NEWSWATCH: “The Front Line Drawn Across Russia’s Backyard” – Stratfor

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“Globalization has changed how we think about time, space and distance, but geography is still the same where it counts: national security. … former Soviet states lining Russia’s border know this better than most … their proximity to the eastern giant renders them more vulnerable to Moscow’s hybrid warfare …. Nations like Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova sit on the front line of […]

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On 25 years of postmodernity in the South Caucasus

A quarter century since the collapse of Soviet rule in Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan, where is the region now and what can come next? (opendemocracy.net – Georgi Derlugian – October 4, 2016) Georgi Derluguian, in his earlier life a Soviet-trained Africanist, studies the evolution of human societies along with practicing expeditionary fieldwork. Among his books are Bourdieu’s Secret Admirer in […]

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Russia Says Armenian-Azeri Peace Deal Is Closer Than Ever

Map of Azerbaijan and South Caucasus Environs Including Portions of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Iran, Caspian Sea

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Zulfugar Agayev, Sara Khojoyan – July 12, 2016) Russia is taking the lead in ramping up international efforts to end the conflict between Azeris and Armenians over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh after the worst outbreak of fighting in more than 20 years. “We have reasons to believe that we’re much closer now to success than ever […]

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NEWSWATCH: “What to expect from next U.S. ambassador to Ukraine” [former U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, Marie Yovanovitch] – Kyiv Post/Armine Sahakyan

Marie Yovanovitch file photo, adapted from image at usembassy.gov

Ukraine can expect Marie L. Yovanovitch, likely the next U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, to try to help achieve a political accommodation between Kyiv and eastern Ukraine’s separatists, to oppose corruption and political thuggery, and to defend human rights and journalist rights. * * * Yovanovitch, who was born in Canada into a family of immigrants from Russia, majored in history […]

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How Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Could Spark Major International Crisis

Map of Azerbaijan and South Caucasus Environs Including Portions of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Iran, Caspian Sea

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – April 7, 2016) Springtime in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh is predictable enough. As sure as the plane trees begin to flower, skirmishes break out between Azeri and Armenian troops. On April 2, however, the typically short-lasting, day-long ritual morphed into the makings of a serious international crisis. Armenia and Azerbaijan have […]

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De Waal: Kremlin ‘Not Primary Actor’ Behind Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Map of Azerbaijan and South Caucasus Environs Including Portions of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Iran, Caspian Sea

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Arzu Geybullayeva – April 4, 2016) A noted Western expert on the Caucasus says tensions between Azerbaijanis and Armenians over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh make their dispute one of the most menacing unresolved conflicts from the time the Soviet Union was breaking up in the early 1990s. But Thomas de Waal, a senior associate with Carnegie […]

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Russian expert: Karabakh conflict to go back to frozen state

Map of Azerbaijan and South Caucasus Environs Including Portions of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Iran, Caspian Sea

(Interfax – April 5, 2016) The ongoing outbreak of tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh will not spark a full-scale armed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and complex and problem-ridden negotiations in which Moscow traditionally plays a mediating role are likely to resume, Fyodor Lukyanov, Chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, has said. “The transformation of current […]

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Electric Yerevan and the end of apathy; Electric Yerevan may not have been an Armenian Maidan but activists hope and analysts believe it marks the end of the country’s era of apathy

Armenia Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Monica Ellena in Yerevan – July 27, 2015) The intricate mandala that Lidia painted no longer adorns the boiling tarmac in Marshal Baghramyan Avenue. The whirling white-chalked pattern got washed away as the Armenian police dismantled a nearby makeshift barricade of rubbish bins and pushed away a few hard-core demonstrators, who were camping a […]

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Power to the people; As Electric Yerevan showed, governments throughout Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia will face the risk of social and political unrest when they move to compel their citizens to pay market rates for electricity.

Electrical Yard file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow and Nick Allen in Berlin – July 27, 2015) The Electric Yerevan protests in Armenia burned brightly before police finally quashed them in early July. But the issue of electricity tariffs that sparked the protests will not go away: nearly half the countries in Emerging Europe also face a similarly […]

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‘Electric Yerevan’ protesters settle in for war of attrition with Armenia government

Armenia Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Monica Elena in Yerevan – June 29, 2015) On Marshal Baghramyan Prospect, Andrenik Grigoryan smiles at the young crowd lounging in the shade to escape the heat as Yerevan swelters. His remarkable white moustache and a paling tattoo on his forearm betray the 84-year-old’s young spirit. “They are brave, but this is what we […]

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Interfax: Armenian police sees no preconditions for revolution

Armenia Map

YEREVAN. June 25 (Interfax) – The Armenian police sees no preconditions for the protests in central Yerevan to develop into a revolution, Colonel Valery Osipian, deputy head of the Yerevan police, said. “It’s strange. What revolution or Maidan are they talking about? Of course, there are no such tendencies, there are no preconditions,” Osipian told Interfax. “Foreign experience should not […]

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Interfax: Armenia is not immune to ‘color revolution’ – Kosachyov

Armenia Map

MOSCOW. June 24 (Interfax) – Federation Council International Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachyov has detected ‘color revolution’ symptoms in the latest events in Armenia. “The situation is developing as a conflict of people displeased with the economic and social situation in Armenia,” Kosachyov told reporters on Wednesday. “But one should not be mistaken: practically every ‘color revolution’ started with such […]

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Nagorno-Karabakh: the not-so-frozen conflict

Map of Azerbaijan and South Caucasus Environs Including Portions of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Iran, Caspian Sea

(opendemocracy.net – Neil Melvin – October 9, 2014) Neil Melvin is director of the Armed Conflict and Conflict Management Programme at SIPRI In recent months, the ‘frozen’ Karabakh conflict has been more fire than ice. With outside powers stoking the flames, what are the chances of finally securing peace? During the summer months, as international headlines were dominated by the […]

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Nagorno-Karabakh: Crimea’s doppelganger

Map of Armenia and Environs

(opendemocracy.net – Thomas de Waal – June 13, 2014) Thomas de Waal is a senior associate for the Caucasus at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) in Washington. He is the author of The Caucasus: An Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2010). His earlier books include Chechnya: Calamity in the Caucasus (NYU Press, 1999) – with Carlotta Gall; and Black […]

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South Caucasus states shun Moscow’s influence

Tblisi, Georgia, file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yuri Simonyan, special to RBTH – May 3, 2014) When it comes to its relations with former Soviet republics in the Caucasus, Moscow has a delicate balancing act to play. It’s virtually impossible for Russia to play the role of a mediator in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Karabakh, but at the same time, […]

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An Old Game With New Rules In Russia’s Backyard

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – September 27, 2013) A former Soviet republic has its sights set on moving closer to Europe, a move staunchly opposed by Moscow. With the Kremlin’s tacit support, one of its majority ethnic-Russian cities votes to secede, sparking fears of violent conflict. Officials in Moscow vow to defend the rights of its smaller neighbor’s […]

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Armenia Looks West, Tries To Loosen Moscow’s Grip

Map of Armenia and Environs

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – June 3, 2013) It seemed like a small event, but it got a lot of tongues wagging. Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian decided not to attend an “informal summit” of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) on May 28. Sarkisian’s office cited Armenia’s Republic Day holiday that day and a visit to Yerevan […]

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Tsarnaevs’ Story Reveals Web of Ethnic Ties and Tensions in CIS

Boston Bombings Suspects File Photo Adapted from FBI Image

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – May 8, 2013) When the parents of “Misha,” the enigmatic Ukrainian-Armenian convert to Islam who allegedly helped radicalize Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, moved to the United States in the 1990s, they likely could not have imagined that their son would eventually be accused of coaching a Muslim terrorist. Yury Allakhverdov, a […]

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Russia in the Caucasus

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(International Relations and Security Network (ISN) – www.isn.ethz.ch – Aglaya Snetkov for the ISN – February 25, 2013) Aglaya Snetkov is a senior researcher at the Center for Security Studies (CSS). Despite the attempts by Western powers to penetrate the Caucasus, Russia continues to exert unmatched influence over the region. In today’s Questions and Answers presentation, the CSS’ Aglaya Snetkov […]

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Armenia Looks to Russia for Support

Map of Armenia and Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – February 20, 2013) Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, re-elected in a landslide victory Monday, is expected to keep the promotion of Russian ties a priority during his second five-year term, as his country moves closer to clinching an Association Agreement with the European Union. Flare-ups in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, seized by Armenia […]

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