Russia & FSU

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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.

Snapshot,
Tom Keatinge

Sanctions have not forced Russia to withdraw from Ukraine, and for that reason, some consider them a failure. In fact, they have worked just as intended, causing the ruble to weaken, inflation to rise, and investor demand for Russian stocks to dry up. They have also, apparently, pushed Putin into talks with the West.

Snapshot,
Mitchell A. Orenstein

The Putin regime is growing closer by the month to extreme right-wing parties across Europe -- somewhat surprising given that one of his stated reasons for invading Crimea was to prevent "Nazis" from coming to power. But, in both cases, Putin’s motives are not primarily ideological. In Western Europe, he hopes to destabilize his foes and install in Brussels politicians who will be focused on dismantling the EU rather than enlarging it.

Snapshot,
Elisabeth Brocking

The West has drastically misread the likely effect that international monitors will have in Ukraine. Monitors are far more likely to participate in a tacit partition than a peaceful reunification of Ukraine.

Interview,
Anders Fogh Rasmussen

The secretary general of NATO speaks with Foreign Affairs about Russia and Ukraine, NATO enlargement, and the organization's responsibility to live up to its Article 5 commitments.

Snapshot,
Andrew Wilson

Belarus signed up early to join the Eurasian Union, but has started hedging its bets since Russia's annexation of Crimea -- and understandably so. According to Putin’s reasoning for seizing Crimea, Belarus could be the next target.

Snapshot,
Lee S. Wolosky

Economic sanctions and visa bans seem like an appealing way to punish Putin, both because there aren’t any realistic military options for countering him and comprehensive economic sanctions have had remarkable success in recent years, including in Iran. Unfortunately, Iran-like sanctions are not politically feasible in this case, and half measures won't get the United States what it seeks.

Postscript,
Alexander J. Motyl

To deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the West has to assume that he is rational and will respond to carrots and sticks. Accordingly, it should take him up on his proposal to form a working group on Ukraine, which would at least force everyone to take a deep breath and survey the situation with a measure of calm.

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