Policy Memos | Аналитические записки

Policy Memo # 691
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) The coronavirus pandemic in Russia posed the same myriad challenges as in many countries: a devastating loss of life, strained healthcare resources, and an economic crisis. In Russia’s case, the pandemic also came at a politically sensitive time during which the country voted on and passed a constitutional referendum. After initially banning foreigners from China and emphasizing the disease as a foreign threat in February...
Policy Memo # 690
Ekaterina Schulmann 16 Feb 2021
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) The Russian Parliament’s 2020 spring session was in many ways both expectedly and unexpectedly historic. It began with a January 15 presidential address to the Federal Assembly, announcing constitutional reforms that involved an overhaul of the 1993 Russian Constitution. The constitutional amendments passed without opposition or significant editing, thereby paving the way for the larger, more detailed work of implementing...
Policy Memo # 689
Eugene Finkel, Janetta Azarieva, Yitzhak Brudny 08 Feb 2021
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) In late 2020, food prices and the Russian citizens’ access to staple foods have emerged as one of Putin’s main concerns. Over the last year, the price of pasta went up by 10 percent, sunflower oil by 24 percent, and sugar by more than 70 percent. Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, an average Russian family spent about 40 percent of its budget on food, four times more than an American family did. Russians, especially...
Policy Memo # 688
Emmanuel Dreyfus 05 Feb 2021
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Following the Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement signed in Moscow on November 9, 2020, between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that units of the Military Police (MP) will be part of Russian peacekeeping in the South Caucasus for an initial period of five years. The deployment of the MP in Nagorno-Karabakh has shed light on the growing role of this relatively recent structure in Moscow’s...
Policy Memo # 687
Alexandra Yatsyk 02 Feb 2021
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) The pandemic presented Russia’s long-serving, authoritarian government with a rare and ongoing opportunity to advance its interests vis-à-vis the West. Chaotic responses nearby in the EU and beyond to the extraordinary epidemiological emergency created an opening that the Kremlin endeavored to exploit through assistance and a quickly developed vaccine: Sputnik-V. In a throwback to Soviet-era global competitiveness, the...
Policy Memo # 686
Anar Valiyev 29 Jan 2021
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Global events related to the COVID-19 pandemic have affected all countries in Central Eurasia, with many experiencing signs of recession in late 2020. The forced quarantine regimes and economic downturns challenged or accelerated the downfall of governance systems, revealing long-standing structural problems across the region. The crisis is unique, and some of these countries have never experienced such economic shifts...
Policy Memo # 685
Kathryn Stoner 14 Jan 2021
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) President Vladimir Putin, in a quote he attributed to Winston Churchill, declared as early as 2006 that, “Russia is never as strong as she looks, Russia is never as weak as she looks.” The new Biden administration should heed this warning. Too often, however, even in the wake of its seizure of Crimea in 2014, mobilization to Syria in 2015, cyber and “sharp power” interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, and most...
Policy Memo # 684
Mikhail Filippov, Irina Busygina 11 Jan 2021
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Scholars of international relations and Russian politics actively debate whether some “grand strategy” underpins Russian foreign policy choices in the Putin era. For instance, prominent American military historian Williamson Murray argues that President Vladimir Putin has proven himself a masterful tactician who “maneuvers in the present with little regard for the future” and lacks a strategic vision. Andrew Monaghan at...
Policy Memo # 683
Polina Sinovets 21 Dec 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Since its annexation of Crimea, Russia has not deviated from its coercive military behavior, displaying its military might again and again. The substance of its military exercises, however, appears to have evolved. Last October, the Grom-2019 military training simulated Russian involvement in a global nuclear war and resurrected the “nuclear card” in Russian military rhetoric. This year’s January Black Sea exercises support...
Policy Memo # 682
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Since the turn of the century, the idea of the Russian Far Eastern regions’ economic rise through cooperation with East Asian countries has been a persistent element of Russian political leadership rhetoric. Until very recently, however, this rhetoric did not fully correspond to Russia’s domestic and foreign policy actions. Russia’s economic cooperation with East Asian countries (except China) remained relatively low as...

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