"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.
"Mr. Putin has certainly succeeded in clouding Russian perceptions and distorting Russian thinking. No one knows how long this strategy will succeed, but of one thing there is no doubt: For many Russians, Mr. Putin has turned himself into a kind of noble cause," writes Maxim Trudolyubov.
"To prosper, the Eurasian energy sector must become more agile and efficient. This means removing politics from more energy decision making, and being clear-eyed about changing market forces," writes William Courtney, Richard Kauzlarich, and Kenneth Yalowitz.
"Putin’s seemingly relaxed attitude was on display during his December state-of-the-nation address, where his “new” economic initiatives included reforms for small business, a complete amnesty to return Russian capital from abroad and support for Russian technology. Yet none of his proposals possess the urgency — and the details –that would soften Russia’s looming deep recession," writes Will Pomeranz.
"As 2014 began, few in Russia could have imagined how far its fortunes would fall by year’s end. Russia is entering strategic decline. It has options for recovery, but as yet shows little sign of exercising them," write Kenneth Yalowicz, Denis Corboy, and William Courtney.
"Political time in Russia seems to drag on for ages. Our New Year celebrations will not be a mark of coming change. They will simply remind us of the reality that Russia is, once more, dangerously behind the times," writes Maxim Trudolyubov.
To stay in power, "Putin and his minions feel they must corral and tame the Internet," warns Fellow Maxim Trudolyubov.
China is popularly viewed as the winner in Russia’s clash with the West over Ukraine. But this conflict does not leave Beijing unscathed, especially when it comes to the country’s own defense modernization plans and future security cooperation with Russia, writes Michael Kofman.
When it comes to falling oil prices, good news at the pump could be very bad news when it comes to geopolitics. Many oil exporting nations could be facing fiscal and political calamity if prices were to drop and remain at levels lower than $100 per barrel. A panel of topic and regional experts discussed the situation during a recent Wilson Center event. That’s the focus of this edition of REWIND.