Is the anti-corruption agenda all that it’s cracked up to be?

File Photo of Two Persons Shaking Hands and Exchanging Cash

The fight against corruption is often sold as the pill to end all postsocialist ills. Activists and researchers in Poland, Russia and Ukraine give their views on why we need to challenge it. (opendemocracy.net – Editors of Opendemocracy Russia – April 21, 2017) Recent years have seen a rise in anti-corruption protest movements across postsocialist states. In January, thousands took […]

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The Putin Doctrine

Russian Soldiers Marching

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – August 17, 2016) Eight years ago, Georgia’s government apparently started a war with Russia — even though Georgian troops never left Georgian territory. Two and a half years ago, the Ukrainian people apparently started a war with Russia — by overthrowing a corrupt and autocratic ruler in a popular uprising. You really gotta […]

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OPPORTUNITIES: Research fellow openings at Centre for East European and International Studies (Zentrum für Osteuropa – und internationale Studien)

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

Subject: Job advert Date: Mon, 30 May 2016 From: Lejly Agamuradova <agamuradova@dgo-online.org> Job advert Centre for East European and International Studies (Zentrum für Osteuropa- und internationale Studien) The German Bundestag has allocated funds to enhance expertise on Russia and Eastern Europe in Germany. On this basis, the Federal Government is establishing the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS) […]

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Degradation of Russian Elites Underlies Russia’s Decline, Pastukhov Says

Russia Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 24, 2016) “The thinning out of the Russian ‘cultural stratum’ and, as a result, the degradation of elites who have turned out to be incapable of responding to new historical challenges,” Vladimir Pastukhov says, is the underlying cause of the current decline of the country. All other causes, technological, societal and […]

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Post-Soviet parliamentarian drama: a view from ‘the gods’ in Kiev

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

The political history of Russia’s neighbours can be described in terms of one long conflict between a presidential authoritarian tendency and democratic parliamentarianism. Parliaments are the key. (opendemocracy.net – Mikhail Minakov – February 22, 2016) Mikhail Minakov is Associate Professor at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and President of the Foundation for Good Politics, Kyiv. He is also director of the Krytyka Institute, […]

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100 Million Fewer People Speak Russian Now than Did 25 Years Ago

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia Staunton, December 26, 2015) The number of people who speak Russian has declined by 100 million since 1989 or 27 percent, according to Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the Duma committee on compatriots and Eurasian integration. (In 1989, 370 million said they spoke Russian; now, 270 million do.) But instead of seeing this as […]

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NEWSWATCH Carnegie Endowment for International Peace/Eugene Rumer, Paul Stronski: “Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia at Twenty­Five-A Baseline Assessment”

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace undertakes an overview of former Soviet states two-and-a-half decades following the USSR’s collapse. For nearly twenty-five years following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia, Ukraine, and the rest of the former Soviet lands now collectively referred to as Eurasia defied the best and the worst expectations of students of the region’s history. Unfortunately, […]

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ASN 2016 World Convention Call for Papers (Deadline Reminder: 29 October)

Columbia University Campus with Main Building

Subject: To Post: ASN 2016 World Convention Call for Papers (Deadline Reminder: 29 October) Date: Tue, 20 Oct 2015 00:30:09 +0000 From: Dominique Arel <darel@uottawa.ca> To: davidjohnson@starpower.net <davidjohnson@starpower.net> Dear David: could you post this Deadline Reminder on JRL? Thanks, Dominique [A PDF of this announcement can be accessed at http://nationalities.org/uploads/documents/ASN16_Call_for_Papers.pdf] Call for Papers 21st Annual World Convention of the Association […]

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NEWSWATCH Wall Street Journal: Georgia Dials Down Conflict With Russia. Shift comes as fighting in Ukraine draws the West and Moscow into a contest for spheres of influence.

Georgia Map

The Wall Street Journal covers Georgia’s shifting policies towards Russia Georgia has toned down its confrontational stance toward Moscow, even as Russia has supported separatists in Georgia and Ukraine. The two countries severed diplomatic relations after the 2008 war and still don’t have embassies. Joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is still Georgia’s declared ambition, [Zurab] Abashidze[, Georgia’s special representative […]

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NEWSLINK Wilson Quarterly/Theodore Gerber, Jane Zavisca: WHAT 18 FOCUS GROUPS IN THE FORMER USSR TAUGHT US ABOUT AMERICA’S IMAGE PROBLEMS [excerpt]. After talking with dozens of people in Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Kyrgyzstan, two contradictory, prevailing themes emerge about the United States.

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

THE UNITED STATES has a major public relations problem in former Soviet countries. Not only in Russia, but in Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, and even Ukraine, ordinary people see the U.S. as an arrogant, hegemonic superpower that meddles in the affairs of other countries in a cynical pursuit of its own interests – perceptions that dovetail with the Russian government’s official critiques […]

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Russia Only Has Itself to Blame for Lost Influence in Post-Soviet Sphere

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – July 1, 2015) As Russian officials scramble to heap blame on Western NGOs for anti-government protests that have swept the Armenian capital in recent days, analysts argued that Moscow only has itself to blame for its loss of influence in the former Soviet space. More specifically, Russia has lost its regional grip […]

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NEWSLINK Washington Post: Russia – perhaps more restrained and less powerful than you think?

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Debates about the origins of Russia’s intervention into Ukraine have typically taken as given Russia’s position as a muscular, capable regional power, engaged in what Realists regard as power maximization. This perspective suggests the moves by Russia were caused by external forces and NATO’s move east, with conquest of the former Soviet space an inevitable response. Critics of this perspective suggest that […]

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Oligarchic Capitalism Blamed for Loss of Russia’s Position in Former Soviet Republics

Map of Former Soviet Union

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 12, 2014) The Russian Federation, by focusing on the construction of “oligarchic capitalism,” essentially “threw all the union republics” to their own fates, and as a result, the governments and peoples have turned away from Moscow and ethnic Russians are fleeing back to Russia, thus further undermining Russian influence. That harsh […]

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‘Donkey Heart’ Shows Soviet Past Behind Family Turmoil

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Elizabeth Kaplunov – May 27, 2014) As the Soviet Union fades from the memories of the youngest generations of Russians, it still underpins the consciousness of their parents. The play “Donkey Heart,” written by Moses Raine and directed by his sister Nina Raine, focuses on the psychological setup of a family in post-Soviet Moscow, describing […]

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The collapse of the USSR and the illusion of progress

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(opendemocracy.net – John Weeks – May 26, 2014) John Weeks is Professor Emeritus, School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London, and author of ‘Economics of the 1%: How mainstream economics serves the rich, obscures reality and distorts policy’, Anthem Press, published earlier this year. The collapse of the USSR was the occasion for much rejoicing. But 25 years […]

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Putin Draws His Own ‘Red Lines’ across Post-Soviet Space

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Seated at Desk

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, March 27, 2014) The Western powers have long talked about “red lines” in Syria and elsewhere, actions or events that they say have suggested underscore their concern and indicate where they will act. Now, Russian President Vladimir Putin has done the same, and his “red lines” underscore that his moves in Ukraine […]

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Stability across Former Soviet Space ‘Deceptive,’ Moscow Paper Says

European Portion of Commonwealth of Independent States

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 26, 2014) Despite the fact that the Ukrainian revolution is far from over, many in Moscow are asking where the next such outburst of turmoil and change in the former Soviet space will happen, a question prompted by the fact that most Russians were “unprepared” for what happened in Kyiv, according […]

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Moscow Faces Five Growing Obstacles to Integrating Post-Soviet Space, MGIMO Professor Says

European Portion of Commonwealth of Independent States

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 18, 2014) Both because the Russian empire has always been “an empire of a special type” and because ethnic Russians remain “the most divided people in Europe,” Moscow has every right to “struggle” to overcome what Vladimir Putin has described as the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century, according to […]

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Interfax: Russia has no wish to restore USSR though integration has benefits for former Soviet republics – Matviyenko

Valentina Matviyenko file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 20 (Interfax) – The statements of people accusing Russia of imperial ambitions or aspiration to restore the Soviet Union are groundless, Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said. “No one wants to restore anything and it is impossible already, so such statements are absolutely baseless,” Matviyenko said at an integration club meeting in the Russian Geographical Society. It […]

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Putin’s Imperial Integration Plans are ‘Insanity,’ Inozemtsev Says

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, December 12, 2013) Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plans to re-integrate the former Soviet space not only will fail because integration presupposes “a unity of culture, economics and culture rather than seeking to seize the most territory” but will undermine the possibilities for Russia’s own development, according to Vladislav Inozemtsev. In an article […]

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Interfax: Conflicts on former Soviet soil should be settled peacefully – Russian Orthodox Church

Archpriest Vsevolad Chaplin file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 3 (Interfax) – Head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations Vsevolod Chaplin has said that peaceful solutions should be found for conflicts in former Soviet states. “People are predetermined to live side-by-side in peace. Enmity, wars and total conflicts, whether they be controllable or uncontrollable, are always bad. We can see this in many events […]

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Interfax: Russian MP: Eastern Partnership policy of amputation of post-Soviet states

EU Map

(Interfax – November 27, 2013) Pro-Kremlin United Russia MP Leonid Slutskiy has accused the EU of conducting a policy of “amputation” of post-Soviet countries from Russia-led alliances. Privately-owned Interfax news agency quoted the chairman of the State Duma committee for CIS affairs and Eurasian integration saying in reference to the EU’s Eastern Partnership policy, specifically as regards Ukraine: “The European […]

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Populations of Former Soviet Republics Have Fallen or Increased Less than Projected in 1990

Map of Former Soviet Union

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 10, 2013 – Chart here: http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/11/window-on-eurasia-populations-of-former.html) The former Soviet space had 48 million fewer people living on it in 2010 than Soviet demographers in 1990 had predicted for that year, with all 15 of the states having smaller populations than were was projected for them and 10 of the 15 having […]

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Job Announcement: Center on Global Interests Program Director

Map of Former Soviet Union

From: Kerry Eickholt <keickholt@globalinterests.org> Subject: Job Announcement: Center on Global Interests Program Director Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2013 Center on Global Interests Program Director The Center on Global Interests (CGI) is seeking a Program Director to lead the development and implementation of its research programs. Our active programs focus on global governance in the 21st century, U.S.-Russia bilateral relations, and […]

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Eurasia Director postion

Eurasia Map

From: Jeff Yarborough <jeff.yarborough@opensocietyfoundations.org> Subject: Eurasia Director postion Date: Fri, 25 Oct 2013 The Open Society Foundations are currently searching for a Director to lead our Eurasia Programs. The link to position is here: http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/about/jobs/director-eurasia-programs   Jeff Yarborough | Russia Project | Open Society Foundations | T: 212-548-0128 |F: 646-557-2473 | jeff.yarborough@opensocietyfoundations.org

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Putin Outlines Priorities of Russia’s Presidency in CSTO

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(RIA Novosti – SOCHI, September 23, 2013) ­ Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday named Russia’s priorities during its presidency in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a military alliance of former Soviet states. The CSTO Council, the organization’s supreme ruling body comprising leaders of the six member states, gathered in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi. Kyrgyzstan handed […]

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Ukraine can’t be ‘here and there’ at the same time – Medvedev on Ukraine’s integration

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 19, 2013) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has reiterated that Ukraine cannot combine its associated membership in the European Union with integration in the Customs Union. During a meeting with the participants in the 15th General Assembly of the Organization of Asia- Pacific News Agencies (OANA), he said such statements by the Ukrainian administration on its […]

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NEW BOOK: Strategic Cooperation: Overcoming the Barriers of Global Anarchy

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2013 Subject: New book: Strategic Cooperation:  Overcoming the Barriers of Global Anarchy From: Michael Slobodchikoff <mslobodchikoff@troy.edu> Michael O. Slobodchikoff Lecturer of Political Science Troy University Troy, AL TITLE: Strategic Cooperation:  Overcoming the Barriers of Global Anarchy AUTHOR: Michael O. Slobodchikoff PUBLISHER: Lexington Books (2013) ABSTRACT: Power inequalities and mistrust have characterized many interstate relationships. Yet most […]

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