Policy Memos | Аналитические записки

Policy Memo # 510
(PONARS Policy Memo) Since independence, politics in Ukraine has often turned on issues of identity. Ethnic and linguistic cleavages have tended to underlie political divisions and have been used by politicians to avoid responsibility for corruption, economic and social decline. However, twice in the post-Soviet era, during the Orange revolution of 2004 and the Euromaidan revolution of 2013-14, Ukrainians from across the country came together to...
Policy Memo # 509
Nikolay Petrov 20 Feb 2018
(PONARS Policy Memo) At last, Vladimir Putin has decided that he will indeed be a candidate in the 2018 presidential election. Considering how long he has been in charge, it may seem that little has changed or will change in Russia’s political sphere. However, in recent years, Putin has had his own personal perestroika and has modified Russia’s political order to sustain his successful authoritarian system. By looking at the recent rejuvenations he made...
Policy Memo # 508
Polina Sinovets 16 Feb 2018
(PONARS Policy Memo) Russian President Vladimir Putin said in 2015 that he viewed the United States as seeking “to destroy strategic balance, to change the balance of power in such a way not just to dominate but also to dictate their will to anyone.” Some may regard these as just words, but they hint at a justification for Russia’s nuclear weapon modernization program. If the Kremlin decides, even vaguely, that “the existence of the Russian...
Policy Memo # 507
Mikhail Alexseev 14 Feb 2018
(PONARS Policy Memo) One of Donald Trump’s 2016 keynote foreign policy pledges was to improve relations with Russia. Few would have predicted that after a year in office, his plan would not only stall or fizzle out, as campaign promises often do, but that it would backfire. Toward the end of July 2017, near unanimous votes in both houses of Congress forced Trump to sign legislation that reaffirmed all sanctions on Russia. Furthermore, the part of the...
Policy Memo # 506
Arkady Moshes 06 Feb 2018
(PONARS Policy Memo) One year into Donald Trump’s presidency is a good time to scrutinize the views held by the mainstream parts of the Russian foreign policy establishment. In a nutshell, they are highly skeptical about the immediate future of relations between Russia and the West, optimistic about Russia’s turn to Asia despite the impediments, and are not satisfied about the Russia-centered reintegration of the post-Soviet space. Displaying a...
Policy Memo # 505
Theodore Gerber 02 Feb 2018
(PONARS Policy Memo) If home is where the heart is, does that mean homeowners are more likely to engage in civic and political activism? Recent events in Moscow suggest the answer is yes. In May and June 2017, tens of thousands of Muscovites took to the streets to protest against plans to demolish Soviet-era housing, even though the quality of the housing is generally recognized to be poor and residents are being offered compensation. Demonstrations...
Policy Memo # 504
Vladimir Gelman 02 Feb 2018
(PONARS Policy Memo) Back in 1995, Russian economist Alexey Ulyukaev, who became Minister of Economic Development in 2013 (and who was arrested for allegations of corruption in 2016), stated: “The main question of every evolution is constraining political power: how to provide competent decision-making, which will depend upon knowledge and experience but not upon voting results, and how to achieve a “regime of non-interference” of politics in other...
Policy Memo # 503
Ivan Kurilla 26 Jan 2018
(PONARS Policy Memo) All last year, the Russian state kept largely silent about the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Russian Revolution. In its attempt to control historical narratives, and to prevent any excessive ruminations about the pros and cons of revolutions, it has shown itself to be selective about highlighting historical events. It has clearly favored messaging about patriotic examples from the World War II era, while the year 2017 revealed...
Policy Memo # 502
Yana Gorokhovskaia 24 Jan 2018
(PONARS Policy Memo) Scholarly attention to Russia’s civil society is often driven by headlines. Cycles of protest and repression energize debate over whether Russian civil society is dormant, qualitatively different in form from its Western counterparts, or a possible threat to the regime. Policy debates, meanwhile, are dominated by concerns over Russian laws restricting the activity and funding of nongovernmental organizations and what the future...
Policy Memo # 501
Kimberly Marten 19 Jan 2018
(PONARS Policy Memo) The weaknesses and inconsistencies of Russia’s recent actions toward the United States need to be explained. President Vladimir Putin is often seen as a foreign policy wizard, leading Russia to a string of successes and heightened international influence. But Moscow’s interactions with Washington are actually puzzling. Using information drawn from press and other publicly available sources, this memo will examine four explanations...

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