Articles by Vladimir Frolov



A Modest Deal: Vladimir Putin's New Détente (Op-Ed)

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in deconfliction mode with the West after a wild ride of two and a half years of military and diplomatic tensions.

Russia Looks On as Ukraine Hangs in the Balance (Op-Ed)

The horse-trading that accompanied the resignation of Ukrainian Prime Minister Yatsenyuk on April 10 may seem surprising to many post-Soviet leaders, unburdened by the need for political compromise.

The Spy Game: What Moscow Really Wants From Savchenko Exchange

Few should be surprised that the Kremlin has floated a proposal to exchange Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, recently sentenced to 22 years in prison, for several Russian nationals in U.S. custody.

Mission Incomplete: Syria Has Not Achieved Bipolar World for Russia

Perhaps the best way to describe the results of RussiaТs military intervention in Syria after President Vladimir PutinТs surprise announcement that he was winding it down after 167 days of intense air strikes would be to borrow a term from American football Ч Уincomplete.Ф

Russia Loses Its Trump Card

Republican voters in Iowa may have thwarted Russian President Vladimir Putin's wish to see the "doubtlessly talented" Donald Trump as the next U.S. president.

Bogged Down in the Middle East, Russia Loses Honest Broker Image

Saudi Arabia cut off diplomatic and trade ties with Iran in retaliation for the provocative ransacking of the Saudi Embassy in Tehran by what appeared to be a government-directed mob.

Putin Seeks Entente Cordiale With the West (Op-Ed)

Russian President Vladimir Putin is not the type of leader who wastes a geopolitical opportunity. This is his way of making foreign policy.

Putin Is Angling for a Quick Exit From Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin is pivoting to diplomacy on Syria to capitalize on the perception of Russia's military success after four weeks of air strikes.

Syria Is Further Souring U.S.-Russian Relations

The U.S.-Russia relationship has been in the doldrums since early 2014 over Russia's shenanigans in Ukraine, but Moscow's dive into Syria's civil war is really pushing it off the cliff.

Putin Chooses Simple, Dangerous Plan in Syria

President Vladimir Putin's Syrian gambit has catapulted the Russian leader to the center of international diplomacy, winning him a much-coveted bilateral meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama.

Kremlin Must Tread Very Carefully in Syria

President Vladimir Putin is continuing to provide Syria with military equipment and military experts.

A Desperate Kremlin Misreads Washington

The sense of desperation was conveyed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's awkward statement last week that Moscow would view positively a U.S. request for a bilateral Obama-Putin meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Kremlin Is Caught in A Trap With Minsk-2

The Kremlin is watching the implementation of the Minsk-2 agreement nervously. The agreement is failing to deliver on Russia's policy goals in Ukraine.

Putin Must Focus on Thinking Long-Term

With President Vladimir Putin engrossed in matters of history, religion, geopolitics and war, a sense of strategic drift is unnerving the nation's elites. With all the patriotic consolidation around Putin, there is no effort to define a long-term vision for the country.

Why Obama and Putin Are Tied to Each Other

The Kremlin will milk for what it is worth U.S. President Barack Obama's "encouragement" with Moscow's "cooperative compartmentalization" on the Iran nuclear deal and Putin's interest in joint efforts to combat ISIS in Syria.

Will Moscow Push for Settlement in Ukraine?

Moscow is sending conflicting signals about its plans for Ukraine. For once, there are signs it is seeking an honorable exit and a comprehensive settlement.

Was Kudrin Offering Putin a Graceful Exit?

Is former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin offering President Vladimir Putin a graceful exit? This may be the logic behind Kudrin's call last week for an early presidential election to secure a strong mandate for sweeping economic reform.

Will the Transdnestr Crisis Force Russia Into War?

The West should help defuse a potentially explosive situation over Russia's military access to the self-proclaimed republic of Transdnestr which is shaping up as another Russia-Ukraine flash point.

Kiev Can Save Donbass By Ditching Crimea

The West has now engaged Moscow in a delicate diplomatic dance to reach a lasting political settlement in Ukraine.

The Kremlin Has No Plans for the Future

With Russia facing a lost decade of economic stagnation that would reduce its share of global gross domestic product to less than 2 percent, President Vladimir Putin is celebrating his 15 years as leader by being built into a monument.

Has Putin Played All His Cards in Ukraine?

The Kremlin is desperately seeking Western help, even calling upon U.S. President Obama to join the Normandy format, to pressure Kiev to reintegrate the separatist republics into a federalized Ukraine.

U.S. Must Step Up and Help Out on Ukraine

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko told Bloomberg recently that without high-profile American involvement there could be no stability in Ukraine. He has a point.

What Will the Kremlin Do Next in Ukraine?

With the Minsk II agreement stalled and EU sanctions tied to its full implementation, it is getting increasingly hard to see Moscow's endgame in Ukraine.

Kadyrov, FSB at War After Nemtsov Death

The Chechen connection to the assassination of Russia's opposition leader Boris Nemtsov is pushing Russia's spooks into political battles they would rather avoid.

Putin Has Unleashed Dangerous Extremism

The brazen assassination of Boris Nemtsov, a central figure in Russia's opposition movement, should give Russian President Vladimir Putin pause before embracing Syrian President Bashar Assad's strategy for political survival Ч empower the extremists while demonizing and brutalizing the moderates.

Minsk Deal Is Playing Into Moscow's Hands

The best that could be said about the Minsk II agreement is that it allows Russia to pursue its strategic objectives in Ukraine through means other than war.

It's Impossible to Find Good Spies These Days

While Russia's counter-intelligence agents were busy arresting a mother of seven from Vyazma and having her indicted for high treason for calling the Ukrainian embassy with a rumor of a Russian military deployment to Ukraine, they might have missed a more important fish. In New York.

Putin Is in No Hurry to Resolve Ukraine Crisis

As European Union foreign ministers meet this week to discuss possible ways forward with Russia to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, they may have to contemplate the unthinkable: Moscow may not be interested in a settlement, dragging the conflict on for years.

Russia's Foreign Policy Shoots Itself in the Foot

2014 has been a terrible year for Russia's foreign policy. For the first time in 15 years the country's international position has been significantly weakened and the external conditions for its socio-economic development, a key performance indicator, have turned negative under sweeping Western sanctions.


Can Putinism Have a Future Without Putin?

Deputy Kremlin chief of staff Vyacheslav Volodin announced last week the advent of "Putin's era" Ч a period of unshaken political stability lasting decades with the ruling elite continuously in power.