PONARS Eurasia 22 Aug 2017
(Deutsche Welle) In the first major policy address on Afghanistan during his presidency Donald Trump said that he was ready to send more US troops to the country. Here are five takeaways from President Trump's speech. The most significant aspect of  President Trump's speech on Afghanistan was that it marked a U-turn in the president's thinking on the US involvement in the war in Afghanistan. At the outset of his remarks Trump said that he...
PONARS Eurasia 22 Aug 2017
(Barents Observer) Locals in the village of Ust-Pocha in the Pinega district (Arkhangelsk Oblast) were all shocked by two huge explosions on August 25th last year. The powerful blasts could be heard from several tens of kilometers away and caused strong vibration in their houses. When walking into the forest, one and a half kilometers from the village, people were met by a scene that could have been from the James Bond movie GoldenEye. Trees...
PONARS Eurasia 21 Aug 2017
(SN) In the days that followed Monday’s  report in The New York Times that North Korea may have illicitly procured advanced Soviet-era rocket engines from Ukraine, the response out of the post-Soviet nation could best be described as trolling. Not long after the report was published, outraged Ukrainian social media users directed their outrage at the source of the allegations: Michael Elleman, a missile defense expert with the International...
Hilary Appel, Wendy Chuyi Sheng 18 Aug 2017
(PONARS Policy Memo) Large street protests returned to Russia on March 26, 2017, following the posting by Alexei Navalny, the well-known Russian blogger, of a YouTube video accusing Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of corruption, profligate spending, and widespread property holding. Tens of thousands of Russians across ninety cities came to the streets. By the end of April, the YouTube video had over 20 million views. Although the Kremlin did not...
PONARS Eurasia 15 Aug 2017
(CSIS Report) At a time when tension between the US and Russia is higher than it has been in decades, we cannot forget that the relationship between these two countries is among the most important for global security. On any number of issues, from arms control to the Middle East, failure of the U.S. and Russia to communicate will make things much, much worse, with repercussions that will last for generations and affect the entire world. For...
Oleksandr Fisun 14 Aug 2017
(PONARS Policy Memo) Today, Ukraine has a coalitional-presidentialist political system that can best be categorized as a semi-managed democracy. This model has four main features: consolidation of power by President Petro Poroshenko, formation of a pro-presidential coalition in parliament, integration of former president Viktor Yanukovych’s oligarchic representatives, and a rise in the importance of sub-national politics. This political system...
Serghei Golunov 11 Aug 2017
(PONARS Policy Memo) Russian-EU relations have dramatically worsened since Russia’s involvement in Ukrainian affairs in 2014. Mutual mistrust and suspicion have rapidly increased and many cooperative efforts have been canceled. Russia-NATO tensions have escalated and each side has sanctioned the other while the Russian economy has faltered. What have been the precise effects of these dynamics on the Russian-EU borderland regions? Which spheres...
PONARS Eurasia 09 Aug 2017
(National Interest) If the United States decides to attempt to shoot down future North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests using the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, it is likely that Russia’s early warning system will not mistake the interceptors for a potential nuclear attack. That does not address the question of if the United States genuinely has the capability to intercept a North Korean ICBM—and many critics...

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