Kramer: Putin has been to the US and met with US leaders many times, none of this has made him warm up to the United States
PONARS Eurasia 20 Sep 2018
(Polygraph.info) In an op-ed published on the English language website of the Russian state-owned outlet RT.com, John Wight, a regular RT contributor, argued that visiting the United States might give Russian leader Vladimir Putin the ability to “humanize it beyond the realm of geopolitical differences. Wight drew a historical parallel with the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, when U.S. President John F. Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev...
Marten: Wagner soldiers also offer the Russian government “plausible deniability” if something goes wrong
PONARS Eurasia 08 Aug 2018
(Global News) Three Russian journalists wound up dead last week in the Central African Republic, where they’d been following a shadowy paramilitary force that often backs Kremlin causes. It’s unclear who killed the three men, but they died while trying to shed some light on the mysterious Russia-based security firm known as the Wagner Group. [...] Wagner soldiers also offer the Russian government “plausible deniability” if...
Darden: Trump has exercised a degree of self-control with respect to Russia that he doesn’t with anything else
PONARS Eurasia 20 Jul 2018
(The New Yorker) The former C.I.A. operative Jack Devine watched Donald Trump’s performance standing next to Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday, and his first thought was, “There is no way Trump is a Russian agent.” The proof, he told me, was right in front of us. If Trump were truly serving as a Russian intelligence asset, there would have been an obvious move for him to make during his joint press conference with Putin. He would...
Taylor: The whole press conference was Trump repeatedly scoring own goals with the ball that Putin had given him
PONARS Eurasia 17 Jul 2018
(NYTimes) HELSINKI, Finland — In any other diplomatic setting, it would have been a funny, even insignificant gesture: One president handed a soccer ball, a symbol of teamwork and competition used in the most popular sport in the world, to another, just after the World Cup final. But in this case, according to analysts and lawmakers who watched the Monday news conference between President Trump and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, the ball was...
Vladimir Gelman 13 Jul 2018
(Eurasia Review) A society ignores its technical experts at its peril. Nations that hope to contribute and compete in the modern world require skilled professionals, especially in complex areas such as taxation and banking. Political leaders cannot govern without such professionals. Power struggles, the essence of politics, often inhibit the most efficient policies. Numerous reform projects are implemented only partially, or in distorted ways, producing...
Kassenova: Astana has raised, very diplomatically, the issue of ethnic Kazakhs in Xinjiang re-education camps
PONARS Eurasia 15 Jun 2018
(The Diplomat) In early 2017, reports began to emerge that Chinese authorities in Xinjiang were ratcheting up security, flying in troops, and parading police convoys through the region’s cities. Chen Quanguo, appointed Communist Party secretary of Xinjiang the previous August after five years as Party secretary in Tibet, called it a “a people’s war.” The term isn’t new, but the level of repression has progressed dramatically from the...
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