Window on Eurasia

Putin’s Crimea Policy Destroying the Post-Soviet Space

March 20, 2014

Staunton, March 20 – Vladimir Putin may be seeking to restore a Russian empire, but his annexation of Crimea is destroying many of the things that had tied the former Soviet republics together and simultaneously allowed Moscow to be able to count on influence across that region and permitted outside analysts to speak of it […]

Putin’s Most Fateful Words Not about Ukraine but about ‘Traitors’ inside Russia, Babchenko Says

March 19, 2014

Staunton, March 19 – Not surprisingly, many in Russia and the West have focused on Vladimir Putin’s comments about Crimea, Russian military journalist Arkady Babchenko says. But most important words in the Kremlin leader’s remarks are his references to a “certain fifth column” and “various kinds of national traitors.” In a blog post on Ekho […]

Russia’s ‘Surreal’ Geography Threatens the World, Georgian Writer Says

Staunton, March 19 – In the past, “every country had its own map, each of which was more or less different,” a Georgian writer says, but with Marco Polo and Google, most came to accept a similar map of the world, one in which borders are clear and fixed. But Russians remain an exception. According […]

Five Possible ‘New World Orders’ after Crimea

Staunton, March 19 – Arguing that “after the Crimean events, the world will not be what it was” because key element of the previous international system – the inviolability of national borders – has been finally and irrevocably violated, four Moscow analysts say that this opens the door to five possible “new world orders” in […]

Putin’s Support for Federalism and Ethnic Russians in Ukraine Creating Problems for Moscow at Home

Staunton, March 19 – Vladimir Putin’s push to transform Ukraine into a genuinely federal state and his invocation of the state of ethnic Russians as the reason for his intervention in Ukraine is having an impact at home, leading some to ask why federalism should be only “an export good” and others to demand that […]

Like All Aggressors, Putin Must Continue Attack or Risk Appearing to Be Backing Down, Bykov Says

Staunton, March 19 – Despite Vladimir Putin’s assurance that he won’t seek to absorb more of Ukraine than he has done already, the Kremlin leader almost certainly will continue his offensive approach there and elsewhere lest he look to himself or to his supporters as if he is backing down in the face of international […]

Like All Aggressors, Putin Must Continue Attack or Risk Appearing to Be Backing Down, Bykov Says

Staunton, March 19 – Despite Vladimir Putin’s assurance that he won’t seek to absorb more of Ukraine than he has done already, the Kremlin leader almost certainly will continue his offensive approach there and elsewhere lest he look to himself or to his supporters as if he is backing down in the face of international […]

Moscow Will Use Crimea Vote to Expand Naval Presence in Black Sea and Mediterranean

March 18, 2014

Staunton, March 18 – If Russia succeeds with its Anschluss of Crimea, Moscow will be in a position to dramatically expand its naval base a Sevastopol and thus change the military balance in the Black and Mediterranean seas, an outcome that could have geopolitical consequences as severe as Vladimir Putin’s efforts to dismantle and humble […]

Despite Initial Euphoria, Many Russians Less Certain Putin’s Crimea Ploy Benefits Them

Staunton, March 18 – Despite the initial euphoria promoted by the Kremlin’s propaganda effort, ever more Russians appear to be concerned that what Vladimir Putin has done in Crimea, however good it made them feel in the short term, may have bad consequences for themselves, their country, and even for those who have backed this […]