The assassination of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov has spawned numerous theories about the cause and its organizers. Like past political assassinations in Russia, the truth may never be fully known, but Nemtsov’s open opposition to Russia’s military action in Ukraine and his work on a report documenting Russia’s large-scale involvement in the fighting there could provide a motive.
The Kennan Institute seeks fellowship applicants from diverse, policy-oriented sectors such as media, business, local government, law, civil society, and academia to examine important political, social, economic, cultural, and historical issues in Russia, Ukraine, and the region.
"The law may be a weak instrument for change, but, as Russian history demonstrates, it is often the only one available," writes William E. Pomeranz and Kathleen E. Smith.
"The message seems designed to signal that the Kremlin leadership still considers Ukraine an integral part of the nation," writes Elizabeth A. Wood.
"Even if the second Minsk agreement falls through—and it likely will sometime this year—it stands a good chance of ending the fighting in Ukraine. Those who doubt that, because of how abruptly the first one collapsed, misinterpret the contexts in which the two agreements were made," writes Michael Kofman.
Does Vladimir Putin have an ideology? And if so, what does it tell us about his goals for Russia? Whatever Putin’s agenda or the ideas that drive it, Russian aggression in Ukraine has stirred up tensions not seen since the Cold War in ways that are redefining Russia and its relations with its neighbors and the world. Veteran journalist turned scholar Jill Dougherty returned from a recent trip to Russia and provides insights into the developing situation.
"Direct public resistance is simply impossible under such conditions precisely because the manipulators in the media deliberately eliminate the means for coordinating action and, most importantly, developing mutual trust," writes Maxim Trudolyubov.
"The crisis in Ukraine is now the crucible. How it turns out may influence Russia’s future stance toward its neighbors, and the extent to which the West will support them against any future Russian coercion," writes Ian Bond, Denis Dorboy, William Courtney, and Kenneth Yalowitz.
"Undoubtedly, there are no easy solutions to the current conflict in Ukraine, only hard choices to be made. Sending weapons without an overall strategy is not a hard choice, but it is one that the United States has readily made before, often with adverse results," writes Michael Kofman.
"Perm’s geographic location is a convenient transfer point from which Ukrainian refugees can move further into the country: either to the north of Russia, to the Yamalo-Nenets region, for example, where more lucrative employment opportunities exist, or to other Russian cities where their relatives live," writes Mary Elizabeth Malinkin and Liliya Nigmatullina.