Resurgent Russia

February 7, 2014 • Volume 24, Issue 6
Is Moscow trying to recreate the Soviet bloc?
By Brian Beary


Russian President Vladimir Putin (AFP/Getty Images/Alexi Nikolsky)
Russian President Vladimir Putin faces criticism for Russia's human rights record and is seen by many experts as browbeating neighboring countries into forging closer economic ties. His attempts to influence former Soviet republics, notably Ukraine, have fed speculation he seeks to reconstitute the former Soviet Union. Meanwhile, Putin and the United States are cooperating on Syria's civil war and other global security issues. (AFP/Getty Images/Alexi Nikolsky)

Russia is growing more assertive on the global stage, having regained its economic strength following the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union. It has been most active in its own region, where a tug-of-war has broken out between Russia and the European Union (EU) as each tries to draw the nations of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus into their orbit. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych recently reneged on an EU trade deal, reportedly after pressure from Moscow, touching off violent pro-EU protests throughout Ukraine. Russia's efforts to maintain influence over the former Soviet republics have fed speculation that President Vladimir Putin wants to reconstitute the Soviet bloc, which Russian officials deny. Meanwhile, Russia's relations with the United States have deteriorated, although the two countries are cooperating on hot-button issues such as Iran's nuclear program and Syria's civil war. Russia's relations with China are relatively good, however, even though the Chinese have eclipsed Russia economically in recent years.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Russia and the Soviet Union
Jan. 13, 2017  U.S.-Russia Relations
Feb. 07, 2014  Resurgent Russia
Feb. 21, 2012  Russia in Turmoil
Jun. 06, 2008  Dealing With the "New" Russia
Jun. 17, 2005  Russia and the Former Soviet Republics
Jan. 18, 2002  U.S.-Russia Relations
May 22, 1998  U.S.-Russian Relations
May 03, 1996  Russia's Political Future
Mar. 12, 1993  Aid to Russia
Jul. 12, 1991  Soviet Republics Rebel
Nov. 03, 1989  Balkanization of Eastern Europe (Again)
Feb. 14, 1986  Gorbachev's Challenge
Jan. 07, 1983  Russia Under Andropov
Feb. 19, 1982  Soviet Economic Dilemmas
Feb. 06, 1981  Russia After Détente
Feb. 04, 1977  Sino-Soviet Relations
Feb. 20, 1976  Soviet Options: 25th Party Congress
Jun. 28, 1972  Dissent in Russia
Mar. 17, 1971  Russia's Restive Consumers
Dec. 03, 1969  Kremlin Succession
Oct. 18, 1968  Czechoslovakia and European Security
Apr. 22, 1964  Changing Status of Soviet Satellites
Jan. 29, 1964  Soviet Agriculture: Record of Stagnation
Aug. 08, 1962  Jews in Soviet Russia
Jul. 16, 1958  Tito and the Soviets
Jun. 26, 1957  Soviet Economic Challenge
Aug. 29, 1956  Restive Satellites
Mar. 11, 1955  Soviet Economic Strains
Nov. 04, 1953  Russia's European Satellites
Aug. 03, 1951  Soviet Peace Offensives
Jul. 01, 1948  Russia's War Potential
Jun. 21, 1943  Evolution of Soviet Policies
Mar. 01, 1943  Soviet Russia and the Border States
Aug. 15, 1930  The Soviet Five-Year Plan
Aug. 26, 1929  The League and the Sino-Russian Dispute
Feb. 04, 1924  The Problem of Russian Recognition
Alliances and Security Agreements
Cold War
Diplomacy and Diplomats
Global Issues
International Economic Development
Regional Political Affairs: Russia and the Former Soviet Union
Sports and Recreation
U.S. at War: Cold War