2021 kicked off with some old and new challenges for Moscow: the economic and health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new administration in the US, sanctions and volatile oil prices, and political crises in Russia’s neighbourhood, where we are witnessing an escalating stand-off over Ukraine. At the same time, international concern over the health of the jailed Russian opponent Alexei Navalny is growing, while President Vladimir Putin has signed into law the results of last year’s constitutional referendum allowing him to potentially hold on to power until 2036. How do these and other internal and international factors affect Russia’s global role in this newly shaped order?
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