Russia

  • Why Ukraine’s Radical Parties Are Sitting Pretty for Upcoming Elections

    Ukrainian nationalism is growing quickly, but radical parties have never done well in elections. This may change in 2019, when Ukraine will hold both presidential and parliamentary elections, which are the first national elections after the Euromaidan revolution and the Russian military invasion in 2014.

    While Ukraine has committed to joining Euro-Atlantic institutions and embarked upon structural reforms, the overall situation in Ukraine remains uncertain. Even now, next year’s presidential and parliamentarian campaigns are already impacting decision making.

    Given society’s widespread distrust of most current political parties and their leaders and the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, radicalism is growing quickly.

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  • Beyond Syria: Moscow’s Objectives in the Middle East

    Syria’s civil war has come close to provoking direct kinetic clashes between the United States and Russia. Yet, despite the urgency to understand both sides’ goals, hardly anyone is assessing Russia’s overall objectives in the Middle East. Syria might be the most urgent issue of what the late Zbigniew Brzezinski called the Eurasian Balkans, but it is not the sole issue or focus of Russia’s Middle East policy. 

    We must urgently grasp the nature of Russia’s goals. Without understanding the facts on the ground, the United States will be unable to forge a coherent strategy or policies to implement any strategy for the Middle East.

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  • Russian Americans Say Keep It Up, President Trump

    The Congress of Russian Americans, a group claiming to represent five million Russian-speaking Americans, recently wrote to US President Donald Trump deploring the state of Russian-American relations, denouncing the expulsion of sixty Russian diplomats from the United States, and denying Russia’s involvement in the recent poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England. It also alleges that Russian speakers face "serious discrimination" in America.

    In response, an independent group of Russian-speaking immigrants has released a letter that disputes these claims. Well-known human rights activists, filmmakers, writers, journalists, lawyers, scientists, engineers, university professors, medical doctors, artists, professionals in various areas, and ordinary Russian-speaking Americans have signed the response, which says that the Congress of Russian Americans (CRA) does not represent them or their values. Calling the CRA letter "yet another act " in Russia's ongoing info war against the United States, its 144 signatories say that they are "are appalled by the CRA’s audacity in their attempt to create an impression they speak for the entire Russian-speaking community."

    A copy of the letter follows.

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  • World Reaction to Strikes on Syria

    The United States, the United Kingdom, and France on April 13 launched strikes on Syria in retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack which they blamed on Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

    While US Defense Secretary James Mattis described the strikes as a “one-time” shot, the Western allies warned more strikes could come in the event of another chemical weapons attack in Syria.

    Here's a look at world reaction to the strikes.

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  • Åslund Quoted in Polygraph on Russian Sanctions' Impact on its Economy


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  • Vajdich in Foreign Policy: Trump’s Russia Policy Is Better Than Obama’s Was


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  • O'Toole Quoted in Lawfare on Recent Russia Sanctions


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  • Russia, Iran Eyed for Solution to Syria War

    As missile strikes are contemplated, France's ambassador to the United States says political transition in Damascus must be explored

    The United States and its European allies should explore with Russia and Iran the possibility of a credible political transition in Syria that can end the seven-year war in that country, France’s ambassador to the United States, Gérard Araud, said at the Atlantic Council on April 12.

    The Syrian war has created security and political challenges for not just Syria’s neighbors, but also Europe. “To face these threats what we need is to stabilize Syria, and to stabilize we need a credible political transition,” the French ambassador said. “The goal of the West should be political engagement with Russia, Turkey, [and] Iran with a view of political transition.”

    Such a process has been attempted by the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, but it has made little headway. Araud said this was because the Assad regime’s delegation has not discussed political transition.

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  • Nimmo Quoted in The Daily Beast on Syrian Gas Attack


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  • Why Isn’t Ukraine Doing More to Free its Hostages?

    Last December the Ukrainian government and Russia's separatist proxies in eastern Ukraine exchanged nearly 400 prisoners. European leaders rightly applauded. Lost amidst the congratulations was the fact that Moscow still holds sixty-six Ukrainian citizens as de facto hostages on Russian territory, and they more than meet the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe's definition of political prisoners. While a few of these stories made international headlines—most prominently pilot Nadiya Savchenko who has since been released—the vast majority do not.
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