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Russia (Internal)

CrisisWatch Russia (Internal)

Unchanged Situation

Weekly mass protests continued in Far East, while security forces led counter-terrorism operations in North Caucasus. In Far East, thousands of protestors in Khabarovsk city rallied on Saturdays throughout Oct to protest July arrest of former local governor and member of nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Sergei Furga for alleged involvement in murders of businessmen in 2005-2006; baton-wielding police 10 Oct cracked down on protest for first time, detaining 25 people for alleged illegal attempt to erect protest tents in central square. Authorities 5 Oct reportedly charged son of detained former Khabarovsk Governor Anton Furgal with organising illegal protests. In North Caucasus region, National Anti-Terrorism Committee confirmed counter-terrorism operations in Chechnya and Republic of Ingushetia. Special forces 11 Oct led anti-terrorist operation near border of Sernovodsk district, in Chechnya, and in Sunzha district, in Ingushetia, killing two alleged militants; clash between special forces and alleged militants 13 Oct killed three officers and four militants in Oktiabrsky district in Grozny city, Chechnya. Kremlin 5 Oct announced that President Putin had accepted Dagestan leader Vladimir Vasilyev’s request to “relieve him from his duties.”

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

31 Aug 2020
The Kurdish leadership has every reason to suspect that Russia will not push Damascus to accept anything that Turkey might interpret as protecting or legitimizing the YPG. Kurdistan24

Dareen Khalifa

Senior Analyst, Syria
15 Apr 2020
To issue orders that people will not obey erodes one’s power. For Putin, that is existential. Politico

Anna Arutunyan

Former Senior Analyst, Russia
6 Apr 2020
[...] this is an effort to minimize offending Moscow that reflects the fact that U.N. officials believe that continued cooperation with Russia is key to the future of humanitarian operations in Syria. New York Times

Richard Gowan

UN Director
14 Feb 2020
Escalation is likely going to continue [in Syria] as long as Turkey and Russia cannot agree on a new cease-fire. NBC News

Berkay Mandıracı

Analyst, Turkey
11 Sep 2018
[Russia is] targeting the [African] regimes that do have not have very good relations with the west or who are dissatisfied with west like Sudan, Zimbabwe and CAR. The Guardian

Thierry Vircoulon

Former Senior Consultant, Central Africa
27 Aug 2018
[The rapprochement between Russia and Turkey] demonstrates a striking level of pragmatism in this relationship. Associated Press

Anna Arutunyan

Former Senior Analyst, Russia

Latest Updates

Q&A / Europe & Central Asia

Deadly Clashes in Syria’s Idlib Show Limits of Turkey’s Options

A deadly attack on Turkish forces in Syria has brought Idlib’s crisis to a dangerous crossroads. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Turkey, Syria and Russia experts explain what happened and what’s at stake.

Op-Ed / Europe & Central Asia

Putin’s Future: Reading the Tea Leaves

As President Putin announces changes to Russia’s constitution, Crisis Group expert Olga Oliker explores his plans for the future. Putin’s government may have resigned and his future role may be unknown, she says, but one thing is certain: he is the one calling the shots.

Originally published in Inkstick

Rebels without a Cause: Russia’s Proxies in Eastern Ukraine

Russia and the separatists it backs in Ukraine’s east are no longer quite on the same page, especially since the Kremlin abandoned ideas of annexing the breakaway republics or recognising their independence. The rift gives the new Ukrainian president an opportunity for outreach to the east’s embattled population, including by relaxing the trade embargo.

Is Russia Changing Its Calculus in Eastern Ukraine?

Amid expectations that Russia will test Ukraine’s new president with escalatory actions, it appears that its calculus is to wait for Kyiv’s administration to make the first move – while quietly helping the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics entrench themselves economically.

Op-Ed / Europe & Central Asia

The End of The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty is on its deathbed. Some celebrate its increasingly likely demise, dismissing the decades-old treaty as antiquated and irrelevant to today’s realities. However, the mode of the INF treaty’s death bodes ill for the future of arms control, U.S.-Russian relations, and global security. 

Originally published in Valdai Discussion Club

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