Russia

Seven Lessons from Latvia a Year After Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

A year has passed since Russia escalated its war against Ukraine to a full-scale invasion. When writing about the first Latvian reactions to the Russian attack, we noted the geographical proximity with both aggressor and victim made Latvians feel...

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China Is Finally Making Progress on the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan Railway

China has struggled to gain support from its Central Asian neighbors to build the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan (CKU) railway since the 1990s. The CKU railway is crucial to China for two interconnected purposes—to advance its geopolitical interests and to secure favorable...

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The Turkish Veto: Why Erdogan Is Blocking Finland and Sweden’s Path to NATO

Finland and Sweden grew closer to Western institutions in the post-Cold War era, and EU accession in 1995 meant that Stockholm and Helsinki finally abandoned their neutrality policies. Both countries remained militarily non-aligned but cooperation with NATO increased through...

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The Middle Corridor through Central Asia: Trade and Influence Ambitions

The “Middle Corridor”—a loosely defined trade route that spans the Central Asian steppe, the Caspian Sea, and the Caucasus mountains—has both engendered excitement and disappointment for almost two decades. Also known as the China-Central Asia-West Asia Corridor, it links...

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Moscow’s Mind Games: Finding Ideology in Putin’s Russia

Americans tend to view ideology with suspicion. In fact, one scholar proclaimed that ideology had “ended.” Despite this dismissiveness, ideology keeps coming back in political discourse on both sides of the Atlantic. Moreover, recent advances in political psychology have...

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Russia Is Down, But Not Out, in Central Asia

Russian President Vladimir Putin has long seen Central Asia as Russia’s “most stable region.” He has regularly exerted influence and political pressure over its leaders. However, after decades of stability, the last year has seen Russia’s influence in Central...

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The Confrontation with Russia and US Grand Strategy

Over the past year, two understated but dramatic shifts in US strategy have taken place: the United States no longer seeks to prioritize cooperation with Russia and no longer expects to forestall greater Russia-China cooperation. Support for Ukraine becomes...

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Putin the Green? The Unintended Consequences of Russia’s Energy War on Europe

  After Russia’s February 24, 2022, re-invasion of Ukraine, all eyes turned to the brutal spectacle of Europe’s largest war since 1945. Yet, Russia’s ill-fated attempt to assert its sphere of influence in Europe has not been confined to...

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Tanks a Lot (Well, Actually Not That Many for Ukraine)

The decision by Western countries to send tanks to Ukraine is a welcome one, but tanks—at least in their current numbers—will not change the course of the war. Nevertheless, the decision represents increasing Western confidence in Ukraine, and an...

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Wagner Group Redefined: Threats and Responses

Who, what, and where is Wagner Group today? Once a Kremlin asset used exclusively in Africa and Syria, the mercenary group redeployed most of its forces to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Wagner Group has changed irrevocably since the...

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