Podcast host Alexander Gabuev is joined by Elizaveta Fokht, a reporter with the BBC Russian Service, and Andrew Roth, Moscow correspondent for The Guardian, to discuss the outcome of the recent elections for the State Duma.
The State Duma elections were a triumph for Sergei Kiriyenko’s electoral machine, though even it could not produce the figures that President Putin’s campaign should have warranted.
Putting too much pressure on Belarus right now could backfire and lead to unforeseen consequences. It would appear that Russia understands that, and is therefore playing the long game on integration.
The upcoming Duma elections could turn out to be United Russia’s farewell tour in its current lineup.
The authorities are faced with the fiendish task of convincing democratic-minded voters that there is no point in voting, while making every effort to boost turnout among the conformist, state-dependent electorate.
It’s unlikely that Zelensky seriously believed that his sharp rhetoric with Merkel and Biden would lead to the West accepting Ukraine into NATO or canceling Nord Stream 2. But his behavior strikes a chord with the public at home.
This episode looks at the impact of events in Afghanistan on the broader region and the balance of power there.
Despite the lessons of the last three decades, the importance of Ukraine for Russia is still greatly overstated. It’s time to carry out a long overdue reevaluation of that importance.
It is the success or failure of remaking America, not Afghanistan, that will determine not just the legacy of the Biden administration, but the future of the United States itself.
It goes without saying that the crisis in Afghanistan will create new risks for the region, but Central Asia has long lived with chaos on its borders, and already has twenty years of experience in dealing with the Taliban.
The Kremlin continues to view the breakaway republics as a buffer zone and Trojan horse inside a recalcitrant Ukraine, but allowing their inhabitants to take part in Russian domestic politics will help to score key propaganda points.
It would be foolish to assume the American withdrawal from Afghanistan will be repeated everywhere else that there is a U.S. presence.
Nothing remotely resembling the “inclusive government” that the Taliban have promised is likely to appear in Afghanistan, while drug trafficking and religious extremism will mushroom.
Not so long ago, Minsk scored foreign policy points by positioning itself as a force for regional stability; a counterbalance to an aggressive Russia. Today, Moscow’s unwillingness to get embroiled in conflicts with NATO at the whim of its ally could be the only factor exercising any restraint on Lukashenko.
In the last two years, President Zelensky has managed to strengthen his personal power considerably. His battle against the influence of Ukraine’s oligarchs, therefore, may not be as hopeless as it might first seem.
Polish society will not accept the Russian interpretation of World War II and vice versa, so the two nations should stop trying to force their revisions onto each other and jeopardizing their relations over every historical bone of contention.
For Kazakhstan, cordial relations with the United States are an important part of its strategy for counterbalancing Russian and Chinese influence.
Testing the possibilities of internationalizing the Chinese currency in Russia is a tempting prospect for both Beijing and Moscow, but agreements on paper simply aren’t enough to change reality.
The agreement between Germany and the United States, which at first glance appears to be to Russia’s advantage, is in fact beneficial to all parties—even Ukraine.
In theory, climate change and green energy are areas in which there is scope for joint international projects, new investment, and the transfer of green technology to Russia. Yet drastic differences in targets set and regulatory frameworks make such an optimistic scenario unlikely.