Author: Pavel Baev

As War Against Ukraine Lengthens, Russia Shifts Top Brass

Combat operations in Ukraine have largely contracted to a 10-mile battleground between Bakhmut and Soledar. During this fierce fighting, the command structure of Russia’s “special military operation” was suddenly upgraded on January 11. General Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian General Staff, is now in charge, and the previous commander, General Sergey Surovikin, has… Read more »

Better Arms for Ukraine, Zero Response from Russia

No cease-fire can possibly mute artillery barrages in Donbas, but the intensity of political battles exceeds the intensity of this cannonade. Russian stubborn and costly attacks on Bakhmut may yield only tactical success, but in geo-strategic terms, it is the shift in Western positions on supplying heavy arms to Ukraine that signifies the most significant… Read more »

Putin’s Lonely Christmas Amid His Hopeless War

It was a striking image for a traditional season of joy and hope: Russian President Vladimir Putin attending the Orthodox Christmas service all alone in one of the Kremlin’s cathedrals. This loneliness stands in contrast with his persistent attempts to show himself actively engaging with subordinates, particularly servicemen — for example, during his visit to… Read more »

Russia Remains Stuck in 2022, a Year of Miscalculated War and Deep Degradation

The new year of cheerful celebrations and renewed hopes has failed to arrive in Russia, which is sinking deeper into the vortex of President Vladimir Putin’s devastating war against Ukraine. Putin has duly delivered his traditional New Year’s message, emphasizing the sacred duty of defending the motherland (Meduza, December 31). However, his best wishes did… Read more »

Putin’s Wartime Leadership Wavers and Wanes

Bold and unpredictable maneuvers are supposed to be the trademark political style of Russian President Vladimir Putin; last week, however, he surprised observers of various persuasions not with a proactive move but with an unusual act of avoidance. Putin’s annual marathon end-of-the-year press conference has been canceled, as has the traditional “direct line” with carefully… Read more »

As Ukraine Conducts Deep Strikes, Russia Turns to Iran

On December 5, two Ukrainian strikes on Russian air bases deep into Russian territory and far from the frontlines produced a painful shock for Russian forces and could signify a further mutation, if not escalation, of the war. Each time Ukrainian forces deliver a long-range high-precision attack — from the sinking of the Moskva cruiser in mid-April… Read more »

Russian Energy Policy Wriggles Under a Hard Ceiling

The enforcement of the price ceiling for Russian oil transported by sea enacted on December 5 is not a surprise, as this measure was being discussed by the Unites States and its key partners as early as September 2022. It is, nevertheless, important proof of the Western coalition’s undiminished resolve in undercutting Russia’s ability to… Read more »

Russian Influence Fades in the Middle East

The 2022 World Cup has been dominating global news, and no one is missing the Russian team among the 32 participating nations, unlike, for instance, Italy or Egypt. Neither has Moscow said anything regarding the controversies surrounding this paramount sporting event in Qatar (Novayagazeta,eu, November 25). This absence from a major global event is increasingly… Read more »

Russia was not Missed in Bali, But It Loomed Large

Global governance was tested at the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia on November 15-16 by the urgent need to produce responses to many problems – from food insecurity to natural disasters caused by climate change – and the outcome could be marked as satisfactory. Multiple divisions were negotiated by 16 state leaders, three foreign ministers,… Read more »