Andrew Kuchins 04-15-2015
(CSIS) (Co-authored with Aitolkyn Kourmanova) The Obama administration recently completed a review of its policy towards Central Asia and has rolled out the main pillars of the United States’ “Enduring Vision for Central Asia” in a series of recent speeches by top officials. Richard E. Hoagland, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, Nisha Desai Biswal, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of South and Central...
PONARS Eurasia 04-14-2015
(BBC) The weed-filled belt of abandoned industrial plants in south-east Moscow looks like a war zone. In fact, this is indeed where Moscow film-makers come when they need to film a fire fight - it is the perfect backdrop: huge derelict factories with collapsing walls, gaping holes instead of windows and rusty corrugated fencing to keep the drunks out. In among the ruins there are a few small warehouses and offices. From one of them, workmen in overalls...
Dmitry Gorenburg 04-13-2015
(L’Indro) A couple of weeks ago, I gave an interview to an Italian newspaper on the significance of the Russian military exercises that were conducting in conjunction with the first anniversary of the annexation of Crimea. The newspaper has kindly granted permission to publish an English-language version of the interview.See the interview (Russian Military Reform)
Pavel K. Baev 04-07-2015
(EDM) Moscow tried its best to present the hard-negotiated deal in Lausanne, Switzerland, on curtailing and controlling the Iranian nuclear program as a success of its firm diplomatic position for a political solution to this formidable problem. In fact, however, Russia played, at best, a secondary role in achieving this breakthrough. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was not even present during the last agonizing day of talks, which culminated in...
J. Paul Goode 04-07-2015
(The Monkey Cage/WP) In the wake of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov’s murder, many blamed an “atmosphere of hate” cultivated by the Kremlin. This idea suggests that the Krelim has encouraged the demonization of opposition leaders, which not only undermined their support from ordinary citizens but also dehumanized them and made them targets of violence. Examples of such vilification are legion, ranging from threatening posts made by the Kremlin’s...
PONARS Eurasia 04-06-2015
(AFP) - A year since the start of the fighting in eastern Ukraine, Vladimir Putin may not have emerged the winner in his showdown with the West but he has not lost either, analysts say. By supporting Ukrainian separatists, they say, he took a huge risk but it largely paid off as it allowed him to punish Kiev's pro-Western authorities for seeking to turn their back on Russia and stand up to the West. Most importantly for the Kremlin, the annexation of...
PONARS Eurasia 03-31-2015
(AFP) Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) - Uzbekistan's strongman leader Islam Karimov has kept a stranglehold on power in the Central Asian state for a quarter of a century, even at the expense of his own children. Long lambasted for brutally crushing dissent by rights groups, the former Soviet apparatchik -- in power since 1989 -- has reportedly placed his eldest daughter under house arrest after a bitter family feud, with her compared him to Stalin. The spectacular...
Pavel K. Baev 03-31-2015
(EDM) The Kremlin press service announced last week that President Vladimir Putin would not celebrate the 15thanniversary of his first election, which occurred on March 26, 2000 (RBC.ru, March 26). Indeed, many murky circumstances cloud his improbable arrival to the summit of power as Boris Yeltsin’s hand-picked successor, which he probably does not wish to reflect upon at present; the image of his omnipotent leadership needs to remain spotless. So...

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