There are plenty of reasons to be cynical about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s motivation in announcing an amnesty last month for more than 20,000 prisoners, writes Matthew Rojansky. But one vital fact should not be overlooked: real progress has now been made on one of the most persistently contentious items on the Russia-West agenda.
In his final 2013 appearances, Putin subtly warned — and the Volgograd bombings graphically confirmed — that major changes must come in the new year. William Pomeranz analyzes Putin's December speeches and what they say about Russia in 2014.
This study, based on primary research conducted in Moscow in 2012, defines Russia’s assessment of domestic and international sources violent extremist threats; explains Moscow’s perspective on balancing democratic principles with the challenge of countering violent extremism in the Internet/social media; assesses existing capacities and impediments to further international collaboration with Russia in countering violent extremism in the Internet/social media spheres; defines specific initiatives that Russia, the United States, and other nations of the world community could advance to enhance international cooperation in countering violent extremism throughout the world cyber community.
Though Ukraine appears to be “caught between East and West,” Ukrainians themselves do not see it this way, writes Matthew Rojansky. "The protest movement appears to be an expression of support for a modern, European, democratic Ukrainian state."
Kennan Institute's Deputy Director, William Pomeranz, is interviewed by the Wall Street Journal about Russia's surprise closure of RIA Novosti.
"The bigger problem with lamentations about “who lost Ukraine” is that they offer no useful assessment of why Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovich actually decided to walk away from the table, while painting the future with a hopelessly broad brush, and sidestepping the most urgently important question—what to do next," writes Matthew Rojansky in The National Interest.
The West has yet another opportunity to learn more about Ukraine. Although it’s not under the best circumstances, we hope that someday the opportunities will change in their quality, not just increase in quantity, and the word “Ukraine” will evoke, in the minds of EU citizens, something specific and positive rather than vague and negative.
Forbes dubbed Russian President Vladimir Putin the most powerful man in the world. Yet all these successes obscure a basic fact: Russia is running out of money, writes William Pomeranz.
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