Posts Tagged putin

Threat Analysis Of Possible Future Russian Aggression

From CNAS.org:

In the report, CNAS senior fellows Julianne Smith and Jerry Hendrix examine possible security challenges in effort to prepare the United States and Europe for future existential threats posed by Russia. Smith and Hendrix note that although Europe’s security situation was largely considered stable for much of the last 10 to 14 years, that premise no longer holds true.

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Condi Rice and Bob Gates on U.S., Russia Relations

From The Washington Post:

One can hear the disbelief in capitals from Washington to London to Berlin to Ankara and beyond. How can Vladimir Putin, with a sinking economy and a second-rate military, continually dictate the course of geopolitical events? Whether it’s in Ukraine or Syria, the Russian president seems always to have the upper hand.

The fact is that Putin is playing a weak hand extraordinarily well because he knows exactly what he wants to do. He is not stabilizing the situation according to our definition of stability. He is defending Russia’s interests by keeping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power. This is not about the Islamic State. Any insurgent group that opposes Russian interests is a terrorist organization to Moscow. We saw this behavior in Ukraine, and now we’re seeing it even more aggressively — with bombing runs and cruise missile strikes — in Syria.

 

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Russia Targets NATO With Military Exercises

Russia Targets NATO With Military Exercises is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

Summary

Russian military exercises, the latest in a series across the country, have taken on a threatening posture. While the most recent installment is not the largest exercise Russia has conducted, the areas involved and the forces included seem to have been deliberately chosen to send a warning to NATO; the exercise itself seems to simulate a full-scale confrontation with NATO through the forward deployment of nuclear armed submarines, theater ballistic missiles and strategic bomber aircraft. Strategic weapon systems, including assets that are part of Russia’s nuclear capabilities, have also been deployed to locations near NATO’s borders. Read the rest of this entry »

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Viewing Russia From the Inside

Viewing Russia From the Inside is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By George Friedman

Last week I flew into Moscow, arriving at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 8. It gets dark in Moscow around that time, and the sun doesn’t rise until about 10 a.m. at this time of the year — the so-called Black Days versus White Nights. For anyone used to life closer to the equator, this is unsettling. It is the first sign that you are not only in a foreign country, which I am used to, but also in a foreign environment. Yet as we drove toward downtown Moscow, well over an hour away, the traffic, the road work, were all commonplace. Moscow has three airports, and we flew into the farthest one from downtown, Domodedovo — the primary international airport. There is endless renovation going on in Moscow, and while it holds up traffic, it indicates that prosperity continues, at least in the capital. Read the rest of this entry »

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Russia Creating Arctic Military Command

From TASS:

The formation of the Arctic military command is part of Russia’s ongoing extensive program to build up military presence in the Arctic. Last March, President Vladimir Putin said that the armed forces’ training and development efforts should incorporate measures to increase the combat component of the Arctic group. The Defense Ministry has since made several steps along these lines.

 

The minister told a session of the Defense Ministry’s Public Council that restoration of airfields was launched recently at the Novosibirsk Islands and on Franz Josef Land, airfields were being reconstructed in Tiksi, Naryan-Mar, Alykel, Vorkuta, Anadyr and Rogachevo, to defend national interests in the region.

This comes on the heels of Russian bombers flying close to Alaskan air space and Eastern Europe intrusions.

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Russian Bombers Invaded US Airspace

From The Washington Free Beacon:

The numerous flight encounters by Tu-95 Russian Bear H bombers prompted the scrambling of U.S. jet fighters on several occasions, and come amid heightened U.S.-Russia tensions over Ukraine.

Also, during one bomber incursion near Alaska, a Russian intelligence-gathering jet was detected along with the bombers.

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A Chronology of Russia from Yeltsin’s Fall Through Putin’s Rise

A Chronology of Russia from Yeltsin’s Fall Through Putin’s Rise is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

Analysis

Editor’s Note: As Stratfor readies to look forward in coming days at the implications for Russia — and its leader Vladimir Putin — in the downing July 17 of a Malaysian jetliner, we also invite readers to take stock with us of past forecasts of Russia’s geopolitical evolution in the context of global events. Stratfor Chairman George Friedman will examine the likelihood of Putin’s undoing in the next issue of Geopolitical Weekly, to publish July 22. Accordingly, we look back here at 1998, when we predicted the unfolding Kosovo crisis would be the undoing of late Russian President Boris Yeltsin. We share our assessment from 2000, when we assessed how newly elected President Putin was rapidly consolidating absolute power. In 2005, Stratfor reassessed Putin’s situation after his first presidential term and laid out how his leadership would begin to reverse the tide of concessions and reassert Russia’s role in line with historical cycles — including the forging of strategic relationships with countries such as Germany. In 2008, we looked at how Russia would capitalize on American weaknesses, including the fatigue of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2011, we foresaw the next stage, as Russia moved to solidify its sphere of influence while still able. In this forecast, we saw the events setting the stage for today’s crisis in Ukraine. Now, we foresee more historical change. We offer this chronology of forecasts in advance of our next report on Russia’s future. Read the rest of this entry »

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Can Putin Survive?

Can Putin Survive? is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By George Friedman

There is a general view that Vladimir Putin governs the Russian Federation as a dictator, that he has defeated and intimidated his opponents and that he has marshaled a powerful threat to surrounding countries. This is a reasonable view, but perhaps it should be re-evaluated in the context of recent events.

Ukraine and the Bid to Reverse Russia’s Decline

Ukraine is, of course, the place to start. The country is vital to Russia as a buffer against the West and as a route for delivering energy to Europe, which is the foundation of the Russian economy. On Jan. 1, Ukraine’s president was Viktor Yanukovich, generally regarded as favorably inclined to Russia. Given the complexity of Ukrainian society and politics, it would be unreasonable to say Ukraine under him was merely a Russian puppet. But it is fair to say that under Yanukovich and his supporters, fundamental Russian interests in Ukraine were secure.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Russia Examines Its Options for Responding to Ukraine

Russia Examines Its Options for Responding to Ukraine is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By George Friedman

The fall of the Ukrainian government and its replacement with one that appears to be oriented toward the West represents a major defeat for the Russian Federation. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia accepted the reality that the former Eastern European satellite states would be absorbed into the Western economic and political systems. Moscow claims to have been assured that former Soviet republics would be left as a neutral buffer zone and not absorbed. Washington and others have disputed that this was promised. In any case, it was rendered meaningless when the Baltic states were admitted to NATO and the European Union. The result was that NATO, which had been almost 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) from St. Petersburg, was now less than approximately 160 kilometers away.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Analytic Guidance: The Syria Crisis

Analytic Guidance: The Syria Crisis is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

Analysis

Editor’s note: Periodically, Stratfor publishes guidance produced for its analysis team and shares it with readers. This guidance sets the parameters used in our own ongoing examination and assessment of events surrounding Syria’s use of chemical weapons as the crisis evolves into a confrontation between the United States and Russia. Given the importance we ascribe to this fast-evolving standoff, we believe it important that readers have access to this additional insight.

In the wake of President Barack Obama’s change of tack from a strike on Syria, the threat of war has not dissolved. It has, however, been pushed off beyond this round of negotiations.

The president’s minimalist claims are in place, but they are under serious debate. There is no chance of an attack on chemical weapons stockpiles. Therefore, the attack, if any, will be on command and control and political targets. Obama has options on the table and there will be force in place for any contingency he selects. Nothing is locked in despite public statements and rhetoric in Washington, London, Paris or Moscow. Read the rest of this entry »

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Syria, America and Putin’s Bluff

Syria, America and Putin’s Bluff is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By George Friedman

In recent weeks I’ve written about U.S. President Barack Obama’s bluff on Syria and the tightrope he is now walking on military intervention. There is another bluff going on that has to be understood, this one from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin is bluffing that Russia has emerged as a major world power. In reality, Russia is merely a regional power, but mainly because its periphery is in shambles. He has tried to project a strength that that he doesn’t have, and he has done it well. For him, Syria poses a problem because the United States is about to call his bluff, and he is not holding strong cards. To understand his game we need to start with the recent G-20 meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Russia After Putin: Inherent Leadership Struggles

Russia After Putin: Inherent Leadership Struggles is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

Analysis

Editor’s Note: This is the first part of a three-part series on Russia’s leadership after President Vladimir Putin eventually leaves office. Part 1 revisits Putin’s rise to power; Part 2 will examine Russia’s demographics, energy sector and Putin’s political changes; and Part 3 will explore whether the political systems Putin has built will survive him.

Russia has undergone a series of fundamental changes over the past year, with more changes on the horizon. Russia’s economic model based on energy is being tested, the country’s social and demographic make-up is shifting, and its political elites are aging. All this has led the Kremlin to begin asking how the country should be led once its unifying leader, Vladimir Putin, is gone. Already, a restructuring of the political elite is taking place, and hints of succession plans have emerged. Historically, Russia has been plagued by the dilemma of trying to create a succession plan following a strong and autocratic leader. The question now is whether Putin can set a system in place for his own passing out of the Russian leadership (whenever the time may be) without destabilizing the system as a whole.

A Difficult Land to Rule

Without a heavy-handed leader, Russia struggles to maintain stability. Instability is inherent to Russia given its massive, inhospitable territory, indefensible borders, hostile neighboring powers and diverse population. Only when it has had an autocratic leader who set up a system where competing factions are balanced against each other has Russia enjoyed prosperity and stability. Read the rest of this entry »

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