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Tag: Russia

Kaliningrad’s first million

Although Russia as a whole suffers from a continuous population decrease, Kaliningrad Oblast keeps attracting newcomers. For the first time in its 75 year-long history, the semi-exclave has exceeded one million inhabitants and continues to grow. Yet only the city and its immediate surroundings benefit from this trend.

The Kaliningrad Oblast, which is located on the Baltic Sea between Poland to the south and Lithuania to the north and east, was built on the ruins of the German province of East Prussia together with its capital city, Königsberg. The majority of its population, mostly ethnic Germans, fled in late 1944 and early 1945 as the Soviet Red Army advanced beyond the borders into pre-war Germany and started to encircle the region. The remaining thousands were resettled by the new authorities at the beginning of the 1950s. The repopulation of the region, now under Soviet control, was gradual and slow. By the beginning of the 1980s, the number of inhabitants in Kaliningrad had reached its pre-war levels.

April 7, 2020 - Miłosz Zieliński

20 years of NATO’s flagship Multinational Corps Northeast

An interview with Lieutenant General Sławomir Wojciechowski from NATO’s Multinational Corps Northeast. Interviewer: Jakub Bornio

JAKUB BORNIO: Both the status of the Multinational Corps and the international security environment is very different today from when the corps was created in 1999. How would you assess these changes?

SŁAWOMIR WOJCIECHOWSKI: Preparing for the 20th anniversary of the corps and examining its beginnings, I came across some documents that surprised me. It turned out that even though there has been a changing security dynamic, the unit that I have come to lead (since 2018 – editor’s note) has always had objectives that corresponded to the geographical location, being able to function on a defined area. At the time the threats associated with the region were perceived as very unlikely, and objectives outside of our region seemed more likely. The difference today is that we don’t speak of the same elements that were on the agenda back then, they have been somewhat erased. Today, we only speak of ensuring security for the region.

April 6, 2020 - Jakub Bornio Sławomir Wojciechowski

A peek into the shadows of history and the present

A review of The Shadow in the East. Vladimir Putin and the New Baltic Front. By: Aliide Naylor. Publisher: I.B. Tauris, London, 2020.

April 6, 2020 - Adam Reichardt

A cold relation: Russia, China and science in the Arctic

An interview with researchers Rasmus Gjedssø Bertelsen and Mariia Kobzeva. Interviewer: Mario Giagnorio.

March 25, 2020 - Mariia Kobzeva Mario Giagnorio Rasmus Gjedssø Bertelsen

Russian delegation in PACE: Is it a display of financial diplomacy?

Restoring full membership of the Russian delegation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, one of Europe's key diplomatic platforms, is contradictory to the Council’s democratic traditions.

March 23, 2020 - Anton Naychuk

Dreaming of Tannu-Tuva: Soviet precursors to Russia’s hybrid warfare

The case of Tuva shows that Russia is no novice to hybrid warfare.

March 20, 2020 - Tomasz Kamusella

History as a battleground: What’s next in Russia’s constitutional reform?

Earlier this year, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin proposed a range of sweeping constitutional changes to ensure a favourable power transition scenario for the country’s leadership. The reform would also allow Kremlin-linked historians and policy advisers to introduce an alternative, politically advantageous narrative of the Second World War, as the past takes on increased significance in legitimising the regime.

February 18, 2020 - Anastasiia Starchenko

Talk Eastern Europe Episode 30: A Russian Hangover. Interview with Shaun Walker

In this episode Adam and Maciek catch up with Shaun Walker – a journalist, writer and Guardian correspondent for Central and Eastern Europe.

February 1, 2020 - Adam Reichardt Maciej Makulski

Putin’s ideas for 2024

Vladimir Putin’s push for constitutional changes is likely a way to stay in power. But will they be enough to convince the society which is growing more discontent with the current stagnation?

January 31, 2020 - Agnieszka Legucka

Putin has done nothing to deserve an extended hand from the West

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov visited Washington, DC last December for a meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a visit to the Oval Office with President Donald Trump. This was Lavrov’s second such visit during the Trump administration; his first visit occurred in May 2017, when pictures emerged of him, Trump, and then-Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak, yucking it up in the White House the day after Trump fired the head of the FBI, James Comey.

January 28, 2020 - David J. Kramer

A clash of narratives

In the clash of narratives between Russia and NATO states, Moscow has clearly gained an upper hand. Russian success stems not only from the fact that the Kremlin has been able to send a much clearer and more coherent message than the Alliance, but also because NATO states do not have one narrative, or counter-narrative.
One of the central concerns when analysing international security and its history is how to explain certain events and their impact on international politics. For policy-makers and societies it is crucial to define “who we are” and “what kind of world order we want”. The passing decade has been marked by a return to a crisis between the West and Russia (sometimes referred to as the New Cold War), with conflict over Russian aggression in Ukraine being the most striking example.

January 28, 2020 - Wojciech Michnik

A real game changer in the region

The economic diversification and growing relations with actors other than Russia presents both great opportunities and challenges to the Eastern Partnership states. This includes deepening economic ties with the European Union, but also with China and Turkey. Meanwhile, the outlook for Russia regaining its influence in the region, or at least halting this trend, looks bleak.
In the last few years, several countries participating in the European Union’s Eastern Partnership programme have been working to deepen their economic relationship with the EU, as well as with Turkey and, to a lesser extent, China. These changes in economics will have long term geopolitical consequences. Overall, they come at the expense of Russia’s interest, which remains influential but will be unable to halt the changes with its own economic tools. This is why the Kremlin will try to promote its interests by any means necessary, including force.

January 28, 2020 - Adam Balcer

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