In the MEDIA

R.Politik CEO and founder, Tatiana Stanovaya, is regularly quoted by major Russian and international media outlets. She is available for commentary in Russian and English.

All articles published by Tatiana Stanovaya and R.Politik’s other editors and analysts will be included here. 

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Comment for The Washington Post

Kazakh Protests Will Only Tighten Putin’s Grip

By Clara Ferreira Marques | Bloomberg
January 7, 2022 at 9:11 a.m. EST

The crisis is also an unexpected headache for Putin and an unwelcome distraction. Ukraine and concerns on Russia’s western border remain a priority, and the focus of key talks next week with the U.S., NATO and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. That said, Russia’s leader is likely to take away clear lessons from Kazakhstan’s turmoil.

First, it’s a demonstration of the perils of power sharing. Nazarbayev, who ran Kazakhstan as a fiefdom for nearly three decades ceded the presidency in 2019, but continued to set the political direction. It was supposedly an innovative gambit — a controlled exit in a region where autocrats don’t retire — and was posited as one of several potential paths for Putin. It’s proved a dramatic miscalculation.

Tatiana Stanovaya of R.Politik, a political analysis firm, points out Nazarbayev’s mistake in Putin’s eyes was to weaken the presidency. The subsequent debacle will encourage Putin to bolster the structures that support Russia’s own leadership, the security services and the state in general, allowing no alternative centers of power. Whoever runs Russia will control that machine — stability is paramount. After a year that saw the crushing of opposition in every sphere in Russia, it will mean only a more repressive and conservative system.

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Comment for the Wall Street Journal

Energy Dependence Ties Europe’s Hands in U.S.-Russia Crisis

Europe gets almost one-third of its natural gas from Russia, limiting its ability to penalize Moscow

Russia has been a major energy supplier to Europe since Soviet times, taking care not to wield oil and gas as a weapon. Back then, Moscow largely saw energy, a key export, as a business proposition and a way to develop commercial and pragmatic relations with Europe. That has changed over the years as relations with the West soured. Russia twice curtailed gas deliveries to Europe during the cold winters of 2006 and 2009 over price disputes with Ukraine.

“Russia in the 2000s decided to use gas as a geopolitical weapon,” Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of R.Politik, an independent political-analysis firm. “Moscow failed to convince the world that it was a pure business argument and damaged its reputation as a stable supplier.”

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The Real Russia. Today.

The drugs bought with Russia’s new tax on the rich

Source: Meduza

👮 (Opinion) Stanovaya says Putin has actually built a ‘de-personified regime,’ not a personal dictatorship

Challenging the popular wisdom about power today in Russia, political analyst Tatiana Stanovaya argues that Putin’s personal role in managing the state has eroded over the years, erasing his “manual control” leadership and even his centrality to the system as the essential arbiter. Obsessed with security, the president has transformed the state “into one giant FSB,” marginalizing himself in the process.

Thanks to Putin’s “conscious delegation” of his power, Russia’s justice system is now free to defy his stated policy preferences, even when it concerns sensitive issues like scholar Sergey Zuyev’s imprisonment or the continued persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Putin has pursued exactly this relationship because he wants a system that can function “outside politics,” says Stanovaya.

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Comment for Bloomberg

Putin Call With Biden Is Prelude to Security Talks, Kremlin Says

  • Putin saw need for call before Jan. negotiations, Peskov said
  • Planned call is second this month between the two leaders
Updated on

Russia is in a hurry to gain tangible results from the talks, according to Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of political consultancy R.Politik. For Putin, “everything depends on Biden” as the leader who will take Russian concerns seriously and the call aims to press the U.S. president “to give impetus to the negotiations,” she said.

The two sides are committed to entering 2022 with a rush of high-stakes diplomacy after Russia published draft security treaties following the first leaders’ call this month. U.S. and Russian negotiators will meet Jan. 10, two days before a NATO-Russia Council meeting. Top advisers to Putin and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also plan to meet before the NATO-Russia talks.

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Comment for The Financial Times

Russian forces arrive in Kazakhstan after president seeks help

Dozens reported killed in clashes between protesters and police while oil markets are unnerved by supply fears


The active joint action by the CSTO, which has a collective security provision, is the first since it was founded two decades ago. It was unclear how many troops might arrive in total. Armenia is dispatching 70 soldiers, while Tajikistan is sending 200, according to RIA news agency. They may remain in the country for about a month, Interfax reported, quoting the deputy head of the Russian parliament’s defence committee. Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of political consultancy R Politik, said the maximum participation from CSTO allies would reach no more than 3,500 troops. As for Russia, it had “decided to take part symbolically but [its forces] will be there primarily to protect infrastructure”, she added. “Russia does not want to get involved . . . It does not want to do the local government’s dirty work.”

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Comment for The Financial Times

US-Russia summit on European security sounds cold war echo

Vladimir Putin goes into Geneva talks with strong hand as west struggles to present united front


The negotiations chime with two fundamental objectives that have defined Putin’s two-decade rule: a seat at the geopolitical top table opposite the US, and the prospect of halting Nato’s eastern expansion and shrinking the American military presence in Europe. “The very fact . . . that security guarantees are being discussed at all . . . is a huge breakthrough” for Russia, said Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of R. Politik, a Kremlin-focused political consultancy. “It’s never happened before.”
R. Politik’s Stanovaya said Putin would only be satisfied with concrete progress in Geneva, given the extent to which Nato has already expanded into the former Soviet eastern Europe. “In reality, no one knows what will be enough . . . because it’s clear Putin won’t get everything on his list,” she added. “But on this first stage . . . some sort of concession on the part of the US will be necessary.”

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Comment for RADIO-CANADA

Russie-OTAN : sans compromis, la guerre?

Après une semaine d’intenses discussions, Moscou prévient l’Occident que sa patience a des limites.

Le gouvernement russe considère que le pays a été traité injustement et qu’il a trop cédé après la chute de l’Union des républiques socialistes soviétiques, explique la politologue Tatiana Stanovaya.

Il y a un consensus au sein du gouvernement selon lequel c’est au tour de l’Ouest de faire des concessions, et disons que la Russie a de bonnes raisons d’être enragée, dit Mme Stanovaya. Ces doléances ne sont pas nouvelles, mais cette conviction d’avoir été trompée alimente la méfiance en Russie, affirme-t-elle.

« La Russie se rend à l’évidence : peu importe l’état du conflit dans l’est de l’Ukraine, Kiev se rapproche constamment de l’Organisation du traité de l’Atlantique nord et leur coopération militaire se soude. La Russie est mise en face de cette réalité et a décidé qu’il fallait adopter une approche radicale pour renverser la tendance. »

— Une citation de  Tatiana Stanovaya, fondatrice de R-Politik
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Comment for The New York Times

The contradictory, sometimes menacing messages from the Kremlin have stumped Western officials and Russia experts, showing the Russian leader’s desire to keep his rivals on edge.

For years, Mr. Putin has fumed over NATO’s expansion eastward and American support for pro-Western sentiment in Ukraine; now, by creating a new security crisis that threatens to complicate President Biden’s agenda, he has succeeded in getting the issue to the forefront in Washington.  “For the first time in 30 years, the United States has agreed to discuss issues that it was impossible to discuss even a year ago,” said Tatiana Stanovaya, the founder of a political analysis firm, R.Politik.

The problem with Mr. Putin’s approach is that it gives his diplomats next to no flexibility to negotiate on Russia’s behalf, and sometimes leaves them struggling to maintain a coherent message. Ms. Stanovaya warned that even if diplomats did reach some kind of deal, hawks in Moscow who have more of Mr. Putin’s ear could soon help derail it.

Analysts noted that Mr. Ryabkov, from the diplomatic side, most likely did not even know what military options the Kremlin was considering. The virus-free cocoon Mr. Putin has tried to establish around himself has meant that even confidants are forced to spend days in quarantine before being allowed into the same room with him, further reducing his connections with the outside world.

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Commentary for The Moscow Times

More Domestic Crackdowns Loom on Russia’s Horizon in 2022

Experts forecast continuing pressure on what’s left of the opposition, but no protests.

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Interview for Le Figaro

Tatiana Stanovaya: «La Russie veut un partenaire prévisible et stable»

ENTRETIEN – «Quelle que soit l’issue de la crise au Kazakhstan, toute nouvelle configuration du pouvoir conviendra au Kremlin, à condition que ce pouvoir soit capable d’agir», analyse la spécialiste de la politique russe.

Spécialiste de la politique russe, Tatiana Stanovaya est l’auteur de R.Politik, un bulletin bimensuel d’analyse de la politique russe.

LE FIGARO.- Quel regard porte la Russie sur la crise actuelle au Kazakhstan?

TATIANA STANOVAYA. – La Russie a comme principal objectif de conserver un partenaire prévisible et stable. Au Kazakhstan, plus tôt la situation se stabilise, mieux c’est pour Moscou. Il est important de comprendre que quelle que soit l’issue de la crise, toute nouvelle configuration du pouvoir kazakhstanais conviendra au Kremlin, à condition que ce pouvoir soit capable d’agir. Moscou part de l’hypothèse que toute l’élite kazakhstanaise est bien disposée à son égard. Notons que les manifestations actuelles n’ont pas de leader.

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