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 »

Afghanistan – a new chapter in the Great Game?

May the shifting superpower dynamics bring hope for Afghanistan? Both Moscow and Beijing are displaying increasing interest in Afghanistan, after a decade and a half of domination by Washington. This shift is having effects in both Afghanistan and among its neighbours. the international power play surrounding Afghanistan is changing Recent news from Afghanistan has been… 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 »

Turkey’s Turn Toward Russia

Despite tensions over Syria, Turkey is increasingly turning to Russia to secure its foreign and domestic policy needs. Though anticipated, the May 9 announcement by the Donald Trump administration that the United States would arm fighters of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in preparation for an advance on the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa… 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 »