US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

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28.02.2020

"Could Russia Go to War With Turkey in Syria?"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/02/28/could-russia-go-to-war-with-turkey-in-syria-a69460

Könnten die Kämpfe zwischen syrischen und türkischen Truppen im Norden Syriens zu einem Krieg zwischen der Türkei und Russland führen? Stuart Williams schreibt, dass Präsident Erdogan und Präsident Putin offenbar nicht an einer solchen Eskalation interessiert seien. "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin of Russia were quick to hold telephone talks and plan a summit as soon as next week in Moscow, with Russian officials striking a conciliatory tone. The two men — both leading post-imperial societies they took over in the wake of economic crises — have since 2016 forged an alliance that has riled the West and will be wary of undermining it for now. 'Russia is definitely not looking for a full-scale military confrontation with Turkey, nor is Turkey interested in confronting Moscow over Idlib,' said Igor Delanoe, deputy director of the Franco-Russian Observatory in Moscow. 'The stakes are too high, especially for Ankara, considering all the economic leverage Moscow has in its hands to retaliate,' he told AFP."

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25.02.2020

"Russia to Expand Surveillance to Tattoo, Iris, Voice Recognition – RBC"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/02/25/russia-surveillance-tattoo-iris-voice-recognition-a69398

Die russische Polizei hat einem Bericht zufolge eine neue Technologie zur Gesichts- und Stimmenerkennung entwickelt, mit der Verdächtige durch ihre Tätowierungen, Iris oder Sprechweise identifiziert werden können. "Moscow rolled out its facial recognition system, one of the world’s largest, on Jan. 1. Opponents have filed lawsuits against the Russian capital’s use of facial recognition over privacy concerns, while activists have campaigned against it by applying face paint in public. The Interior Ministry’s biometric database that will include tattoo, iris and voice recognition is expected to go online by the end of 2021, RBC reported, citing an adviser to the minister. The police force is testing additional recognition systems, including the ability to identify people by gait, an unnamed source close to the Interior Ministry told RBC. (…) Moscow has spent or allocated at least $53.3 million on hardware for its facial recognition project, Reuters reported last month. The Russian capital has one of the world's largest video surveillance networks, with over 170,000 cameras throughout the city. Facial recognition software is operational in 105,000 cameras installed at entrances to buildings, an unnamed source told Reuters last month."

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18.02.2020

"4 in 5 Russians View West as a Friend – Poll"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/02/18/4-in-5-russians-view-west-as-a-friend-poll-a69322

Einer neuen Umfrage zufolge sprechen sich 80% aller Russen für bessere Beziehungen ihres Landes zum Westen aus. Nur drei Prozent halten den Westen demnach für einen Feind Russlands. "Levada sociologist Karina Pipia told Kommersant that the latest results point toward Russians’ 'mass fatigue of foreign policy confrontation and an unwillingness to fight with anyone.' Russia’s relations with the West plummeted to Cold War-era lows after Moscow annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine and conflict broke out between Russian-backed rebels and Ukrainian government forces in 2014. The Levada poll also showed an uptick in the share of Russian respondents who view China negatively since November 2019, from 18% to 24%. The share of Russians who view China positively declined from 72% to 65% in what sociologists linked to coronavirus fears."

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13.02.2020

"Russia-Turkey Alliance Is Beginning to Unravel in Syria"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/02/13/russia-turkey-alliance-is-beginning-to-unravel-in-syria-a69282

Die Kämpfe in der syrischen Idlib-Provinz könnten zum Ende der russisch-türkischen Allianz und damit auch zum Ende der Bemühungen Moskaus zur diplomatischen Befriedung des Konflikts führen, schreibt Marianna Belenkaya. Die USA hätten die Gelegenheit erkannt und sich demonstrativ an die Seite Ankaras gestellt. "The collapse of the 'Astana format' would jeopardize the conflict settlement system in Syria that Russia has spent so much time constructing. The cooperation between the three countries involved had successfully resulted in 'on the ground' compromises over the past three years, as well as at least some progress on the humanitarian and political front. No other grouping of mediators has been able to achieve anything of the sort in Syria. (…) The West believes that the actions of the 'Astana format' have only strengthened the hand of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has regained control of 70% of the country’s territory in the past three years. (…) Against this backdrop, Washington has clearly sided with Turkey. During a visit to Ankara, U.S. Special Representative for Syria James Jeffrey called the Russian and Syrian government forces a threat to Turkish troops. Washington has long been trying to break the Ankara-Moscow alliance in Syria, and now they have such an opportunity."

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11.02.2020

"Russian Satellites Stalking U.S. Satellite – Space Force Chief"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/02/11/russian-satellites-stalking-us-satellite-space-force-chief-a692
29

Dem Chef der neu gebildeten "Space Force" des US-Militärs zufolge wird ein US-Satellit seit einiger Zeit von zwei russischen Satelliten "verfolgt". Dies könne zu einer "gefährlichen Situation im Weltall" führen, so die Warnung von Gen. John Raymond. "The U.S. government has expressed concern to Russia via diplomatic channels, Raymond added. He stressed that the Russian satellites’ maneuvers place the country in a list of nations that 'have turned space into a warfighting domain,' CNN reported. 'Similar activities in any other domain would be interpreted as potentially threatening behavior,' he was quoted as saying."

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05.02.2020

"'Crimea Is Lost,' Pompeo Reportedly Tells Ukraine"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/02/05/crimea-is-lost-pompeo-reportedly-tells-ukraine-a69167

Bei seinem jüngsten Besuch in der Ukraine hat US-Außenminister Pompeo in vertraulichen Gesprächen angeblich eingestanden, dass die Krim Russland nicht mehr zu nehmen sei. "'He said that Crimea is lost,' Yelena Trehub, the head of Ukraine’s nongovernmental anti-corruption watchdog, told the NV news magazine Tuesday. 'World players are well aware that Crimea is lost,' Trehub recounted Pompeo’s words to Crimean activist Emina Dzhaparova. 'Russia is not a country from which you can take something away.' The United States and Western countries have imposed economic sanctions on Russia over Crimea, including a fresh round last week after the peninsula’s 2019 election and the introduction of direct railway service to mainland Russia. The Kremlin has maintained that the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine was a 'closed issue' for Russia."

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05.02.2020

"Why Brexit Won’t Affect EU-Russia Relations"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/02/05/why-brexit-wont-affect-eu-russia-relations-a69168

Oksana Antonenko bezweifelt, dass der Brexit die Beziehungen der EU zu Russland wesentlich verändern wird. "Brexit is in itself unlikely to change the current dynamic in any significant way. Although the UK’s departure will remove a strong supporter of tough sanctions against Russia from the EU decisionmaking table, many like-minded countries remain, meaning EU sanctions are likely to remain in place even after the UK’s departure. Nor will Brexit weaken the EU from within, as some in Russia have predicted, or trigger more exits by other member states. If anything, it may accelerate the process of closer political integration being championed by France and Germany. The UK’s departure will not weaken Europe’s resolve to strengthen its defense capabilities, including its deterrence to potential threats from the East. One area in which EU-UK relations are likely to remain as strong after Brexit includes security, intelligence-sharing, and police cooperation. The UK will be an even more active member of the NATO alliance, and British troops will remain stationed in the Baltics."

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03.02.2020

"U.S. Blocks Russian Convoy in Syria, Reports Say"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/02/03/us-blocks-russian-convoy-in-syria-reports-say-a69131

Bei einem erneuten Stopp eines russischen Konvois durch US-Truppen im Nordosten Syriens sind einem Bericht zufolge Waffen erhoben worden. "'Verbal altercations took place between both forces and evolved into raising weapons,' the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said of a similar standoff in the area earlier last week. It noted that Kurdish forces have stepped in as mediators between Russian and U.S. troops. (…) U.S. officials have described the series of incidents as Russian troops 'always testing us.' The two countries have experienced 'hiccups' in their military deconfliction efforts in Syria, James Jeffrey, the U.S. special envoy for Syrian engagement and the anti-Islamic State coalition, said last month."

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31.01.2020

"Goodbye, Palestine! Why Trump’s ‘Peace Deal’ Is Good for Moscow"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/01/31/goodbye-palestine-why-trumps-peace-deal-is-good-for-moscow-a691
21

Vladimir Frolov nennt einen weiteren Grund, warum der Nahost-Friedensplan der USA für Russland nicht ungelegen kommen könnte. "Moscow (…) stands to benefit from the Trump plan — not because it advances peace in the Middle East, but because it provides a precedent for major powers dictating terms to weaker ones. (…) The U.S. plan essentially pushes for international recognition of annexed territories occupied during military operations. In other words, it would set an important precedent for legitimizing Russia’s sovereignty over Crimea, which Moscow 'reunited with Russia' in 2014. That would give Putin a perfect quid pro quo with Trump and Macron at the upcoming meeting of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council."

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27.01.2020

"Fresh Russian-U.S. 'Skirmish' Reported in Syria"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/01/27/fresh-russian-us-skirmish-reported-in-syria-a69048

Im Osten Syriens ist es einigen Berichten zufolge offenbar zu weiteren (kampflosen) Konfrontationen russischer und amerikanischer Truppen gekommen. "Russian and U.S. forces have faced off for what could be the fourth time in less than two weeks in oil-rich northeastern Syria, the local Kurdish news outlet Anha reported Saturday. Video of the reported standoff in the Hasakah province showed a Russian-flagged armored vehicle and what appeared to be two U.S. Army armored vehicles standing on a highway off-ramp. Following the 'skirmish' at the entrance to the town of Tal Tamr — which lies on a highway to the region’s key oilfields — the U.S. and Russian convoys reportedly headed in different directions. Russian helicopters and U.S. warplanes flew over Tal Tamr half an hour after the incident, Anha reported. The outlet did not say how long the standoff lasted. American troops have blocked a Russian convoy from accessing oil fields at least four times in the past eight days, Turkey’s Daily Sabah newspaper reported Sunday."

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23.01.2020

"Russians See Pollution as a Greater Threat Than Terrorism – Poll"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/01/23/russians-see-pollution-as-a-greater-threat-than-terrorism-poll-
a69014

In Russland wird die Umweltverschmutzung einer neuen Umfrage zufolge als größere Gefahr betrachtet als der Terrorismus. "Russians believe that environmental pollution poses a greater threat to humanity than terrorism, according to the results of an independent Levada Center survey published Thursday. Russia’s government says that climate change is heating the country faster than the rest of the world, predicting epidemics, drought and mass hunger if it’s left unchecked. Levada conducted its poll in late 2019, a year marked by devastating wildfires in Siberia, flash floods in Far East Russia and lack of traditional snow coverage in Moscow. When asked to identify humanity’s greatest threats in the 21st century, 48% of Levada’s respondents named environmental pollution. Forty-two percent of respondents pointed to terrorism, while 37% named armed conflicts and wars as the main global threats. Global warming (34%) and manmade disasters and accidents (31%) were also named among the world’s top five threats."

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09.01.2020

"Russia’s Role in Syria is Changing"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/01/09/russias-role-syria-changing-a68823

Dmitriy Frolovskiy erwartet, dass sich die Rolle Russlands in Syrien in den kommenden Monaten verändern wird. Die syrische Regierung habe sich stabilisiert und trete auch gegenüber Moskau selbstbewusster auf. Zudem sei zu erwarten, dass der Iran seine Pläne für Syrien nach dem Tod von General Soleimani wieder aktiver verfolgen wird. "Regarding the post-conflict settlement, Moscow would like to protect secularism, encourage some form of power decentralization and boost political inclusivity. These goals, however, are increasingly challenged by Iranian entrenchments and Assad’s unwillingness to change. Whereas four years ago Assad’s power pretexts seemed blurry, now the regime is resilient and less flexible. Moscow might be able to apply additional pressure, spearhead political changes and diffuse Iranian influence by expanding its own cohort of official loyalists. But there are risks that the hermetic system could reshuffle or spiral out of control, and that increased competition with Tehran could challenge the current alliance-like relations."

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26.12.2019

"Putin’s Grand Gas Project Makes Sense Now"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/12/26/putins-grand-gas-project-makes-sense-now-a68749

Leonid Bershidsky erläutert die strategischen und energiepolitischen Überlegungen, die hinter den russischen Pipeline-Großprojekte der letzten Jahre stehen. Das neue Pipeline-Netzwerk werde Russland auch nach der Amtszeit Putins zugutekommen und könnte von dessen Nachfolgern genutzt werden, um die gegenwärtig oft angespannten Beziehungen zu den Nachbarländern zu verbessern. "Russia's export partners, of course, eventually move to phase out fossil fuels. That, however, won’t be happening anytime soon, as both Europe and China will need more gas as they replace coal. Russia is projected to account for around a third of the EU’s gas supply at least until 2040. Putin will be gone by then, but Russia’s energy trade will be more diversified than when he came to power. More benign Russian governments will be able to use it as a basis for good neighborly relations rather than as an instrument of pressure. The results of Putin’s grand project show how multiple players — Putin the ambitious authoritarian, his situational allies such as Erdogan and Xi, his adversaries such as the U.S., his reluctant partners such as the EU and his victims such as Ukraine — can combine efforts to build something worthwhile."

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12.12.2019

"Russia Expels Two German Diplomats in Row Over Berlin Killing"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/12/12/russia-expels-two-german-diplomats-in-row-over-berlin-killing-a
68582

Moskau hat im aktuellen Streit um den "Tiergarten-Mord" auf die Ausweisung von zwei russischen Diplomaten durch die Bundesregierung reagiert: "Russia on Thursday expelled two German diplomats in what it called a standard diplomatic response to a similar move by Germany last week and said it hoped a dispute over the killing of a Georgian citizen in Berlin would not damage ties further. Berlin announced the expulsion of two German diplomats last week over what it said was Moscow's refusal to cooperate in the investigation of a murder in which German prosecutors suspect Russian or Chechen involvement. The Russian government has denied connection with the killing. Russia's Foreign Ministry on Thursday summoned the German ambassador in Moscow to issue Berlin a formal protest over the expulsions and gave two German diplomats seven days to leave the country, it said in a statement. 'These measures were unavoidable after two of our diplomats were expelled. We consider the move by Berlin to be absolutely unfounded,' Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said."

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02.12.2019

"Russia Launches Gas Exports to China"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/12/02/russia-launches-power-siberia-gas-exports-china-a68423

Russland und China haben offiziell eine 3.000 Kilometer lange Gaspipeline eröffnet und damit mit der Umsetzung eines 30 Jahre geltenden Liefervertrags für russisches Erdgas im Umfang von 400 Milliarden US-Dollar begonnen. "The opening of the Power of Siberia gas line is the first of three strategically important Russian gas pipelines that are due to come online in the coming months. Turk Stream — which will carry Russian gas to Turkey and southeastern Europe — is scheduled to start exports early January, and the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline linking Russia with Germany is set for a delayed launch in mid-2020, after the project received its final approval permit from Denmark in November."

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19.11.2019

"In Push for Africa, Russia's Wagner Mercenaries Are 'Out of Their Depth' in Mozambique"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/11/19/in-push-for-africa-russias-wagner-mercenaries-are-out-of-their-
depth-in-mozambique-a68220

Pjotr Sauer macht auf die Aktivitäten des russischen Söldnerunternehmens Wagner in Afrika aufmerksam. In Mosambik habe die Gruppe, der enge Verbindungen zum Kreml nachgesagt werden, zwei konkurrierende Sicherheitsunternehmen bei der Ausschreibung eines Auftrags ausgestochen. "'We presented them with a first-class proposal in early August. We have so much experience in operating in Mozambique and know the tough environment very well. Trust me, we would have done an excellent job,” [John Gartner, a former Rhodesian soldier who now heads the military security company OAM,] told The Moscow Times. Dolf Dorfling, an ex-colonel in the South African army and founder of the Black Hawk private military contractor, likewise submitted a 'strong' proposal for a country he knows 'like the palm of his hand.' They both lost out to a new player in town — the Kremlin-linked Wagner Group, believed to be owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a businessman with close links to Russian President Vladimir Putin often referred to as 'Putin’s Chef' because of his catering business. While the veteran mercenaries admitted they couldn’t match Wagner’s low costs and high-level political connections, they cast doubt on the Russian company’s ability to operate in Mozambique because they say it knows neither the terrain nor the politics. 'Look, it's money and politics, it was clear we couldn’t compete with Wagner,' said Gartner, 'But now they are in trouble there, they are out of their depth.'"

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14.11.2019

"Macron is 'Ours' — but Does Russia Need Him?"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/11/14/macron-is-ours-but-does-russia-need-him-a68156

In Russland hätten Beobachter nach der aufsehenerregenden NATO-Kritik des französischen Präsidenten erstaunt festgestellt, dass Macrons Vorstellung von der europäischen und internationalen Sicherheitsordnung viel mit der Putins gemein habe, schreibt Vladimir Frolov. "Macron shares many of Putin’s views concerning U.S. policy in Europe and the Middle East. He, like Putin, blames Europe’s migration problem on the misguided U.S. policy of 'regime change' during the 'Arab Spring.' (…) Macron shows solidarity with Putin’s feeling of being offended by Western actions after the end of the Cold War. The French president argues that NATO was created to counter the threat posed by the Warsaw Pact – despite the fact that the former was established in 1949 and the latter only took shape in 1955. He stated that NATO continues to view the containment of Russia as its primary strategic objective and has expanded right up to Russia’s borders, leaving that country without a 'security zone' and 'violating the terms of the deal reached in 1990.' And, he said, 'when NATO got as far as Ukraine, Putin decided to stop that expansion.' (…) The French leader essentially recognizes Russia’s right to veto actions of the West in a 'zone of privileged interests' in the post-Soviet space, thereby denying the post-Soviet states the right to their own political identities. This is like a dream come true for Russia’s foreign policy efforts of the past five years."

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01.11.2019

"The U.S. Dithered Too Long on Russia's Nord Stream 2 Project"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/11/01/the-us-dithered-too-long-on-russias-nord-stream-2-project-a6800
7

Nach der Entscheidung Dänemarks, dem Weiterbau der Gaspipeline Nord Stream 2 durch dänische Gewässer zuzustimmen, bezweifelt Leonid Bershidsky, dass das umstrittene Großprojekt noch aufgehalten werden kann. Er macht vor allem die USA verantwortlich, deren Sanktionsdrohungen gegen beteiligte Unternehmen zu spät kämen. "Sanctions against financing the pipeline could have been effective at the stage before European companies — Royal Dutch Shell, Engie, Uniper, OMV and Wintershall — provided what was needed. Sanctions against pipe-laying vehicles could have made a difference before the construction work began. In any case, they could have given Ukraine more time to renegotiate its gas-transit contract with Gazprom, which runs out at the end of this year. (…) Now Ukraine, backed by the EU, wants a 10-year year contract to pump 40-60 billion cubic meters of natural gas. But Russia insists that any long-term agreement should resolve Ukraine’s billion-dollar legal claims on Gazprom, and for now is likely to agree only to a short-term, placeholder deal. Meanwhile it will keep working on bringing both Nord Stream 2 and the Turkish Stream project, meant to supply gas to southern Europe, to full capacity."

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30.10.2019

"Putin Faces Syria Money Crunch After U.S. Keeps Control of Oil"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/10/30/putin-faces-syria-money-crunch-after-us-keeps-control-of-oil-a6
7968

Die Entscheidung des US-Präsidenten, die syrischen Ölanlagen im Nordosten des Landes mit US-Militär zu bewachen, werde Russland auch finanziell treffen, schreibt Henry Meyer. Moskau habe mit den Öl-Einnahmen gerechnet, um die nötigen Finanzmittel für den geplanten Wiederaufbau Syriens aufzutreiben. "The U.S. decision to keep forces in northeastern Syria to guard oil fields denies Assad access to desperately needed funds to rebuild the Middle East state after eight years of civil war. That’s adding to the urgency of United Nations-led talks between the Syrian government and opposition groups in Geneva starting Wednesday, that Putin has said could be 'decisive' in settling the conflict. While agreement is far from certain, the negotiations on constitutional changes could help unlock money from U.S. allies in the Gulf and Europe, which have withheld aid because of Assad’s close ties to Iran and his refusal to loosen his grip on power by making space for opposition groups."

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29.10.2019

"Why Serbia Won’t Stop Playing the Russia Card Any Time Soon"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/10/29/why-serbia-wont-stop-playing-the-russia-card-any-time-soon-a679
53

Vuk Vuksanovic, Sicherheitsexperte und früherer Mitarbeiter im serbischen Außenministerium, betrachtet die gemeinsame Militärübung russischer und serbischer Luftverteidigungseinheiten als Teil einer sorgfältig balancierten serbischen Russland-Strategie. "From Belgrade’s perspective, this latest diplomatic and military exchange is a sign that Serbia is as usual being defined by the Western media through the prism of a traditional alliance. Serbia will not, however, enter into a full-fledged alliance with Russia, due to the geographical distance between the two countries and a lack of economic incentives. While Serbia’s relationship with Russia is wrongly described through the lens of Slavic and Orthodox ties, the modern Serbia-Russia relationship is part of a foreign policy strategy based on hedging its bets and pitting Western and non-Western powers against each other. This type of foreign policy behavior is the direct consequence of two systemic realities that have been underlining features of Serbian foreign policy since 2008. The first is the unresolved Kosovo dispute, and the second is the power vacuum in the Balkans generated by the global financial crisis of 2008 and subsequent inability of the EU to finalize its Balkan enlargement."

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23.10.2019

"The Putin-Erdogan Deal Poses a Challenge to the West"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/10/23/the-putin-erdogan-deal-poses-a-challenge-to-the-west-a67877

Die russische Einigung mit der Türkei in Nordsyrien hat nach Ansicht von Leonid Bershidsky einmal mehr grundsätzliche diplomatische Prinzipien Moskaus demonstriert. Russlands "zynische" Bereitwilligkeit, mit allen Akteuren auf der Grundlage des gegenseitigen Nutzens zu kooperieren und dabei Werte und Loyalitäten in den Hintergrund zu rücken, sei eine Herausforderung für den Westen. "Based on Russia’s behavior in Syria, a situation that defies the very idea of long-term alliances and adversarial relationships, these principles are: - Incumbents should hold on to power. No regime change from the outside. - Every party with a legitimate interest should get something. There are no permanent red lines. - Russia will work with anyone who wants to work with Russia. - Russia will only get involved when it can get something out of the situation. - Russia won’t get involved when threatened with overwhelming force or heavy losses. (…) The U.S. and European nations can do much more for developing nations (and for broken ones like Syria) than Russia can; it’s just that they can’t operate on the same cynical basis as Putin does — or try to do so and fail. (…) In an increasingly unbalanced world, Putin’s set of essentially opportunistic principles can help anchor a difficult situation. But it can’t be the basis for a global order any reasonable leader should seek to establish. The West needs a convincing alternative to Putin’s emerging international offering."

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21.10.2019

"Putin Now Owns the Syrian Syrian Chaos"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/10/21/putin-now-owns-the-syrian-chaos-a67818

Nach Ansicht von Bruno Maçães wird Russland in den kommenden Jahren beweisen müssen, ob es im Nahen Osten tatsächlich als vertrauenswürdige Ordnungsmacht auftreten kann. Dass Präsident Putin dies offenbar verstanden habe, zeige sein Verzicht auf die gewohnte antiwestliche Rhetorik beim jüngsten Treffen des Waldai-Klubs. "(...) the new mood is the second stage in a coherent strategy. If the use of force produced results, the Kremlin now wants to consolidate them. That requires diplomacy, mediation and, above all, patience. Remember that Machiavelli, who certainly never refrained from violence, devoted many of his best pages to the building of institutions and mores needed to make more durable that which has been acquired by force. (...) The problem is acute in Syria. Russia has maneuvered itself into a preeminent position and has even succeeded in forcing the United States to conclude that its position in the country is unsustainable. Trump has just announced a withdrawal. But the problem with being in charge is that no one else can provide order. Russia perhaps feels that it can do it on its own, but it knows it must find new tools and adopt a new mindset in this expanded role."

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18.10.2019

"Russia Steps Up Its Game in Africa"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/10/18/russia-steps-up-its-game-in-africa-a67804

Tim Stanley und Barnaby Fletcher berichten über die zunehmenden Bemühungen Russlands, auch in Afrika an politischem Einfluss zu gewinnen. "Russia has historical ties to a number of African governments and is often regarded favorably there due to the Soviet Union’s support of independence movements in the 1960s and 1970s. However, it largely failed to translate this into economic or political influence in subsequent decades. The connection is still relatively modest: Russian trade with sub-Saharan Africa stood at $20 billion in 2018, compared with U.S.-Africa trade of $61 billion, China-Africa trade of roughly $200 billion, and EU-Africa trade of more than $300 billion. A similar disparity exists in amounts of foreign direct investment or overseas development assistance. But where Russia beats other geopolitical players in Africa is in providing security cooperation and exploiting commercial opportunities arising from it."

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16.10.2019

"Turkey and Russia Show That Land Grabs Can Pay Off"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/10/16/turkey-and-russia-show-that-land-grabs-can-pay-off-a67753

Leonid Bershidsky vergleicht die türkische Invasion in Syrien mit der russischen Übernahme der Krim und hinterfragt die heutige Bedeutung des völkerrechtlichen Prinzips der territorialen Integrität. "The emergence and acceptance of this norm — a general international consensus against military conquest and armed secession — is often credited for the declining number of conquest attempts in recent decades. But the conclusions of political scientist Mark Zacher, whose 2001 paper promoted the idea that this territorial integrity norm had led to a dramatic decrease in the number of border changes, has been challenged in more recent research. A causal link between the norm and the prevalence of land grabs is turning out hard to prove. In a recent paper, Dan Altman of Georgia State University holds that conquest has never really gone obsolete. Instead, he claims, based on several updated datasets of interstate conflicts, that the nature of land grabs has changed (...). When it comes to conquests, it’s not clear whether any kind of operational 'rules-based order' has ever existed. Putin and Erdogan are just taking more risk than is customary. The authoritarians play for big stakes. Erdogan’s Syria move is a gamble — but not because he can be held responsible for violating some important norm."

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14.10.2019

"Russia Is the New Referee in the Middle East"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/10/14/russia-is-the-new-referee-in-the-middle-east-a67717

Die russische Regierung werde aus der aktuellen Krise in Syrien diplomatisch gestärkt hervorgehen, erwartet Maxim Trudolyubov. Moskau habe gegenüber Ankara klar gemacht, dass es die aktuelle Offensive, aber keine dauerhafte "illegale" Präsenz ausländischer Truppen in Syrien dulden werde. "Russia’s overarching goal now is to maintain and possibly advance its carefully cultivated role as a preeminent power broker at the world’s most difficult crossroad, the Middle East. So far, Moscow has been successful in attaining recognition of its efforts in the region from players as diverse as Iran, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Turkey. Most leaders of those countries may not want to sit down for a conversation between themselves, but each of them, separately from the others, is talking to Putin."

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08.10.2019

"For Trump, Syria Pullout Is a Win. Putin May See It That Way Too"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/10/08/for-trump-syria-pullout-is-a-win-putin-may-see-it-that-way-too-
a67625

Bloomberg erwartet, dass Russland vom Rückzug der US-Truppen aus Nordsyrien profitieren wird, da die Kurden in den Gesprächen mit der Assad-Regierung ohne amerikanische Unterstützung zu Kompromissen gezwungen sein könnten. "Pressure now looks set to rise on Kurdish leaders and fighters in northern Syria to work with Assad in a bid to fend off any invasion by the Turkish military, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s second largest force. 'Erdogan’s operation against the Kurds could have a positive effect for Russia,' so long as the U.S. gets its troops out of the way, said Ruslan Mamedov, a Middle East analyst at the Russian International Affairs Council, a Moscow-based research group founded by the Kremlin. It 'will make Kurds realize that they need to make a deal with Damascus.'"

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02.10.2019

"Ukraine Peace Talks Get Breakthrough as Kiev Accepts Compromise"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/10/02/ukraine-peace-talks-get-breakthrough-as-kiev-accepts-compromise
-a67547

In den Verhandlungen über die Zukunft des ukrainischen Donbass ist es in Minsk zu einem möglicherweise wegweisenden Durchbruch gekommen. Vertreter der ukrainischen Regierung haben der sogenannten "Steinmeier-Formel" zugestimmt, die einen vorläufigen Sonderstatus für die Region vorsieht. "The next step could be negotiations involving the leaders of Germany and France alongside Zelenskiy and Russian President Vladimir Putin — the so-called Normandy format for talks. Tuesday’s development opens the way to such a meeting and steps toward a peaceful resolution of the conflict, according to Alexei Chesnakov, a former Kremlin official who continues to consult for the Russian authorities on Ukraine. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said 'the door is open' to further progress in the implementation of the 2015 Minsk peace accord. 'Today, the final obstacles have been removed to holding a summit of the Normandy four,' Zelenskiy said. 'We’ll know the date in the very near future.'"

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26.09.2019

"Is the Kremlin Tired of Venezuela?"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/09/26/is-the-kremlin-tired-of-venezuela-a67467

Der jüngste Besuch des venezolanischen Präsidenten in Moskau zeigt nach Ansicht von Max Hess, dass die Bereitschaft Russlands zur direkten Unterstützung der Maduro-Regierung begrenzt sei. Dies gelte jedoch nicht für das russische Mineralölunternehmen Rosneft, das sich zum wichtigen Verbündeten Maduros entwickelt habe. "(...) the immediate takeaway from this week’s talks is that while Moscow still backs Maduro, its willingness to invest further to help him achieve his goals is limited. (...) Dmitry Peskov, said the pair did not discuss new loans, and no new investments were announced. The absence of such pledges is significant. (...) Venezuela is by no means without Russian backers, even if the economic benefits of the relationship have evaporated. Foremost among them is Rosneft’s head Igor Sechin, who also attended Maduro and Putin’s meeting. Sechin has not only led Russia’s investments into Venezuela, but has also publicly backed the politics of the Bolivarian regime. Venezuela has become increasingly dependent on Rosneft, which now serves as the key conduit for exporting Venezuelan crude from the country and getting diluents to PDVSA. Rosneft has also become Venezuela’s its key supplier of refined petrol. (...) While the highlights of Putin and Maduro’s meeting signify that Moscow will not help Maduro get everything he wants, Sechin’s presence indicates that Maduro might just find he gets what he needs."

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26.09.2019

"For Ukraine's Leader, Trump Memo On Their Call Is a Diplomatic Car Crash"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/09/26/for-ukraines-leader-trump-memo-on-their-call-is-a-diplomatic-ca
r-crash-a67442

Für die Ukraine ist der Skandal um das Telefongespräch zwischen Präsident Trump und Präsident Selenskyj Reuters zufolge ein möglicherweise folgenreiches "diplomatisches Desaster". "'Unfortunately the main consequence of this is that Ukraine could become toxic,' said Alyona Getmanchuk, director of the New Europe Center in Ukraine. 'Maybe not as toxic as Russia became during the Mueller investigation, but toxic,' she said, referring to a two-year U.S. investigation into contacts between Trump's successful 2016 election campaign and Russia. The timing of the latest scandal is awkward for Zelenskiy, who is keen to reinvigorate parts of a stalled peace deal over eastern Ukraine, something for which he needs European and U.S. diplomatic muscle. (...) 'Zelenskiy does not come out looking good from this - giving the ex-U.S. ambassador a kicking, Merkel and the Europeans a kicking, and then agreeing to do Trump's dirty work on Biden,' said Timothy Ash, a senior emerging markets strategist at Bluebay Asset Management."

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21.09.2019

"Future Without Putin No Longer Taboo Issue"

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/09/21/future-without-putin-no-longer-taboo-issue-a67376

Mark Galeotti berichtet, dass innerhalb der politischen Elite in Moskau mehr oder weniger offen über eine mögliche Zukunft Russlands ohne Präsident Putin debattiert werde. "Any thought that Russia is simply a top-down authoritarianism, shaped by a brooding president’s masterplan, should be dispelled by the upsurge in open and indirect debates currently taking place in the higher echelons of the country’s elite. They demonstrate three things: that there are real differences in opinion, that this is a system where policy emerges from competitive lobbying, and that Vladimir Putin seems unwilling or unable to resolve the main issues of the day. Put together, they demonstrate the increasing dysfunctionality of 'late Putinism.' Much of the debate is, after all, openly or implicitly about 2024, when Putin’s — constitutionally — last term of office is meant to end, and the whole debate as to his future and his system’s. Will he step down in favor of a successor, carve out a new position for himself, rewrite the rules to stay in power? Until that issue is resolved, no long-term political strategy can be elaborated, leaving the stakeholders and political technologists relying on tactical gambits and pitching their own favored solutions in the hope one gets the boss’s approval."

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