The Arctic is a part of the globe with the North Pole as a nominal centre, which comprises waters of the Arctic Ocean and its seas and land areas of Europe, Asia, and America. So far there is no universally accepted definition of the term in geography and law. The issue of the southern boundary of the Arctic remains disputable, although many scientists are inclined to believe that it is the Arctic Circle (66 ° 33ʹ North latitude).
The issue of the place and role of the Republic of Tatarstan in the Russian federal system is extremely complex and multidimensional; its consideration requires an integrated approach. In addition to the federal aspect in case of Tatarstan, there is a number of other contexts, without full understanding of which it would be impossible to tackle with the problem. Since the Republic of Tatarstan is a national republic of the Russian Federation, it is important to take into account the historical and political circumstances, national and ethnic aspects. It is equally important to consider the civilizational and religious aspects, not only in the regional dimension, but also in view of contradictory processes of globalization. Tatarstan holds a special position in the Russian federal system and is the only entity which retains in its Constitution reference to sovereignty and statehood, institutes of citizenship and presidency of the Republic.
Predicting socio-political processes in neighbouring countries is usually a tool of preventing and/or mitigating certain events and making the most out of any situation. Predicting socio-political processes in Russia is a major security issue not only for Ukraine and many other countries, but for the population of Russia itself. Danger for other countries is reflected in the annexation of the Crimea; war in eastern Ukraine; shooting down Dutch airliner, etc. The danger for the population of Russia is in the political repressions of opposition and extrajudicial reprisals; mass violence from the part of law enforcement authorities regarding the population; large probability of a full-scale war in which people will be the main victim. A most important issue of the forecast at the end of 2016 is: how long the socio-political "stability" of Russia will last, what impact it will have on its citizens and how the "stability" would affect relations with other countries.
David Lewis, modern English political analyst, made a serious caveat in one of his latest articles “The Moscow Consensus: Constructing Autocracy in Post-Soviet Eurasia” in the OpenDemocracy edition – “in much of the former Soviet Union, authoritarianism has become the default political system, informed by a remarkably unified set of ideas about the world, the state, and about politics and society, that resonate among elites.” It is customary to be called "the Moscow consensus" in political and legal sciences. Its norms and values, in my opinion, are one of the major problems for liberal democracy to which we aspire throughout our region.
Military intervention of Russia to the Crimean Peninsula in February-March 2014, further illegal annexation of the Crimea and Sevastopol, and military intervention of Russia to the unsolved conflict in the East of Ukraine resulted in considerable deterioration of Russia’s relations with the West, and created a new security situation in Europe. Putin’s efforts to challenge the established post-Cold War European security order and change internationally recognized borders by means of military force and non-conventional means led to uncertainty that comes far beyond the post-soviet territory. After Russian intervention to the Crimea, NATO had to review a lot of aspects of its relations with Russia. The Alliance has also initiated a range of measures related to strengthening military security of its eastern countries-members, namely, the Baltic States, Poland and Romania. Further to the North, the most northern member of NATO – Norway – observes with the increased vigilance the events development in Russia. The same related to non-aligned Sweden and Finland that tried to adapt to the development and the growing complexity of the security environment in the northern Europe.
Is the Kremlin propaganda able to deform the image of the world, which was shaped in the West and, in the context of this report, in France? Certainly, and it began to do so already several decades ago. Or centuries. And today it uses some methods and arguments that were already used in Soviet times.
It also creates new techniques and arguments for new audiences, and, strangely enough, the West turns out to be not sufficiently prepared for this. However, in recent months, the European Union and the United States have started to realize the menace, and the information war conducted by the Kremlin is increasingly being condemned, including by top-level politicians. But, most important, the methods of fighting off this propaganda are being gradually created.
For about last decade, Russia managed to create a state-controlled media platform that consists of a number of federal broadcasters and powerful foreign broadcasting system. The main ones are: the All-Russian Governmental TV and Broadcasting Company (VGTRK), Gazprom-Media Holding public corporation, "National Media Group (NMG) joint-stock company. In addition, Russia has a centralized governmental system of international broadcasting, which as of 2016, included the Federal unitary enterprise of International Information Agency "Russia Today" (earlier - RIA Novosti), Sputnik multimedia service (earlier - Moscow Radio and Voice of Russia Radio ) and International information TV company RT (formerly - Russia Today). Broadcasting services have always received generous government funding, but in 2013-2015 it abruptly increased.
The current conflict in eastern Ukraine is not only warfare between ATO forces and military groupings of separatists controlled and supported by Russia. This is first and foremost a struggle between two value systems (civilizational ideas): Eurasian (imperial), promoted by the Kremlin and Western (liberal and democratic), favoured by the Ukrainian people during the Revolution of Dignity. We have to admit that Russia managed to inflict a number of sensitive strokes to Ukraine at the ideological front, using powerful instruments of non-military methods of preparing and conducting the war.
Since the beginning of its formation, Russian statehood has had features that have more or less affected its stability throughout its history both in short and long term.