Author: Pavel Baev

Russian Influence Diminished in Remaking the Middle East

The Kremlin has welcomed the Israel-Hamas truce in Gaza that began on November 24. The pause, however, does not fit into Russia’s larger designs for the Middle East. From Moscow’s perspective, further escalation would have been a much better option in disrupting the US-led world order.

Russia Tries and Fails to Gain a Foothold in Asia-Pacific

Few prospects worry Moscow more than a potential reduction of tensions between the United States and China. Such a development, even if half-hearted and temporary, would threaten a curtailment of Beijing’s support for Russia in the international arena — at least from Moscow’s perspective. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit set to take place in… Read more »

Russian Nuclear Blackmail Remains Ineffective

The degradation of Russian morale in the trenches of Avdiivka and Bakhmut has driven Moscow to try altering the course of the war with a revival of nuclear blackmail tactics. On October 30, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated that Western attempts to inflict strategic defeat on Russia has increased the risk of a direct… Read more »

Putin and Xi Meet as Hidden Differences Mount

Foreign trips are now rare occasions for Russian President Vladimir Putin. As such, it was highly important to him to hold a position above that of the other participants at the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on October 17 and 18. Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping obliged by making Putin the guest… Read more »

Two Wars Set a Triple Test for Western Unity

International attention has shifted its focus from Ukraine to the conflict in Gaza and its potential impact on global governance. The Western front faces challenges in navigating peace efforts in both regions. The war in Ukraine has all but disappeared from the international news stream since the brutal attack by Hamas terrorists on Israel on October 7,… Read more »

The Next Surge of Conflict in the South Caucasus Is Still Preventable

The tragic exodus of the Armenian population from the Nagorno Karabakh region has closed a chapter in the long saga of conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The disappearance of this self-proclaimed republic provides the opportunity to bring these bitter hostilities to an end; it takes, nevertheless, plenty of wishful political thinking to believe that a… Read more »

Moscow Seeks to Benefit From Fighting in Gaza

Russia’s war against Ukraine crosses the 600-day mark this week, and the fighting between Israel and the Hamas terrorists based in Gaza is on its tenth day. The effects of the latter on the former are still emerging. The interplay between these two major breakdowns in the world order is certain to be strong. Russian… Read more »

Putin Uses Valdai Club to Repeat Nuclear Bluff

Last week, the annual gathering of the Valdai International Discussion Club was held in Sochi, Russia. Today, this conference does not deserve the attention such events used to have a decade ago, when many Western experts saw it as a unique opportunity to gain access to Russian policy-makers, particularly President Vladimir Putin. The only topic… Read more »

Winter in the Long War Is Coming for Russia

Russia’s strategy for prevailing in the long war with Ukraine does not have a protracted timeline and looks no further than 2024. This strategy is based on three premises: economic performance will keep the war machine going; Western support for Ukraine will erode and contract; and the Ukrainian army’s capacity to conduct offensive operations will… Read more »