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Category: Russia and Eurasia

July 15, 2022

The War in Ukraine and Eurasia's New Imperial Moment

Eurasia contains four states whose leaders portray their countries as the center of distinct regional orders, consciously evoking their imperial history as a justification to be something greater than ordinary states. China, Iran, Russia and Turkey are thus at least in part “revisionist” powers. Unless Russia’s imperial war in Ukraine is soundly defeated, the world should be prepared for further bouts of Eurasian empire rebuilding.

April 29, 2022

America Needs a Comprehensive Compellence Strategy Against Russia

One month before the war started, FPRI’s Rob Lee argued that Moscow’s compellence strategy would include the use of military force directly against Kyiv or more likely by punitive raids deep into the eastern half of Ukraine. He argued, “By inflicting heavy losses on the Ukrainian military, taking prisoners of war, and degrading Kyiv’s defense capabilities, Russia could potentially alter Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s incentive structure sufficiently to induce painful concessions.” Despite Ukraine’s successful effort to turn back Russian forces around Kyiv, Russia’s compellence strategy has not yet failed. As a result, it needs to be undercut by NATO with a more comprehensive approach.

April 26, 2022

Empires of Eurasia: How Imperial Legacies Shape International Security

Dr. Jeffrey Mankoff, INSS-CSR Distinguished Research Fellow, has recently published a new book, Empires of Eurasia: How Imperial Legacies Shape International Security. How the collapse of empires helps explain the efforts of China, Iran, Russia, and Turkey to challenge the international order.

April 26, 2022

Central Asia Is Keeping a Nervous Eye on Russia’s War in Ukraine

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is upending the geopolitical calculations of states around the world. The fallout is especially complex for the post-Soviet states of Central Asia, which maintain extensive economic, political, cultural and other ties to both Russia and Ukraine. While Central Asia is far from the front lines of the ongoing war, and therefore less directly impacted than states like Moldova or Georgia, its leaders also face difficult decisions.

April 26, 2022

Russia's War in Ukraine: Identity, History, and Conflict

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine constitutes the biggest threat to peace and security in Europe since the end of the Cold War. On February 21, 2022, Russian president Vladimir Putin gave a bizarre and at times unhinged speech laying out a long list of grievances as justification for the “special military operation” announced the following day. While these grievances included the long-simmering dispute over the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the shape of the post–Cold War security architecture in Europe, the speech centered on a much more fundamental issue: the legitimacy of Ukrainian identity and statehood themselves. It reflected a worldview Putin had long expressed, emphasizing the deep-seated unity among the Eastern Slavs—Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians, who all trace their origins to the medieval Kyivan Rus commonwealth—and suggesting that the modern states of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus should share a political destiny both today and in the future.

March 10, 2022

Turkey’s Balancing Act on Ukraine Is Becoming More Precarious

Ankara faces growing pressure to pick sides between Kyiv and Moscow.

March 7, 2022

Can the West Apply Enough Pressure to End the War in Ukraine Without Further Provoking Vladimir Putin?

The U.S. and its allies should begin thinking now about what an acceptable diplomatic outcome would look like.

Feb. 10, 2022

Putin Likes to Talk About Russians and Ukrainians as "One People." Here's the Deeper History

For centuries, Moscow has worried that foreign powers are scheming to separate Ukraine from Russia.

Jan. 27, 2022

Regional Competition and the Future of Russia-Turkey Relations

Western observers are increasingly worried and puzzled by the apparent rapprochement between Vladimir Putin’s Russia and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Turkey, which is taking place despite an escalating Russo-Turkish competition for influence extending from North Africa through southeastern Europe and the Caucasus to Central Asia.

Jan. 13, 2022

Turkey Could Lose Big in the Russia-Ukraine Standoff

Conflict could topple Ankara’s delicate balancing act between NATO and Russia.