Russia & FSU

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Snapshot,
Michael O'Hanlon

Should Russia march into eastern Ukraine, the best way to respond would be to set up a permanent brigade of American light forces in the most vulnerable NATO members, namely, the Baltics -- Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Snapshot,
Maria Popova

Given Ukraine's rule-of-law problems, it is not surprising that one of the Euromaidan protesters’ top demands was for legal reform. Nor is it surprising that the new government in Kiev has focused on clearing out the judiciary and emancipating it from its political subservience. But how it has gone about that will only make Ukraine's problems worse.

Postscript,
Keith Darden

For the first time since 1989, Europe is transforming. The primary protagonists, by most accounts, are Russia and the West. The bit of territory that they are clawing at -- Ukraine -- has largely been eclipsed. Yet inattention to Ukraine’s internal demons reflects a dangerous misreading of current events.

Snapshot,
Andrew Wilson
Snapshot,
Mitchell A. Orenstein and Kálmán Mizsei

On April 3, the EU announced that it would grant visa-free travel to Moldovans. The move was the latest salvo in a raging battle for Moldova, a second front in a struggle between the EU and Russia for the lands in between them.

Snapshot,
Robert Kahn

Although sanctions have a spotty record of achieving political objectives, they could be unusually powerful in Russia. The country's relationship to global financial markets -- integrated, highly leveraged, and opaque -- creates vulnerability, which sanctions could exploit to produce a Russian “Lehman moment”: a sharp, rapid deleveraging with major consequences for Russia’s ability to trade and invest.

Snapshot,
Elbridge Colby

Russia’s march on Crimea might top the United States’ list of issues with its onetime foe. But it is hardly the whole list. Rather, Washington apparently believes that Moscow has also been busy violating the INF, a pact between the two banning the use of certain types of nuclear and conventionally armed missiles. This is no minor matter.

Snapshot,
Robert D. Crews

The Crimean crisis is not just about Russia’s relationship with the West. It is also very much about Islam’s role in Russia. Moscow's success in Crimea won't just depend upon economics or international politics, but on the delicate negotiations between Russian Muslim clerics and their fellow believers in Russia’s newest region.

Snapshot,
Anton Barbashin and Hannah Thoburn

Alexander Dugin’s Eurasianist ideology has influenced a whole generation of Russian conservatives and radicals and provided the intellectual basis for invading Ukraine. The philosophy has worked to Putin's advantage so far, but whether he can control it as he has so many others is a question that may determine his longevity in office.

Snapshot,
Alexander Kliment

Russian President Vladimir Putin has presented a bold new vision for Russia, one based on a resurgence of great power status. But Putin’s new national story has only set up Russians for disappointment and economic pain.

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