Policy Memos | Аналитические записки

Policy Memo # 666
Farid Guliyev 30 Jul 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Around the time of the February 2020 snap parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan, the government-opposition relationship took a surprising turn. In the run-up to the election, the ruling regime tolerated oppositional activity to a greater extent than it did in the past, in what some described as signs of the regime “softening.” However, with the rise in COVID-19 cases in mid-March in the country and the introduction of...
Policy Memo # 665
Gianmarco Riva 24 Jul 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) In recent times, Baltic State policies toward Russia have displayed a relatively unified front. This became abundantly clear in the aftermath of major events such as the two gas disputes between Kyiv and Moscow in 2006 and 2009, the Russian-led incursion into Ukraine in 2014 as well as the subsequent annexation of the Crimea peninsula, and the military intrusion in the Donbas region. Broadly, these events have led to a...
Policy Memo # 664
Emily Ferris 20 Jul 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Russia’s regional administrations tend to be overlooked as a toothless part of the system, lacking any real responsibility or power. While Moscow has certainly curbed governors’ autonomy under President Vladimir Putin’s rule, several important events over the past few months, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and amendments to the constitution, have brought the importance of regional governors back to the fore. The recent...
Policy Memo # 663
Andrei Semenov, Vsevolod Bederson 20 Jul 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) As the COVID-19 pandemic struck Russia in late March 2020 and state responses looked weak and indecisive, civil society did not hesitate to step in. For example, almost 200 million rubles ($2.8 million) was raised by the NGO union Chto delat’ (“What is to be done?”) to help medical workers, and organizations like Razvitie migratsii (“Migrant Development”) provided essential aid to labor migrants. Such efforts set a tone of...
Policy Memo # 662
Peter Rutland, Andrei Kazantsev 13 Jul 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) This memorandum reviews Russian state media and civil society responses to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. The varying reactions cast an interesting light on how Russians view their place in the world and the trajectory of Russia’s democratic development. Russians seem to have a poor understanding of the dynamics of American history and society, but the BLM movement struck a nerve, triggering a heated debate in both...
Policy Memo # 661
Gulnaz Sharafutdinova, Nisan Gorgulu 13 Jul 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Tahrir, Maidan, and Bolotnaya plazas—the public spaces associated with pro-democratic protests of the last decade—are located in the capital cities. Controlling public opinion in the capital city is undoubtedly a crucial challenge for all autocrats. This policy memo brings attention to the diverse mechanisms of control that modern authoritarian rulers have at their disposal for manufacturing consent using digital technologies...
Policy Memo # 660
Azamat Junisbai 09 Jul 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) On March 19, 2019, President Nursultan Nazarbayev shocked the country he has dominated since before the collapse of the Soviet Union by announcing that he had reached a “difficult” decision and was going to step down from the presidency. Yet, as he continued reading his statement on television, it became clear that this was an unusual transition. Nazarbayev reminded viewers of his special status as First President–Leader...
Policy Memo # 659
Ivan Kurilla 06 Jul 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) After two decades of (official) American neglect of Russian/Soviet sufferings during World War II, President John Kennedy, in his 1963 address at American University, recollected that “no nation in the history of battle ever suffered more than the Soviet Union in the Second World War.” Such a recognition was a vital step toward Soviet-American understanding and the start of détente. However, the memory theme shifted on May 8...
Policy Memo # 658
Marlene Laruelle, Dylan Royce 29 Jun 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Kazakhstan is known as one of the countries most loyal to Russia—even more so, in many respects, than Belarus. Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana) indulges Moscow less often than Minsk in rigorous bargaining games. Still, since the Ukraine crisis and the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), Kazakhstan has occasionally distanced itself from Russia, at least declaratively. The Kazakhstani government, more generally,...
Policy Memo # 657
Mikhail Alexseev 25 Jun 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) With the spread of COVID-19 to Europe, policy patterns in the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DNR/LNR) indicate that these “separatist entities,” which Moscow engineered in 2014 to crush Ukraine’s EU and NATO aspirations, have increasingly pushed for joining Russia. This is a case of coronavirus-facilitated reverse irredentism—when a smaller entity that is part of one state seeks to merge with a neighboring state...

Pages