Fatal (ist) Support for War

Riddle Russia on how the inability to influence the regime determines the scale of protests and shapes attitudes towards the war and personal strategies during the mobilization campaign

Biometrics as a Kremlin tool

Riddle Russia on recognition technology as a new tool of population control

Neutral Serbia, or European Serbia?

Riddle Russia on how Serbia is signaling readiness to support anti-Russian sanctions as part of its push for European integration

The ‘real men’ of pro-Kremlin rhetoric

Riddle Russia flags up the weaponised use of misogyny and homophobia in anti-Ukrainian discourse

Endorsement of Putin’s gamble after mobilisation

Riddle Russia on what Russians think of the ‘special military operation' and mobilisation

The ‘partíal mobilisation’ of Russian SMEs

Riddle Russia predicts a major economic fallout from Russia’s «partial» mobilization — and from the mass exodus of young people leaving the country to avoid the draft. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) will be especially hard hit.

If they fear us they respect us

Riddle Russia on why over 5 months into the war most Russians feel optimistic about the future

Frozen in excitement

Riddle Russia explains what the ‘Putin majority' is all about

Why continue polling in Russia?

Riddle Russia on how to interpret polling results on support for Russia’s ‘special military operation'

Serbia trapped in the Kremlin’s special operation

Riddle Russia on why the issue of sanctions against Moscow remains open despite a lucrative gas contract

Doing away with props: Russia and the Middle East in 2021

Riddle Russia on how Moscow’s actions towards the West resonated in the Middle East

Gas in exchange for sincere warm feelings

Riddle Russia believes Moscow will not succeed in convincing Belgrade to recognise Crimea as Russian or give up European integration

Stability above all

Riddle Russia on Russia’s economic outlook and 2022−2024 draft federal budget

The Taliban Afghanistan: Between Radicals and Pragmatists

Riddle Russia discusses whether the Taliban are ready to stop terrorist attacks by international jihadists and ensure the security in Central Asia and Russia

Russian-Chinese Crisis Alliance in the Balkans

Riddle Russia on how Moscow and Beijing confront the «collective West» in BiH and Kosovo

Between Hezbollah and Assad

Riddle Russia on Russia’s policy in Lebanon

Russian policy in the Middle East: Rebalancing

Riddle Russia on the Russian Middle East policy reform

Can Russia ‘reset’ its climate policy?

Riddle Russia on Russia’s race to carbon neutrality

Islamic education in the North Caucasus

Riddle Russia on the challenges to and prospects for the Islamic education system in Russia

Checking the thermometers

Riddle Russia on whether the battle against global warming can bring Russia and the West closer together

Is small business possible in big Russia?

Riddle Russia on the prospects for small and medium-sized enterprises in Russia

The Anatomy of Regional Loyalty

Riddle Russia reflect on why Russian ethnic minority regions show staunch support for an ethnic Russian president

Belgrade’s vaccine bet on China

Riddle Russia on how Russia is losing the battle to vaccinate Serbia to China

The Chemistry of Sanctions

Riddle Russia looks at current and future sanctions in response to Alexei Navalny’s poisoning

Russia on the eve of a collapse in Libya

Riddle Russia on urgent anti-crisis measures that Moscow should take on Libya

Russia and India: a fraught partnership

Riddle Russia wonders whether Russia-India relations can withstand opposing views on China, the US, and Pakistan

Saying goodbye to illusions: Russia and the Middle East in 2020

Riddle Russia on how Moscow has dispelled myths about having a strategy for the Middle East

Russia, Biden and cyber regulation

Riddle Russia examines rival attempts by the US and Russia to internationally regulate cyberspace and wonders whether such a consistently fraught outlook will change with the incoming Biden Administration

Best frenemies: Russia and Turkey

Riddle Russia on relations between Moscow and Ankara: their positive prospects and areas of potential conflict

Greener vibes from the EU’s energy markets could leave Russia in the cold

Riddle Russia on Russia’s place in the new EU energy policy

The ‘paradiplomacy’ of Russia’s regions

Riddle Russia looks at how and why different regions in Russia try to carve out their own foreign policy dynamics

Navalny poisoning sanctions: the fate of the six

Riddle Russia wonders why «Navalny's list» is so short and whether the defendants will be able to lift these sanctions in the EU Court of Justice

The uncertain fate of Cyprus’s sanctions-dodging passports

Riddle Russia discusses what the recent Cyprus Papers leak and ongoing sanctions will mean for Russians seeking a «golden passport»

Punitive psychiatry in Russia: back to the USSR?

Riddle Russia on the risks of political abuse of psychiatry

The Sorry Sight of Rosatom’s Uranium Tailings

Riddle Russia on how Russia turned into an international disposal site for nuclear waste

Russian operation goes ‘offshore’ in Syria

Riddle Russia describe how Moscow is trying to support the armed opposition without weakening al-Assad

Russia’s sanctions laws could be about to change

Riddle Russia takes a close look at the recent Duma proposals to alter Russian sanctions law

Sanctions in the name of Caesar

Riddle Russia combs through the «Caesar Act,» which enables sanctions for supporting the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, and wonders if the move is significant or effective

Russia is washing blood off African diamonds

Riddle Russia investigates Russia’s struggle to legalise diamond exports from the Central African Republic

Russia’s Covid Diplomacy in Bosnia

Riddle Russia investigates why and how Russia is upping the diplomatic tempo in Bosnia

When Autocrats Fail, Civil Society Steps Up

Riddle Russia on how in the absence of effective state responses, civic groups in Belarus, Russia, and Azerbaijan are tackling the COVID-19 pandemic

Bad or better governance in Russia’s regions: Do governors deserve the blame?

Riddle Russia on criteria for assessing the performance of Russian governors

Russia without Assad

Riddle Russia discuss the objectives of an anti-Damascus information campaign and look at possible changes among the Syrian power elite

For Russia’s poor regions, lockdown is a luxury

Moscow’s inability to introduce a full quarantine reflects the depth of Russia’s deep regional inequalities, writes Riddle Russia

Why the government is not helping Russian small businesses survive Covid-19

Riddle Russia on the reasons why the Russian leadership does not intend to save small and medium-sized enterprises

Putin the man, Putin the meme

Putin has become the key subject of Russian memes, writes Riddle Russia — once to his credit, but increasingly to his detriment

Torture in Russia: Who is to blame and what is to be done?

Riddle Russia outlines what needs to be done to better prevent torture in Russia

Can Russia’s Power Vertical deal with a pandemic?

As it becomes clear that Russia’s state bureaucracy is unprepared to deal with this crisis, the Kremlin is attempting to shift responsibility, writes Riddle Russia

(Un)necessary elections

Riddle Russia on the role of elections in shaping democratic values (on the example of the Perm Krai)

Moscow’s fight against the «enemies of Orthodoxy» in the Balkans

With the help of local friends and pro-Kremlin media, the Russian Orthodox Church has launched a propaganda campaign in the Balkans, writes Riddle Russia

The Fragmentation of Russia’s Middle East Policies

Riddle Russia on the diffusion of responsibility for policies in the Middle East

Will Russia deliver the S-400 to Iran?

Riddle Russia on the impact of the downed Boeing 737 on Russia-Iran military and technical cooperation

The ongoing fight for protection from domestic violence in Russia

Riddle Russia on the continuous schism between supporters and opponents of the domestic violence law in Russia

Russia is returning to Libya, with or without Haftar

Riddle Russia on how Russia introduced PMCs to Libya and is trying to maintain a certain balance of power in the country

Moscow is wary of Belgrade’s Balkan Balancing Act

Serbia is attempting to set out some red lines in its relations with Russia. But can it still do so while maintaining its uneasy balance between great powers, asks Riddle Russia

How Moscow imitates a peace settlement in Syria

Riddle Russia explains why Moscow’s peacemaking efforts in Syria ring hollow

Who pays for torture in Russia’s prisons?

Riddle Russia considers why the Russian authorities have resorted to aggressively prosecuting former law enforcement officers

Operation Peace Spring: An inevitable consequence of American withdrawal

Riddle Russia on how Turkey and Russia filled the vacuum after the withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria

Russia’s Nuclear Chain Reaction in Africa

Riddle Russia on how Russia cultivates influence in Africa with a promise of nuclear power

Where the state comes before the customer

Riddle Russia argues that unless Russia changes its economic strategy and undertakes structural reforms, the country is doomed to stagnation and its population to gradual impoverishment

The thaw that never came

Riddle Russia on the new repressive technologies shackling the Russian internet

Why Russia Is Quietly Getting Rid of Its Syrian Refugees

Riddle Russia on the Russian government’s refugee policy

Russia Has a Consumer Debt Problem. And It is Getting Worse.

Riddle Russia on how loans are replacing social policy in Russia

How Russia is trying to pacify the «cradle» of Syria’s revolution

Riddle Russia on what is happening with the territories that returned under the control of the Assad regime, but where a fairly high level of anti-government sentiment has been preserved

Islamic Education For Women In Dagestan

Riddle Russia on women's departments at Islamic universities in Dagestan

Russia’s doctors fight for their right to be fallible

Riddle Russia considers recent disputes between Russia’s investigative committee and the country’s medical professionals

What can be done about Russia’s Child Suicide Epidemic?

In trying to address the rising number of child suicides in Russia, the authorities have resorted to their usual solutions: draconian bans and censorship. These methods are completely inadequate

Who is to Blame for The Lack of Academic Freedom in Russia?

Part five of ‘Safety first': security, threats and academia

Russia’s high stakes, low risk meddling in the Balkans

Recent endeavours in the Balkans haven’t gone as the Kremlin would have hoped. But that doesn’t mean Moscow will abandon its ambitious goals for the region, writes Riddle Russia

Veterans’ Organisations: State Capture, Or Political Cogs?

The fourth part of the series ‘Safety first': the changing role of veterans' organisations in Russia

Kazakhstan is Ahead of Russia

Riddle Russia on why Putin will not copy Nazarbayev’s succession model

The Ongoing Struggle Against Torture in Russian Prisons

Riddle Russia on what is being done — and what is not being done — to limit human rights violations in Russia’s penitentiary system

Why Might Russia Need Libya?

Riddle Russia on Kremlin’s interests in Libya

Russia and the West in a Balkan Deadlock

The Balkans remains a site of confrontation between Russia and the West — here’s why it will stay that way for the foreseeable future

The Middle East after the US’s Withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal

What are the consequences of the American withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan, and what do they mean for the region and all interested parties?

Russia and China’s Frigid Alliance

A burgeoning military and political alignment between Russia and China has provoked alarmist headlines in various western media outlets. But the reality in China is that its foreign policy community has other concerns; its officials and experts are still unprepared and unwilling to cultivate a fully fledged alliance with Russia.

Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel

Will a tax on self-employed income work in Russia?

Russia’s Household Debt Burden

What are the risks of growing household debt overhang?

Germany’s Pipeline Politics

Why is Nord Stream 2 a threat to the EU, but not to Germany?

One Road for Russia and Kazakhstan?

For a long time, the political regimes of Russia and Kazakhstan were moving in one direction but, over time, the two countries began to display different trends.

The Widespread Abuse of Russia’s Orphans

Too few safeguards exist to protect orphans from physical or sexual abuse

The World Cup: A Reprieve For Russia’s Regions?

The 2018 FIFA World Cup has helped push federal investments into regional infrastructure. These were long overdue, and are turning selected cities into ‘decent' living places. But only in the short term

Why Russia Holds Back on Supplying S-300 Systems to Syria

Long-promised deliveries of Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Syria have still not happened. Why not?

A sentence for a repost

How RuNet users end up behind bars

Echoes of a deceased federation

The example of Tatarstan proves that formal institutions in Russia are eroding

The brutal treatment of women in Russian prisons

Nearly 50,000 women are serving time in Russia's harsh penitentiary system. Living conditions are often inhumane

Russia’s Regional Debt Spiral

Russia’s regional governments owe vast sums to commercial banks and the federal government in Moscow. Those debts are spiralling out of control and need repaying. But where will those repayments come from?

Hazing, Suicides and Unreported Deaths in the Russian Army

How did the Russian army change over time?