The leaders of Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus signed a potentially game-changing treaty in Astana on May 29, establishing a Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). If the union develops as envisioned, it could transform the geopolitical architecture of the post-Soviet region. But lots of hurdles still need to be cleared for that to happen.
As Armenia prepares to join the Russia-led Customs Union, a surprise decision to erect a statue in the capital Yerevan in honor of the Soviet-era political leader Anastas Mikoian is raising hackles among intellectuals and rights activists.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has consolidated authority to such an extent that any form of mass public protest in Moscow is practically inconceivable these days. However, room for dissent exists in other regions of Russia.
Vladimir Putin’s administration in Russia intends to cover the burgeoning costs of annexing Crimea by raiding taxpayers’ pension contributions, raising utility rates, and canceling major infrastructure-development projects and reallocating funds.
Russian Ambassador Ivan Volinkin’s recent call “to neutralize” Western-funded non-governmental organizations in Armenia is stoking fears among Armenian activists that the country’s pending membership in the Moscow-led Customs Union will prompt a rollback of civil rights.
The deepening Ukrainian crisis is placing Turkey in a difficult diplomatic position. At stake for officials in Ankara are Turkey's commitments to its Western allies and its cultural kin, Crimean Tatars, against its economic and political relationship with Moscow.
An impossibly cute creature from a 1966 Soviet book and cartoon has recently found himself on the periphery of discussions about the Kremlin's growing ambitions to exercise greater control over domestic Internet use.