While the West accuses Russia of territorial ambitions in Ukraine, it is actually the U.S. and NATO that have forced Russia’s hand in the post-Soviet space.
President Vladimir Putin's request last week that the Federation Council revoke his right to use military force in Ukraine marks the end of the first phase of that county's international crisis.
The specter of Russian nationalism continues to haunt Europe and the U.S. Following Russia's annexation of Crimea, many in the West assumed that President Vladimir Putin's foreign policy was now driven by ethno-nationalist ideas, not state interests.
The new Ukrainian President faces a range of serious political, economic and social challenges – challenges on which the country’s future depends. But right now, he has neither the readiness, nor the desire and political will to tackle them.
Ukraine’s main chance of entering Europe not as a source of labor force, but as a moderately developed industrialized country will be to go ahead with exports to Russia and other countries where Ukrainian manufactures are in demand.
The participation of Donetsk representatives in the government corresponds to the “horizontal principle,” but domination does not. There will be neither real reform nor a modern and efficient state in Ukraine unless regions feel that they are equal.
Kiev’s attempt to build an all-Ukrainian identity solely on the basis of the Ukrainian ethnos through political centralization, cultural unification, and forceful assimilation was a complete failure. Now, as part of the Russian Federation, which pursues an entirely different regional policy, Crimea has an opportunity to form its own regional identity.
Russia will have to deal with the effects of Crimea being part of an independent Ukraine for 23 years. A Crimean political and business elite has emerged with its own values, bonds, and relationships. Russia is not the motherland of an entire generation of Russian-speaking youth, but the motherland of their ancestors.
Armenia, opting for self-restraint of its own accord, minimized its risks and losses. As to whether the Armenian-style Finlandization can be an example for other former Soviet republics would depend not only on their own choice.
The Ukrainian crisis has demonstrated once again that the global Chinese business empire is growing much faster than Beijing’s military-political capabilities. There has again emerged a need for a more active Chinese policy to protect national interests.
The U.S. should follow the British wise policy of the early 20th century which implies the accommodation and sharing of power with an adversary. Reality would impose this transition anyway.
Instead of chauvinism and chaos Russia needs a third alternative. And that is a combination of moderate patriotism and moderate liberalism manifesting itself in the commitment to freer life by law, without corruption, but with mature self-government.
The new post-Crimean risk for Russia’s political system is not so much in putting political participation on freeze as in forcing this participation, which might push the country onto the road to ideology-driven authoritarianism.
Until spring 2014, discussions about the new Russian national identity, including the Russian world concept, had little to do with Russia’s foreign policy and national security agenda. The revolution in Ukraine made it one of the issues critical for the survival of the Russian nation and statehood.
The use of force is no longer legitimate like it was in the 19th and 20th centuries. Conservative-style action from the position of force cannot achieve anything in terms of boosting a country’s position even within the traditional zone of influence.
International law doesn’t work well in in a world with unipolar tendencies and when its interpretation is dictated from a unipolar center. But the world is simply too big, complex and diverse for that.
A group of U.S. neo-conservatives have been increasingly active in their efforts to rebuild the world to their design. Yet they have clearly misunderstood the vector of the transformations underway, and, which is still worse, have displayed historical ignorance.
Russia has given up hope for joining the West in the foreseeable future. But it has not yet made a choice in favor of anti-West, let alone, anti-Europeanism.
It is already becoming habitual: yet another turn in world politics – and a fondly prepared portfolio of materials has to be shelved, and new ones made in an emergency mode. Witnessing epoch-making events is fascinating, but it takes a lot of nerve…
While nobody wants to go back to the Cold War, those of us who are old enough to remember it know that while tensions between Moscow and Washington ran high, they never exploded into outright conflict.
Director of the Center for Current Politics and Valdai Club expert Sergei Mikheyev is convinced there will be no retaliation to recent statements made by Dmitry Rogozin and leaders of Transnistria, and that the breakaway region won’t be joining Russia.
Though many of the presidential candidates in the upcoming elections in Ukraine are taking care to position themselves firmly as anti-Russian, the truth of the matter is that the overwhelming majority of Ukrainian politicians are in one way or another tied to Russia – and the fragile state would do well to keep this in mind when planning for the future.
The great writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn predicted the current situation in Ukraine almost half a century ago. A number of his writings from the Soviet period, including The Gulag Archipelago, contain ruminations on the issue of nationalism and the seeds for potential future ethnic unrest on Ukrainian territory.
With escalating violence in southern and eastern Ukraine and no solution in sight, the Ukraine crisis has become the world’s most turbulent geopolitical conflict since that triggered by the terrorist attacks against the United States in 2001.
When he decided to postpone the signing of an association agreement with the EU, Viktor Yanukovich could not have fathomed the problems he was releasing into the world.
Many observers were left wrong-footed by the comments made by the Russian president on May 7, in which he asked the southeast of Ukraine not to hold a referendum, expressed his support for presidential elections in the country on May 25, and announced the withdrawal of Russian troops from the border. What lies behind Putin’s unexpected move?
All the signs are that a military invasion of Ukraine’s restive eastern provinces by Russian forces is not on the cards. The likeliest scenario is that Moscow will allow Kiev to gradually claw back control of the east, though a prolonged crisis in relations with the West remains unavoidable.
RD Exclusive: Robert Legvold, Professor Emeritus of Columbia University, analyzes the impact of a new Cold War between Russia and the West.
Moscow's interests in the region are unchanged, including collaboration with the United States on elimination of chemical weapons in Syria, despite the crisis over Ukraine.
The rupture in relations between Russia and the West is discussed as if Crimea’s accession, Ukraine’s future and sanctions are the core problem.
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.