Policy Memos | Аналитические записки

Policy Memo # 658
Marlene Laruelle, Dylan Royce 29 Jun 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Kazakhstan is known as one of the countries most loyal to Russia—even more so, in many respects, than Belarus. Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana) indulges Moscow less often than Minsk in rigorous bargaining games. Still, since the Ukraine crisis and the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), Kazakhstan has occasionally distanced itself from Russia, at least declaratively. The Kazakhstani government, more generally,...
Policy Memo # 657
Mikhail Alexseev 25 Jun 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) With the spread of COVID-19 to Europe, policy patterns in the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DNR/LNR) indicate that these “separatist entities,” which Moscow engineered in 2014 to crush Ukraine’s EU and NATO aspirations, have increasingly pushed for joining Russia. This is a case of coronavirus-facilitated reverse irredentism—when a smaller entity that is part of one state seeks to merge with a neighboring state...
Policy Memo # 656
Irina Busygina, Mikhail Filippov 22 Jun 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) In Russia, formal constitutional principles of federalism cannot be abolished without putting the country’s political stability at significant risk. Even the Soviet leadership could not afford to take such chances. The size of the Russian territory, its diversity, the importance of its historical memory (both the Russian Empire and the Soviet federal construction), and the presence of ethnic regions all make abolishing...
Policy Memo # 655
Andrei Semenov 15 Jun 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Authoritarian regimes frequently employ strategic coercion and repression to prevent or halt mobilization. Russia under Vladimir Putin is not an exception. As the regime became more repressive after the 2011-12 mobilization wave, Aleksei Navalny’s 2018 presidential campaign faced familiar obstacles: no authorization for public rallies, detentions, administrative fines, and criminal charges. How consistent was the reaction...
Policy Memo # 654
Pavel Baev 05 Jun 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Syria has been an ongoing major focus in Russian security policy since its astounding military intervention in September 2015. Yet, now, it is barely present in political debates and news flows in Moscow. Attention began to dissipate in early March after the Russian-Turkish ceasefire agreement in rebel-held Idlib province that placed Russia’s total victory out of reach. By the end of March, the explosion of the COVID-19...
Policy Memo # 653
Mariya Omelicheva 01 Jun 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) On April 6, 2020, the U.S. State Department designated the Russian Imperial Movement (RIM) as a terrorist organization and placed its leaders on its list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists. This unprecedented move—the first time in history the State Department has deployed tools reserved for jihadist groups against a white supremacist organization—comes at a time of rising right-wing extremism and violence in the United...
Policy Memo # 652
Ivan Gomza 18 May 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) When compared to other post-Soviet countries, Ukraine seems to have responded to the COVID-19 challenge quite well. However, this might be an illusion. There has been massive underreporting and the disease initially struck sparsely populated rural areas, leading many citizens to perceive that isolation measures are an unnecessary threat to their livelihood. But now, the virus is no longer contained in the countryside and it...
Policy Memo # 651
Stephen Crowley 14 May 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) In seeking new sources of economic growth and a path leading out of the “middle-income trap,” Aleksei Kudrin, chairman of the parliamentary Accounts Chamber, has pushed for the government to inject resources into a handful of potentially Russian “global cities.” He contends that cities are the engines of growth in a globalized capitalist system. Superstar or global cities, as many have argued, such as New York, London, or...
Policy Memo # 650
Paul Goode 04 May 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Russia’s response to the current pandemic highlights its aspirations to become a world leader in facial recognition and artificial intelligence (AI). The adoption of self-isolation and digital pass regimes provides opportunities to showcase the country’s growing network of “safe city” programs with video surveillance for crowd and traffic control, which in some cities includes facial and vehicle recognition capabilities....
Policy Memo # 649
Erica Marat 04 May 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) To enforce quarantine measures, some Eurasian cities are relying on smart surveillance technologies initially installed a few years ago to capture criminal and disorderly behavior. Moscow, Nur-Sultan, and Kyiv have been leaders in retooling existing electronic surveillance infrastructure, including facial recognition cameras, to monitor violations of government restrictions on movement amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The...

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