Political Development

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Snapshot,
Alina Polyakova

By inking a deal with Russia last week, the West seemed to sign on to Russia’s strategy for the region -- “federalism” or, more likely, partition. The agreement itself quickly fell through, but Russia now has the West's acquiescence in writing.

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,
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.

Interview,
Paul Kagame

Rwanda's president speaks with Foreign Affairs about the 1994 genocide, his 11-year stint in office, and his country's political future.

Snapshot,
Halil Karaveli

Last week, Erdogan banned Twitter to try to prevent the spread of recordings of incriminating conversations between him and members of his family and inner circle. By exposing the prime minister’s abuses of power, the dirty dealings of the Gülenists (Erdogan's foes and likely purveyors of the recordings), and the weakness of the opposition, the scandal raises doubts about the future of Turkish democracy.

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,
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.

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.

Snapshot,
Susan Richards

Confronted with a sprawling landmass, with few clear borders and a patchwork of different ethnicities, Russian governments have tried to build a coherent national identity using three touchstones: religion, war, and art. Crimea has played a significant part in all three.

Snapshot,
John Prendergast

Africa's bloodiest conflicts are not new, but they have never been more linked than they are today. Traditional peacemaking efforts have largely failed to grapple with that reality.

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