Politics, Political Systems & Governance

No Gain Without Pain: Estonia’s Views on EU Enlargement

In Estonian politics, there is a widespread agreement on the security and prosperity benefits of EU enlargement, particularly regarding Ukraine, but also for other candidate countries. However, nuances exist among different parties regarding the trade-off between the geopolitical argument for enlargement and the potential losses that Estonia might face.

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Is There Life in the Desert? Russian Civil Society After the Full-Scale Invasion of Ukraine

By the end of 2021, all leading independent NGOs and individual human rights activists had been completely suppressed, and all issues deemed inconvenient for the Kremlin had been removed from the agenda of those still operating. This report focuses on the state of Russian civil society at the outset of Russia’s full-scale military invasion of Ukraine, as well as on how it was affected by the war and what are the prospects for its development in the future.

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A War of the Final Soviet Generation: Russia’s Demography, Society, and Aggression Against Ukraine

What is the attitude of Russian society towards the war? If it supports the war, why? These questions started swirling immediately after the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Since then, at least several major opinion polls have been conducted to find answers. However, many experts doubt the validity of those surveys, since the atmosphere of total censorship, repression, and fear strongly affects the sincerity of respondents.

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How Deep Is Russians’ Anti-Western Sentiment?

Polling data shows that Russians are increasingly dissatisfied with the actions of their government. However, judging by many indicators, this discontent is not directly correlated with the growth of pro-Western sentiment in the country. Most Russians still perceive the Western world, and in particular the United States, with some hostility.

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USSR 2.0 Is Failing

On 4 October, the people of Kyrgyzstan went to the polls in parliamentary elections. As a result, four parties came to power, three of them directly related to the country’s incumbent government and declaring pro-Russian policies.

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Putin’s Contracting Matrix

Determined to ensure that in retreat, he imposes the maximum pain on others, Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin is making the most of the increasingly unforgiving constraints of his environment.

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Why Was Alexei Navalnyi Poisoned Now? And Why Was He Handed Over to Germany?

On 20 August, prominent Kremlin critic Alexei Navalnyi collapsed on board a commercial flight, causing it to make an emergency landing in Omsk. Navalnyi’s condition had changed suddenly and violently during the flight and the aircraft captain’s swift decision probably saved his life. His family, friends and supporters immediately—and with good reason—suspected that he had been poisoned.

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The EU Should Be Prepared to Defend the Independence of Belarus

With Belarus rapidly moving towards a post-Lukashenko era, the EU has no credible option but to support Belarusians’ bottom-up demands for democracy. This has geopolitical implications that the EU needs to be prepared to address. Russia is determined to maintain control over Belarus and likely to perceive the EU’s engagement as undesirable if not threatening.

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