PONARS Eurasia 19 Jan 2017
(Russia Direct) Hundreds of Russians took to the streets last week in central St. Petersburg to protest a controversial decision of the local authorities to hand over an important city landmark, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site and an important museum since 1917, to the Russian Orthodox Church. In the minds of many Russians, the takeover sends a symbolic message to society: the Kremlin plans to step up its policy of social...
PONARS Eurasia 19 Jan 2017
(ECFR) Ukraine's prospects are under threat from developments on both sides of the Atlantic. Something is stirring in Ukraine. The most obvious cause is Donald Trump’s imminent inauguration on 20 January, and the widespread fear in Kyiv that his push for some kind of Yalta 2.0 agreement with Russia will be at Ukraine’s expense. But another parallel cause is the fear that the European Union is losing interest in Ukraine. After Dutch voters...
Şener Aktürk 18 Jan 2017
(The New Turkey) Perhaps the most important geopolitical puzzle since the collapse of the Soviet Union 25 years ago has been whether the United States will reorient its grand strategy to contain and encircle another rising great power, which is most likely to be China. The default alternative is the continuation of the Cold War alliance structure with slight modifications, where Russia is perceived as an anti-American power that needs to be...
Pavel K. Baev 18 Jan 2017
(EDM) Russia is frequently in the news these days, but its diplomatic successes at the start of the new year have been rather limited. Denials of Moscow’s various misbehaviors aside, the most significant step over the just-concluded extended holiday season was President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Japan in mid-December (RT, December 15, 2016). That visit generated high expectations and rampant speculation, particularly considering the scarcity of...
Timothy Frye 18 Jan 2017
(Salon) As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump promised to ban Muslims from the entering the country and to make Mexico pay for a border wall. He pledged to level the economic playing field with China and renegotiate the “very bad” Iran deal. These policies were red meat for his political base, even if he served them a bit on the rare side as compared with his Republican predecessors. Trump’s Russia policy is different. His admiration of...
PONARS Eurasia 18 Jan 2017
(WPR) A University of Wisconsin-Madison professor says people shouldn't expect the truth anytime soon about the authenticity of the dossier containing unsubstantiated information about Donald Trump's alleged ties to Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the allegations "total nonsense" Tuesday and a complete fabrication to "undermine the legitimacy" of the president-elect before he's sworn into office Friday. Putin went on to call...
PONARS Eurasia 18 Jan 2017
(UkeTube) Why has Ukraine had such a difficult time since independence? Why are reforms continuously stalled? Henry E. Hale and Robert W. Orttung discuss these and other key issues in Ukraine, based on their book: Beyond the Euromaidan: Comparative Perspectives on Advancing Reform in Ukraine (Stanford University Press, Sept. 2016). See the Interview: YouTube (UkeTube Channel) | Facebook - - - - - Partial transcript/topics with timestamp: - 1:00...
PONARS Eurasia 17 Jan 2017
(WJAC) As Democrats ratchet up rhetoric denouncing Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election, critics say President Obama failed to challenge Vladimir Putin sooner and experts fear that President-elect Donald Trump will walk back efforts to check Russia’s international ambitions. [...] Some foreign policy experts say the perception of Obama as underestimating Putin and ignoring Russia’s transgressions is overly simplistic...

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