Re-Election, Reshuffle and Warring Elites: Putin’s Key Challenges in 2023

More than 10 months on from the invasion of Ukraine, the contrast between the scale of the external shocks faced by Russia and the relative inertia inside the country is striking. Despite military failures and punishing sanctions, most Russians have gone on with their lives as though nothing is happening, while the elites have tried … Read more

Predicting Russia’s Next Move Against The Oil Price Cap

On December 27, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on countermeasures against the introduction of a price cap on Russian oil and oil products. These are in response to the G7 agreement on a US$60 per barrel cap for Russian seaborne oil. The decree bans the sale of oil and oil products if … Read more

Putin Visits Russian Troops, Claims ‘Moral Rightness’ in New Year’s Address

Updates with Zelensky’s comments and color from Moscow and recasts throughout. MOSCOW – President Vladimir Putin said in his televised New Year’s address Saturday that “moral, historical rightness” is on Russia’s side as his country faces international condemnation for its offensive in Ukraine. Putin delivered his traditional midnight address standing among soldiers who had apparently … Read more

Putin Insists No Plan to Absorb Belarus on Visit to Shadow Ukraine

President Vladimir Putin denied plans to absorb Belarus as he paid a rare visit Monday to the country whose strongman assisted his invasion of neighboring Ukraine. Putin flew into Minsk with his defense and foreign ministers in tow, hours after Russian forces launched a swarm of attack drones at critical infrastructure in Kyiv, which provoked … Read more

Biden crowned world energy czar as diplomacy triumphs over Putin’s tantrums

Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book explained how leaders and groups need each other for power: “For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” President Biden has breathed new confidence into allied unity and resolve—and has in turn been strengthened by our international allies. Overcoming the … Read more

Opinion: Vladimir Putin isn’t just losing in Ukraine — he’s set Russia’s economy back 40 years

To win a war you need will and means. I am cautiously optimistic that Ukraine has both in its fight against Russia. Ukrainian will increase with every mass grave of murdered civilians uncovered and with every liberated Ukrainian village. For Ukrainians this war is no longer about territory but about survival as a nation — … Read more

Now Putin Is Sending Prison Rape Victims to Ukraine to Die on the Frontline

Yevgeny Prigozhin has been touring Russian prisons in an increasingly desperate bid to recruit more soldiers to send into Ukraine. The Wagner supremo is now accused of using “pressure” to recruit raped and abused prisoners from Russia’s penal colonies to join the mercenary group’s frontline fighting units where they are being slaughtered with little training … Read more

Putin Will Not Like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Attending Ukraine’s Summit on Kicking Russia Out of Crimea

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is slated to attend the Crimea Platform parliamentary summit in Croatia this week as part of a forum to discuss kicking Russia out of Crimea and returning the peninsula to Ukraine. Her visit is meant to show the United States’ “ironclad solidarity” with Ukraine, the Democrat said in a statement. … Read more

Why Putin may not be bluffing about using nuclear weapons

On Sept. 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that he could resort to “all available means of destruction” in his war against Ukraine, pointedly adding, “It’s not a bluff.” Days later, he accused the United States of setting the nuclear warfare “precedent,” referring to the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945 to end … Read more

Russians Terrified by Putin’s Bunker Mentality as He Turns 70 With His Finger on the Nuclear Button

Only a handful of people know the exact location where President Vladimir Putin is celebrating his 70th birthday in St. Petersburg on Friday, but critics say he spends more and more of his time isolated deep inside nuclear bunkers. The Kremlin has announced that Putin will spend his birthday working. Mired, as he is, in … Read more