June 2011

The Realist Prism: Bin Laden's Death Leaves Russia With Strategic Void

By Nikolas Gvosdev

Much has been written about the potential impact that the demise of Osama bin Laden and the possible disintegration of al-Qaida will have on U.S. foreign policy, beginning with the question of whether this will trigger a more rapid disengagement from Afghanistan. But bin Laden's death could also change the foreign policy calculus of other states, notably Russia, which for the past 10 years has promulgated its own version of the global war on terror as a central organizing principle for international affairs.

Standards of Bagapsh

By Sergey Markedonov

The second President of Abkhazia Sergei Bagapsh died on Tuesday, May 29th, 2011 in Moscow. This politician was not simply the second Head of the Republic. No matter how people in and out of Abkhazia treat him, the name of Sergei Bagapsh will be connected by historians with the recognition of state independence of the entity, which survived 14-month armed conflict, long-standing regime of sanctions and existence with “hung up” status.

Surprise Turn Against Qaddafi is Russia's Latest Westward Step

Russia, a quasi-democracy and an imperial power that never quite gave up all of its colonial holdings, has dedicated much of its post-Soviet foreign policy to resisting everything that the NATO intervention in Libya stands for. It shrugs at human rights violators, abhors military intervention, enshrines the sovereign right of states to do whatever they want internally without fear of outside meddling, and above all objects to the West imposing its ideology on others. NATO itself, after all, is a military alliance constructed in opposition to the Soviet Union. But Russian President Dmitri Medvedev took a surprising break from Russian foreign policy precedent on Friday when, in the middle of a G8 summit in France, he declared that Libyan leader Muammar "Qaddafi has forfeited legitimacy" and that Russia plans "to help him go."