Russia's short-termism in the Middle East

Kremlin ru Erdogan.jpeg

Is the Ukraine conflict shifting Russia's Middle Eastern policy from real strategy to scoring cheap points?

 

How Russia’s opposition learned to stop worrying and love Crimea

Kennedy Avatar crop.jpgA recent statement by a prominent Russian opposition figure is testament to an unpalatable truth: Crimea’s annexation is popular with Russia’s ‘liberal elite.’

 

Sanctions and regime survival

The sanctions knife cuts both ways – rallying around the flag, and regime change.

 

 

Ukraine’s European integration

If the EU is serious about helping Ukraine, both parties should focus on the country’s most glaring problem, and the Maidan’s principal demands – justice and the rule of law.

Moldova's ambiguous European integration

EU:Moldova flag - Yuriy Vlasenko - Shutterstock.jpgThe EU may like to think of Moldova as its ‘star pupil’, but its unconditional support for successive corrupt governments may have lost it the support of the country’s people.

 

How well does Russia speak the language of international law?

Anna Dolidze pic crop.jpgThe language of international law has become another battleground between Russia and the West.

 

In Auschwitz, Poland has outmanoeuvred Russia

Amador Guallar - Auschwitz - Demotix.jpg

This year, the Poles were determined not to invite the Russians to Auschwitz. And they succeeded. 

 

The end of the Georgian dream

Parlament_of_Georgia_(Kutaisi)- wiki.jpgGeorgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili's decision on 4 November 2014 to dismiss Defence Minister Irakli Alasania provoked an immediate reaction both in and outside the country.

‘Russian passport, please’

Zeveleva pic - rus:us passport.jpgIt is now a criminal offence for Russian citizens not to declare their foreign passports or permanent residence permits. 

 

Educating Russians abroad

 - wiki.jpgIn 2014, the Russian government launched the ‘Global Education’ programme of postgraduate education abroad. But the reaction in Russia has been obstructive and hostile. На русском языке

Высокая цена демократии в Украине

Logo_of_the_Verkhovna_Rada_of_Ukraine_1.pngУкраина находится на пороге банкротства. Выполнить бюджет на 2015 год практически нереально. Радикальные реформы затягиваются. Война на востоке страны продолжается. Что ожидает Украину в 2015 году? In English

The high price of democracy in Ukraine

Logo_of_the_Verkhovna_Rada_of_Ukraine.pngUkraine is almost bankrupt. The budget for 2015 is unrealistic. Root and branch reform has stalled. There is a war still going in the east of the country. Where now? На русском языке.

 

Kakha Bendukidze and Georgia’s failed experiment

KakhaBendukidze_wiki.jpgKakha Bendukidze died in November 2014 at the age of 58. Bendukidze directed the whirlwind of economic reform that characterised Georgia from 2004 to 2008-9.

 

The ‘Muslim radicalisation of Central Asia’ is a dangerous myth

RIA:R Mangarasyan Tajikistan 96.jpg Security think-tanks and expert communities in the Western world are perpetuating the dangerous myth that Muslim radicalisation is rife in Central Asia.

The kidnap trail to Central Asia

kidnapped activist crop.jpgCentral Asian security services have been abducting their countries’ citizens from Russia to stand trial on trumped-up charges. And the Russian police have been helping them.

Russian NGOs need to rethink their strategy

Sakharov memorial .jpgRussia’s voluntary sector, faced with growing government interference, needs to be more open about its aims and operations if it wants more public support.

 

Reporting on Russian television

schimpfossl_0.jpgMost talk about censorship on Russian television misses the point. When it comes to reporting, loyalty takes precedence.

 

Russia's Trojan Horse

Trojan Horse _1.jpgIs the European far right really acting as Russia's Trojan Horse in the European Union?

 

Gender equality is holding Belarus back

men women toilet .pngBelarus is slowly opening up to the idea of gender equality. But the conservative meaning attached to the concept is holding it back.

 

 

Book review: Samuel Greene, 'Moscow in Movement: Power and Opposition in Putin’s Russia'

Cover_Greene_Russia_0.pngRussians pride themselves on their capacity for state-building, but their idea of the state is not one that the West would recognise, or was hoping for…

 

 

Letter from Tbilisi

tschumacher.jpgAcademic concepts about EU foreign policy and the European Neighbourhood Policy are not always enough to explain what is going on in the region.

 

The ‘return’ of nuclear weapons

sokov_nikolai_crop 65x80.jpgThe current crisis unfolding in Ukraine has brought the issue of nuclear weapons back into sharp focus.

 

Germany and the disinformation politics of the Ukraine crisis

Putin Merkel .jpgLooking at both the historical and current pro-Putin segment of German public discussion, one can identify the target groups and methods of Russian disinformation politics

 

Where now for Armenia’s opposition?

Public protests are mounting in Armenia over economic and political issues. But where is the Armenian opposition in all this?


ISIS: a shared headache for Central Asia and the West?

Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant wikimedia comons.jpgIn any international discussion about the threat posed by ISIS Central Asian states have their role to play. 

 

Is Central Asia afraid of ISIS?

The self-proclaimed ‘Islamic State’ has been seizing more and more territory in the Middle East, and now has its eyes on Central Asia.

 

'I took no prisoners'

4874908_0.jpgIn his own words, a Russian volunteer who signed up to fight in the Novorossiya militia in Eastern Ukraine. на русском языке 

 

Putin's new foreign policy rulebook

Valdai Putin 2014 kremlin.ru_.jpegPutin’s speech to the Valdai Club on 24 October shows he no longer believes in the old international rules.

 

What does Russia really want with Abkhazia?

Abkhazia border crossing.jpg Will the new treaty being discussed between Abkhazia and Russia provide a blueprint for cooperation or something more like annexation?

 

Post-election, Ukrainians and Russians face an uncertain future

RIA Pavel Palamarchuk. Vote ru.jpgUkraine’s snap parliamentary elections have once again proved that the mainstream of society rejects the far right – not that the Russian government or media will care.

 

Russians are not bothered by Western sanctions

pic_vaso_crop.jpgSanctions have had a limited effect on the Russian population whose support towards the government’s Ukrainian policy does not seem to be eroding.

 

Putin’s International Brigades

Novorossiya International.jpgThe Donbas separatists have been fighting the Ukrainian army with the help of volunteers from all over the world – like the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War of 1936-9.

 

We have made today's Frankenstein with our own hands

Tom Margie crop.jpgWhen communism ended, Russia’s people wanted democracy. Instead, they got the market and neoliberalism. Now, it appears, some of them want revenge.

Azerbaijan and the Ukraine crisis

The crisis in Ukraine put the Azerbaijani government in an uncomfortable position.

 

 

Natural gas diplomacy and the Ukraine crisis

Natural gas diplomacy is rather like gunboat diplomacy – only effective if the other side has no gunboats.

 

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