Russia-NATO Relations

Putin’s Spin Merchants Flip the Script as Key Referendum Approaches

cc kremlin.ru, modified, http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/59999

The president’s loyalists turn bad news into good ahead of a referendum that could keep Putin in power long after his current term ends.

Belarus: Presidential Elections, Russia, and Skewed Coronavirus Statistics

US Department of State, modified, public domain, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Secretary_Pompeo_Meets_With_Belarusian_President_Lukashenko_(49473917277).jpg

Belarus’ skewing of COVID-19 statistics is unfortunate, but it must be viewed in the context of its ongoing high-stake geopolitical standoff with Moscow.

Russia’s Military Modernization: Prevailing in Limited Conflicts

cc Flickr Robert Sullivan, modified, https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/

Russia’s ongoing military modernization has increased the country’s conventional capabilities – but only to a point.

EU Enlargement and the Geopolitical Battleground of the Balkans

cc Flickr EU2018BG Bulgarian Presidency, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The EU’s glacial enlargement process may fall foul to outside geopolitical players in the Western Balkans.

COVID-19 in Ukraine: Religion and Geopolitics in a Pandemic

cc Flickr Jennifer Boyer, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Ukraine’s long-running religious schism has spilled into the country’s COVID-19 response.

SIPRI Annual Report: Three Takeaways from Global Defense Spending

cc Flickr Official U.S. Navy Page, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/, PACIFIC OCEAN (Feb. 12, 2020) An unarmed Trident II (D5LE) missile launches from Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Maine (SSBN 741) off the coast of San Diego, California, Feb. 12, 2020. The test launch was part of the U.S. Navy Strategic Systems Programs’ demonstration and shakedown operation certification process. The successful launch demonstrated the readiness of the SSBN’s strategic weapon system and crew following the submarine’s engineered refueling overhaul. This launch marks 177 successful missile launches of the Trident II (D5 & D5LE) strategic weapon system. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Thomas Gooley/Released)

Geopolitical forces could mean that the global COVID-19 dip in defense spending turns out to be short-lived.

Backgrounder: The Water Crisis in Crimea

Sunset over the Dnieper River, which once met most of Crimea's water needs,, cc Flickr tuyddatygl, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Exploring the economic, environmental, and geopolitical dynamics surrounding the ongoing water crisis in Crimea.

Putin May Struggle to Keep His Western Neighbors Close

LukaPutin, cc Kremlin.ru, modified, http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54178

The Russian president’s attempts at consolidating his ‘near abroad’ might have the opposite effect.

The Bering Strait: A New Chokepoint for Great Power Competition

The attack submarine USS Annapolis (SSN 760) rests in the Arctic Ocean after surfacing through three feet of ice during Ice Exercise 2009 on March 21, 2009. The two-week training exercise, which is used to test submarine operability and war-fighting capability in Arctic conditions, also involves the USS Helena (SSN 725), the University of Washington and personnel from the Navy Arctic Submarine Laboratory. DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Tiffini M. Jones, U.S. Navy. (Released), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USS_Annapolis_ICEX.jpg

The Northern Sea Route through the Arctic will alter global trade flows and in doing so create new geopolitical chokepoints. Chief among them is the Bering Strait, where US, Russian, and Chinese interests converge.

Sino-Russian Relations: Toward a Second Split?

Presidents Xi and Putin, cc http://en.kremlin.ru/catalog/persons/351/events/54971/photos/49273, modified,

Sino-Russian relations have flourished under a mutual disdain for US global influence. But is the relationship really as healthy as it seems?

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