Thumbnail image for New Report for USAID — “Central Asian Involvement in the Conflict in Syria and Iraq: Drivers and Responses”

New Report for USAID — “Central Asian Involvement in the Conflict in Syria and Iraq: Drivers and Responses”

This spring USAID and MSI International commissioned me to write a long-form policy paper on the Central Asian recruiting to the Syrian conflict. Though it took a couple of months to make sure it was approved for public release, I’m happy to finally be able to share it. This report is the culmination of around […]

A half-frozen low-intensity conflict in Eastern Ukraine?

Caught in a “no war, no peace” situation, Eastern Ukraine is slowly but relentlessly diving into a low-intensity conflict. From the onset of the crisis, barely two years ago, Ukraine has been at war with Russia over the territorial integrity of Crimea and separatist Donbas – two fronts Kyiv has to deal with simultaneously. Through […]

Russian Strategy – WTF?

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 […]

“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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The woeful strategic and military aftermath of the Minsk 2 agreement between Ukraine and Russia

by Mathieu BOULEGUE

On 11 February, a four-way meeting attended by Presidents Vladimir Putin, Petro Poroshenko, François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, alongside OSCE and Donbass representatives from the Contact Group, took place in Minsk to discuss what we dubbed the “last chance” for peace over the Donbass conflict and the Ukrainian crisis. After more than 16 […]

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Tuva and Mongolia: At the Nexus of Economics and Culture

by Matthew Kupfer
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I’ve published a new article in the most recent edition of the Russian Analytical Digest on growing economic relations between Mongolia, the Tuva Republic, and other south Siberian border regions. This article builds on an earlier post I wrote for Registan, “Tuva Looks To Mongolia for Investment in a Post-Crimea World,” and provides a fuller picture of growing […]

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Some thoughts on Russia’s updated military doctrine

by Mathieu BOULEGUE

On 26 December 2014, President Vladimir Putin signed into law the revised version of Russia’s 2010 military doctrine. Left largely unchanged, the document still encompasses what is commonly called a “defensive” stance, i.e. the fact Russia will deplete all non-violent means to settle a diplomatic issue before engaging in military might and resorting to use […]

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Vladimir Putin and the Gospel of Men’s Rights

by Matthew Kupfer
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As Russia’s relations with the United States and the European Union continue to deteriorate, it’s tough to find real fans of Vladimir Putin west of Hungary. But they’re out there, even in America. I recently published an article on Muftah.org about a group of men with a passion for the countries of the old Eastern […]

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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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