Moscow Under Stress on Its Periphery

Russian interests are being tested in the Caucasus and Levant.

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Two weeks ago, Russia concluded a constitutional referendum meant to shore up the power of the Kremlin and especially of Vladimir Putin. Under the revised constitution, which was approved by nearly 79 percent of voters, Putin can theoretically remain president until 2036 – by which time he would be in his 80s. The move came not a moment too soon: Crises involving Russia-backed partners are erupting in the Levant and the Caucasus, not to mention the long-standing war in Libya, where Russia is a key player. And as if that wasn’t enough, there are faint signs of anti-government unrest in Siberia. For a while, Russia has faced a number of serious economic problems, and we have been alert to signs of domestic destabilization. Thus, any signs of domestic trouble, not to mention events on Russia’s periphery that threaten its strategic interests and raise the likelihood of high-stakes conflicts, are quick to grab our attention when they appear on our radar. Domestic Instability At its core, the internal threat for Moscow concerns the government’s ability – or inability – to maintain a basic standard of living for Russians after a sharp decline due to low oil prices, sanctions and, most recently, […]

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Allison Fedirka
Allison Fedirka is the director of analysis for Geopolitical Futures. In addition to writing analyses, she helps train new analysts, oversees the intellectual quality of analyst work and helps guide the forecasting process. Prior to joining Geopolitical Futures, Ms. Fedirka worked for Stratfor as a Latin America specialist and subsequently as the Latin America regional director. She lived in South America – primarily Argentina and Brazil – for more than seven years and, in addition to English, fluently speaks Spanish and Portuguese. Ms. Fedirka has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and international studies from Washington University in St. Louis and a master’s degree in international relations and affairs from the University of Belgrano, Argentina. Her thesis was on Brazil and Angola and south-south cooperation.