Over the past century alone, Russia has lived through great achievements and deepest misery; mass heroism and mass crime; over-blown ambition and near-hopeless despair - always emerging with its sovereignty and its fiercely independent spirit intact. In this book, leading Russia scholar Dmitri Trenin accompanies readers on Russia's rollercoaster journey from revolution to post-war devastation, perestroika to Putin's stabilization of post-Communist Russia. Explaining the causes and the meaning of the numerous twists and turns in contemporary Russian history, he offers a vivid insider's view of a country through one of its most trying and often tragic periods. Today, he cautions, Russia stands at a turning point - politically, economically and socially - its situation strikingly reminiscent of the Russian Empire in its final years. For the Russian Federation to avoid a similar demise, it must learn the lessons of its own history.
The eyes of the world are on the Middle East. Today, more than ever, this deeply-troubled region is the focus of power games between major global players vying for international influence. Absent from this scene for the past quarter century, Russia is now back with gusto. Yet its motivations, decision-making processes and strategic objectives remain hard to pin down. So just what is Russia up to in the Middle East? In this hard-hitting essay, leading analyst of Russian affairs Dmitri Trenin cuts through the hyperbole to offer a clear and nuanced analysis of Russia's involvement in the Middle East and its regional and global ramifications. Russia, he argues, cannot and will not supplant the U.S. as the leading external power in the region, but its actions are accelerating changes which will fundamentally remake the international system in the next two decades.
Since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis, there has been much talk of a new Cold War between the West and Russia. Under Putin's authoritarian leadership, Moscow is widely seen as volatile, belligerent and bent on using military force to get its way.
In this incisive analysis, top Russian foreign and security policy analyst Dmitri Trenin explains why the Cold War analogy is misleading. Relations between the West and Russia are certainly bad and dangerous but - he argues - they are bad and dangerous in new ways; crucial differences which make the current rivalry between Russia, the EU and the US all the more fluid and unpredictable. Unpacking the dynamics of this increasingly strained relationship, Trenin makes a compelling case for handling Russia with pragmatism and care rather than simply giving into fear.