The Interpreter

A special project of Institute of Modern Russia

Andrew Bowen

Andrew S. Bowen is a Ph.D student in Political Science at Boston College and a researcher for the geopolitical consultancy Wikistrat. He holds a M.S. in Global Affairs from New York University and a BA in Political Science and International Relations from UC Davis. His current research interests include money laundering, corruption and organized crime. He can be reached at [email protected] and tweets at @Andrew_S_Bowen.
December 9, 2014

Christmas in Grozny

On December 4, hours before Putin was to give a defiant speech about Russia being surrounded by enemies and defeating any attempts to divide it, terrorists conducted an impeccably-timed and surprising attack in the manicured capital of the former war torn republic of Chechnya, Grozny. Despite claims from Ramzan Kadyrov—Chechnya’s social media obsessed overlord— that
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October 22, 2014

Responding To Russia’s Threats In The Baltics Is Like Playing ‘Whack-a-Mole’

Not long after an Estonian counter-intelligence (KAPO) officer was kidnapped and paraded before Moscow TV cameras, Sweden is now playing its own version of “whack-a-mole,” with its navy hunting for phantom objects after reports suggest a Russian submarine or mini-sub is stranded in its waters. It is not clear exactly what is happening. Reports have
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September 25, 2014

Black Sea Fleet: A Return to Russia’s Great Power Pretensions

As the guns begin to fall silent over Europe’s newest frozen conflict (or at least some of the guns), joining a long and terribly depressing line of conflicts such as Transdniester, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the exact opposite is happening to Russia’s defense policy and military plans in the region. Russia continues to fly provocative
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September 10, 2014

Russia Has Conquered Eastern Ukraine, But Will The West Just Let Them Have It?

Like so many times before in the last year in Ukraine, enthusiasm has been quickly extinguished and replaced with uncertainty and fear, eradicating exuberant hope with the imposition of external interests. The prospects of signing the European Union Association Agreement were replaced by blackmail from Russia to force Ukraine not to sign, the ouster of
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August 14, 2014

The Vanguard of Russia’s New Foreign Policy

When Tsar Nicholas II abdicated his throne in 1917, he addressed neither the Russian people nor the Provisional Government, but rather the Chief of Staff of the Russian Army. This was because the Russian army was the last remaining arbiter of stability in the country which, as historian Richard Pipes noted, “…in Nicholas’s eyes the
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July 23, 2014

Enough Grandstanding. It’s Time For Real Sanctions Against Russia

Right and wrong in politics are subject to the force and ability of the powerful to impose their version or perception of such. It is malleable to the force of the victors and the glib propaganda that provides “alternate viewpoints” which massage, contort and finesse the understanding and perception of situations. The ability to obfuscate
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July 15, 2014

What Strong Sanctions Against Russia Might Have Accomplished

The offices at VTB headquarters in Moscow’s burgeoning new financial district, which lays a short hop away from the Kremlin, were eerily quiet. No one was talking as every employee was gathered around the TV waiting for President Obama to announce the first series of sanctions against Russian and Crimean officials in response to Russia’s
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June 26, 2014

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: Stalemate or Forced Stagnation in Ukraine

As the world’s focus has suddenly shifted to the spiraling abyss that is the Levant in the Middle East, the situation in the Ukraine continues down its slide towards civil war, where progress by Kiev is met just as quickly with setback. Things were starting to look up for Ukraine, they had just elected a
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May 28, 2014

Sanctions Won’t Change Putin, But May Change His Elites’ Support

The evidence that sanctions change a state’s policies is slim. Actually it’s very slim. Economic sanctions taken by themselves have rarely produced the outcomes with which they were designed to produce. The main reason is that the global economy is so diverse, so spread out, that it is almost impossible to create an overarching and
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May 7, 2014

The State of Anarchy in Ukraine

As the body count begins to increase in eastern Ukraine and the chaos and general dystopian anarchy that has come to infect our conscious understanding of Ukraine has spread to other cities such as Odessa, many have started to wonder over whether or not the new government in Kiev will ever be able to truly
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