Mark Milley says the reports have yet to be corroborated by defense intelligence agencies, RFE/RL reports; Lavrov at the Primakov Readings said Russia is ready to act as mediator between the U.S. and China; and more in our weekly news round-up.
A more nuanced understanding of Putin’s possible motives for the amendments to Russia's constitution—and how the U.S. could shape them in its policy toward Russia—could facilitate Russia’s leadership transition rather than hinder it.
The coronavirus pandemic and the steep drop of oil and gas prices may pose a serious challenge to Russia’s economic model. Mitrova argues that current shocks to the Russian energy market could pale in comparison to long-term consequences.
Top US General: Reports of Russia Offering Bounty to Taliban Not Corroborated Yet; Lavrov Says Russia Doesn’t Benefit From Trade War Between US, China
July 10, 2020
How Improved US-Russian Relations Could Weaken Putin’s Case for Remaining in Kremlin Until 2036
July 08, 2020
The Oil Price Crash: Will the Kremlin’s Policies Change?
July 08, 2020
RM Staff Picks
Unplugging the Baltic States: Why Russia’s Economic Approach May Be Shifting
The probability of Russia resorting to a Crimea-style intervention in the Baltics remains low. As a key energy supplier and major trading partner for the region, Russia has more to gain by using economic levers as opposed to military ones to retain i...
Russians’ Approval and Trust for Putin Shows Slight Rebound, Although Still Below Previous Years
Russians’ trust and approval for Vladimir Putin has slightly increased from low points in May and April, although it is still significantly lower than in previous years, according to a new Levada Center poll.
Russia’s Constitutional Amendments Keep Several Futures Open for Putin
The aim of the amendments is to keep Putin’s—and Russia's—portfolio of possibilities as wide as possible while reinforcing Russia’s sovereignty from the international scene and the country’s self-reliance.
Belton: Russia’s Kleptocracy Is a Tool for Undermining the West
Through interviews with key figures, Belton sheds new light on Putin and argues that the kleptocracy of the Putin era was about far more than just lining pockets: It was about buying influence and threatening the West.
The State Department’s Compliance Report Plays the Blame Game, Despite Offering Little Evidence
Matt Korda and Hans M. Kristensen
The report’s publication comes at a critical time, as the Trump administration has spent the past few years—and the past three months in particular—dismantling the last vestiges of U.S. commitments to the international arms control regime.
Coronavirus and the Kremlin: Will Putin’s Ratings Keep Falling Through Fall?
The COVID-19 pandemic has already pushed Vladimir Putin’s approval ratings to historically low levels, and it may be that the ratings of the Russian leader, his government and his party are not done falling just yet.