Policy Memos | Аналитические записки

Policy Memo # 677
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has left noticeable traces in everyday life of Russian society. Eighty percent of Russians had to alter their lifestyles due to the virus, with half reporting that their incomes shrank, and this share keeps growing. Has the pandemic also affected how Russian citizens feel about their government? To explore how the pandemic has affected political support in Russia, we analyzed data from a...
Policy Memo # 676
Olga Iakimova 19 Nov 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) After nearly seven decades of official atheism, it took twenty years for Russia to introduce religious education in public schools. This decision was extremely controversial at the time and remains quite polarizing now. Since 2012, a mandatory course on world religions and secular ethics has become part of the fourth-grade curriculum in all Russian public schools. At the time, it was an extension of the worthwhile Toledo...
Policy Memo # 675
Adam Stulberg, Jonathan Darsey 09 Nov 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) These days there is much ado about the international security consequences of the slumping U.S. nuclear industry. With cheaper natural gas and the declining cost of renewables, the industry faces strong headwinds just as Russia’s commercial nuclear sector is emerging as a dominant global player by offering concessionary state-backed integrated deals that are large, inexpensive, and long-lived. While there is debate on how...
Policy Memo # 674
Zachary Paikin 09 Nov 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) The events of recent years are less representative of a shift in Russian strategy than they are of the fragmentation of the international order. The end of the Cold War brought with it a Western-led attempt to render the liberal international order synonymous with international order writ large. The return of great power rivalry indicates that this project has failed. Emerging in its wake is a struggle over the contours of the...
Policy Memo # 673
Emily Ferris 09 Nov 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) At the end of September, local news outlets began reporting on the increasing number of dead sea creatures washing up on Khalaktyrsky beach in the Far Eastern region of Kamchatka. It soon became apparent that there had been some sort of toxic leak into the sea and numerous theories started to circulate as to where it originated. Although the investigation of the incident is ongoing, the authorities’ chaotic response...
Policy Memo # 672
Matt Maldonado 28 Sep 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) In September 2019, Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeev sat down for an interview with the Russian news outlet RBC and announced the launch of the International Agency of Sovereign Development (IASD). It was to be a brand-new Russian investment group set to make its public debut at the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi later that year. Malofeev has been sanctioned by both the United States and the EU for his...
Policy Memo # 671
Natalya Chernyshova 17 Sep 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Unprecedented mass protests in Belarus against the rigged presidential elections on August 9 continue into their sixth week with no signs of abating. They are massive, tenacious, and draw on a remarkably broad social and geographical base. These qualities, combined with the absence of a single opposition political leader, pose an unprecedented challenge to Europe’s longest-serving ruler, Aliaksandr Lukashenka. These protests...
Policy Memo # 670
Kimberly Marten 15 Sep 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Just when you think you know where Russia’s Wagner Group “private” military company (PMC) is deployed, it pops up somewhere else. In the past year, its members have been spotted in Mozambique, Libya, and Belarus, adding to their prior roles in eastern Ukraine, Syria, Sudan, and the Central African Republic (and perhaps Mali). The odds are that the Wagner Group may soon be heading back to Syria, too. Provided here is a brief...
Policy Memo # 669
Maria Snegovaya 11 Sep 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Accumulating evidence points at prospects of growing destabilization at the regional level in Russia. In 2019, five consecutive years of economic stagnation ignited a wave of protests across the country. In 2020, as Russia’s economic situation worsened dramatically due to a pandemic-driven halt to economic activity combined with a fall in oil prices, support for Kremlin appointees might start crumbling as well. What does it...
Policy Memo # 668
Beka Chedia 03 Sep 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Georgian parliamentary elections are scheduled for October 31, 2020. The convention in Tbilisi is that no political party has stayed in power beyond two consecutive terms, and Georgian Dream’s second term concludes this fall. Even though it is only a tradition, it opens the way for political formations to change. Instead of one ruling party or electoral bloc, the future government may be a coalition of forces. Although...

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