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Mariya Omelicheva 17 Apr 2020
(Journal of Global Security Studies) Abstract: What are the conditions that obstruct the formation of a crime-terror nexus? To answer this question we carry out a quantitative and qualitative analysis of Russia's North Caucasus (2008–2016) where no durable crime-terror nexus materialized despite the presence of conditions conducive to the emergence of linkages between criminals and militants...
(PONARS Eurasia Commentary) Less than two months ago—a world apart—we were remembering Boris Nemtsov, five years after his passing. Nemtsov, who was shot dead in 2015 a few hundred meters from the Kremlin, turned into a symbol, an ideal of a free and democratic Russia, one that set out on the path of freedom but never arrived there. A few weeks after the tragic anniversary, Russia’s...
Joshua Tucker 16 Apr 2020
(International Journal of Press/Politics) This paper investigates online propaganda strategies of the Internet Research Agency (IRA)—Russian “trolls”—during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. We assess claims that the IRA sought either to (1) support Donald Trump or (2) sow discord among the U.S. public by analyzing hyperlinks contained in 108,781 IRA tweets. Our results show that although...
PONARS Eurasia 15 Apr 2020
(IWPR) The breakaway republic of Nagorny Karabakh is voting in its second round of presidential elections, despite warnings of the potential dangers of public gatherings amidst the coronavirus pandemic. While elections on March 31 led to the formation of a new parliament, none of the presidential candidates received more than 50 per cent of the votes. [...] “The future of the Karabakh...
Alexander Cooley 15 Apr 2020
(Monkey Cage) Over the past week President Trump has repeatedly rebuked the World Health Organization, arguing that “they missed the call” on the novel coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday, Trump announced the U.S. would halt funding for the global health organization, pending a review of WHO’s pandemic response. This follows a report in Monday’s Washington Post that U.S....
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Konstantin Sonin 14 Apr 2020
(Meduza) Editor's note: Konstantin Sonin, an economics professor at the University of Chicago and Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, is a regular contributor to the opinion page at the well-known Russian business newspaper Vedomosti. His latest column, “Hard times of responsibility: How the Igor Sechin era at Rosneft might be remembered,” addressed how popular opinion is likely to shape...
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PONARS Eurasia 14 Apr 2020
(Gulf News) Russia has reported 2,558 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours [April 13] versus 2,186 mnew cases the previous day. A nationwide vote on April 22 was supposed to finalize sweeping constitutional reforms that would allow him to stay in power until 2036, if he wished. But after the coronavirus spread in Russia, that plebiscite had to be postponed. [...] "The risks...
Kirill Rogov 14 Apr 2020
(Washington Post) Opinion polls and authoritarian systems don’t go together. However professional or independent the pollster, any results are necessarily skewed as people weigh their responses — especially to questions about the regime — against potential consequences. Political scientists refer to this as “authoritarian bias.” A late 2015 poll by the Levada Center, Russia’s most...
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Erica Marat 13 Apr 2020
(RFE/RL) Around the world, governments are implementing new rules to counter the spread of the coronavirus. In some cases, there are questions as to whether some of these measures are helping governments gain further control over their populations. In Central Asia, for example, restrictions on movement in towns and cities has left journalists in a situation where special permission is...
Maria Snegovaya 13 Apr 2020
(CEPA) Commentators were quick to predict that the pandemic would accelerate the decay of Vladimir Putin’s regime. Others expected a crackdown; public fears are often a pretext for power grabs. Examples of extraordinary powers and the suspension of normal legal protections abound in countries such as Israel, Hungary, the Philippines, and Thailand. Yet on April 2, the Russian...

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