Registan’s Caucasus News & Analysis Archive

At Registan, we are keenly interested in the Soviet successor states of the Caucasus and Central Asia. Registan.net 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

The Decline and Fall of Matthew Bryza

by Joshua Foust
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While he was the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder advocated constantly for the construction of Nord Stream, an undersea natural gas pipeline that will travel from Russia, along the floor of the Baltic Sea, and end in Germany. It seemed like a great deal for Germany, to get a direct line to Russia’s vast energy wealth, [...]

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Focus on the “Social” in Social Media

by Nathan Hamm
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Earlier this week, Small Wars Journal published an article by Matthew Stein, a research analyst currently working at the Foreign Military Studies Office at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, discussing the role of videos recorded and posted by citizen bystanders in the information battle to control the narrative over the police’s violent crackdown on protesters in Zhanaozen [...]

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Showdown! Who Wins?

by Nathan Hamm
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Georgia’s president paid a visit to the race track recently. He offered to resign if Russia returns South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Sure, that’s interesting, but the more important question is whether Saakashvili or Berdimuhamedov would win on the track. So, who has your vote? or For those who need video: vs.

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Romney and Russia and Around We Go

by Casey_Michel
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I don’t want to spend too much time dissecting Mitt Romney’s war-path to the presidency — the one that’s tarred anything he’s touched, and dropped his unfavorability numbers to record lows — because A) I’d hate to alienate any secret Romneycons among my friends, and B) while I do have enough time, I’d rather spend it transcribing [...]

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Facing up to illiberal democracy

Kazakhstani ballot box (Wikipedia). by Christopher Schwartz

In the last two months, we’ve born witness to more incidents of illiberal democracy or democracy’s “doubles” here in Central Asia/Eurasia, from Kazakhstan’s parliamentary elections which many say was an experiment in pseudo-pluralism; to Turkmenistan’s surreal presidential election that has left those of us on the outside (and, indeed, many of those on the inside) [...]

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Central Asia: An Exception to the “Cute Cats” Theory of Internet Revolution

by Sarah Kendzior

Last month Ethan Zuckerman, a senior researcher at the Berkman Center of Internet and Society, gave a lecture on how his “cute cats” theory of the internet applies to the Arab Spring. For those of you unfamiliar with the theory, Cory Doctorow sums it up in an rapturous review of the talk in the Guardian: [...]

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A Dishonest Commentary on Georgia and Russia

by Joshua Foust

Heritage scholar James Jay Carafano endorses the Georgia propaganda film “5 Days of War.” The film ends with testimonies from Georgians who lost family members in the war. “After I met a lot of refugees,” Harlin said last night during a post-screening discussion of the movie at Washington’s Landmark Theater, “I felt I had to [...]

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A Bitter War, with No Heroes

by Joshua Foust
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Today marks the third anniversary of the Russo-Georgian War. Georgia has a famously fraught relationship with its two separatist regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Since before its independence from the Soviet Union, Georgia had fought with the two, even sending a militia into Sukhumi, the capital of Abkhazia, in 1989, which was later put down [...]

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Trying to Unravel the Tblisi Blast

by Joshua Foust

One administration official told The Washington Times there was “no consensus” on responsibility for the Tbilisi blast. Really, that was the one line that leapt out at me in this piece. As Eli Lake reports, it is indeed significant that Secretary Clinton has raised the issue with her Russian counterparts two times since the September [...]

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Pick One

by Joshua Foust

Over at The Weekly Standard, Daniel Halper writes: But this allegation, coming as it did from a U.S. ally, was immediately dismissed by those on the far right and far left in Washington (who oddly share a mutual affinity for Vladimir Putin’s thugocracy, or maybe just an affinity for the Obama administration’s great power politics [...]

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