Georgy Bovt - a political scientist and a member of the Council for Foreign and Defense Policy.
The recent series of terrorist attacks in France has forced Russia and the West to recognize the undeniable fact that there is a common enemy – international terrorism, represented first and foremost by ISIS.
All of the parties with a stake in the conflict are pursuing their own goals
The immense gulf in mutual distrust and suspicion that has characterized relations between Russia and the U.S. in recent years has been laid bare by the degree of misunderstanding “experts” from each side have shown in their attitudes toward the other during the Ukrainian crisis. Why do we appear to know each other less well than during the Cold War?
There are many reasons for the release of Khodorkovsky after 10 years in a Russian prison, some of them known and many that are unknown.
If Cold War II hasn't already started, it is somewhere around the corner.
The ruling class has run into a perplexity it created on its own. On the one hand, there is governable life based on the apathy of some people and petty pragmatic readiness of others. On the other hand, the rulers have to retrieve the genuinely creative sections of society from dormancy. Governable life no longer satisfies the rulers themselves, while the unpredictability of awakening forces frightens them.
Political dormancy and indifference have engulfed the Russian people who have turned their energies to the realm of material rather than political ambitions. The consumer boom is rolling through the country, in some places energetically – occasionally even glamorously.
“Indeed, Putin’s conduct is the one of an absolute monarch,” a top official from the Kremlin remarked frankly. “But you have to govern all that manually and on a daily basis if you want to keep it under control. Forget about any system in the next 20 to 30 years, until the time when people who are 18 to 20 years old today come to power.”
There is a general consensus that it is time for Russia to make a breakthrough into the future. It is almost perfectly clear today what needs to be done, and equally clear how it should be achieved. The greatest paradox, however, is that after fifteen years of post-totalitarian development, a question is looming large: who should Russia make the breakthrough with?
At a roundtable event in Moscow, top experts debated the “hypocritical” and “insincere” foreign policies of both Russia and the West in the post-Cold War era.
Vladimir Putin has mentioned several times that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a geopolitical mistake. Although these words were often interpreted as his desire to constitute that country, there is little reason to believe this.
Contemporary international relations are experiencing a period of turbulence and transition from a unipolar world to a world with multiple centers of power with strengthened role of regionalization. In these circumstances relatively small states try to maximize the resource of geopolitical identity to conduct their foreign policies.
In the old days coal miners took a caged canary down into mines. If the canary suddenly dropped dead, that meant that the deadly gas, carbon monoxide, was slowly seeping into the shaft... An order of magnitude increase in killing rampages in America over the last several decades is like canaries suddenly starting to drop dead all around us. It is an early indicator of much worse troubles to come.
In the wake of the For Fair Elections protest movement in Russia in 2011-2012, the Kremlin initiated a new strategy of state-society relations that was aimed at diminishing the propensity for protest in the next election cycle.
Belarus’ traditional structural dependence on Russia is increasing, and Minsk’s freedom of maneuver continues to shrink.