Russia

From TV Sitcom to Reality: Ukraine Elects Volodymyr Zelenskiy

In this edition of Wilson Center NOW we discuss the latest from Ukraine post-election. Matthew Rojansky, the Director of the Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute, provides analysis on President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy, an actor, comedian and political satirist, who won a compelling 73% of the vote throughout the nation.

 

Guest

The Normalization of Kim Jong Un – what Kim gains from visit to Russia

Just over a year ago, Kim Jong Un crossed the border into China on his armored train on his way to meet Xi Jinping in Beijing. It was the first time he had left North Korea since becoming leader, and his first meeting with another head of state.

Shifting Gears: Post-Hanoi, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Turns Diplomatic Attention to Moscow

Next up on Kim Jong Un’s diplomatic checklist: Vladimir Putin.

The North Korean leader is expected to hold his first summit with the Russian president this week as he continues his campaign of international diplomacy.

The summit itself comes as no surprise. After all, Russia has long been a traditional, if largely absentee, ally of North; a Kim-Putin meeting was long overdue.

Political Imprisonment in Russia: Motives, Tools, and Trends

Conservative estimates suggest that there are about 250 political prisoners in Russia today. These prisoners—which include human rights activists, journalists, representatives of religious groups, and many others—have fallen victim to Russia’s vague and highly flexible criminal code. Sergey Davidis, head of the political prisoners support program at the Memorial Human Rights Center, offered his assessment of this situation and an outlook for the future.

The Russian Film Industry Under Putin

Is Russian filmmaking in decline, as its numerous critics believe, or is it rising from its knees, as the Russian authorities claim?

Kennan Cable No. 41: A Cyber Treaty With Russia

Prospects for meaningful cyber negotiations with the Russian Federation, let alone a bilateral agreement or cyber treaty, seem almost impossible to imagine today. Our anguish over Russia’s meddling in American elections, preoccupation with alleged ties between the Trump administration and the Russian government during the recently concluded Mueller investigation, and major disagreements on geopolitical issues including Ukraine, Syria, and Venezuela, have left us at an impasse.

SSANSE Project: Symposium on Russia and China's Political Interference Activities in NATO Small States

For both Russia and China, foreign political interference activities are a useful and cost-effective method of foreign policy. In Russia it is theorized as “smart power”, while China still uses the Soviet-era term “united front work”.

Book Launch: Russia, BRICS, and the Disruption of Global Order

Russia's leadership in establishing the BRICS group is emblematic of its desire to end US hegemony and rewrite the rules of the international system. Rachel S. Salzman discussed her new book, Russia, BRICS, and the Disruption of Global Order (Georgetown University Press), which tells the story of why Russia broke with the West, how BRICS came together, and how the group illustrates Russia's challenge to the existing global order.

 

Forgotten Parties to the INF

On February 2, 2019, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the United States’ decision to withdraw from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, citing the Russian Federation’s material breach of the Treaty as justification for the decision.

According to Article XV of the Treaty, the United States will suspend its obligations under the Treaty 60 days after providing notice, unless in this time, Russia agrees to come in compliance.

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