Putin's influence in three former Soviet republics has been shaken by a series of political crises.
Editor’s Note: The Syrian conflict, while hardly over, is diminishing. The Syrian people clearly lost, but who—other than the barbarous Assad regime—won? One candidate is Russia, whose military intervention helped save the regime and which has re-emerged as a power broker in the Middle East. Carol Saivetz of MIT, however, argues this may be a mixed blessing for Moscow. Although the regime has accomplished many things in Syria, these accomplishments have created new problems that will be tricky for Moscow to solve.
Editor’s Note: The U.S.-Russia relationship is at the center of the Trump administration. At home, the investigation over Russian interference in the 2016 election continues to enrage the president, while abroad Russia appears to be one of the few countries in the world the president respects. So it is not surprising that all eyes are on the Putin-Trump summit. MIT's Carol Saivetz surveys the summit landscape, assessing what might be on the table and how the summit might go.
Editor’s Note: The relationship between Russia and Turkey has risen and fallen as the two have quarreled over Syria and their respective regional postures in general. MIT's Carol Saivetz examines this relationship and argues that the frayed ties are being repaired—but that there are serious limits to any rapprochement.
Editor’s Note: Of the many changes in foreign policy that the Trump administration is enacting, perhaps the biggest is its embrace of Russia. Although a close relationship with Moscow alarms many Americans given Russia's aggressive behavior in Europe and elsewhere, it remains unclear what Putin might seek from a better relationship with Washington. MIT's Carol Saivetz tries to piece together this puzzle and explains that many of the benefits Russia might seek will be hard for it to attain.
Editor's Note: Russia won in Syria – or so Putin would like us to believe. The Russian intervention seemed to tip the balance of forces in Assad's favor, and Russia announced a pullout with its mission accomplished. Carol Saivetz of MIT, a regular Lawfare contributor, makes the case for skepticism. She points out Moscow is far more involved in Syria than it likes to admit and still runs many risks from its intervention.
Editor’s Note: Russia's decision to double down on the Assad regime and play a direct military role is fundamentally changing the civil war in Syria — and upending U.S. policy in the bargain. Although Obama administration officials are convinced Russia's intervention will fail in the long term, it is difficult to judge this and understand what Moscow might do next without understanding the reasons for intervention in the first place.