Russia Faces a Reckoning on Its Periphery

Russia Faces a Reckoning on Its Periphery
People with old Belarusian national flags march during a rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Oct. 18, 2020 (AP photo).

Despite President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to project the image that Russia is a productive and internationally engaged great power, recent developments on the country’s periphery suggest, if anything, a decline in the Kremlin’s influence. In Belarus, President Alexander Lukashenko is clinging to power despite the regular chants from thousands of protesters demanding he resign. Intense fighting has erupted again between Armenia and Azerbaijan, over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. And Kyrgyzstan is in chaos after protests forced the country’s Russia-friendly leader, Sooronbai Jeenbekov, to resign last week.

This week on Trend Lines, WPR’s Elliot Waldman is joined by Matthew Rojansky, director of the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, to discuss Putin’s response to the rapidly unfolding crises in Russia’s “near abroad.” Click here to read a transcript of an excerpt from the interview.


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Relevant Articles on WPR:
Can Russia Steer the Endgame in Nagorno-Karabakh to Its Advantage?
How Russia’s Putin Could Respond to the Protests in Belarus
Making Sense of the Arrest of Russian Mercenaries in Belarus
Russia Is Getting More Than It Bargained For in Libya and Syria

Trend Lines is edited by Peter Dörrie, a freelance journalist and analyst focusing on security and resource politics in Africa. You can follow him on Twitter at @peterdoerrie.

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