Tag "Edward Lucas"

Edward Lucas: Russia’s only ally

By Edward Lucas, for CEPA The West Needs to Formulate a Belarus Policy Before It Is Too Late Most countries don’t know what goes on in Europe’s last dictatorship. Most don’t care, either. For all but a handful of its western neighbors, Belarus is a geopolitical black hole, neglected and ignored in equal measure. The regime in Minsk has signaled some desire to improve ties with the United States, lifting a cap

Edward Lucas: How to respond to Moscow’s Azov escalation

By Edward Lucas, for CEPA Once again, Russia has pushed the line in Ukraine. Here’s how the West should have reacted after Azov. Imagine that it is September 1st 1939. German troops have just attacked Poland. Should the outside world (a) call for calm, (b) denounce Hitler’s aggression, or (c) help Poland? Seen from a modern perspective, the answer is clear. Pre-war Poland, although far from perfect, was the innocent party

Edward Lucas: Threads of the past

By Edward Lucas, for CEPA Edward Lucas seams together a Soviet chic garment and the Kremlin’s inability to deal honestly with history. Nazi memorabilia is not cool. If you hold your nose and look on the internet, you can find flags, T-shirts and bumper stickers commemorating the Third Reich on sale at outlets that also sell pagan-themed cigarette lighters and Ku Klux Klan regalia. But no reputable retailer would stock

Edwars Lucas: Don’t play risk with Europe

Edward Lucas explains why the West should not treat the “in-between” states as objects on a gameboard. By Edward Lucas, for CEPA My introduction to geopolitics came from the game of Risk. In our 1970s Cold War household, this board game, invented in 1957, had a particular sizzle. The board features an outsized Ukraine, stretching from the Arctic to central Asia, and territories called Irkutsk, Kamchatka, Siberia, Ural, and Yakutsk

Edward Lucas: Shell game

By Edward Lucas, for CEPA When we are attacked, we are quick to call on other countries for help. Fixing our own problems is a lot harder. That is the story of the West’s response to the Russian “hybrid war”—the intensifying mixture of cyber, diplomatic, economic, military, and propaganda attacks. After the attempted assassination last month in Salisbury of a retired British spy, Britain was quick to call on its

The strategic balancing act

By Edward Lucas, for CEPA Deterrence and resilience are the two tasks facing the West as the threat from the Kremlin becomes ever clearer. Striking the balance between the two is the strategic challenge for the coming years. The most important part is resilience. The less Russian attacks are effective, the less we need to deter them. If our political system is immune to dirty money, if our media offer

10 mistakes the West makes about Russia

By Edward Lucas, for CEPA Worrying about Russian foreign policy used to be seen as eccentric. Now it’s mainstream. But misconceptions still abound, which hamper our response to the Kremlin’s mischief-making. Here are 10 of them: 1) “The threat is military.” Yes, there is a war in Ukraine, and yes, our presence in the Baltic states needs further bolstering. Yes, modern Russian weapons are sometimes impressive (at least in the

Edward Lucas: The repressive state

By Edward Lucas, for CEPA How many political prisoners languish in Russia’s jails and penal colonies? The short answer is that nobody knows. Harassment makes it hard for human rights organizations to track these cases. Many of those convicted are jailed for “non-political” crimes. Estimates range from dozens to hundreds. But the cases we do know about are bad enough. Take, for example, Yuri Dmitriev—one of the country’s greatest historians of

Edward Lucas: Russian political theater

By Edward Lucas, for CEPA Russia is having a presidential election this year. Right? Wrong. In fact, the Kremlin is staging a play about an election, rather than a real contest with real voters, real candidates, real competition and real doubt about the outcome. The performance will be realistically and expensively staged, with the characters in appropriate costumes, and plenty of expertly produced props. The acting will be excellent. Presumably

Edward Lucas: The Kremlin’s 20 toxic tactics

By Edward Lucas, for CEPA Human weakness means we find it is easier to admire problems than to solve them, to focus on the dangers we can see than worry about those that we can’t, and to use the tools we have on hand rather than try to acquire the ones we actually need. All that is particularly true of the West’s approach to Russian political warfare. We over-focus on

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