№ 1 January/March 2005
  • The Spiral of Russian History

    The year 2004 has proven to be Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most difficult year since he took office in 2000. Apart from an upsurge in terrorism, which culminated in the horrible terrorist act in Beslan, Putin faced a decrease in economic growth rates, the declining position of Moscow in the post-Soviet space, and a marked deterioration in the West’s attitude toward Moscow.

  • From Global Controversies to Regional Conflicts

    A strategic goal for Moscow would be to bring the process of the Soviet Union’s disintegration to a logical end. This would entail international recognition of the right to self-determination for those peoples living in the post-Soviet area, who are willing to be incorporated into Russia.

  • The Near Abroad: Increasingly Far Away from Russia

    If the Russian authorities do not amend their policies, Moscow’s efforts to keep the former ‘sister republics’ under its influence may force those countries to turn to those who will offer them a more intelligible scenario for future development.

  • The Orange Color of the Bourgeoisie

    The change of power in Georgia and Ukraine only remotely resembles velvet revolutions that took place in Eastern Europe some 15 years ago. These are not popular uprisings that change social order of a country, they are bureaucratic revolutions, as the most active part of the ruling class feels that the frameworks of the existing political and economic system are already too narrow for it.

  • Ukraine: Check or Checkmate?

    Western commentators insist that U.S. interest in Ukraine’s recent presidential election was an altruistic gesture with the purest intentions; it merely wanted to crack open the blackened windows of the former Soviet frontier to some democratic sunshine, and other such poetical pretensions. It would be truly heartwarming if this was really the whole story, but unfortunately it is not.

  • Kaliningrad: Gateway to Wider Europe

    Moscow does not have a geopolitical understanding of the Kaliningrad Region’s role, nor a long-term economic strategy. If Moscow continues to do nothing, the Kaliningrad Region, like a ripe fruit, will fall into the EU’s hands on its own accord.

  • The Putin Strategy

    Putin’s strategy is built on the principles of the free market, a strong state and its security organizations; on an open, independent and active foreign policy; and on respect for traditions, continuity and patriotism. According to any of the classifications accepted in the world, such a set of principles is rather characteristic of right-wing politicians and conservatives.

  • The Great Watershed Year

    Russian society is obviously going through an abrupt turning point, and the most capable and notable personalities are once again unwanted in their homeland. The idea of a civic society, a vogue of the recent past, has transformed into the judgment of numerous loyalists who are vigorously tipping the FSB on anything that looks suspicious, while the FSB is fully unprepared for it.

  • Manual Governance

    “Indeed, Putin’s conduct is the one of an absolute monarch,” a top official from the Kremlin remarked frankly. “But you have to govern all that manually and on a daily basis if you want to keep it under control. Forget about any system in the next 20 to 30 years, until the time when people who are 18 to 20 years old today come to power.”

  • Property and Freedom

    The destruction of YUKOS shows that once the bureaucrats get off their leash, they become guided by anything but the interests of the state. They believe that the state machinery should serve their interests, while all other functions are inessential and can be forgotten (temporarily or for good). The bureaucrats have no respect for the state and regard it simply as a mechanism of attaining their personal objectives.

  • Identifying Russia’s Foes

    The staunch opponents of the regime, who pretend to hate Putin’s Russia, actually hate Russia per se. This certainly applies to the majority of our professional democrats and ardent champions of universal human values. Since the President says we are at war, the people who are against us must be called foes, not opponents.

  • A No-Compromise War

    Islamists do not wait for concessions from the Russian Federation, nor any other country they are fighting against. They simply want to destroy the country and its citizens: atheists and believers, Moslems and non-Moslems.

  • Winning a War While Not Losing the Peace

    Is there anything in common between the armed conflicts in Chechnya, Afghanistan and Iraq? The answer is, practically everything is different: their history, their nature, the composition of the conflicting parties and their goals, the legal basis, social and political consequences, etc. Yet, there are some points that permit us to compare these conflicts and even learn some vital lessons from them.

  • Democracy, International Governance, and the Future World Order

    Democracy cannot be imposed from the outside. Attempts to replace a ruling regime by force only serve to destabilize the situation in a given country. Democratic institutions must be formed on the national basis of a given country, while the international community must help create favorable conditions for promoting this process. It must show respect for the existing traditions of every country and for the choice of ways to develop democracy.

  • The United Nations: Challenges of Our Time

    The UN Charter provides for all possible ways to collectively counteract threats to security and stability. So the question is not how to amend the Charter, but how to best use the high potential of this document, as well as the potential of the UN Security Council and the United Nations as a whole.

  • Can Russia and Germany Save the Middle East?

    Something bold needs to be done to salvage the Greater Middle East initiative and move its fate off dead center for the benefit of all participants, beneficiaries and donors alike. Russia and Germany are uniquely qualified to assume the responsibility of saving the G8-GME initiative. But the available window of opportunity for this historic initiative is rapidly closing.

  • Challenges of Market Building

    Although at different stages, both the EU and Russia are transition economies. In the last two decades, Russia and the EU engaged in unprecedented market building projects. The EU decided to complete the Single Market, while Russia, which had been operating for more than seventy years under the principles of central planning, began transforming itself into a market economy.

  • The Sources of American Conduct

    What are the motives behind American foreign policy decisions? To date, when the U.S. completely dominates the international arena, it is critical to understand the political, psychological, ideological and cultural sources of American conduct in order to formulate an adequate policy of relations with the U.S.

  • Limited Possibilities and Possible Limitations

    Over the last few years, the Russia-U.S. bilateral relations, far from growing stronger, have approached a dangerous point. The elites in the two countries have developed feelings of mutual disillusionment with each other, as well as the suspicion that the other side is secretly nurturing hostile plans. The presidents’ friendship has ceased to be a means for solving these problems and is actually becoming a means for veiling them.

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