Russia

The Collective Putin and the Collective West

The collective Putin, the Russia of grievance, ambition and resentment, was born the day the Soviet Union died. Today, it lives off the creation and harvesting of threats. The crushing of civil society inside Russia and threats to Ukraine are two sides of a coin. Ukraine’s independence and Western security are also two sides of a coin, as Russia’s latest demands confirm.

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Baltic States Must Remain on the Same Frequency in Energy Security

Although the word ‘electricity’ is currently associated primarily with concerns about high prices, the fact that a stable and secure electric power supply is a national security issue essential for the functioning of the whole economy and society must not be overlooked. This is especially true for the Baltic states which continue to be connected to the Russia-managed synchronous electricity system.

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Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation,

Defending the Union. Zapad-2021

The quadrennial exercise, Zapad, often prompts speculation that its real purpose is to provide cover for Russia to build up forces to attack a neighbouring state. This year’s iteration of the exercise took place during a tense period, with NATO-Russia relations at a low point, Russia moving large military units near Ukraine, and Minsk driven closer into Moscow’s embrace.

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Reuters/Scanpix

Zapad-2021—Logistics and Key Fighting Concepts

Between 10–16 September 2021, Russia and its ally Belarus conducted the active phase of the Zapad-2021 command-staff exercise. Zapad tests Russian warfighting capabilities in the Western operational direction and thus it has a strong anti-NATO character. This has always been the case.

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In spring 2020, thawing permafrost caused a fuel storage tank in Norilsk to collapse, releasing 21,000 tons of diesel fuel into a nearby river.

Russia’s Domestic Arctic Agenda

Since the end of President Vladimir Putin’s second term (2004–2008), Moscow has increasingly been looking north. In the West, this has fuelled an alarmist discourse about a ‘race for the Arctic’, but the renewed focus on the Arctic is just as much about domestic development: transforming Moscow’s frozen backyard into a ‘strategic resource base for the 21st century’.

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Russia’s President Demands Ukraine in Exchange for Peace

When, in the context of Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin demands legal guarantees from NATO Allies that the Alliance will not enlarge further east, he is asking for nothing less than a revision of the 1949 Washington Treaty, whose Article 10 stipulates: “The Parties may, by unanimous agreement, invite any other European State in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area to accede to this Treaty.”

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Reuters/Scanpix

NATO, Russia, and the Security Dynamics in the Black Sea

In the last decade, the Black Sea has become a de facto arena for competing and objectively irreconcilable strategic interests, where an opportunistic Russia has unilaterally changed the security architecture and dynamics in the region via not only conventional military means, but also highly sophisticated and hybrid means that have allowed Moscow plausible deniability.

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Between Bad, Worse, and Worst: Europe Faces Tough Tests This Winter

Europe is under growing pressure from the East. First, the dictator of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, after a test run of weaponised waves of migrants against the Lithuanian and Latvian borders over the summer, has now sent not just hundreds but thousands of migrants to breach the borders of the European Union. Kuźnica, on the Polish border, was only the first major attempt; many more are likely to follow to coerce the EU into accepting the regime in Minsk as legitimate and lifting the sanctions.

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