Policy Memo # 518
Caress Schenk 16 Mar 2018
(PONARS Policy Memo) Russia's immigration system is consistently presented as draconian and inhumane. Human rights organizations, mass media, and scholars alike use labor slavery, violations of rights, and vulnerable migrants excluded from the formal labor market as common frames to conceptualize Russia’s migration context. Discussions tend to focus on certain policy mechanisms and their implementation and enforcement, advancing the claim that the...
Policy Memo # 517
Yuriy Matsiyevsky 13 Mar 2018
(PONARS Policy Memo) Unfinished reforms, growing social discontent, and ongoing war with Russia deeply destabilize Ukraine. Under such strained conditions, what are the chances of Ukraine’s current government, and specifically the presidency of Petro Poroshenko, to survive until the end of their elected terms? Regime stability is a condition for the success of economic and political modernization and for the termination of the Donbas conflict. While...
Policy Memo # 516
Marlene Laruelle 12 Mar 2018
(PONARS Policy Memo) The current U.S. debate on Russia is shaped by conspiratorial narratives that see Russia meddling in almost every issue of U.S. political life. This frenzy is reinforced by the fact that Republicans and Democrats now share a relatively similar anti-Russia agenda that is inspired by Cold War “Red Scare” rhetoric. One conspiratorial narrative revolves around connections between Russia and part of the American far right. This topic...
Policy Memo # 515
Andrey Makarychev, Aliaksei Kazharski 09 Mar 2018
(PONARS Policy Memo) In this policy memo, we bring together the results of our recently published research to shed some light on how the idea of Europe has been contested in Russia and in Central Europe as represented by the Visegrad Four (V4). Based on our findings, we suggest, first, that despite persisting differences between normative and geopolitical contexts in which Russia and the V4 have existed, Russian and Central European discourses have...
Policy Memo # 514
Alexandra Yatsyk 07 Mar 2018
(PONARS Policy Memo) Most experts recognize anti-Americanism as a pillar of the patriotic discourse that has risen during Vladimir Putin’s third term as president. One of the main reasons for this high level of anti-Americanism (and its periodic sharp spikes) is that the Russian government has made available, if not absolutely encouraged, ideological scripts that are echoes of the Cold War era. Performances organized by the Russian hyper-patriotic...
Policy Memo # 513
Regina Smyth 02 Mar 2018
(PONARS Policy Memo) In February 2017, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and President Vladimir Putin introduced a far-reaching plan to demolish ten percent of Moscow’s housing stock, relocate residents, and ultimately provide them new housing. During their discussion, the mayor told Putin, “…we have mass appeals [for demolition from] the residents, municipal deputies, associations of deputies, and the Public Chamber of Moscow. We have reason to say that this...
External Interference Narratives in Russian and U.S. Politics: Conspiracy Theorizing Meets Whataboutism
Policy Memo # 512
Serghei Golunov 27 Feb 2018
(PONARS Policy Memo) Conspiracy theories about covert external interference play significant roles in the political discourses of many countries worldwide. In Russia, conspiracy theorizing about U.S. clandestine interference is a long-time, long-term political trend currently being used to increase the legitimacy of President Vladimir Putin. In the United States, conspiracy theorizing framing Russia as a threat has been marginal throughout most of the...
Policy Memo # 511
Ekaterina Stepanova 23 Feb 2018
(PONARS Policy Memo) On December 11, 2017, two and a half years after the start of Russia’s military campaign in Syria, President Vladimir Putin, speaking at the Hmeimim Air Base in Syria, declared that the main mission was accomplished and ordered home the significant part of Russia’s military forces. There is still unfinished business for Russia on the military/counterterrorism front, such as providing air support to the Syrian army against the jihadist...
Policy Memo # 510
(PONARS Policy Memo) Since independence, politics in Ukraine has often turned on issues of identity. Ethnic and linguistic cleavages have tended to underlie political divisions and have been used by politicians to avoid responsibility for corruption, economic and social decline. However, twice in the post-Soviet era, during the Orange revolution of 2004 and the Euromaidan revolution of 2013-14, Ukrainians from across the country came together to...
Policy Memo # 509
Nikolay Petrov 20 Feb 2018
(PONARS Policy Memo) At last, Vladimir Putin has decided that he will indeed be a candidate in the 2018 presidential election. Considering how long he has been in charge, it may seem that little has changed or will change in Russia’s political sphere. However, in recent years, Putin has had his own personal perestroika and has modified Russia’s political order to sustain his successful authoritarian system. By looking at the recent rejuvenations he made...
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