• Vladimir Putin Does Shakespeare

    Vladimir Putin’s newest display of talent is his excelling in theatrics. He recently elected to play Macbeth or Richard III. Having nothing left to offer Russia as the indices of immiseration pile up, Putin’s recourse to imperial theatrics has dramatically accelerated. But ultimately this performance, like those of his predecessors on stage and in reality, ends with the political or physical death of the tyrant and a new king or in Russia’s case, tsar. 
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  • Vajdich Quoted in Foreign Policy on the Conflict Views of Russia between Trump and Trump Administration

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  • Ullman in UPI: Icy Moscow Visit Underscores Need for Dialogue

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  • 10 Ways the West Should Engage with Ukraine after 2019 Elections

    Five years after the annexation of Crimea and the instigation of conflict in the Donbas, the reasons for continued sanctions on Russia have not gone away. Crimea is still occupied. War grinds on in the Donbas.

    Ukraine held presidential elections this spring and will hold parliamentary elections in the fall. Whatever the results, events in Ukraine are important and have far-reaching consequences. Instability in Ukraine—which is Russia’s strategic goal if it cannot control Ukraine—will have destabilizing effects in Europe, including increased migration, trade disruption, and cyberattacks.

    There are at least ten important principles and policy priorities for Western governments in their engagement with Ukraine after the 2019 elections.

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  • How History Will Judge Poroshenko

    The majority of Ukraine’s voters and pundits detest President Petro Poroshenko who lost his chance at a second term on April 21. However, history will prove them wrong and judge him as Ukraine’s most successful leader.

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  • Congressional Russia Sanction Push Needs to Maximize Cooperation with Allies

    As the US Congress considers passing new sanctions to punish Russia for its aggression in Ukraine, interference in US elections, and material support for Nicolás Maduro’s regime in Venezuela, lawmakers should remain committed to a united approach with Washington’s European allies and ensure that the new legislation maximizes US cooperation with its partners, according to Atlantic Council Distinguished Ambassadorial Fellow Daniel Fried.

    Two current bills, the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression (DASKA) Actand the Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines (DETER) Act , have been reintroduced in the US Senate as attempts to mandate the Trump administration place sanctions on Russia in response to specific bad behavior by the Kremlin. The latest sanctions push demonstrates that Congress still “continues to show antipathy towards Russian behavior,” in Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Syria, and other places, according to Atlantic Council Global Energy Center Chairman Ambassador Richard Morningstar, who moderated an Atlantic Council panel on the sanctions measures on April 17. The event was cohosted by the Atlantic Council’s Economic Sanctions Initiative and the Global Energy Center.

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  • Cohen in Forbes: Russia Sets Sights On Energy Resources Under Arctic Circle 

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  • Russia’s Venezuela Challenge

    The first major showdown of our new era of great power competition, unfolding with accelerating speed over the past ten weeks in Venezuela, has entered a dangerous new phase. That is true, most of all, for the Venezuelan people, but also for Latin American democracies and for vital US interests in the Western Hemisphere.

    How this drama turns out may mark the most significant test yet of the Trump administration's credibility, following a highest-level chorus this week of President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton, who all declared – in one way or another – that Russia had to get out of the country.

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  • What Ukraine Needs from the West Isn’t Just Cash

    In 2019, Ukraine celebrates the centennial anniversary of the unification of its national lands. On January 22, 1919, theAct of Union marked a historic milestone: for the first time in centuries, the Ukrainian people had revived their nation and unified most of its territories. Then Russian aggression destroyed our freedom, like it did again in 2014. The aggression of the Bolsheviks was tragically supplemented by the West's shortsighted policy of pressure, misunderstanding, and non-recognition of Ukraine. The division and occupation of Ukraine subsequently created the conditions for the emergence of the Soviet empire and eventually led to colossal historical upheavals and causalities both on our land as well as throughout Europe.

    The anniversary of Ukraine’s unity is a symbol that captures the continuity of our struggle for independence and unity. For Ukrainians it is also a reminder of the high price of political mistakes and mass ignorance. For Europe and the world, it is an important reminder that it must not sacrifice the weak and or permit the local agendas of its neighbors to abandon its strategic values.

    Next week, we welcome government officials, experts, and diplomats to Kyiv for the annual Kyiv Security Forum. This year’s forum takes place between the first and second round of Ukraine’s presidential election, which is linked with the election of a new parliament in October and the subsequent formation of a new parliamentary coalition. The danger of a prolonged political confrontation and the high probability that the results of election cycle will yield a president limited in actions, a fragmented parliament, and an incapacitated government is no less a threat than Russian aggression in Ukraine’s east.

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  • US Sen. Chris Murphy Warns Allies to Be Vigilant About the ‘Quiet Things’ Russia is Doing

    Says Russia funding ‘fight clubs and biker clubs’ in the Baltic States to exploit domestic instability

    US Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) on April 3 warned NATO allies to be “constantly vigilant about the very quiet things that the Russians are doing that could ultimately lead to a traditional military confrontation.”

    Pointing to Russian support for “fight clubs and biker clubs” inside the Baltic States, Murphy said they are “just there waiting for some kind of domestic instability to allow for an opportunity to do in a NATO country what the Russians have successfully done inside Donetsk and Luhansk provinces in Ukraine.”

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