April 23, 2014
Armenia, Belarus and Kazakhstan supported Russian President Vladimir Putin’s power grab of Ukraine’s Crimea region and intend to sign the treaty to establish his ambitious Eurasian Economic Union next month, but the Kremlin’s bad behavior is causing some consternation among its allies. With even Europe’s last dictator, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, breaking ranks with his buddies in the Kremlin over Ukraine, Putin’s Eurasian dream is unlikely to become the united rival to the European Union he desperately wants to create.
Putin’s Ukraine Moves Rattle His Eurasian Union Allies
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev and Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, right, arrive at a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council at the Kremlin in Moscow on Dec. 24, 2013. (Alexei Nikolsky/AFP/Getty Images)
Russia Quickly Fills Void as US Evacuates Kyrgyzstan
April 14, 2014
As the United States prepares to leave its base in Kyrgyzstan, Russia is poised to greatly expand its influence in a resource-filled country near Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. Over the past month, Russia has purchased Kyrgyzstan’s state-owned natural gas company, bid for its airports and increased pressure on the country to join its trade organization.
Will Kerry Abandon His Middle East Peace Effort?
April 14, 2014
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s growing frustration over Israeli-Palestinian peace talks may soon lead him to give up on this effort. The likely collapse of the talks became more apparent last week when Kerry said that the moment for a peace settlement went “poof” after Israel did not release a group of Palestinian prisoners on March 29 and Israeli officials said 700 new Israeli homes would be built in East Jerusalem.
Argentina: Violence Prompts Outbreak of Good Governance
April 14, 2014
The social fabric of Argentine society continues to fray, forcing the government to revise previously falsified economic statistics and come to terms with disaffected foreign creditors. The sudden interest in external help follows a series of vigilante attacks in the province of Buenos Aires leading to a state of emergency there, a nationwide wave of drug-fueled organized crime and a general strike over inadequate wage increases.
China Invests Billions in Huge Political Surveillance Network
April 11, 2014
Threatened by rising domestic strife, China’s leaders are spending tens of billions of dollars to wire hundreds of Chinese cities with Internet, video surveillance cameras, cellphones, GPS location data and biometric technologies, all of them fused into a monitoring system of Orwellian proportions. Chinese officials are partly acting out of fear of organized opposition to official corruption, but the surveillance effort also extends to suppressing discontent among ethnic minorities.
Venezuela Struggles Under the Economic Legacy of Chavez
April 11, 2014
Special Economic Analysis
by Peter Warburton, PhD

Venezuela is undergoing a period of severe economic and political instability. Rising violent crime, homicide, rocketing inflation and a shortage of essential items – from milk to insulin – have resulted in a wave of protests by the middle class and growing dissatisfaction among the poor. The authorities’ heavy-handed response has only added fuel to the fire.
Russia Applies Crimean Takeover Model in Eastern Ukraine
April 11, 2014
Eastern Ukraine is quickly turning into a flashpoint in the struggle between Moscow and Kiev over territories bordering Russia with ethnic Russian populations. Similar to Crimea, ostensibly local pro-Russian separatists have taken over buildings and called for independence votes. However, Ukraine’s early response has been quite different this time.
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