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  • Russia: Kerry’s Chilly Kremlin Reception

    This past Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met President Vladimir Putin of Russia in the Kremlin. Kerry was seeking to repair frayed ties with Russia and obtain Moscow’s assistance with a settlement in Syria. The U.S. and its allies hope to put an end to the civil war, … More

    Human Rights Watch Decries Russia Opposition Crackdown

    Human Rights Watch (HRW) recently released a scathing new report focused on the crackdown on Russia’s civil society. Since December 2011, the Kremlin has committed to squashing nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that promote democracy and are alleged conduits of Western influence, HRW says. The report, titled “Laws of Attrition,” focuses on … More

    Boston Bombers Have Roots in the Ungovernable, Islamist North Caucasus

    The North Caucasus has emerged as an ungovernable safe haven for terrorists, as the government of Russia is at the end of its wits as to how to stem the Islamist insurrection. The brothers who allegedly undertook the Boston Marathon bombing and reportedly planned to hit Times Square in New … More

    North Caucasus: Islamist Threat Comes from a History of Violence

    The Boston Marathon bombers have brought greater attention to Russia’s volatile North Caucasus, their ancestral home. As painful their heinous acts are, however, the bombers’ actions are just a footnote to the history of insurgency and connections to global Islamist networks in the North Caucasus. The North Caucasus has a … More

    Russia: Putin Uses Courts to Crush Opposition

    KYIV, UKRAINE—Russia’s leading anti-corruption blogger, attorney and political activist Alexei Navalny, appeared in court Wednesday accused of embezzlement. On Thursday, federal prosectuors slapped him with additional charges for alleged price gouging. However, his real crime is exposing corruption and opposing the current political regime. Prosecutors charged Navalny, a moderate nationalist … More

    President Obama’s Half-Hearted Magnitsky List

    The Departments of State and Treasury have released their public version of the “Magnitsky List”—18 Russian nationals who have committed gross human rights violations and were involved in the unjust imprisonment and death of Sergei Magnitsky. The list was required by the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law and Accountability Act, … More

    Russian War Games in Black Sea

    On March 28, Vladimir Putin, returning home from the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) Durban summit, ordered Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu to mobilize the Black Sea Fleet—immediately. More than 7,000 troops, and some 36 warships, 250 armored vehicles, 50 cannons, and as many as 20 fighter jets were … More

    President Obama Should Uphold the Magnitsky Act’s Legislative Intent

    Next week, the Obama Administration faces an important foreign policy decision in U.S. relations with Russia—how to champion human rights and the rule of law. The State Department is trying to avoid a gust of chilling wind from Moscow. However, the last thing the Administration should do is show weakness … More

    Russia Conducts Unannounced Searches of Human Rights Groups

    Russian law enforcement agents have conducted hundreds of unannounced searches of Russian non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Authorities have searched 600 organizations across the country since last week, according to media reports. An interagency law enforcement task force raided Amnesty International’s Moscow office in an unannounced inspection on Monday. Sergei Nikitin, the … More

    How Not to Negotiate with Russia: The Missile Defense Fiasco

    Russia’s objections to U.S. missile defense development and deployment have been on the agenda of consecutive American Administrations starting with Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. For President Obama, it became a high priority as Moscow turned missile defense disagreement into a principal bone of contention. But he threw it under … More