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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
  • 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…

  • 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…

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  • Backgrounder posted November 19, 2007 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. Domestic Factors Driving Russia's Foreign Policy

    Russia's foreign policy assertiveness, funded by revenues from natural resources, makes many believe that a new energy empire is on the rise. The country today is ruled by post-Soviet security and military elites that have internalized the jingoistic values of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. These elites view the outside world almost exclusively through the…

  • 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 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…

  • WebMemo posted December 11, 2007 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. Russian Succession: Putin Prime Minister, Medvedev President

    Dmitry Medvedev's endorsement as a presidential candidate by four pro-Putin political parties and by Vladimir Putin himself ends months of rumors in Moscow. Medvedev's appeal to Putin, asking him to serve as a prime minister after the March presidential elections, confirms not only that Putin will play a pivotal role in Russian politics after he steps down but that…

  • Backgrounder posted November 15, 2006 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. U.S. Interests and Central Asia Energy Security

    In the past five years, real and present dangers to U.S. national security, especially Islamist terrorism and threats to the energy supply, have affected U.S. policy in Central Asia. The region has great energy potential and is strategically important, but it is land-locked, which complicates U.S. access and involvement there.[1] The United States has varied…

  • WebMemo posted August 28, 2008 by Sally McNamara Russia's Recognition of Independence for South Ossetia and AbkhaziaIs Illegitimate: They Are Not Kosovo

    Russia has signaled its intention to continue escalating the crisis in Georgia by unilaterally and illegally recognizing the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. After both failing to abide by the terms of the formal ceasefire negotiated by French President Nicholas Sarkozy and vetoing attempts to resolve the crisis in the United Nations Security Council…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Backgrounder posted November 5, 2007 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. Europe's Strategic Dependence on Russian Energy

    Russia is consolidating its grip on oil and gas-the economic lifeblood of Europe. Moscow is pursuing a comprehensive strategy that could increase Europe's political and economic dependence on Russian energy. Such dependence could negatively affect transatlantic relations, common values, goals, strategic objectives, and security policies. Without a policy dialogue…

  • Issue Brief posted February 20, 2013 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. U.S. Policy on Russia for Obama’s Second Term

    Since Vladimir Putin’s third inauguration as Russian president last May, U.S.–Russian relations have deteriorated sharply. Officials on both sides have moved past the “reset” honeymoon as disagreements over geopolitics and human rights abound. Spanning two continents and with a veto on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), Russia is uniquely positioned to play a…

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  • 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, 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…

  • 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…

  • Issue Brief posted June 4, 2014 by Nile Gardiner, Ph.D., Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., Luke Coffey President Obama Goes to Europe: Top Five Policy Recommendations

    President Obama’s visit to Europe this week will be an important opportunity for the U.S. President to restate America’s commitment to the transatlantic partnership, strengthen the NATO alliance, and shore up European opposition to Russian aggression against Ukraine. Across the Atlantic, President Obama should also take note of the mounting disillusionment with the…

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