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Russia and Eurasia

The end of the Cold war marked the beginning of a new paradigm in US-Russian relations, which is no longer based on ideological chasm, but on geopolitical rivalry. While the U.S. was willing to embrace Russia in a new partnership, Moscow’s support of Iran’s nuclear weapons program; Syria’s Assad regime; pursuit of a "privileged sphere of interests" in the former Soviet Union and Central Europe, vociferous opposition to NATO missile defense; and internal repression, make such a relationship difficult.

Our Research & Offerings on Russia and Eurasia
  • Testimony posted April 15, 2015 by Helle C. Dale Russia’s “Weaponization” of Information

    Testimony Presented to the House Foreign Affairs Committee April 15, 2015 Helle C. Dale My name is Helle Dale. I am Senior Fellow for Public Diplomacy in the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own, and should not be construed as representing any…

  • Issue Brief posted February 12, 2015 by Luke Coffey, Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. The United States Must Be Ready to Send Weapons to Ukraine

    As Russian-backed forces make territorial gains in eastern Ukraine, and as a ceasefire agreement was reached in Minsk, Belarus, between Kyiv and Moscow, there is intense debate in Washington about whether to send weapons to the Ukrainian military. There is no reason to believe that the ceasefire agreement will last when many such agreements have failed in the past. At…

  • Issue Brief posted December 16, 2014 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis Addressing Russia’s Continued Pernicious Actions Abroad

    Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea and its continued aggression against Ukraine are proof of what many already knew, the failed “Russian reset” policy is dead, and Russia’s actions continue to destabilize its neighborhood. In place of the reset, the U.S. needs to implement a comprehensive long-term strategy for addressing a revanchist Russia. To highlight the…

  • Commentary posted December 15, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Crazy talk isn't just crazy

    Kim Jong Il, the former leader of North Korea, once made 11 holes in one in a round of golf. On a well-publicized scuba dive, Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, happened to find two ancient artifacts. Iran's Supreme Leader claims the United States, Britain, and Israel created the Islamist rebels in Syria. Dictators say a lot of crazy things. Some are silly, some are…

  • Issue Brief posted December 9, 2014 by Luke Coffey The U.S. Must Counter Russian Influence in the Balkans

    The Balkans region continues to be an area of instability in Europe. Although security in the region has improved dramatically since the 1990s, sectarian divisions remain and have been exacerbated by sluggish economies, high unemployment rates, and endemic political corruption. Moscow has exploited these tensions in an effort to advance a pro-Russia agenda with the goal…

  • Issue Brief posted December 2, 2014 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis Russia’s Provocations in the Nordic-Baltic States: The U.S. Needs a Strategy to Support the Region

    Russia’s aggressive posture against its neighbors has a profound impact on U.S. allies in the Nordic and Baltic region. The Baltic states are on NATO’s front line, and view Russia as an existential threat. Nordic states, especially non-NATO members Finland and Sweden, have felt Russian pressure this year. Lately, three issues have kept tensions running high in the region:…

  • Issue Brief posted November 26, 2014 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine: The U.S. Needs a Strategy

    In November 2013, the former Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, postponed signing an Association Agreement with the European Union after receiving an ultimatum from Moscow to choose between closer ties with Europe or Russia. One year later, Yanukovych is out, a pro-Western government is in power, Russia has illegally annexed the Crimea, and the Ukrainian oblasts of…

  • Issue Brief posted November 26, 2014 by Luke Coffey Russia and the South Caucasus: A Situation the U.S. Cannot Ignore

    While the U.S. and NATO are focused on Russian activity in Central and Eastern Europe, there are three developments in the South Caucasus that merit closer attention: (1) recent political instability in Georgia; (2) possible Russian annexation of Georgian breakaway territories; and (3) increasing tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Armenian-occupied…

  • Commentary posted November 18, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Russia's Aggression Isn't Stopping in Ukraine

    NATO confirmed on Wednesday that Russian tanks were moving into rebel-controlled eastern Ukraine. But Russia's aggression under Vladimir Putin didn't begin in Ukraine and, unless the West stops vacillating, it won't end there, either. After the 2003 Rose Revolution, the nation of Georgia, in the Caucasus, became a staunch American ally. But in 2008, it was invaded and…

  • Commentary posted November 17, 2014 by Peter Brookes ‘Green Men’ Returning to Ukraine

    If you haven’t noticed, Team Obama’s policy of “isolating” Russia for its bad behavior in Ukraine isn’t going very well. Indeed, one could say the approach is not only failing, but terribly so. Russia’s on a roll. First, NATO reports that Russian forces — troops, artillery, tanks and air defense systems — recently moved across the border into Ukraine despite a September…

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  • Issue Brief posted November 26, 2014 by Luke Coffey Russia and the South Caucasus: A Situation the U.S. Cannot Ignore

    While the U.S. and NATO are focused on Russian activity in Central and Eastern Europe, there are three developments in the South Caucasus that merit closer attention: (1) recent political instability in Georgia; (2) possible Russian annexation of Georgian breakaway territories; and (3) increasing tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Armenian-occupied…

  • Issue Brief posted March 28, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Nile Gardiner, Ph.D., Luke Coffey, Dakota Wood If Russia Attacks: How the U.S. Should Respond to Further Aggression Against Ukraine

    After Russia’s illegal invasion, occupation, and subsequent annexation of Crimea, there is a concern that Moscow will not stop until all of Ukraine is under Russia’s control. By invading Crimea, the regime of President Vladimir Putin has made it impossible any longer to consider Russia a responsible nation or suitable partner for the United States in solving regional and…

  • WebMemo posted August 3, 2011 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., Stephen Blank Reset Regret: Russian Global Strategy Undermines American Interests

    According to the Obama Administration, the U.S. is not competing with Russia for global influence. Unfortunately, Moscow has not received this memo. Instead, Russia attempts to extend its influence to constrain U.S. policy. Russian leaders like Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov habitually invoke a “polycentric” or multipolar model of the world, with Russia working with her…

  • Issue Brief posted May 19, 2014 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. The Russian Economy Stares into the Abyss

    For the Russian economy, winter has come early this year. After cruising at a respectable 3–4 percent rate of growth earlier this decade, Russia’s pace of expansion sharply decelerated toward the middle of 2012. According to Alexei Ulyukayev, the minster of economic development, the economy contracted for the first time since the 2008 recession during the first quarter of…

  • Special Report posted September 17, 2014 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., Ivan Benovic, James Roberts Russia’s Avoidable Economic Decline

    About the Authors Ariel Cohen, PhD, is a Visiting Fellow in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy, of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, at The Heritage Foundation. Ivan Benovic, an MA graduate from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and a BA…

  • Special Report posted November 26, 2013 by James M. Roberts, Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., Jonathan Blaisdell The Eurasian Union: Undermining Economic Freedom and Prosperity in the South Caucasus

    The Southern Caucasus—Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia—is in Russia’s geopolitical crosshairs. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who once called the demise of the Soviet Union “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the [20th] century,”[1] is seeking economic and political alliances to restore Russia’s power in what then-President Dmitry Medvedev called its traditional…

  • Special Report posted June 26, 2012 by James M. Roberts, Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. How More Economic Freedom Will Attract Investment to Kazakhstan and Central Asia

    About the Authors James M. Roberts is Research Fellow for Economic Freedom and Growth in the Center for International Trade and Economics (CITE ) at The Heritage Foundation. Ariel Cohen, PhD , is Senior Research Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Policy in the Douglas and Sarah…

  • Backgrounder posted March 15, 2012 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. How the U.S. Should Respond to Russia's Unhelpful Role in the Middle East

    Abstract: Russia is pursuing a Middle Eastern policy that is designed to reduce U.S. and Western influence in the Middle East, even at the risk of Islamist terrorism, which is a growing problem in Russia. It views the recent upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa as an American conspiracy to undermine Russia and friendly regimes in the region. Russia’s Soviet…

  • Backgrounder posted April 1, 2005 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. After Maskhadov: Islamist Terrorism Threatens North Caucasus and Russia

    The violent demise on March 8 of Aslan Maskhadov, former president of Chechnya and supreme commander of the Chechen militant forces, is President Vladimir Putin's short-term gain, but it may be Russia's long-term loss. Now the war in Chechnya will further lose its "national liberation" character and the pretense of Chechen independence, which Maskhadov symbolized,…

  • Executive Memorandum posted February 28, 2005 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. Russian Oil After YUKOS: Implications for the United States

    The Russian oil and gas sector's new paradigm can be summarized in two words: "state domination." The free-market paradigm has been abandoned. In December 2004, the tax authorities bankrupted YUKOS, a major oil company, for alleged tax arrears and sold its main production unit, Yuganskneftegaz, to the state-owned oil company Rosneft, using a straw company as an…

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  • Testimony posted April 15, 2015 by Helle C. Dale Russia’s “Weaponization” of Information

    Testimony Presented to the House Foreign Affairs Committee April 15, 2015 Helle C. Dale My name is Helle Dale. I am Senior Fellow for Public Diplomacy in the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own, and should not be construed as representing any…

  • Issue Brief posted February 12, 2015 by Luke Coffey, Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. The United States Must Be Ready to Send Weapons to Ukraine

    As Russian-backed forces make territorial gains in eastern Ukraine, and as a ceasefire agreement was reached in Minsk, Belarus, between Kyiv and Moscow, there is intense debate in Washington about whether to send weapons to the Ukrainian military. There is no reason to believe that the ceasefire agreement will last when many such agreements have failed in the past. At…

  • Issue Brief posted December 16, 2014 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis Addressing Russia’s Continued Pernicious Actions Abroad

    Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea and its continued aggression against Ukraine are proof of what many already knew, the failed “Russian reset” policy is dead, and Russia’s actions continue to destabilize its neighborhood. In place of the reset, the U.S. needs to implement a comprehensive long-term strategy for addressing a revanchist Russia. To highlight the…

  • Issue Brief posted December 9, 2014 by Luke Coffey The U.S. Must Counter Russian Influence in the Balkans

    The Balkans region continues to be an area of instability in Europe. Although security in the region has improved dramatically since the 1990s, sectarian divisions remain and have been exacerbated by sluggish economies, high unemployment rates, and endemic political corruption. Moscow has exploited these tensions in an effort to advance a pro-Russia agenda with the goal…

  • Issue Brief posted December 2, 2014 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis Russia’s Provocations in the Nordic-Baltic States: The U.S. Needs a Strategy to Support the Region

    Russia’s aggressive posture against its neighbors has a profound impact on U.S. allies in the Nordic and Baltic region. The Baltic states are on NATO’s front line, and view Russia as an existential threat. Nordic states, especially non-NATO members Finland and Sweden, have felt Russian pressure this year. Lately, three issues have kept tensions running high in the region:…

  • Issue Brief posted November 26, 2014 by Luke Coffey Russia and the South Caucasus: A Situation the U.S. Cannot Ignore

    While the U.S. and NATO are focused on Russian activity in Central and Eastern Europe, there are three developments in the South Caucasus that merit closer attention: (1) recent political instability in Georgia; (2) possible Russian annexation of Georgian breakaway territories; and (3) increasing tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Armenian-occupied…

  • Issue Brief posted November 26, 2014 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine: The U.S. Needs a Strategy

    In November 2013, the former Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, postponed signing an Association Agreement with the European Union after receiving an ultimatum from Moscow to choose between closer ties with Europe or Russia. One year later, Yanukovych is out, a pro-Western government is in power, Russia has illegally annexed the Crimea, and the Ukrainian oblasts of…

  • Issue Brief posted October 21, 2014 by Daniel Kochis Countering Russian Propaganda Abroad

    Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has highlighted a Russian foreign policy approach that integrates raw military strength with a myriad of soft power tools to pressure adversaries. A key element of Russian soft power is the use of state-sponsored media to influence foreign audiences. Russian propaganda, often masquerading as legitimate news, is disseminated through…

  • Special Report posted September 17, 2014 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., Ivan Benovic, James Roberts Russia’s Avoidable Economic Decline

    About the Authors Ariel Cohen, PhD, is a Visiting Fellow in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy, of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, at The Heritage Foundation. Ivan Benovic, an MA graduate from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and a BA…

  • Issue Brief posted July 22, 2014 by Nile Gardiner, Ph.D., James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Dakota Wood, Luke Coffey After the Malaysian Airlines Atrocity: 10 Ways the U.S. Should Respond to Russia’s Role in Ukraine

    Evidence is mounting that Russian-backed insurgents in eastern Ukraine were responsible for the shooting down of a Malaysian Airlines plane, with the loss of 298 lives. This was an act of barbarism by separatists who are armed, funded, and trained by Moscow. It follows from Russia’s illegal invasion, occupation, and annexation of Crimea and its attempts to dismember…

Find more work on Russia and Eurasia
Find more work on Russia and Eurasia