War and Peace in the Caucasus

21.06.2016

The South Ossetia Referendum: No Rush for the Russians

A referendum on South Ossetia’s incorporation into the Russian Federation has been postponed until after the presidential election in the region due in early 2017. This means that there is still a large question mark over the optimum relationship between Russia and South Ossetia.
15.04.2016

Unfreezing the Status Quo in the Caucasus

The warring parties in the Karabakh conflict, especially the Azerbaijani side, have decided to shake the status quo in the Caucasus. Violence could recur at any time and the latest fighting clearly demonstrates that the combined goodwill and cooperation of Moscow and Washington is no longer sufficient.
2.04.2016

Dangerous Days in Karabakh

The twenty-one-year ceasefire in and around Nagorny Karabakh had been looking very precarious. A tragic outbreak of fighting there could be dangerous for the whole region.
10.03.2016

Will Kadyrov Actually Step Down?

Putin has little choice but to ask Ramzan Kadyrov to remain as head of the Chechen Republic. But doing so will reveal how indispensable Kadyrov is to the Kremlin and betray Putin’s weaknesses in Chechnya.
11.02.2016

Gazprom Sets Its Sights on Georgia

With parliamentary elections slated for the fall, Georgia’s ruling party is hoping that low energy prices will ensure victory at the polls. Once relatively independent of Gazprom, the government in Tbilisi is weighing importing natural gas from the Russian energy giant
27.01.2016

Kadyrov’s Calculated Provocation

Pro-Moscow Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has begun 2016 by picking fights with Russia’s opposition. Although they see it as a sign of his political strength, the new row reveals his weakness: Kadyrov is anxious to get renewed political and economic support from the Kremlin for Chechnya’s “special status.”
21.01.2016

Islamic State Menaces Dagestan

The Russian authorities have been reluctant to admit that an attack in southern Dagestan on the eve of New Year was the work of Islamic State. The organization is making a bid to play a role in the North Caucasus.
27.11.2015

Azerbaijan in an Era of Cheap Oil

The double blow of falling oil prices and a decrease in remittances from Russia is making Azerbaijan economically fragile. Azerbaijan’s leaders have not prepared the country for future shocks.
20.11.2015

Divisions and Defiance Among Russia’s Muslims

Russia’s official Muslim establishment blames the West for the rise of the self-proclaimed Islamic State and refuses to admit that radical Islam has a real social base, ignoring the radicalization of many ordinary Muslims in Russia and Central Asia.
16.11.2015

Exorcising Chechnya: Kadyrov and the Islamic State

Despite his harsh rhetoric, Kadyrov now takes a pragmatic view of the Islamic State’s influence on the situation in Chechnya and is committing himself to “exorcise” would-be recruits or returnees from the Middle East rather than merely destroying them.
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