Russia

Netanyahu’s visit to Moscow and Russia’s role in Syria, some thoughts.

Russia’s parade on may 9th celebrated the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany. It is a very meaningful parade centering around perhaps the most formative events behind the industrial and military power and outlook of the Soviet Union and Russia. Just two guest leaders attended; the President of Serbia and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. …

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Putin’s Catch-22

Putin is in a catch 22. He fears a maidan revolt on red square, he would have nowhere to run when the Russians come and want questions answered, questions pertaining especially to his contact with Russia’s corrupt oligarchy. Questions that would expand to his orders during the the 2nd Chechen war, the Georgian war and …

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Putin’s EU boycott

http://blogs.ft.com/the-world/2014/08/food-fight-eu-weighs-up-risks-of-russias-ban/ Russia could perhaps develop a more effective agricultural economy over the decades, but only if protectionism isolates it from low cost, high quality imports at all times, Russia cannot compete in agriculture in the open market largely because there is no incentive to compete with abroad as long as Russia’s natural resource exports are …

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Putin is sanely driven by internal considerations

Putin really goes well beyond what most sane strategists consider to be a wise course of action in international politics even from a zero sum perspective. But from the same perspective it may be how Putin must organize his own survival. Ukrainians consider themselves closely related to Russians. But Putin’s brinkmanship fundamentally undermines that since …

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Putin’s options limited by home uncertainty

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/862ee4d0-9bf6-11e3-afe3-00144feab7de.html Good article. One good reason why Putin himself is quiet is that he doesn’t know how to respond. His democracy may be a sham, but he still needs to take the sentiment of the Russians seriously. If he cannot control that sentiment through the state-owned media, he’ll have to follow it lest he risks …

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Technology, Ukraine and the fading of the nation-state.

Technology is what enabled Westphalia and is what is now slowly fraying it. Our national identity has weakened significantly as we’ve become far more exposed to other people and cultures. The nation state grew because communication was and could be constrained to language and geography. Moscow and Beijing still believe they can control that narrative …

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