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Regional Stability CSS Blog

Russia’s Great-Power Moment in Africa

Image courtesy of REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Ethiopian counterpart Demeke Mekonnen arrive at Russian Embassy for tree planting ceremony during Lavrov’s visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, July 27, 2022.

Not even a decade ago, Africa was the last foreign policy priority of Russia. Now, in the face of growing isolation, Russia is once again bidding for the continent’s support. The West looks at such efforts with concern, which could lead to a growing great-power competition and securitization on the continent.

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Terrorism CSS Blog

Regions with Local IS Branches and Affiliates

This week’s featured graphic shows the core IS’ state as of March 2022 as well as its affiliates in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. For a deeper assessment of the danger the IS still poses, read Fabien Merz’ CSS Analysis in Security Policy here.

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CSS Blog

Quiet Compliance: China’s Dilemma Over Western Sanctions Against Russia

Image courtesy of The Russian Presidential Press and Information Office, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

The quiet compliance of Chinese companies with Western sanctions against Russia highlights a critical dilemma for Beijing: China’s continued dependence on the United States and Europe in strategic sectors of the economy restrains its political objectives vis-à-vis Russia. This forced trade-off will further strengthen Beijing’s resolve to reduce critical economic dependencies and to bolster its resilience against potential future sanctions.

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CSS Blog

Why India Remains Neutral over Ukraine

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin at the 21st India–Russia Annual summit in New Delhi on December 6, 2021. (This image is a copyrighted work of the Government of India, licensed under the Government Open Data License – India (GODL) It was published by Press Information Bureau on behalf of Prime Minister’s Office, Government of India under the ID 105749.)

As Russia’s war rages in Ukraine, India has so far refrained from publicly criticizing Russia. India is unlikely to change course. This mirrors its national interests. India’s worst-case scenario would be an isolated Russia.

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Cyber CSS Blog

“Sincere about Ulterior Motives”: The Invasion of Ukraine and Russia’s Shapeshifting Relationship with Ransomware Groups

 

A day after Russia’s President Putin ordered the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Conti, a hacker group suspected to be largely based in Russia and known for financially extorting Western companies, published a message in support of Moscow. The hackers threatened to use “all possible resources to strike back at the critical infrastructures” in retaliation for any “cyberattack or any war activities against Russia”. Soon after, the group sought to dial back this message, claiming not to side with any government.