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tv   Kathryn Stoner Russia Resurrected  CSPAN  April 3, 2021 9:00am-10:31am EDT

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>> sunday on "in depth" a live conversation with harriet washington. her most recent book is carte blanche. her others interviewed medical apartheid and deadly monopolies. >> when companies use profit to measure their success in the medical arena the problem is we can't expect companies to care about us, we can't expect companies to sublimate, make less money because they care about our health. they don't care about our health. our government, the people that we pay and should expect to care about our health and defend us, our government should be raining in these companies come our government should be forcing them to develop things that will fit public needs and it is not. >> join in the conversation with phone calls, texts and tweets for harriet washington sunday at noon eastern on
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booktv's "in depth" on c-span2. before the program visit to get your copies of harriet washington's book. >> i have the great pleasure of introducing kathryn stoner, deputy director at the institute for international studies at stanford university and senior fellow at the center for democracy, development and rule of law and the center on international security and cooperation, she teaches in the part of political science at stanford and program on international relations and international policy programs, has a dm and m a in medical science and the university of toronto and phd in government from harvard and in 2016 was awarded an honorary doctorate at state university in georgia and i can only hope that came
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as a lifetime supply, you can hear about that in the q and a. in addition to many articles and book chapters on contemporary russia she is the author or coeditor of six books, the most recent is the book about which she is speaking to us today, "russia resuurected," its power and purpose in a new global order which is hot off the oxford university press is, i feel like we are very privileged to be among the first groups of people she will be speaking since the book was published. she will share her work, her ideas and without further a do please join me in virtually welcoming kathryn stoner.
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>> thanks so much, jennifer siegel. i hope everyone can hear me. i am going to share my screen and say thank you for inviting me and jennifer for hosting and kelly whitaker for setting this up. i wish i was there in person but this is the world we live in for a little while longer anyway. i count on you to tell me if you cannot see my screen but assuming, if i hear nothing then i assume you can't. as jennifer mentioned, this is a book that is still warm off the presses, february 1st. it is available in amazon in time for st. patrick's day.
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it is controversial, provocatively called "russia resuurected," its power and purpose in a new global order and i will warn you in advance, i will go over that. there is a paradox in the perception of russian power, saying things over time that russia is never so strong as it wants to be and he is paraphrasing winston churchill, paraphrasing a lot of other people and vladimir putin in 2008 saying at last russia has returned to the world as a strong state, a country others will heed and can stand up for itself.
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he made that statement as russia talks about the olympics in 2014. more recently in front of the russian parliament saying in just 30 years we have undergone changes that have taken centuries in other countries, develop dental path and speed of russia following the collapse of the soviet union in 1991. conflicting perceptions of russia in the united states as well. on the one hand the perception of russia, that it is week, a gas station masquerading as -- it should say country, by john mccain in 2014. a gas station, mitt romney paraphrasing in 2016, barack obama saying it is a regional power threatening its neighbors not out of strength but out of weakness.
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this was a particularly not well received statement by vladimir putin. on the other hand we have perception within the united states that russia is an exit stencil threat. the supreme commander of nato, in 2015, and the other statements we make, russia is rewriting the settlement using force. its colleagues in the military proclaiming russia as an exit stencil threat to the united states and most recently president biden when he was running for office last fall saying the biggest threat to america right now in terms of breaking up our security and alliances is russia. secondly the biggest competitor of china. but seeing russia as much more of appear power.
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and in 2021, 30 years after the collapse of the soviet union having this conversation. as i will explain as the talk goes on it is surprising, having this conversation, in 1991. most people say no, by relying on some of the data just a quick review of russia's disruption internationally.
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since 2014 and the seizure of crimea from ukraine, a policy of the united states not to recognize crimea as part of russia, but it has become part of russia. in 2015, quick and effective mobilization into syria fundamentally changing the facts on the ground working with iran to maintain but sharla saad. 2016 us presidential election interference as well as interference with the referendum later. giving about $7 million to marine le pen as she prepared for her bid on the french presidency, the us warship considering until now. in 2018-19, in eastern europe,
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and beyond, the solar wind software, implanting code into the software used within the united states government and fortune 500 companies. we don't know if it is still there or what they gained. very very disruptive. a few facts on russia, rather than this sighting, if we don't count crimea, 144 people
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long-term, not the best strategy for increasing population. until recently russia's population negative due to demographic issues, it has recovered, pre-covid and you will see how it -- we have all suffered more than others. this is what ppp means. just over 29,$000, 3 times what was in 1991, roughly now if you want to think about purchasing power parity it looks like it is sustained. the us is just over that. and economy of $1.7 trillion similar to canada's with the
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us, china and germany, not the biggest economy. ours is much larger, still commodity driven but not exactly a gas station, russia was the world's second largest exporter of oil. with saudi arabia on that, russia has 11.4% of global oil, it is huge natural gas exporter, 18% of the world's exports and nickel, large volumes and number 2 producer of petroleum products behind the us in this case. russia and saudi arabia have that. the number one wheat producer
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in the world, as they look back at the history in the soviet period and where we were in 1991 when the soviet union collapsed. it has become overtime less dependent on revenue from oil exports, don't want to overstate that but there are attempts at diversification but has fallen to a percentage of revenue over time of declining demand for these products but it is the result of bigger statistics. those are the quick facts. people like mitt romney and john mccain are thinking of comparisons when they dismiss russia as not a power. here is gdp in chart form so you can see it easily in trillions of us dollars in terms of russia doesn't look
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like -- i'm using the united kingdom here, proxy for europe in general though they wouldn't want that. in terms of population a fraction, china's less then half in the united states, bigger than the united kingdom. in terms of military spending another common thing we look at is try it out as a proxy for global power influence in us dollars in 2018 us dollars. a tenth of what the us does above a quarter and what the united kingdom is. in the united kingdom, roughly
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the same and reviewing -- hoops, reviewing some of those. these conventional measures or rough estimates of power when we added things up and arrange the world along with these measures russia would not look particularly influential but has done all those things particularly since mister putin returned to the russian presidency in 2012, russia under vladimir putin is punching above his waist, some sort of strategic genius and uses what little they have to
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great effect. my book tries to offer directives on how we think about that whether russia punched above its weight or heavy weight in some areas, this forces us to think about state power and international relation, and and looking beyond the measures of military and might. it translate into global influence. it might. what you spend on military doesn't translate into the largest economy would be helpful in global influence but it alone doesn't seem to reflect relative power otherwise why would russia, a relatively small economy be as disruptive as it has been. power is multidimensional,
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relative, 10 -- contextual. a good game of bridge is a bad game of poker. the perception of power. power tools are very disruptive depending on the context and that is one of the main reasons i underestimate russian power and influence and has capacity to disrupt global politics. the second correction i make his characterization of russia as weekend having nothing. russia has recovered and maintained capacity that the soviet union had more than we appreciate, modernized more than we appreciate, and if we are just counting the number of soldiers in the military or
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spending in the military, missing these tools in particular those are so-called power tools. even hide powers military since 2008. one of the things that enables russia to use what has these new tools is domestic political systems and russia's lack of institutional chats enable president putin to use the power tools without much accountability at least for now. there is a high tolerance for risk, quite distinctive how the soviet union functions, there were institutions that check the general secretary of the communist party. there was a coup against gorbachev. there are no such institutions the check mister putin anymore.
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one of the underlying arguments is something specific about the system that has developed while he has been in power the past 20 years. what game is putin playing. there is a common argument among realists saying this is a great power doing what great powers do. russia has always been a great power, geography is destiny, covers essentially a continent. as a realist, the game they are playing is power maximization, the relative size of the country, its resources determine its foreign policy interest in winners and losers. if that is true then russian behavior should be immutable
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over time, shouldn't matter if it is putin, yeltsin, gorbachev, czar nicholas ii, it is structurally determined so by this reckoning russia is doomed to be against the west regardless who is in power but given that we have more of everything russia shouldn't be like that. it is trying. it is a significant threat. recall russia trying to rewrite the cold war, or an exit essential threat or joe biden saying in terms of national security it is the biggest threat. so all of this led me to think about how to think about
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russia, look to see what had been written about powering -- it is not that much since the 1950s, not that there isn't a lot. the definition in the 1950s is the dominant definition that i use here. the ability of one state to get another to do something it might not otherwise do. power is relative. i look at power in 3 dimensions, the traditional one of men, military and money and means but i also moved to consider context of power too, thinking as david baldwin does, power over whom, is a bad one at poker. you don't bring a knife to a gunfight. we need to consider context and
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things like geographic, where in many countries does russia's exercise influence which i used interchangeably with power, and policy scope and how it is in that policy area and how much does it matter in what area. in oriole, russia is a very weighty actor, 80% of global energy still comes from carbon sources like oil and natural gas. it is an important policy area that would differentiate it from north korea which has growing needs in terms of its nuclear capacity but a pretty limited geographic domain, it is important beyond the fact that it has nuclear weapons and
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can affect its neighbors with activities in that area. this crude artistic rendering of what i'm talking about, tried to imagine the circles can get bigger or smaller. you can have a lot of means and a strong economy, healthy society, well-educated, strong military, a lot of push and pull influence i will explain over other countries in a geographic area. you could have limited policy scope if it is in one policy area like nuclear weapons. these things can independently vary as well.
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if russia is resurrected, an important policy areas the means are overlooked, it has enough power beyond means alone, the chart that i showed you of men, military and money, it can be decisive in international policy. why or how has this happened? that is the second part of the argument and that was domestic politics on russian domestic politics was the argument is putin has the will to use what russia has unconstrained, why is this? the deployment of those power resources abroad is determined by politics in russia and at home. when we think about what russia is doing we forget what goes
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on, domestic politics drive russian foreign policy as much or more than 6 structural interests like geography for example and locations so the type regime matters in the decline of its power resources. in terms of policy recommendations there is something about vladimir putin at home and russia's exercise, one thing i do is run the counterfactual, what if vladimir putin wasn't in power, historical counterfactual and i argue russia had different times if you think back to gorbachev from 1985-1991.
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good relationships with the west, negotiating in this period conduit under gorbachev that many of you think was warm and snuggly, just turned 90. famous pictures of him walking with reagan and george h w bush, assigning arms control agreements and arms reduction in the nuclear area we have not seen before. yeltsin, russia, the first popularly elected president. with bill clinton, helping russia join the g8, there are some rough spots, nato expansion and tremendous improvement to negotiate the agreement, even in vladimir
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putin's first two terms from 2000-2008, vladimir putin is the first international leader to call george w. bush in 2001 after 9/11 to express his condolences on behalf of the russian people for our loss that day. vladimir putin by some accounts to georgetown, was disappointed, he thought at the time there would be more coordination in terms of international terrorism problem that russia had this coming out of chechnya and had hoped he could work together more with the united states and there were periods of working strongly together. when vladimir putin's protégé was a russian president 2008-12
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russia -- during this period of so-called reset in us american relations vladimir putin was involved in these things medvedev cooperated on with the united states with the start agreement that was in the news last month, with strategic nuclear weapons with the united states and russia can have and it includes also sophisticated verification. another thing was northern distribution network which a lot of americans don't appreciate existed but it was russia allowing us to send military equipment through its territory on trains into bases
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in central asia we were renting with russian approval at the time even though they were sovereign states, russia had influence over them and enabling us to do that in afghanistan when pakistan was not as reliable a neighbor. the other thing, on behalf of russia in the un security council, over nato's actions against qaddafi in the civil war. in comes vladimir putin to the presidency in 2012, and the reset, relationship with the west changed radically and russian foreign policy becomes more aggressive, a puzzle, why did that happen in the book touches on this as well.
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got a little for your happy, a new geography of russian power, as much as i agreed with barack obama in some areas calling russia a regional power, was certainly wrong today, it was more correct in 2014 or 2015 when he said it but is not the case today. russia has a geographic domain that it inherited from the soviet union and the soviet union inherited from the russian empire before. it is the largest country in the world geographically speaking, expands to both europe and asia and has the highest number of international borders of any country in the world, and it was in the soviet
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union or the russian empire, that helped perpetuate this idea of natural influence that can be reclaimed, since 2014 in particular it has built other areas up significantly of global influence. sometimes we underestimate what russia has gained in terms of global influence and capabilities through its actions in syria. it is not a quagmire for russia. the russian leadership doesn't think the same way about political power or occupation of a country as we do. not as much pressure to fix it now that it is broken. russia developed influence in iraq or iran as well as saudi
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arabia which has a difficult relationship but very cooperative, in israel because of the diaspora, maintains relationships in the middle east, countries that have difficult relationships with one another, iran and iraq don't get along well, russia deals with all of this, also established relationships, they have populations who may be respective to a new ideology but believe, more traditional beliefs so we can see in
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populist leaders in france but among societies in the middle east, as an alternative to liberalism, one of the important things to recognize, russia does not use that, more pragmatism, they spread an ideology, for traditional values, pressing things like, in their dealings with unsavory perception in the united states or other western powers. in terms of influence abroad under vladimir putin russia has
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a map in 2012-13 to present i mentioned increasing influence and as you take a turn, russia, developed closer and closer ties, in the middle east, western europe, russia is a very weighty and important actor in terms of oil supply and natural gas so right now, germany over the pipeline that goes from the west of st. petersburg into northern germany supplying natural gas, that is absolutely vital, to
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germany which is increasingly dependent on russia for natural gas getting high into the 90%. what is that used for, heating, electricity, could shutdown their economy, creates a vulnerability. basically now owns venezuelan oil, with an ownership stake, closer ties to it. chapter 3 of the book, russia developed military presence in the arctic, the largest icebreakers, nuclear icebreakers the canada doesn't have.
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this is in part exploration of oil and gas resources. american oil companies partnered with russian oil and gas entities, russia has been able to replace, they are under sanctions, they have been able to replace western investors not completely but to a large degree in the middle east and saudi arabia and the uae and china and india in terms of trying to do more exploration in the arctic. chinese interested in a new northern trade route through the arctic as global warming opens up that as a possibility.
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russia has been 3 or 4 years savvy in terms of developing a new market for products which are not just oil and gas. in domestic energy purposes building materials and mining materials for consumer products made in russia, a lot of high-quality consumer products focused on heavy industry. they seem savvy in terms of forgiving loans in countries in sub-saharan africa who got into debt in the soviet period, they were not going to be repaid. they received contracts for
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supplying material so in this way finding new markets around western sanctions while at the same time providing loans to these places or doing business. it is an alternative. to the west where russia is willing to do business so they are not going to come down hard on human rights abuses in the central african republic. what they will do is go in, provide settlement to a civil war and help the market take the money off the top. in terms of russia and china, some juicy stuff developing a new project, so interesting, russia, chinese relations with oil trying to get to other places so it also provides
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infrastructure product, to help china for oil and gas infrastructure as well as supplying china with military equipment, that comes with servicing and it is hard to do that. as well as cooperating with china in military exercises, not taking a huge role in that. russia developed close ties with india, a legacy of the soviet period but also a result of russia looking at india seeing a huge market that is an alternative to western markets where russia under sanction has
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been under sanctions since 2014 they cooperate on pharmaceuticals. sputnik, v for victory, the russian covid maxine being -- vaccine being manufactured. i would take sputnik v if it is perfectly reliable. the russian leadership undermined perceptions of its reliability, they were not forthcoming when they came up with it in terms of data but over time we see it appears to be just as efficacious. and is actually part of russia's vaccine diplomacy.
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registered with vaccines sputnik v in 48 countries. in terms of geography it has become, i just gave you a quick and selective tour, in terms of geography, russia has greatly expanded its sphere of influence. in terms of its policy scope in those policy areas it is important as i mentioned earlier it has changed significantly since the collapse of the soviet union primarily based, with economic calculations, but areas of policies that russia is interested in so first obviously oil and gas and energy more generally. it isn't just the actual product of oil and gas where russia is important globally but it's pipeline in
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infrastructure, transportation infrastructure control. one of the things russia has gained out of the syrian conflict is control over pipelines in northern syria and increase support of pipeline infrastructure development in northern iraq where we should our blood and tears and money. in terms of non-carbon trade russia is the second largest purveyor of weaponry, but nuclear energy technology for domestic purposes. it has become increasingly confident in terms of agriculture. something to focus on, russian geography, hard to grow things in many parts of that country, but the fact, exports wheat.
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but even at times it is notable, and interesting article in new york times magazine about how russia will gain from climate change, increasing its arable land and growing more and more things but the third main area of policy is national security protecting its borders and sovereignty and moving into the arctic and is the predominant power in the arctic. those -- an introduction. chapter 4, 5, 6, 7, all look at russian power and those are the more traditional measures for looking at the economy is an unsteady basis of russian global influence, looking at
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society's relative strength or weakness, comparing military power in particular, an overview of russia's military reform in 2008. to china and the united states on military power and capability. the conclusion is russia is the most powerful in terms of military power hands down in europe, by many measures. power with the united states especially nuclear power, nuclear weaponry. and it is sharp power which we don't have time to get into but the power of attraction to the russian perspective, the
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ability to use cyber and media means to disrupt the information environment, how things started, one of the things when we think about that quote in 2002 paraphrasing churchill, russia is never as weak as it thought and strong as it wants to be it was pretty weak at the times of the soviet union so looking at the economy recall it was complete collapse of the political structure and the economic structure, the planning system that developed from the mid-1920s onward falls apart and the economy goes into extreme shortage and hyperinflation and is dependent on loans from the international monetary fund and in the early
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1990s, food aid, i am not proud of this, usa id, in moscow, because it made its way to the black market and so some frozen chicken paid for by the american taxpayer with the prices jacked up but it was terrible economic catastrophe. it has been called by others one of the worst economic catastrophes outside of wartime in history except for venezuela. at the bottom of the barrel recipient of loans, lenders of last resort. unemployment, citizens who never faced it before. in terms of gross to mystic
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product, comparing brazil, russia, india, china, south america with the eu 28 and the united states and this time period, the first 25 years or so you can see where russia fits in in terms of its gdp comparatively speaking. look at the take offs there. the european union includes britain, i am sorry, i said this is russia, this is india and this is the united states. russia is here so you see it is increasing but traveling along and is not the rocketship china is. that is just gdp. it is not per capita.
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here it is per capita and if you look at that it is not that. in the middle brown here, we have the united states appear, purchasing power parity. the same basket of goods in one country versus the other what it would actually feel like relative to income, you see russia doing reasonably well in that sense. china per capita, a bigger population at purchasing power, it is underappreciated if you look at the chinese economy and not the standard, comparative standard of living improving in china but here's the european
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union. okay. there has been a recent decrease reliance in russia on carbon-based energy exports. there is a drop in prices but even if you control for that you can see there is less revenue coming in. there is a separation of gross to mystic product and global oil prices in russia. this happens around 2014. partly there is a dip in global oil prices and partly some money goes into hold up the ruble but even still the russian economy recovers in growth so there is this big decoupling. this is a snapshot. want to be careful not to overstate this but structure of experts in 2018-2017 oil prices
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have recovered in the same has changed. 70% carbon and energy based exports and here 59% dropped, what has come up our metal products that have increased in terms of machinery and equipment in the middle east picking up new contracts, pharmaceuticals and agriculture has doubled so we are seeing incremental changes. the book goes into a lot of detail on russia's understanding in terms of research and development but -- and education more generally,
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high-quality education is the highest number in the world. what are those engineers training for? in terms of society, life expectancy is pretty low, male life expectancy is worrisome and the gap between female and male is worrisome. this is gotten better over time. russians are wealthier as i mentioned than they have ever been, living longer than they have ever been. this is pre-covid, hopefully at the end but we don't know where we will be with covid. as unhealthy as they are relative to others they are getting better and better relative to where they have been. the healthcare system is improving but not perfect yet, leading causes of death, they
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-- in the united states too. there has been some confidence in the russian government, tremendous corruption the book talks about, some competency in certain policy areas and one, getting people to drink less. more liters of vodka than the rest of europe, closer in terms of that amount, they attacked that, the heaviest smokers, that has come down. not as though the russian state doesn't know this and vladimir putin understand this to be important, and economic issue, people dying in the prime of life.
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population is highly educated particularly in technical skills but one issue is whether or not those skills match what the market needs so this is something to work on. 30 years from the complete collapse of the economy and the massive shift of society from a planned system to a market system. corruption is a tremendous problem i talk about in the book as well. russians society, on the other hand has these issues not the least of which is a brain drain that is highly educated russians, some call to plenary putin exodus but population
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growth is flat, hovering, not where it was in the 90s. young people indicating they want to be on the streets protesting the putin and before that as well. and in the 19 nineties a big dip in life expectancy and it starts to go up. still behind the european union the united states, even brazil in this area, mortality rates, the death rate is problematic for russia. it is getting better but it is getting flatter and closer to other countries, germany across
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europe but problematic in terms of maintaining demographics that would be positive for the economy. one big challenges inequality and the economy has gotten increasingly unequal in terms of income distribution which this shows but perhaps more problematic, distribution. you see the top one% owning 45% of the wealth, here's the bottom 60% of the population just below 5% of the wealth. this is one reason you see people coming out on the streets. some is disruption, may be a lot of it but crony capitalism has grown up under vladimir putin.
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into comparisons, and sharp means of power, quick highlights, russia has a huge arsenal, the only country in the world to deliver an intercontinental ballistic missile to the united states under 30 minutes. as i mentioned earlier, has largely been completed and into the russian military alliance. it is a much smaller number. in practice because of the modernization of equipment that has occurred. you need a certain level of knowledge to accumulate knowledge in order to work that equipment and is not practical anymore as a result so spending that russia does on its
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military purchasing power parity puts it in the top 3 globally. russia spends what britain spends in terms of dollar to dollar terms on its military but russia produces everything inside and is paying in rubles so once you change parity you can explain why russia has been able to fund huge military reform where the uk has not, in dollar terms. undoubtedly the united states is still the biggest military in the world, the most capability and conventional forces but russia has become without a doubt the most capable military in europe period no question. in terms of russian soft power, russia is waging friendship with some countries which is
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not what joe nice talking about. he has a fellowship at hoover, when we are allowed to see one another. russia wages friendship. soft power is supposed to be a passive thing. think american movies and showing our lifestyle, passive power and attraction to the united states and the freedom and political preferences that we are supposed to represent. by the very nature of what it is states don't control power. you don't have a soft power policy. vladimir putin's russia has a soft power policy. it is an active policy. an active force. and one of their policy documents it is described as a set of instruments and methods used to achieve foreign policy
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goals, instead changing the information and other instruments. it is a cultural power of attraction to russian policymakers, intentional and instrumental, some things you may not know about, it established cultural centers for teaching russian language in europe. to civil society organizations. it funds foreign students at russian universities as the soviet union did. it funds the conference run by the presidential administration. that is to basically explain russian policy positions to explain russia, some of you in the audience have attended that. it has established institutes on democracy and cooperation, one of which still exists in paris. the one that existed in new york monitored american democracy. it has the gorbachev public support fund for government
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organization and things like the hosting of the world cup show russia to the world as a martin country that has transformed itself. that is traditional soft power. it has reached out to the russian diaspora community in the world is really in particular. the large russian diaspora community, and and gave him a tremendous group. the only russian leader to have visited all these places in israel, saudi arabia, promotion of social conservatism attracted to some societies and leaders in contrast to the overly permissive left. they employed an array of tools
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of goodwill including emergency services in italy, sending covid masks and whatnot when europeans are not sharing those things last year and russia was left tempting and they are undertaking vaccine diplomacy globally. sharp power, almost at the end here, using a jab or push to get countries to do what they may not otherwise do. ..
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a network that looks like cnn in terms of presentation, maybe even better and has the presence in 100 countries across 5 continents claiming 100 million as weekly audience and they are in europe africa, middle east also has youtube channel and ironically its slogan is question more but it's question more outside of russia, don't question anything inside russia. you could watch it in cutter and not even realize that this is the perspective of the russian government. sputnik is brother of rt, broadcast in english and other languages and as an active website. it has in the book, i give you
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some examples of where it's beaming into the united states and had been very protrump when he was president without people realizing it's not a radio program but russian government. finally, why did russia did all of that? the purposes are structural, of course, there's some aspect of that. every country wants to protect its borders and sovereignty and has, of course, economic things, it wants to sell things. there's interesting camera factual. what's the purpose? so my argument in the book is that there's something specific about putinism and patrona system that requires russia expand not because of ideology as case in the soviet union but support the system itself and to
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maintain the status quo, maintain stability within society and we have quotes of him saying exactly this. he is a patron over this cronyistic system that's close to childhood friends and calls that he worked with when he was a kgb officer, have benefited the most. it's uncanny you can make if you're a friend or old friend of vladimir putin in particular. so he has to distribute rent to this network, his popularity is a mitt reresource, he cares about it a lot, own skimming and money that may go and documentary shortly after arrested. social mobilization against inequality has to be avoided at all costs. russia can, develop, yes, but putin said evolutionary and not
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revolutionary. you have to privatize any games from -- from -- that are available from controlling the states but make -- make the costs of that public. so this russia under siege narrative, russia is a get power narrative that's coming out of russia helps keep that political resource of popularity high and this might help explain why navalny is such a great to putin and also gaining markets and help regime stability without resorting to violence. the domestic model is such that society, not nato is the biggest threat to -- to putin's regime. and the longevity will be determined by society.
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why go after someone like navalny and why be so aggressive in pushing back against protests. society to service to the state and the state is in service to the elite that want to enrich itself while promoting state interest. they are entwine in russia. society is biggest threat and this may explain the worries about navalnyi said as putin's constitutional changes last summer. does russia have a grand strategy, if it does, i would say this is what it is, but the question is, is it a russian grand strategy or a strategy in foreign policy that is particularly to this regime and to maintaining this regime as opposed to being the interest of any other political actor. i talk in the book about whether
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different leader would behave a different way and i think the answer is yes. this is -- we are not stuck in -- in this. it is inevitable that russia is against the west. it has historically not always been the case and it is, i think, particular to -- to putin. so i'm going to stop with that slid and i'm going to end with a big apology for going on so long. i can't see you, so i'm going to -- it's just my love of talking about russia. [laughter] overyou, jennifer. >> thank you so much for that interesting and, if long, packed so full with really, really fascinating insights and information and i'd like to thank you for you all of it and, of course, there are lots of
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questions that have come in. i want to remind everyone to make sure that you're posing your questions in the q&a slot and not the chat slot. i'm looking at the q&a and make sure that's part of your question show-up. i'm going to actually resist the urge to take advantage of the host prerogative. i have a question i'm dying to answer but i'm going to let someone else, a few other people's questions get in there fist because i recognize that absolute power sometimes corrupt and i don't want to be corrupted in that way. katherine, can you unshare your screen so everyone can have a better look at palo alto too and you're muted. thank you, thank you so much. the first question posed from
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the q&a comes from jerry hudson who has read russia resurrected and urging who have not yet read it. i made it through half of it but i will agree with jerry that it is extremely enjoyable and and i will -- i second his recommendation. but jerry's questions, jerry says that the book in part examines the link between regime type and foreign policy, he says you contend that the more repressive the regime, the more assertive the foreign policy, using the evolution of putin's policy to illustrate this proposition. assuming his understanding is correct, do you think that this relationship holds generally when compared to soviet history and then to other nations that also have repressive regimes? so -- >> so i don't -- i don't know
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that it's a 100% true all of the time in all countries, but i think when under certain conditions it's true and over time with the soviet -- with soviet history it's probably something to that as well. we only have 70 years there but we only have 30 with russia post soviet history. so you could make an argument that that was part of what nichols was doing too. i'm not a historian so i will not get in your lane there. you have the argument based -- correct, jerry on that point. in terms of other countries with repressive systems, when things are going well at home, all have
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to have some degree of domestic legitimacy or seen that way, right? you can't kill everyone, you can't shoot everyone. even look at what's happening in myanmar right now. so some of them will turn outward for a narrative that shows them to be kind of defending, even though we are being repressive right now we have to do this because then the nation against this bigger outside problem and -- and so i think that essentially argument is that putin has to show himself in order to maintain this domestic political system and stability to be, you know, russia is under siege. we can't have this kind of instability. we don't what happened next door in ukraine happen here and that's the most important thing
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so, yeah. >> moving from russia turning outwards to -- to outwards pushing back, our next question comes from dan who asked how much of russian working to improve their own position and improving themselves and how much it comes as a result of lack of pushback from other -- other states, like the west. >> that's a good question. i think as putin embarks upon this, i'm saying putin but i have a colleague at stanford who says there's no mr. putin. there's no mr. russia. as the regime sort of embarks on what i see as a policy change in 2013-14, we are seeing leading
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from behind and only gets worse with america first as we begin to withdraw even more internationally. and so we made it easy certainly for them to pursue this -- this sort of policy by withdrawing, absolutely. >> i'm sorry, i'm trying to read the questions at the same time. >> you're doing great. >> the -- i'm going to actually -- group 2 question together bus they both are addressing. i think they both relate to what your points on russian hard power and questions of how much of a threat russia actually does pose. the first of these two questions come from john mueller who asked do you think russia presents what you call a significant threat to u.s. security and do you believe it's capable of causing u.s. to seize to exist
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and i'm going to add into that john's question which deals with russian work, aggressive work on new nuclear weapons and the way that disrupts -- disrupt the power balance globally and time to john's question specifically vis-a-vis u.s. security. >> yes, so these are new questions. is russia an existential threat. yes. we are an existential threat to them too. this was mutually shared destruction, kept us both service and deterrent. so, you know, that's still in place. they -- the problem is and the books goes into this with russia and it hopefully just bluffing but putin has tendency or developed the tendency to talk
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rather admiringly of russian nuclear capabilities and they view their nuclear and this isn't just since putin but they view their nuclear weapons as protecting their sovereignty and so very fundamentally important to the survival of the country but they have seemingly by some interpretation in the last 4, 5 years alter nuclear doctrine to seemingly make it okay to use nuclear weapons either short-range or long-range if the -- if the quote in the book is quoting our security doctrine, if the integrity of the fatherland is in danger. okay. so what does that mean? does that mean if we, nato, that is tried to help ukraine get crimea back, would -- would russia use a nuclear weapon to stop that? we don't know.
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probably not. but they've also developed some, you know, weapons that i think one of the questions was torpedo which is nuclear powered kit which allegedly it actually worked and we don't know. it would cause a tsunami of 150t hits the shore of target nation. that would be problematic for the east coast in the united states. you guys are probably okay in ohio. i'm probably not okay in palo alto. that's all very worrisome and so this is why you have joe biden saying in terms of our national security, russia is the biggest threat. in terms of being a competitor, maybe it's china. yeah, so the other thing i didn't -- i may is ended with is time horizon.
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the issue of time horizons. they -- putin's regime sees time quite differently and so they probably don't -- his policies are not thinking past 5, 10, 15 years and i think this is also important in terms of how we -- how we view or assess their ability or desire to take risks and it seems as though they are much more tolerant certainly in the soviet system. >> ben asks, in putin is more interested in evolutionary expansion and domestic stability, is the united states wrong to be so concerned about russia as a hard power, conventional military threat? >> evolutionary development not expansion. yeah. [laughter] >> so that's an important difference because -- because he
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means evolutionary economic development which would -- which would, you know, if you believe modernization which is the kind of thing that he has in his head would mean that, you know, you get a middle class that start demanding more things and more people on the streets and that's what he doesn't want. expansion of global influence or disruption, they have no problem with that being quick and i think we've seen pretty good evidence of that and it is, you know, an underinstitutionallized that doesn't stop him. that would not happen as it would happen in the united states. i'm not on advocate of dictatorship which is essentially where we are going here in russia but it's pretty -- in the long run, we don't know how long that is but in the long run that's an unstable to govern especially a country like
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that, but in the short run and i mention time horizon, 5 to 15 years maybe it allows them to do these things and to take huge risks. >> probably not the rest of the time but for a short period of time from questions about hard power and -- and security threats to a question from brian poland who asks you to comment on the development of putin's development of ties to erdogan and turkey and also given the context that turkey is part of nato. you talked about -- my commentary had russia and india, russia and china and you did not have turkey on your list of --
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>> i was selective. yeah, i should have. is that the question that you're dying to ask? >> that was not the question i was dying to ask. >> right. turkey is a friendamie and they had awkward issue of shooting down a russian jet i think it was in 2016 and they were sanctioned against turkey and then they made up after the coup attempt against erdogan and putin backed erdogan. so why? i think that has a lot to do with syria and i think it has to do with pipelines going through turkey and -- and supplying oil and natural gas into europe. so this has been a way to get around ukraine and take any
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leverage ukraine, that the ukrainian government has by circumventing ukraine as path for oil and gas into europe. so turkey is important to russia for that. and russia is important -- and turkey is important to russia but, yes, as we mentioned, someone mentioned in the questions, a member of nato so far. what has turkey done, it has taken this system from russia and that as i mentioned earlier when you buy a system like that you're also buying maintenance that will go years, decades potentially into the future. this is problematic because those are russians who are doing it in a nato country. what else are they getting access to and so turkey had -- had been brought into a program
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to develop jets and nato and the united states and been taken out of the program and increasingly unreliable ally for the united states if we can call it that yet. but the relationship, the friendamy relationship with russia. >> like any good friendamy. if the domestic opposition to putin claim to differ from him in terms of foreign policy goals or methods. >> first of all, there isn't a huge domestic organized point. second, you'd be surprised who thought the whole crimea was a great thing or backed it retroactively, one of those guys is named gorbashav.
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in terms of opposition in the past, well, sure, there are people opposed to russia having again to syria as opposed to focusing on infrastructure at home or research and development or improvement the educational system. those people don't win elections in russia. in fact, the only surprising thing about elections in russia is that they take place and not who wins at this point but it's taking more and more effort on the part of the regime and this is why navalny is such a threat. it was really his smart voter -- smart voter system to get people to vote for anyone but russia across and somewhat successfully but not very to be honest and relative to the amendment of attention that the regime has given him and the other thing, the biggest concern is that
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resonates with so many people and is a threat of regime is pounding on corruption again and again and again. people experience it every day there and so, you know, showing a two-hour video of a palace allegedly built by putin and/or his cronies, that hits people with a -- i think that's really the bigger issue. >> i think we probably have time for one more question and i'm trying to decide -- i apologize those who questions won't be asked because there's a whole slew of interesting questions here but allison goldman has asked how can the west and more specifically the united states break down the against the west attitude or how can we approach that in terms of diplomacy? >> okay. so, you know, one of the things that was quite successful in the 2008 to 12 period was opening up
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person to person exchange or i don't think that the current regime in russia is going to want to do that because it's in official capacity but if it is true in terms of what some surveys are indicating that 18 to 24-year-olds in russia, 53% of them in the fall of 2019 indicated they intended to immigrate, to leave. that's a super bad sign for the longevity of putin's system, right, domestically because if the young people want to go, then where is your future as a country. so let's make it easier for them to come to the united states or to western europe, that's something which is make it easier to immigrate or to spend 2 or 3 or 5 years here. look at the creativity that russian immigrants have brought to the u.s. in the past. i'm thinking of silicon volley like google.
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that family came here and we have google. russia doesn't have google. why not make it easier in terms of immigration policy and capture those folks who want to come here and if they go back to russia, fine, they'll go back with understandings of how hopefully the u.s. system functions when it does function and -- and, you know, new ideas that they may not be expose today in russia and they'll take those home. long-term, you know, that's good for them too. that's one of many, many things we can do but making it easier to have some sort of work visa and also to go to germany even for apprenticeship. there's a whole -- one of the big threats to the regime and why it was so worrisome with navalny that it was particularly young people out on the street, there were older folks too but young people who had been quite passive until 2016-17, why, they
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are frustrated they can't get into the right university because they don't have the connections. not that that doesn't happen here. but theirs is even harder. there's no transparency and nothing you can do about it and this is problematic for putin. they don't know any other leader and increasingly if they don't see opportunity in their own country, why don't they have another leader, why don't they have these choices and why isn't easier to gain access to the rest of the world. so i think that is worrisome and problematic with the generational change. >> well, katherine, thank you. sorry, that's my siri for some reason. >> that happens to me all of the time. i say words like serious and things like that. thank you so much, katherine. seriously, for all of your insights and on behalf of everyone, i think we had more
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than 100 people at one point, i would like to thank you for this wonderful talk, i'm sure that everyone who hasn't bought out the book are -- >> run, don't walk. a. >> alert to everybody. our next event is a discussion with dr. cynthia on u.s. support for lgbt rights from obama to trump at 4:00 p.m. there's a wonderful conference and on april 14th, divided america, divided korea, u.s.-korean relations during and after the trump years, we have many more things after that, but
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it's after 5:00 p.m. and i will wrap things up. but, again, katherine, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on russia resurrected. ♪ ♪ >> book tv on c-span2 every weekend with the latest nonfiction books and authors. funding from book tv comes from these television companies who support c-span2 as a public service. ♪ ♪ >> here are some programs to look out for this weekend. tonight journalist reflects on the immigrant experience including her own as a refugee from iran. and on our weekly author interview program after words, former white house press secretary and fox news host dana perino discusses her career and offers life lessons. then tomorrow at noon eastern we
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are live with science writer and medical ethics professor hear wet washington, most recent book looks at nonconsensual medical testing on african-americans, members of the military and prisoners. she will discuss the use and misuse of science and medicine in the united states and answer your questions. find full scheduling information online at or consult your program guide. here are some of the current best-selling nonfiction books according to indy bound, first on the list is the code breaker by aspen institute ceo and best--- best-seller. after that is dusk night dawn, lamont's guide to restoring hope and joy in our lives.
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then in the sum of us, former heather mcghee examines the cost of racism for all americans. and wrapping up our look at some of the best-selling books, according to indy bound is how to avoid a climate disaster. microsoft cofounder bill gates thoughts on climate change and his approach to possible solutions. some of these authors have appeared on book tv and you can watch their programs any time at ♪ ♪ >> common wealth club of california. i'm john zipperer the club's vice president of media and editorial and cohost for today's program. hope you are staying safe wherever you are and hope to see you in person at the common wealth headquarters in san francisco. until that happens, we are doing all of our programming online. this is the latest in more than 360 online programs the club


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