The regime has no more screws to turn, and only one pedal is left: conflating what Russia is doing in Ukraine with the 1945 victory over Nazi Germany.
The Russian state is encouraging dehumanization and raising Generation Z: not Zoomers, but disciples of the letter Z, the emblem of Moscow’s war.
It has immersed itself in an anti-utopian delusion.
The recognition of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics is a chance for Russia to climb down from the peak of escalation with a concrete result, because retreating empty-handed would have been a ruinous outcome for the Kremlin’s prestige.
What do Russia’s divergent approaches—mediation versus militarization—say about the prospects of stability in Eurasia at such turbulent times?
Regardless of its desire to contain or punish Russia, the West will find it much easier to deal with a Russia that almost invaded Ukraine than a Russia that actually did so, and the hawks in Russia know this.
What are the lessons and the likely consequences of the recent crisis in Kazakhstan for the country itself, for Central Asia, and for Russia’s role in the region?
The geopolitical retreat that Russia began three decades ago has ended, and a new policy of selective expansion based on Russia’s national interests has commenced.
If there was once speculation about how the Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko would act in the event of a major regional conflict, that is no longer the case. Belarusian territory is simply a staging area for the Russian army, and the extent of the threat from Belarus is determined by one factor alone: how keen the Kremlin is to go to war.
Putin could have gotten out of this trap, had the Russian side positively evaluated the limited Western concessions that are on the table: arms control of medium-range weapons systems, as well as confidence-building, transparency, and verification measures in the NATO-Russia borderlands, and measures of crisis communication.
Yet again, Zelensky is faced with a crisis even worse than all the previous ones. Every report of another Russian plan to invade Ukraine is a blow to its economy, weakening the hryvnia, pushing up interest rates, and sowing panic among the public.
Today, the young generation is more critical of the authorities than any other population segment. But how reasonable is it to expect the new generation to usher in modernization? Who will win the battle for the young: the state or civil society institutions? And will today’s young people become just another disappointed generation?
A new spiral of international escalation would rapidly accelerate and entrench the repressive trends that have been in ascendancy in Russian public life in recent years. Any dissatisfaction will be crushed with redoubled strength, including when it emerges within the in-system opposition.
Australia’s climate change policy has a lot in common with Russia’s. Is this enough for two countries, neither of whose climate plans are particularly ambitious, to become allies in international climate negotiations?
In its negotiations with the West, Russia is behaving not like a country preparing to wage war, but like a country that, if necessary, can afford to do so.
It seems clear that any war would destroy the still relevant Putinist model of the state as stable and successful. Instead of mobilizing public opinion ahead of the 2024 presidential election, it would have the opposite effect.
Following Moscow’s demands for security guarantees from the United States and NATO, Carnegie Moscow Center director Dmitri Trenin was interviewed by Kommersant’s Elena Chernenko about Russia’s future steps with regard to Ukraine and the West.
The hypothetical scenario of Moscow edging out the West from Kazakhstan would not necessarily mean that Russia could step into the resulting vacuum. It’s more likely that Moscow would simply be helping China to shore up its influence in Central Asia.
Russian officialdom is increasingly vocal about climate change, yet Russia continues to be hindered in its attempts to promote a different image of the country in this area—not only to foreign observers but also to domestic stakeholders, who are skeptical of Moscow’s promises and whose own efforts are erased in Russian messaging abroad.
If Moscow believes that the main security threat it faces is NATO military infrastructure moving closer to Russia’s western borders, it would make sense to focus on the infrastructure itself rather than the theoretical possibility of NATO expansion.