Post-Soviet State Responses to COVID-19: Making or Breaking Authoritarianism?

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at

(PONARS Eurasia – Marlene Laruelle, Madeline McCann – March 24, 2020) Marlene Laruelle is Research Professor, Director of the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (IERES), Director of the Central Asia Program, and Co-director of PONARS Eurasia at George Washington University. Madeline McCann is Program Coordinator for PONARS Eurasia at George Washington University. (PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Pandemics are […]

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Is This The Most Important Geopolitical Deal Of 2018?

( – Olgu Okumus – August 13, 2018 – The two-decade-long dispute on the statute of the Caspian Sea, the world largest water reserve, came to an end last Sunday when five littoral states (Russia, Iran, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan) agreed to give it a special legal status – it is now neither a sea, nor a lake. Before […]

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A Landmark Caspian Agreement — And What It Resolves

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – – – Bruce Pannier – August 9, 2018- also appeared at–and-what-it-resolves/29424824.html) It has taken more than 20 years. But on August 12, the leaders of Azerbaijan, Iran,  Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan will meet in the Kazakh port city of Aqtau, reportedly to sign a new convention on the legal status […]

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‘Ruins of Empire in Sands of Central Asia’ – Russians Leaving Turkmenistan and ISIS Coming In

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 23, 2018) Russians constitute only two or three percent of the population of the Central Asian country of Turkmenistan, their departure having been accelerated by the economic crisis there and the Islamist threat from Afghanistan and Ashgabat’s closure of Russian-language schools and insistence that officials speak Turkmen. In an article on […]

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Turkmenistan: The Achilles Heel Of Central Asian Security

Map of Turkmenistan and Environs

(RFE/RL – – February 16, 2014) Central Asian governments are already on heightened alert over the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan. This sense of alarm is almost certain to increase in coming months. But in Turkmenistan there does not seem to be the same concern heard in the neighboring Central Asian states. Ashgabat seems content to rely on […]

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