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Tag: Russia

Life under one leader: Kremlin’s relationship with the Russian youth

When a Kremlin spokesman refuted the claim that President Putin is afraid of Alexei Navalny, he failed to mention that the regime nurses an underlying fear of the Russian youth.

February 24, 2021 - Anastasiia Starchenko

Russia is playing with the Open Skies Treaty

The violation of the Treaty on Open Skies is just yet another example of the Russian attitude to international arms control treaties.

February 11, 2021 - Maksym Skrypchenko

Russia in the starting blocks for the 2021 parliamentary election

The 2021 State Duma election will be the most important stress-test for the Russian regime in the run-up to a possible transition of power in the coming years. The Kremlin has responded to real or imagined threats linked to this election with a new wave of highly repressive laws. However, this authoritarian overreaction may backfire, thus confirming the Kremlin’s fears of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Parliamentary elections in Russia are about much more than just window-dressing. They serve to legitimise the authoritarian regime in the eyes of the public as well as verify the efficacy of the state administration machinery. The tangible unease among the Kremlin’s decision-makers, provoked by an unfavourable economic future and a worrisome evolution in the social mood, has accelerated efforts to consolidate authoritarian rule.

February 3, 2021 - Maria Domańska

Andrei Gromyko congratulates Joe Biden

In 2011 Joe Biden, as the US vice president during his visit to Moscow, said to Vladimir Putin: “Mr Prime Minister, I’m looking into your eyes, and I don’t think you have a soul.” Putin replied: “We understand one another”. This anecdote seems to be a prophecy of a rough co-existence without any signs of fondness. Clearly Putin and most of the current Russian political elite are very sceptical towards Biden.

February 3, 2021 - Kuba Benedyczak

International law and the Soviet wild-goose chase

Soviet political proposals from before the war and the legacy of the United Nations established as a result of the Soviet victory over Nazism are often recalled in the Kremlin’s contemporary narratives. Yet, a look at the historical development of the Soviet understanding of international law reveals a chaotic and political, rather than legal, approach.

The 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and the proclamation of the United Nations was a topic intensively exploited by Russian diplomacy which attempted to highlight the Soviet input into the triumph over the Nazis and the creation of an international organisation. The Kremlin’s rhetoric was expressed directly by Vladimir Putin twice last year – once thanks to an article published in The National Interest in June and then, via a speech delivered virtually during the annual summit of the United Nations, in September.

February 3, 2021 - Grzegorz Szymborski

Women’s face of the opposition

The topic of women in protests has not been on the agenda in Russia until the election campaign in Belarus. And then we suddenly saw them – strong, stylish, beautiful, and, most importantly, exuding love not hate.

February 3, 2021 - Yulia Galiamina

The shame of Dagestan

Women’s rights is probably the most controversial topic in Dagestan, Russian’s North Caucasus republic. Svetlana Anokhina, a women’s rights activist and journalist, who had fled the republic after receiving a death threat, now carries on with her work from far away.

In July 2020 Svetlana Anokhnina a women’s rights activist and journalist based in Dagestan, received a telephone death threat as part of a wider “sorting out the feminists” campaign taking place in the republic. This was not the first threat issued to Svetlana but, unlike before, this time the caller tried to reach her by phone several times, making sure she received his message. And he took no effort to hide his own identification. Svetlana tracked the cell phone number and established the name of its owner. She passed this information to the police. After the investigation had been completed, Svetlana hoped that justice would be fast. Yet, soon after the detective set a meeting with the caller, the local police abruptly stopped providing updates on her case.

February 3, 2021 - Anna Efimova

A prayer for peace in Belarus

On December 13th 2020 an ecumenical service was held in Berlin Cathedral to pay tribute to the protesters in Belarus. It was followed by a political debate, which focused on a new European Eastern policy, a new Ostpolitik. Through the organisation of these two events, the churches showed, once again, their eagerness to engage in building bridges for the way to peace and democracy.

February 3, 2021 - Iris Kempe

Russia’s 2021 strategy in its European neighbourhood: The Kremlin’s vision and ‘the game of games’

In these uneasy times of global uncertainty, Russia's European neighbourhood has become an arena for tense competition between the West and its adversary.

February 1, 2021 - Yegor Vasylyev

Navalny and the Solzhenitsyn dilemma

The democratic opposition in Russia is facing difficult questions epitomised by Navalny’s poisoning and arrest. The Kremlin meanwhile, will have to decide between the line of Brezhnev or Khrushchev.

January 20, 2021 - Cyrille Bret

Navalny’s investigative breakthrough fails to sway Russian public opinion

Despite the toxicological evidence and confirmation from the FSB itself that Navalny was poisoned with the use of a Novichok nerve agent, a majority of Russians believe the propaganda of the Kremlin.

January 18, 2021 - Kennedy Lee

After years of animosity, is Russia ready to talk with Lithuania?

In November 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed Moscow was ready to cooperate with Lithuania based on “principles of mutual respect.” But did Putin signal any tangible intentions, or was it just empty rhetoric?

January 7, 2021 - Julius Palaima

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