Thread. 2022 will be a huge year in Russian foreign policy.

China and Russia have strengthened their political, economic and military relations in 2021 and they will be bolstering this partnership even more this year.
Moscow looks to Beijing for support of its goal in occupying parts of Ukraine, as well as a conduit to show Moscow can still play a role in Asia.

Meanwhile, Beijing needs Russian weapons, energy and support against Western pressure.

Expect typical old-fashioned balance of power
In Syria, Russia often uses its air superiority in Idlib as leverage against Turkey by targeting refugee camps and creating a new mass migration wave toward the country.
Moscow likely try to push for Turkish political concessions in its role as the guarantor of power to the Syrian opposition.

But Ankara could use this chance to put pressure on Moscow over the YPG.
Both Russia and Turkey is going to re-calculate the balance in their complex relations.

Of course, the US policy on Syria will determine the future of the normalisation efforts with the Assad regime and the power balance between Ankara and Moscow in Syria.
In Syria and Libya, Moscow and Ankara back opposing sides but have generally cooperated in trying to reduce conflict.
In South Caucasus, Ankara and Moscow are also cooperating in a diplomatic push to bring stability to the South Caucasus following Azerbaijan’s victory during the II Karabakh war.
Armenia and Turkey's special envoys are expected to meet in Moscow this month to kick-start talks on normalizing relations as part of a broader the Kremlin-mediated regional peace effort involving Armenia and Turkey’s ally, Azerbaijan.
Iran and Russia both gave upbeat views on Tuesday about talks that kicked off this week to salvage Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with global powers, although Western states have said the negotiations are going too slowly.
In Belarus, Lukashenko is likely to invite a much larger Russian footprint as a show of support for the regime.

Although a permanent military base is yet to exist, Putin has been pressuring Minsk since 2015.
While integration is Russia's number #1 goal, any instability in Belarus is seen as an unwelcome inconvenience by the Kremlin, as Lukashenko’s fury towards his neighbors could lead to an accidental flare up.
Belarusian independence has slowly shrinked as the Kremlin’s military presence expands in the country and may signal the end of previously enjoyed sovereignty.
In South America, Putin's key ally President Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela, not only survived 2021 but also started bolstering his position in the region thanks to a new left-wing wave on the continent.
It's going to be a win - win for Russia if the left-wing candidate wins in Colombia, while Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva manages to defeat Bolsonaro in Brazil.

However, Cuban-Russian relations are started to weaken as the country is seeking more aid from Moscow.
Speaking of the US, to quote @DimitarBechev:

"Brezhnev’s USSR may be long gone and today’s Russia may be a pale shadow of its predecessor, but from the Kremlin’s perspective, it is doing its best to stay in the game."

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More from @DrAlakbarov

3 Jan
Thread. The photography of Elina Brotherus

Finnish photography and video artist Elina Brotherus was born in 1972 in Helsinki.

Her early work dealt with personal yet universal experiences, the presence and absence of love.
In her series The New Painting (2000-2005), Brotherus probed the relation of photography to art history and found inspiration in the iconography of classical painting.
"As I mentioned earlier I had engaged myself a lot with the ‘instruction art’ of the 1960s and 1970s. When I discovered Erwin Wurm’s One Minute Sculptures they fascinated me in similar ways."
Read 7 tweets
3 Jan
Thread. Biden threatened Putin with cutting Russia off from the global electronic-payment-messaging system known as SWIFT if fears is a new Kremlin plan to invade Ukraine.

But I do not think Putin is scared of this scenario. And here's why:
Yes, SWIFT can do a lot of damage to Russia since the country is deeply integrated into the global financial community.

However, the Kremlin is going push SPFS internationally as a possible solution for cross-border transactions.
China, whose economy is far larger than Russia's, is also developing an alternative to SWIFT over potential American sanctions.

In 2015, China launched the Cross-Border Interbank Payment System (CIPS) to help internationalize use of the Chinese currency, the yuan.
Read 8 tweets
2 Jan
The Kremlin’s sabre-rattling in Ukraine has reignited the debate in Finland as to whether the Nordic country should join NATO, defying demands from Moscow that seek to limit expansion of the military alliance in Europe.
Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin's (SDP) New Year's message emphasised Finland's possibility to apply for membership in NATO:

"Finland retains the option of applying for NATO membership," Marin said as Russia has demanded the western alliance halt its eastward expansion.
Finland and neighbouring Sweden are both militarily non-aligned but have a growing co-operation with NATO as well as strong bilateral relationships with members of the alliance such as the US, Norway and UK.
Read 6 tweets
2 Jan
Radio broadcasting began in Azerbaijan since the creation of the first commercial broadcast station on November 6, 1926.

The first words ever spoken on the radio were "Baku speaks!".

Interestingly, until 1928 - Only Baku and Absheron peninsula had access to local radio.
Speaking of first words...

On May 24, 1844, Samuel Morse tapped a message of dots and dashes from the Supreme Court chamber in the U.S. Capitol to his partner in Baltimore.

The first words ever telegraphed were, “What hath God wrought?” – a phrase found in Numbers 23:23.
The first words ever spoken on the radio were from Luke 2:14,” Glory to God in the highest on earth peace, goodwill toward men.”

Then, the broadcast concluded by wishing the listeners “Merry Christmas.”
Read 6 tweets
1 Jan
Big uproar in Azerbaijani social media after Major General Polad Hashimov's mother (pictured) made serious allegations about lieutenant general Karim Valiyev.

In 20202, very respected Major General Polad Hashimov, along with Colonel Ilgar Mirzayev, were killed.
On social media, many Azerbaijanis still accuse Najmaddin Sadikov of giving their coordinates to Armenia, which also led to Hashimov's death.

Sadikov had been Azerbaijan’s top military officer since 1993, the chief of general staff of the armed forces & a deputy defense minister
Even today Azerbaijani social media is dominated by discussion of Polad Hashimov’s death, with many expressing indignation that such a high-ranking official could be killed in battle and complaining that it was the result of poor leadership.
Read 4 tweets
1 Jan
New year. New vibe. New photography thread.

Revered in photographic circles, Vladimir Lagrange had a considerable impact on modern photojournalism in Russia.

The photographer was 24 when he won his first trophy at an international photo contest in Budapest.
Since then, the photographer made a lot of waves working for Soviet and foreign magazines, including Paris Match.

Photo: The 'granny', 1961 © Vladimir Lagrange
A journalist by trade, Lagrange's black-and-white images derive their power from their child-like simplicity and earthiness.

Solfeggio class, 1968 © Vladimir Lagrange
Read 8 tweets

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