Locations

Russia

Select a country in the map above or list below to find relevant staff, as well as publications, projects, news or events relevant to that region.

People

Pavel K. Baev

Pavel K. Baev

Research Professor

Sven Gunnar Simonsen

Sven Gunnar Simonsen

Senior Researcher

Publications

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Baev, Pavel K. & Stein Tønnesson (2015) Can Russia keep its special ties with Vietnam while moving closer and closer to China?, International Area Studies Review 18(3): 312–325.
Gürel, Ayla & Harry Tzimitras (2015) Beyond Energy: Remarks about the Direction of Turkish-Russian Relations and Their Implications for the Cyprus Problem, Euxeinos: Governance and Culture in the Black Sea Region(18): 28–38.
Baev, Pavel K. (2015) Russia as Opportunist or Spoiler in the Middle East?, The International Spectator: Italian Journal of International Affairs 50(2): 8–21.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) Russia's Arctic Ambitions and Anxieties, Current history (1941) 112(756): 265–270.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) Russia's muddled ambitions, The World Today 69(4): 26–26.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) Sovereignty is the Key to Russia's Arctic Policy, Strategic Analysis 37(4): 489–493.
Baev, Pavel K. (2012) How Afghanistan Was Broken: The Disaster of the Soviet Intervention, International Area Studies Review 15(3): 249–262.
Baev, Pavel K. (2012) Russian Energy as a Challenge and a Bonus for European Security, Studia Diplomatica 64(1): 91–100.
Simonsen, Sven Gunnar (2003) Presidenter og demokrater i Russland [Presidents and Democrats in Russia], Internasjonal Politikk 61(1): 77–91.
Simonsen, Sven Gunnar (2001) Nationalism in the Russian political spectrum: Locating and evaluating the extremes, Journal of Political Ideologies 6(3): 263–288.
Simonsen, Sven Gunnar (2000) Putin's Leadership Style: Ethnocentric Patriotism, Security Dialogue 31(3): 377–380.
Simonsen, Sven Gunnar (1999) Inheriting the Soviet Policy Toolbox: Russia's Dilemma Over Ascriptive Nationality, Europe-Asia Studies 51(6): 1069–87.
Simonsen, Sven Gunnar (1995) Mangesidig opposisjon mobiliserer mot Jeltsin [A Varied Opposition Mobilizes against Jeltsin], Internasjonal Politikk 53(4): 483–499.

PhD Thesis

Monograph

Simonsen, Sven Gunnar (1996) Politics and Personalities: Key Actors in the Russian Opposition. Oslo: PRIO. PRIO Report.

Book Chapter

Baev, Pavel K. (2015) The Conflict of War and Politics in the Soviet Intervention into Afghanistan, 1979-1989, in Gates, Scott; & Kaushik Roy, eds, War and State-Building In Afghanistan: Historical and Modern Perspectives. London: Bloomsbury (113–130).
Baev, Pavel K. (2015) Russia Gambles on Resource Scarcity: Energy Intrigues in a Time of Political Crisis, in Steven, David ; Emily O'Brien; & Bruce Jones, eds, The New Politics of Strategic Resources: Energy and Food Security Challenges In the 21St Century. Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press (245–260).

Non-refereed Journal Article

Baev, Pavel K. (2014) Russia and Turkey find a common course in confronting the specter of revolution, Turkish Policy Quarterly 12(4): 45–53.
Baev, Pavel K. (2011) Global Insider: Russia-Norway Relations, World Politics Review.

Popular Article

Tunander, Ola (2015) Brevet til Jeltsin [The letter to Jeltsin], Ny Tid, 16 December.
Baev, Pavel K. (2015) Dubious Outcomes of Kerry’s Meeting With Putin in Sochi, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 19 May.
Baev, Pavel K. (2015) After the swaggering celebration, a "Now what?" moment for Russia, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 11 May.
Baev, Pavel K. (2015) Putin's political pause amid national mobilization, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 4 May.
Baev, Pavel K. (2015) Gazprom must compromise on EU charges, but Putin cannot, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 27 April.
Baev, Pavel K. (2015) Russia needs a Middle east crisis, Order from Chaos, 22 April.
Baev, Pavel K. (2015) The faltering Russian economy makes a renewed Ukraine offensive more likely, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 20 April.
Baev, Pavel K. (2015) Iranian deal leaves Russia in deeper isolation, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 6 April.
Baev, Pavel K. (2015) Putin's conveniently imperfect memory, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 30 March.
Baev, Pavel K. (2015) Putin's disappearing act may be a sign of leadership crisis, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 16 March.
Baev, Pavel K. (2015) Free rein of special services makes Russia ungovernable, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 9 March.
Baev, Pavel K. (2015) Murder that revealed truth, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 2 March.
Baev, Pavel K. (2015) Diplomacy delivers another pause for struggling Ukraine and sinking Russia, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 9 February.
Baev, Pavel K. (2015) Russia makes haste in severing ties with Europe, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 2 February.
Baev, Pavel K. (2015) Futile Hope for the Dubious Summit in Astana, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 12 January.
Baev, Pavel K. (2015) Russia enters new year mired in troubles, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 5 January.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) Putin’s Ukrainian Triumph Is a Major Setback for Russia, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 25 November.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) Iran’s New Flexibility Exposes Russia’s Arrogance and Irrelevance, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 11 November.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) Lawlessness as the Central Pillar of Putin’s Authority, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 4 November.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) Moscow Becomes an Intersection for Two Waves of Anti-Regime Protests, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 21 October.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) Putin’s Valdai Vision and Sochi Olympics Preparations Underscore Failure, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 16 October.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) Putin in Denial About Economic Stagnation, and in a Rage About Arctic Sovereignty, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 7 October.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) Putin’s Machine of Repression Destroying the Legitimacy of His Regime, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 30 September.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) Putin Tries to Build on the Success of His Syrian Coup, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 16 September.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) Neither the G20 Summit, Nor the Moscow Elections Went According to Putin’s Script, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 9 September.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) The Policy of Procrastination Expires at the Junction of Russia’s Crises, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 4 September.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) Problem-Rich Context for the Obama-Putin Non-Summit, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 12 August.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) Xenophobia Becomes a Thorn for Putin’s Bubble, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 5 August.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) Local Politics in Moscow Goes Global, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 29 July.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) Navalny Becomes Only Real Thing in Fake Russian Politics, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 22 July.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) The Disappearing Sense of Talking to Putin, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 15 July.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) The Issue of Neutrality in Putin’s Russia, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 8 July.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) Russian Economy Stagnates and Simulates Success on the Wane of Putin’s Watch, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 24 June.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) Stalin’s Shadow over the Post-Reset Meeting Between Putin and Obama, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 17 June.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) Turkish Turmoil Adds Unpredictability to Putin’s Creeping Coup, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 10 June.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) Russia’s Predicament and the Plight of One Economist, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 3 June.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) The Spy Story: An Episode in Russia’s Confusion, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 20 May.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) What Surkov’s Ousting Signifies About Russia’s Course in Syria, What Surkov’s Ousting Signifies About Russia’s Course in Syria, 13 May.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) Radicalization and Simulation Intertwine in Putin’s Russia, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 22 April.
Baev, Pavel K. (2011) Moscow Strenghtenes its Stance against the Arab Revolutions, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 2 May.
Baev, Pavel K. (2010) Russian Foreign Policy Takes a Sensible Course on Iran and in the Arctic, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 27 September.
Baev, Pavel K. (2000) Putin's Honeymoon Coming to the End, Johnson's Russia List, 17 February.

PRIO Report

Gürel, Ayla; Harry Tzimitras; & Hubert Faustmann, eds, (2016) Global Energy Debates and the Eastern Mediterranean, PRIO Cyprus Centre Report, 1. Cyprus: PRIO Cyprus Centre.

Conference Paper

Baev, Pavel K. (2005) Turning Counter-Terrorism into Counter-Revolution: Russia Focuses on Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, presented at VII World Congress of the International Council for Central and East European Studies (ICCEES), Berlin, 25–28 July.

PRIO Policy Brief

Brattvoll, Joakim (2016) Is Russia Back in Afghanistan?, PRIO Policy Brief, 4. Oslo: PRIO.
Baev, Pavel K. (2015) Partnership of Contrarians, PRIO Policy Brief, 2. Oslo: PRIO.
Baev, Pavel K. (2013) Russia and Turkey in conflict (mis)management in the Caucasus, PRIO Policy Brief, 6. Oslo: PRIO.
Mikhelidze, Nona (2013) Opening the Russian–Georgian railway link through Abkhazia, CORE Policy Brief, 5. Oslo: PRIO.

Report - External Series

Baev, Pavel K. (2014) Upgradina Russia's quasi-strategic pseudo-partnership with China, PONARS Eurasia , 337. Washington DC: George Washington University, Elliot School of International Affairs.
Baev, Pavel K. (2015) Could Russia become a serious spoiler in the Middle East?, PONARS Eurasia: Policy Memo, 359. Washington DC: George Washington University.

News

Blog Posts

Turkey’s Turn Toward Russia

Posted by Pinar Tank on Monday, 29 May 2017

Despite tensions over Syria, Turkey is increasingly turning to Russia to secure its foreign and domestic policy needs. Though anticipated, the May 9 announcement by the Donald Trump administration that the United States would arm fighters of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in preparation for an advance on the ... Read more »

Remembering Boris Nemtsov – and Reflecting upon Russian History

Posted by Pavel Baev on Thursday, 2 March 2017

Five years ago, Boris Nemtsov, one of the leaders of Russian liberal opposition, visited Oslo and made his cause for several audiences, who now remember his passion and joy. There is indeed much to reflect upon in this recent Russian history – and in its older pages as well. One ... Read more »

The Munich Security Conference Focuses on Russia - and Reflects on Putin's Speech 10 Years Ago

Posted by Pavel Baev on Wednesday, 15 February 2017

The annual Munich Security Conference will take place later this week (February 17–19) with many prominent speakers, including Dan Smith, former PRIO director and presently SIPRI Director. It was ten years ago at this forum that President Vladimir Putin delivered a famous speech detailing Russia’s deep dissatisfaction with the world ... Read more »

What This Election Means for US Foreign Policy

Posted by Pavel Baev on Friday, 11 November 2016

The resonance of this U.S. election campaign is truly enormous, in every corner of the world. But despite much disgust about the mudslinging, it is not necessarily all that negative. Observers everywhere may be astounded that a candidate so arrogantly ignorant in international affairs could gather so much support, but ... Read more »

Russia Underperforms at Pivoting

Posted by Pavel Baev on Friday, 2 September 2016

Vladivostok, which had an expensive facelift for the 2012 APEC summit, will this week host the Eastern Economic Forum, and President Vladimir Putin is due to preside over the proceedings. His goal is to reassert Russia’s commitment to playing a major role in Asia-Pacific geopolitics and to reinvigorate business ties ... Read more »

Putin's Trip to Beijing Yields few Fruits, if any

Posted by Pavel Baev on Thursday, 30 June 2016

Expectations regarding President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Beijing on Saturday (June 25) had been rather subdued, and the modest results were mostly immaterial. Last year, the two leaders grandiosely celebrated their countries’ World War II victory over the Axis powers; and in 2014, they announced a great increase in economic ... Read more »

Russia is showing uncharacteristic prudence - Why, and will it last?

Posted by Pavel Baev on Monday, 6 June 2016

With the NATO summit in Warsaw coming up in July, the rhetoric in many Western quarters is becoming shriller about the need to contain Russian aggression. There are good reasons for concern about Russia’s intentions and capabilities, as elaborated at the recent Lennart Meri conference in Tallinn. But in the last ... Read more »

The Precarious China-Russia Partnership Erodes Security in East Asia

Posted by Pavel Baev on Friday, 22 April 2016

With the explosion of the Ukraine crisis in spring 2014, Russia made a determined effort to upgrade its strategic partnership with China and achieved instant success. Large-scale economic contracts were signed in a matter of a few months, and the military parades in Moscow and Beijing in respectively May and ... Read more »

Ceasefire as a Fig Leaf for Carnage and Confusion

Posted by Pavel Baev on Thursday, 25 February 2016

Just a couple of weeks ago, Aleppo was seen as a crucial battlefield in the Syrian civil war and was compared with Sarajevo as a tragedy of intolerable proportions not only by hard-hitting journalists but also by such responsible politicians as Michael Fallon, UK Defence Secretary. Yet presently, this devastated ... Read more »

Unfriended: How Russia's Syria Quagmire is Costing it Middle Eastern Allies

Posted by Pavel Baev on Friday, 8 January 2016

At a time when most Russians were taking a long break from politics until after the Orthodox Christmas on January 7, there has been no respite in Russia’s air operations in Syria, nor in the quarrel with Turkey. Rather than focus on the bread-and-butter issues of making ends meet, Russian ... Read more »

Russian Strategy Seeks to Defy Economic Decline with Military Bravado

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 5 January 2016

President Vladimir Putin concluded 2015 with the approval of a revised National Security Strategy, which defines the strengthening of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as a threat and commits to countering it by securing the unity of Russian society and by building up the country’s defense capabilities. In the ... Read more »

Russia Breaks the Partnership with Turkey – but Builds a New One with Iran

Posted by Pavel Baev & Joakim Brattvoll on Thursday, 26 November 2015

De-escalation of the crisis between Russia and Turkey, caused by the first ever air fight between them resulting in a destruction of a Russian Su-24, has suddenly become the hottest issue in global affairs. What has been overshadowed by this clash of military missions and political ambitions is the strengthening ... Read more »

What is the Russian Military good for?

Posted by Pavel Baev on Thursday, 5 November 2015

The Russian military intervention in Syria—launched in a great rush just over a month ago — came as a surprise; perhaps not as shocking as the swift occupation and annexation of Crimea, but a surprise nevertheless. But does Russia’s ability to surprise and to project force in Syria prove, as ... Read more »

Russia's Syrian Entanglement: Can the West Sit Back and Watch?

Posted by Pavel Baev on Saturday, 10 October 2015

For observers who are confined by the boundaries of conventional strategic sense, every day of Russia’s military intervention in Syria brings fresh surprises. Indiscriminate strikes against Turkey-backed and CIA-trained opposition groups (which could not possibly be mistaken for ISIS) were followed by deliberate violations of Turkey’s airspace, and then by ... Read more »

How Russia and America make the same mistakes in Syria

Posted by Pavel Baev on Monday, 21 September 2015

Russia’s apparent escalation in Syria is less dramatic than it seems, but it still represents another depressing development in the ongoing nightmare of the Syrian civil war. While it appears no Russian troops are engaged in fighting, the volume of military cargo delivered from Russia to Syria by sea and ... Read more »

World War II Becomes a Chinese War

Posted by Stein Tønnesson on Thursday, 3 September 2015

70 years ago, Japan signed an agreement of formal surrender on an American warship in Tokyo Bay. The anniversary of this event will be marked in Beijing today, September 3rd by a massive military parade in which Chinese and Russian soldiers march together. President Xi Jinping’s most important guest during ... Read more »

Putin's Pivot to Asia: Profit-Free, but Problem-Rich

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The bilateral meeting in Beijing will be demonstratively cordial but loaded with mutual disappointment. Putin cannot fail to see that his hopes for harvesting rich dividends from closer Russian ties with China have failed to materialize and delivered him to a position of one-sided dependency. Xi, meanwhile, has few doubts ... Read more »

Russia’s Reputation Sinks Precipitously in International Opinion Polls

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Seven years ago, Russia launched its week-long war with Georgia. And what seemed then a victory can now be recognized as one of the worst August disasters in Russian history. On the one hand, it is true that the war generated a moment of national unity, which was deeply false ... Read more »

Russia Insists on own Impunity, Gains Pariah Status

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Exactly 40 years ago, the Soviet Union signed the Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), accepting commitments to respect the norms of international behavior and to observe the standards of human rights. The Kremlin had, in fact, no intention to relax domestic pressure ... Read more »

How Long can Putin Continue doing Nothing?

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Putin has always preferred to postpone decisions until the last possible moment and to keep his lieutenants and international counterparts in the dark about his intentions. This summer, however, he is arguably wasting time and maneuvering himself into a corner, from which the only escape will be jumping into another ... Read more »

The China Factor in Russian Support for the Iran Deal

Posted by Pavel Baev on Wednesday, 22 July 2015

The United States needed Russian support to conclude the Iranian nuclear deal. As U.S. President Barack Obama acknowledged, “we would have not achieved this agreement had it not been for Russia’s willingness to stick with us.” But with U.S.-Russian relations at their lowest point since the end of the Cold ... Read more »

The Air Tragedy that Condemns Putin's Russia

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 21 July 2015

It was a year ago last Friday (July 17) that the Boeing 777 Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down by a missile over eastern Ukraine, resulting in a loss of 298 lives. The shock of that tragedy awakened Europe and the wider global ... Read more »

Putin Flexes Diplomatic Muscles on Iran

Posted by Pavel Baev on Friday, 17 July 2015

“Russia has been rather ambivalent about striking the deal, not because it is worried about the Iranian nuclear program, but because it is worried about the Iranian oil,” said Pavel K. Baev, a researcher at the Peace Research Institute in Oslo. Mr. Baev noted that at several crucial points in ... Read more »

Greek Agreement and Iranian Deal leave Russia Disappointed and Irrelevant

Posted by Pavel Baev on Wednesday, 15 July 2015

It was a rare coincidence in world politics that two pivotal and protracted negotiation processes—the European Union’s talks with Greece on managing its debt, and the “P5+1” talks on managing the Iranian nuclear program—both culminated in crucial agreements at the start of this week (July 13–14). Russia was a party ... Read more »

Greece’s Russian Fantasy; Russia’s European Delusion

Posted by Pavel Baev on Friday, 10 July 2015

The striking outcome of this Sunday’s Greek referendum is that the collective attitude departed so decisively from common sense. The question on the ballot was convoluted, but the voters were well-informed about the EU’s demands. Having spent a week lining up at ATMs, Greeks grasped the reality of the coming ... Read more »

Celebrating Russia Day, the country finds itself with no future

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 16 June 2015

The pattern of brinksmanship, in which air incidents in the Baltic theater interplay with tank and artillery engagements in the Donbas war zone, is so obviously detrimental to Russia’s interests that a determined effort at breaking it appears inevitable. Western leaders focus on measures for containing Russia, expecting that the ... Read more »

Aborted Offensive in Donbass on the Eve of the G7 Summit

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 9 June 2015

The swiftly terminated rebel attack on Maryinka was probably meant to be Putin’s “warning shot” to the Western leaders. But he only succeeded in reminding them about the near certainty (rather than risk) of a summer spasm in the “hybrid war.” While the Russian battalions concentrated in the war zone ... Read more »

Weakening Russia Curtails Access to Publicly Available Information

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 2 June 2015

These attempts at curtailing the flow of information and persecuting the disseminators of politically undesirable news (including bloggers) might appear old-fashioned and inspired by Soviet-era KGB practices, which are held dear by Putin and his henchmen. They are, nevertheless, more effective than the spread of Internet-based social networks would suggest—and ... Read more »

Putin's Political Pause Amid National Mobilization

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 5 May 2015

The focal point for the “patriotic” propaganda for the last several months has been the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory in the Great Patriotic War (as World War II is known in Russia), which is now just a few days away. Reflections on the horrible ... Read more »

Beware of Putin Talking Shop

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 21 April 2015

“Boring” is perhaps the prevalent impression of President Vladimir Putin’s televised four-hour-long Q & A session that aired last Thursday (April 16), which was meant to demonstrate his good health and relaxed attitude to the great many problems worrying his loyal subjects…. […] Typically, such commentary by high officials is ... Read more »

Apocalypse a Bit Later: The Meaning of Putin’s Nuclear Threats

Posted by Pavel Baev on Wednesday, 8 April 2015

The words that Russian President Vladimir Putin chose for describing the nuclear angle of the special operation for seizing and annexing Crimea in March 2014, might appear so odd that it is well-nigh impossible to make sense of them. “Yes, we were ready,” he said to the question about whether ... Read more »

Iranian Deal leaves Russia in Deeper Isolation

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 7 April 2015

While Iran appears to be recognizing the need to reform its domestic politics and change its attitude toward the West, Russia is turning into a massively corrupt police state and is apparently thriving in the atmosphere of confrontation. The contrast between these two regimes has become strikingly sharp as nuclear ... Read more »

Two Summits and a Military Exercise

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 24 March 2015

While Putin may believe in his own infallibility, his courtiers have to persist in reassuring him about the fragility of Western unity. Just another push and a couple more bribes, they argue, will convince some North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members that Narva or Spitsbergen are not worth fighting for, ... Read more »

Putin's Disappearing Act is a Sign of Leadership Crisis

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Since the Ukraine crisis exploded a year ago, Putin’s system of power has rigidified into a uni-centric combination of a police state, kleptocracy and “propagandocracy” (if such a word could be invented), in which no transition of authority can be planned or envisaged. His recent poorly camouflaged and worse explained ... Read more »

Free Rein of Special Services makes Russia Ungovernable

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 10 March 2015

It took a week for the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) to produce a pair of plausible suspects in the shocking murder of Boris Nemtsov on February 28. Last Saturday (March 7), FSB Director Aleksandr Bortnikov reported to President Vladimir Putin that two men implicated in the crime were under ... Read more »

Murder that Revealed Truth

Posted by Pavel Baev on Friday, 6 March 2015

As days go by, the pain and shock from the news about Boris Nemtsov murder are turning into sad reflections on Russia’s predicament, and my bottom line goes as following: Nemtsov was a voice in the wilderness of Russian propaganda and self-deception. And his murder has cut away multiple layers of ... Read more »

Paving the Road to Democracy or Unleashing Big Brother? The Internet under Dictatorships

Posted by Espen Geelmuyden Rød on Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Today almost half of China’s 1.3 billion inhabitants are online, along with 85 million Russians and 17 million Saudis. The proportion of people with Internet access in these countries will soon be comparable to that of the United States, Germany and Japan. But what are the political consequences of allowing ... Read more »

Can Putin trust China?

Posted by Stein Tønnesson on Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The Ukraine crisis has made Russia more dependent on China. Putin is popular in Beijing, and Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are the best of friends. But can China save Russia from its crisis? 70 years ago, from 4-11 February 1945, Josef Stalin received US president Franklin D. Roosevelt, ... Read more »

Partnership of Contrarians

Posted by Pavel Baev on Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Russia connects with Turkey seeking opportunities in the Middle East. Violent conflicts in the Middle East gained new momentum in 2014, and the forceful multilateral efforts to contain them yielded far from satisfactory results. Both Russia and Turkey have remained aloof from these efforts, and often oppose US-led endeavors but ... Read more »

Diplomacy Delivers Another Pause for Struggling Ukraine and Sinking Russia

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 10 February 2015

The week of February 2 registered an explosion in political intrigue around the war in eastern Ukraine, and some sort of pause in hostilities is likely to ensue. Undoubtedly, this is a positive development, but it would be an overstatement to describe the late-night talks in the Kremlin between President ... Read more »

Russia Makes Haste in Severing Ties with Europe

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Russia has achieved much success last week in its rush toward self-isolation, and perhaps the most demonstrative step was made in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). Sergei Naryshkin, the Chairman of the State Duma, came to Strasbourg as the head of the Russian delegation expecting to ... Read more »

Amid Mounting Domestic Troubles, Putin Tries to Regain Initiative in Eastern Ukraine

Posted by Pavel Baev on Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The sharp escalation of hostilities in eastern Ukraine last week (January 22) has disheartened many in Europe who had hoped for a gradual resolution of the Ukraine conflict. On the other hand, it has been a welcome return to the path of victory for many in Russia who consume or ... Read more »

Futile Hopes for the Dubious Summit in Astana

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Despite the apparent deadlock in armed clashes in eastern Ukraine, an idea to bringing together the presidents of Russia and Ukraine, together with their peers from Belarus and Kazakhstan as well as the leaders of France and Germany, gained momentum at the end of last week. Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev ... Read more »

Russia Enters New Year Mired in Troubles

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 6 January 2015

The post–New Year holidays in Russia have brought less joy or happy expectations than usual to the country’s elites, the urban middle classes and even to Russia’s millions of labor migrants. Over the past 15 years, all these groups shared in the country’s prosperity, which had grown steadily since President ... Read more »

With Ukraine going strong, Putin becomes lost in the fog of hybrid war

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Last weekend (November 21), Ukraine marked the first anniversary of the EuroMaidan—the public protests in Kyiv that lasted through the hard winter of discontent and brought down the corrupt regime of Viktor Yanukovych on February 21. As its war for state survival continues to rage, the country is in no ... Read more »

WWII Celebration Plans by Putin and Xi to Score Points

Posted by Stein Tønnesson on Monday, 17 November 2014

Russian and Chinese presidents aim to divide US and allies, including Japan, with WWII celebration. When Chinese President Xi Jinping met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Beijing for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, he stated that “Japan must look at history squarely and more towards the future.” Xi’s carefully ... Read more »

Putin goes to China, but fails to turn his illusions into reality

Posted by Pavel Baev on Wednesday, 12 November 2014

In a case of striking symbolism, President Vladimir Putin traveled to Beijing on the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, as if seeking reassurance against the specter of a mass public uprising. The dismantling of that icon of the Cold War signified a breakthrough in finally achieving ... Read more »

Imagine Novaya gazeta with the Nobel medal on the banner

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 7 October 2014

In the past-but-still-present Soviet times, leading newspaper proudly carried a set of awards – like the Order of the Red Star – on their front pages. I can just imagine the fiercely independent Novaya gazeta sporting the Nobel medal on its banner (just above the usual political cartoon) – as ... Read more »

Forget the Economy - It's Geopolitics, Putin

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The trickle of sad and sour economic news continues to exacerbate Russia’s stagnant economic outlook, but the Kremlin authorities remain resolutely indifferent to these negative trends. They presume that the arrival of a “technical” recession does not constitute a political challenge because the “below-middle” classes have rallied around the flag ... Read more »

Russia gears up for a new spasm in the hybrid war

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Big guns have mostly remained silent in eastern Ukraine last week, but diplomatic battles at the United Nations General Assembly have not shown any recess. Russia used to be able to score some easy points at this seasonal show by denouncing the United States’ unilateralism and hegemonic arrogance. This time ... Read more »

Putin Picks the Worst of all Bad Choices

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 12 August 2014

With the arrival of August, political expectations in Russia, informed by the long experience of setbacks and disasters, are turning negative. Second thoughts about the “victorious” war with Georgia that erupted six years ago blend with reflections on the centennial anniversary of World War I (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, August 6). At ... Read more »

West pushes and eases Putin toward a "Diplomatic solution" in Ukraine

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Bad news hit the Kremlin thick and fast last week, but on Friday evening (August 1), President Vladimir Putin answered a phone call from US President Barack Obama, who again stressed that the Kremlin’s mounting problems can be resolved diplomatically (whitehouse.gov, August 1). Putin’s personal responsibility for the war in ... Read more »

Putin held Personally Responsible for the War he is Losing

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 29 July 2014

If President Vladimir Putin really thought that the destruction of Flight MH17 with 298 people on board would soon blow over, the White House statement from last Friday must have disillusioned him—assuming his subordinates actually informed him about it. The White House statement directly noted: “we have concluded that Vladimir ... Read more »

Putin tours Latin America, but his fate is decided in Ukraine

Posted by Pavel Baev on Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The upcoming BRICS (a loose political-economic grouping of the large emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit, scheduled to take place in Fortaleza, Brazil, on July 15–17, provided an occasion for President Vladimir Putin to make a lengthy tour around Latin America, starting from Cuba last ... Read more »