On April 23, 2021, Russia “withdrew” its forces, which it had built up along its border with Ukraine. After a rather rapid escalation and then stagnation of tensions, the question remains: is Russia an opportunist, taking advantage of an “opening” it found, or is this event a real, viable threat to regional stability? Is Russia trying to start an international war or is it merely testing Western waters to see what it can reap without damaging consequences?
The presidential decree which unplugged three pro-Russian TV channels overnight on 2 February 2021 has been hailed by pro-Western Ukrainians as the first bold move by Ukraine President Volodymir Zelensky to counter Russian propaganda.
While the EU expressed its concerns and the US praised the decision, journalists unions condemned such an interference in the freedom of the media.
Yet, all international conventions protecting freedom of speech establish a few motives on the base of which a State can restrict such freedom and one of the most popular ones is a pressing though historically abused necessity: national security.
Well, this is is exactly the interest that Zelensky claims to protect.
As Alexei Navalny’s health is said to be deteriorating in jail, our contributor Kamila Koronska has performed a Google trend analysis comparing popularity of the Russian opposition leader with Vladimir Putin.
The arrest of Alexey Navalny upon his return to Russia has triggered widespread protests. For many, they represent the first step towards democratization. This article, though, argues that things are more complicated. The first problem is that Navalny is a much more controversial figure than he seems. In fact, his idea of democracy might be very different from the Western concept of democracy. The second problem is less idiosyncratic and more strategic. Namely, the Russia regime seems willing to lock up Navalny for quite some time. And this alone, could leave protestors without a leader and without purpose.
On January 23rd, protests across Russia demanded Alexei Navalny’s release from detainment, and called out the corruption unveiled in his latest investigation. The demonstrations grew quickly in size and in violence, instantly attracting international attention.
While the world is still dealing with the impacts of the pandemic, the Russian and Chinese militaries seem to be growing closer than ever. On December 22nd, 2020, Russian and Chinese bombers flew a joint patrol mission over an area of the Western Pacific that is dangerously close to disputed territories between China, South Korea, and Japan. This mission succeeds a first one in 2019 which had already shaken up peace in East Asia.
On November 16, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an agreement to set up a naval base on the Red Sea coast in Sudan. Given the strategic geographical position of Sudan, Russia has more to gain than to lose.
Although there has been history of hacking activity especially from Russia, the new report released by Microsoft shows that hacking by nation-state actors has become more prominent than ever, especially from Russia.
Oil and natural gas are undergoing an important crisis, as they are running out worldwide. In this context, powers like Russia and China have chosen to detach from the reliance on Middle Eastern oil, and have been seeking to create their own regional independence to the point companies such as Gazprom and Sinopec have overtaken US and European former leaders like ExxonMobil and Shell. What does this imply for oil security in Northeast Asia? And how are these countries coping with sustainability and oil consumption?
Belarusian protests have received an array of international responses. Each have competing visions for Belarus – which one will Lukashenko opt for?