Russia

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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Kavkaz-2020 Exercises: A Preliminary Analysis

On 26 September, the five-day strategic exercise Kavkaz-2020, on the Kapustin Yar testing range in the Astrakhan Region, ended, resulting in the defeat of a mock enemy by a coalition made up of forces from Russia, Armenia, Belarus, China, Myanmar and Pakistan. Bringing together some 80,000 troops (according to official Russian information) from all contributing nations, the exercise was the largest training event carried out by Russia in 2020, involving 250 battle tanks, 450 armoured vehicles and 200 artillery pieces.

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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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Integration for the Sake of Salvation

The domestic power base of dictator Alexander Lukashenko is now mostly limited to Belarus’ security structures. Although he is still popular with aged babushkas and dedushkas, who see no reason for or even fear change, Lukashenko can no longer count on blue-collar support from the ‘working collectives’ of the large state-owned factories, or from the younger generations of Belarusians protesting with the white-red-white flags he detests.

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Relations between the West and Russia Need Emergency Care

On 7 September, German doctors treating Alexei Navalny in the Charité hospital in Berlin announced that he had been brought out of an induced coma and taken off mechanical ventilation, emergency treatments he had received in response to his poisoning. Navalny’s condition has improved. He responds to verbal stimuli, but it is too early to assess whether there will be any long-term effects on his health.

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Military Tension Increases in the Baltic Sea Region

On 24 August, the Swedish Armed Forces issued a press release stating that they were stepping up military readiness because of Russian and Western military activity in the Baltic Sea region of an intensity not seen since the Cold War. The press release raised the interest of the media and was reported by various outlets, including the Financial Times and the Washington Post.

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