How Putin Changed Russia Forever

In the two decades since rising to the top of the Kremlin, Putin has consolidated power and strengthened Russia’s role on the world stage. Many of these changes, which have come at no small cost, would have been unfathomable at the turn of the century; Putin’s election marked the country’s first democratic change of power. […]

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Oil Crisis Tests Putin’s Skill To Project Strength

The global economic consequences of COVID-19 would inevitably slow Russian economic growth. A prolonged collapse in oil prices would almost certainly push the economy into recession. Putin’s promises evaporated. In these circumstances, Putin needs to raise and stabilize oil prices. The question was how to do that without appearing to yield to Saudi or American […]

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Russia’s Deep State Holds The Key To Succession

Putin’s single biggest achievement in two decades in power—his true legacy—has been to re-empower the state bureaucracy…No part of this bureaucratic apparatus matters more than the national security establishment—the vast, hydra-headed complex of military, intelligence, and law enforcement ministries. These institutions may well determine not only who becomes the next president of Russia but what […]

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The Fate Of The China-Russia Alliance

These days, many people in the Washington foreign policy establishment seem to agree that most of the world’s problems can be put down to either Beijing’s purported insistence on building a new, nefarious world order comprising “all under heaven,” or Moscow’s wily attempts to spread its tentacles everywhere from Madagascar to Libya and possibly even […]

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Who Is Russia’s New Prime Minister?

When Russians woke up last Wednesday morning, most had likely never heard of Mikhail Mishustin, the head of the country’s tax service. But by the time they went to bed that night, Mishustin had been named as Russia’s new prime minister after a day that included a flurry of proposed changes to the constitution and […]

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The Politics Of Russia’s Primorsky Krai

Primorsky Krai is the eastern most point of East Europe, so east at that point that it stops looking like Europe and starts looking like Asia. So far east, that one tour guide at the state museum of Primorsky Krai, described Vladivostok as the edge of the world, and if the flat earth theory held […]

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Is Russia Worried About China’s Military Rise?

Even with its economy starting to slow down, China’s military is still on the rise. Years of higher military spending fueled by high economic growth are starting to manifest themselves in new technologies and newfound assertiveness. Beijing has made visible strides in its aviation, naval, and missile defense capabilities. Whether it be making territorial claims […]

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How The Kremlin Sees The Rest Of The World

Much of the Kremlin’s self-confidence stems from the belief that the Western world is changing in ways that suit Russia. Donald Trump is seen to represent a long-term trend in the US rather than a short-term blip: Russian analysts reckon that the US will be less focused on intervening around the world to uphold a […]

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