Andrey Makarychev 14 Apr 2017
(Co-authored with A. Yatsyk) Yuri Lotman (1922-1993) was a prominent Russian intellectual and theorist. This book presents a new reading of his semiotic and philosophical legacy. The authors analyse Lotman's semiotics in a series of temporal contexts, starting with the rigidity of Soviet-era ideologies, through to the post-Soviet de-politicization that - paradoxically enough - ended with the reproduction of Soviet-style hegemonic discourse in...
PONARS Eurasia 12 Apr 2017
(NPR) Radio hosts Ari Shapiro and Audie Cornish speak with Russian expert Kimberly Marten about her thoughts on Rex Tillerson's first official diplomatic visit to Russia. [...] MARTEN: Well, if we look in detail at what happened in Syria, it had to have embarrassed President Putin that Assad decided to use chemical weapons because Putin had sort of staked his reputation on the successful 2013 chemical weapons accord. And so Assad, by using...
Pavel Baev 11 Apr 2017
(PONARS Policy Memo) The U.S. missile strike on Syria’s al-Shayrat airbase may not signify a major change in the course of the tragic civil war (as it had momentarily seemed), but it certainly revealed weaknesses in Russia’s positions in the war zone and in the Middle East. As regional stakeholders with which Moscow had cultivated ties—from Turkey to Israel to Saudi Arabia—rushed to praise the U.S. show of force, questions about the rationale...
PONARS Eurasia 10 Apr 2017
(PBS Newshour) Syrian officials on Saturday surveyed the damage caused by recent U.S. military strikes on a government airfield that were in retaliation to a chemical attack on Syrian civilians. American officials also threatened new sanctions against the country. For more on the situation in Syria and the U.S. military's role there, New America fellow Doug Ollivant and political science professor at Columbia University Kimberly Marten join...
PONARS Eurasia 10 Apr 2017
(Business Insider) During the last election, many of the 800,000 Russian speakers in the US embraced Trump out of disgust for the socialist values that made them flee the Soviet republics. Particularly among the generation of immigrants who came to the US in the 1980s and '90s, the tendency to decry Putin's policies as undemocratic while heralding Trump for his "revolutionary" promises persists. In the April primary, Trump earned 84% of the...
Maria Popova 07 Apr 2017
(PONARS Policy Memo) There has been overwhelming rhetorical commitment in post-Euromaidan Ukraine to reforming the judiciary and battling corruption. However, despite the adoption of numerous new relevant laws and constitutional amendments, and the creation of a slew of new institutions, there has been no breakthrough in these critical domains. Nearly three years after the Euromaidan, the Ukrainian judiciary has not been emancipated from...
Dmitry Gorenburg 07 Apr 2017
(RMR) Yesterday's US airstrikes on the Al Shayrat airfield near Homs seems to have been calculated to allow the Trump administration to appear to be acting decisively without necessarily getting bogged down in a conflict or creating a serious confrontation with Russia. To this end, the Pentagon warned Russian authorities about the strikes ahead of time and Russia did not take any steps to activate its air defenses in Syria. At the same time, by...
Mikhail Troitskiy 06 Apr 2017
(Russian Politics & Law) Guest Editor’s Introduction—Over the past quarter century Russia’s strategy within multilateral organizations has been largely driven by considerations of power, status, and entanglement. In the 1990s, president Boris Yeltsin pursued membership in “Western” institutions, such as the Council of Europe and G7, mainly for status-related reasons. He sought to position Russia as an “autonomous member” of the “European...

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