Topic:

Russia

The Geopolitics of Ukraine’s Newly Independent Church

| December 11, 2018

The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) is experiencing troubles in Ukraine. Areas once considered to be the uncontested territory of the Russian Patriarchate are now becoming autocephalous (independent), adding yet another dimension to the geopolitical challenges Russia is facing in the borderlands of the former Soviet space.

The Russian-Israeli Crisis over Syria Lacks an Exit Strategy

| December 5, 2018

Israeli and Russian interests in Syria are colliding. Russia’s new posture is challenging Israel’s defensive campaign against Iran, and Moscow and Jerusalem have so far been unable to defuse the crisis.

Is War Looming in the Baltic Sea?

| December 4, 2018

Russia and Sweden have fought 12 wars over the course of their histories. In recent years, relations have grown tense once again between the expansionist superpower and the peaceable Scandinavian state. At issue is the Baltic Sea as an energy source.

The Fragility of Middle East Alliances

| November 12, 2018

Competition among Middle Eastern rivals and ultimate power within the region’s various alliances is increasingly as much economic and commercial as it is military and geopolitical. Battles are fought as much on geopolitical fronts as they are on economic and cultural battlefields such as soccer.

Russia Responds to Military Pressure, not Economic

| November 11, 2018

Russia has been subjected to numerous economic sanctions from Western countries that have tried to compel it to abandon its interventions across the former Soviet space. Although sanctions harm Russia’s economy and raise discontent among the population, they are unlikely to change Moscow’s behavior. Russia’s history shows that it is only military pressure that influences it to change.

The Russian Perspective on the Downing of the IL-20

| October 22, 2018

The downing of a Russian air force plane by Syrian government forces was a predictable consequence of the overcrowding of the Syrian battleground. The Russians might genuinely be angry at what happened, but from a geopolitical perspective, they understand that Israel will not abstain from further military interventions in Syria when needed. Israel’s national interest is at stake, and Jerusalem will not allow Iran to increase its already substantial presence.

Turkey’s Syrian Quagmire

| October 10, 2018

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan does not understand that his biggest divergence with Russia is over the future of all of Syria, not just a Syrian province. In theory, it is understandable that he wants to protect the “moderate fighters” because he feels indebted to them for their help to the Turkish army in two cross-border operations. But more than that, he wants to protect them in order to maintain a force that can eventually fight either or both of his two nemeses in Syria: President Assad and the Syrian Kurds.

Israel Must Rethink Its Syria Strategy After Downing of Russian Plane

The downing of the Russian plane requires Israel to reevaluate the continued relevance of its years-long air campaign in Syria. While the struggle to prevent the entrenchment of Iranian forces in Syria and the arming of Hezbollah with “tie-breaking” strategic weapons must continue, the nature and format of the campaign need to be adjusted to the new strategic reality that is being created by Moscow.

The Tehran Summit and Iran’s Regional Ambitions

| September 20, 2018

The recent Russian-Turkish-Iranian summit in Tehran underscored the Islamic Republic’s determination to take an active and central part in the future reconstruction of Syria so as to promote a range of civilian and security interests that are bound to work to Israel’s detriment.

Battle with Fate: Russia, Geography, and the Historical Cycle

| September 20, 2018

Russia under Putin falls neatly into the Russian historical cycle. When the old state is in decline, chaos ensues, and a new, powerful leader emerges to rebuild Russia. There are plenty of comparisons from Russian history that echo Putin’s rise and success – but there are crucial differences, too, which help explain his inability to transform Russia into a truly global power.