Russia

Belarus After the Storm: A Time Bomb

With opposition leaders now either imprisoned or fled, president Aleksander Lukashenko of Belarus is facing some tough choices in both the domestic- and foreign-policy theatres. Having lost the support of many Belarusians, infuriating the West and demonstrating weakness to Russia, Lukashenko’s chances of pulling off a peaceful transition of power akin to the “Kazakh scenario” seem challenging.

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Navalny and Russia’s Future

It is unlikely that the protests that followed the arrest of Alexei Navalny on 17 January will overturn the political system that has governed Russia in one form or another since Vladimir Putin became President of the Russian Federation in March 2000. But Russia’s polity is now broken, and it is most unlikely to be repaired until it is replaced.

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Getting by in a Troubled Arctic: The Kingdom of Denmark and the Great Powers

Less than a decade ago, the Arctic region was widely regarded as an extraordinary, peaceful region. Brought about by a combination of a harsh geography incentivising cooperation over conflict and by the commitment of the Arctic countries themselves, the region was hailed in many quarters as exceptional, a place where the traditional rules of power politics had been, if not dismantled, then at least reined in. This is no longer the case.

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Russia Wages Hybrid Warfare and Increases Its Influence in Polarised Georgia

As usual, Russia is trying to benefit from Georgia’s toxic political environment and capitalise on the divisions. It has doubled down on its pressure and blackmail to push the vulnerable country towards formally changing its pro-Western foreign policy course. By undermining its democratic credentials and Western integration, Georgia is naturally sliding towards Russia’s orbit.

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They Only Give Five for Nothing

A grim joke from Soviet times: A Soviet citizen is thrown into jail. “How long is your sentence?” he is asked by his cell mates. “Ten years,” he replies. “For what?” ask the cellmates. “For nothing,” he says. “You liar!” say the cellmates. “They only give five for nothing!”

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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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