In 1934 Sergei Kirov, an old Bolshevik who had been head of the Party organization in Leningrad, was assassinated with a shot to the back. Most of his NKVD bodyguards had been mysteriously removed before the murder. Josef Stalin, the Soviet Union’s absolute dictator, expressed shock at the murder and promised to investigate personally.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s vaunted “stability” has turned into spoliation. The methods he used to fix the corrupt, dysfunctional post-Soviet state have produced yet another corrupt, dysfunctional state—and unfortunately, there is no end to it in sight.
Leaders from Germany, France, Russia, and Ukraine met in Belarus to negotiate a ceasefire between Ukrainian troops and separatists. The ceasefire takes effect February 15, 2015, and outlines the withdrawl of heavy weapons and constitutional reform to provide more automony to groups in the Donetsk and Luhansk, regions in eastern Ukraine.
Whatever you think about sending arms to Ukraine, the debate has clearly had a positive effect on diplomacy. Throughout January, Angela Merkel, François Hollande, Petro Poroshenko, and Vladimir Putin canceled one meeting after another.
Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics Robert Kahn argues that the Russian economy is not yet facing a full-blown economic and financial crisis. An upturn in inflation and a deeper recession will be the real tests in the coming months.
According to the prevailing wisdom in the West, the Ukraine crisis can be blamed almost entirely on Russian aggression. Russian President Vladimir Putin, the argument goes, annexed Crimea out of a long-standing desire to resuscitate the Soviet empire, and he may eventually go after the rest of Ukraine, as well as other countries in eastern Europe.
Twenty-five years ago this November, an East German Politburo member bungled the announcement of what were meant to be limited changes to travel regulations, thereby inspiring crowds to storm the border dividing East and West Berlin.
President Vladimir Putin gave him annual address to the Russian Federal Assembly on December 4, 2014. he discussed events in the Ukraine related to the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement and current security situation. He also discussed his vision for the Eurasian Economic Union and other economic, business, and technology projects.
Senior Fellow Stephen Sestanovich argues that to understand where Vladimir Putin will lead Russia, viewers should look to three things in his state of the union address: how he defines the country’s present problems, what he proposes as solutions to them, and how he sets out his long-term vision for Russia.
Ambassador Blackwill and Mr. Simes discuss the stage currently being set for an even more dramatic confrontation between the West and Russia over Ukraine. The authors argue that President Obama must recognize the danger to U.S. national interests that the crisis may create and act accordingly.
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Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »