Russia (Internal)

Moscow sees itself as having embarked upon a broad confrontation with Western powers aimed at reshaping the global order. Its continuing war in Ukraine is thus meant both to subjugate that country and assert and cement Russia’s place in Europe and the world. Russia’s global diplomacy, meanwhile, also aims to increase Moscow’s influence and underline its great power status. Crisis Group reports on developments in the war in Ukraine, domestic processes in Russia, and Russia’s relations with its neighbours and countries around the world. In its advocacy, Crisis Group encourages policies that can lead to more sustainable peace in Ukraine, Europe, and all of the conflicts in which Russia is engaged. 

CrisisWatch Russia (Internal)

Unchanged Situation

Russian leaders alleged readiness for Ukraine peace talks but on their terms, Kyiv intensified drone attacks, and Bashkortostan region witnessed large-scale protests over jailed activist. 

Moscow accused Kyiv of hindering peace efforts, attacks into Russia persisted. Speaking in Moscow region about Ukraine war, President Putin 16 Jan dismissed Kyiv’s “peace formulas” and said Russia would not give up occupied territories. In further sign Kremlin is only prepared to negotiate on its terms, FM Lavrov 22 Jan said Russia was ready for talks but that Kyiv seeks to “perpetuate the war”; he added that Western aid to Ukraine complicates search for peace. Meanwhile, Ukraine stepped up drone attacks into Russia, notably targeting oil infrastructure. Ukrainian forces 14 Jan shot down early warning and control aircraft A-50 over Sea of Azov and damaged Il-22M aircraft, killing unknown number. Moscow and Kyiv traded blame for downed plane in Russia’s Belgorod region 24 Jan that left 74 dead, including 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war. 

Anti-war presidential candidate saw surge of support. As March election drew closer, anti-war presidential hopeful Boris Nadezhdin 25 Jan said he had collected around 200,000 signatures endorsing his candidacy, double amount required for him to run in poll, 31 Jan submitted application to Central Election Commission to run. Two other candidates 30 Jan withdrew from race and endorsed Putin. 

Thousands protested in Bashkortostan in support of jailed activist. Protest 15 Jan took place in Baymak city of Bashkortostan region against trial of Fail Alsynov, environmental activist and campaigner for preservation of Bashkir language and culture. Authorities 17 Jan sentenced Alsynov to four years in prison for “inciting hatred”, prompting more protests that led to clashes with police. Despite warnings from authorities, protesters 19 Jan rallied again in Ufa city. 

Russia allegedly acquired Iranian and North Korean weapons. U.S. 4 Jan said Russia used North Korean ballistic missiles to strike Ukraine (see Ukraine), while UK 22 Jan presented fresh evidence to UN indicating transfer of North Korean weapons to Russia. Sky News 10 Jan claimed Iran has developed new attack drone and appears close to providing Moscow with surface-to-surface missiles.

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In The News

26 jún 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 jún 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 okt 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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