Category: Central Asia

Beijing Encroaching on Moscow’s Military Dominance in Tajikistan

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China has unexpectedly begun taking steps to become more militarily active in the small Central Asian republic of Tajikistan. Moreover, it is pushing for closer joint military and security cooperation with Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. These moves could position China…

Volga Tatars in Iran Being Turkmenified

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Many observers are aware that ethnic Azerbaijanis constitute more than a quarter of the population of Iran, but fewer have taken note of the fact that other Turkic groups from the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation…

In Courting Iran, Russia Seeks Politically Safe Foreign Investment for the North Caucasus

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On April 11–16, representatives of an Iranian investment company, Hamrahian Group, visited Dagestan to explore possibilities for cooperation with the North Caucasian republic. The visit came just weeks after Dagestan’s governor, Ramazan Abdulatipov, visited Iran as a member of a…

Georgian Political Field Fragments Ahead of the 2016 Parliamentary Elections

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Georgian politics rarely lacks drama or signs of fragmentation, but the much-anticipated recent arrival of Paata Burchuladze, a world-renowned Georgian operatic bass, to the political stage has added a fresh, new dynamic (Civil Georgia, April 29). Burchuladze has led charity…

The South Caucasus in the Shadow of the Russian-Turkish Crisis

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As Konrad Zasztowt sees it, the recent standoff between Russia and Turkey over Syria is rattling the South Caucasus region. The two nations’ weakening economic ties, for example, are starting to diminish Turkish-Georgian-Azerbaijani trade and security cooperation. By Konrad Zasztowt…

Is the Islamic State a Threat to the Security of the Republic of Georgia?

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On November 29, authorities in Tbilisi, Georgia, arrested four people accused of being connected to the Islamic State (IS) organization. Weapons, explosive devices, IS flags, and Islamist literature on CDs and DVDs were found in the suspects’ apartments (Civil Georgia,…

Russia Threatens Georgia With Renewed Trade War

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The Russian government regularly uses its agency for consumer protection, Rospotrebnadzor, for trade discrimination and blocking imports from countries whose policies Moscow does not like (see EDM, March 28, 2006; October 11, 2013; October 16, 2013). On August 4, 2015, Rospotrebnadzor issued a…

The Islamic State Threat in Central Asia: Reality or Spin?

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By: Ryskeldi Satke, Casey Michel, Sertaç Canalp Korkmaz Screengrab of Kazakh militants fighting in Syria (Source: RFE/RL) The threat of Islamist radicalism in the former Soviet republics of Central Asia has been a topic of debate among the analyst community…

Ukraine truce collapses, 73 dead in fresh clashes

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KIEV, Ukraine — At least 20 protesters were killed Thursday morning as gunfire rang out in central Kiev, breaking the shaky truce reached between President Victor Yanukovich and opposition leaders the previous night. Oleh Musiy, chief of the protest camp health service, told The Times…

War in Syria Has Reverberations in the North Caucasus

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On September 20, the first deputy director of the Federal Security Service (FSB), Sergei Smirnov estimated that 300-400 Russian citizens are participating in the conflict in Syria. “They will come back and that, naturally, is posing a serious danger,” the…