Russia

Breaking BRICS: More Differences Than Similarities?

This month brings the tenth summit of the fast-growing BRICs nations – Brazil, Russia, India, and China and South Africa. But does the label still hold given the countries’ starkly different political and economic realities? Almost 17 years after Goldman Sachs coined the term “BRICs” for Brazil, Russia, India, and China, and later South Africa, […]

Scoring with Free Elections and Civil Rights

For the first time since the end of the Cold War, an autocracy hosts the World Cup. Reason enough for us to uphold values such as inclusion, participation and fair play not only on the pitch but also in society as a whole. Because football and democracy have much more in common than it seems […]

Russian Presidential Election: To the Victor, Stagnation

Putin will remain Russia’s strong man for another six years. But his muscle-flexing on the international stage is designed to divert attention from the country’s dismal economic outlook. A key feature of democratic elections, according to Polish-American political scientist Adam Przeworski, is their “institutionalized uncertainty”: Anyone can win. There is no question that Russia’s presidential […]

How Western Populism Weakens Democracy in Ukraine

Populism in Europe, and in the West generally, plays into the hands of anti-democratic forces in Ukraine – and supports Russia’s destabilizing influence. Europe’s rising populist surge threatens Ukraine’s democratic future. During the Euromaidan protests in 2013/2014 and their aftermath, when the anti-Yanukovych opposition came to power, some European media denounced what they described as […]

Picture: Cracked EU vs Russia flags. Ukrainian crisis conceptual image. Foto: Bröckelnde Flaggen der EU und Russland.

EU-Russia Sanctions: An Unsteady Deadlock

The European Union and Russia have been locked in an economic struggle over Ukraine for two years. With Donald Trump the next president of the United States, the West’s Russia policy might substantially change – and Europe’s Eastern policy is today more uncertain than ever. In July 2014, following Russia’s unilateral annexation of Crimea and […]

Vladimir Putin and the Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan, December 2013 © The Presidential Press and Information Office

An Offer Yerevan Could Not Refuse

In the run-up to the Ukraine crisis, Armenia rejected an association agreement with the European Union in favor of cooperation with Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. Yet the country’s future in the Eurasian Economic Union seems uncertain – and the door to Brussels might not be completely shut. On September 3, 2014 it was exactly one […]

© Sime Simon via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

An Appetite for Change?

While the Czech Republic shows signs of a new right direction to curb its corruption problem and bolster the rule of law, Russia is taking steps to bring its judiciary under even tighter control. This might also dim its economic future. On 13 June 2013, the Czech prime minister’s chief of staff, Jana Nagyova, was […]