Russia

Russia’s Federal Subjects at War: Background and Implications

Russia’s full-scale war on Ukraine is a collective enterprise involving all levels of power in Putin’s regime. From high-level officials planning at the top, to bureaucrats implementing policies at the bottom, collaboration along the hierarchy has enabled this disastrous war. One essential link in this chain are Russia’s governors. Russia’s eighty-three federal states are diverse in their administrative status, and in their cultural and economic profile, but their leaders are all part of a system that is meant to facilitate the federalisation of the Kremlin’s policies. The war is no different. What has been their role in the war? How have they facilitated Russia’s Ukraine invasion? This policy paper describes and analyses the ways Russian governors have contributed to the war, drawing implications for policymakers.

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A War of the Final Soviet Generation: Russia’s Demography, Society, and Aggression Against Ukraine

What is the attitude of Russian society towards the war? If it supports the war, why? These questions started swirling immediately after the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Since then, at least several major opinion polls have been conducted to find answers. However, many experts doubt the validity of those surveys, since the atmosphere of total censorship, repression, and fear strongly affects the sincerity of respondents.

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Ukraine’s Path to EU Membership: How to Turn a Geopolitical Necessity into a Viable Process

Ukraine is applying for EU membership at a time when Russia has attacked it in a war of choice. The European Commission is expected to present its opinion on Ukraine’s application in mid-June, to be followed by a decision of the European Council on 23–24 June. While public opinion across the EU has turned largely supportive of membership for Ukraine, official positions remain divided between strong support, mainly in the Eastern member states, and a more reserved position elsewhere.

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The Contours of a New Western Russia Strategy

In this Brief, Kristi Raik explores the profound changes in the EU’s and NATO’s Russia strategy following the invasion of Ukraine. Russia is now approached as an adversary and existential threat not just to Ukraine, but to European and international rules-based security order. She highlights two major factors – enhancing Ukraine’s and NATO’s defence vis à vis Russia and isolating the Russian economy from the West – as key elements of an emerging new Western strategy.

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China-Russia Alliance – Lessons from Japan’s Failed “Detachment” Strategy

After the Ukraine crisis, Moscow has learnt that narratives on a potent “China-Russia alliance” can be weaponised to influence the decision-making of its targets and leverage concessions from countries alarmed by China’s rise. Thus, this narrative has been often purposefully advanced by Vladimir Putin and instrumentalised by agents of influence, such as those of the Valdai Discussion Club, as a pretext to return to “business as usual” with Moscow.

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How to Think About the China-Russia Partnership

Since the conclusion of the Treaty on Good-Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation in 2001, the balance of power between China and Russia has appreciably shifted in favour of the former, but their common definition of the enemy and the complementarity of their core interests remains as strong as it ever was.

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The Russian Orthodox Church: Faith, Power and Conquest

Until recently, the Russian Orthodox Church was a subject that interested few outside expert circles. That dramatically changed in late 2018 when the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople granted autocephaly (independence) to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The reverberations of this decision — religious, political and geopolitcal — underscore the importance that the Church once again plays in Russian policy.

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