Alexey Malashenko and Johannes Regenbrecht gave a comparative assessment of the European and Russian strategies in Central Asia.
In the wake of Kyrgyzstan’s decision to close its American airbase the U.S. must find a Central Asian location for its logistical operations outside of Afghanistan to ensure they remain uninterrupted in case the war deteriorates further.
The Kremlin maintains control over the Russian media by exerting pressure over media tycoons and station owners while avoiding direct repression. As a result, although the national media serves as a tool for government propaganda, there has been relatively little popular discontent.
Recent Russian protests are likely meant to test the response of the authorities rather than indicate people have reached their breaking point.
Due to the current economic crisis, Vladimir Putin is facing, for the first time since his rise to power, the prospect of real political instability. Although Putin has depended on a ‘vertical’ type of government, the logic of this crisis demands flexibility, effective feedback, and broad dialogue with the nation.
Nearly 86,000 people have signed a letter asking President Medvedev to pardon Svetlana Bakhmina, a former lawyer for Yukos. Bakhmina, who is due to give birth within weeks, is in a prison camp. Yet Medvedev continues to ignore the call for mercy from thousands of Bakhmina's supporters and thus stands personally responsible for her suffering.
Although it is South Ossetia and Abkhazia that have been receiving most of the world’s attention this fall, Russia’s own north Caucasus region should not be ignored. In fact, Carnegie’s Alexey Malashenko predicts that this area of Russia is likely to experience serious turbulence in the coming year.
The past three months have been a turbulent time for the Russian Federation, marked by the Russia-Georgia conflict, global financial crisis, and U.S. presidential elections. Carnegie's Nikolai Petrov explains how the government’s response has illustrated that modernization from above will not occur in Russia.
The search for a way for all parties in the Russia-Georgia conflict to sit down at the negotiating table is gradually beginning. There is real promise that an EU forum can establish an acceptable format and most likely, Russia is ready to make some concessions. Nevertheless, excessive pressure on Moscow will only strengthen its internal conservative forces and thus exacerbate its hard line stance.
Morocco's King Muhammad VI, who ascended the throne in 1999 following the death of his father, King Hassan II, is moving ahead with reforms in some areas such as women's rights. But he maintains an ambivalent, sometimes hostile attitude toward the country's new independent press.