November 13, 2020

Soviet remnants

AFP/Scanpix

Even though the Soviet Union fell apart 29 years ago, in 1991, the remains of the collapse of the communist colossus still exist, and the disintegration of the USSR continues.

Looking at the revolution in Belarus and the military activity between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the problems in these areas clearly date back to Soviet times. The road to democracy for Belarus, and finding common ground for Azerbaijan and Armenia, is undoubtedly difficult.

Hence, analyst Sergey Sukhankin speculates on the possibility of Russia taking control of Belarus.

“Russia’s hypothetical absorption of Belarus would certainly result in a number of challenges to countries located between the Baltic and the Black Sea,” he admits. “Those implications could conditionally be broken down into two large groups—geo-economic and military-political—with the second element containing far more serious ramifications in the longer run. Perhaps the main change that should be anticipated with any absorption of Belarus is its prospective transformation from current ‘defensive outpost’ into a ‘springboard’, which would dramatically increase Russia’s offensive capabilities westwards,” he adds.

Martin Hurt, an ICDS research fellow, and Raivo Vare, an observer, comment on Sukhankin’s article.

Arabist Kadri Jõgi assesses the Israeli agreements with two Gulf states.

“With Israel’s peace agreements with the UAE and Bahrain, the Middle East has undergone a significant change—the decades-long perception of the region has shifted,” Jõgi explains. “Until recently, the general view was that the situation could be managed and the peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan were just little mishaps that would not bring any future change, but the position has now altered,” she adds.

Richard Weitz, an analyst at the Hudson Institute, assesses the Russian disinformation campaign linked to the current pandemic.

“The Russian disinformation system related to COVID was less coherent, spewing out contradictory falsehoods and bizarre conspiracies almost on autopilot, without deep thought or conviction,” Weitz notes.

Piret Kuusik, Junior Research Fellow at the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute, analyses the Three Seas Initiative.

Nora Juurmaa, Allan Aksiim and Mari-Liis Sulg review books on the international community.

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