Russia is moving to decriminalise domestic violence. Dubbed the 'slapping law', the bill that decriminalises certain acts of domestic violence was introduced by conservative parliamentarian Yelena Mizulina in January. It has now passed its third reading in the lower house, 380 MPs voted in support
The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States of America has elicited thousands of lines of newsprint as academics, journalists and the wider public seek to make sense of its implications. It has occasioned no less speculation in Russia, much of it shot through with a strong sense
Russians are preparing for a New Year heavy with historical symbolism.
A hundred years after their revolution, the French celebrated 1789 as year zero not only of the Republic that had finally emerged as France’s settled form of government, but also of a new, Enlightened era in the history of
In this quick comment, Russian scholar Matthew Dal Santo looks at how Russia-Turkey relations have changed in the last 12 months and why the shooting death of Russia's ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov in Ankara is unlikely to derail the budding rapprochement.
Photo by Mustafa Kurt/Anadolu
Vladimir Putin’s visit to Japan later this week is not interesting in itself. Rather, it is the strategic environment in which it is happening that holds our attention. Through this visit we can discern what the world’s powers think a Trump administration may mean for them, and see how they
Part 1 of this series examined the history of the US sanctions on Russia and differing measures of their success. This post looks at the impact of those sanctions in Central Asia amid many competing interests.
Since 1991 Russia has tried to consolidate its presence in Central Asia. At the same
Donald Trump’s election has caused consternation among almost every mainstream group of policymakers in Washington. Chief among them are those who advocate for a strong US posture against Russia, and the continuation of economic sanctions on Putin’s Russia that has defined the Obama
With plumes of black smoke at times issuing from its engines, Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the 55,000-ton Soviet-era Kuznetsov, arrived off the Syrian coast at the head of an eight-ship flotilla earlier this month. According to Russian media reports, Sukhoi SU-33 fighter jets from its
Among the first (and originally few) world leaders to congratulate Donald Trump on winning the White House was Russian President Vladimir Putin.
But was Putin also the first to call it?
After months of speculation about Russian meddling, nobody is now saying that Putin 'threw' the election
For part one of this essay, click here.
As explained in part one, Turkstream is a joint venture between Russia’s state-owned gas behemoth Gazprom and Turkey’s state-owned BOTAS. The route would transport Russian gas to Turkey under the Black Sea. The second stage of the project would focus on
Russia’s resurgence is undeniable. Whether it be in Syria, Ukraine, or Crimea, Russia is making headlines. There are allegations of Kremlin backed cyber-attacks on the current US presidential election, as well as reports of systematic democratic rollbacks within Russia. Russia is busy
Recent developments in the US Presidential race should put to rest any lingering doubt that one nation’s information warfare capabilities can fundamentally affect the politics of another.
At the third US presidential debate in Las Vegas, Hillary Clinton accused the Russian government of aiding
Happily, Russia and the US seem to have pulled back from some of the bitterness, outrage and disappointment that set the tone between them 10 days ago.
But the stakes in Syria remain incredibly high. There's a real danger that both sides, which had appeared to be on the verge of
On Tuesday, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson made an unusual suggestion during his debut appearance at the House of Commons as a representative of the government. 'I would certainly like to see demonstrations outside the Russian embassy', he said, in agreement with a Labour Party MP who had
Russia and China have just kicked off a joint naval exercise in the South China Sea, Joint Sea 2016. It is scheduled to last until 19 September, including a visit by the Russian surface contingent to China’s South Sea fleet headquarters at Zhanjiang. This is the latest in a series of Russo-Chinese
Russian President Vladimir Putin is well on the way to achieving several objectives of his military intervention in Syria.
Russia has ensured the survival of the Assad regime, its only Arab partner, without loss of Russian personnel to the rebels or becoming mired in a ground conflict. In doing so
Iran’s relationship with Russia has been characterised as many things, ranging from a ‘marriage of convenience’ to a ‘long-lasting alliance’. In reality it's a pragmatic working relationship forged between two countries that have faced similar political and economic pressures
Part one of this series examined the notion that Putin is encouraging re-Stalinisation in Russia. This post looks at the public rehabilitation of the Romanov Tsar Nicholas II.
If there's a Russian leader whose reputation has been unequivocally rehabilitated during the Putin era, it's Nicholas
When US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Moscow in March, looming over his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin was a statue of Russian Emperor Alexander II (1855-81). Known as the ‘Tsar-Liberator’, Alexander freed the serfs, introduced trial by jury, relaxed press
There was a time when it was legitimate to wonder what NATO’s future role would be. Not anymore. If anything, the Atlantic Alliance is facing too many missions. Russia and terrorism are not the only problems: there is unfinished business in the Balkans, in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as
Superficially, Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky’s recent claim that Netflix was a CIA plot resembles another excitable pronouncement from a Kremlin hierarchy increasingly out of touch with reality. The same goes for the regularly inflammatory comments of Dmitry Rogozin, the possible
The West tends to anticipate the eventual downfall of Vladimir Putin with certain exuberance and optimism due to expectations of a more ‘pro-Western’ alternative or even the return of Yeltsin-era policies. The anti-Russian sanctions following Moscow's seizure of Crimea were envisioned to turn
The silence from Western capitals as ISIS fled Palmyra was as deafening as it was understandable. In Syria, history has refused to follow the script.
On 2 October last year, US President Barack Obama warned that 'a military solution alone. . . an attempt by Russia and Iran to prop up Assad is
There has been widespread confusion among analysts about Russian motives in Syria, confusion that has led to flawed expectations. Russia never sought a 'winner-takes-all' victory. Rather, its entry into the conflict reflected its view that the West was a key obstacle in the way of a political
By Tom Holcombe, an intern with the Lowy Institute's International Security Program
It's been more than 70 years since World War II ended but there is still no peace treaty between Japan and Russia. Is this about to change?
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the 1956 Joint
Speaking in Washington last week, Julie Bishop noted Russia was 'talking up its so called pivot to Asia'. In her speech to The Center for a New American Security, the Australian foreign minister referred to speculation of an arms race in Asia. This has been driven, in part, by the military build
By Anna Powles and Jose Sousa-Santos
When the MV Saint Confidence and MV Solidat arrived in Suva Harbour last week to deliver a consignment of donated Russian weapons and equipment to Fiji, it sparked an immediate reaction. opposition MPs and security analysts have made several claims including:
The downing of a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 is awkward timing. Signs of a rapprochement in tensions between the West and Russia looked like genuine cooperation was underway in Syria. Russia had stepped up hits directed at ISIS and related infrastructure, and Russian President Vladimir Putin had
News that a Russian strike aircraft has been shot down by Turkey has again focused attention on Russia's air campaign in Syria, which began in late September. The Russians deployed a small but decisive air and naval force to side with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to protect his regime and,
Although relatively small in scale, Russia's military operation in Syria has highlighted some major improvements in Russian military capabilities.
Compared to the 2008 Georgia War, which was the last time the Russian Air Force operated in a combat environment, the Russian
The first tactical victory emerging from Russia’s intervention in Syria came not on the al-Ghab plain in Syria’s Hama province or around Syria’s divided commercial capital of Aleppo. Rather it came at the end of last month in the peaceful surrounds of Vienna. It was there
This week, unexpectedly, Syrian President Bashar Assad turned up in Moscow. He hasn't been seen outside Syria since unrest broke out four years ago.
The trip makes two important statements.
The first is that, thanks to Russian air strikes, the Syrian state — the actual Syrian state
Western analysts have been at pains to discern Russia's 'real aims' in Syria. But the best explanation probably remains the simplest: the preservation of the existing Syrian state and its institutions in pursuit of a political settlement that limits the amount of Syrian territory under