Tag Archives: Vladimir Putin

Sino-Russian gas deal: Alliance or partnership?

Does the recent gas deal between Russia and China signal a broader geopolitical alliance between the two countries, or is it simply an economic partnership? The recent announcement of a massive $400 billion gas deal between Russia and China has rightly been taken as part of a Russian pivot eastward, alongside increasing joint military exercises […]

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Botanica District in Chişinău, Moldova; Source: Kalatorul via Wikipedia

Transnistria is another fracture in Ukraine crisis

As the European Union and United States negotiate with Russia over the situation in Ukraine, another disputed territory is attracting international attention. With the tension escalating in eastern Ukraine and Moldova ready to join the EU, Transnistria may become a second front for Russia and Ukraine’s geopolitical crisis. Present Crisis The commander of NATO forces in […]

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Arctic patrol

Arctic nations continue militarizing the Arctic

Arctic nations have in recent years unveiled plans to upgrade military capabilities, allowing for operations in the harsh Arctic region. Yet while these developments affirm the increased strategic value of the Arctic, tensions in the north are unlikely to arise. In 2007, Russia symbolically staked its claim to the waters around the North Pole by […]

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Alexander Cooley soldiers Great Games

Book Review: Great Games, Local Rules

In his recently published book Great Games, Local Rules: The New Great Power Contest in Central Asia, Alexander Cooley offers a penetrating analysis of the geopolitical maneuvering and strategies pursued by the United States, China, and Russia across Central Asia in the decade after the September 11th attacks. Alexander Cooley, a professor of International Relations at […]

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Togliatti, Russia; Source: ShinePhantom via Wikipedia

Russia’s single-industry cities pose risk to economy

The issue of failing monogoroda, or single-industry cities, is rapidly becoming one of the most pressing economic issues and sources of political risk within the Russian Federation. The Russian government defines single-industry cities as urban areas in which at least 25% of residents are employed by a single facility. These cities were created during of […]

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Understanding the situation in Ukraine through its political history and EU relations

A primer on how historical context informs the current situation in Ukraine Violence in Ukraine has greatly escalated in recent weeks. The death toll has climbed to 28, while over 200 people have been injured. In order to understand the chaos in Ukraine, it is important to understand the historical context. Differences between the EU and the […]

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Will Sochi Winter Games thaw Russia’s rigid economy?

A mega event, such as the Olympics, does not necessarily bring short-term economic gains to the host country. But hosting may lead to a freer market economy down the line. Will this be the case for Russia as it prepares to host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games? Recent financial reports have brought to light the lackluster financial […]

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Volgograd attacks renew security concerns ahead of Sochi Games

The Volgograd attacks that claimed 34 lives just weeks ahead of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games came as a warning that security is still a concern in a region close to the unstable North Caucasus. Volgograd is 400 miles from Sochi where the 2014 Winter Olympic Games are due to start in a few weeks, […]

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Putin Far East New Year

Russia invests in Far East to prevent Chinese influence

Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to celebrate the New Year in the Russian Far East. Fear of Chinese influence has prompted another sign of the “Pivot Eastward” that Putin has pledged set as an element of Russian foreign policy.  This visit follows several recent, similar moves by the Kremlin. Putin dedicated a section of his annual State […]

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Sochi 2014 Olympics

Sochi Winter Olympics are the costliest Games ever

The Sochi Olympics, due to be held next February, will be the biggest international event hosted by Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union. While the event aims to affirm Vladimir Putin’s international legitimacy and power, the Games have also emerged as a touch point for corruption and all types of abuse. Sochi is […]

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