Russia’s incursion in Ukraine raised alarm about a new Cold War, deepened with the intervention in Syria and allegations of meddling in U.S. elections. But the Kremlin’s new assertiveness is largely defensive, while Ukraine’s emergence as a nation-state undermines Moscow’s power base. In economic and technological terms Russia is a slow growth country, demographically it is in decline, while President Putin’s political grip is in question.
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Russian exports in focus
Opinion: The political meanings and uses of Russian corruption
Russia is often described as a hotbed of corruption, but while the country is undoubtedly corrupt, it is worth looking at informal networks with a more nuanced perspective. These systems perform several key functions in the Russian balance of power.
Iran’s choices in the Caucasus
The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, recently halted by a Russia-backed cease-fire, exposed a new balance of foreign interests in the region. Iran has faced a difficult choice: whether to back a Shia Muslim Azerbaijan that is also receiving support from Israel and Turkey. The prospect of Israeli access to Iran’s northern ...
Waning prospects for Russia’s Eurasian vision
Moscow's geopolitical vision of a “Greater Eurasian Partnership” sets Russia at the center of continent-wide political and economic cooperation. Its 2012 pivot to Asia was part of this strategy. To achieve its goal, however, Russia needs to stand on equal footing with Europe. The question is whether its defiance of ...
Military context of the Belarusian crisis
Russian intervention in Belarus could take many forms: formal assistance granted at the request of the collapsing Lukashenko regime; a stabilization operation amid chaotic conditions or the armed invasion of a new Belarusian state controlled by the opposition. All those options would entail massive economic and political costs for Moscow, ...
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Middle East politics
The region, one of the cradles of civilization, is going through a turbulent period of historic realignment. Its powers are vying for political, military, economic and religious dominance with local players and outside actors. Armed conflicts, mainly civil wars, are ...
A trend toward increased government influence in economies and personal life is curbing growth, and freedom, in many Western countries. The outsized role of government results in misplaced incentives, overregulation – which restrains markets and competition – and irresponsible budgetary ...
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Russia's power play
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