Earlier this week, Russia’s Vladimir Putin began his fourth term. Ambassador William B. Taylor explains that Putin’s political longevity is a combination of Russia’s desire to feel important in the world again, Putin’s power over the media, and the support of powerful, wealthy friends. Nevertheless, Taylor says harsh U.S. sanctions combined with those from the international community have isolated and punished Russia for Putin’s provocations in Ukraine and elsewhere, meddling in elections, and cyberwarfare.
The alleged Russian use of a chemical weapon against a former Russian spy turned double agent in the United Kingdom led to scores of Russian diplomats being sent packing from the United States and Western Europe. Ambassador Taylor discusses the strong showing of unity among Western nations, and its effect on Russian intelligence gathering efforts and additional U.S. and international economic sanctions.
Mona Yacoubian gives us a glimpse into the changing dynamics in Syria, addressing Assad’s grip on power, Russia’s support, and Iran and Turkey’s roles and interests. Yacoubian also addresses the rising tensions between Turkey and the United States over the Kurds.
Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to Sochi on Tuesday to discuss efforts to end the Syrian civil war. The presidents of Iran and Turkey are scheduled to meet Putin on Wednesday as Russia promises to scale back its military presence in Syria and push for a diplomatic solution.
Sino-Russian alignment in support of the Assad government in Syria is driven primarily by the mutual goal of preventing regime change and halting the spread of Islamic extremism. However, because Chinese strategic priorities lie elsewhere and Russia’s tactic of protracting military conflict in Syria contradicts Beijing’s long-term strategic interests, the prospect of future Sino-Russian cooperation in Syria is limited. This Peace Brief examines the forces driving this cooperation as well as its limits.
When 5,000 people flooded into a city of 500,000 in one night with little more than the pajamas on their backs, they were greeted by the mayor and an assemblage of churches and civic groups ready to embrace them with shelter, food, clothing and moral support. The scene might sound like something from Europe’s west, where refugees are flooding in from the Middle East and Africa. But this is Ukraine in the midst of a war and an economic crisis, and two years into upheaval, the strain is beginning to show.
Ukraine must not remain a country of great but unrealized potential. The International Monetary Fund package and other foreign assistance are helping stabilize Ukraine’s economy, but only an attractive business climate can result in the level of investment that will truly transform the country for the long term.
Russia’s military involvement in Syria has further complicated a four-year-long civil war that the United Nations says has killed more than 250,000 people and driven half the population from their homes. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad just visited Moscow, his first trip outside Syria since the conflict began in 2011 – to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Elie Abouaoun, director of Middle East programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace, considers the ramifications, the prospects for r...
Even as hostilities continue in Ukraine, Russia is trying to undermine Georgia’s sovereignty with a multi-prong campaign that may not include a direct military confrontation yet poses a significant threat, according to Georgian Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli.
Last year’s unexpected Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea and its hybrid war in eastern Ukraine raise profound questions about the future of European security and the U.S. role in maintaining peace, says USIP Acting Executive Vice President Bill Taylor.