Posts by Dmitry Gorenburg

Dmitry Gorenburg 03-06-2014
The Russian military analyst Prokhor Tebin has put together a very useful article explaining Crimea’s military significance for Russia. He highlights the Black Sea’s economic significance for Russia: Russia’s Black Sea commercial ports carry 30 percent of its total maritime exports. The Black Sea also provides the closest access for Russia to the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean, which is important for both economic and geopolitical reasons. Tebin...
Dmitry Gorenburg 03-02-2014
I’ve avoided writing anything on the situation in Ukraine, because there’s so much material being written already and I’m not an expert on the Ukrainian military. But I do want to make just a couple of quick points. 1) Russian military experts seem to have been caught up in their government’s propaganda. This is especially disappointing when it comes from usually top-notch analysts such as Ruslan Pukhov and Igor Korotchenko. In an article that was picked...
Dmitry Gorenburg 02-12-2014
During most of the late 20th century, the Arctic region was primarily a zone of military interests, used by both NATO and Soviet strategic forces as bases for their nuclear submarines and as testing grounds for intercontinental ballistic missiles. With the end of the Cold War, the Arctic initially lost its strategic significance. In the last decade, however, thanks to a combination of accelerating climate change and a rapid increase in energy prices, it...
Dmitry Gorenburg 02-05-2014
The articles in this special issue of Problems of Post-Communism are written by some of the foremost experts on Russian politics from Russia, the United States, and Europe. PONARS Eurasia members Sufian Zhemukhov and Robert W. Orttung examine how Russia has orchestrated its security preparations. PONARS Eurasia member Andrey Makarychev and Natalia Gronskaya approach the Games by analyzing reports in the Russian-language press. For more, see the ...
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Dmitry Gorenburg 01-17-2014
The most recent issue of the Moscow Defense Brief has an interesting article by Maksim Shepovalenko on "Russian Preparations for Reduced Foreign Military Presence in Afghanstan." It starts with the usual line on how the Taliban could spread instability to Central Asia if it came to power after the coming withdrawal of ISAF, which is an argument that I and others have found to be exaggerated at times. The threat of Islamist infiltration of Central Asia is...
Dmitry Gorenburg 12-27-2013
The Russian government promulgated an interesting decree recently. It prohibits the import of foreign goods or work by foreigners for the Russian defense and security sectors, except in cases where the goods or labor is not available domestically. The accompanying list of goods that are exempt from the restriction because they are not produced in Russia nicely demonstrates the areas where Russian defense industry is weak. Here’s a rough translation of the...
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Dmitry Gorenburg 11-20-2013
As the drawdown of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan has accelerated in preparation for the end of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2014, media attention has come to focus on the extent to which equipment being withdrawn from the region will be left behind for Central Asian states to use. At the same time, recent extensions of Russian military base agreements in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have underlined Russia’s own provision of military equipment and...
Dmitry Gorenburg 11-19-2013
Ilya Kramnik has put together a handy set of summary tables of Russian naval surface ship construction, including contracts signed. The Russian original is here, and re-posted here, for those interested. The total for the Russian Navy as of November 17, 2013: 41 contracted combat ships, incl. 2 universal amphibious assault ships, 2 large amphibious assault ships, 14 frigates, 15 corvettes, 8 small missile boats. Of these, 24 ships are under construction,...
Dmitry Gorenburg 10-11-2013
A couple of weeks ago, I was at the PONARS Eurasia conference in DC, presenting my work on military assistance to Central Asia. During the Q&A, all of the panelists were asked a question that roughly amounted to the following; If you had a minute with John Kerry, what would you tell him were the United States' vital strategic interests in Central Asia? (I'm terrible at remembering what is said verbatim, so I'm probably getting the wording completely...
Dmitry Gorenburg 10-08-2013
Although Vladimir Putin began his first presidential term with reforms that were geared in part toward reducing illegal activity on the part of both state officials and average citizens, the hopes that tax and judicial reform and higher salaries for government employees would quickly reduce the extent of corruption in Russia proved unfounded. Corruption remains one of the most critical problems facing the Russian state and society. This issue of Russian...
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