Steve Gutterman's Week In Russia
Tuesday 10 December 2019
October 25, 2019
Let Me Tell You About Ukraine, Mr. President
First Bush, then Trump: Vladimir Putin has badmouthed Ukraine to a U.S. leader for at least the second time, reports say, poisoning the well in a phone call with President Donald Trump back in May. At home, Putin purged critical voices from his own Human Rights Council.
October 18, 2019
The Week In Russia: 2019 In The Middle East, 1938 Back Home?
As headlines proclaim Russian President Vladimir Putin the Middle East’s new “overlord” and the go-to guy for the region, strikes on civilians in Syria provide a chilling backstory. At home, opposition politician Aleksei Navalny says the state campaign against his operations smacks of 1938.
October 14, 2019
Podcast: Russia's Role In The Middle East
Russian President Vladimir Putin's trip to Saudi Arabia on October 14 is conveniently symbolic of Moscow's increased influence in the Middle East, as analysts say a U.S. pullback in northern Syria is playing into the hands of Russian-backed President Bashar al-Assad and others. A report in The New York Times about hospital bombings paints a stark picture of one of the ways that clout has been gained, and how it is used. Join host Steve Gutterman for this week's The Week Ahead in Russia podcast.
October 11, 2019
The Week In Russia: The Strong-Arming Of The Law And A Siberian Sojourn
Moscow piled pressure on opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, branding his group a "foreign agent" based on alleged donations from abroad totaling less than $2,200. And Vladimir Putin appeared with his defense chief in what looked like a painstakingly informal birthday photo shoot in Siberia.
October 07, 2019
Podcast: The Prospects And Perils Of The 'Steinmeier Formula' For The War In Eastern Ukraine
Steve Gutterman shares some thoughts about the prospects for peace in the Donbas now that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has signed on to the so-called Steinmeier Formula. A pullback of forces in two areas is expected, and there's talk of a new prisoner swap. But there are plenty of obstacles to substantial progress, let alone a resolution of the only war in Europe.
October 05, 2019
The Week In Russia: Formats, Formulas, And A Kremlin Growl At Greta's Girl Power
Will the "Steinmeier Formula" bring a breakthrough in efforts to end the war in eastern Ukraine, or run up against disputes over the timing of retuning the state border to Kyiv's control? Also, Putin takes aim at Greta Thunberg, sending a signal to Russian protesters in the process, and an anti-Putin shaman is declared unfit to stand trial.
September 30, 2019
Podcast: As Backdrops Shift, What's Next For Russia Protests And The War In Ukraine?
RFE/RL senior correspondent Mike Eckel joins Steve Gutterman to discuss the prospects for future protests after the latest demonstration in Moscow, and how developments in Washington, Kyiv, and Moscow might affect the course of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
September 27, 2019
The Week In Russia: Stuck In The Middle With You
Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelenskiy have now both been at center stage in U.S. political controversies that have affected elections to the White House and the fate of its occupant. In terms of how they got there and how they have handled it, though, there are plenty of differences.
September 20, 2019
The Week In Russia: Big Chills, Little Thaws, And 'Workshop Solidarity'
If you don't like the weather, wait 15 minutes. They say that about New England, but it's true of Moscow, too, if it's the short-term political climate you're talking about. One day, a man is sentenced to years in prison, a few days later he is sprung from jail. But the following morning, a new crackdown may be in the forecast. Tough to tell a thaw from a false spring these days.
September 13, 2019
The Week In Russia: The Swap, The 'Smart Vote,' The Sucker Punch, The Spy
Russia and Ukraine exchanged prisoners in a swap that seemed lopsided beneath the symmetry, and Muscovites hand the ruling party a stinging blow -- while an election observer is sucker punched in a stark video that pretty much says it all. Plus, debate over how much a CIA informant in the Kremlin might have known.
Some of the key developments in Russia over the past week, and some of the takeaways going forward, by RFE/RL's News Editor Steve Gutterman.