May 11, 2011

CREDIT: CIA Map, 1995

Russia, the world's largest country, remains a key global player.

These resources examine aspects of Russia today and its relationship with the rest of the world, including arms control, the bumpy evolution of U.S.-Russia relations after the Cold War (along with suggestions for areas of cooperation), and Russia's role as a giant energy exporter.

It also looks at some of the former Soviet Republics, such as the Ukraine, and at the 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict.

On a retrospective note, it concludes with thoughts on Cold War "containment" author George Kennan, and on Winston Churchill's attitudes toward Russia, the country he famously described as "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma."

For more on Russia's recent history, see our special project "After the Cold War."



Reflections from Moscow
David C. Speedie, Carnegie Council
After a recent visit to Moscow, David Speedie casts a sympathetic eye on Russia's contradictions and societal stresses—with particular focus on its heroin and HIV/AIDS crisis. Russia now has the third-highest heroin abuse rate per capita in the world, behind only Afghanistan and Iran.
(U.S. Global Engagement article, March 2011)

Media in Contemporary Russia

Nargiz Asadova, Echo of Moscow; Vladislav Aleksandrovich Fronin, Rossiyskaya Gazeta; Pavel Nikolaevich Gusev, Moskovskiy Komsolets; Mikhail Gusman, ITAR-TASS; Mikhail Kotov, Gazeta.Ru; Azer Mursaliev, Kommersant Publishing House; and Mikhail Ponomarev, TV Center Broadcasting Company
What is the current situation of journalism in Russia today, where 70 percent of media is owned by the state? The Council welcomes a delegation of Russia's media leaders for a frank discussion.
(U.S. Global Engagement, March 2011. Audio, video, transcript)



Arms Control and the New Strategic Concept
Jeffrey D. McCausland, Carnegie Council
As NATO leaders seek to agree upon a new Strategic Concept, there appear to be both new opportunities and challenges in applying arms control as a diplomacy tool, writes Col. Jeffrey McCausland (Ret.).
(Article, October 2010)

After START—What Next? David Speedie Interviews Jayantha Dhanapala

Jayantha Dhanapala, United Nations
Jayantha Dhanapala, former Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs at the UN, gives his views on "getting to zero" on nuclear weapons.
(U.S. Global Engagement, May 2010. Audio, video, transcript)

A Conversation on NATO
Robert Hunter, RAND Corporation
The post-Cold War NATO has expanded, both in mission and membership. In each instance, problems have arisen with Russia. What are the lessons to be learned from these stresses, and what are NATO's prospects?
(Public Affairs and U.S. Global Engagement, December 2008. Audio, video, transcript)

U.S.-Russian Arms Control Priorities
John Isaacs and Travis Sharp, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation; Viktor Esin, ISKRAN; Burgess Laird, national security advisor; Pavel S. Zolotarev, ISKRAN;
This set of four papers is the result of a joint project with the Moscow-based Institute for United States and Canada Studies (ISKRAN), the most established and prestigious of Russia's think tanks devoted to bilateral relations. They focus on START and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, with related missile defense questions; Afghanistan and the future of the NATO alliance.
(U.S. Global Engagement Program, July 2009.)



Jackson-Vanik: a Bridge to the 20th Century
David C. Speedie, Carnegie Council
U.S. and Russian leaders and Jewish organizations all agree: the U.S. should "graduate" Russia from the JV amendment, which ties freedom of trade benefits to freedom of emigration. JV doesn't help Soviet Jews and it harms Russia's WTO prospects and U.S.-Russia business dealings.
(U.S. Global Engagement article, March 2010)

Prospects for U.S.-Russia Cooperation in Central Asia
Yuri Morozov, Academy of Military Sciences
Yuri Morozov proposes several ways that the United States and Russia can expand their cooperation in Central Asia, particularly in Afghanistan, in order to neutralize security challenges in the region.
(U.S. Global Engagement article, August 2009)

Russia and U.S.-Russia Relations: David Speedie Interviews Ambassador Thomas Pickering
Thomas R. Pickering, former ambassador and David C. Speedie, Carnegie Council
Ambassador Thomas Pickering discusses Russia's role in the unfolding events in Iran and other potential areas of cooperation between Russia and the United States, including missile defense and NATO enlargement.
(U.S. Global Engagement, June 2009. Audio, video, transcript)

Prospects for U.S.-Russia Relations
H.E. Mr. Sergey Kislyak, Russian ambassador to the U.S.
Ambassador H.E. Mr. Kislyak's comprehensive talk includes his thoughts on U.S.-Russia relations, nuclear proliferation, and Russia today. He also gives us the Russian perspective on the conflict with Georgia.
(U.S. Global Engagement, April 2009. Audio, video, transcript)

Resetting the Reset
David C. Speedie, Carnegie Council
The "reset button" has become the metaphor for restoring U.S.-Russia relations. But is it working? Despite the progress made, a number of critical arms control issues have simply not been addressed, plus there has been a series of missteps.
(U.S. Global Engagement article, August 2009)

David Speedie Interviews Susan Eisenhower
Susan Eisenhower, Eisenhower Group, Inc. and David C. Speedie, Carnegie Council
Senior Fellow David Speedie interviews Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of President Eisenhower and Russian specialist, about Russia's current place in the world and its relations with other countries.
(U.S. Global Engagement, July 2008. Audio and video)

Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War
Stephen F. Cohen, New York University
Washington has squandered the opportunity for a fundamentally new U.S.-Russian relationship after the Cold War, says Stephen Cohen.
(Public Affairs, May 2010. Audio, video, transcript)

Superpower Illusions: How Myths and False Ideologies Led America Astray—and How to Return to Reality

Jack F. Matlock, former ambassador
Jack Matlock, American ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987 to 1991, corrects a number of pervasive myths about the Cold War, including the belief that it ended with the fall of the Soviet Union and that the U.S. effectively won.
(Public Affairs, March 2010. Audio, video, transcript)



Petrostate: Putin, Power, and the New Russia
Marshall I. Goldman, Harvard University
"There's no one to talk to since Mahatma Gandhi died," sighs Putin. In a funny and frightening talk, Marshall Goldman unravels the tangled links between Putin, Russia's new elites, the petroleum industry, and Russia's resurgence.
(Public Affairs, June 2008. Audio, video, transcript)

European Energy Security and the Role of Russia

Gernot Erler, German Federal Foreign Office
As demand continues to grow, can Europe persuade Russia to guarantee its future energy needs?
(Public Affairs, February 2007. Audio and transcript)



The Caucasus: An Introduction
Thomas de Waal, Carnegie Endowment
Known as "the lands in between," the Caucasus has long been an arena of great-power contact and conflict. The region is often seen as intractable, yet we should discard misleading cliches such as "ancient hatreds" and "frozen conflicts," says Thomas de Waal.
(Public Affairs, December 2010. Audio, video, transcript)

Ukraine: Reset to a Future of Strength

Jay Hallen, Financial Consultant
The "reset button" between Washington and Moscow, far from leaving our former Soviet allies in the cold, has enabled a country like Ukraine to pursue interests and alliances with new vigor. And this is positive for all parties involved, writes Jay Hallen.
(Article, October 2010)

The Bloom is off the Rose—and the Orange, and the Tulip

David C. Speedie, Carnegie Council
What went wrong with the "Color Revolutions" in Ukraine, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan? It was a combination of excessive expectations of the new leaders, and some policy missteps, primarily at the hands of the U.S. and the West.
(U.S. Global Engagement article, July 2010)

Activism and Policy: Prospects for Change in Turkmenistan

Alexander Cooley, Columbia University; Farid Tuhbatullin, Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights; and Masha Feiguinova, Open Society Institute
Turkmenistan is a closed, autocratic Central Asian nation with a long, porous border with Afghanistan. It has been reported that Turkmenistan has the fifth largest natural gas reserves in the world, and a horrific human rights record.
(Carnegie New Leaders, June 2010. Audio, video, transcript)



The Georgia-Russia War in South Ossetia: The Russian View
Veronika Krasheninnikova, Council for Trade and Economic Cooperation USA-CIS
Published by the Moscow-based Center of Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, "The Tanks of August" is a must read, as it offers both factual and analytical perspectives which most Western readers rarely encounter.
(U.S. Global Engagement article, April 2010)

After Georgia: Russia, NATO, and the CFE
Jeffrey D. McCausland, Carnegie Council
Can the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty [CFE] assist in reestablishing security in the North Caucasus, or has both its credibility and utility been undermined permanently?
(Article, November 2008)

Russia and Georgia: How Did We Get There and What's Next? David Speedie Interviews Oksana Antonenko

Oksana Antonenko, International Institute for Strategic Studies and David C. Speedie, Carnegie Council
Russia and Georgia expert Oksana Antonenko discusses the August 2008 conflict in Georgia, the history of the region, and what the future may bring.
(U.S. Global Engagement, October 2008. Audio, video, transcript)

Russia and Georgia: A Collision Waiting to Happen
David C. Speedie, Carnegie Council
In the war between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia the inevitable inclination is to assign black and white, blame and innocence. The truth is more complex, and is rooted in history.
(U.S. Global Engagement article, August 2008)



George Kennan, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War Reconsidered
John Lukacs, Historian
John Lukacs discusses his close friend George Kennan. Kennan was an architect of the Cold War, but after 1950 he became one of its critics and recommended a dialogue with the Russians. Why the seeming contradiction?
(Foreign Policy Roundtable Symposium, May, 2009. Audio, transcript)

Winston Churchill's Evolving Views of Russia, 1917-1953, Reconsidered
John Lukacs, Historian
John Lukacs argues that despite the different attitudes Winston Churchill took towards Russia over a 40-year period, there is an amazing consistency to his view of that nation, whether it was Tsarist or Soviet.
(Foreign Policy Roundtable Symposium, April, 2009. Audio, transcript)