June 20, 2018 - Maxim van Asseldonk
October 31, 2017 - Mariya Y. Omelicheva
The assassination of Boris Nemtsov in front of the Kremlin on February 27th 2015 marked the first time since the execution of Lavrentiy Beria in 1953 that a viable contender for Russian power was summarily eliminated. By the time Brezhnev forcibly ousted Khrushchev from power in 1964, the Soviet elite had tacitly agreed that power struggles between them would not result in murder; Khrushchev died eight years later, with a pension. Since 1953, the Russian political elite who came to power through illiberal and undemocratic means did not generally purge the allies of their predecessors for fear that the same would be done to them if and when they were succeeded. Perhaps, whoever ordered the assassination of Boris Nemtsov harbours no such fears.
May 31, 2017 - Naphtali Rivkin
Elections in Belarus do not typically leave much room for surprise. In the fully-fledged autocracy that the country has become since the 1994 ascent to power of Alexander Lukashenka, no ballot has been left to chance. Instead, votes have followed an ever-more refined script that is aimed exclusively at affirming the rule of the country’s strongman and the vertical of power, on which his reign rests. This electoral parody, naturally, has been regularly decried as neither free nor fair by domestic and international monitors. And it has only been consequent that Western leaders and institutions have long denied the “elected” Belarusian leadership the recognition that comes with a democratic mandate.
September 28, 2016 - Joerg Forbrig
After years of rapid economic growth, bold policymaking and shrewd business tactics, China has become a global player. With its business interests expanding at every opportunity, China’s power now rivals that of the United States. In Eastern Europe, China’s strategic engagement is focused on Ukraine.
September 9, 2016 - Olga Oleinikova