War and Peace in the Caucasus

23.07.2020

Can Russia Mediate New Clashes Between Armenia and Azerbaijan?

It’s in neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan’s interests for Russia to pick a side in their conflict: Nagorno-Karabakh would go from being a unique place where Russia and the West cooperate to yet another theater for their rivalry, with all the ensuing risks and dangers.
9.07.2019

New Model North Caucasus: Kremlin Tries New Approach in Ingushetia

The rich history of law enforcement in the family of Ingushetia’s new head, Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov, contains some hints as to the Kremlin’s new political logic on the North Caucasus. What’s important is that the heightened influence of the Chechen leadership in other parts of the North Caucasus does not figure in the interests of the security services, though when the previous head Yunus-Bek Yevkurov resigned, there was much talk of that growing influence: specifically, that relations between Yevkurov and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov had been strained.
4.07.2019

Tale of Two Presidents Reveals Risks of Post-Soviet Power Transition

The beleaguered former presidents of Armenia and Kyrgyzstan are both typical clan leaders with notable numbers of supporters. Both cases illustrate clearly how complex and risky the process of handing over power remains in the post-Soviet arena.
25.06.2019

Georgian Dream Is Dealt a Double Blow

The recent events have both damaged the Georgian government’s domestic legitimacy and spelled an end to its thaw with Russia.
19.12.2018

“Old Armenia” Meets the “Armenia of the Future”: The Old Ruling Elite Under Pashinyan

In post-revolutionary Armenia, the old ruling elite has had to come to terms with new realities. Chief among these is the power of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, whose electoral bloc and allies now control parliament. Those who deny or challenge Pashinyan’s dominance risk having their companies audited and their homes searched, and even being arrested; not even former presidents are safe. Hence the decision of many Republican Party figures to acquiesce to or join Pashinyan, whose measured approach has so far allowed him to avoid conflict with either the public or the old ruling elite.
28.08.2018

Will Azerbaijan Join the “Eurasian NATO”?

Unexpectedly, Baku has begun to debate joining the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). However, Azeri rhetoric aside, until Baku comes to see accession to the “Eurasian NATO” as critical to regaining control over Nagorno-Karabakh—its top political priority—it is unlikely to pursue CSTO membership, just as it has declined to participate in other multilateral initiatives in which Yerevan is involved.
6.08.2018

Inside the Explosive Case Against Armenia’s Ex-President

The case against ex-president Robert Kocharyan has become the most explosive episode in Armenian politics since this past spring’s Velvet Revolution. It has unnerved Moscow, as well as Kocharyan’s allies in Yerevan, with the former fearing that Armenia is pivoting to the West and the latter accusing the Nikol Pashinyan government of political persecution. But the case against Kocharyan is neither geopolitical nor the beginning of a campaign of terror—it is all about the March 1 affair, Armenia’s Bloody Sunday.
16.05.2018

What to Expect from Armenia’s New Leader

It’s hard to call Pashinyan left- or right-wing, pro-Western or pro-Russian. He has two images: one of a charismatic revolutionary, capable of getting people on the streets to rally behind him, and the other as a pragmatic politician ready to make compromises and form tactical unions.
7.05.2018

Armenia’s Revolution and the Legacy of 1988

The unexpected collapse of Armenia’s ruling regime is better understood if you study the story of Armenia’s break with the Soviet regime in 1988. The country has a legacy of peaceful protest, national solidarity, but is also trapped by a strong nationalist discourse.
10.04.2018

The Southern Vector: Russia’s Need to Upgrade Its Policy in the South Caucasus

To ensure its national security, Russia needs a comprehensive strategy in the South Caucasus region.
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