Articles by Mark Galeotti



Russia's Slow and Hesitant 'Purges' Mask Policy Void

There have been arrests and releases, petty prosecutions and sensible legal revisions. The overall trend in Russia may be toward a tougher line on potential dissent, but the path is a faltering, unclear one.

Russia Pairs Brussels Condolences With Politicking (Op-Ed)

These days, the Russian government seems to observe jihadist terrorist attacks in the West with a thinly-veiled satisfaction.

No Easy Fix for Syria (Op-Ed)

It is not peace in our time, it may well never even happen, and even if it does, probably won't last. It is not the result of humanitarian impulses, but of cynicism and geopolitical calculation.

The Litvinenko Affair: An Anglo-Russian Exercise in Futility

A British inquest on the murder of Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko has concluded that it was "probably" sanctioned by President Vladimir Putin.

Moscow Must Avoid Shadow War With Ankara

Moscow is sanctioning Turkish goods and holidays, but is this enough to assuage President Vladimir Putin's evident fury at the shooting down of one of his bombers?

Moscow Faces Terror Threat It Can Handle (Op-Ed)

As Muscovites lay flowers before the French Embassy, the depressing irony is that Moscow is not immune to the kind of terrorist attacks which ripped at the heart of Paris.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong in Russia's Syrian Gambit?

Modern wars tend to start well, with deceptive techno-thriller ease. They quickly tend to degenerate in messy, unpredictable ways that favor the desperate, the unpredictable, the insurgent and the unseen.

West Has Lost the Right to Lecture Putin (Op-Ed)

Castigating the Kremlin on moral grounds, without behaving in an unimpeachably moral way, is simply going to alienate Moscow and create a wholly false series of assumptions on which to base policy, writes Mark Galeotti.

West Must Play It Cool With Putin (Op-Ed)

The more the West lets itself be shocked into responses by Putin, the more power it gives him and the more reason he has to continue to goad and needle, writes columnist Mark Galeotti.

Putin and Trump Have a Lot in Common (Op-Ed)

Trump and Putin both offer simple solutions to complex, intractable problems. They offer a refreshing, outspoken, macho alternative to tainted political classes regarded as bland, ineffectual and corrupt.

Kremlin's 'Shadow Power' Tarnishes Its Image (Op-Ed)

The more the Kremlin relies on 'shadow power', the more toxic it makes its own brand worldwide, writes columnist Mark Galeotti.

Museums Show Russia's Big Security Problem (Op-Ed)

The recent announcement that police would no longer provide security in Russia's state museums caused alarm, but also reveals a lot about Russia's broader problems with policing and security.

Russian Bear Should Be More Cuddly, Less Snarly (Op-Ed)

If Russia wants to win more friends, it should stop snarling and try to be more cuddly, suggests columnist Mark Galeotti.

Prioritizing Russia's Navy Is Pointless (Op-Ed)

Russia celebrated Navy Day on Sunday and Mark Galeotti analyzes the condition of the modern Russian navy and whether there is really anything to celebrate.

Can Russia Scrap the Draft?

Vladimir Putin has just signed a decree on creating a new military reserve, following an initiative mooted for years. In the process, he is all but admitting that the existing reserve structure is moribund.

Russia Is Not the Threat the West Thinks It Is (Op-Ed)

Russia is indeed a challenge to the West, just a rather different one than many experts suggest.

The West Is Too Paranoid About Russia's 'Infowar' (Op-Ed)

People in the West are willing to doubt the mainstream not because RT exhorts them to "question more," but because they already believe their media lies to them, writes columnist Mark Galeotti.

NATO and Russia Are Playing a Risky Game (Op-Ed)

The leaderships of both NATO and Russia enjoy the macho posturing involved in the current "phony war," but this is far more counter-productive than they might think, writes columnist Mark Galeotti.

The West Needs More Russophiles (Op-Ed)

The West needs more unsentimental Russophiles, and this would be good for Russia too, writes columnist Mark Galeotti.

An Unusual Friendship: Bikers and the Kremlin (Op-Ed)

The Kremlin uses counterculture groups like the Night Wolves motorcycle club as weapons against other, less amenable counterculture groups, writes columnist Mark Galeotti.

Moscow Is Playing Second Fiddle to Beijing

Cooperation between Russia and China is growing but Putin must remember that Russia needs China far more than China needs Russia, writes columnist Mark Galeotti.

Snubbing Russia's Victory Day Achieves Nothing

The boycott of Russia's 70th Victory Day by many Western leaders is a pointless snub that will only anger ordinary Russians, writes columnist Mark Galeotti.

Russia Is Flexible When It Comes to Justice

Russia's Investigative Committee is investigating an increasing number of cases outside Russia's borders, but the Kremlin might regret this in the future, writes columnist Mark Galeotti.

Could Kadyrov Replace Putin?

Despite speculation about Kadyrov as Putin's possible successor, he has few friends in Moscow and little understanding of how the Russian political system works, writes columnist Mark Galeotti.

Was Nemtsov Murder 'a Job for a Chechen'?

The arrest of several Chechens for the murder of Boris Nemtsov is predictable, but raises troubling questions for Russians and the Russian leadership, writes columnist Mark Galeotti.

Bring Back the Old Putin!

Western leaders may long for a new leader in the Kremlin, but their perfect candidate would be Putin as he was in 2000, writes columnist Mark Galeotti.

West Should Think Hard Before Arming Ukraine

As pressure to arm Ukraine grows in the U.S., it seems like nobody is thinking about what the consequences of such a decision might be, writes columnist Mark Galeotti.

The Rise of the Russian Mafia Myth

The growing interest in the 'Russian mafia' in the West reveals Western prejudice and a tendency to think the worst about Russia, writes columnist Mark Galeotti.

Caucasus Terror Hype Benefits Kadyrov, FSB

Despite the threats made to disrupt the Sochi Games, there were not any serious attempts.

Islamic State Poses No Threat to Russia, Yet

Recent defections from the Caucasus Emirate to the Islamic State shows that Russia's domestic terror threat may be subsiding, at least for now, writes columnist Mark Galeotti.