R.Politik CEO and founder, Tatiana Stanovaya, is regularly quoted by major Russian and international media outlets. She is available for commentary in Russian and English.

The article for Carnegie Moscow Center

Russia’s New Government Is Its Least Political Yet

January 23, 2020

By Tatiana Stanovaya

Russia’s new cabinet ministers are young, efficient, nonconfrontational, adaptable, and don’t poke their noses into politics. They live in the digital world that is so difficult for the country’s aging leadership to understand. With time, the victim of this technocratic dominance may be that very same leadership.

The Russian government has never been as nonpolitical as it is today. The new cabinet appointed by President Vladimir Putin this week is purely technocratic. It seems that eighteen months after he began his fourth presidential term, Putin has finally put in place the government he will need to help him navigate the handover of power to a successor.

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The article for Carnegie Moscow Center

United Russia’s Rehabilitation Means a Tightening of the Screws

November 27, 2019

By Tatiana Stanovaya

The ruling party will clearly retain its central place under any future scenario for the transition of power, and anyone who hurries to jump on the bandwagon today will likely come out on top.

The fate of the United Russia ruling party has long been under discussion, following a slump in its ratings and electoral defeats for its candidates: will it be replaced with some kind of new project, merged into a broader coalition, or put to the side completely? The party’s annual congress that took place in Moscow on November 23, therefore, was expected to shed light on the Kremlin’s plans for the party. After all, in many ways, the endurance of the regime itself depends on the strength of the party’s position.

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The Article for RIDDLE

Meet Russia’s “Saviour-in-Chief”

In recent years, Russia’s Minister of Defence Sergey Shoigu has virtually become part of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, alongside the president’s former colleagues from his days in the St Petersburg mayoralty and his fellow comrades at the KGB. By virtue of his deep involvement in the Russian president’s geopolitical designs, the head of Russia’s armed forces has become one of a select group which is in close and constant contact with the head of the state. This has even prompted speculation about whether Shoigu could become Putin’s anointed successor in future years; after all, he certainly occupies a significant role in the state’s decision making processes. But how close to the president is he really?

“Now more than ever, Putin is seriously considering the famed Tuvan as a potential president of Russia. And for the first time in at least 13 years, Shoigu is signalling that he consents to this ‘relocation;’ that he is ready for this game,” wrote the famous journalist Stanislav Kucher in Kommersant in November 2012, when Shoigu was appointed Russia’s Minster of Defence. Precisely seven years have passed since then: the country has changed, international affairs have changed significantly, and in this context Shoigu has “gone with the flow.” His department eventually came to play a crucial role in realising Putin’s grandiose geopolitical projects.

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Commentary for Carnegie Moscow Center

Post-Putin Uncertainty Means a Jittery Russian Elite and Brittle Regime

By Tatiana Stanovaya, November 1, 2019

Amid the uncertainty over what will happen when Putin steps down in 2024, everyone is striving to claim exclusive functions that could later be required by Putin during the implementation of his plan for the transition of power.

In some ways, it seems strange to talk of a political crisis: the Moscow protests have been stamped out and amounted to nothing, pro-regime candidates won in nearly all the regional elections, and political life in Russia appears to be returning to normal.

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The article for Foreign Policy

What the West Gets Wrong About Russia’s Intentions in Ukraine

Moscow never wanted an annexation—it just wanted a bargaining chip. Understanding that is the key to settling the conflict once and for all.

The Article for POLITICO

No, Putin Doesn’t Like Impeachment

There’s one thing the Kremlin wants even more than sowing chaos in the United States: Keeping Trump in the White House.

Russia is ready to pay a price to maintain the Trump buffer, including enduring further rounds of Western economic sanctions. The rest of the U.S. political class, both Democratic and Republican, represents a long-term strategic threat to Russia and its geopolitical interests. Thus, regardless of whatever headaches Trump may create for the Kremlin, he will always seem like the lesser evil. Not surprisingly, whatever happens to Trump, Putin publicly supports him. But now, there is more scrutiny than ever on Trump’s foreign policy conduct, and he will likely not be able to operate in secret.

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Commentary for Foreign Policy

Trump’s Next Envoy to Russia Has a Mountain to Climb

First John Sullivan must get through Congress, which wants to question him about Ukraine. Then he must deal with a hostile Moscow.

Dispatching such a senior ranking diplomat to the job sends a positive signal, some experts say. “The fact that Trump has chosen someone from such a high position to be ambassador is seen in Moscow as a welcome sign [that] the president is ready to invest more in bilateral relations and that there is political will going forward,” said Tatiana Stanovaya, the founder of the political consultancy R.Politik and a scholar at the Carnegie Moscow Center. “Often we hear that it doesn’t matter who is the ambassador, but I think for [the] Russian-American relationship, it is very important,” Stanovaya said. “The tone and behavior of the ambassador can have a big effect in shaping relations.” READ MORE
Commentary for El Pais

Ucrania abre la puerta a que haya elecciones en el Este controlado por los separatistas

Kiev, Moscú y los secesionistas prorrusos firman un plan con condiciones para la celebración de comicios que puede descongelar las negociaciones de paz

La analista Tatiana Stanovaya, de R.Politik, señala que el plan acordado todavía es muy abstracto. Y que no será fácil, además, que se cumpla el cronograma para la celebración de comicios. “Ucrania y Rusia persiguen dos objetivos distintos con este plan: para el Kremlin el fin último es que se produzcan elecciones en el Donbás; y lo más rápido posible para mantener su presencia allí indirectamente; estoy segura de que ganarían los prorrusos. También para tratar de que se le levanten las sanciones occidentales. Para Kiev, en cambio, el acuerdo es un principio para empezar a hablar de seguridad e influencia en la zona, para volver a sentarse a conversar”, dice la experta, investigadora también del centro Carnegie de Moscú. “Además, esa convocatoria de elecciones sería un verdadero reto para Zelenski no fácil de aceptar para la clase política ucrania”, sigue.
Commentary for The Washington Times

Putin smiles as Ukraine gets entangled in U.S. scandal, but sees no wrongdoing by Trump

Mr. Putin has other reasons to feel content with the unfolding political dramas in Kyiv and Washington, said Tatiana Stanovaya, head of the political analysis firm R.Politik and a specialist on the Kremlin. Not least of these is the downfall of Kurt Volker, the State Department’s special envoy for Ukraine, who has long been vilified by the Kremlin. “For the Kremlin, Volker was a thorn in the side,” said Ms. Stanovaya. “He seemed less like a moderator than a participant in the conflict on the side of Poroshenko.” “The European Union would be within its rights to take offense [at Mr. Zelensky’s words],” Denis Denisov, the head of the Moscow-based Institute for Peace Initiatives and Conflict Studies, told Russian media. “This can be compared to someone discussing relatives behind their backs. No one likes this, and it will almost certainly reflect on the personal dynamics between the leaders of the countries.” But Mr. Zelensky’s problems aren’t all good news for the Kremlin. Ms. Stanovaya said Mr. Putin will now be concerned that the transcripts of his conversations with Mr. Trump, a possible target for Democratic lawmakers in the upcoming impeachment inquiry, could also be published. Mr. Putin has held 11 phone calls with Mr. Trump since he entered the White House. The two leaders have met in person several times, often with only a translator present. The Kremlin insisted last week that Moscow would have to give its permission for the transcripts of the conversations to be released. “Putin feels psychological discomfort about the fact that one day his conversations [with Mr. Trump] could be published,” said Ms. Stanovaya. “If you are always thinking that everything you say could be made public, then you are limited in your opportunities to influence your counterpart.” READ MORE 
Commentary for Libération

Russie : le comédien Oustinov relâché

Par Veronika Dorman
Un nouveau rapport de force entre le pouvoir et la société semble en effet s’esquisser, mais le dernier rétropédalage n’est «ni un dégel, ni une libéralisation», tempère Tatiana Stanovaya, du think tank R.Politik. «C’est le signe qu’il n’y a pas, au sein du pouvoir, de vision unifiée sur la manière de gérer la situation avec les contestations et leur répression à Moscou, qu’il réagit, puis corrige ses décisions. Quant à la société, elle se mobilise de plus en plus parce qu’elle a évolué, mais aussi parce que les siloviki [organes de l’appareil policier et judiciaire, ndlr] se sont lâchés et dépassent les bornes», sans même plus prendre la peine de faire semblant de convoquer la loi, dans le cas des derniers procès à Moscou.

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