Author: Pavel Baev

SIPRI says that Russia keeps cutting its military spending, but the margin of error keeps widening

Military force remains the instrument of choice in Russian policy-making, yet the expenditures on its building keeps going down. This paradoxical picture comes out of the recent estimate by our sister-institution Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), which is eagerly picked up by the Russian media. SIPRI methodology is long-established and respected by experts, but… Read more »

Russia Is Set to Support Maduro to the Bitter End

Russia has positioned itself as the main supporter of Nicholas Maduro regime in Venezuela, taking the risk of turning a crisis in a far-away country into an embarrassing political defeat. Official propaganda has amplified this issue, so that 57 percent of respondents in a recent poll confirmed that they were following the developments, but only… Read more »

The INF Treaty Demise: Natural Causes and Bad Blunders

Dan Smith, Director of SIPRI, has published a very informative and thoughtful blog on the apparently imminent breakdown of the INF Treaty. Following up with a week-old second thoughts, I can share this article (adapted from the Order from Chaos, published by the Brookings). The discussion of the pending U.S. withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear… Read more »

Russia Celebrates the Football Fiesta, but the Hangover Will Hit Hard

The start of the 2018 World Cup had everything millions of fans in Russia could wish for: Perfectly prepared stadiums, beautiful and short opening ceremony, and spectacular performance of the national team. The country has indeed come together and rejoiced in welcoming the greatest sport event, which will be watched with keen attention in every inhabited… Read more »

Putin Brags about Missiles and Remains Mum about Mercenaries

The annual presidential address to the parliament is usually a rather dull affair in Russia, but President Putin has certainly managed to make an impression with the speech delivered on March 1, 2018. He elaborated at great length about Russia’s military might, but before describing new weapon systems (some of them entirely phantasmagorical), he briefly… Read more »

The Munich Security Conference Focuses on Russia – and Reflects on Putin’s Speech 10 Years Ago

The annual Munich Security Conference will take place later this week (February 17–19) with many prominent speakers, including Dan Smith, former PRIO director and presently SIPRI Director. It was ten years ago at this forum that President Vladimir Putin delivered a famous speech detailing Russia’s deep dissatisfaction with the world order. A decade hence, Russian… Read more »

What This Election Means for US Foreign Policy

The resonance of this U.S. election campaign is truly enormous, in every corner of the world. But despite much disgust about the mudslinging, it is not necessarily all that negative. Observers everywhere may be astounded that a candidate so arrogantly ignorant in international affairs could gather so much support, but that has also given them… Read more »