• Survival

    Forum: NATO and Russia

    25 March 2015. 

    In the last issue of Survival, Matthew Kroenig proposed a new NATO strategy towards Russia. We invited American, European and Russian experts to react.

  • Survival

    Fantasy Counterfactual: A Nuclear-Armed Ukraine

    25 March 2015. 

    The suggestion that Ukraine should have kept its Soviet-era nuclear weapons is a counterfactual fantasy that groans under the weight of its technical, political and strategic assumptions.

  • Survival

    Consequences of a New Cold War

    25 March 2015. 

    To end Russian intervention in its neighbourhood, the West might have to recognise its special role there, and forswear further enlargement of NATO and the EU.

  • Politics and Strategy

    Jeffrey Mazo: Infinite diversity in infinite combination

    24 March 2015.  Most people will be familiar, by sight if not by name, with the Mandelbrot set, a mathematical construct discovered by Benoît Mandelbrot in 1980. It is the epitome of fractal geometry and the face of chaos theory. Arising from a simple mathematical function and some rules for presentation, its visual representations are phantasmagorical and psychedelic, recursive and infinitely complex, with new details, including tiny shapes similar to the original, constantly...

  • Expert Commentary

    Financial Times: The purpose of Putin’s diplomatic acrobatics

    24 March 2015.  In an op-ed for the Financial Times, Senior Fellow for Russia and Eurasia Samuel Charap examines why Russian President Vladimir Putin has persisted in denying his country's involvement in the Ukraine crisis. Although this decision has destroyed Putin's credibility among his diplomatic counterparts, Charap argues that it may be an attempt to preserve the very international order that Russia's actions have so clearly violated. Charap suggests that by refusing to acknowledge this...

  • Military Balance Blog

    Douglas Barrie: Russian strategic-bomber upgrade indicates new cruise-missile deployment

    18 March 2015.  By Douglas Barrie, Senior Fellow for Military Aerospace Although lately British focus has been on occasional pictures of the Russian Tupolev Tu-95MS strategic bomber (NATO reporting name: Bear) in the UK flight-information region, an arguably more significant image of the Bear flying over Russia has recently also appeared. The aircraft has been photographed fitted with four sets of large-weapon pylons between the engine nacelles. The pylon design is not new...

  • IISS Voices

    Strategic Snapshots: As the ceasefire in Ukraine holds, what next?

    12 March 2015.  Dr Samuel Charap, Senior Fellow for Russia and Eurasia, discusses the scope and sequencing of the ‘Minsk 2.0’ agreement between Russia and Ukraine. ‘Success’ of the ceasefire holding in Donbas would pose challenges in itself; in particular on the question of Kiev’s resolve to endorse a constitutional decentralisation of powers, stipulated in the agreement. Will a stretch of relative calm produce a move towards lasting peace or the hardening of a...

  • Strategic Comments

    Negative outlook for Russian economy as sanctions bite

    10 March 2015. 

    Western sanctions have placed significant strains on the Russian economy, especially as they have coincided with steep declines in oil prices. With more severe sanctions threatened if a ceasefire in Ukraine is not adhered to, ratings agencies have attached a negative outlook to their assessments of Russia's near-term economic prospects.

  • Politics and Strategy

    Erik Jones: The Threat to Exclude Russia from SWIFT

    10 March 2015.  The second Minsk accords have succeeded in fostering a ceasefire, and yet the Russian government continues to support the armed separatist movement in eastern Ukraine, small acts of violence continue to take place and the peace is fragile. The challenge for Western policymakers is to come up with some greater incentive for Russia to embrace a lasting peace settlement. The threat of large-scale Western military assistance for the Ukrainian government...

  • Expert Commentary

    New York Times: Why sanctions on Russia will backfire

    06 March 2015.  By Samuel Charap, Senior Fellow for Russia and Eurasia, and Bernard Sucher The American government tends to see sanctions against Russia as a low-cost policy that will eventually force Vladimir Putin to change course in Ukraine. But this conventional wisdom obscures significant costs. Just as using drones to target suspected terrorists in Pakistan may have created more converts to Islamic militancy than it has eliminated, sanctions advocates haven’t reckoned with the unintended...

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