20 years under Putin: a timeline

Photo: © Staryi008 | Dreamstime.com


Russia’s Virtual Universe

Maxim Trudolyubov, The New York Times

A new monument to Vladimir the Great, ruler of Kievan Rus’ in the 10th century, will soon be completed in Moscow. Commentator Maxim Trudolyubov argues that the statue is part of the Russian government’s efforts to distract people from the problems of the present—such as rising food prices, deteriorating social services, and a shrinking economy—by glorifying the past and creating a fake version of reality on television.


Is America Training Neonazis in Ukraine?

Will Cathcart and Joseph Epstein, The Daily Beast

The U.S. military is training Ukrainian troops, some of whom may be members of the Azov Battalion, a neo-Nazi militia in Ukraine. U.S. legislation specifically prohibits the training of Azov Battalion members, and officially all those being trained are screened for “gross human rights violations.” But how does the vetting process account for the questionable background of some soldiers?


How Likely Is Nuclear War with Russia?

Max Fisher, Vox

A growing community of experts in Russia and the United States is arguing that armed conflict between the two countries is a real possibility. Here, Vox’s Max Fisher examines the scenarios in which the U.S. and Russia could stumble into war with each other. He concludes that while the odds of such a conflict remain low, the fact that both countries possess such large nuclear arsenals makes the stakes extremely high. This is a follow-up to a June 29th article titled “How World War III Became Possible.”


Russia’s Eastern Exposure

Salvatore Babones, Foreign Affairs

Russia’s preoccupation with problem-stricken Ukraine and the Caucasus has caused it to neglect the Far East. With the region gradually becoming more dependent on China, how long will it be before Beijing wields more influence there than Moscow?


China and Russia: The World’s New Superpower Axis?

Emma Graham-Harrison, Alec Luhn, Shaun Walker, Ami Sedghi and Mark Rice-Oxley, The Guardian

Beijing and Moscow are strengthening their ties in areas including cybersecurity, defense, and business. If relations between the two former foes continue to improve, it could pose a serious threat to the West.


Are the BRICS Building a Non-Western Concert of Powers?

Cynthia Roberts, The National Interest

The 7th BRICS summit that took place this week in Ufa was a chance for Russia to dispel the notion that it has become isolated internationally. The BRICS nations feel overshadowed in the Bretton Woods international monetary system, leading them to seek an alternative framework for cooperation. They want to escape the hegemony of the United States in global financial affairs, although their new system may end up being dominated by a single nation as well.


This week's roundup was compiled by Seraphima Mixon, Alexandra Moon and Molly Zuckerman.