The political system set up under Vladimir Putin's presidency is likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future, despite the impact of the global economic crisis and the aftershocks of the 2008 Georgia conflict.
Despite President Medvedev's claims to support the rule of law, he has not acted to correct the distortion of justice that occurred during the trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
The recent gubernatorial changes in Murmansk showcase that governors are increasingly judged by to their loyalty to the Kremlin, rather than how effectively they can manage their region.
If Russia’s regions are to weather the financial crisis, both local and federal governments need to support and protect small businesses.
The results of Russia's recent regional elections are of less importance than the fact that United Russia is gradually transforming from a monolithic bureaucracy under strict Kremlin control into something resembling a true political party.
Dmitry Medvedev's recent surge in official activity is simply a PR ploy to shift focus away from Vladimir Putin as Russia's financial crisis deepens. It does not indicate any serious political or personal changes.
The Obama administration needs a new approach to the Caspian region that provides opportunities for local leaders to engage with the United States in economic and political development.
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.