The Great Game

Russian Strategy – WTF?

by Nathan Barrick

Is Russian Strategy warlike – true or false? Russia’s strategic deployment and bombing campaign in Syria appears to have surprised and shocked many observers, including Russia watchers.  It shouldn’t have. The uproar is all about Russian aggression and expansionism.  Pundits decry Putin’s alleged attempt to re-create the Soviet Union.  The descriptors of Putin and Russia […]

7 comments Read the full article →

US DoS’s recognition of Uzbek rights advocate makes Bishkek so unhappy that…

by Elmurad Kasym

In early March 2011, the U.S. Department of State awarded then-Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva with the International Women of Courage Award. “So what?” an interested reader might ask. “She earned it,” was perhaps the thought in her administration, which included Temir Sariyev—then the deputy premier and finances minister. However, when the U.S. DoS awarded Azimjan […]

Read the full article →

Russia: Egypt Enters Eurasian Union Orbit

by Peter Marzalik
Thumbnail image for Russia: Egypt Enters Eurasian Union Orbit

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 […]

2 comments Read the full article →

Putin’s Words and Kazakh History

by Casey_Michel

Another summer passes, and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev grows that much closer to moving into his post-presidential period. Unfortunately, this summer moved us no closer toward identifying a successor to the 74-year-old Nazarbayev. We have candidates, from Timur Kulibayev to Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev to Dariga Nazarbayeva, but no figure has yet jumped to the fore. With […]

3 comments Read the full article →

Marching Westward

by Casey_Michel

We always knew 2014 was going to be a year of Eurasian shift. The American withdrawal from Afghanistan, pegged to 2014, coincided with Washington’s pivot to East Asia – as well as the Americans’ unceremonious eviction from the Manas Transit Center, their most noteworthy placeholder in Central Asia. And as soon as Viktor Yanukovych made […]

2 comments Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

Ukraine: Divvying Up The Breadbasket Of Europe

by Peter Marzalik
Thumbnail image for Ukraine: Divvying Up The Breadbasket Of Europe

Amidst escalating U.S.-E.U. sanctions against Russia for its illegal seizure of Crimea, experts and commentators alike have speculated on the financial fallout such measures and continuing political instability will elicit for Russia, Ukraine, and the international community, particularly in the energy sectors of oil and gas. One economic dynamic that has received lesser media coverage […]

Read the full article →

Ukraine: Putin Attempts To Woo Crimean Tatars

by Peter Marzalik
Thumbnail image for Ukraine: Putin Attempts To Woo Crimean Tatars

Earlier this week, Rustam Minnikhanov, President of Russia’s Republic Tatarstan and emissary of the Kremlin, arrived in Crimea to meet with Tatar leaders, likely reiterating restraint following recent clashes with the local Russian population over Russian intervention in Ukraine. The visit culminated in the signing of a cooperation agreement with the recently installed, pro-Russian Prime […]

1 comment Read the full article →

Checking in on Eurasian Union Struggles

by Casey_Michel

In late October, while meeting with other heads involved in the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Minsk, Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev turned to the topic of the forthcoming Eurasian Union. There had been hints and drops of Kazakhstani discontent with the EAU’s formulation – talk of business concerns, rumblings of ethno-based discontent. Nazarbayev decided to focus […]

Read the full article →

Influence: The Bogeyman of Simplified Strategic Understanding

by Nathan Barrick

Many times I have been asked to assess whether one nation or another is “increasing influence,” usually to categorize as “good” or “bad” developing events for someone with little time or understanding of the situation. Frequently, the right answer – “It depends…” – has to be discarded due to an enforced sense of urgency that […]

Read the full article →