Russia Geopolitical Watch – from 18 March to 24 March 2023

Russia Watch Team:  Arnaud Huss, Nicolas Girard, Corentin DelonErwann Leyral, Emeline Palvany, led by Ilinka Léger and Enzo Padovan.

The files we followSanctions against Russia ; Russian economy; Russian domestic politics; Defence and military in Russia; Russian diplomacy in Africa and Asia; Soft power and Russian influence; Russia and multilateralism.

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Soft power and Russian influence – Corentin Delon

On March 22, the nomination of Maria Pevchikh to the position of president of the board of directors of the anti-corruption foundation of the political opponent Alexeï Navalny was made official. The Russian-British investigative journalist takes over from Leonid Volkov who resigned on March 9 following a controversy. The main collaborator of Alexeï Navalny had indeed used his function within the foundation to ask the European Union to lift the sanctions of the billionaire Mikhaïl Fridman. Leonid Volkov had initially denied the authenticity of the letter before calling his action a “big political mistake” on his telegram channel. Involved since 2011 in the Navalny Foundation, Maria Pevchikh declared via Twitter that she would continue to work to “publicly and definitively advance [the] anti-corruption agenda” while continuing to work in the FBK investigation unit. The new president also stated that “the FBK has never been and will never be a tool in the hands of Putin’s elites, there must be no double standards here” and acknowledged Leonid Volkov’s resignation as an “honest” decision.

Defence and military in Russia – Nicolas Girard

On 22nd March, Russian Defence Ministry Sergey Shoigu announced the strengthening of Moscow’s air defence systems during a meeting of the Russian Federation Defense Ministry Council. The Minister explained that it was necessary to modernise anti missile systems in the capital city because of the importance of aerospace

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Central Asia Geopolitical Watch – from 18 March to 24 March 2023