Author: Aslan Doukaev / Eurasia Daily Monitor

As Russian President Vladimir Putin approaches his 70th birthday and 23rd year in power, speculation about his possible successor has increasingly surfaced in newspaper articles, blog posts and even some official press releases (RIA Novosti, January 25; Meduza, April 7; T.me/CenterCounte-ringDisinformation, April 21). Predictably, most of the talk among Russian commentators centers around such heavyweights...

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In a throwback to Stalinist-era practices, Russian forces in Ukraine may have been using some of their own detachments as “barrier troops” – a term originating in World War II for so-called anti-retreat forces (Gazeta.ua, March 11; T.me/SBUkr, March 12). The deployment of such units to deter frontline waverers or to punish insubordination among Russian...

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In a further indication that Russia continues to build up its forces on the border with Ukraine, a convoy with Chechen internal troops has recently been spotted moving northwest, through the North Caucasus, toward the potential war zone. At the end of last month, JaziraNews’s Twitter account reported, citing unidentified sources in Chechnya, that “[President...

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