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Tag: Russia

Gold must not become Russia’s anti-sanction silver bullet

Despite being the most sanctioned country in the world, Russia keeps successfully circumventing these restrictions. Among all of its economic options, gold is helping it to do so.

May 8, 2024 - Lesia Dubenko

Why the “Russian law” is so dangerous for Georgia

There is an apparent attempt to distance Georgia from the geopolitical area which is supported by the vast majority of Georgians and put this Eastern European country in isolation under the claws of Russia. The stakes could not be higher.

May 5, 2024 - Grigol Julukhidze Mariam Gubievi

When will a different future seem possible for Russia?

As Russia continues to adapt to its new isolated existence, it appears that nothing will change in the country’s domestic politics. Despite this, history has shown that opportunities to challenge Moscow’s seemingly impenetrable status quo can and will eventually appear.

April 26, 2024 - James C. Pearce

“The Devils” and Putin: a Dostoevskian reflection

Moscow’s brutal actions in Ukraine and at home offer an insight into a country struggling with conceptions of morality. Indeed, Putin’s Russia now appears to be gripped by a nihilism described in detail by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Amid such uncertainties, it is almost impossible to predict the country’s future.

April 23, 2024 - Serghei Sadohin

The “Deceased Hope”: on the death of Alexei Navalny

Boris Nemtsov, the indomitable Russian regime critic, died on February 27th 2015 after a pernicious assault on his life, yet the Putin regime survived his violent death almost unscathed. Will Alexei Navalny's untimely death also pass by without any serious consequences for Russia's ruling establishment?

April 12, 2024 - Leonid Luks

Is Abkhazia being absorbed by Russia?

After the August 2008 war between Russia and Georgia, Moscow recognized the independence of the separatist regions of Georgia – Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region. After the recognition, Moscow pursued relations with both regions, which Georgia considers to be occupied by Russia, as those with equal states. Moscow took into account the sentiments of the local population and the political elite in the occupied regions, especially in Abkhazia, and refrained from intense pressure. However, after the start of Russia's full-scale military aggression in Ukraine in 2022, Moscow's attitude has changed.

Before the August 2008 war, Moscow formally recognized the territorial integrity of Georgia and refrained from relations with the separatist regions at the official level. It was only after the August war when the situation changed. Russia recognized the independence of both regions, after which Moscow's influence over Sokhumi (the capital of occupied Abkhazia) and Tskhinvali (the capital of the occupied Tskhinvali region) increased in all directions. In particular, the fourth and seventh military bases of the Russian defence ministry and Federal Security Service’s border service were established to ensure the security of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region. The budget and economic life of the occupied regions are also completely dependent on Russia.

April 11, 2024 - Mamuka Komakhia

Constant escape – how women live in Khurcha, near the occupation line

The war in Abkhazia began in August 1992 and lasted for 13 months. By the end of the war, Georgia had 300,000 internally displaced people. Today, Abkhazia is recognized as occupied and the Russian occupation army is stationed there. The people living on both sides of the de facto dividing line are friends and relatives, but now they cannot meet or rarely manage to see each other, as Eliso Shamatava explains through her experiences.

“Eighty-five families live in the village of Khurcha. At least one person from almost each household has emigrated. My son is also gone. He took a gap year at the university and left to work in Poland. We, women living along the dividing line, work. But when we want to sell produce at the Zugdidi market, we are not allowed to take it with us on the municipal bus. We have to hire a taxi. This is how we live here,” says 52-year-old Eliso Shamatava from Khurcha in Georgia, who tells us about the specifics of living along the administrative boundary line.

April 11, 2024 - Manana Kveliashvili

Henry Kissinger’s legacy and European geopolitics

With its assertiveness, Russia persistently pursues its unjustifiable goals through various means, reminiscent of Henry Kissinger's theories on power politics. However, despite great effort, Russia's track record of significant victories on the battlefield remains lacking. This presents an opportune moment for Europe and the broader western world to assert their dominance.

On November 29th 2023, a brilliant statesman, celebrity diplomat, exponent of power politics and influential scholar passed away at his home in Connecticut. Henry Kissinger, the former US secretary of state, had advised dozens of policymakers during his outstanding long career. His legacy is assessed on a rather bittersweet note due to Kissinger’s realpolitik style of understanding global affairs. The notorious Nobel Peace Prize winner remains a controversial figure in rethinking power and strategy in philosophical and even existential terms.

April 11, 2024 - Erekle Iantbelidze

Another Russia is possible

When Putin is finally gone, a majority of the elite and population will want Russia to return to Europe. Europe should facilitate that. There is a massive generational shift currently underway in Russia. These people are open to the outside world, western culture and are independent of the Russian state and Soviet ideology. That shift is closer than people think and the world needs to be ready. That is where the next battle will take place and it is one the West could lose.

On an alcohol-fuelled Zoom catch up, my friends and I put the world to rights. The usual suspects came up: sports, holidays, our kids, women and politics. Before we knew it, the conversation turned to the elephant in the room: the war. Eyebrows were raised, deep breaths exhaled and shoulders shrugged. A couple of heads were scratched. What more can we say? How much guilt should we feel for something we did not personally choose, support or want? We abruptly moved on, but exactly one week later Russian forces recaptured Avdiivka. They had the wind in their backs.

April 11, 2024 - Jesse Sokolov

Winter is a constant struggle for survival. On the Avdiivka front, the challenges faced by Ukrainian paramedics in the cold

The second winter of Russia’s war against Ukraine is much harsher than the last, with temperatures sometimes nearing minus 20 degrees centigrade. Yet, the low temperatures do not change the intensity of the combat. The Russians waited for the deep cold and the ground to solidify to launch new offensives, including in Avdiivka, where volunteer combat medics attempt to evacuate and save the lives of wounded Ukrainian soldiers.

In Donetsk Oblast, the purplish-blue flashing lights of an armoured 4x4 turned ambulance tear through the thickness of the night. On the battered asphalt, fires sketch reddish stains. Fog covers the ground, and Oleh Kyrsa, 32, the ambulance driver, presses on the accelerator. The night is calm and the vehicle, noiselessly, makes its way up the M030 road connecting the Bakhmut sector to the city of Sloviansk. Earlier in the day, Ukrainian forces had stopped a new Russian assault. "It's just another day," Oleh smiles, without taking his eyes off the road.

April 11, 2024 - Joseph Roche

Who are the Russians fighting on the side of Ukraine

After Russia invaded Ukraine, around a million Russians left the country and moved abroad, fearing mobilization or in protest against the war. While most of the new exiles are involved in different types of political or social activism, a small minority has decided to take up arms against their own people. They have organized into battalions fighting on the side of Ukraine.

In mid-March this year, Russians in the Belgorod and Kursk regions took to the polls to vote for their president to the tune of shots and explosions. Just days before the election, the two regions bordering Ukraine fell under relentless attack from Ukraine-based Russian military units. This was the third time that Russian citizens fighting under the command of GUR – Ukraine’s military intelligence unit – had made an incursion into their homeland following the Bryansk and Belgorod raids in March and May last year, respectively.

April 11, 2024 - Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska

Six obstacles for a negotiated settlement between Kyiv and Moscow

Recent months have seen an increase in discussions concerning possible negotiations between Ukraine and Russia. Despite this, many deep-rooted issues will likely make any discussions futile in the current circumstances. The West must subsequently help Kyiv gain the greatest leverage possible on the battlefield for any kind of negotiated resolution in the future.

March 14, 2024 - Andreas Umland

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