Questions tagged [russian-federation]

For questions about or involving the Russian Federation, successor of the Soviet Union. Located in Eurasia, Russia is the largest country by land mass, and it operates as a semi-presidential republic.

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Why are states purportedly performing assassinations with chemical and radioactive weapons?

Purportedly the Russian state assassinated Alexander Litvinenko by poisoning with him with: radioactive polonium-210, believed to have been administered in a cup of tea Alexander Litvinenko: ...
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"Putin enters a bar and proclaims, 'Next round's on the house!'" What's the point of this popular Russian joke?

I'm a student learning the Russian language, and I visit a popular Russian jokes website from time to time. There's a monthly rating list of new jokes on that website, and last month the top joke on ...
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97 votes
3 answers
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What can an independent election observer in Russia do if they notice irregularities?

In the recent Russian presidential elections on March 18, 2018, foreign reporters and election observers noticed irregularities, incidents of election fraud and general violations in the voting ...
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94 votes
12 answers
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Why does the US keep announcing what they think Russia is going to do in Ukraine?

There must be some motive here that I can't understand. For one I can easily think of reasons why the US wouldn't want to make public the things that they know, if not for any other reason than to ...
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78 votes
10 answers
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What specifically did Michael Flynn do wrong?

These are the three things which I understand about the situation: He potentially discussed sanctions with a Russian ambassador He misrepresented or lied about his conversations with the Russian ...
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71 votes
6 answers
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Why was President Trump heavily criticized for congratulating Putin on winning the election?

According to The Guardian, President Trump was subject to criticism over his decision to congratulate President Putin on winning Russian elections in 2018: Donald Trump defended himself against ...
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67 votes
11 answers
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Why don't the other countries of Europe maintain as massive a military as Russia does?

The countries that are in my inquiry list are: SN Country Population GDP DefExp 0 Russia 143,439,832 1,267,750 66.4 bn 1 Germany 80,682,351 3,494,900 39.4 bn 2 UK 65,111,143 2,649,890 55.5 bn 3 ...
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66 votes
5 answers
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Why shouldn't BBC have to register as a foreign agent?

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is, as far as I know, a fully government-subsidized British TV channel. Does that not make it an arm of the British government? While some may point to its ...
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62 votes
8 answers
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How did Russia retain the UNSC veto power of the Soviet Union?

I am not sure what the criteria are to be a permanent member of the UN Security Council, but I do wonder how did Russia manage to keep its veto power after the dissolution of the Soviet Union? I ...
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61 votes
3 answers
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What does it mean for Russia to put its nuclear deterrence forces on ‘high alert’?

As can be read in various sources, for example The Guardian, Russia has put its ‘nuclear deterrence forces’ on high alert. What does that even mean? Isn’t the point of Mutually Assured Destruction (...
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58 votes
2 answers
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Why is it a problem for Trump Jr to have met with Russians?

My understanding is that Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer intending to get information damaging to Hillary Clinton from said lawyer. Campaigning politicians always gather damaging information about ...
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56 votes
7 answers
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Why is the USA able to damage the Russian economy by imposing sanctions but Russia can't do the same?

Why is the USA able to damage the Russian economy by imposing sanctions but Russia can't do the same? For example see U.S. tightens sanctions on Russia over Crimea, New US sanctions on Russia inflame ...
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55 votes
5 answers
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Why didn't Western countries boycott the 2018 World Cup?

According to this article Russian government believes that 2018 World Cup will help Russian economy on the medium term: a survey by the Russian government last week. It said the World Cup's boost ...
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Why would Putin even bother barring Navalny from participating?

The BBC describes Navalny as Putin's main opposition rival (example article), despite the fact that he has rarely scored over 2% in opinion polls (at least two other opposition candidates score ≥6%). ...
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53 votes
6 answers
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Why has Israel not expelled Russian diplomats in response to the Skripal poisoning?

The US and more than 20 other countries have expelled Russian diplomats in response to the poisoning of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal. As of this writing, Israel has not expelled any Russian ...
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53 votes
4 answers
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What does Putin/Russia gain from only accepting payment for gas in Rubles?

Yesterday, Vladimir Putin announced that "unfriendly" countries would need to pay for Russian gas in Rubles in the near future. The news came with speculation that this is a move to prop up ...
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52 votes
10 answers
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Why and since when did Russia stop integrating itself into the Western community?

After the downfall of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation was on its way to integrating itself into the Western community politically, economically and socially (by Western World I mean the so-...
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52 votes
5 answers
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Why do so many Russians approve of Joseph Stalin's regime?

I read polls suggesting that 70% of Russians today support Joseph Stalin's actions when he was in charge of the Soviet Union as its Premier. Why is his approval rating so high in Russia despite of all ...
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49 votes
3 answers
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What would Ukraine gain by joining the European Union rapidly?

President Zelensky of Ukraine urged the European Union today to grant his country immediate accession to the EU bloc. Would joining the EU bloc rapidly allow the European Union members to help more ...
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49 votes
5 answers
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What would the Kremlin stand to gain from killing the ex-spy Sergey Skripal?

What would the Kremlin stand to gain from assassinating the ex-spy Sergey Skripal, now critically ill after being poisoned on March 4th 2018 with a nerve agent?
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47 votes
7 answers
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What would Russia have to gain from interfering with the US presidential election?

There were quite a few allegations that Russia interfered, or at least tried to interfere, with the 2016 US presidential election, and new allegations have started to appear that similar interference ...
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47 votes
9 answers
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Why do EU sanctions against Russia stop short of a total trade ban?

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine now officially around the corner (or even underway), I am surprised how minimalistic and non-committal the proposed sanctions are. Even the US "mother of all ...
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What do independent reputable onlookers think of figures quoted by Ukraine for Russian losses?

Ukraine independent media seems to quote figures from its General Staff, that sound large, and it's hard to get a sense if they are likely to be accurate, or inflated. Are these figures seen as ...
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45 votes
3 answers
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Why did Russia ban Telegram but not WhatsApp, given the latter uses end-to-end encryption by default?

Quite recently (in April), Telegram has been banned/blocked in Russia for refusal to give up encryption keys to Russian agencies. Telegram's defence was built around the fact that they don't even have ...
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44 votes
10 answers
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How is Russia able to maintain the 2nd most powerful military in the world at a fraction of the cost of the US & China?

The 2020 Military Strength Rankings list Russia's military as #2 in strength: United States Russia China However, their defense budget rankings show that Russia's only #8 in spending: United States ...
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42 votes
12 answers
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Exit strategies for the Ukraine war

For weeks now the war has appeared to drag on with protracted fighting and a slow-moving front. Russia's attempt of taking Kyiv and replacing the government has failed, and given the Ukrainian resolve ...
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42 votes
1 answer
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Does Putin need the support of the Russian oligarchs in order to stay in power?

Does Putin need the support of the Russian oligarchs in order to stay in power? What power does the Russian oligarchs have over Putin? I heard a lot of the oligarchs have ties to Putin and a lot of ...
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41 votes
4 answers
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Why does Germany ban RT but not France24 or Voice of America?

Germany has banned RT, apparently because it is considered to be not independent of the Russian government (Die Medienkommission sieht die Staatsferne nicht gewährleistet), which funds it directly. ...
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40 votes
7 answers
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Why would Putin or Russia benefit from a weak EU or weak EU countries?

Various (western) commentators and politicians state that "the only one happy with/benefiting from [insert bad scenario here] is Putin/Russia" (I'm not sure which one(s) of the two they mean). ...
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40 votes
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Why might the Russians want Trump to win? [duplicate]

The American CIA reportedly believes that the Russians, in the form of the Russian government and possibly private actors, went to signficant length (psych / cyber ops) to help Trump win. Having said ...
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39 votes
2 answers
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Why did Russia have their foreign currency reserves in overseas banks?

According to this BBC article, Russia anticipated that their invasion of Ukraine would lead to sanctions and one of their ways to sanction proof their economy was to build a large foreign currency ...
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39 votes
3 answers
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What is Russia getting in exchange for their gas and oil now that they've been cut off from the Western financial system?

As far as I can tell both of these things are currently true: Russia has been cut off from a large chunk of the Western financial system The EU is still buying Russian gas and oil But how does this ...
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38 votes
6 answers
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Why has Russia declined OPEC's request to cut oil production?

On Friday, Russia declined to participate in a plan devised by the Saudi-led Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut oil production levels, in order to keep oil prices steady ...
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38 votes
1 answer
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What reasoning did Eritrea provide for its vote on the UN resolution against the war in Ukraine?

In the recent UN General Assembly resolution denouncing Russia's actions in Ukraine, only four countries were opposed, besides Russia itself. We have Belarus, a close ally of Russia that is involved ...
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37 votes
8 answers
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Why does the US treat the problems of Russia and Ukraine as its own?

In this question, I do not raise questions about the conflicts themselves. The question is different - how is the fact that the United States recognizes these problems as its own justified from a ...
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37 votes
6 answers
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Why doesn't Russia join NATO and what would happen if it tried?

So, I'm likely demonstrating my own stupidity here, but I'm wondering what I'm missing. Russia claims that it's afraid of NATO and feels like it might attack it. So... what if it joined NATO? I know, ...
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36 votes
13 answers
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What makes the war in Ukraine exceptional?

I would like to state beforehand that the war Ukraine is tragic and I hope the conflict will end soon (preferably resolved via negotiations). However it is hard to ignore that it receives a lot more ...
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36 votes
6 answers
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Why doesn't Russia join the European Union?

Why doesn't Russia join the EU? If they become one of them, then they would not be enemies anymore, right? They have already joined the G-20. Then, they could also join EU, right?
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35 votes
4 answers
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What is the meaning of the Z and V symbols being sported by the Russians in the current Russo-Ukrainian conflict?

There are these two symbols (Z & V) which are considered as Russian prowar symbols which are appearing on Russian Army vehicles and being worn by Russians supporting the war. There is some ...
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34 votes
6 answers
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Why are Western politicians even bothering to react to Russian claims?

Some examples of claims from Russia which Western politicians recently had to respond to: Ukraine was making nuclear weapons in Chernobyl Ukraine had biolabs working on new biological weapons Ukraine'...
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34 votes
6 answers
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How would Ukraine joining NATO affect Russian security?

The current Russian troop buildup close to Ukraine and the exercise in Belarus are partially justified by Russian security interests which, in particular, mean that Russia very much opposes NATO ...
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  • 475
34 votes
2 answers
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What, if any, groups of pro-Russian separatists are in East-European countries?

Russian separatists in Ukraine have had an important role in "inviting" Russia to invade Ukraine. In order to predict future steps that may be taken by Russia, it may be useful to know: are ...
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33 votes
11 answers
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Why doesn't Russia build more missile defense systems instead of complaining about NATO's systems?

This answer argues about Russia's concerns over missile defense systems due to undermining of Mutual Assured Destruction: The basis for the modern stalemate is called Mutual Assured Destruction. ...
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33 votes
4 answers
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Why did Putin call Ukrainian officials “drug addicts”?

Among other things, Putin has called the Ukrainian leadership a “band of drug addicts” (source) shortly before invading Ukraine in 2022. This seems like a strange accusation. He could have simply ...
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33 votes
6 answers
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Has Russia explained why Ukraine can trust them, given the Budapest memorandum?

It doesn't seem in dispute that Russia has breached the Budapest Memorandum, which among others said that Russia will "Respect Belarusian, Kazakh and Ukrainian independence and sovereignty in the ...
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33 votes
4 answers
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What is strategic about Chernobyl?

On the very first day (well, arguably) of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russian forces took control of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and ghost city, as well as Pripyat. I fail to see how is ...
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32 votes
12 answers
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Are there any strategic reasons that Russian authorities would allow indiscriminate killing of Ukrainian civilians?

First of all, I believe that killing unarmed civilians is evil. But I know that this is not a problem for many leaders, including Putin, so I'm taking morality out of the equation in my question. I ...
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32 votes
2 answers
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Did Russia once want to join NATO? Does former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov refer to a serious interest in the past?

In CNN's April 15, 2022 He was once Putin's Prime Minister. Now he supports Ukraine after 05:30 former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov says (my transcription, no closed captions available): I'...
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32 votes
2 answers
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What is meant by "the Russian Government Resigned"?

There have been a number of headlines about the Russian government resignation. This American ABC News article is one example. The reason I ask is that, I don't know the mechanism of the Russian ...
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32 votes
2 answers
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Have the US and Russia (or USSR before it) co-vetoed a UN resolution before today?

In an interesting development today regarding the latest Turkish operation in northern Syria. The U.N. Security Council failed to agree on a statement on Turkey's counterterrorism operation in Syria ...
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