Lilia Shevtsova
Russia & The West
Here We Go Again: Falling for the Russian Trap

Nearing the end of his second term, George W. Bush sought to salvage Russian-American relations with a visit to Sochi in April 2008, but then a few months later, Russia’s invasion of Georgia brought the bilateral relationship to its lowest point in twenty years. President Obama came to office intent on repairing the relationship and […]

Russia and China: Is the World Ready for Their Decline?

When Russia and China come up as subjects in the media and in political and academic discourse (as they frequently do), they are discussed in terms of bilateral relations, as a segue into a discussion of regional and global politics, as authoritarian threats to the West, or as examples of attempts at authoritarian modernization. Ever […]

The Crisis in the West

A year ago, the world was abuzz with talk of the euro crisis and the feared disintegration of the European Union. By the end of 2012, the discussion has shifted to the crisis of the liberal democracy model itself. The debate is no longer “Keynes vs. Hayek” or expansionary vs. austerity fiscal measures. At the […]

What the Magnitsky Act Means

Sergei Magnitsky was a 37-year-old lawyer who was beaten, deprived of vital medical attention, and left to die in a Russian prison nearly a year after uncovering a massive fraud allegedly committed by Russian officials to the tune of $230 million. The very people whom Magnitsky implicated in the fraud arrested him in 2008; a […]

Germany and Russia: The End of Ostpolitik?

Germany’s role in the ongoing Euro crisis is a reminder of its economic superpower status in Europe. But Germany plays another leading role: defining European policy toward Russia. Brussels and other European capitals often follow Germany’s lead when it comes to dealing with Russia. And with the United States distracted with its recent election and […]

How Will Russia React to Obama, Round Two?

The question posed by my title doesn’t quite hit the mark. Just as one cannot really speak of a single “America”, there is no one “Russia” anymore but rather several Russias. But while each different Russia has its own interests, attitudes and moods, there is something that unites them all with respect to America: The […]

After the Elections, All Eyes on Georgia

For a small country located in a very tough neighborhood, Georgia has not received lots of attention since 2008, when Russia invaded the country and declared South Ossetia and Abkhazia independent. And with the world’s attention focused elsewhere (elections in the U.S., the humanitarian disaster in Syria, the challenge of Iran), many might have missed […]

Goodbye America!

My title, “Goodbye America!” is taken from a song in the super popular Russian flick Brother 2 (the 2000 sequel to the also popular post-Soviet crime film, Brother). The film’s protagonist, Danila, accompanies his brother to Chicago, where he tries to “do justice”, becoming involved in a series of encounters with different types of Americans, […]

Obama vs. Romney: Who Would Putin Pick?

In his speech accepting the Republican nomination for president, Mitt Romney vowed to take a hard line in dealing with Russia. “Under my administration,” he said, “our friends will see more loyalty, and Mr. Putin will see a little less flexibility and more backbone.” Earlier in the campaign, Romney had cited Russia as “our number […]

Ukraine, Russia and Two Horses

Nearly twenty years ago, Zbigniew Brzezinski famously said, “Russia can be either an empire or a democracy, but it cannot be both. . . . Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be an empire, but with Ukraine suborned and then subordinated, Russia automatically becomes an empire.” Uninterested in becoming a democracy, today’s Kremlin has not given […]

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