It is doubtful that Western sanctions have had any effect on Russia’s behavior but that doesn’t mean that the sanctions don’t work. They will be good bargaining chips some day when things are less emotional.
Military strategy and politics
Before the INF Treaty collapses, it is worth pondering why Russia is building a missile that breaks it. I argue that it is because they want a conventional missile akin to Tomahawk. It is silly if we turn this into a nuclear race.
Traditional theories about International Relations are simply not good enough to explain what is going on between Russia and the West. Andrej Krickovic delivers the argument in this policy memo for PONARS Eurasia.
The notion that Russia is about to collapse is way too common in Western discourse. Mark Galeotti reacts against this trend in an almost entertainingly scathing review of one such apocalyptic article.
Nowhere near 300,000 soldiers took part in the exercise, but it was still interesting. Not least for its focus on a free-play scenario instead of the usual rehearsal of predefined maneuvers.
Interesting and pessimistic take on the future of NATO by Sten Rynning in War on the Rocks: In this short essay, I argue that NATO is actually witnessing a return of European geopolitics that runs in parallel to the questioning of geopolitical priorities occurring in the United States. European allies clearly prefer continuity when it […]
Army major Deniss Metsavas was a role model for successful integration of Russians in Estonia. He appeared on TV several times posing as a patriotic Estonian. But now he has been exposed as a GRU spy, and suspicion against the Russian minority has soared.
Rosgvardiya general Viktor Zolotov challenges Alexei Navalny to a fist fight in a disastrous public video address. It is discomforting that this guy is in charge of the internal security forces in Russia. Zolotov is also Putin’s old-time friend and former bodyguard.
Shaun Walker has written an excellent book about modern Russian history, identity creation after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the almost fetishized obsession with the World War II victory.
Nikolas Gvosdev argues in War on the Rocks that Russia’s build-up in the Black Sea Basin is more concerning than in the Baltic Area. This leads me to reflect on the differences. The Black Sea area is more contested, and there is no united deterrence against Russia. But that does not mean that there is room for complacency in the Baltic region.