Pavel K. Baev

Dr. Pavel K. Baev is a senior researcher at the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO).

Contact Pavel K. Baev


    Articles by Pavel K. Baev

    Two Words That Shook Putin’s Regime

    The resonance in Russia from a short fragment of United States President Joseph Biden’s ABC News interview last Wednesday (March 17) has been extraordinarily loud—and the bilateral consequences could be

    The Russian Side of the Murky Story in Belarus

    The presidential elections in Belarus were expected to be a tightly controlled affair, resulting in a convincing victory, on August 9, for the incumbent, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who has firmly retained

    Russia Stages Parade for Troubled Naval Fleet

    The “tradition” of staging an annual naval parade in St. Petersburg was established by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2017, and every year the show has become more extravagant. Last

    Moscow Downplays the Mixed Warnings From Munich

    The proceedings of the annual Munich Security Conference always attract keen attention in Moscow, and last weekend (February 14–16) was no exception. The discussions at this high-level forum are indeed

    Moscow Plays Hard Ball in the High North

    The message from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to his Norwegian counterpart, Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Spitsbergen Treaty was rude even

    Russia Struggles With the Chinese Challenge

    The scope of the epidemiological disaster unfolding in China has dawned on Russia remarkably late. Last Wednesday (January 29), President Vladimir Putin called a small meeting to check national readiness

    Russia Exploits Middle East to Subvert Europe

    Amidst the Russian government reshuffle and constitutional revisions (see EDM, January 16, 20, 2020), the only international set of troubles that President Vladimir Putin had time to address in the

    Putin’s Surprise and Russia’s Foreign Policy

    The Russian political class suffered a massive shock from President Vladimir Putin’s address to the Federal Assembly last Wednesday (January 15) in which he delivered three unexpected bombshells (see EDM,

    Moscow Seeks to Sow Discord During NATO Jubilee

    Russia regularly mixes demonstrations of military might and claims of devotion to cooperation with the West as a means of weakening Western solidarity. And Moscow has been fine-tuning this conspicuously

    Putin Tries to Find Asia Beyond China

    The Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok last week (September 4–6)—the fifth one since the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in 2012—was traditional in its pompous proceedings but rather unusual in

    Russian Economic Forum—All About China

    The annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum was held last week (June 6–8) with the usual pomp and spin. But the traditional goal of attracting Western investments was clearly replaced

    Russian Intrigues in the Middle East

    Russian diplomacy is well known for its apparent readiness to engage with all parties to the multiple conflicts in the Middle East, and this characteristic has recently produced another awkward

    Russia Sets an Anniversary Ambush for NATO

    The meeting of 29 foreign ministers from member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), in Washington, DC, last week (April 3–4), marking the 70th anniversary of the North

    Three Conferences and a New Set of Russian Sanctions

    Mid-February registered a remarkable sequence of international forums, whose participants debated and sought to counter Russia’s power politics in Europe and the Middle East. First, defense ministers of the North

    Four Intrigues in Putin’s Support for Maduro

    Russia has positioned itself as the main supporter of Nicholás Maduro’s regime in Venezuela, thus risking turning a crisis in a far-away country into an embarrassing political defeat. Official propaganda

    Putin’s Anti-Israeli ‘Surge’ in Syria

    The Russian Ministry of Defense did not wait long to deliver its promised S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Syria. On the night of October 3, a huge An-124 Ruslan transport plane

    Russia Goes for Another Pyrrhic Victory in Syria

    Military preparations for an offensive on the rebel-controlled Syrian province of Idlib are complete, air strikes have already commenced, and the Russian diplomatic dance around Syria’s war zone is moving

    Did Putin Overplay His Hand in Helsinki?

    The summit between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Helsinki last Monday (July 16) continues to generate strong international resonance, despite apparently producing few if any tangible results. In

    Reminding Russia About Its Lost Seat at the G7 Table

    This year’s G7 summit, held in Quebec, Canada, on June 8–9, was overcome by seemingly unprecedented controversies even before United States President Donald Trump suggested bringing Russia back into this

    Russia Retreats From International Developments

    The end of April was extraordinarily rich in high-profile international events—and Russia was conspicuously absent from all these dynamics. The president of South Korea and the North Korean dictator planted

    US Again Calls Russia’s Bluff on Syria

    For a week following the April 7 chemical attack in Douma (a suburb or Damascus, Syria), Russia was high-strung with anxiety about the United States’ forthcoming punishment of the Bashar

    Putin Looks Forward to Meeting With Trump in Vietnam

    Russia remains a dark cloud hanging over the White House, but United States President Donald Trump nevertheless intends to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin during this year’s Asia-Pacific Economic

    Russia Tries to Conclude Its Syrian Venture

    The working dinner in Ankara, last Thursday (September 27), between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin, was not a productive affair or a cordial meeting of

    Four Downward Turns in US-Russian Relations

    The trajectory of the manageable but mismanaged confrontation between the United States and Russia has fluctuated since the start of the year. And this past week, it registered at least

    Moscow Tries to Prod, Exploit European Disunity

    Despite the serious escalation of tensions in Northeast Asia in recent weeks, Russian diplomacy has been prioritizing European intrigues. The biggest upcoming event in this context will be the meeting

    Russia Absent From North Korean Crisis

    This past week’s big and still developing story is the sharp escalation of confrontation on the Korean peninsula. But Russia, which has made itself a key actor to many current

    Kremlin Reels From US Missile Strike on Syria

    The nearly five dozen Tomahawk cruise missiles that the United States fired on Friday night (April 7) at the Syrian Al-Shayrat airbase produced far more political resonance than kinetic impact.

    Washington Post quotes Russia expert Pavel Baev

    On January 14, The Washington Post quoted regular Eurasia Daily Monitor contributor and Russia expert Pavel Baev on what to expect from Russia-U.S. relations under the Trump administration. Baev provided

    Putin Casts Shadow Over US Presidential Campaign

    One striking feature of this year’s United States presidential election campaign has been the invisible but remarkably persistent background presence of Russia and its leader, President Vladimir Putin. Putin can

    A String of Intrigues on Putin’s Eastern Tour

    The G20 summit in Hangzhou, China (September 4–5), was not expected to produce major news in global governance. But for Russian President Vladimir Putin, it opened a unique opportunity to

    The Futility of Dialogue With Putin

    The need to keep the channels of dialogue open with an unpredictable Russia is taken as an absolute imperative by many Western politicians. But they are often surprised when this

    Russia Bargains and Bluffs for Breakthrough in Ukraine

    For months, the various negotiations formats on conflict management in Ukraine appeared deadlocked. But suddenly, in mid-January 2016, signs of a breakthrough in the making have multiplied—bringing both hopes and

    Pavel Baev Interviewed by CNN

    Long-time Russia expert Pavel Baev was interviewed by CNN, on October 15, regarding Russian's air campaign over Syria.

    NYT Quotes Jamestown Russia Expert Pavel Baev

    Regular contributor to Jamestown's Eurasia Daily Monitor Pavel Baev was quoted by The New York Times, on July 15, regarding Moscow's reluctant approach toward the Iran nuclear deal.

    Iranian Deal Leaves Russia in Deeper Isolation

    Moscow tried its best to present the hard-negotiated deal in Lausanne, Switzerland, on curtailing and controlling the Iranian nuclear program as a success of its firm diplomatic position for a

    Two Summits and a Military Exercise

    The postponed Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan summit took place last Friday (March 20) in Astana, but the program was cut so short that the only point for staging the event appeared to be

    Russia Makes Haste in Severing Ties With Europe

    Russia has achieved much success last week in its rush toward self-isolation, and perhaps the most demonstrative step was made in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

    Futile Hope for the Dubious Summit in Astana

    Despite the apparent deadlock in armed clashes in eastern Ukraine, an idea to bringing together the presidents of Russia and Ukraine, together with their peers from Belarus and Kazakhstan as

    Could Normandy Help Ukraine Contain Russia?

    Russian President Vladimir Putin had more meetings than could have been expected with his European peers and even with US President Barack Obama during the ceremonies in Normandy last Friday

    The Munich Shadow over the US-Russian Post-Reset

    The traditional Munich security conference had a particular and very different meaning last weekend for US Vice President Joseph Biden and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who had an hour-long

    Russia Steps and Slips into Foreign Policy Limbo

    The notion of “re-Sovietization” has been on the lips of many Russia-watchers, and now US State Secretary Hillary Clinton has spelled it out after a rather disappointing meeting with Russian

    Putin’s Energy Games Turn Increasingly Erratic

    As the US, French and British airstrikes are maintained on Libya, the recent major question about Russia’s reliability as energy supplier for Europe is becoming smaller. Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin,

    Moscow Learns to Play by Asia-Pacific Rules

    The visit to Moscow by Japan’s Foreign Minister, Seiji Maehara, on February 11 did not lessen the diplomatic row between Russia and Japan that acquired a spectacular character during the

    Medvedev Enjoys Foreign Policy “Successes”

    Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, has completed an unprecedented foreign policy marathon that started on October 19, with the a trilateral meeting in Deauville with French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, and German

    Medvedev Adrift in a Sea of Economic Multi-polarity

    The G20 summit in Seoul last week was outstanding in its intensity of divergences that this crisis-born institution sought to harmonize. The US unfortunate unilateralism in money-making and China’s shameless

    Merkel and Sarkozy Talk Shop with Medvedev

    The trilateral summit between French President, Nikolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev was advertised as an event of greater significance rather than just another cozy

    Russia: Stuck in a Year of Events and Little Change

    Last year was for Russia both extraordinarily hard and very unlucky –but it saw strikingly little economic reforms and practically no political development. Opinion polls show that a significant majority

    Russian Economy Failing to Modernize

    In his first comment on the sudden explosion of violent conflict in Kyrgyzstan, President Dmitry Medvedev tersely observed that “the protests reflect an extreme disaffection with the incumbent authorities among

    Russia Finds Itself Passed its Security Prime

    At the annual Munich security conference last weekend, Russia received as little attention as it had attracted at the Davos World Economic Forum in the previous week. The star presenter

    Russian Gas Offensive Tests EU Energy Plans

    The intensity of energy-political conflicts in Europe has been subsiding since the Russian-Ukrainian "gas war" in January, but last week Moscow launched a new offensive aiming at three crucial targets:

    Russia’s Sinking Economy and Wandering Politics

    The high-intensity but low-yield gas war with Ukraine allowed the Russian leadership to engage in the bargaining and blackmailing that it thrives on. Now that Prime Ministers Vladimir Putin and

    Gazprom’s War Has Damaged Russian Interests

    It was hardly a surprise when Prime Ministers Vladimir Putin and Yulia Tymoshenko, both dressed in black, solemnly announced an agreement to end the Russian-Ukrainian gas conflict in the wee

    Russia’s Slow Start into a Post-Prosperity Year

    The extra-long Christmas-New  Year-Rozhdestvo (Orthodox Christmas) celebrations in Russia have been muted this season, and unmistakable anxiety stands in stark contrast to the exuberance that greeted the arrival of the

    MEDVEDEV’S ADDRESS IS RETURNED FOR REVISIONS

    A major presidential performance had been scheduled for last week in the Kremlin, but it was postponed indefinitely at the last possible moment and without any convincing explanation. President Dmitry

    THE POST-WAR TRAJECTORY OF RUSSIA-EU NON-PARTNERSHIP

    Very few features of the “five-day war” between Russia and Georgia testify to the proposition that common political sense prevailed over military opportunism: Russian tanks stopped outside Tbilisi; the Russian

    RUSSIAN “TANDEMOCRACY” STUMBLES INTO A WAR

    Moscow was disconcertingly taken by surprise with the sharp escalation of hostilities in South Ossetia last Friday. The most apparent part of the problem was the lack of leadership, as

    MEDVEDEV’S FOREIGN POLICY TAKES INDEFINITE SHAPE

    President Dmitry Medvedev, after completely ignoring foreign policy issues on the election trail, has performed a high-intensity campaign of visits, speeches and meetings since late May, wrapping up this season

    A TRAP FOR MEDVEDEV IN THE TNK-BP CONFLICT

    Political salons in Moscow are bubbling with rumors about President Dmitry Medvedev’s liberal agenda, but in a peculiar way, with Russia’s sports victories in ice hockey and football adding credibility

    HOW MUCH WILL EUROPE MATTER FOR MEDVEDEV?

    The anguish in the Kremlin corridors as the hyper-presidential system of power is being reformatted into an experimental two-headed form is hard to overestimate. Just a few days before the

    MEDVEDEV DARES NOT VENTURE INTO INTERNATIONAL ARENA

    European leaders have been quick to check the attitude and indeed the authority of the Russian President-Elect Dmitry Medvedev. French President Nicolas Sarkozy was the first to call with congratulations

    MOSCOW RAISES STAKES IN IRAN GAME

    In the last days of 2007, Moscow made several purposeful steps that barely registered in the West, where the Christmas break was already well underway. The first step was the

    MOSCOW LAMBASTES WEST DURING ELECTION LULL

    Russia has slipped into a distinctly anti-climactic mood since the December 2 parliamentary elections delivered exactly the result planned in the Kremlin. In hindsight the massive propaganda campaign appears to

    RUSSIA HAS VOTED AS ORDERED, NOW WHAT?

    The big political event that happened in Russia yesterday, December 2, can hardly be called “elections,” since few of the 60 million Russians who cast their vote really cared about

    MOSCOW WITHDRAWS FROM EUROPEAN SECURITY SYSTEM

    “We don’t need no arms control” – was the message enthusiastically chanted by Moscow last week. It could have been a week of constructive engagement with Europe, as Prime Minister

    HIGH INFLATION REVEALS PUTIN’S MISTAKES

    Russia may appear to be an island of tranquility in the sea of troubles that engulfed the world economy last week. Its stock market continues to rise, its banks are

    PUTIN HAS FEW ANSWERS FOR IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has established an annual tradition of long, televised meetings where he answers carefully selected questions from “loyal subjects.” The session held on Thursday, October 18, had

    MOSCOW MEASURES THE NEW WESTERN UNITY ON IRAN

    International issues have been overshadowed during the last three weeks as the Russian governmental crisis triggered an avalanche of speculation that has swept aside two stale presidential hopefuls – First

    ZUBKOV: THE TAX MAN COMETH?

    Just one week after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s surprise dismissal of the government, experts and commentators in Moscow still remain in the dark about the real meaning of this development.

    RUSSIAN FLAG STAKES ENERGY CLAIM AT NORTH POLE

    Russia made big international waves last week with a successful Arctic expedition that combined scientific and geopolitical goals. The research ship Akademik Fedorov and the nuclear icebreaker Arktika left Murmansk

    MOSCOW ESCALATES DIPLOMATIC ROW WITH LONDON

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has characterized the current deterioration of Russian-U.K. relations as a “mini-crisis” that would be overcome in the “interests of common sense.” In fact, however, this diplomatic

    PUTIN TAKES THE CASPIAN ROAD TO KENNEBUNKPORT

    Russia-U.S. relations show few signs of improvement in the last days before the eye-to-eye meeting between Presidents Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush in the informal atmosphere of the Bush

    PUTIN SAILS THROUGH HIS LAST G-8 SUMMIT

    As is usually the case, the weeks preceding the G-8 summit saw a dramatic escalation in tensions between Russia and other members of this elite club, in particular the United

    PUTIN’S DOUBLE TRIUMPH NOT YET IN THE BAG

    While Russian President Vladimir Putin has recently had serious disagreements with the United States and the European Union and bitter quarrels with Belarus and Ukraine, he has always been at

    DOES PUTIN HAVE AN ARMS CONTROL AGENDA?

    The wave of loud protestations in the West against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “moratorium” on implementing the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty (1990/1999) has temporarily subsided, as the concerned

    IN FAREWELL ADDRESS, PUTIN DISTRIBUTES OIL MONEY

    It was the “moratorium” on implementing the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, a largely symbolic gesture of little practical consequence, that captured Western attention in Putin’s address to parliament

    A BAD WEEK LEAVES PUTIN WITH ANOTHER 50 TO GO

    Russia saw a truly macabre chain of disasters last week. On Saturday, March 17, a Tu-134 missed the runway and crash-landed in Samara, killing six passengers but miraculously not bursting

    RUSSIA’S MILITARY PR PART OF KREMLIN INTRIGUES

    After one month as Russia’s second first deputy prime minister, Sergei Ivanov is enjoying ample, uniformly positive media attention that will secure him higher numbers in opinion polls and expert

    THE IRANIAN TEST FOR PUTIN’S NEW COURSE

    The report on Iran’s nuclear program that Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), presented to the UN Security Council on February 22 presents an inescapable

    PUTIN EXPANDS THE GOVERNMENT AND DEROGATES THE MILITARY

    A huge bureaucratic surprise occurred in Moscow on February 15 when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced new appointments in the government, typically providing very little explanation for his sovereign decisions.

    PUTIN PLANS TO “STAY THE COURSE” FOR 2008

    Russian President Vladimir Putin obviously enjoyed this year’s installment of his annual press conference. Held on February 1, the 2007 session set a new record of three and a half

    MOSCOW IS REMINDED THAT “WAR ON TERROR” IS NOT OVER

    Unprecedented nation-wide preventive measures against a possible terrorist attack were introduced in Russia on Tuesday, January 16, on orders from Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the National Anti-Terrorist Committee (NAC).

    THE CHECHEN EXECUTION SQUAD COMES TO MOSCOW

    On Saturday evening, November 18, machine-gun fire erupted on Leninsky Prospect in downtown Moscow. Special police forces and a bomb squad quickly arrived at the scene and discovered one fatality.

    COULD CORRUPTION BE GOOD FOR RUSSIA?

    The new Corruption Perception Index, published by Transparency International last week, put Russia in 121st place together with nine other states, including the Philippines and Rwanda. This ranking is one

    PUTIN DOWNPLAYS ENERGY DIALOGUE IN PARIS

    Russian President Vladimir Putin resumed his European engagements last week, traveling to Budapest and Paris; he also plans a sentimental trip to Dresden in mid-October. The atmosphere at the meetings,

    RUSSIA WRAPPING UP ITS WAR AGAINST TERROR

    The outstanding success of the British secret services in foiling a terrorist plot that could have claimed hundreds of lives did not fail to make headlines in the Russian media.

    MOSCOW QUIETLY RAISES ITS GAME IN THE MIDDLE EAST

    Three weeks after the eruption of hostilities in Lebanon, Russia has remained uncharacteristically cautious and reserved. President Vladimir Putin took a very active stance in the debates on the conflict

    ENERGY SECURITY DOMINATES SUMMER SUMMIT SCHEDULE

    In mid-June, the heads of one North American, some Eurasian, and most European states travel non-stop, seeking to patch holes in the laboriously spun networks of cooperation. Russian President Vladimir

    RUSSIA TAKES ANOTHER STEP AWAY FROM DEMOCRACY

    Last Friday, June 9, the Russian State Duma approved legislation that would eliminate the voting option "against all" in the ballots provided for elections at all levels, from local to

    Shifting Battlefields of the Chechen War

    The constant stream of “small bad news” from Chechnya and the North Caucasus creates the impression of a stagnant local war and a region-wide condition of “stable instability,” with smoldering

    SELLING “ENERGY SECURITY” IN BUDAPEST AND PRAGUE

    For many years Russia's European policy neglected the group of states from Slovenia to Poland that are now new EU members. These former "satellites" were perceived as intrinsically "Russia-phobic." Russian

    RUSSIAN ECONOMIC BOOM GOES UNNOTICED IN DAVOS

    This year's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, featured many themes that could have benefited from a Russian perspective. From the "New Mindset for the UN" to "Europe's Identity Crisis"

    HAS MOSCOW TURNED ITS BACK ON TEHRAN?

    The protracted, slow-moving intrigue around Iran's nuclear program accelerated sharply last week as the international seals on the research facility at Natanz were removed. The frustrated European "troika" -- France,

    PUTIN PROTECTS ISLAM AND PRAISES DEMOCRACY IN GROZNY

    The newly elected Chechen parliament held its first session on Monday, December 12, and the big surprise was the unscheduled appearance of Russian President Vladimir Putin (Vremya novostei; Kommersant, December

    PUTIN’S RUSSIA AS AN UNCERTAIN PROPOSITION

    The presentation of the first annual Failed States Index – a joint project of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Fund for Peace – provided considerable fodder for

    PUTIN PERFORMS A EUROPEAN PIROUETTE

    A visit to the Netherlands on November 1-2 provided Russian President Vladimir Putin with a timely opportunity to re-establish his European credentials. The previous week had a distinct Asian flavor

    NOBEL COMMITTEE SENDS WARNING TO THE RUSSIAN MILITARY

    The Kremlin approved wholeheartedly the "exceptionally right decision" to award the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize to the International Atomic Energy Agency and Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei, noting particularly that "he does

    STATE BUDGET POSES RISKS FOR RUSSIAN ECONOMY

    Last week 11 leading Russian economic experts sent a letter to Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov warning about the possible – and possibly grave – negative economic consequences from the planned

    PUTIN PRAISES STABILITY AND PROMISES PROSPERITY

    Yesterday, September 27, Russian President Vladimir Putin spent nearly three hours answering questions from Russians who had gathered in specially organized studios across the country. The questions had been carefully

    GAZPROM’S NEW EUROPEAN ROUTE: CRY UKRAINE?

    Russian President Vladimir Putin's brief visit to Berlin last week was not only perfectly timed for the German elections but also loaded accordingly: He delivered a valuable gift to his

    MOSCOW DODGES IRAN’S NUCLEAR OFFENSIVE

    The European troika (France, Germany, and the UK) was clearly taken by surprise last week by Iran's determined drive to resume its uranium enrichment program. Their proposal, delivered to the

    PUTIN’S SINKING PRESIDENCY: WHAT EFFICIENCY?

    Last week saw a significant shift of emphasis in the unseasonably hot political commentary in Moscow: It was not whether but how Vladimir Putin will secure a third presidential term

    DISENTANGLING THE MOSCOW-BERLIN AXIS: FOLLOW THE MONEY

    Russian foreign policy under Vladimir Putin’s presidency has been generally undetermined and often opportunistic with only one constant: strategic partnership with Germany. This country definitely occupies the central place in

    MOSCOW IS UNIMPRESSED BY PUTIN’S CELEBRATIONS

    The long-heralded celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Victory Day are finally over, and many Muscovites find themselves with an odd aftertaste. The event that was supposed to be both

    THE NORTH CAUCASUS SLIPS OUT OF CONTROL

    The collapse of Askar Akayev's regime in Kyrgyzstan, so similar to the events in Georgia or Ajaria, has reinvigorated the debates simmering in Moscow since the Orange Revolution in Kyiv:

    Putin’s Team in Disarray Over Oil Money

    Yet another quarrel between Gazprom and Rosneft, Russian state-owned energy companies that are due to merge but cannot agree on conditions, hardly qualifies as news (Financial Times, March 16). Their

    WILL PUTIN PULL THE PLUG ON THE CIS?

    Observing the bitter disputes around Russian military bases in Georgia, sour demarches in the State Duma against Moldova, and icy diplomatic exchanges between Russia and Ukraine, it is hard to

    MOSCOW INSISTS ON SEEING NO EVIL IN IRAN

    Russia's position on Iran, as presented by President Vladimir Putin to President George W. Bush in Bratislava and by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to the EU "troika" in Luxembourg, is

    IS EUROPE TOO SMALL FOR BOTH BUSH AND PUTIN?

    "Disappointing" may be the common post-mortem on the Bratislava summit, but it would still be unfair to call the meeting a non-event. Reviewing the unresolved issues, it is now possible

    GAZPROM’S CRISIS OF OVERGROWTH

    Gazprom, Russia's almighty monopoly producer, distributor, and exporter of natural gas, is in serious trouble. Its directors' meeting on January 26 was expected to reveal the bitter disagreements about the

    PUTIN’S ERODING SUPPORT BASE

    Putin's extraordinary approval ratings have become a constant in the multi-variable equations of Russian politics; it is quite possible that they would remain up in the 60% range even after

    WHAT IS WRONG WITH ANDREI ILLARIONOV?

    Russian President Vladimir Putin clearly wanted to have the last word about the year 2004. First he shifted his "traditional" lengthy press conference to December 23, and then he confidently

    WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO RUSSIA’S ECONOMIC POLICY?

    Russia has seen controversial political initiatives, acute security crises, and bitter electoral battles in the last half-year. What it has not seen is a series of consistent economic steps or

    GEORGIA CHALLENGES THE KREMLIN’S WORLDVIEW

    The October 3 presidential election in Abkhazia has produced a far greater reaction in the Russian media than the scale of Russia's involvement in this Georgian separatist region or indeed

    MOSCOW CONVENIENTLY FORGETS CHECHNYA

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was certainly in his element at the UN General Assembly last week, packing a full schedule of meetings and delivering a hard-hitting speech. Admittedly, he

    The European Troika Meets In Sochi

    On the last day of summer, French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder visited Russian President Vladimir Putin at his vacation residence, Bocharov Ruchei, near Sochi. Their discussions

    PUTIN THE PACIFIST?

    By Pavel K. Baev Despite all the excitement the Second Gulf War is generating, it may be worthwhile to take a moment to reflect on the desperate maneuvering that took

    A USEFUL WAR?

    By Pavel Baev Last week Vladimir Putin issued orders for a constitutional referendum to be held in Chechnya, paving the way for presidential and parliamentary elections there. However, fighting in

    THE CIS: REFUSING TO FADE AWAY

    By Pavel Baev The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), created hastily in late 1991 as the Soviet Union was falling apart, is such an obvious failure as an integration project

    Shifting Battlefields of the Chechen War

    The constant stream of “small bad news” from Chechnya and the North Caucasus creates the impression of a stagnant local war and a region-wide condition of “stable instability,” with smoldering