Russia

  • O'Toole Quoted in Newsweek on Impact of Sanctions on Russian Economy


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  • Rating Ukraine's Presidential Candidates

    Three candidates have the most plausible chance of winning the first round in Ukraine’s March 31st presidential election: President Petro Poroshenko; former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko; and Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a politically untested comedian whose popular television show, Servant of the People, portrays him as an intrepid corruption fighter. Zelenskiy’s popularity can be explained as a symbolic protest against the status quo.

    Below we rated the top three candidates on two scales. One is what we think is an objective rating of their qualifications for office and is best for Ukraine; the other is their subjective attractiveness to voters.


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  • Fried Quoted in Mother Jones on Trump's Russia Sanctions


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  • Fried Quoted in the NY Daily News on the Trump Administration's Withdrawal from INF Treaty


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  • Russia Looks to Strike at Ukraine’s South Again?

    Moscow captured three Ukrainian navy vessels and arrested twenty-four Ukrainian sailors on November 25, 2018, near the Kerch Strait. The maritime clash indicates that the focal point of the Russian-Ukrainian military conflict may gradually switch from the Donbas to the Azov Sea and Crimean peninsula in 2019.


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  • Kroenig Joins NPR to Discuss US-Russia Missile Building


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  • United States Suspends INF Treaty With Russia

    Decision could spark "unpredictable and unconstrained US-Russian arms race," Atlantic Council's Alexander Vershbow says.

    The US decision to suspend participation in a decades-old nuclear arms control treaty with Russia has raised the probability of a US-Russian arms race, according to Alexander Vershbow, a distinguished fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and a former US ambassador to Russia.

    “Although the US withdrawal will not take effect for another six months, today marks the effective end of the INF Treaty, the only nuclear arms agreement to ban an entire class of missiles,” Vershbow said. “The loss of the treaty creates a real possibility of an unpredictable and unconstrained US-Russian arms race in Europe and, potentially, in Northeast Asia as well.”


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  • Vershbow Quoted in CNN on Russia Overtures to Kim Jong Un


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  • Time to Shame Putin Again

    Chechnya is at it again. Recent reports indicate that there’s another anti-gay pogrom underway in the Russian region of Chechnya. It is said to include kidnappings, secret torture chambers, and arbitrary executions. Violence against these individuals is escalating, and it’s the biggest spike of targeted attacks against gay Chechens since 2017 when 100 LGBTQ people were targeted. Only this time the torture techniques are harsher, the tactics of silencing victims are smarter, and the perpetrators are emboldened by Western inaction.


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  • Ukraine’s Slow but Steady Strangulation Is Taking Place in Plain Sight

    Russia’s war against Ukraine is about to enter its sixth year, but many remain in denial over the true nature of the conflict. There is still widespread international reluctance to acknowledge the global significance of Vladimir Putin’s invasion, leading to a preference for the kind of euphemistic language that blurs the lines between victim and aggressor. This ostrich-like approach to the realities of the new Russian imperialism was on display during German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas’s recent visit to Kyiv, where he called on “all sides to contribute to de-escalation.”

    Maas was apparently untroubled by the absurdity of urging Ukraine to de-escalate its own invasion and dismemberment. Indeed, it says much about the current climate that one of Europe’s top diplomats felt comfortable coming to the capital of a country fighting for its life and delivering a lecture on the need for moderation.


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