Some commentators have hinted at the imminence of another war in the Balkans, highlighting Russia’s supposed role in such an escalation. Dimitar Bechev argues that no such conflict is on the cards: Moscow is exploiting a vacuum left by the West’s retreating pull factor in the region, while autocrats in the Balkans are playing along. He writes that the EU should […]
Russia is often accused of undermining democracy, particularly in former Soviet states. The recent reports of Russian-sponsored hacking in the US have led some to go further and claim it is actively promoting autocracy. But Nelli Babayan argues that Vladimir Putin’s chief aim is to demonstrate Russia’s strength – and probably to undermine US and EU democracies, rather than […]
Doping in world sport: The real issue is that we still don’t know who to blame for anti-doping failures
The recent scandal surrounding Russian state-sponsored doping highlighted deep rooted issues affecting international anti-doping procedures in sport. Slobodan Tomic argues that the key problem lies in the failure of the current anti-doping regime’s institutional design to specify hierarchies of accountability. To match powers with responsibilities, he suggests that we should avoid framing the reform as a debate over the […]
The United States expelled 35 Russian diplomats at the end of December over claims that Russia had interfered in the US election. But is Russia’s strategy in the West really having a tangible impact on political outcomes and, if so, how should the West respond? Linda Risso writes that the West’s apparent weakness to Russian influence stems from a […]
Several commentators in Europe have raised concerns that Donald Trump’s presidential election victory could undermine NATO and damage European security and defence. Antonio Calcara writes that while these concerns may be valid, Trump’s election also presents a key opportunity to strengthen EU defence policy. He argues that this should be achieved not through large-scale political integration, but instead by […]
With a struggling economy and elections looming, why do so many Russians still back their government?
Russia is due to hold parliamentary elections on 18 September. To coincide with the elections, we will be running a number of articles on Russian politics and society. In this contribution, Evgeny Gontmakher writes on why Russian citizens still continue to show strong support for the current government despite a faltering economy. He notes that part of the explanation […]
Russia’s participation in the athletics events at the 2016 Olympic games remains under threat following evidence of doping by Russian athletes in previous competitions. Joseph E. Uscinski writes on what the scandal says about the nature of political conspiracies.
It has been widely reported that the Russian Olympic team may have dominated the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics by using cocktails […]
Ukraine won the Eurovision song contest on 14 May, with a song framed around the deportation of Crimean Tatars under Stalin in 1944. Ellie Knott writes that the result highlights the plight of Crimean Tatars following the territory’s annexation by Russia in 2014, particularly in light of the recent decision by a Crimean court to ban the legislature of […]
The concept of ‘hybrid warfare’, which incorporates traditional military strategies alongside media and information campaigns, has been a feature of discussions surrounding Russia’s response to the Ukraine crisis. But if this form of aggressive information warfare is being pursued by the Kremlin then how should the EU and the West respond in defending its interests? Katarzyna Sobieraj writes that […]
The fall of Viktor Yanukovych’s government in February 2014, and the subsequent Russian annexation of Crimea and civil war in eastern Ukraine, marked the beginning of an enduring standoff between Russia and the West. Two years on, Alexander Tabachnik assesses what the legacy of the crisis has been for Russia, Ukraine and the West.
Two years ago, after the […]
Russia’s communication strategy and the EU: Why Moscow is winning the battle for soft power in Serbia
Serbia is often viewed as occupying a position midway between the EU and Russia in its relations with the wider world, but what explains the attitudes of Serbian citizens toward each of these potential partners? Jaroslaw Wisniewski writes that a carefully implemented communication strategy has allowed Moscow to successfully cultivate a positive image of Russia among Serbs living throughout […]
In Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands, Richard Sakwa examines the contemporary crisis in Ukraine centred on the disputed territory of Crimea and the eastern regions. Sakwa traces the origins, developments and significance of the conflict from the Euromaidan protests up until the parliamentary elections of October 2014. While Paul Wingrove advises that readers exercise caution and their own judgment […]
How can relations between the EU and Russia be repaired in the aftermath of the Ukraine crisis? Cristian Nitoiu summarises the findings of a new report on the future of EU-Russia relations which highlights three routes toward easing tensions: including Russia in the post-Cold War security order in Europe; creating meaningful linkages between the EU and the Eurasian Economic […]
The Writing and Re-Writing of Joseph Stalin and His Regime: A Critical Comparison of Two Biographies.
This comparative review examines two works that use new documents to further explore Joseph Stalin’s life and regime. Stalin: New Biography of a New Dictator, by Oleg Khlevniuk, and Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928, by Stephen Kotkin, have both been positioned as the ultimate biography of Stalin. Vlad Onaciu explores the different methodological approaches taken by two writers attempting to […]
On 21 January, an inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko in London published conclusions implicating the Russian government in his murder. Alexey Gromyko writes that it will be impossible to know the full details of the case until classified information is released, which could take decades. He argues that the case is nevertheless of secondary importance to the […]
After the failure of the South Stream pipeline project, is Russia’s energy influence over Europe diminishing? Jarosław Wiśniewski argues that it is vital to recognise the role of foreign and security politics in energy projects, rather than simply focusing on their economic effects. He writes that energy initiatives have been used by Russia to create particular geopolitical narratives, which is now […]
On 21 January, an inquiry into the death of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in London concluded that the Russian government is likely to have had involvement in his murder. Cristian Nitoiu assesses what the outcome of the case could mean for Russia’s relations with the West. He argues that the report itself will not lead to a severe […]
Russian-Turkish relations have deteriorated sharply in the aftermath of Turkey shooting down a Russian aircraft in November. Didem Buhari-Gulmez assesses how the situation is likely to develop in the coming months. She writes that there is little consensus over what the lasting implications will be for relations between the two countries, with both Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan […]
Montenegro’s Chief EU Negotiator: “We made it clear to Russia we are joining NATO: this will not affect our relations”
Montenegro has been formally invited to join NATO, in the first expansion of the organisation since Albania and Croatia joined in 2009. In an interview with EUROPP’s editor Stuart Brown, Montenegro’s Chief EU Negotiator, Aleksandar Andrija Pejović, discusses the country’s efforts to join both NATO and the EU, the recent protests against Montenegro’s government, and how the country’s NATO […]