Russia

Diplomacy and Dividends: Who Really Controls the Wagner Group?

Many expected the diplomatic relationship between the Russian Federation and the United States to fray when U.S. forces killed hundreds of Russians assaulting a U.S.-held Syrian outpost in early 2018. Yet, the Kremlin quickly distanced itself from the Russian...

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Russia’s Engagements in Central America

Central America has received little attention in the Russia Federation’s ‘return’ to Latin America. The region’s small population and underdeveloped markets make it relatively uninteresting for a far-off country like Russia. Yet, in recent years, Russia has intensified and...

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Sanctions & Financing: Rosneft’s Global Expansion

This report examines Rosneft’s international operations and its source of financing while under Western sanctions. Intended to disincentivize malign activity, Rosneft, a Russia state-owned oil company led by Vladimir Putin ally Igor Sechin, has responded to sanctions by spearheading...

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Coal Mines, Land Mines and Nuclear Bombs: The Environmental Cost of the War in Eastern Ukraine

The war in eastern Ukraine has raged for five years, killed over 13,000 people, and displaced millions. It has affected Ukraine’s political system, economy, society, and security situation. It has caused a rupture in relations between Russia and the...

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Playing Both Sides: How Oligarchs in Eastern Europe Maintain Power and Control

Geopolitical competition between Russia and the West has polarized politics in the vulnerable lands in between Russia and the European Union, breaking voters and parties into pro-Russia and pro-Western camps. But there is a paradox. In this context of...

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Russia’s Opposition Protests: On the Road from Nowhere to Nowhere

The recent Moscow protests have been seen as yet another turning point in anti-Putin oppositional politics. Nearly every individual who lives in the post-Soviet space can’t help but feel a personal connection to this story. Every new issue, every...

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What Happened at the Severodvinsk Naval Testing Range? Thoughts on the Severodvinsk Radioactive Release and When It Happened Here

What happened on 8 August at Russia’s Severodvinsk Naval Testing Range? That question has preoccupied Western media reports for several days running. This New York Times report is typical:...

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Official List or Blacklist? The UK’s Proposed National Security Block on IPOs and Bonds

The Conservative government of Theresa May confirmed in May 2019 that it was considering introducing a new power to block securities listings that threaten the national security of the United Kingdom. The announcement came on the heels of criticism...

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Putin’s Ill-Advised Embrace of China

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the leaders of post-Soviet Russia faced herculean challenges and fundamental questions of national strategy and direction. Would Russia continue on the Soviet path of hostility toward the West—or would it take a...

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Failaq al-Khamis and Prospects for Peace in Syria

As the battle lines in the Syrian Civil War continue to harden, some opposition forces and communities have chosen to reconcile with the Assad regime rather than prolong a conflict that they cannot win. With Russian assistance, the Assad...

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