Andrey Makarychev 20 Feb 2013
Vladimir Putin’s Russia claims to be back to the “premier league” of world politics. However, hidden behind such exclamations of national grandeur is “bare life,” a physical struggle for survival without properly functioning institutions. This metaphor, coined by the political philosopher Giorgio Agamben, nicely catches the gist of Russia’s trouble. Other such allegories were sounded out at the International Winter School "Transformation of...
Marlene Laruelle 20 Feb 2013
(EurActiv.com) As the NATO drawdown from Afghanistan approaches, the European Union looks more and more at post-2014 spillover threats to Central Asia. According to a recently released UN report on Afghanistan, despite registering a decrease overall in the number of civilian deaths in 2012 (the first time in six years), the death toll spiked in the second half of the year, compared with the same period in 2011, leading some analysts to suggest...
Pavel Baev 19 Feb 2013
(Eurasia Daily Monitor) The meteor that exploded over Chelyabinsk in the early hours of February 15, as damaging as it was, produced even more jokes than material destruction. One of those was about the State Duma urgently approving legislation banning the incursions of celestial bodies because of their pronounced anti-Russian inclinations (Newsru.com, February 15). The joke captures the frantic activity of the Russian parliament, which has...
Sergey Markedonov 15 Feb 2013
(The National Interest) As it gears up to host next February’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, the Russian Federation is carefully considering its position in the Caucasus. Russian president Vladimir Putin recently called on a well-known deputy in the State Duma, Ramazan Abdulatipov, to become the head of the Republic of Dagestan. This change at the top of the region’s political power structure quickly became one of the main topics in the Russian...
PONARS Eurasia 14 Feb 2013
(Panel Discussion) The Harriman Institute held an event titled "Political Patronage in Uncertain Times: Russia, Central Asia, and the Middle East" on February 7, 2013, within their “Corruption and Patronage” project. The panelists were Gulnaz Sharafutdinova (Miami University; PONARS Eurasia member), Scott Radnitz (University of Washington; PONARS Eurasia member), and Ellen Lust (Yale University). Kimberly Marten chaired the event. Marten is the...
Andrey Makarychev 12 Feb 2013
Ukrainian public opinion is split. Not between pro-Russian and pro-European forces as many believe. The dividing lines are more subtle. They are between those who feel offended (and even betrayed) by the EU’s alleged negligence toward Ukraine and those who, despite everything, keep faith in Europe as the strongest magnet for their country. On top of this, there are different attitudes toward Europeanization: for some Ukrainians, the European...
Dmitry Gorenburg 12 Feb 2013
In recent weeks, some analysts have started to argue that the military reform promulgated by Anatoly Serdiukov over the last four years is being systematically rolled back by his successor. Given the unremittingly hostile coverage of Serdyukov and the decisions he made during his tenure, this is not surprising. This perception is further strengthened by the rhetoric and stream of decisions emanating from the Russian Ministry of Defense itself....
Henry Hale 09 Feb 2013
How many people really support Russian protesters’ demands for a “Russia without Putin?” This was a rallying cry for many Russian citizens who poured into Moscow’s streets in late 2011 and 2012 to express their outrage over what they branded fraudulent election results. Even though the protests were the largest Russia’s capital has seen during the Putin era, by some counts mobilizing over 100,000 in the biggest rallies, this still represents...

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