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Author: Agnieszka Bryc

Is today’s Russia a “USSR 2.0”? Putin wants us to think so

The West’s lack of inner cohesion, slow reactions and a preference for dialogue provide the Kremlin with a chance to effectively play its own game. Putin surely discovered a long time ago that bluffing and good brinkmanship are enough for the West to do everything to prevent conflict. There is only one condition: it must believe that Putin's Russia is a “USSR 2.0”.

“I think that’s right,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on January 9th when asked by CNN if he agreed that Russian President Vladimir Putin seeks to restore the Soviet Union. “I think that’s one of President Putin’s objectives, and it is to re-exert a sphere of influence over countries that previously were part of the Soviet Union.” This is exactly what the Russian president would like the West to believe. Whilst the head of US diplomacy was making this statement, Russian-American negotiations were about to start in Geneva.

February 15, 2022 - Agnieszka Bryc

Can Israel accept Russia in its backyard?

Military intervention in Syria put Russia in Israel’s neighbourhood starting in 2015. This, on top of the 1.4 million Russian-speaking Jews already living in Israel, has made for an interesting dynamic in Russian-Israeli relations.

For contemporary Israel, Russia is not just a country that is more than three thousand kilometres away: Russia is already in Israel. Having absorbed more than one million “Russian” Jews, Israel is not the same anymore. What is more, the Middle East has, again, become a strategic region for the Kremlin. By intervening in neighbouring Syria, and backing Bashar al-Assad in his struggle to stay in power, Russia has made spectacular inroads into Israeli national security debates.

January 2, 2019 - Agnieszka Bryc

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