Harris Mylonas 27 Sep 2017
(Foreign Affairs) Every year in early September, Greece kicks off its political season with an address from the prime minister at the start of the Thessaloniki International Fair. This year was no different. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras opened the event with an optimistic talk about the recovering economy, and how Greece would soon “graduate” from the bailout agreements. He claimed that his government had acquired valuable experience from...
Pavel Baev 26 Sep 2017
(EDM) Russian President Vladimir Putin opted not to attend this year’s United Nations General Assembly, in New York City; but he nevertheless kept up the pretense of the wise statesman among bickering politicians. Every opening to present Russia as a responsible stakeholder in global affairs was keenly exploited. And in fact, United States President Donald Trump created many of those openings in the first place. Moscow indifferently shrugged...
PONARS Eurasia 25 Sep 2017
(Washington Post) VILNIUS, Lithuania — The vast Russian military exercises that ended this week showed off a muscular fighting force practicing state-on-state warfare, NATO’s deputy military commander said, in one of the first assessments of a large-scale operation that put Russia’s neighbors on nervous alert. The Zapad exercise, which rehearsed a conflict along Russia’s western borders, showed off a force that was marshaling itself “probably...
Juliet Johnson 22 Sep 2017
(Russian Review) (Co-authored by David Woodruff) Abstract: Currency crises have been a recurrent feature of Russia's post-Soviet experience. This article examines three episodes of sudden and sharp ruble depreciation in 1998, 2008, and 2014–16. We examine these crises and their political consequences as iterative episodes in the Russian government's ongoing efforts to deal with its structural dependence on energy revenues and international...
Kimberly Marten 16 Sep 2017
(Warontherocks.com) (Co-authored with Olga Oliker) Earlier this year, armed protesters used violence and threats to force Ukraine’s government into a substantial policy reversal: a ban on anthracite coal imports from separatist-controlled territory, crucial to the country’s electricity supply. The protesters were representatives of “volunteer battalions” (or pro-state militias), broadly credited with helping Ukraine survive the early days of...
PONARS Eurasia 13 Sep 2017
(Newsweek) Russian President Vladimir Putin suffered a major blow in Sunday’s nationwide elections—or did he? Russia's United Democrats—a liberal party that stands in opposition to the Kremlin—saw several shocking upset victories in central Moscow, though Putin's ruling party, United Russia, won all of the municipal elections held outside of Moscow and 75 percent of district council seats in the Russian capital. [...] "One of the reasons the...
Pavel Baev 12 Sep 2017
(EDM) The fast-escalating crisis in East Asia, driven by the chain of nuclear and missile provocations by the North Korean regime, has upset the carefully prepared agendas of regional politics. In early September, North Korea cast a shadow over talks at the BRICS (a loose political grouping of major developing economies Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit in China as well as the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. President...
PONARS Eurasia 11 Sep 2017
(Globe and Mail) He is the reigning bad boy of global affairs, a nemesis of American presidents and an antagonist who flouts international borders and diplomatic protocols. So how did Vladimir Putin come to be the voice of calm in the storm? In the furious debate over how to subdue a defiant Kim Jong-un, it has fallen to the strongman Russian leader to take up the cause of peace in a volatile region and rational thought in a time of discourse...

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