Four Experts on Russia
Whether or not you like Vladimir Putin‘s policies, there is little doubt that he is Russia’s President. A politician who has spent much of his career as an intelligence officer, Vladimir Putin has served as the president of Russia since 2012.
Throughout his career, Robert Person has studied and written extensively about both foreign and domestic politics of Russia. He holds a PhD in political science from Yale University and an MA in Russian and East European Studies from Stanford University. He is a faculty affiliate of the Modern War Institute and Director of the Curriculum at the United States Military Academy’s International Affairs Program. He consults regularly for the United States government as a Russia subject matter expert.
In his book, Russia’s Grand Strategy in the 21st Century, Robert Person argues that the rise of Russia’s democracy is a threat to the autocratic regime. In response, Putin has used state resources to harass and intimidate opposition parties and protesters.
The recent electoral cycle revealed threats to Putin’s political security. Some of these threats were focused on neighboring countries’ elections, but other threats were related to Russia’s own political system.
Putin has reacted to each threat in a manner that suggested a deep sense of insecurity. His government targeted internet outlets, opposition protesters, and other oppositional actors. He has also made clear expectations for oligarchs to refrain from criticizing him. He has also manipulated events in order to justify his desire for power.
Putin has invoked the threat of NATO expansion as a justification for hostile policies towards the United States. His distaste for democracy is a further complication. His objections to NATO are deeply rooted in Russian national interests.
Robert Person has published extensively on hybrid warfare and foreign and domestic politics of Russia. He holds an MA in Russian and East European Studies from the University of Stanford and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
During his tenure as the US ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul crafted a “reset” with the Kremlin. He has become a regular presence on cable news and is a leading expert on Russia. He has written op-eds on war in Afghanistan, communism and leadership. He is also the director of Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.
In his book, From Cold War to Hot Peace: A U.S. Ambassador in Putin’s Russia, McFaul discusses how Russian President Vladimir Putin’s geopolitical objectives affect U.S. relations and how he views the situation in Ukraine. He also offers his personal views on the Kremlin.
McFaul also discusses the possible collapse of the Russian Federation. He believes that Russia’s national interests are threatened by U.S.-supported coups, and he believes Putin’s actions are justified. The former ambassador also criticized Putin’s claims that Zelensky is a neo-Nazi.
The United States and Russia have had a history of hostility, especially after each coup. McFaul discusses the possible consequences of labeling Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. He argues that the United States has failed to formulate an effective policy towards Russia. He is optimistic about Russia’s potential for democracy.
The Ukraine war is a tragic conflict. All of the Ukrainians are suffering. And all of the Russians are suffering as well. The US ambassador was targeted for meeting with opposition leaders when he was in town. He is also considered a threat by Putin.
McFaul also discusses how America’s diplomats have danced with the Russian regime. He says that Russia has strayed from the line on human rights several times. He also shares the outrage of the Western world over the Russian army’s actions. He says that Putin may be disconnected from the reality of his country after decades of power.
Those who have studied the world’s politics for any length of time have probably heard of Angela Stent. She is a prominent foreign policy expert and is a professor emerita of government at Georgetown University. She is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. She is available to speak at conferences and to advise organizations in person and through virtual meetings.
Stent is a graduate of Cambridge University, the London School of Economics, and Harvard. She has held senior positions in the US government and has written several books. She has also taught at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. She is co-chair of the Hewett Forum on Post-Soviet Affairs and is a trustee of the Eurasia Foundation. She has been involved in the WIIS conferences in Prague and Tallinn.
Her book “Putin’s World” is a dissection of Putin’s foreign policy. It covers Russian foreign policy from imperial times to the present. It also looks at how Putin has managed to exploit Western rivals’ missteps. Stent also provides a brief history of the Soviet Union, and how it dissolved.
Stent does not claim to know what exactly Putin has done to improve Russia’s standing in the international community, but she does point out the best practices of Russia’s policymakers and how the Kremlin has managed to keep its friends. The book is a solid primer on Putin’s accomplishments and shortcomings. It will be interesting to see how Russia moves forward in the future.
Stent’s book is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn about Russian policy. She also provides an exclusive chapter on Russia’s war against Ukraine. This will likely change the way the world views the Kremlin, and the West’s approach to defending Ukraine.
The Kremlin Senate
Among the many buildings in the Kremlin is the Kremlin Senate. The Senate, also called the Kremlin Palace, is the official residence of the Russian President. It is situated in the northern part of the Kremlin grounds, between the Kremlin Presidium and the Kremlin Arsenal.
The Senate is a three-story building shaped like an isosceles triangle. Its main seating area is in Senate Square. It is painted in the same yellow color as other administrative buildings. It is also a highly secured building. In order to make it safer, it is not open to the public.
It is one of the oldest buildings in Moscow. It was built in 1776 to 1787. The architect was Matvey Kazakov. He designed the building in a Neoclassical style. His design also served as a model for many official buildings in other Russian cities during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
The Senate also houses the Russian presidential administration. Joseph Stalin used a small service apartment in the Senate. He also had a study in the building. The Senate is a highly secured area.
The Kremlin Senate also houses the Russian President’s official study and reception room. The building also contains the Senate’s largest hall, called the Oval Room. This room features four tall sculptures and a malachite fireplace. It also contains the “Catherine Hall,” which is designed as a ceremonial room. The hall is 24.7 meters in diameter.
It is also the site of formal state ceremonies. The aforementioned Oval Room features a bronze clock. It also boasts a malachite obelisk. The building is also home to a monument to Peter I, the first tsar of Russia. This is one of the few surviving monuments to the tsar.
Vladimir Putin’s nuclear doctrine
During his 2014 invasion of Crimea, Russian president Vladimir Putin boasted of his country’s nuclear capabilities. He claimed that he was ready to use nuclear weapons if the West tries to invade Russian territory.
In fact, Putin’s nuclear doctrine allows Russia to use nuclear weapons against its adversary, but only under two conditions. These include: if the adversary threatens the territorial integrity of Russia and the very existence of the state. Moreover, the nuclear strike would be used after a conventional attack.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has recently issued a bland statement about nuclear weapons. The statement reiterates Russia’s long-standing nuclear doctrine and reaffirms its policies.
The statement also says that a nuclear war cannot be won. This language could be used to deter Ukraine from attacking Russia, or to force Kyiv to negotiate. It could also give Putin ample room to maneuver. It could also be a signal to the West.
Another ostensible restriction is that Russia’s nuclear weapons only deploy defensively. This could be interpreted as a sign of weakness. However, it would also be a sign of desperation.
The document also cites the need to defend Russian territory from conventional aggression. In other words, Russia would not want to risk killing its civilians with a nuclear weapon.
Some Russian experts have argued that Putin’s nuclear doctrine may include the use of tactical nuclear weapons, such as cruise missiles, to intimidate Kyiv. It may also include a single nuclear weapon deployed inside Russia to freeze a conflict.
In addition, Putin has claimed that Western countries are attempting to blackmail Russia by threatening nuclear retaliation. Russia would likely back off from using nuclear weapons if the Western consensus weakened.
Russia’s main source of hope
Despite the fact that Russian president Vladimir Putin has positioned himself as the main source of hope in Russia, there are other forces at play that are eroding his authority internationally. The Russian economy has been tepid for years. The state-driven growth model is insufficient to boost living standards, and the state has failed to address public health crises associated with low incomes.
Russian authorities rely on fear and state repression to maintain control. They shift the blame for environmental mismanagement to regional officials. They also continue to dismantle non-systemic “opposition,” including Alexei Navalny.
A growing number of protests are occurring across Russia. They are sporadic, unpredictable, and hard to measure. Protests are also occurring in the Arctic regions.
Climate change is becoming a factor in domestic political flashpoints. Coastal erosion and degradation of permafrost are threatening critical infrastructure. Climate change is also presenting opportunities for the Kremlin. It can be used to increase infrastructure investment in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions.
The Russian state initiates reforms aimed at stabilization. It also makes significant investments into IT and IT infrastructure. It offers sizeable state subsidies to the renewables sector. It also opens the door for European investment.
The economic policy is designed to shield Russia from external shocks. It also avoids political concessions to the West on issues such as the West’s attempts to resolve points of tension elsewhere in the world.
The Russian economy continues to lag behind its peers. Real incomes are still well below 2013 levels. The state-driven growth model has produced only small annual GDP increases. It also comes at a high human cost.
The Russian state must decide whether to continue the current line of “stability over prosperity.” It also must decide whether to increase strategic investments in high-growth industries.