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.
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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April 21, 2014

Can Kiev Regain Control of Eastern Ukraine, And Its Own Military?

When professional and well trained “little green men” invaded Crimea, they displayed the vast disparity in capabilities between Ukraine’s underfunded, poorly maintained and improperly led military, with Russia’s new-found confidence, the result of its modernizatsiia efforts. The Russian troops were well equipped, well trained and most importantly, well led–Putin in fact finally admitted that the
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April 3, 2014

Is Russia’s Military Really As Good As It Was in Crimea?

Three to five days is all the Russian military would need to overrun Ukrainian resistance in the east and south of the country if the decision was made to invade. Within 12 hours of ordering an invasion, Russian troops described as: “a very large and very capable and very ready force” could be across the
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March 20, 2014

Why London Is So Crucial To Putin’s Russia

In 1733 Voltaire published a series of works called “The Letters of the English Nation” or “Lettres philosophiques” which were a compilation of his observation of politics and religion on the Island. He remarked on the love and high regard that monetary pursuits and commerce were held, such that they transcended all religious or ethnic
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March 13, 2014

Yes Russia Controls Crimea, and Yes Those Really are Russian Troops

Other than the repeated denunciations of the west aggravating the situation by a coterie of Russian government officials (Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu dismissed claims that Russian troops were in Crimea as an “act of provocation” and “utter nonsense”), one would be hard pressed to find any serious commentator still denying that the troops blockading Ukrainian
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March 3, 2014

How Yanukovych Pillaged Ukraine

In Ukraine, the images of Berkut riot police fighting protestors on Kiev’s Maidan have been replaced by ones of the officers on their knees asking for forgiveness. And while Ukraine seeks to compose itself, questions have emerged in the wake of the fall of the government. The unifying objective of ousting Yanukovych has been replaced
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February 14, 2014

Egypt and Russia: A Long Lost Alliance

It seems that Putin has ended the all-but-already-certain debate on whether Egyptian General and de-facto government caretaker Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will run for President by declaring, “I know that you, esteemed minister of defense, have decided to seek the office of president,” continuing to describe it as a “responsible decision.” The ebullient congratulations by Putin
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