Building Peace with Russia: Lessons from Gorbachev

Building Peace with Russia: Lessons from Gorbachev

Thursday, September 1, 2022

By: James Rupert

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.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

After U.S.-Russia Talks, Risk of War in Ukraine Still High

After U.S.-Russia Talks, Risk of War in Ukraine Still High

Friday, January 21, 2022

By: Ambassador William B. Taylor;  Donald N. Jensen, Ph.D.

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.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

What to Make of Kazakhstan’s Seemingly Sudden Unrest

What to Make of Kazakhstan’s Seemingly Sudden Unrest

Friday, January 7, 2022

By: Gavin Helf, Ph.D.;  Donald N. Jensen, Ph.D.

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.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance