21.05 China Analytics Divergence Time: After the energy break with Russia, Europe must more responsibly assess the risks of trade dependence on China Growing geopolitical tensions make the dependence of European businesses on Chinese supplies a huge risk. Many companies, especially those in Germany, are looking for ways to reduce this dependence; however, this involves costs and reduced competitiveness. Nevertheless, the price of a sudden and unprepared break with China would be incomparably higher for Europe. 17.05 Propaganda Analytics Firehose of Falsehoods: Russian propaganda is increasingly looking like an existential problem for the West that it is not yet able to effectively address Propaganda helps Moscow to win the favour not only of the populations of the Global South, but also with residents of Western countries. In a global and open information network, blocking and banning ‘brands’ does not work well and leads only to the ‘mimicry of disinformation'. To counter the power of Russian propaganda, The West lacks the resources, as well as the understanding of how to fight this battle. 16.05 Analytics The Last Term’s Great Game of Solitaire: What the dismissals and appointments in government agencies indicate Nikolay Petrov, Kirill Rogov, Oleg Khokhlov By the end of his current presidential term, Putin will be 78 years old, and this an age at which his real managerial control will inevitably weaken. In a scenario of inertia, the configuration of power that will have emerged by that time will largely determine its post-Putin character. This makes the latest reshuffle of the top ranks of the administrative apparatus particularly important. 14.05 Polls Analytics The War of Narratives: By imposing its interpretation of the terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall, the Kremlin has been able to absolve itself of responsibility for the failure and also influence the growth of support for the war According to polls, about 65% of Russians support the Kremlin's version of events that Ukrainian and Western security services were behind the terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall. The propaganda-imposed framing of an ‘existential’ confrontation with the West has helped the authorities mitigate the catastrophic failure of the security services, which failed to prevent the terrorist attack despite warnings. 14.05 Analytics Authoritarian Dysfunction: Why the Russian authorities hunt migrants The massive and senseless campaign by the authorities and law enforcement agencies against migrant workers in the initial weeks after the terror attack at Crocus City Hall can only be explained by the desire to send a message of ‘security’ and reliable control over threats to the population after the fact, thus ‘erasing’ any impression of their inaction and incompetence during the terrorist attack. 06.05 Analytics The Loss of India: The war in Ukraine is depriving Russia of its largest arms market, which it will be unable to replace India has relied almost entirely on Soviet and Russian weapons since the 1960s, but is now rapidly diversifying its defence imports due to international sanctions, the technological regression of the Russian military-industrial complex and its inability to ensure stable supplies. The war in Ukraine and the breakdown of economic relations with the West are leading Russia to lose its place as a major player in the global arms market. 30.04 Analytics Delayed Package: The delay in US military aid has brought the Kremlin closer to winning a war of attrition The delay in military aid to Ukraine has had an effect: Russian forces have gained a tactical advantage that improves their position ahead of an anticipated large-scale offensive. In the coming weeks, Ukraine must overcome the consequences of this pause, which has resulted in a critical shortage of human resources and a decline in morale in the Ukrainian military and society as a whole. 15.04 Sanctions Analytics Liquification of Plans and Tertiary Sanctions Effect: How and why Russia lost its prospects in the global LNG market As a rule, sanctions do not lead to the immediate loss of export markets, but to their gradual restructuring. Political decisions transform into economic costs, resulting in a sharp contraction of the niche for Russian producers. Alongside the arms and metals markets, LNG exports represent another sphere of lost opportunities for Russia. 10.04 Analytics Two Approaches: Why Russia has suffered a setback in the arms markets while Türkiye is achieving success The war in Ukraine is leading to Russia's irreversible loss of its position in the international arms market, with Türkiye emerging as one of the beneficiaries of this redistribution. Türkiye is successfully implementing a strategy of multipolar foreign policy and defence exports that the Russian authorities once dreamed of. With the onset of the war, this strategy has become impossible for Russia. 08.04 Mobilisation Analytics Double Mobilisation: Russia and Ukraine need to mobilise 300,000 men each for a decisive clash by the end of the year After two years of war, both Russia and Ukraine have found themselves in need for a new mobilisation. Although its political cost seems high against the backdrop of conflict fatigue in both countries, Russia will try to launch a large-scale offensive before the end of the year, requiring 300,000 new recruits from each side. 03.04 Analytics 'Acceptance Cannot Be Unaccepted': Western countries must find innovative models for Ukraine's integration into the collective security system NATO cannot provide Ukraine with security guarantees as long as the conflict continues, and the Kremlin has no interest in putting an end to it. However, the history of the alliance itself and the entire international security system created after World War II shows that innovative solutions are needed to break such a deadlock, provided there is political will. 02.04 Analytics The Fictitious Anti-terror Industry: How Russia fought terrorism and its results After Putin’s return to the Kremlin in 2012, the fight against terrorism in Russia increasingly morphed into an industry of repression, loosely and hypothetically linked to real terrorist activity. This transformation resulted in a lack of understanding of the evolving map of terrorist threats and a sense of helplessness in the face of warnings about actual terror attacks. 20.03 Analytics Two-stage Manipulation and The 'Deep Nation': How many people turned up to vote, and how many did not Without coercion and fraud, Putin would have won the election with approximately 54% of the vote, while the alternative candidate would have scored 34%. The election result would have been the same, but the outcome would have been very different. The notion of the hegemony of the 'deep nation' would have been significantly adjusted, and this would have created a very different political perspective. 18.03 Analytics 87% Dictatorship: Fictitious constitutionality, kleptofascism and protest queues Kirill Rogov War, repression and fraud allowed the regime to achieve a 'Turkmen-style' result in the presidential elections, but they have not yet turned Russia into Turkmenistan, as evidenced by the protest queues throughout the duration of the campaign. The social structure of Russian society, formed over the previous decades, is far from that which sustains stable autocracies. 13.03 Analytics Putin-Trump Plan: Developments in Washington increase the likelyhood of both getting what they want want After meeting with Donald Trump, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban stated that, if elected president, Trump intends to compel Ukraine to engage in peace talks by completely cutting off its support. Trump himself has spoken sparingly on the Ukrainian issue as the majority of Americans, including at least half of Republicans, still believe it is necessary to help Kyiv. 13.03 Analytics The Homophobes' Dream: A Putinist 'gay propaganda' law is designed to help Georgian Dream gain a lasting foothold as Georgia's ruling party The ruling coalition in Georgia is attempting to restyle the electoral agenda and public fault lines by promoting the Putinist law banning 'gay propaganda'. Homophobia is becoming a universal tool for mobilising anti-liberal and anti-Western sentiment in support of authoritarian ideologies and political forces. 12.03 Analytics Paper Defence And Strategic Dependence: European security strategies will only become a reality with a dramatic increase in defence spending to make up for 20 years of underfunding The war in Ukraine, the need for large-scale military assistance to Kyiv and the direct threat to EU security from Russia have exposed critical problems in Europe's defence capabilities. Current EU military spending falls significantly short of addressing the critical underfunding of European defence capabilities over the past two decades. 07.03 Analytics Putin's Reshuffle: Deprivatisation as a 'national project' for elite reformatting and preparation for power transition The process of deprivatisation and property redistribution gaining momentum is part of a profound social transformation of the country and an attempt to reform and consolidate the Russian elite based on the ideology of 'kleptofascism', which has arisen from the justification of the war. In this case, this process is part of Putin's plan for power transition, aimed at preserving his ideological legacy even after his departure. 05.03 Navalny Analytics Lethal Neutrality: What do public opinion polls say about Navalny's death as a political event? Despite the silence in state-controlled media, Navalny's death came as a shock to Russian society. There is no doubt that this event and its interpretation will be the subject of a fierce political struggle in the days to come. What do the initial public opinion polls say about the population's reaction to the demise of Putin's main opponent? 28.02 Polls Analytics Middle-Age Deprivation: Why do most Russians want an end to war, but will not support an anti-war candidate in the elections? And, is that really accurate? Among Russian youth, supporters of an unconditional end to the war dominate, while among older age groups, proponents of pro-war views prevail. In between are those who are willing to support a transition to peace initiated by Putin or the start of peace negotiations but are not ready for the unilateral withdrawal of troops or to support an anti-war candidate as an alternative to Putin. 07.02 Repressions Analytics From War to Prison: Repression in Russia is becoming more 'planned' and harsh, but not more widespread Having outlined the basic contours of repressive legislation in 2022, in 2023, the Putin regime focused on toughening penalties and expanding the scope for their arbitrary application. The authorities seek not to increase the scale of repression too much, but to achieve a maximum demonstrative and intimidating effect. 29.01 Analytics How Steel Cools: The war with Ukraine has destroyed Russian steel exports and will lead to a gradual degradation of the industry Analysis of the Russian steel industry shows that the widespread belief in the ineffectiveness of Western sanctions is a misconception. Their impact becomes apparent after a significant delay and, at the same time, has a long-term character, leading to the loss of markets that would be almost impossible to regain even if the sanctions were lifted. 19.01 Analytics Optimists, Pessimists and Crisis Communities: How the world views the future at the start of the New Year and what we can learn from it Residents of developing and poorer countries, primarily in Southeast Asia and Latin America, demonstrate an extremely high level of optimism about the future, while those in prosperous Europe and developed countries are pessimistic. 17.01 Analytics Off-Road Rally: How to meet the growing demand for political renewal in Ukraine when holding elections is impossible? How can you ensure democratic process in a country during a protracted war, when the ratings of incumbent politicians are declining and it is virtually impossible to hold legitimate elections? Experts advise Ukraine to return to reforms that were frozen following Russia’s invasion. 11.01 Analytics The Triumph of Herostratus: How Russia lost the energy war and permanently forfeited its leading position in the global gas market Russia has lost the energy war that the Kremlin had pinned high hopes on on the eve of the invasion of Ukraine. Europe has successfully restructured its energy market, largely substituting Russian gas, prices have fallen, and Gazprom, once the flagship of the Russian economy, has found itself trapped by its 'energy weapon' in Putin's geopolitical trap. 10.01 Repressions Analytics Mechanism of Organised Espionage: In 2023, the FSB accused more than 100 people of treason Since the beginning of the war, the number of treason cases in Russia has increased about tenfold, including by blurring the very concept of treason in the law. The behaviour of the investigators and courts suggests that the logic of this state spymania is subordinated to the tasks of bureaucratic accountability — the plan to catch 'spies' and 'defectors', which has increased by an order of magnitude in wartime conditions. 28.12.23 Analytics A Tricky Figure: Why the year’s economic results are much worse than the Russian authorities are trying to portray The Russian economy is rapidly 'Sovietising', manifested both in its increased dependence on budgetary injections and in the creation of a system of 'patches' - institutions of manual and emergency management that substitute for market-based mechanisms. Moving onto this trajectory raises the probability of another transformational crisis. 26.12.23 Analytics 'Strategic patience' for the West and Ukraine: Is Kyiv's defeat a foregone conclusion? In addition to Ukraine's defeat, which looks particularly likely if there is a further reduction in Western aid, experts are pondering several scenarios for the development of events in 2024: an inert continuation of the confrontation, an attempt to freeze the conflict and a scenario of 'strategic patience'. 15.12.23 Analytics Perestroika Again: Why rapid investment growth is another deceptive signal from the Russian economy The growth of investment in Russia by the end of 2023 will be at its highest level for the past 12 years. However, like the unexpectedly high economic growth rates in the midst of war and sanctions, these figures do not indicate the economy's development. Sectoral analysis of the economy’s investment structure shows that the investment boom in 2023 is serving not so much the growth of the economy as its structural reorganisation. 06.12.23 USA Analytics North Atlantic Shuffle: How the American partisan debate on foreign policy could change the United States and Europe As we approach the presidential election, strategic uncertainty about the future of US foreign policy is growing. In America, a heated debate is unfolding, while Europe is being forced to rethink seemingly immutable ideas about its security and foreign policy strategies. 01.12.23 Analytics Counter War of Attrition: The West must develop a long-term strategy to counter Russian aggression in Ukraine The failure of the counteroffensive has sowed confusion among Ukraine's allies, and now the West needs to formulate a long-term and realistic strategy to aid Kyiv. The mere existence of this strategy will have a sobering effect on the Kremlin and upset its calculations for a quick 'handover' of Ukraine by its Western partners. 29.11.23 Analytics Anti-War Patriotizm: how the protest movement of the families of mobilised people is developing and why it is important November saw the dramatic intensification of the movement of mothers and wives of the mobilised, demanding the return home of those who were drafted in the autumn of 2022. The movement does not yet appear to be a mass movement, but the anti-war narrative emerging from within it, which operates with values of justice and patriotism and distances itself from the usual liberal rhetoric, may be in demand. 13.11.23 Analytics The Lonely Gas Station: Why the Putin era has doomed Russia for economic failure Sergey Aleksashenko Vladimir Putin's claims that Russia is no longer a 'gas station' and is moving towards economic 'self-sufficiency' have no basis in reality. The level of technological complexity of Russia's exports has only declined over the past twenty years. Under these conditions, 'self-sufficiency' is only attainable through the preservation of an unmodernised technological framework. 10.11.23 Analytics Neurotic Realism: Is a Third World War possible, and what should be done to prevent it? The Russian invasion of Ukraine, the violent conflict in the Middle East, and, most importantly, the escalating rivalry between China and the United States have significantly increased the likelihood of a new world war, and the questions in the headline no longer seem like idle fantasy. But who starts wars? How, and why do they begin, and what can be done to prevent them? 02.11.23 Analytics Transformation of Identities: The war has reshaped Ukrainian political geography, but the issues at its core remain unchanged Russian military aggression has prompted a reevaluation of traditional Ukrainian political-geographical identities and to the disappearance of political parties and platforms that once represented the Russian-speaking residents of the southeast. However, solidarity in the face of the enemy does not mean that residents of the southeast have accepted the concept of linguistic and cultural Ukrainian homogeneity. 27.10.23 Middle East Analytics From Aggressors to Peacekeepers: The Hamas attack has dealt a serious blow to the global anti-Putin cause The conflict in Israel appears to be another episode in the 'wave of revisionism' that is increasingly gripping the world, calling into question the existing world order and the established balance of power, thus strengthening the revisionist discourse of Russia and China. These two nations are jointly challenging the role of the West in upholding this order. 20.10.23 Analytics Fighting Exhaustion: Cracks in Ukrainian public opinion will demand new strategies from the country’s political leadership A 'war of attrition' implies the depletion not only of human and military resources but also of the mobilisation potential of society. The Ukrainian public still shows a strong determination to fight for victory and is stoically enduring economic hardship; however, according to the polls, there is an increasingly notable trend towards fatigue within Ukrainian society. 06.10.23 Analytics Artsakh, The End of an Era: The geopolitics of the Karabakh crisis Twenty years ago, the exodus of the Armenian population from Karabakh would have seemed unthinkable and fantastical. Yet, its occurrence is the result of tectonic shifts and a fundamental rebalancing of power, both regionally and globally. 04.10.23 Analytics 5 Plus 1, Minus Russia: The countries of Central Asia are seeking to forge a collective identity on the 'Grand Chessboard’ Since the onset of the war in Ukraine, the five post-Soviet countries in Central Asia have been actively shaping a new framework for their foreign policy positioning and international agency. These efforts offer glimpses into the alliances and configurations emerging in the post-Soviet space in an era where its Russia-centric focus is finally becoming a thing of the past. 22.09.23 War Analytics Monument to a Deserter: What do we know about desertion in the Russian army and will there be more defectors? Alexander Finiarel Desertion by Russian servicemen has not yet become a widespread issue, as sometimes happens during protracted conflicts. However, given that the Kremlin has decided not to rotate mobilised troops, the dynamics of desertion may change significantly during the second year of the war. What factors will influence desertion in the Russian army? 21.09.23 War Analytics Second Front: Who Will Win The First Drone War? The widespread use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, has fundamentally transformed the nature of modern warfare. Drones have become a tool of resistance, levelling the playing field and neutralising the advantages of stronger adversaries. The ongoing race of drone innovation and ingenuity in their application will undoubtedly remain one of the central storylines of the Russia-Ukraine war. 07.09.23 Analytics The Zone of Electoral Silence. The key features of the 2023 regional elections Stanislav Andreychuk The main features of the 2023 election campaign, in addition to unprecedented legislative and coercive pressure on the electoral process, has been the active implementation of an electronic voting system fully controlled by the security services and a noticeable decline in interest from politicians and businesses who fear the authorities' use of force. 04.09.23 Analytics Will The New Reality Become The New Order? What the expansion of BRICS means for the world and for Russia As a result of its expansion, BRICS is finally taking on the characteristics of a real organisation rather than just a casual club, positioning itself as a political and economic representative of the Global South. However, the ideas of the accelerated consolidation of BRICS+ as both an anti-Western coalition and the foundation for a 'new world order' are unlikely to come to fruition. In fact, they are more likely to undermine the prospects of the union rather than enhance them. 01.08.23 Analytics Season Finale: Highlights, Trends, and Challenges In August, the activity of analytical and expert centres typically declines, and Re:Russia's analytical review usually goes on vacation until the beginning of September. As we bid farewell to our readers for this month, we would like to remind you of the topics covered in our recent reviews and the themes discussed by our experts that may remain relevant in the upcoming season. 14.07.23 Future Analytics From Gorbachev to Stalin: Four scenarios for Russia according to analysts from Atlantic Council, plus one from RE: RUSSIA The Prigozhin rebellion is now claiming the role of a 'black swan' or trigger event — an occurrence that seemed entirely improbable and, now that it has happened, is forcing observers to reassess their understanding of the domestic political situation in Russia and, as such, their notions of what might happen in the future. 11.07.23 Analytics Accepting the inevitable: The four dilemmas of Ukraine's NATO membership that are impossible but necessary to resolve Although today's NATO summit will not lead to a breakthrough for Ukraine's membership in the alliance, its outcomes do not appear entirely predetermined. In political terms, the results of the summit are likely to disappoint Ukraine and those advocating for its swift accession to the alliance. However, in practical terms, they may lay the groundwork for the actual integration of Ukraine and NATO in the future. 06.07.23 Prigozhin Analytics INFORMATION UPRISING: PRIGOZHIN'S REVOLT IS THE RESULT OF FUNDAMENTAL SHIFTS IN THE RUSSIAN MEDIA LANDSCAPE The alternative pro-war agenda deployed in a number of Telegram channels has become the ideological platform of the Prigozhin rebellion and the reason behind its fairly widespread popularity. However, this effect reflects a more fundamental shift — the continuing decline in the influence of television in the Russian information space. 05.07.23 Analytics NO, BUT YES: WHY RUSSIA IS GOING TO EXTEND THE GRAIN DEAL Despite all the loud proclamations coming from Russia, the 'grain deal' is likely to be extended in one form or another on July 18. Rejection of the deal would almost inevitably lead to an increase in food prices, for which the world would blame Moscow. This, in turn, would undermine trust in the anti-colonial rhetoric it employs in Africa and Asia.  30.06.23 Prigozhin Analytics Hot Summer In Snowy Africa: Why the Prigozhin uprising was possible, how it ended, and what it revealed Kirill Rogov The Prigozhin rebellion has shaken the Russian political landscape, dealing a deadly blow to the myth of 'Putin's stability.' At the same time, the rebellion itself — its brevity and sudden end — has left observers puzzled. But what do we really know about military rebellions and their role in political history?  27.06.23 Prigozhin Analytics War and Revolt: How are the outcome of the Wagner rebellion and the prospects of the Ukrainian counteroffensive connected? The conciliatory outcome of the recent Wagner mutiny is deeply humiliating for Putin, but it may allow him to maintain both his support for the current leadership of the Ministry of Defence, which ensures defence capabilities today, and the Wagner Group units, which could be necessary in the future, or may even create new threats for Ukraine during the summer-autumn military campaign. 24.06.23 Prigozhin Analytics The Armed Golem: Mutiny that Putin Has Started Kirill Rogov Although the focus is now on the advance of Wagner Military group’s units toward Moscow, the essence of Evgeny Prigozhin's rebellion is unfolding in the rhetorical space. This rebellion has already dealt a crushing blow to Putin's war, because it is expressed not in the language of the liberal opponents of the war, but that of its supporters. 01.06.23 Analytics From decline to overheating: Russian industry thrives amid military fever In Russia, industrial production and consumer activity are growing, but the growth of industry is primarily linked to defence orders, while consumer demand is not being met due to sanctions. As a result, the Russian economy is at risk of overheating, resulting in accelerating inflation. 30.05.23 China Analytics Shifting Tides: How China is seizing the initiative in Central Asia and taking Russia’s place For post-Soviet Central Asia, Russia has served as a security guarantor for decades, but the war in Ukraine has rendered it a toxic neighbour. As in other areas, the main beneficiary of this shift has been China, which is eagerly exploiting the power vacuum created in the region as a consequence of Putin's obsession with Ukraine. 15.05.23 Ideologies Analytics The Conservatism Clinch: Can Russia Become an Orthodox Iran? The Russian authorities are attempting to cultivate orthodox religiosity and conservative values, but they have failed to take into account that, in Russia, the popularity of these values has a limited range and a specific political profile. Contrary to the Kremlin's beliefs, the promotion of traditionalism as an official ideology may actually serve to reduce public support for the regime. 11.05.23 Analytics The Elephant and the Whale of Migration Policy: Who Needs the Issue of Migrant Crime and Why? In Russia, the struggle around the regulation and control of labour migration is a struggle between two logics: the economic lobby seeks to normalise and simplify registration and its associated processes for migrants, while the security forces are interested in maintaining their precarious position in Russian society. The classic trump card in this struggle has been the myth of migrant criminality. 08.05.23 Prigozhin Analytics Failure to Deliver: What is Behind the Prigozhin Scandal and Chaos in the Russian Military Command? The cascade of failures on the battlefield has created a desire on the part of various factions of the Russian military leadership to shift responsibility to one another and provoked multilateral conflicts. For the time being, such conflicts are seen as beneficial and manageable in the Kremlin. However, if the situation deteriorates further, these conflicts could spiral out of control. 03.05.23 Sanctions Analytics Schrödinger's Boycott: Why Have Western Companies Not Left Russia Properly? Many foreign companies pledged to leave the Russian market in the initial weeks after the country’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. This process was very active at first, but then it clearly began to stall. Moreover, some of the companies that had seemed to have left without too much fuss have begun to return cautiously. 28.04.23 Sanctions Analytics Irrecoverable losses: how sanctions have hit Russia’s most competitive industries the hardest Although sanctions have not led to a complete collapse of the Russian economy, they have caused significant and irreversible damage. Industries which had once achieved significant success on the international market have suffered the most and have been pushed towards demodernisation. A striking example of this is the Russian timber industry, which has lost its foothold in the European market. 26.04.23 Analytics The Militarisation Slide: having the world’s third largest military budget does not make Russia stronger There has been a proliferation of conflict hotbeds around the world, and with this global military spending is growing. In Russia, military expenditure grew by at least 9% in 2022, making it the world's third-largest military spender. Usually, such spending is only sustainable in countries where the GDP and population are much larger than Russia's. 21.04.23 Repressions Analytics Terrorists, Incendiaries, and Saboteurs: How Law Enforcement Is Normalising the Logic of State Terror Analysis of criminal cases opened under various articles of the Russian Criminal Code for anti-war activities suggests that security officials are prone to add additional, more serious charges, up to and including terrorism and extremism, following the initial indictment. This allows the security forces to meet their performance indicators and to keep civilians in a state of fear. 17.04.23 Prigozhin Analytics Putin Has No Other General Staff: What the Outcome of the Conflict between Gerasimov and Prigozhin Teaches Us About the Present and Future of the War in Ukraine The swift and decisive victory of Valery Gerasimov and his General Staff over Yevgeny Prygozhin and his ambitions, combined with its systematic strengthening of its position over the last few years, forces us to take a new look at the political role of the Russian military leadership in the current war and their potential influence on its future course and outcome. 13.04.23 Analytics The Authoritarian Renaissance: When Will Democracy Bounce Back? The global freedom rankings have continued to decline for the past 17 years, but the resurgence of authoritarianism appears to be running out of steam, according to a new report from Freedom House. Re: Russia’s democratisation index does not support these assumptions: the rate of de-democratisation peaked in 2017-2020, so it would be premature to call the deceleration of authoritarianism in 2021-2022 a turning point. 11.04.23 Analytics From Prison to War. Why Russia urgently needs prison reform Olga Romanova The widespread military use of prisoners on Ukrainian soil has been one of the most shocking and unusual characteristics of the current war. At its heart lies the peculiar world of violence and lawlessness that exists in the Russian penitentiary system, which is carefully guarded by the Russian authorities from any attempts at reform. 06.04.23 Analytics WAR AND ORDER. THE ‘VIRTUAL’ ARREST OF PUTIN AND THE EVOLUTION OF INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE The issuance of an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin by the International Criminal Court is a once-in-a-lifetime legal and political event. Although it appears unlikely that the warrant will be executed, the fact that it was issued has immense implications for the development of international justice, a fragile global system based on war and war crimes. 27.03.23 Analytics The ‘Georgian Dream’ Cycle: Why the Political Situation in Georgia Will Continue to Heat Up, And European Integration Will Stall Russia and the EU remain the two principal poles of Georgian politics, but its main spring is the internal political struggle — the ruling coalition's desire to hold onto power by limiting the opposition's options ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections. Sooner or later, this will end up in another ‘colour revolution’, the experience of several post-Soviet countries suggests. 09.03.23 Polls Analytics RUSSIAN FIELD: SUPPORT FOR NON-SUPPORT OF PEACE AND WAR Over the past year, the independent Russian Field project has been surveying its respondents about their support for a renewed offensive against Kyiv and their support for a peace agreement with Ukraine. The answers to these questions allow us to identify three different groups: those who support escalation, those who are opposed to it, and conformists who approve of any decision made by the authorities. What is the structure of these groups and how do they relate to one another? 23.02.23 Analytics The Mastermind of Rebellion: Prigozhin, ‘a divided elite’ and ‘reverse perestroika’ Within the cacophony of nationwide approval for the ‘special operation’ and the harmonious hum of patriotic speeches, a captivating tale has emerged: a clash between Prigozhin and the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. It serves as a rare example of Russia’s hidden political tensions bubbling to the surface and into the public domain. Although this conflict seems to be under control for the time being, that does not mean that it will not escalate into something much more violent in the future. 16.02.23 Analytics Digital Policy Divergence: authoritarian states are attempting to construct digital totalitarianism while European countries fight against it The Russian government is developing a digital surveillance ecosystem that will include algorithms for monitoring and censoring digital networks, facial recognition, and political profiling. Russia, like China, is attempting to establish a digital dictatorship standing in contrast to the EU debates taking place in the EU surrounding a ban on facial recognition technologies. 14.02.23 Analytics From Hybrid War to Civil War: The Cossacks have joined other private armies on the battlefield In addition to the Wagner PMC, there are other paramilitary formations fighting for the Russian side in Ukraine, including approximately 15,000 Cossacks. The rapid decentralisation of violence and the loss of the state’s monopoly on it, set against a background of military failures and the very real possibility of further political destabilisation, is highly likely to create systemic conditions for civil war in Russia. 24.01.23 Analytics Divided Peoples: How Might the War in Ukraine Shift the Balance of Inter-ethnic Relations in Russia? The war's outcome will have far-reaching consequences, and not only on the political structure of the post-Soviet space. It is very likely that it will cause a rethinking of Moscow's relationship with Russia's ethnic regions, acting as a catalyst for increased ethnopolitical protest and separatist sentiments. 20.01.23 War Analytics Unknown Soldiers: What Do We Know About Russian Military Losses in the War with Ukraine? What are Russia’s losses following eleven months of the war in Ukraine? This issue has received little media attention, but it is both pressing and paints a depressing picture of events. The dead have been hidden by the ‘fog of war’, which has meant that Russian society has been unable to comprehend or assess the real costs of the conflict. However, even allowing for the most conservative estimates, it appears that the Russian army’s losses are many times greater than the Soviet army’s casualties during the ten year war in Afghanistan. 20.01.23 Analytics YOUTUBE SOCIOLOGY Kirill Rogov The interview between Yuri Dud and Oscar Kuchera should be viewed as a stylised conversation between a Russian liberal and an ordinary Russian. This person neither has a  clear sense of the purpose of the war, nor are they convinced of its necessity. However, they express a generalised distrust of the West and Westerners, so they have convinced themselves that Putin is a rational actor, even though they are not privy to the details of his thought process. 13.01.23 Propaganda Analytics Mistrust Makers: The Structure of the Kremlin's Disinformation and Astroturfing Campaigns The Kremlin's large-scale activity on TikTok and other social networks yields no direct results, but has a serious secondary effect: Kremlin campaigns do not change the minds of those who hold opposing viewpoints, but sow mistrust and a sense of vulnerability of the sustainability of normative and liberal social structures. 26.12.22 Analytics The Forever War Following the success of ‘partial mobilisation’, the Kremlin has become preoccupied with the potential further mobilisation of Russian society. Shoigu and Putin recently announced military reforms proposing a return to the model of Russia as a belligerent state. This is based on the Soviet idea of building extensive military capacity, whereby the army’s quantity can compensate for its poor quality. 22.12.22 Analytics Ultimate Sovereignty: How Digitalisation Evolved from a Fetish to a Vulnerability Alexandra Prokopenko Until recently, becoming a global leader in digital technology had been one of Russia’s objectives, and it had already achieved some major accomplishments in this field. But, the invasion of Ukraine has changed everything: plans for global expansion have become irrelevant and investments have been lost. At the same time, the financial sector’s high level of digitalisation has now become its biggest vulnerability. 16.12.22 Analytics An Investment Anomaly Although the Russian economy contracted in 2022, there was an increase in investment activity compared to last year. It should be noted, however, that in many sectors these investments were not being used to expand production, but rather to replace disappearing imports and maintain production output in the wake of sanctions. 07.12.22 Analytics Enough Money to Keep the War Going Sergey Aleksashenko Russia’s budget revenues surpassed last year’s despite nine months of war, the contraction of its economy, the loss of export markets and sanctions. This has allowed the Kremlin to increase its military spending without any particularly serious consequences to its economy. Although a decline in income next year is inevitable, it is unlikely that this will affect Russia's ability to continue the war. 02.12.22 Analytics A boom in newcomers When the war broke out, the IMF predicted that Russia’s deep recession would hamper economic growth in neighbouring countries in 2022. But for many of its neighbours the crisis stemming from the war and its accompanying sanctions has proved to be an opportunity, as human capital has fled Russia to spend their money elsewhere. 24.11.22 Analytics The War Budget and the Race to the Bottom Defence and security spending has become the top priority in Russia’s 2023 budget — a third of the budget will be allocated towards this. Experts have expressed doubts that this will be enough to compensate for the losses in armaments and equipment that have been incurred in Ukraine to date. Russia is entering an arms race for the second time in 50 years, and a scenario in which this, once again, results in total collapse does not seem too far-fetched. 18.11.22 War Analytics Sixteen Scenarios and Five Triggers There is some agreement among experts that, when it comes to multiple possible scenarios for the outcome of the war, their probability is determined by several key factors: further arms supplies to Ukrainian troops, Russia's ability to overcome the disorganisation and demoralisation of its army, the condition of Ukrainian critical infrastructure, the nuclear "card", and the fate of the Putin regime itself. 10.11.22 Analytics Geo-economic Fragmentation: from impossible to inevitable? Until recently, a scenario in which the world underwent new geo-economic fragmentation had seemed quite fantastical, but now this is becoming increasingly likely, despite its potential consequences. We are witnessing growing tensions between democratic and authoritarian countries, and a situation in which political reasons are more often outweighing the fears of collateral economic losses. 09.11.22 Analytics Cyber Blitzkrieg vs. Cyber Solidarity Mirroring its failures on the battlefield, the Kremlin's hopes for a blitzkrieg in cyberspace have not come to fruition. Moscow underestimated the willingness of governments and private companies to counter Russian cyber forces with horizontal cooperation. As such, the Russian-Ukrainian cyber war might signal the beginning of a reconfiguration of the international cyber security landscape. 07.11.22 Polls Analytics The War Party Is Losing Ground In All Polls Time is working against the war — respondents' expectations regarding their financial situation and economic prospects are deteriorating, and the support for military operations in Ukraine is decreasing along with them. According to data from three independent sociological projects, the core of support for the "special military operation" and the "war party" is also shrinking. 27.10.22 Analytics The Global South vs. The Global West: a battle of narratives To engage developing countries and the major powers of the "Global South" in a pro-Ukrainian coalition, the West needs to "repackage” the narrative of the Russian-Ukrainian war, shifting the emphasis from "values" to a rhetoric of sovereignty and territorial integrity that would be more widely accepted in a postcolonial world. 21.10.22 Analytics Dynamic Ceiling Europe continues to prepare for a winter without Russian gas and develop a strategy to reduce economic losses and prevent social instability. In Germany, whose economy is a driving force of the EU, the idea of a dynamic price ceiling is actively discussed amid bakery owners' and far-right demonstrations. However, the idea is to introduce it only at the end of winter. 07.10.22 Analytics Revenues Forced to Match Spending Russia's budget for next year is based on some dangerously optimistic assumptions, namely that oil prices will be high and the Russian economy will quickly recover from sanctions. These predictions, however, are based on the idea that spending costs will be high even if income levels decrease. Will the Russian government abandon its conservative budget policy in 2023? 03.10.22 Polls Analytics The Journey from 1945 to 1941 According to sociological data, Russia’s mobilisation came as a shock to its citizens. Even among the war’s supporters there are at least three different parties with their own justifications and interpretations of current events. 26.09.22 Ideologies Analytics Opportunism By Way Of Sovietism and Anti Globalism Alexander Panchenko Post-Soviet Russia is not unique by any means, but it is probably the only major nation of the 21st century where a radical conspiratorial worldview is popular not only in mass culture but also among the political establishment. Alexander Panchenko discusses the setup of ideological narratives of late Putinism. 23.09.22 Analytics Inside the Inferiority Complex Vladimir Putin's recent address to the Russian public contained a direct threat to use nuclear weapons against the West — this rhetoric both refers to Russia's nuclear doctrine and fundamentally distorts its previous defensive and compensatory nature. Re: Russia — on Vladimir Putin’s attempt to falsify the Russian nuclear doctrine and turn it into an instrument of aggression. 16.09.22 Ideologies Analytics The Mobilisation of the Demobilised Ekaterina Schulmann The idea of self-sacrifice and the cult of death underlying the new ideology of the Russian regime are in conflict with the humanization of social norms that has been taking place in Russian society over the past twenty years. Ekaterina Schulmann on the prospects for ideological mobilisation in Russia. 16.09.22 Ideologies Analytics The Crusade and the Ferris Wheel Andrei Zorin The ideology of Putin's regime has gone from an approach based on ideals of a "strong state and civilized way of life" to the revanchist messianism that has become the ideological foundation of the current military venture. But, as Professor Andrei Zorin of Oxford University writes, this ideology has always been dedicated to the task of ensuring the irremovability of those in power. 12.09.22 Analytics "The SMO is yours, but the problems it creates are ours" Alexander Kynev Despite the attempts to establish total control, regional elections in Russia remain a field of very specific competition, in which federal party brands play the role of franchises and "privacy screens" masking the bizarre struggle of local elite groups and activist projects. Political scientist Alexander Kynev discusses the peculiarities of the election campaign and the first outcomes of the 2022 elections in Russia. 05.08.22 Polls Analytics A Broad Front of Inadequacy The July poll conducted by the Levada Center demonstrates that the Russian’s attitudes toward the war and Kremlin policies remain unchanged and are largely accompanied by a surprisingly high optimism regarding the prospects of the Russian economy and society as a whole. Kirill Rogov discusses the specifics of social attitudes in the summer of 2022. 18.07.22 Analytics Telegram vs. TV Data from a June poll conducted by the Levada Center shows that the war has not changed the fundamental trend of recent years: the share of people who get their information on current events from TV has fallen back after a brief spike at the beginning of the war, while the share of those who get it from the Internet has continued to grow. 24.06.22 Analytics Is the World at Risk of a New Great Divergence? The polls show that the Western alliance will have difficulty getting China, South Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East to support its sanctions policy against Russia, and the world may face geo-economic fragmentation if pressure from the alliance is too strong. 23.06.22 Analytics Dark Times Powerful Western sanctions were supposed to hit the Russian economy and weaken Vladimir Putin's regime, but today the economic and political losses incurred by the West seem to be more noticeable. Kirill Rogov discusses the differences in responses to signs of a crisis between democracies and autocracies. 20.06.22 Analytics Crisis Euphoria Polls in May recorded a rise in economic optimism and a decrease in crisis expectations, which can be explained both by the general mobilization effect — the growth of regime support indicators and positive assessments of the country's prospects — and the widespread feeling that the crisis was short-lived and limited in its influence.