Russia & FSU

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Snapshot,
Alexander J. Motyl

If Ukraine does manage to pacify the Donbas, it will be saddled with a devastated, unstable, and permanently insecure rust belt that will continue to do what it has done since independence in 1991: serve as a channel for Russian influence on Ukraine’s internal affairs and a home to political forces that oppose reform and integration with the West.

Snapshot,
Nate Schenkkan

The sanctions war between Russia and the West is hurting Russian consumers. But it is buoying the fortunes of several post-Soviet states hungry for Russian markets -- and advancing Putin's vision of a tighter Eurasian community. 

Essay, SEPT/OCT 2014
John J. Mearsheimer

Conventional wisdom in the West blames the Ukraine crisis on Russian aggression. But this account is wrong: Washington and its European allies actually share most of the responsibility, having spent decades pushing east into Russia’s natural sphere of interest.

Snapshot,
Ely Ratner and Elizabeth Rosenberg

The United States will have to face the reality that further Russian isolation might be more costly than it is worth. In particular, further U.S.-led sanctions will start to harm U.S. allies and partners in Asia and, therefore, American interests.

Essay, SEPT/OCT 2014
Mary Elise Sarotte

Moscow has long argued that in expanding NATO eastward, Washington broke the promise it made to Soviet leaders shortly after the Berlin wall fell. But new evidence shows that the United States never actually made such a pledge.

Snapshot,
Vladislav Inozemtsev and Anton Barbashin

Neither the West nor Russia will benefit from further hostilities, but the Russian government appears unable to comprehend that fact. It thus falls to the West to make Russia an offer it can't refuse.

Snapshot,
Joshua Yaffa

Vladimir Putin's decision to double down on his Ukraine policy in the face of Western sanctions will deepen Russia's isolation and hit the country's consumers. His bet is that he can weather the costs -- and preserve the loyalty of his supporters.

Snapshot,
Stuart Gottlieb and Eric Lorber

Greater interdependence reduces the likelihood of conflict between nations or groups of nations by increasing the cost of conflict for all of them. However, as the EU-Russian case shows, the logic can also work in reverse. It is incredibly difficult to punish economic partners for international aggression.

Snapshot,
Tom Keatinge

An end to Russia’s intrusions into Ukraine would bring some measure of respite to Kiev. However, that alone will not be enough to place the country on a truly new path. For that, Ukraine must overcome its self-inflicted problems, in particular rampant and pervasive corruption.

Snapshot,
Stephen Holmes and Ivan Krastev

Russia's annexation of Crimea came with few consequences for Russia, while an accidental attack on a civilian airliner by semi-anarchical rebel forces, only loosely controlled by Moscow, may redefine the country's place in the world order. Here's why.

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