Robert Orttung 10-30-2014
(Moscow Times) Will the Ukrainian parliamentary elections held last Sunday help the country reduce the pervasive corruption that blocks sustainable economic growth and makes Ukraine vulnerable to pressure from its predatory neighbor? We will probably know the answer within a few weeks because only quick and decisive action taken immediately after the electoral cycle has concluded will be effective. Many of the demonstrators who took part in the so-called...
Oleksandr Sushko 10-30-2014
Ukraine’s voting outcome might be interpreted as conditional confidence in the post-Euromaidan government. “Conditional” because the winning political actors will face challenges of unity when it comes to reform and security legislation. None of the parties can run the country without an alliance - at least three parties are needed to form a coalition. The efficiency and success of the government now depends on the ability of the political winners not to...
George Gavrilis 10-30-2014
Just months apart, the implosions of Ukraine and Iraq have alarmed many policymakers, journalists, and international affairs experts who worry that the modern state and its borders are on the cusp of a very dangerous transformation. On the eve of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, The Economist wrote, “Europe’s borderlands look more like a ring of fire.”[1] Appearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee soon after Crimea joined Russia, U.S. Secretary of...
Konstantin Sonin 10-29-2014
(Moscow Times) The ruble-to-dollar exchange rate dominated headlines this week, falling to a record low of 42 rubles to the U.S. dollar. Considering the extraordinary events of recent months, why would anyone but a historian take any interest in looking back to the spring and summer of 1991 to consider what it can teach us about world order, international security, Russia's history and its path to development? Why is it appropriate to recall the early...
Oxana Shevel 10-29-2014
(Monkey Cage) The 2014 snap elections to the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada) that took place on Oct. 26, 2014 will likely go down in history as a watershed election in Ukraine’s post-Soviet history. For the first time, instead of a closely divided legislature with pro-Russian and pro-European parties nearly equally matched, the October 2014 election produced a parliament where pro-European parties will hold a dominant majority.  With 97.83 percent...
Nicu Popescu 10-29-2014
(Chaillot Paper) The recent history of attempts to reintegrate the post-Soviet space is littered with failed political and economic initiatives. Such initiatives have included the creation of the Union State of Russia and Belarus in the 1990s, the Eurasian Economic Community launched in 2000, and the GUUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Moldova) grouping launched in 1997. So far the only project which seems likely to come to fruition is the...
PONARS Eurasia 10-29-2014
(Vox) Watching the news, you could be forgiven for thinking that ISIS is an unstoppable juggernaut, sweeping Iraq and Syria in an unending, unstoppable, terrible blitzkrieg. But you'd be wrong. The truth is that ISIS's momentum is stalled: in both Iraq and Syria, the group is being beaten back at key points. There are initial signs — uncertain, sketchy, but hopeful — that the group is hurting more than you may think, and has stalled out in the war it was...
PONARS Eurasia 10-28-2014
SD: Much of your work has been focused on protest – that is the subject of your book that was released in 2011. How do you see the current demonstrations throughout Russia against the intervention in Ukraine? Will this necessarily have any repercussions on Russia’s current foreign policy – and have past opposition protests, like those in March of this year or after Putin’s re-election in 2012 actually had any effect on how foreign policy is conducted?...

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