Putin strange address to the Nation

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

By any standards, the annual Address to Parliament delivered by President Putin on 1 of March was unusual, by the content and the form. The Address is one of the three public presidential high moments, with the end of the year press conference and the “meeting with the nation”. It is an opportunity for the president to present his track record and his projects. In an electoral period, everyone expected the 2018 edition to be different. But nobody was prepared for so much emphasis on military issues, in a high-tech décor including a projection full of military hardware and explosions, delivered by a president adopting a tone of voice remembering his intervention at the 2007 Munich Conference which stunned the West by its violence. Continue reading “Putin strange address to the Nation”

Book review: “Poutine, l’homme que l’Occident aime haïr”

By Andrew Wilson

Poutine – L’homme que l’Occident aime haïr, Nina Bachkatov, éditions Jourdan, Bruxelles-Paris, 2018.

Under a provocative title – The man the West loves to hate – Nina Bachkatov’s book covers more than the Russian president’s personality. In 199 pages it describes in detail the complex evolution of the post-Soviet state under his leadership – a process that she has followed at close quarters for more than thirty years. Continue reading “Book review: “Poutine, l’homme que l’Occident aime haïr””

Kremlin’s receipe for a “modernised” campaign

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

This is not a secret: Vladimir Putin wants to be reelected, with a large margin and a high turnover. But he also wants to show he is in tune with 2018 Russia. Continue reading “Kremlin’s receipe for a “modernised” campaign”

Sochi: another step towards a Syrian resolution

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

The main success of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress held on 30 January in Sochi is that it existed. Up to the last moment, Russian diplomats and experts doubted that the Congress would attract enough Syrian delegates to be credible. There was fears that it might be cancelled for a third time. Continue reading “Sochi: another step towards a Syrian resolution”