As President-elect Joe Biden is busy with cherry-picking candidates for his team, it becomes clear that the new administration will be more cooperative on some issues while it will also retain Donald Trump’s antagonistic China policy on the others.
On 22 March 2020, a contingent of 104 Russian military doctors and health workers arrived in Italy, carrying ventilators and other medical equipment. Their boxes and vehicles carried stickers reading ‘from Russia with love’. The operation was allegedly meant to be a charm offensive, a ‘gesture of solidarity’ with no geopolitical or other hidden objectives carried out in the framework of the Kremlin’s ‘health diplomacy’ strategy.
Russia has a long history of prioritizing space power and today, more than ever, Russia’s emphasis on national security space activity is growing. The world should take note of Russia’s quietly growing capabilities and develop strategies for how to protect space for the benefits and in the interests of all countries. The response to Russia’s current behavior should be informed by an understanding of their past behavior and current motivations and potential vulnerabilities.
“The poisoning of the opposition leader, Mr Alexei Navalny, has shocked all of us. We can expect that this will have an impact on European Union-Russia relations.” This is how the EU Vice-President Josep Borrell addressed the EU Parliament last September. Navalny’s poisoning is yet another episode of the EU-RU relations saga, adding up to tensions stemming from the Belarus protests, conflicts in Ukraine and Nagorno-Karabakh, clashes over energy and particularly the start of the Nord Stream 2 operations.
Over the last few years, environmentalism has proven to be an increasingly pressing civil society issue. However, Russian environmentalism hardly has common traits with its Western counterparts. While 2019 was the culminating year of Greta Thunberg and the youth movement Fridays For Future in the West, similar initiatives did not enjoy such popularity in Russia, they did not gain importance within the public discourse and they had virtually no influence on policymaking processes.
With the international attention focused on last August’s poisoning of Alexey Navalny, the most famous opponent to Vladimir Putin’s government in Russia, an analysis on the composition, current role and future influence of Russia’s opposition is needed. This dossier looks at the major groups forming opposition—both those operating within the formal institutions and the major players outside it. Who are they? How influential are they and what are their requests? What challenges do they face in an increasingly authoritarian Russia?
The protests ‘For Fair Elections’ in 2011-2012 exposed the role of social media in Russian domestic politics. International social media platforms such as Facebook mostly helped to mobilise protesters; however, the government was also effective in countering protests with information and communications technologies.
The year 2020 marked 20 years in power of President Vladimir Putin and yet, in a way, could also be dubbed as the year of Russian opposition. It started off with the heating up of talks of succession, which had been going on for some time already, even before the end of the Putin-Medvedev tandem era.
Asked about which national idea his country most needed, Vladimir Putin responded on multiple occasions that “Patriotism is the only possible ideology” for Russia. In the Russian political glossary, “patriotic” is almost synonymic to “nationalism”, adding a nuance of some kind of supremacy and/or victimization of the nation compared with competing countries, rather than just a generic love for the motherland.
Since 11 July of this year, protests against the arrest of former popular regional governor Sergei Furgal have continued in Khabarovsk, one of the largest cities in Russia’s Far East. The protest has neither leaders nor organization. It originated as a spontaneous civil protest, but very quickly turned into a political and anti-Kremlin one. The sleepy society very quickly turned into a civil society.