Russian Analytical Digest

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Der «Russian Analytical Digest (RAD)» analysiert Ereignisse, Trends und Entwicklungen im Hinblick auf die politische, wirtschaftliche, sicherheitspolitische und gesellschaftliche Situation in Russland. Jede Ausgabe enthält akademische und policy-relevante Artikel von internationalen Autoren, zudem themenbezogene statistische Informationen, Grafiken und Meinungsumfragen. Die Publikation wird vom Center for Eastern European Studies (CEES) in Zusammenarbeit mit der Forschungsstelle Osteuropa der Universität Bremen, dem Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies der George Washington University, dem Center for Security Studies (CSS) an der ETH Zürich und der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Osteuropakunde (DGO) herausgegeben. Die Editoren des RAD sind Stephen Aris, Matthias Neumann, Robert Orttung, Jeronim Perović, Heiko Pleines, Hans-Henning Schröder und Aglaya Snetkov.


Aktuelle Ausgaben:

No. 249: Need-based Social Policies (20.03.2020)

The topic of this edition is need-​based social policies. Firstly, Martin Brand examines the extent of poverty in Russia and analyzes the government’s policies to combat it. He concludes that Russia needs a sustained high rate of economic growth to achieve the goal of halving poverty in Russia by 2024. Secondly, Theresa Hornke discusses Russia’s latest family policy debates and developments, treating family policy as a multidimensional strategy and analyzing it in terms of communication, benefits, and legislation.

No. 248: Central Asia (06.03.2020)

This issue focuses on Russia's relations with three Central Asian Republics. Firstly, Rico Issacs examines the implications of Nazarbayev’s decision to step down as president for Kazakhstan's policy towards Russia, highlighting continuity and arguing the most significant aspect may prove to be the lessons learned by Putin from Nazarbayev’s orchestrated departure. Secondly, Edward Lemon and Bradley Jardine consider Russia’s growing unease about China's expanding security cooperation with Tajikistan, because it represents a potential challenge to Moscow's role as Dushanbe’s security guarantor. Thirdly, Luca Anceschi assesses the Russo-​Turkmen relationship, noting that a decline in the importance of gas trade and an increase in significance of security cooperation in relation to Afghanistan has altered the equation governing the relationship.

No. 247: Eurasian Economic Union (17.02.2020)

he topic of this issue is the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Firstly, Alexander Libman argues that the integration milestones set in the EAEU Treaty are frequently achieved at the cost of diluting the content of the subsequent integration steps, with countries accepting smaller obligations than originally envisioned. This situation is unlikely to change in the future. Secondly, Maria Shagina discusses the effects of Russia’s uncoordinated counter-​measures against Western sanctions in the wake of the Ukraine crisis. She theorizes that these counter-​measures caused collateral damage, unleashed unintended consequences on Russia’s fellow EAEU members and have hampered the Union’s further integration.

No. 246: Putin's Power Games (7.2.2020)

The topic of this issue is ‘Putin‘s Power Games’. In it, eight authors from different institutions (Jan Matti Dollbaum, Maria Domańska, Vladimir Gel’man, Andrei Kolesnikov, Robert Orttung, Michael Rochlitz, Regina Smyth, and Andrei Yakovlev) comment on the recent and ongoing changes in the government and constitution of Russia.

No. 245: Russian Youth (24.01.2020)

The topic of this issue is Russian youth. Firstly, Anna Sorokina and Valeria Kasamara examine the values and attitudes of Russian students towards their home country as well as federal and regional political elites. They conclude that the majority of young Russian students describe themselves as the “Putin Generation” and perceive President Vladimir Putin as the ideal political leader of a nation-​state. Secondly, Irina Meyer-​Olimpieva posits that young people in Russia have similarly ambivalent attitudes to corruption to older generations and that Russian youth are also skeptical about public anticorruption initiatives.

No. 244: Grain Export from Russia (17.12.2019)

The topic of this issue is grain exports from Russia. Firstly, Miranda Svanidze, Linde Götz and Florian Schierhorn posit that the mobilization of grain export potential in Russian grain producing regions requires an improvement in the functioning of the Russian grain market. Secondly, Maximilian Heigermoser and Linde Götz state that since the turn of the millennium, Russia has ascended to become the world’s largest wheat exporter. The authors conclude that it remains to be seen to what extent the current trend towards corporate concentration in the export sector will lead to the exercise of market power and price distortions in the future.

No. 243: Climate Change and Russia (11.12.2019)

The topic of this issue is climate change and Russia. Firstly, Vladimir Otrachshenko and Olga Popova point out that Russia is a key partner in global efforts on mitigating the adverse impacts of climate change, but they are skeptical whether the Russian population and the Russian economy can adapt to the steadily increasing influence of global warming. Secondly, Marianna Poberezhskaya discusses climate change discourse in Russia. She observes that such discourse at the national level has been limited and delayed.

No. 242: Russia-Ukraine (03.12.2019)

The topic of this issue is the relations between Russia and Ukraine. Firstly, André Härtel discusses recent developments in the Donbas conflict. He posits that as of yet there is no clear path forward as Ukrainian president Zelensky is still formulating policies, Russia seems to benefit from the status quo, and the West seems more focused on other issue. Secondly, Julia Kusznir analyses the progress of the ongoing negotiations for a new gas transit contract between Ukraine and Russia. Different interests, viewpoints and hurdles have so far prevented the signing of a new treaty.

No. 241: Russia's Economy (11.11.2019)

The topic of this edition is Russia’s economy. Firstly, Peter Rutland posits that Russia is an ailing petrostate, but that it is not clear if it is failing. It faces three sources of instability: shifts in international energy markets, the challenge of climate change, and the breakdown of the social contract at home. The country’s changing economic fortunes may ultimately lead to a new political model as well. Secondly, Stephen K. Wegren assesses the effects and consequences of Russia’s food embargo against Western nations (which essentially shut off access to the Russian food market). In particular, the article examines the effects on Russian domestic food producers, food exporters, and consumers. The conclusion considers whether the effects of the food embargo are easily reversible.

No. 240: Indigenous Peoples in Russia (29.10.2019)

The edition addresses indigenous peoples in Russia. Firstly, Arbahan Magomedov analyzes a new political phenomenon in modern Russia: the growing assertiveness of indigenous peoples in the context of the accelerated industrial development of the Arctic. At the center of the study is the political rise of the “Voice of the Tundra” protest community and its leader Eiko Serotetto. Secondly, Vera Kuklina discusses the impact of reindustrialization on remote regions and local communities in these regions. She cites the cumulative impact of the Baikal-​Amur Mainline, Strength of Siberia gas pipeline, and multiple forestry companies on the Evenki community in the Kazachinsko-​Lenskii raion of Irkutsk Oblast.

No. 239: Russian Regional Elections (26.09.2019)

This edition discusses the regional elections of 8 September 2019 in the Russian Federation. Firstly, Yana Gorokhovskaia comments that the usually predictable regional elections sparked a conflict over which actors are allowed to participate in organized politics in Russia and which are not. She posits that both the opposition’s campaign strategies and the social response they elicited suggest that future elections in the country will be more hotly contested. Secondly, Jan Matti Dollbaum analyzes Alexey Navalny’s negative-coalition strategy of “smart voting”. He writes that while its exact effects are difficult to ascertain, this strategy innovatively exploits the rules and practices of Russia’s electoral authoritarian regime.

No. 238: North Caucasus (22.07.2019)

This edition focuses on recent trends in the Russian North Caucasus. Firstly, Sufian N. Zhemukhov examines the factors that have led to the decline in importance of the Caucasus Emirate in the region. Secondly, Ekaterina Sokirianskaia assesses the drivers that have enabled Ramzan Kadyrov to turn Chechnya into a totalitarian enclave with special status within the Russian Federation, noting the key role of his personal relationship to Vladimir Putin. Thirdly, Ian Lanzillotti analyses why Kabardino-Balkaria has been spared the major interethnic violence that has afflicted other Republics of the North Caucasus, highlighting the impact of late-Soviet modernization processes, which the Balkar communities experienced on a relatively equal basis vis-a-vis the Kabardian population.

No. 237: Security Issues (21.06.2019)

No. 236: Impact of Sanctions on Russian Business (06.06.2019)

No. 235: Caspian Sea (18.04.2019)

No. 234: Russian Think Tanks and Foreign Policy-Making (28.03.2019)

No. 233: Russia' Oligarchs (14.03.2019)

No. 232: Russia's Relations with the South Caucasus (22.02.2019)

Nr. 231: Orthodox Church (25.01.2019)