Russia’s seamless presidential succession produced no major changes in domestic politics or foreign policy. Ties with Asia remained strong, though several key relationships—with China, Japan, and the Central Asian states—frayed under the impact of Russia’s military action in Georgia. Impressive economic performance in the first half of the year boosted Russian confidence as a great power, but its vulnerability to the global financial crisis together with the heavy-handed operation in the Caucasus undermined Moscow’s standing with both Asia and Europe by the end of the year.
Original Publication Information
Published as Ziegler, Charles E. January/February 2009. "Russia and the CIS in 2008: Axis of Authoritarianism?" Asian Survey 49(1): 135-145. © 2009 by the Regents of the University of California.
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Ziegler, Charles E., "Russia and the CIS in 2008 : axis of authoritarianism?" (2009). Faculty Scholarship. Paper 57.