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Russia’s Economy: Sanctions, Bailouts, and Austerity

Chris Miller · ·

The news about Russia’s economy keeps getting worse. The IMF predicts that the country’s GDP will shrink by 3 percent in 2015. Other forecasters fear the recession will be even worse. Meanwhile, Russia’s central bank has admitted that inflation might hit 15 percent this year. Unemployment is rising, too. The Kremlin has already spent $100 billion—roughly a fifth of its reserves—fighting the...

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Russian Roubles

Russia’s Quiet Annexation of South Ossetia

Maia Otarashvili · ·

Russia and South Ossetia have ironed out final details of a “Treaty of Alliance and Integration.” The treaty was drafted in December 2014 and on January 31, 2015 Georgian news agencies reported that the leader of South Ossetia, Leonid Tibilov, had sent the finalized document back to Moscow. On February 18th Russia and South Ossetia signed a precursor to this treaty, called the “treaty on the...

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Map of South Ossetia

Seven Problems with John Kerry's Iranian Nuclear Clock

Gary C. Gambill · ·

US Secretary of State John Kerry has repeatedly pledged that the prospective nuclear agreement being hammered out between the P5+1 world powers and Iran will extend the Islamic Republic’s “breakout time” – how quickly it can produce sufficient fissile material for an atomic bomb should it make a rush to build one – from “about two months” to “a minimum of a year.” While U.S. officials have been...

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Nuclear Missiles

Russia's Use of Disinformation in the Ukraine Conflict

John R. Haines · ·

In the vanguard of the non-linear war now raging in eastern Ukraine is an old weapon, disinformation, wielded by an unconventional force.  Exemplifying that force is the hacktivist group, CyberBerkut.  It recently issued an ultimatum to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to end the war in eastern Ukraine that "has plunged the people of Ukraine into an abyss of war, poverty, unemployment and...

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Vladimir Putin - Photo Credit Frederic Legrand - COMEO