Russia / Transit

How Eurovision Became the Kremlin’s Mousetrap

The Kremlin presented Ukraine with two options, both of which were mousetraps. Were Ukraine to allow Samoylova to enter the country, it would violate its own law and tacitly recognize the “Russian status” of Crimea. Were Ukraine to stick to the rule of law and ban her – and this is what happened – it would indirectly tarnish its image as a country that adheres to European values.
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Crimea as a Glimpse into a Post-American World

Fareed Zakaria’s “post-American world” may not be as benign as the author envisaged back in 2008. Other centers of power may follow Russia’s lead and start exploiting the cracks in the international order rather than engage in helping to patch them up.
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Washington Has Sealed Aleppo’s Fate

In recent months, the diplomatic posturing in Washington about a cease-fire in Aleppo barely obscured its acquiescence in Bashar al-Assad’s winning the war before the end of the Obama administration. The fall of Aleppo makes us examine who we are. Despite generally honest media coverage, an international mobilization for the besieged city never materialized.
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Autocracy: Rules for Survival

Despite losing the popular vote, Trump has secured as much power as any American leader in recent history. The Republican Party controls both houses of Congress. There is a vacancy on the Supreme Court. The country is at war abroad and has been in a state of mobilization for fifteen years. This means not only that Trump will be able to move fast but also that he will become accustomed to an unusually high level of political support. He will want to maintain and increase it—his ideal is the totalitarian-level popularity numbers of Vladimir Putin—and the way to achieve that is through mobilization. There will be more wars, abroad and at home.
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Aleppo as a Path to Invincibility

As soon as the U.S.-Russia-brokered cease-fire agreement collapsed about two weeks ago, Assad’s army, supported by the Russian air force, intensified its bombing campaign and artillery shelling of the besieged areas. The Syrian government prevents humanitarian aid from getting to Aleppo, saying that this is how the rebels get arms and ammunition. The result is a bloody stalemate in which neither side is prepared to compromise and no force on the ground is overwhelming enough to claim victory and thus end the carnage. Eastern Aleppo is facing defeat by slow attrition if no political agreement is reached.
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Die Idee des Intermariums: Ein mittelosteuropäischer Pakt gegen russischen Neoimperialismus

Die Sicherheitsinteressen Zwischeneuropas und vor allem der Ukraine verlangen nach einem Intermarium-Block – einer Koalition der Staaten zwischen Ostsee und Schwarzem Meer.
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American Politics Caught in a “Russian Trap”

I don’t know whether the Kremlin even has a favorite in the U.S. elections, but I do know what Russia’s ruling politicians love to watch. They love seeing others get caught in what one might call a “Russian trap”: when others are caught doing the very thing they accuse Moscow of doing. They enjoy watching those who accuse Moscow of calling its opponents “foreign agents” do the same to their own political opponents.
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The Trump-Putin Fallacy

Imagine that your teenage child has built a bomb and has just set it off in your house. The house is falling down all around you—and you are blaming the neighbor’s kid, who threw a pebble at your window. That’s what the recent Putin fixation is like—a way to evade the fact that Trump is a thoroughly American creation that poses an existential threat to American democracy.
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Why Putin Loves Trump

Mr. Putin’s predilection for Mr. Trump has nothing to do with the Kremlin’s traditional preference for Republicans. It also can’t be explained by the fact that had Mr. Putin — a physically sound, aging, gun-loving and anti-gay conservative — been an American citizen, he would have fit the profile of a Trump supporter. Rather, Mr. Putin’s puzzling enthusiasm for Mr. Trump is rooted in the fact that they both live in a soap-opera world run by emotions rather than interests.
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What the West Gets Wrong About Russia

Vladimir V. Putin finds his name emblazoned on nearly every page of the myriad memos and papers struggling to understand the mind-set driving Russia’s strategic behavior. To understand Mr. Putin, the thinking goes, is to understand Russia. But is that quite right?
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