Tag Archives: Russia

Asymetric diplomacy and regime change in Syria

Within 24 hours of the US air strike on an air base in Syria last week, the US claimed it was not pursuing regime change. That was a ‘kiss of death’. Four days later, as he landed on Russian soil, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Syria’s President Bashar al Assad must go. […]

An unwilling Ukraine being taught its role in a Slavic tragedy

As eastern Ukraine spirals out of control, the interim government in Kiev is desperately seeking to renegotiate the Geneva agreement, aimed at restoring a semblance of unity in the now deeply divided state. Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, appears happy adjusting levers of strategic power to apply pressure, in turn in Donetsk, Sloviansk and now […]

Russia won't invade Ukraine — as long as everyone does what Putin wants

Russia’s political leaders appear to be taking a particular pleasure in the planned and co-ordinated dismemberment of Ukraine. As with any unprincipled thug, Russia’s only constraint is ensuring it remains internationally unaccountable while continuing to dismantle its vulnerable neighbour. Russia is now breaking off pieces of the country at will and ignoring international protestations while […]

The new tri-polar world: why Russia can do whatever it likes

United States political leaders bluster, but Russia continues to be unmoved by their protestations over its annexation of Crimea and the massing of troops along Ukraine’s border. Long having believed itself the world’s only superpower, the US is now being delivered a lesson in real politik, if not humility. Estonia, which has a large Russian […]

Crimea vote: Russia's big win, but what now for Ukraine?

Lining up with death and taxes, the outcome of the weekend’s vote in Crimea on whether or not to join Russia was certain before the event. Somewhat remarkably — with about two-thirds of Crimea’s population being ethnic Russian and the other third being openly opposed to joining Russia — the vote to join Russia was […]

Cornered, the Russian bear likely to show its teeth in region

The immediacy of events in Ukraine, including the recent the pro-Ukranian demonstrations in Kiev and pro-Russian demonstrations in eastern Donetsk, have blinkered much understanding of the unfolding crisis to Moscow’s south. The triumphalism that accompanied the collapse of the Soviet Union left many Western observers blind to an underlying architecture predicated on Russia’s deeply felt […]

The president is gone, but Ukraine's democracy hopes in tatters

The ouster of president Viktor Yanukovych has ended an era of heavy-handed political rule in Ukraine, but it has ushered in a period of considerable instability. It would be distinctly optimistic to believe that the ending of Yanukovych’s rule will lead to a Ukrainian liberal democracy. Among the mobs that occupied Independence Square and eventually […]