Center for Russia and Eurasia
RAND pioneered research on the former Soviet Union. Today, the RAND Center for Russia and Eurasia (CRE) analyzes the foreign, defense, and economic policies of Russia and the Newly Independent States and assists political and economic change within them. Researchers examine underlying social and demographic trends in the region and the implications of developments within the former Soviet Union for international security.
A key facet of this collaboration is the RAND Business Leaders Forum, a membership organization that facilitates in-depth discussions among leading corporate executives from Russia, the United States, and Europe of strategic opportunities and challenges in the development of economic and business relations.
CRE in the NewsMore »
Ultimately, the door to improved relations, following the withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine, should be left open. No iron curtain should be allowed to settle over Europe.
Russia's increasingly brazen violation of Ukraine's territorial integrity threatens to undermine the widely accepted principle that international borders are not subject to further revision, a principle that has contributed to a global decline in interstate war in recent decades.
The situation in Ukraine evokes eerie echoes of the Cold War, not to mention czarist preoccupation with what has come to be called Russia's “near abroad.” The situation is dangerous, and in that circumstance, wishes are not policy. Neither is foot-stomping.
The Ukrainian crisis has taken a dangerous and deadly turn for the worse with violent clashes between protesters and Interior Ministry troops. The West should move quickly on an aid package conditioned on economic and political reform.
Russia seems to be taking prudent steps to make the games the safe and secure display of athleticism and international good fellowship they once were. The outcome hinges on a pair of unknowns: the secret counterterrorism strategies Russian authorities have undertaken and the terrorists' capacity for creativity and surprise.
Given Russian capabilities, it would be surprising if a terrorist group was able to mount a successful large-scale, coordinated attack during the Games. For spectators and athletes alike, the more likely threat will be from individuals, acting alone outside of arenas and other official venues.
From the Black September attacks on Israeli athletes in 1972, to the post 9/11 games in Salt Lake City, to the 2012 games in London, security has been a concern at all modern Olympics. Recent terrorist attacks in Russia, though, present particular concern as the world's athletes descend on Sochi.