Russia (Internal)

CrisisWatch Russia (Internal)

Unchanged Situation

Antisemitic attacks left dozens injured in North Caucasus, Moscow moved to withdraw from nuclear test ban treaty, and Ukrainian strikes continued.

Antisemitic violence erupted in North Caucasus. Amid worrying escalation in Israel-Palestine (see Israel/Palestine), several hundred residents 28 Oct demonstrated outside hotel in Dagestan Republic’s Khasavyurt city following rumours Israeli refugees were staying there; crowd dispersed but notice appeared at hotel saying “entrance is strictly prohibited for foreign citizens of Israel (Jews)”. Hundreds 29 Oct stormed airport in Dagestan’s Makhachkala city to search for Jewish passengers arriving from Israeli city Tel Aviv, clashing with security forces and leaving over twenty injured; authorities arrested 60 people. In Kabardino-Balkaria Republic, unknown assailants 29 Oct set fire to Jewish cultural centre in capital Nalchik and wrote “death to Jews” on wall. President Putin 30 Oct blamed West and Ukraine for helping stoke unrest.

Moscow moved to reverse nuclear test ban ratification and unveiled new missiles. Putin 5 Oct raised possibility of withdrawing ratification of Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, citing U.S. failure to ratify. Russia’s envoy to Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization Mikhail Ulyanov next day confirmed plans, saying it “doesn’t mean the intention to resume nuclear tests”. State Duma and Federation Council 18, 25 Oct respectively approved bill to withdraw ratification. Meanwhile, Putin 5 Oct announced “successful” test of Burevestnik cruise missile and completion of Sarmat super-heavy intercontinental ballistic missile.

Ukrainian strikes into Russia persisted. Russia faced more Ukrainian attacks, particularly targeting border regions. Notably, military 4 Oct shot down 31 unmanned aerial vehicles in Belgorod, Bryansk and Kursk regions. Belgorod regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov 12 Oct reported fallen drone killed three civilians in Belgorod city. Ministry of Defence 18 Oct announced air defences had shot down 28 drones over Belgorod, Kursk and Black Sea; Ukrainian media outlets same day claimed at least eighteen drones struck military camp near Khalino airfield in Kursk.

Authorities arrested Alexei Navalny’s lawyers. Crackdown on dissent continued. Notably, authorities 13 Oct detained three lawyers representing imprisoned opposition politician Alexei Navalny on charges of participation in “extremist community”; 26 Oct charged Russian-American journalist Alsu Kurmasheva for violating “foreign agents” law.

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In The News

26 Jun 2023
Russian weapons and facilities are under solid control and there’s no evidence that Wagner or anyone else is looking to capture them. Time

Olga Oliker

Program Director, Europe and Central Asia
24 Jun 2023
If Russian soldiers feel their commanders are not in control, their trenches will be much easier to take for advancing Ukrainian troops. The Hill

Simon Schlegel

Senior Analyst, Ukraine
20 Feb 2023
I think they [the Kremlin] will use this [Biden's Kyiv trip] to repeat the line that this is a conflict between Russia and the West, not between Russia and Ukraine. Newsweek

Oleg Ignatov

Senior Analyst, Russia
17 Jan 2023
Russian engagement in the Sahel is very low-cost [financially]. It is distracting the West and diminishing the West’s symbolic power. OZY

Franklin Nossiter

Researcher, Sahel
14 Nov 2022
Moscow also has leverage over Türkiye in other conflict zones such as Syria and the South Caucasus, as well as a vested interest in driving a wedge between Turkey and its... Bloomberg

Nigar Göksel

Project Director, Türkiye
17 Oct 2022
We have seen nuclear deterrence work, on the part of both Russia and Western countries. NPR

Olga Oliker

Program Director, Europe and Central Asia

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