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International Politics

The Capitol Riots: How Have America’s Two Biggest Rivals Reacted?

The January 6th storming of the US capitol caused outrage amongst a large number of world leaders. Some of these dissenting world leaders, however, are now using the event as a central tactical argument to shore up their authoritarian regimes. Whilst there was a consistent display of shock and outrage from many governments, two of America’s principal rivals took a particularly different approach to the event. Both Russia and China have used the event as an instrument of propaganda at a time when stirring xenophoic and nationalist sentiment are important tools in Xi and Putin’s tactical arsenal. 

International Politics

Russia and the Arctic Council in 2021: a New Security Dilemma

Coming May, Russia will assume chairmanship of the Arctic Council until 2023. In a region so strategically significant, the challenge for Russia lies with rhyming its military build-up in the arctic with the cooperative nature of the council, whilst not letting the council jeopardize its freedom of movement in any way.

Europe Politics

Implications of the Moldova’s New Pro-Western Leadership

Moldova, an Eastern European post-soviet state stagnated by an internal frozen conflict, has had its aspirations towards greater cooperation with Europe and the West often challenged by its own old pro-Russian political elite. However, Maya Sandu’s election as President in late in 2020 marks a major shift in the state, just a year after she was ousted as Prime Minister by the PSRM (Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova) party over the appointment of a General Prosecutor.

Africa Insights

Russia: How the Kremlin is Gradually Overtaking Africa

From private military companies supporting local governments to Russian state-linked corporations exploiting the resource-rich continent, Moscow has launched an active campaign to regain its sphere of influence in Africa. Russia’s use of greyzone military capabilities, and its position as a critical security provider for the conflict-ridden and politically unstable continent, strengthen the Kremlin’s leverage to contest Chinese and American interests in Africa.

Europe Politics

Belarus: Democratic awakening in stalemate

While Belarusian strongman Lukashenko has held onto power since the highly contested August 2020 presidential election, public discontent with the regime has persisted in the face of police brutality and human rights abuses. As the West increases sanctions on Belarusian officials and the Kremlin’s support transforms into pressure, it is critical to assess whether Europe’s last authoritarian stronghold will survive in 2021.

Latin America Politics

Latin America – Russia’s Game in 2021: an Outlook

Latin America is at a turning point and there will be a lot at stake for Russia’s influence building in the region in 2021. The instability created by an unprecedented recession and an increased political polarisation in what promises to be a hectic electoral year as well as a more active US foreign policy after Trump’s neglect will probably increase Moscow’s appetite for the subcontinent.

Africa Security

Russia and Sudan – New Naval Base Agreement a Sea Change for the Region

Sudan and Russia have announced an agreement that will see Russia gain access to a naval base at Port Sudan. The posting of Russian troops and warships will shift the balance of power in the region, whether by permitting Russian vessels to operate in the area for far longer than before, or by requiring adaptations in procedure and behaviour by other forces.

International Politics

Russian-Indian Arms Trade: Between Autarky and Interdependence

India recently launched an ambitious indigenization campaign for its defense industries, seeking to reduce its dependency on arms imports and simultaneously boost domestic manufacturing. Although this could potentially hurt the Russian military industry – India’s main supplier – India’s plans seem to mostly consist of rhetoric. It remains unlikely for the short to medium term that India will be able to effectuate the strategic shift from being dependent on imports to being self-reliant.

Europe Security

Armenia and Azerbaijan: Conflict in Nagorno Karabakh continues to erode regional security

A flare-up between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region raised concerns over the security and stability of the Caucasus for more than a month. A Russian-brokered deal between the two is highly likely to ensure the region’s security, although long-term peace is an unlikely outcome.

Natural resources and energy North America

Risk to Arctic Energy Exploration

Arctic Exploration remains an exciting prospect for many in the energy sector. According to estimates, the Arctic could be one of the greatest untapped reserves of energy resources in the world. However exciting the proposition of tapping these resources may seem, it is an extremely expensive proposition.