Policy Memos | Аналитические записки

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...
Policy Memo # 656
Irina Busygina, Mikhail Filippov 22 Jun 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) In Russia, formal constitutional principles of federalism cannot be abolished without putting the country’s political stability at significant risk. Even the Soviet leadership could not afford to take such chances. The size of the Russian territory, its diversity, the importance of its historical memory (both the Russian Empire and the Soviet federal construction), and the presence of ethnic regions all make abolishing...
Policy Memo # 655
Andrei Semenov 15 Jun 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Authoritarian regimes frequently employ strategic coercion and repression to prevent or halt mobilization. Russia under Vladimir Putin is not an exception. As the regime became more repressive after the 2011-12 mobilization wave, Aleksei Navalny’s 2018 presidential campaign faced familiar obstacles: no authorization for public rallies, detentions, administrative fines, and criminal charges. How consistent was the reaction...
Policy Memo # 654
Pavel Baev 05 Jun 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Syria has been an ongoing major focus in Russian security policy since its astounding military intervention in September 2015. Yet, now, it is barely present in political debates and news flows in Moscow. Attention began to dissipate in early March after the Russian-Turkish ceasefire agreement in rebel-held Idlib province that placed Russia’s total victory out of reach. By the end of March, the explosion of the COVID-19...
Policy Memo # 653
Mariya Omelicheva 01 Jun 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) On April 6, 2020, the U.S. State Department designated the Russian Imperial Movement (RIM) as a terrorist organization and placed its leaders on its list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists. This unprecedented move—the first time in history the State Department has deployed tools reserved for jihadist groups against a white supremacist organization—comes at a time of rising right-wing extremism and violence in the United...

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