Registan’s Caucasus News & Analysis Archive

At Registan, we are keenly interested in the Soviet successor states of the Caucasus and Central Asia. was founded to shine a light on the region for western audiences and to add context to media reporting. In our nearly ten years of publishing news and analysis on the region, we have amassed an archive of thousands of items discussing these regions’ people, cultures, religions, politics, and foreign policies. All of our contributors who cover Central Asia or the Caucasus have lived or traveled extensively in the region, have a background in post-Soviet studies, and most speak one or more of the languages used in the region.

In addition to publishing a widely read and recognized weblog on Central Asia and the Caucasus, Registan offers research, analysis, and training services tailored to your individual needs. For more information on how we can help you and your organization better understand the region.

Photo Credit: Jonathan P

98 Degrees and Rising? Azerbaijan’s Military Expansion and the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

by Suzanne Rothman

The mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh is the epicenter of one of the world’s deadliest ethnic conflicts, one that has been considered “frozen” since the belligerents, Armenia and Azerbaijan, signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. In reality, however, border skirmishes resulting in casualties on both sides are abundant and the mutual hostility remains intense on the [...]

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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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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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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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New Russian-Abkhaz Treaty Sets Georgia on Collision Course

by Max Hess

On 24 November 2014, Russia and Abkhazia, a small self-declared republic on the Black Sea, signed a new treaty aimed at deepening their relationship and providing security guarantees for Abkhazia. The treaty signs away not only much of the proto-state’s independence but also condemns Georgia to further long term instability. While Russia recognises Abkhazia as [...]

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Recent Crackdown and Mass Protests do not Spell Political Reform in Azerbaijan

by Suzanne Rothman

Azerbaijan is a land of extraordinary riches. So vast are its oil reserves that natural fires burst from ground, leading ancients to believe the land was sacred. In modern times, the Azerbaijani government uses this natural wealth as a source of revenue. Today, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and other pipelines transport Azerbaijan’s oil to importers around the [...]

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It’s a Sea! 18 years after, the Caspian finally gets a legal status

by Mathieu BOULEGUE

Copyright RIA Novosti Against all odds, the 4th Caspian Summit that took place in Astrakhan on 29 September between the “Caspian Five” – the five littoral states of Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan – ended with rather positive advances and, for once, unexpected breakthroughs. As President Putin declared after the Summit, “we agreed on [...]

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Islamic Banking Reaches the Post-Soviet Space

by Luke Rodeheffer
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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 [...]

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Gender Equality in Azerbaijan: Interview with an Activist

by Suzanne Rothman

  Before departing from Baku, I met with Sabina, a Project Management Assistant at the Women’s Association for Rational Development (WARD) to talk about women’s issues and the feminist activism in Azerbaijan. Working at an organization dealing with women’s issues, Sabina offered not only an insider’s perspective but also an analytical understanding of what is [...]

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A New Eurasian Epoch, But No One Really Noticed

by Casey_Michel

Unless you’ve been watching the post-Soviet space with a keen eye, you likely missed the world’s-biggest-round-table signing last week. The meeting, held in Astana, heralded what Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed as a new “epoch” – the official founding of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), set to come into force on Jan. 1, 2015. But [...]

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