Baku’s Success in Using Turkish Drones Raises Question: Could Ukraine Use Them Against Russia in Crimea?

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 17, Issue 179 – Paul Goble – Dec. 16, 2020) The Azerbaijani military’s use of Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), purchased from Turkey, played such a prominent role in Baku’s victory over Armenian forces during the Second Karabakh War (September 27–November 9, 2020) that defense analysts around the world are […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Nagorno-Karabakh conflict killed 5,000 soldiers” – BBC

Map of Azerbaijan and Environs, adapted from image at cia.gov

“… Azerbaijan made significant territorial gains but gave no casualty numbers, while Armenia said last month it had counted 2,425 dead soldiers. Now Azerbaijan says 2,783 of its forces died in the Nagorno-Karabakh war and another 100 are missing in action. It brings to over 5,000 the number of soldiers confirmed to have died. At least 143 civilians were also […]

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Armenians See Russia As ‘Savior’ Not ‘Scapegoat’ In Nagorno-Karabakh War

Map of Azerbaijan and Environs, adapted from image at cia.gov

(Article text ©2020 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Ron Synovitz – Nov. 24, 2020 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/armenians-see-russia-as-savior-not-scapegoat-in-nagorno-karabakh-war/30966988.html) As war raged this autumn over Azerbaijan’s breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, some Armenians expressed a sense of betrayal that long-standing ally Russia wasn’t providing more support to ethnic Armenian fighters in the conflict. But any […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “In Nagorno-Karabakh peace deal, Russia’s Putin claims a strategic win. But risks are attached” – Washington Post / Robyn Dixon

Map of Azerbaijan and Environs, adapted from image at cia.gov

“… Under the cease-fire, nearly 2,000 [Russian] peacekeepers have been deployed to Nagorno-Karabakh, a separatist enclave controlled by an ethnic Armenian government within the internationally recognized borders of Azerbaijan. … reinforc[ing] the Kremlin’s view that its sphere of influence includes Azerbaijan and Armenia …. [and providing] another counterweight to geopolitical rival[] Turkey, a close Azerbaijan ally and key customer for […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Peace, for now; A peace deal ends a bloody war over Nagorno-Karabakh; Azerbaijan wins some land, while Turkey and Russia carve out spheres of influence” – The Economist

Map of Azerbaijan and Environs, adapted from image at cia.gov

“Brokered by Russia and Turkey …. [t]he peace deal marks one of the biggest shake-ups in a turbulent region at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and the Middle East since the collapse of the Soviet empire, which also began in Nagorno-Karabakh. … [A]fter 25 years of waiting for the return of its territory, Azerbaijan went back to war. … aided […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Caucasus ceasefire cements Turkey as a power in Russia’s backyard; Azerbaijan-Armenia truce underlines new regional balance between Moscow and Ankara” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy, Laura Pitel

Map of Azerbaijan and Environs, adapted from image at cia.gov

“… a six-week-long conflict with Armenia over … Nagorno-Karabakh … resulted in major gains for Azerbaijan and its Turkish-backed military …. A truce … freezes the conflict … includ[ing] agreements that [Russian ally] Armenia … must hand over additional land …. While the truce was brokered by Moscow — which has deployed [nearly 2,000] peacekeepers — … Azerbaijan’s success with […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Is a Bad Omen” – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace/ Paul Stronski

Map of Azerbaijan and Environs, adapted from image at cia.gov

“With the United States shrugging off its erstwhile role as the world’s policeman, can anyone stop the fierce fighting now raging between Armenia and Azerbaijan?” “… The long-running Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, … dat[ing] to the waning days of the Soviet Union, is not going to trigger a global war[] [n]or … affect … [great power] vital interests […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia should rethink its role in new energy economy” – The National (UAE)/ Robin Mills

Gas Flame file photo

“Global gas market remains oversupplied and renewables only makes up a small part of the country’s energy mix.” “Russia’s energy sector has so far come through the pandemic better than some might have expected. … Opec+ … has shored up oil revenue and the rouble. But [Russia’s] longer-term outlook is cloudy, both in petroleum and its unstrategic approach to new […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Which Countries Are Open to Russians – and Vice Versa?” – Moscow Times

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

… Russia also closed its borders to most foreign citizens, with exceptions for diplomats, relatives of deceased people, high-demand workers and other categories […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The U.S. and Russia have a rare opportunity to work together on a peace deal” – Washington Post/ David Ignatius

Map of Armenia and Environs

“… Russia and the United States … are co-chairs of a group … seeking to broker a peace deal [addressing] …. the long-frozen standoff between Armenia and Azerbaijan … with roots in ethnic and territorial disputes which this month became a hot war with barrages of artillery …. a rare convergence of interest between Russia and the United States, two […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Syria gamble under pressure as Turkey attacks in Idlib; Erdogan threatens further escalation of hostilities before Moscow meeting” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy

Syria Map

“Turkish attacks on Russian-backed forces in the Syrian province of Idlib are testing Moscow’s relationship with Ankara …. Seeking to avenge the killing last week of 34 Turkish soldiers, … Erdogan has bombarded Syrian regime targets in the province … warning that the destruction of fighter jets and killing of more than 100 pro-regime combatants is ‘only the beginning.’ The […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s nuclear power exports are booming” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

Russian Nuclear Power Plant file photo

“… state-owned … Rosatom … operates 35 nuclear power stations in Russia … produc[ing] 28GW of power, and … is actively exporting … nuclear technology …. [to help] cement[] ties with … emerging markets with no nuclear power tradition and the BRICS countries …. [including i]n recent years … construction of six nuclear power reactors in India, Iran and China […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia backs global use of its alternative SWIFT system” – Reuters

File Image of Artist's Conception of Globe with Curved Connecting Lines of Light Passing Through Space, adapted from image at fincen.gov

“Russian lawmakers on Tuesday backed the international use of a Russian alternative system for the global financial messaging network SWIFT designed by Moscow to eliminate the risk of Western sanctions. Russia has held talks with China, India, Iran and Turkey about joint use of Russia’s financial messaging system …. Russia started developing an alternative to the Belgium-based SWIFT financial messaging […]

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Gangster Geopolitics: The Kremlin’s Use of Criminals as Assets Abroad

Stylized Artist's Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Mark Galeotti – January 17, 2018 – russiamatters.org/analysis/gangster-geopolitics-kremlins-use-criminals-assets-abroad) Mark Galeotti is a senior associate fellow of RUSI and a senior non-resident fellow at the Institute of International Relations Prague, as well as a 2018-19 Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute. His most recent book is “The Vory: Russia’s Super Mafia” (Yale, 2018) [Amazon: […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Turkey Shifts Toward Russia as Sanctions Sour U.S. Relations; Foreign ministers slam Western sanctions, as Erdogan plans boycott of U.S. electronic goods” – Wall Street Journal/David Gauthier-Villars

Turkey and Environs Satellite Image

“… Erdogan … stepped up his attacks on the U.S. … Tuesday, calling for a boycott of Apple … iPhones and other U.S. electronic goods … his foreign minister joined his Russian counterpart … criticizing Western sanctions. Turkey, a longtime [NATO] ally, has been caught between the West and Russia. This week, officials in Ankara were leaning decidedly toward Moscow. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s Turkey visit brings S-400 missile and nuclear plant headway” – bne Intellinews

Turkey and Environs Satellite Image

“… Erdogan received … Putin in Ankara … with a crowded agenda … including … Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, the purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defence system and progress with the TurkStream natural gas pipeline …. even more challenging … with the scheduled arrival of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and … the complicated task of finding an end-game […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Gazprom spends big to keep trillion dollar dream alive; Russian gas exporter ramps up borrowing and raids cashpile to maintain growth” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy

Gas Facility file photo

“In an effort to fight back, Gazprom is …. [r]amping up borrowing and raiding its … cash pile … splurging on critical new infrastructure …. it announced that it expected to spend 24 per cent more this year on long-term investment, capital expenditure and acquisitions previously forecast. … next year’s spending [is projected to] hit a record Rbs 1.28tn ($22bn), up 13 per cent on […]

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NEWSLINK: “NATO is headed for a very messy break-up” – Boston Globe/ Stephen Kinzer

Turkey and Environs Satellite Image

“… Recently Turkey and the United States stopped issuing visas to each other’s citizens. This is more than just another travel ban. It is a geopolitical spectacle unique in modern history: two allied countries blocking normal back-and-forth travel. An old relationship has gone deeply sour. …”

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NEWSWATCH: “Oil prices rise to highest level in two years” – Intellinews/ Ben Aris

Oil Wells File Photo

“Trouble between Turkey and the Kurds led oil prices to rise to $59 per barrel on September 26, their highest level in more than two years. Kurds held a referendum in … Iraq calling for … an independent Kurdish homeland for the ethnic group, who spill over the borders of neighbouring Turkey, Iran and Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan […]

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Putin Meets Erdogan as Russia Pursues Syria Diplomacy Blitz

Turkey and Environs Satellite Image

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Ilya Arkhipov – May 3, 2017) Russian President Vladimir Putin continued his diplomatic push for a plan to establish safe zones in Syria backed by peacekeepers as he began talks with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Wednesday. Russia and Turkey can “change the destiny of the […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Sergei Lavrov, Sergei Naryshkin and Alexander Bortnikov

Turkey and Environs Satellite Image

(Kremlin.ru – December 19, 2016) Vladimir Putin had a meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin and Director of the Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Tragic news has arrived from Turkey, where Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov was brutally murdered. First of all, I would like to […]

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RUSSIAN FOREIGN POLICY IN THE MIDDLE EAST 2015-2016: PUSHING ON AN OPEN DOOR

Middle East Map

(Robert O. Freedman, Johns Hopkins University – 31 October 2016) There is no question but that Russia has been very active in the Middle East over the last year, especially in Syria. There is a question however as to whether Moscow has been able to transform this activity into actual influence in the region. I would argue that the answer […]

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NEWSWATCH: “U.S., Russia Discuss Syria Cooperation Plan. Officials see hope of reducing violence and creating atmosphere for political transition” – Wall Street Journal

Syria Map

… Kerry and … Lavrov are meeting … in a bid to complete a deal on increased cooperation in Syria that officials hope could help create the calm necessary for talks on a political transition. … The Pentagon is concerned about more closely cooperating with Russia, which backs … al-Assad’s regime. * * * Kerry’s efforts are opposed by some […]

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NEWSLINK RBTH/ Kommersant: “Six reasons Russia and Turkey will struggle to become strategic partners.”

Turkey and Environs Satellite Image

The Russian-Turkish rapprochement obtained during the Aug. 9 summit in St. Petersburg must not engender unrealistic expectations and excessive illusions. There are still many problems and serious contradictions in relations between Moscow and Ankara for there to be, as some commentators are already saying, a ‘strategic alliance’ between Russia and Turkey.

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin/ Erdogan] News conference following talks with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkey and Environs Satellite Image

(Kremlin.ru – August 9, 2016) President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, We have just completed the main part of the talks with President Erdogan. Naturally, this meeting is very important for the future of Russian-Turkish relations. We had a meaningful and, I would like to emphasise, constructive conversation on the entire range of bilateral issues and […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Turkey’s Erdogan Patches Up Relations With Putin” – Wall Street Journal

Turkey map

… Putin and … Erdogan mended fences in a high-profile meeting Tuesday, bolstering their governments’ ties as both face strained relations with the West. … Erdogan’s first trip abroad since the Turkish coup attempt … signals his willingness to look to Moscow, traditionally the counterweight to Western influence in the Middle East. But Western leaders say Turkey … crucial to […]

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Coup talk in Ukraine

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

The war in the east, the rise of paramilitaries and polarised public opinion are feeding fears of a violent seizure of power in Kyiv. Could Ukraine follow in Turkey’s footsteps? (opendemocracy.net – Denys Gorbach – August 2, 2016) Denys Gorbach is a leftist activist and researcher working on the Ukrainian labour movement. Once again, Ukrainians are discussing the possibility of […]

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How will the attempted coup in Turkey affect Moscow-Ankara relations?

Turkey map

Experts are divided on the significance of the failure to overthrow the Turkish government by members of the country’s armed forces for Russia-Turkey relations. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – YEKATERINA CHULKOVSKAYA, RBTH – July 17, 2016) Late in the evening of July 15, a military coup was attempted in Turkey. In Ankara, rebel faction of the armed forces […]

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Turkey Signals Cooperation With Russia Against Islamic State

Turkey and Environs Satellite Image

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Selcan Hacaoglu, Firat Kozok – July 4, 2016) Turkey may cooperate with Russia in fighting Islamic State, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Monday, just days after the countries agreed to work to repair strained ties. Cavusoglu denied signaling in an interview Sunday that Turkey may let Russia use southern Incirlik air base for operations in Syria. […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Government members

Turkey map

(Kremlin.ru – June 29, 2016) Vladimir Putin met with Government members to discuss priority areas for 2017. The President also instructed the Government to begin work on normalising relations with Turkey. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues. I would like to inform you that after receiving a letter from the Turkish President, we have decided to start work […]

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RBTH: Why Erdogan apologized to Putin

Turkey map

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has apologized to Russian President Vladimir Putin over the shooting down of a Russian Su-24 bomber in the skies over Syria, the president’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said. According to experts, Erdogan took such a step due to the deterioration in relations with the EU over refugees and the economic consequences of the breakdown in […]

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What’s behind Ankara’s conciliatory overtures to Moscow?

Turkey map

Amidst the almost frozen interaction between Turkey and Russia, top government officials in Ankara are sending signals to Moscow of their readiness to mend the ruptured relationship. Can these suggestions be taken at face value and what are the chances of a reconciliation? (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – VLADIMIR MIKHEEV, SPECIAL TO RBTH – March 2, 2016) The […]

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Russians Not Ready to Forgive Turkey for Downed Plane – Poll

File Photo of Russian SU-24 Military Jet Harassing U.S. Navy Vessel in Black Sea, Adapted from U.S. Military Video

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 1, 2016) The majority of Russians are not ready to restore relations with Turkey after it downed a Russian warplane in November 2015, a survey by the state-run VTsIOM pollster published Monday revealed. Some 63 percent of respondents think the Kremlin should not lift the anti-Turkish sanctions that were imposed by Moscow following the […]

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NEWSLINK: “How likely is a Turkish invasion of Syria? As Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s troops move closer to taking the strategic northern city of Aleppo, Russian observers believe that a Turkish invasion of Syria is becoming ever more likely given Ankara’s opposition to Assad’s regime and the Syrian Kurds.” – RBTH/Gazeta.ru

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NEWSWATCH: “In Syria, Russia Protects Its Interests From Above and Below” – Stratfor

Syria Map

Stratfor reports on the buildup of Russian air defenses in Syria in the aftermath of Turkey’s shoot-down of a Russian military aircraft. With such an extensive presence, Russia will be able to obstruct the war efforts of those opposed to Syrian President Bashar al Assad. The United States and its allies can still fly airstrikes against the Islamic State, but […]

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How likely is an armed conflict between Russia and Turkey?

Turkey and Environs Satellite Image

As relations between Russia and Turkey deteriorate, the question of a possible armed conflict between the two countries is being discussed more frequently. RBTH asked Russian and Turkish military experts to comment on how likely this outcome would be and asked them to lay out the possible scenarios. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – YEKATERINA CHULKOVSKAYA, RBTH – February […]

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Putin vs. Erdogan – This Time It’s Personal

Turkey map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – February 4, 2016) On Feb. 2, Turkish President Recep Erdogan urgently sought an audience with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. The Turkish ambassador in Moscow relayed the message, but has, it seems, yet to receive a response. It was the second time Erdogan has been rebuffed by Putin following Turkey’s downing of […]

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Expert skeptical on prospects of getting information from Su-24 black box

File Photo of Russian SU-24 Military Jet Harassing U.S. Navy Vessel in Black Sea, Adapted from U.S. Military Video

(Interfax – December 22, 2015) The chances of obtaining information from the black box of the Russian bomber Sukhoi Su-24, which was downed by the Turkish Air Force, are extremely low because of the severe damage to the recording device, says Oleg Smirnov, a prominent Soviet pilot and chairman of the civil aviation commission of the Public Council at Russia’s […]

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The Year Of The Troll

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – December 10, 2015) For much of the year, Russian bombers, warships, and submarines played chicken with NATO with provocative incursions into member states’ sea and airspace. And as the year drew to a close, Moscow finally got burned when Turkey’s air force shot down a Su-24 warplane. The incident, which has led to […]

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NEWSLINK Christian Science Monitor: “Kremlin’s beef with Turkey hits Russians at home – and on holiday”

Turkey and Environs Satellite Image

The acrimony between Moscow and Ankara over the downing of a Russian bomber in Syria has cut Russians off from Turkish produce, and reduced their vacation options to boot.

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