Is Russia really weak?
In response to our recent article at Foreign Affairs titled Paper Tiger Putin, Sergey Aleksashenko argued on this blog that everyone should stop calling Russia weak. His response misses our main point—worse still, it is critically flawed when it comes to policy advice. (Pavel Baev’s response is a good one and we agree with many of his points, though we take a somewhat different approach here.)
We do not argue that Putin is weak as an individual. To the contrary, he is in a powerful position given his apparent popularity and the rise in nationalism in Russia. …read more