Posts by PONARS Eurasia

PONARS Eurasia 12-13-2019
(Mirror Spectator) Statements were issued and news appeared which indicated that the ministers had been spinning their wheels, as usual. The ministers have made contradictory statements while the OSCE statement has tried to paper over the differences, counting among their contributions to the parties prisoner exchanges, journalists’ visits between the two countries, the relaxation of tensions on the border and the willingness of the two ministers to meet...
PONARS Eurasia 12-04-2019
(RFI) Allied Heads of State and Government meet in London for a two-day Nato summit to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the alliance. But deep divisions are already evident between US President Donald and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, while Turkey’s Recip Erdogan has come up with strict conditions of his own. [...] “Certainly such words as ‘brain dead’ indicate that there is no future,” says Pavel Baev, a political scientist...
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PONARS Eurasia 12-04-2019
(Global Voices) Protests continue in Georgia's capital of Tbilisi after the ruling Georgian Dream party reneged on a promise for electoral reform. On at least two occasions last week, police used water cannons against protesters, who have been picketing the parliament building to demand that the government transition to a fully proportional electoral system. As tensions have risen, metal barricades have been erected around Georgia's parliament. Online,...
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PONARS Eurasia 11-26-2019
(Eurasianet) Hundreds of people ventured out into freezing conditions in Kyrgyzstan’s capital on November 25 to demand an investigation into years of corruption allegedly perpetrated by senior government officials. The 90-minute rally, which was held on the main central square in Bishkek and proceeded without incident despite not having been officially authorized, was pointedly framed as an apolitical event that would not promote the cause of specific...
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PONARS Eurasia 11-22-2019
(The Atlantic) When Adam Schiff asked Bill Taylor, the first witness in the House’s public impeachment hearings, to explain to Americans why U.S. security assistance to Ukraine matters for their own security, America’s top diplomat in Kyiv went big. Really big. “It affects the world that we live in, that our children will grow up in and our grandchildren,” Taylor declared. “Ukraine is on the front line” of a struggle to prevent Russia from trampling on...
PONARS Eurasia 11-18-2019
(Post-Soviet Affairs) Although a vibrant literature on mass public opinion in Russia emerged in the wake of communism’s collapse in the USSR, the systematic investigation of elite attitudes using survey research has lagged conspicuously behind. This gap is particularly noticeable in the realm of foreign policy. Scholars have made strides in analyzing how the country’s key decision-maker, Vladimir Putin, views the world (e.g., Taylor 2018), yet there is a...
PONARS Eurasia 11-14-2019
(RFE/RL) One day before the phone call that led to the impeachment probe into President Donald Trump, there was a public appearance by the man whose investigation, many assumed, had already imperiled Trump's presidency. The focus of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's 22-month investigation was the same focus of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the U.S. intelligence community: Russia and its role in the U.S. presidential election of 2016. [...] ...
PONARS Eurasia 11-07-2019
(Eurasianet) An angry archpriest, his clerical headgear disheveled, stormed out of the holy see of the Georgian Orthodox Church and declared that the church leader, Patriarch Ilia II, was a “sodomite” and “pederast.” The archpriest, Bishop Petre of Chkondidi, then waded through a crowd of journalists and drove off in a huff, leaving a national scandal in his wake.   Fellow archpriests soon emerged from the October 31 meeting of the Holy Synod, an...
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PONARS Eurasia 11-07-2019
(Global Voices) On November 1, Russia's controversial “Sovereign Internet” bill entered into force. Supporters argue that the move is necessary to shield Russia against cyberattacks from abroad, while human rights and free speech defenders argue that the bill poses a dangerous new threat to freedom of expression online. For now, ordinary users of the RuNet won't sense much of a difference. At least not until a (vaguely defined) “crisis situation” is...
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PONARS Eurasia 10-31-2019
(Washington Post) hen Vladi­mir Bukovsky was released from a Soviet prison in 1976 in an event that drew front-page headlines around the world, he was 33 years old and had already spent about a third of his life in captivity. A dissident since his student days, he had attracted the ire of Soviet authorities — and the admiration of political leaders, human rights advocates, journalists and other supporters in the West — with his unstinting campaign to...
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