PONARS Eurasia 17 May 2017
(NYTimes) MOSCOW — President Trump’s acknowledgment that he shared intelligence on terrorism with Russia was something of a coup for President Vladimir V. Putin, whose mantra about forging a global alliance to fight violent extremists never gained much traction in the West. [...] “The problem is that both Russia and the U.S. mean different things when they talk about the fight against terrorism in Syria,” said Ivan Kurilla, an expert on Russian...
Farid Guliyev 16 May 2017
(PONARS Policy Memo)The oil price shock that began in mid-2014 has continued to reverberate in Azerbaijan, sending the economy into deep recession and negative real GDP growth rate (-2.4 percent in 2016). Declining volumes of oil production, which peaked at 1 million barrels a day (b/d) in 2010, and impending depletion of petroleum reserves over the next 15-20 years, alerted the government of the need to boost the non-oil sectors of the economy...
Pavel Baev 16 May 2017
(EDM) The Kremlin continues to cling to hopes that it can build a rapport with the Donald Trump administration; those expectations copiously developed at the start of the year, only to succumb to one cold shower after another since then. Yuri Ushakov, President Vladimir Putin’s long-serving foreign policy aide, recently asserted that the “difficult legacy” left by the Barack Obama administration was gradually sorted out despite the resistance...
Dmitry Gorenburg 16 May 2017
(Russian Military Reform) One last set of slides from the Moscow International Security Conference, this one mostly maps describing operations in Syria. A lot of the slides in this set were actually videos being played through powerpoint, so those are not included here.  See the slides | Russian Military Reform blog
Pavel Podvig 16 May 2017
(Reddit) Pavel Podvig is the researcher behind the RussianForces.org web site, the editor of the book "Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces." He is currently based in Geneva where he works as a Senior Research Fellow at the UN Institute for Disarmament Research. He is also a researcher with the Program on Science and Global Security at Princeton University. He has done some work on the history of the Soviet strategic forces, U.S.-Soviet and U.S.-...
PONARS Eurasia 15 May 2017
(WMOT) Ukraine has been in conflict since 2014, when President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country, and Russian troops annexed the Crimea region. Fighting has been off-and-on ever since, with Russian-armed separatists in the eastern Ukraine region of Donbass fighting against pro-government forces. The Council on Foreign Relations estimates over 9,600 people have been killed in the violence, and 1.1 million Ukrainians have become migrants or...
Arkady Moshes 15 May 2017
(FIIA) An explicit “deal” between the West and Russia on Ukraine is not possible. Europe would like to reach a more pragmatic modus vivendi with Moscow, but a sustainable freezing of the conflict in Donbas remains a critical minimum precondition.  The military phase of the conflict in Ukraine’s Donbas started three years ago, in May 2014. Throughout this period, observers have discussed whether or not the West would eventually go for an...
Oleksandr Sushko 15 May 2017
(PONARS Policy Memo) Despite years of talks under the specter of the Minsk protocols, no rapprochement has taken place between Russia and Ukraine on the “special status” of the Donbas. In fact, the situation has steadily deteriorated. Both Minsk I (September 2014) and Minsk II (February 2015) called for immediate ceasefires but deadly skirmishes have continued in a never-halting stream and spikes in violence routinely occur. Major rounds of...

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