Window on Eurasia

Crimea a Precedent for Russian Actions Across Former Soviet Space, Influential Russian Analyst Says

March 21, 2014

Staunton, March 21 – Yana Amelina, a well-connected Russian analyst, says that Moscow’s annexation of Crimea is “a precedent for South Ossetia and the entire post-Soviet space,” the most expansive Russian interpretation yet of what Putin intends and an indication that the breakaway republic in Georgia is now in the Kremlin’s crosshairs. In two articles […]

Ukraine Still has a Chance to Be a European Country, But Russia has Lost that Opportunity, Belkovsky Says

Staunton, March 21 – Despite the patriotic fervor in Russia, much of it state-sponsored and likely to dissipate quickly, over the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea, many Russians including those who identify themselves as nationalists and patriots are appalled by what Vladimir Putin has done because they already see clearly the damages arising from his policy. […]

Xenophobia in Russia at an All-Time High, Experts Say

March 20, 2014

Staunton, March 20 – Xenophobia and hate crimes against members of other ethnic groups, after having declined in Russia between 2009 and 2012, have now risen to unprecedented levels, the result of what many see as the Putin regime’s backing for ethnic Russian pride, according to experts in Moscow. In yesterday’s Yezhednevny Zhurnal, Vera Alperovich says […]

Moscow Using Russian Regions to Fund Unrecognized States

Staunton, March 20 – When Ramzan Kadyrov promised that Chechnya would help rebuild the economy of Crimea after its absorption into the Russian Federation this week, most observers concluded that he was just being his usual flamboyant self. But the truth is more complicated and potentially more disturbing. As journalist Andrey Pertsev points out on […]

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 […]