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IR Insider is a production of NYU's International Relations Society. Our goal is to explain and discuss issues in IR in an engaging and thought-provoking fashion. We are written by students, for students, about issues students care about. 

Will Russian Oligarchs Get a ‘Free-Pass’ from U.S. Sanctions?

After a striking hit to the global aluminum and metal markets, the U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Asset Control is considering loosening the sanctions it imposed earlier this April on Russian aluminum conglomerate Rusal, suggesting that easing of sanctions is attached to the stipulation that the company’s head, Oleg Deripaska, a Putin-entangled Russian oligarch, would cede control of the organization before it may be reintegrated into conducting complete business transactions with the U.S.

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Social Media & Chemical Weapons: A Story of Russia in Syria

After an alleged chemical weapons strike on April 7th in the Syrian city of Douma, Russian forces will finally permit inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to visit the site of attack this week. After online claims and confusion surrounding possible fabrication and staging, the delay in admittance aroused international concern that this time lapse alludes to possible Russian tampering and interference with the scene of the incident.

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Orban’s Reelection: Another Ode to Strongman Populism

Following the April 8th Hungarian national election, incumbent Prime Minister Viktor Orban secured a surprising majority victory for himself in reclaiming his seat as the head of the government under the banner of his party Fidesz. Ringing in his third consecutive term, Orban posits himself as another steadfast figure in the sweeping trend of nationalistic populism overtaking many democracies across the North Atlantic region.

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The ‘Besieged Russian Fortress’ Retaliates: Closure of U.S. Consulate and Expulsion of Diplomats from 23 Countries

In retaliation against the recent expulsion of Russian diplomats from numerous Western countries, the Kremlin has announced the closure of the U.S. Consulate in St. Petersburg and the expulsion of 60 U.S. diplomats from the country by April 5th. Following this statement, 59 diplomats from 23 other nations were also expelled from Russia in disavowal by the Kremlin of their collaborative action taken to remove Russian diplomats from their nations. 

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Moldovan Protests for Romanian Reunification Signal Growing Domestic Factional Divides

Over tens of thousands of protestors reportedly marched in the streets of Moldova’s capital, Chişinău, on March 25th, 2018, in favor of the country’s reunification with Romania. Historically bound to Romania during the interwar period of the twentieth century, calls for political reunification highlight emerging separatist trends between Moldovan pro-Russian and pro-Western factions.

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The Russian Reign Continues with Putin’s Reelection

A sweeping victory was achieved by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his recent reelection this past Sunday, March 18th, 2018. The win does not come as a surprise to many who understand the corrupt and biased nature of Russian elections, and who more specifically understand the notorious role that President Putin has played in prescribing the path to his own success. Due to the orchestration of the Russian government, Putin continues to serve at its stern as the longest reigning Russian leader since the time of Joseph Stalin. 

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