(Foreign Affairs) The Kremlin has struggled to contain the fallout of its invasion of Ukraine. It did not imagine that its war would inspire sustained unity among Western countries, nor that the Ukrainian army would resist so well, nor that it would need to partly mobilize the Russian population, a drastic measure with potentially disastrous domestic consequences. A war intended to restore Russian strength has instead left the country weaker.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sees Ukraine as part of Russia’s rightful sphere of influence, but because of his invasion, that sphere of influence is contracting. Russia is losing ground in regions where it has long held sway. Nowhere is this more apparent than among the countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia. Indeed, the broad region to Russia’s south seems to be undergoing a tectonic shift away from Moscow for many interconnected reasons.
Overstretched, Russia no longer seems able to serve as a guarantor of regional security for local regimes. […]
Read More © Foreign Affairs