Latest Articles about politics

Shifting Discourse Between Xi and Putin On Ukraine

Executive Summary: Across 12 communiques, meeting readouts, and official phone calls between Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin since February 2022, the salience of language on Ukraine has reduced, but the substance has hardened. The latest communique includes a statement that “the root causes must be... MORE

Peng Liyuan Rises Up the Ranks: Implications for Xi’s Despotic Rule

Executive Summary: Recent behavior by General Secretary Xi Jinping suggests a contradiction in his approach to leadership. While he has sacked protégés, suggesting a reckoning with past personnel decisions, he continues to prioritize personal connections and loyalty over competence. This centralization of power is exemplified... MORE

Russian Ministry of Defense Conducts ‘Great Purge’

Executive Summary: The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) is currently purging numerous military officers and MoD officials in an alleged “anti-corruption” campaign. The political motivation for these attacks is unclear, though this could be an effort to find scapegoats responsible for Russia’s troubles in the... MORE

Iranian President’s Death Casts Shadow on Future of South Caucasus

Executive Summary: The death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is unlikely to fundamentally change Tehran’s foreign policy approach immediately, but it is already affecting Iranian domestic politics and could eventually affect its relations with the outside world. Any change would likely first be seen first... MORE

‘Long War’ Drives Putin’s Cadre Reshuffling

Executive Summary: Russian President Vladimir Putin has proven unwilling to trust anyone outside his inner circle and failed to promote younger politicians–effectively demanding that Russia’s aging political elite continue serving in government. Andrei Belousov, the newly appointed defense minister, is expected to resolve military overspending... MORE

Belousov Appointed as Russian Minister of Defense

Executive Summary: On May 12, Moscow replaced Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu with Russian economist and former First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov. Belousov’s appointment is likely geared at optimizing military spending and improving the war economy, as the Kremlin struggles with unpredictable arms costs. The... MORE

Georgians Fight for Their European Dream

Executive Summary: Protests intensified in Georgia after the parliament approved the second reading of the reintroduced Russian-style “foreign agents” law, as police arrested dozens of protesters and several opposition leaders were beaten by unknown assailants. Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze refused to visit the United... MORE