With back-to-back G-7 and NATO summits this week, USIP's Donald Jensen says President Biden is focused on maintaining unity among allies and partners as the war in Ukraine grinds on: "Putin is counting on the faltering of Western assistance and political support for Ukraine … and that's what we’ll see discussed this week."
With Russian forces reportedly shifting focus to Donbas, USIP’s Donald Jensen says, “Overall the Russian military has been unmasked to be … quite a bit more of a paper tiger than expected. But that doesn't mean they're not dangerous or effective in some places.”
For the first time in 20 years, USIP's Donald Jensen says we've seen cracks in Russian elites' allegiance to Putin: "While they're still amorphous and not very organized, they're clearly unhappy." And if the war drags on and losses mount, "Putin has a big, long-term problem on his hands."
Mikhail Gorbachev enters history as a tragic figure—a pragmatist who ruled the Soviet Union for 66 months, believing he could save its dysfunctional, Russian-led imperium with liberalizing reforms. Yet Gorbachev’s struggle to humanize the Soviet machine led to its collapse. And while he and his Western counterparts managed to end the Cold War, Gorbachev in his final months watched his successor ignite in Ukraine a catastrophic version of the bloodshed he had labored to avert in Europe. Whenever Russia and the world might rebuild the kind of peacemaking moment that Gorbachev’s pragmatism presented 40 years ago, his legacy will help shape it.
Three decades after President Mikhail Gorbachev resigned, beginning the dissolution of the Soviet Union, USIP’s Donald Jensen says, “The collapse is still continuing. It didn’t fall apart at once … and in many ways [it] shapes our relationship with Eastern Europe and Russia today.”
The risk of a new Russian invasion of Ukraine remains high after today’s meeting in Geneva between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The United States delivered its warning, with European allies, of what Blinken called a “swift, severe and a united response” if the Russian troops massed at Ukraine’s border should attack. But the outcome offered at least a hope of avoiding war as Blinken agreed to offer a set of “written comments” to Russia next week on its demand for “security guarantees” that include barring Ukraine from ever joining NATO — a demand that Ukraine, NATO and the United States reject.
What started last week as a protest against fuel price increases has quickly turned into a nationwide movement that is taking aim at Kazakhstan’s elite political and economic leaders — in particularly, the semi-retired former President Nursultan Nazarbayev, whose continued role in political affairs has become a focal point of popular discontent. The demonstrations have become increasingly violent in recent days, as protesters clash with Kazakh police and Russian military personnel have been brought in at the request of Kazakhstan’s president. USIP’s Gavin Helf and Donald Jensen discuss where these explosive protests came from, Moscow’s increasing role in the crisis and where Kazakhstan goes from here.
Although at odds on a host of key geostrategic issues, Washington and Moscow have this year quietly sought to stabilize the tension-laden bilateral relationship. A June summit between Presidents Biden and Putin in Geneva has been followed by several high-level engagements in recent months between...
USIP’s Donald Jensen looks at what Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s recent trip to several countries along the Black Sea means for U.S. policy, saying, “We are looking at the region in its entirety … and Romania, Ukraine and Georgia are key players in the broader effort to curb Russian influence in the region.”
Ahead of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s long-awaited visit to Washington, USIP’s Donald Jensen says many in D.C. “see the [Ukrainian] fight against corruption as a key benchmark” in determining the future of U.S. assistance, including for Ukraine’s ongoing conflict with Russia.