November 13, 2015

Whose Russians?

ITAR-TASS / Stanislav Krasilnikov

Who has captured the hearts of Estonia’s Russians? That is the complex question an ICDS research project organised by Riina Kaljurand and Jill Dougherty has attempted to answer, albeit in a slightly more academic way. And the answer is not very straightforward—they might simultaneously support president Vladimir Putin of Russia and be certain that what happened in Ukraine will not be repeated in Estonia. In addition, Riina Kaljurand notes in the first article of this issue, based on the ICDS survey, that there is no causal relationship between our Russians watching Russian TV programmes and the Crimea scenario.

Russia’s own situation might change, too. Putin’s former speechwriter Abbas Gallyamov notes in his interview with Diplomaatia that the Kremlin might turn its attention from foreign policy to domestic issues. “This new strategy could be called ‘putting the house in order’, he says. “Society is convinced that senior officials are completely corrupt—ergo, Putin is beginning fight against this corruption. Criminal cases will be brought and high-profile arrests will follow—especially among high-ranking regional officials.”
Anna Tiido, a doctoral student at the University of Warsaw, writes about the effect of the Polish elections on Poland’s internal politics and foreign policy.
Latin America has not had a prominent position in the Estonian media. Mele Pesti attempts to remedy that by giving an overview of US–Cuban relations, Brazil, Argentina and other states in the region.
“The future of Latin America will be in the hands of the two powerful women of the Southern Cone—Cristina Kirchner and Dilma Rousseff—and depends on the development of the large states they lead,” she writes. “In Argentina, it will be revealed in December whether the 12-year rule of the Kirchner family will continue with a similarly state-centric protectionist president, or a candidate from the business community promising a rapid opening-up of the economy will seize victory. Against the odds, in the first round the Wall Street favourite Mauricio Macri got almost as many votes as Daniel Scioli, endorsed by Kirchner. Another important question is whether Dilma Rousseff can once again grab the reins in Brazil, invigorate the economy and manage to turn the 2016 Summer Olympic Games into an opportunity and growth potential for the country.”
Märt Trasberg from Tulane University and Erkki Bahovski, Editor-in-chief of Diplomaatia, review new books by Mark Blyth and Timothy Snyder, respectively.

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