Tag Archives: Vladimir Putin

Opinion: NATO's Maritime Future

Opinion: NATO’s Maritime Future

USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) and the guided-missile frigate USS Taylor (FFG 50) participate in a bilateral underway engagement with Romanian ships, the frigate ROS Regina Maria (F 222) and the frigate ROS Marasesti (F 111) in the Black Sea in April 2014. US Navy Photo

USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) and the guided-missile frigate USS Taylor (FFG 50) participate in a bilateral underway engagement with Romanian ships, the frigate ROS Regina Maria (F 222) and the frigate ROS Marasesti (F 111) in the Black Sea in April 2014. US Navy Photo

The transatlantic alliance successfully navigated some rough seas in 2014. A year that began without any allied consensus on NATO’s proper direction in the world looks set to conclude with unanimity in the face of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s foray into Ukraine. Last month’s NATO summit in Wales especially seemed to prove that Europe still can give a good account of itself when necessary. Yet the hard work of follow-through on all the political commitments made there remains to be done, and the fundamental question raised by Russia’s belligerence—whether NATO will endure as a viable military entity—warrants close scrutiny in 2015. In no case more so than NATO’s maritime domain, where the Ukraine crisis prompted only slight adjustments at the same time it highlighted the need for a major course change. Read More

Brookings Panel Outlines Tensions In Ukraine Conflict

Brookings Panel Outlines Tensions In Ukraine Conflict

Russian troops in Crimea in March. REUTERS Photo

Russian troops in Crimea in March. REUTERS Photo

The way out of the Ukraine-Russia crisis lies in both countries realizing they “are not just neighbors, but relatives”—a goal not easily reached, a former senior State Department official said. He added, “Let’s just hope they survive the next week” as fighting has stepped up around separatist strongholds in Donetsk and Luhansk. Read More

Navigating Ukraine’s Civil War

Navigating Ukraine’s Civil War

Pro-Russian separatists at a check point in Kharkiv in Eastern Ukraine.

Pro-Russian separatists at a check point in Kharkiv in Eastern Ukraine.

As summer rolls on, Russian-built anti-aircraft missiles continue to down aircraft over eastern Ukraine. While a great deal of ink has been spilled over exactly what kind of missiles are deployed, and who is giving the launch authorizations and actually launching them, one fact is salient: This is an escalation, intentional or not, that elevates the simmering Ukrainian civil war beyond Donetsk. Read More

China and Russia Kick Off Joint Naval Drills

China and Russia Kick Off Joint Naval Drills

Chinese president Xi Jinping and Russian president Vladimir Putin greet participants of Joint Sea-2014 exercise at Wusong naval port in Shanghai, east China, May 20, 2014. Xinhua Photo

Chinese president Xi Jinping and Russian president Vladimir Putin greet participants of Joint Sea-2014 exercise at Wusong naval port in Shanghai, east China, May 20, 2014. Xinhua Photo

The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and the Russian Navy kicked off a week of naval exercises in near Shanghai on Tuesday, according to Chinese and Russian press reports. Read More

Opinion: Will Germany and Russia Decide Ukraine's Fate?

Opinion: Will Germany and Russia Decide Ukraine’s Fate?

Donbass residents vote in the referendum on the status of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic. RIA/Novosti Photo

Donbass residents vote in the referendum on the status of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. RIA/Novosti Photo

The referenda held Sunday in Ukrainian regions Donetsk and Luhansk have been denounced by many—but deserve cold, rational consideration. This is the prequel to the upcoming 25 May elections, conducted in a state of civil unrest—near civil war—in eastern Ukraine. Read More

Are the Baltics the Next Crimea?

Are the Baltics the Next Crimea?

balticstates

In Tartu Estonia, there is a building on the main square, constructed on an uncertain foundation that leans precipitously. The locals call it the “Leaning House” or the “Pisa Building.” Ironically, it leans to the west, appearing something like a hunting hound straining at the leash to be loosed to run after its quarry. In this case, though, complex histories, and Russia, are the leash.

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Opinion: Russia's Moment in the Sun Over Syria is No Triumph

Opinion: Russia’s Moment in the Sun Over Syria is No Triumph

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

The past several weeks have been surreal for Russia-watchers as the benighted country they follow has enjoyed more media exposure than at almost any other time over the past 20 years. The Russians, often caricatured in the American media as blundering, blustering, and ignorant bullies, have been running diplomatic circles around a disinterested and discombobulated Obama administration. Through skill, persistence, and a fair amount of good luck, Sergei Lavrov and Vladimir Putin managed to get the United States to sign on to a deal that would (with an absolutely enormous “if” around the willingness of the Syrian government to cooperate) peacefully take control of and eventually destroy the Assad regime’s store of chemical weapons. It’s been awhile since the Russians had a moment in the sun that was comparable. Read More