Foreign Policy Blogs

Russia & Central Asia

Isolated Systems: The Political Economy of Iranian-Turkmen Relations

Isolated Systems: The Political Economy of Iranian-Turkmen Relations

Economic and political isolation envelop the two energy giants.

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Azerbaijan to U.S.: What About Human Rights?

Azerbaijan to U.S.: What About Human Rights?

What is clear is that Azerbaijan, like Russia, is placing renewed emphasis tried-and-true Soviet-era techniques, including “whataboutism,” a term coined by U.S. analysts to describe the Soviet officials’ attempts to deflect Western criticism by appealing to the West’s failures.

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Putin’s dramatic press conference

Putin’s dramatic press conference

If the ads running on Russian TV right now are accurate, Putin's press conference on Dec. 18 is going to be the most exciting thing this year.

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Putin’s Internetphobia punts Google

Putin’s Internetphobia punts Google

Several months after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the Internet is a "CIA project," the effects of his unabashed digital paranoia have already been felt big time.

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East and West must come together in Ukraine

East and West must come together in Ukraine

In a disturbing yet somewhat surreal turn of events, Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko unveiled his latest weapon in the ongoing war with Russian separatists in the East: a Cabbage Patch Kids-style ragdoll.

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Options for Ukraine to diversify its energy sources

Options for Ukraine to diversify its energy sources

The current crisis in Ukraine has pitted the United States and its allies in Europe against Russia. Russia has demonstrated the will to use political and military force to pressure Ukraine and the West, but its most effective method of coercion may still be targeting Ukraine’s dependence on Russian natural gas.

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Why RT ❤’s Ferguson

Why RT ❤’s Ferguson

For Russian state media, chaos and tensions in the U.S. are a propaganda goldmine.

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Getting Un-stuck From Red Dawn

Getting Un-stuck From Red Dawn

Time to stop the shadows of the Cold War from writing the Russian-American relations script  “The Russians need to take us in one piece, and that’s why they’re here. That’s why they won’t use nukes anymore; and we won’t either, not on our own soil. The whole damn thing’s pretty ...

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A Method, Yet a Madness: Understanding Russian Democracy

A Method, Yet a Madness: Understanding Russian Democracy

By Anna Pivovarchuk As Western media focuses on the Crimean crisis, Russia intensifies its assault on civil society. When Nikolai Gogol wrote about the winged troika in his 19th century masterpiece on provincial corruption, The Dead Souls, little did he know that he was creating a perennial image that would ...

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Preparing to Leave

Preparing to Leave

After more than a decade of conflict, America is reducing its footprint in Afghanistan. Although it seems likely that America and Afghanistan will come to terms on a security agreement to ensure a residual force of 8,000 to 12,000 soldiers remains in country to carryout counter-terrorism missions and training for ...

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Camp Victory, Afghanistan (2010)

Camp Victory, Afghanistan (2010)

This documentary is engaging in that it is a departure from the typical documentary. It’s about United States National Guard soldiers trying to train an indigenous Afghan army from mid- to late 2000s in Heart, Afghanistan. It centers on the 207th Corps of the nascent Afghan National Army. The frustration on ...

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Politicized Political Journalism

Politicized Political Journalism

Over the years, political journalism in Russia has gradually morphed into a new definition – one that blurs the line between politicized and honest journalism. Russian journalism blotched that line even more with Monday’s presidential decree to shut down the state-funded news agency, RIA Novosti, and merged it with a ...

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It Takes a (Potemkin) Village

It Takes a (Potemkin) Village

That heavily weighted word, propaganda, has surfaced again in connection with Russia, this time in a law forbidding “propaganda on behalf of homosexuality.” A storm of international protest against the law caused Russian President Vladimir Putin this week to publicly reassure the rest of the world that “people of all ...

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Khodorkovsky, Revisited

Khodorkovsky, Revisited

This day marks a decade in Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s imprisonment, a journey all too similar to the hopelessly frigid Siberian settings of Dostoevsky’s stories and Solzhenitsyn’s novels — except in one regard. In his younger years, Khodorkovsky was a corrupt oil tycoon and pragmatic oligarch successfully basking in the Russian government’s economic ...

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Olympic Cyber Surveillance and Global Internet Privacy

Olympic Cyber Surveillance and Global Internet Privacy

Sochi, a city whose flag features palm trees, the sun and rain drops, was far from a traditional choice for 2014 Winter Olympics. Yet there is an even more troubling geographical concern than why a country literally cold enough to freeze invading armies to death would choose a subtropical beach ...

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