Dmitry Gorenburg 11 Oct 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...
J. Paul Goode 10 Oct 2013
The revival of Russia’s gubernatorial elections following the mass protests of 2011-2012 may not have promoted democratization, but neither has it proved trouble-free for the Kremlin. In light of the regime’s retrenchment and the crackdown on civil society following Vladimir Putin’s re-election to the presidency in March 2012, it is significant that the regime did not retract its pledge to allow gubernatorial elections. While they are not...
Andrey Makarychev 10 Oct 2013
EU-Russia relations, as many in Europe reckon, suffer from a lack of proper communication. This may sound paradoxical in an era of social media connectivity and cross-national mobility, with NGOs facilitating contacts between nations better than states. A German-Polish-Russian “trialogue” seems to be a good case in point. It commenced with a meeting in 2009 in Kaliningrad between Foreign Ministers Westerwelle, Sikorski, and Lavrov. The whole...
Serghei Golunov 08 Oct 2013
The rectors of higher education institutions in Russia hold important academic positions, ones that tend to come with social, financial, and political benefits. Due to the scale of many Russian institutions, the number of people deferential to rectors can equal the population of small towns. As such, rectors sometimes can wield semi-autocratic powers. This memo examines the role of Russian rectors within their own universities, the influence...
Dmitry Gorenburg 08 Oct 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...
Andrey Makarychev 08 Oct 2013
Guest post by Andrey Devyatkov—The forthcoming Vilnius summit of the Eastern Partnership to take place in a couple of months is expected to be a symbolic breakthrough in the Europeanization plans of Moldova. The Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) might allow for a better access of Moldovan goods to the EU market and vice versa. The EU is trying to present itself as a zone of prosperity and stability, having nothing in common with...
Pavel Baev 07 Oct 2013
(EDM) State budgets are a difficult topic of debate in all countries. And Russia, which used to pass them fairly easily, is now facing some unpleasant realities related to the 2014 budget that was presented by the government last week. For one thing, many social programs are slated for cuts, while expenditures on hard security keep rising; for instance, the share of defense spending is increasing from 15.7 to 17.8 percent (Novaya Gazeta,...
Elise Giuliano 07 Oct 2013
Russia has experienced a number of natural disasters in recent years causing hundreds of deaths and a massive loss of homes and property. The deadly and dramatic nature of disasters stirs people to seek an explanation for what has taken place—a process that entails assigning responsibility and placing blame. Because government is responsible for disaster preparedness and management, infrastructure, and laws regulating the safety and property of...

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