Russian Federation

Op-Ed

An Earful for Vladimir Putin in Latest ‘Direct Line’ Call-In Show

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

It’s easy to snicker at Vladimir Putin’s annual televised call-in extravaganza, known as “Direct Line.” The show’s campy, “Dear Leader” deference would hardly be greater if Kim Jong Un were its star. Still, Mr. Putin’s performance is a valuable political barometer. The questions allowed and the answers they generate tell us how the Kremlin views the country’s mind and mood.

See more in Russian Federation; Presidents and Chiefs of State

News Release

State Capitalism Threatens Global Security and Prosperity, Argues Kurlantzick in New Book

Over the past two decades, many developing countries have turned away from free market capitalism and toward modern state capitalism, which is a combination of traditional state economic planning and elements of free market competition. In his new book, Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia Joshua Kurlantzick argues that modern state capitalism is ultimately “more protectionist, more dangerous to global security and prosperity, and more threatening to political freedom” than free market economics.

See more in Asia and Pacific; Russian Federation; Economics

Article

Falling Oil Prices, the Saudis, and the Soviets

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

With oil prices collapsing, Saudi Arabia is facing similar problems that the Soviet Union faced decades ago. Saudi policymakers’ economic reform strategies also echo those of  Mikhail Gorbachev. However, different from Gorbachev’s Soviet Union, Saud Arabia’s foreign policy is both confrontational and interventionist. Saudi seeks change, but hopes to keep it in bounds, and may want the world to remain a dangerous place.

See more in Saudi Arabia; Oil; Russian Federation

Event

Censorship and Free Expression in Modern Russia

Speaker: Ilya Danishevsky
Speaker: Anna Nemzer
Speaker: Maria Stepanova
Speaker: Ludmila Ulitskaya
Presider: Kimberly Marten

Four Russian literary figures share their experience as creative intellectuals in modern Russia and provide their perspective on the Russian government’s use of media, literature, and other forms of creative expression to regulate the narrative of the past and the present.

See more in Russian Federation; Culture and Foreign Policy

Article

Now Is the Time to Strengthen NATO

Authors: Michael R. Fenzel and Aaron Picozzi
Business Insider

The November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris and late October bombing of Russian Metrojet flight 9268 have not only crystallized the threat of the self-declared Islamic State to the world, but also created an unlikely opportunity to open a dialogue with Russia. However, these tragedies do not change the long-term threat Russia poses to stability in Europe.

See more in Russian Federation; Global; International Organizations and Alliances

Article

Testing Putin in Syria

Author: Richard N. Haass
Project Syndicate
There has been no shortage of scrutiny of what Russian President Vladimir Putin is up to in Syria and why, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass. Much of the analysis, though, has been narrowly focused on the short term and may be too negative in assessing his actions’ likely long-term consequences.

See more in Syria; Russian Federation; Conflict Assessment