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Russia (Internal)

CrisisWatch Russia (Internal)

Unchanged Situation

Supporters of imprisoned opposition politician Alexei Navalny planned for new mass rally in coming months, while security forces conducted operations in North Caucasus. With dwindling momentum for street protests following Nalvany’s imprisonment, Navalny’s team 23 March announced new drive to demand his release with plans for largest rally “in the history of modern Russia” in Spring, encouraging citizens to register support. In letter publicised 31 March, Navalny announced hunger strike to protest lack of access to medical treatment amid reports of his deteriorating health, and highlighted abuse through “sleep deprivation” during detention. In North Caucasus, head of federal domestic security force 10 March stated that “the main centers of terrorist activity and all gang leaders were liquidated” in region. In Dagestan’s Makhachkala city, security forces 11 March killed suspected militant accused of preparing attack on law enforcement officers. In Adygea, security forces 17 March detained suspected supporter of Islamic State from Central Asia who confessed to suicide attack plot. Security forces 19 March detained 14 participants of Ukrainian youth group accused of promoting neo-Nazi propaganda and provoking inter-ethnic conflict in Black Sea town of Gelendzhik and in Yaroslavl city.

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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

Podcast / Europe & Central Asia

War & Peace: Russia in 2020

This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker and Hugh Pope talk to Andrey Kortunov, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council, about Russia's progress in 2019, from Syrian reconstruction to arms control to who President Putin might prefer in the White House. 

European institutions and the European security order: American perspectives and their implications

Torn between  Russia’s growing influence and increasing frictions in a historic alliance with the U.S., European states face new challenges to their security architecture. Olga Oliker calls Europe to embrace a dialogue on security and threats in the neighbourhood to build sustainable peace all across the region.

Originally published in EUREN Brief

Are There Alternatives to a Military Victory in Idlib?

Last weekend, the presidents of Turkey, Iran and Russia met in Ankara to discuss, among other things, the latest developments in Syria amid Turkish concerns over the consequences of a Syrian government offensive in the last rebel enclave, Idlib. 

Originally published in Valdai