spawn a new framework altogether.
The economic crisis has devastated the Russian economy, where GDP is expected to contract by nearly 10 percent in 2009. Despite optimism among government experts, ballooning debt and plummeting revenues threaten the recovery effort.
Scientific and technological progress will not, on their own, lead to improvements in the political realm. The economy cannot be effective if the political system is insufficiently free.
Stalin’s growing popularity in Russia is less a function of an organized state propaganda effort to promote him than it is a result of the government’s lack of interest in setting the historical record straight on Stalin. Attention is increasingly focused on the greatness of the country and its achievements under Stalin’s rule.
By pursuing its own distinct foreign policy, Russia is isolating itself from the rest of the world. A continuation of these policies will leave Russia with only weak, opportunistic ties to the global community.
Tensions over Europe’s troubled past have increased with the approach of the 70th anniversary of the start of WWII. Prime Minister Putin’s upcoming visit to Poland can help turn a new page in history.
Nuclear-weapon states should commission their defense ministries and think tanks to perform serious analysis on the practical steps of moving towards zero nuclear weapons.
The absence of security, law enforcement or effective central government has created a vacuum in Afghanistan. The Taliban are conducting a campaign to eliminate government contact with the population and compel the people to accept Taliban rule.
Despite the official end of Russia’s counter-terrorist operation in Chechnya, armed clashes and terrorist attacks continue to plague North Caucasus. Open conflict is on the verge of becoming inevitable.
The upsurge of violence in Russia's North Caucasus region is the result of the incompetence of local authorities and the Kremlin’s failure or reluctance to seriously address the issues of the region.
The hydrocarbon industries of the former Soviet Union are undergoing innovative development. In Russia, conditions both enable and inhibit the construction of a new economy focused on incentives for innovation.
From Putin’s staged call-in show to Medvedev’s "citizens vs. officials" program, Russia’s virtual politics provides only the illusion of government transparency and improvement.
The alienation of ethnic Pashtuns is a major factor in the Taliban’s success in southern Afghanistan, but it could seriously impair the group’s progress in the north.
A suicide bomb attack that killed 19 people and wounded at least 58 in Ingushetia was likely intended as retaliation for President Yevkurov’s determination to intensify his fight against Islamic extremists.
Questions remain whether Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov ordered the recent murders of human rights activists in Chechnya, or whether the crimes were an attempt by his opponents to discredit his leadership.
In Kabul many of the issues affecting Afghanistan – ineffective governance, the Taliban's expanding influence, and a massive foreign presence – are on stark display.
Federal and regional authorities in Russia are abusing new amendments to the federal law on local government to centralize power and dismantle whatever still remains of the separation of powers.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO's new Secretary-General, must provide transformational leadership, not just status-quo management, for the alliance to bridge the chasm between its ambitions and its capacities.
The recent spike in violence in the North Caucasus undermines the Kremlin's claim that its anti-terrorism policies in the region are succeeding.