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AssessmentsApr 26, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
Russian air force personnel secure a Tu-160 strategic long-range bomber upon landing on Dec. 10, 2018, at Maiquetia airport outside Caracas, Venezuela.
Prior Interventions Can Help Us Understand Russia's Military Plans in Venezuela
In the past five years, Russia has engaged in two major military actions abroad, one in Ukraine and the other in Syria. In both cases, Russia began with a limited and unofficial force structure, only to ramp it up into a larger, more official and more sustained military presence. Similarities between Russian interests and actions in these theaters and Venezuela suggest Moscow is poised to ramp up its small initial military deployment in the troubled South American country -- though strategic and tactical considerations will limit the extent of Russian actions in Venezuela. But any Russian military intervention could lead to increased U.S. sanctions against both Russia and Venezuela, and to even greater U.S. efforts to support the Venezuelan opposition.
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GuidanceDec 13, 2018 | 00:35 GMT
Russian air force personnel stand in front of a Tupolev Tu-160 long-range strategic bomber upon landing at Simon Bolivar International Airport, north of Caracas, Venezuela, on Dec. 10, 2018.
The Explosive Implications of Russian Bombers in Venezuela
Russia is reportedly considering a long-term military presence in Venezuela. According to a Dec. 11 report from Russian paper Nezavisimaya Gazeta that cited anonymous sources, Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers could be based in Venezuela. The report says that Russian and Venezuelan officials agreed to put the planes at a Venezuelan military base on the island of La Orchila in the Caribbean Sea, where Russian advisers will reportedly be dispatched this week.
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SnapshotsMar 23, 2018 | 17:27 GMT
Russia: Moscow Meets the #MeToo Movement
As political debate increases throughout the country, a rare ethical controversy is emerging in Russia. A dozen major media outlets have ended or limited their coverage of the lower chamber in Russia's parliament, the Duma, after its ethics committee mocked sexual harassment and assault allegations from journalists against Leonid Slutsky, the Chairman of the State Duma's Foreign Affairs Committee. Over 30 media outlets claim either that their journalists are no longer safe covering Duma affairs or that they are standing in solidarity with the media outlets that are backing the accusations.
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AssessmentsApr 20, 2017 | 09:03 GMT
Chechnya's Growing Independent Streak
Chechnya's Independent Streak Is Growing
For weeks, rumors have swirled that Chechen authorities have been detaining, torturing and killing homosexual men in the Russian republic. Foreign governments have called on the Kremlin to investigate the reports, but Moscow has been steadfast in its dismissal of them. If they prove accurate, though, the extent of the actions would serve as yet another example of how the autonomous region and its longtime president, Ramzan Kadyrov, continue to operate outside Moscow's parameters -- setting his presidency on a collision course with the Kremlin.
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ReflectionsMar 27, 2017 | 22:24 GMT
Protesters gathered by the thousands in cities across Russia on March 26 to demonstrate against government corruption. Though the protests were far smaller than the mass demonstrations that rocked the Kremlin in 2011-12, they were more widespread.
Small Demonstrations of Wider Misery in Russia
When it comes to protests, size does matter. Nationwide demonstrations against government corruption took place across Russia on Sunday, organized by opposition leader Alexei Navalny to coincide with the 17th anniversary of Vladimir Putin's initial election to the presidency. And as expected, estimates of the turnout vary widely. The Kremlin claims 8,000 people attended the protests in Moscow, along with a few hundred more spread out across other Russian cities. The opposition, on the other hand, asserted that 30,000 protesters marched in the capital, with thousands of demonstrators active elsewhere. Either way, the events -- Russia's largest protests in five years -- fell well short of the mass demonstrations that drew hundreds of thousands of Russians to the streets in 2011-12 to decry allegedly rigged parliamentary elections and Putin's return to the presidency. But what the overall demonstrations lacked in scale, they made up for in scope.
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AssessmentsFeb 19, 2017 | 14:00 GMT
In Russia, Visions of the Future Evolve
In Russia, Visions of the Future Evolve
How do you measure a country's hope? Quality-of-life indexes offer an overview of how well the population of a given country lives on average, based on factors such as life expectancy, employment rate and per capita gross domestic product. But although this metric gives an idea of how people may feel about their lives and countries today, it doesn't necessarily reflect their desires or expectations for the future. In Russia, parents' dreams for their children, as recorded in polls taken periodically in the 25 years since the Soviet Union's collapse, provide unusual insight into the level of optimism among the country's population. Their varying responses through times of trial and triumph illustrate Russia's post-Soviet transformation and reveal its people's hopes for the future.
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AssessmentsFeb 9, 2017 | 09:15 GMT
Making Sense of Russia's Cyber Treason Scandal
Making Sense of Russia's Cyber Treason Scandal
The scandal surrounding a shadowy Russian computer intelligence unit has captivated the Russian public over the past few months. The story of a series of high-profile arrests continues to evolve in scope and complexity, implicating members of the Federal Security Service (FSB) and prominent hacking groups. Now, possible connections have emerged to the alleged hacking campaign targeting the United States during the presidential election. Mystery remains over the exact purpose of the crackdown on the cyber unit and why it is happening now, leading to intense speculation in the Russian media. The guarded nature of Russian organs of state means that the story playing out in the public eye is indicative of more dangerous struggles taking place deep inside the Kremlin.
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AssessmentsOct 28, 2016 | 09:47 GMT
Russia's Federal Budget: Better Late Than Never
Russia's Federal Budget: Better Late Than Never
The Kremlin may yet end the year with a budget in place. After months of rancorous debate and half a dozen rejected drafts, Russia's legislature, the Duma, will vote Oct. 28 to finalize this year's budget and approve drafts for the next three years. For about a decade before the oil slump began in 2014, the country had enough oil revenue to justify two or three supplemental budgets to expand spending. Over the past few years, however, the Russian government has struggled to maintain even one budget without vastly expanding its federal deficit -- something the Kremlin has tried to avoid. Moscow has revised its 2016 budget time and again, and with just two months left before the year's end, it seems to have come up with a viable spending plan for this year and the next few. Still, the budget will not be enough to ease the strain on
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Contributor PerspectivesJul 13, 2016 | 07:59 GMT
Collapse of civilization?
The Dawn of a New Dark Age
"The end of a world," ABC News called Britain's vote to leave the European Union on June 24. As if in agreement, the pound immediately racked up its biggest-ever one-day loss against the dollar. Over the next three days, the Dow Jones index fell 4.8 percent, London's FTSE 100 lost 5.6 percent, and some $2 trillion in assets evaporated. This is bad, and worse may yet follow. But is it the beginning of the end? There have been plenty of crises worse than this one in the past 100 years, but none of them ended the world. The Great Recession that erupted in 2008, the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the 1997-98 Asian and Russian financial meltdowns, the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989-91, the oil spikes of 1973 and 1979 -- the list goes on, but civilization always survived. Even the material destruction of the World Wars, which claimed
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AssessmentsJun 29, 2016 | 09:00 GMT
The Problem With Russia's Best and Brightest
The Problem With Russia's Best and Brightest
For more than a century, Russia has suffered periodic waves of mass emigration. Now it could face yet another one, perhaps leading to the largest brain drain the country has experienced in 20 years. According to Russia's state statistical agency, 350,000 people emigrated from Russia in 2015 -- 10 times higher than it was five years ago. The outflow began in earnest in 2012, mostly driven by political friction in the country, but Russia's current economic crisis has accelerated the pace. The Kremlin is attempting to curb the so-called suitcase mood, but other national interests remain a higher priority. As highly skilled Russians emigrate, the future of innovation and private business in the country has been called into question. Meanwhile, migrants from mostly Muslim former Soviet states are entering Russia in search of work, altering the ethnic and religious composition of the population and heightening tension in the process.
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AssessmentsMar 29, 2016 | 10:57 GMT
A Subtle Manipulation of Russian Elections
With Russian parliamentary elections on the horizon, the Kremlin is already making plans to ensure that the ruling United Russia party stays in power. Party leaders are anxious to avoid a repeat of the 2011 elections, when mass protests swept the country after the government manipulated election results. This year, instead of altering the vote after polls close, the Kremlin is looking to shape the vote before they even open.
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