Russia News

Five Takeaways From Bashar al-Assad’s Secret Visit to Moscow

Oct 21, 2015
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad surprised the world on Tuesday with an unannounced meeting in Moscow. Here are five takeaways from the visit.

Deconstructing the U.S.-Russian Impasse Over Syria

Oct 13, 2015
Are the United States and Russia poised to act at cross-purposes with each other or is some kind of synergy possible?

Russian Military Action in Syria

Oct 08, 2015
Now that Russian military action in Syria is underway, we asked Kennan Institute Director, Matt Rojansky, to help us understand what they intend to achieve. Can Russia help bring an end to the ongoing conflict, or will the situation escalate due to Russian intervention?

Triple Threat: America, China and Russia on the Path to Conflict?

Oct 06, 2015
"The current conflict could prove to be as dangerous as the U.S.-Soviet confrontation that shaped the last century, and it will undoubtedly be far more complex. That is above all because of the massively increased power and yet still ambiguous intentions of a third key actor: China," writes Matthew Rojansky.

Engaging Iran and Russia on Syria, the U.S. Has a Weak Hand

Sep 28, 2015
"But if we engage Mr. Assad’s two allies over his fate, we should be under no illusion on what the outcome is likely to be: a never-ending transition that keeps him in power (for a good while) and Russia and Iran as the key eternal actors in the Syrian drama," writes Aaron David Miller.

Why Putin’s Move into Syria May Be One Step Too Far

Sep 28, 2015
"Imperial overstretch serves as a recurring theme throughout Russian history. Putin’s grand U.N. pronouncements should not obscure the fact that he brings few deliverables — and multiple vulnerabilities — to the table," writes Will Pomeranz.

Are the U.S. and Russia Now on the Same Page About Syria?

Sep 18, 2015
"The issue with engaging Mr. Putin on Syria is not that the U.S. looks weak-–of course it does-–because Moscow has acted and Washington has not reacted. Far more concerning is that Mr. Putin appears to know what he wants: to prop up Mr. Assad, oppose the U.S., and pick up propaganda points abroad," writes Aaron David Miller.

Is Time Working for or Against Putin?

Sep 15, 2015
"Putin has relished being unpredictable throughout the conflict, but even he, by now, realizes that the Ukraine crisis has not gone according to his timetable," writes William Pomeranz.

“A Sacred Space Is Never Empty”

Sep 14, 2015
In continuation of our alumni interview series, we talked with Title VIII-supported Research Scholar Victoria Smolkin-Rothrock to hear her reflections on her fellowship. Dr. Smolkin-Rothrock, Assistant Professor of Russian History at Wesleyan University, is writing a book about the confrontation between scientific atheism and lived religion in the Soviet Union. See the discussion below on religious policy and atheism throughout Soviet history.

From Chechnya to Ukraine: Biopolitical Patriotism in Times of War

Sep 09, 2015
The following analysis uses Russian cinematographic narratives to help us understand the concept of biopolitical patriotism. More specifically, several Russian film representations of the two wars in Chechnya touch upon the idea of post-Soviet patriotism. This patriotism can be dubbed biopolitical, in the sense that the state, being neither its engine nor its key reference point, could take advantage of this patriotism’s ability to mobilize a population and could selectively use it for political purposes.