Alexander Cooley 07-29-2015
In September 2013, at a speech at Nazarbayev University in Astana, Chinese Premier Xi Jinping announced plans to promote a “Silk Road Economic Belt” across neighboring Eurasian states. Over the next months, Chinese policymakers and analysts further outlined ambitious plans to promote regional cooperation, economic integration, and connectivity by funding large-scale infrastructure and development projects throughout the region. These include a series of...
Natalie Koch 07-28-2015
(Co-authored with Anar Valiyev) “Urban boosterism” is defined as the active promotion of a city, and it typically involves large-scale urban development schemes, including constructing iconic new buildings, revamping local infrastructure, and creating a new “image” for the city. Long a popular tactic of free market liberals to justify speculative building (that is, in the absence of existing demand), the logic of urban boosterism hinges on freedom of...
PONARS Eurasia 07-27-2015
Russia’s Naval Power in the 21st Century (Russian Military Reform | July 27) Wilson Center video recording of a roundtable event on the state of the Russian Navy. Dmitry Gorenburg (CNA/Harvard University) and Olga Oliker (RAND) provided commentary. Michael Kofman (Kennan Institute) moderated.See the video  Russia Launches Cutting-Edge Spy Ship to Track U.S. Missile Defense (The Moscow Times | July 26) Russia inducted a new-generation...
PONARS Eurasia 07-27-2015
(Bloomberg) President Vladimir Putin likened Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea to a family welcoming home a long-lost relative. Now the family is showing signs of strain. Russia’s federal security service, the FSB, has opened criminal investigations of three high-ranking Crimean government officials, accusing them of graft and other misdeeds. Four regional cabinet ministers have been forced from office in the past few months over allegations of...
PONARS Eurasia 07-24-2015
(CGI) Dr. Alexander Cooley recently took up the directorship of the Harriman Institute at Columbia University. An expert on Central Asian and the author of several books, Dr. Cooley discussed with CGI his goals as director of the Harriman Institute, the impact of the Ukraine Crisis on scholarship and prospects for funding and research in the post-Soviet region....
Juliet Johnson 07-23-2015
In December 2014, Russia experienced the most significant drop in the ruble’s value since the financial crisis of August 1998—an event that proved devastating to then-president Boris Yeltsin’s government and its “oligarch” financiers. The December crisis encouraged pundits and scholars to make comparisons with 1998 and to wonder whether dire consequences might be in store for Vladimir Putin’s government as well. Yet despite certain similarities between...
Olexiy Haran 07-22-2015
(Co-author: Petro Burkovsky) Since the Minsk II negotiations of February 2015, Ukraine and the Euro-Atlantic community have leaned toward freezing the conflict in the Donbas as a possible “exit strategy” and way to avoid dangerous escalation. Moscow, however, pursues an endgame that includes devastating Ukraine’s economy, destabilizing the government, and, finally, effecting another regime change in Kyiv. After the direct intervention of Russian troops in...
PONARS Eurasia 07-22-2015
(Daily Times) Every Ramzan, the Muslim world rails at China. The country’s eight million Uyghurs in Xinjiang are officially “discouraged” - but really banned — from fasting in the holy month. The Communist Party of China (CCP) explains it is important to “eat properly for study and work”. The rest of the year it cracks down on beards and scarves, and forces Uyghurs to sell pork and alcohol. On the surface, China is patently anti-Islam but that is not the...

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