Thumbnail image for SCO Electoral Missions and Legitimization of Undemocratic Elections: “I’m gonna guild my own democracy with electoral fraud and fellow dictators”

SCO Electoral Missions and Legitimization of Undemocratic Elections: “I’m gonna guild my own democracy with electoral fraud and fellow dictators”

[After being kicked out of a theme park] “I’m gonna go build my own theme park, with blackjack and hookers. In fact, forget the park!” -Bender, Futurama, 1999, season 1, ep.2 Working on a large piece of research is more of a burden than fun, and that is why any chance to have a laugh [...]

Are Russian Military Exercises a Threat? How to Interpret Russia’s Military Maneuvers in 2015

In a 12 April interview, Estonia’s President Toomas Hendrik Ilves claimed insufficient NATO forces were located in Estonia to prevent a Russian invasion, which he said would be over in about four hours. A year ago, the press was afire with wild predictions on who Russia’s next target after Crimea would be – this Ukrainian [...]

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Islamic Banking Reaches the Post-Soviet Space

I recently wrote a brief for Global Risk Insights on how Islamic Banking is rapidly spreading across Central Asia and the Caucasus: The interest in Russia for the regulation of Islamic Banking reflects an even greater interest in the sector across the post-Soviet space. The Post-Soviet states of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan [...]

The Ukrainian crisis between fluidity and glaciation

by Mathieu BOULEGUE

Over the past few weeks, the war in Donbas between Ukrainian armed forces and DPR-LPR separatists has transformed into a mix of stagnant, almost frozen conflict and fluid hybrid warfare. Under the conditions of a shaky truce and the overall lack of respect of the Minsk 2 agreements, the war goes forth on a level [...]

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The coming crisis in Kyrgyzstan: a mixture of politics and gold

by Max Hess

Kyrgyzstan is due to hold legislative elections in October and, once again, all that everybody can think about is the gold. While Kyrgyzstan fails to crack the top 25 global gold producers, gold nevertheless accounts for roughly 40 per cent of export earnings and the gold industry is responsible for some 20 per cent of [...]

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SCO Electoral Missions and Legitimization of Undemocratic Elections: “I’m gonna guild my own democracy with electoral fraud and fellow dictators”

by Aijan Sharshenova
Thumbnail image for SCO Electoral Missions and Legitimization of Undemocratic Elections: “I’m gonna guild my own democracy with electoral fraud and fellow dictators”

[After being kicked out of a theme park] “I’m gonna go build my own theme park, with blackjack and hookers. In fact, forget the park!” -Bender, Futurama, 1999, season 1, ep.2 Working on a large piece of research is more of a burden than fun, and that is why any chance to have a laugh [...]

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Ukraine on the eve of a new offensive in Donbass?

by Mathieu BOULEGUE

Amid worrying signs that a new military offensive might be launched by Kremlin-backed separatist forces in Eastern Ukraine, the Foreign Ministers of the “Normandy Format” – namely Russian Sergei Lavrov, German Frank-Walter Steinmeier, French Laurent Fabius, and Ukrainian Pavlo Klimkin – met in Berlin on April 13 to discuss the further implementation of the Minsk [...]

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Are Russian Military Exercises a Threat? How to Interpret Russia’s Military Maneuvers in 2015

by Nathan Barrick

In a 12 April interview, Estonia’s President Toomas Hendrik Ilves claimed insufficient NATO forces were located in Estonia to prevent a Russian invasion, which he said would be over in about four hours. A year ago, the press was afire with wild predictions on who Russia’s next target after Crimea would be – this Ukrainian [...]

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“Rumors of My Death”

by Nathan Barrick

Where is President Putin?  Will he show up on Monday the 16th to meet Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atambayev in Saint Petersburg, or will that meeting be canceled too? Quite a bit of speculation abounds as to the whereabouts of Russia President Vladimir Putin.  The serious questions began to be posed after President Putin suddenly canceled [...]

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By Our Own Law: Kyrgyz pastoralism in the wake of land reform

by Anthony Wenndt
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Wide-eyed and claustrophobic in a minivan taxi cab, I sat and pondered. Having just spent several days with pasture users in Doobolu village in Naryn Province, Kyrgyzstan, I had many thoughts to chew on as the wintry cab windows revealed glimpses of the mountainscape. Kyrgyz pastoralism amidst decades of land reform policy, I thought, had [...]

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Russia: Who Killed Boris Nemtsov?

by Peter Marzalik
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Russia: Who Killed Boris Nemtsov? By Peter J. Marzalik and Sara Jane Cuschleg On 27 February, Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was killed by unknown assailants less than 200 meters away from the Kremlin. A former deputy prime minister and vocal Putin critic, Nemtsov feared that his most recent campaign against Russian involvement in Ukraine [...]

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Russia: Egypt Enters Eurasian Union Orbit

by Peter Marzalik
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Even with crippling Western economic sanctions over its military involvement in Ukraine, Russia continues attempts to build more diplomatic clout on the international stage, with the latest launching Egypt into the orbit of the Kremlin-led Eurasian Union to the chagrin of the United States. During a recent two-day visit to Cairo, Russian President Vladimir Putin [...]

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Talysh Identity and Geopolitics in the South Caucasus

by Bradley Jardine

    “In Azerbaijan, a sensitive debate is being reintroduced to the political foreground: “Did Talyshistan belong to the Azerbaijan Republic? And if not can the current Republic of Azerbaijan legitimately claim the region as its sovereign territory?” Although this seems like an academic question, debated in the confines of history departments; the discussion is [...]

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