PONARS Eurasia 09 Feb 2017
(CSM) The legal odyssey of Russia's best-known opposition leader, anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny, has been mindbogglingly complicated, full of twists and turns. Nevertheless, experts say, it has wound up with a simple and totally predictable political result. Thanks to a regional court's ruling Wednesday that upheld Mr. Navalny's embezzlement conviction and handed him a five-year suspended sentence, it will be almost impossible for him...
PONARS Eurasia 08 Feb 2017
(Co-editors: A. Makarychev and A. Yatsyk) This book focuses on the recent political trajectories within the Baltic Sea Region from one of the success stories of regionalism in Europe to a potential area of military confrontation between Russia and NATO. The authors closely examine the following issues: new security challenges for the region stemming from Russia’s staunch anti-EU and anti-NATO polices, institutions and practices of multi-level...
Pavel K. Baev 08 Feb 2017
(EDM) The sharp escalation in artillery battles in the Donbas (eastern Ukraine) war zone one day after the January 28 telephone conversation between United States President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin was certainly not a coincidence. No leaks about the content of the 45-minute-long exchange have appeared in the Russian media, and the official summary amounts to mere platitudes. But the anticipation had been extraordinarily...
Alexandra Yatsyk 08 Feb 2017
(Book chapter) (Co-author: A. Makarychev) Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the military insurgency in Ukraine’s eastern provinces triggered political and academic debates on various issues related to post-Soviet borderlands, above all those populated by Russian-speakers and culturally gravitating towards Russia. In this context the Estonian city of Narva became one of the hottest nodal points in heated international discussions over the...
Andrey Makarychev 08 Feb 2017
(Nationalities Papers) (Co-author: A. Yatsyk) In this article, we address geopolitics and biopower as two different yet mutually correlative discursive strategies of sovereign power in Russia. We challenge the dominant realist approaches to Russia’s neighborhood policy by introducing the concept of biopolitics as its key element, which makes analysis of political relations in the post-Soviet area more nuanced and variegated. More specifically,...
Samuel Charap 07 Feb 2017
(IISS) The Ukraine crisis and the downturn in Russia–West relations that came in its wake have compelled Russia to turn decisively towards China. Deprived of other options, Moscow has found itself in the position of demandeur vis- à-vis Beijing, creating an increasingly imbalanced bilateral relationship. Nonetheless, Russia and China have avoided any turbulence that might have resulted from this asymmetry through mutual accommodation and...
PONARS Eurasia 06 Feb 2017
(Al Jazeera) In the past week, eastern Ukraine has suffered some of the heaviest fighting seen for a long time. Heavy artillery fire, a car bomb explosion and other ceasefire violations coincided with a phone call between US President Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, his Russian counterpart. The two leaders discussed how to mend relations between the US and Russia. US senators and analysts are wondering whether the surge in fighting is the...
Mikhail Alexseev 06 Feb 2017
(PONARS Policy Memo) Signed in February 2015, the Minsk II ceasefire accord strengthened the original protocol provisions to grant partial sovereignty (“special status”) to the self-proclaimed, Russia-backed governments of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DNR, LNR). Minsk II was inked at the same time that Russia’s regular, irregular, and mercenary forces exploited Kyiv’s compliance with Minsk I (September 2014) to surround and...

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