Sebastien Peyrouse 10 Feb 2016
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) For more than twenty years, Uzbekistan has had no real political change and remains one of the most authoritarian countries in the world. How has President Islam Karimov held onto the reins of power for so long? Although he has used violence to repress threats to his regime, the longevity of his rule cannot be explained by the use of force alone. Authoritarian regimes rely on multiple means to sustain their grip on...
Oleksandr Sushko 09 Feb 2016
(NYTimes) Kiev, Ukraine — After centuries of nearly continuous foreign control, we Ukrainians achieved our independence from the Soviet Union 25 years ago, in 1991. In 2005, after a fraudulent election brought Viktor Yanukovych into power, our Orange Revolution helped defeat him. And this month, we mark two years since Maidan — the Revolution of Dignity — when we overthrew kleptocratic rule by Mr. Yanukovych a second time. For Ukrainians, it...
Samuel Charap 09 Feb 2016
(Foreign Affairs) (Co-authored with Jeremy Shapiro) The suspension of the Syrian peace talks in Geneva seemed to validate observers’ cynicism and pessimism in the run-up to the negotiations. The talks, naysayers argue, are pointless because Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad now has a chance at victory. “Assad is winning in Syria. Russia has shifted the balance of power there dramatically,” Joshua Landis and Steven Simon wrote in Foreign Affairs. “...
Arkady Moshes 08 Feb 2016
(FIIA) None of the provisions of the Minsk-2 agreement have been fully implemented. Meanwhile, the context around the peace process in Ukraine is changing. It may soon be time to start modifying the deal. February 12, 2016 marks the sad anniversary of an agreement which, at the time of its signing a year ago, was meant to become a step-by-step plan for resolving the conflict in Ukraine’s Donbas. Thus far, however, none of its provisions have...
Harris Mylonas 08 Feb 2016
(European Journal of Political Research) The coalition of New Democracy and the Panhellenic Socialist Party governed with a severely weakened majority in parliament (153 of 300 seats in January 2014). The Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) secured a clear lead in the May European Parliament elections. As a result of this defeat, a significant government reshuffle ensued. The choices made in this reshuffle signaled an attempt to regain the...
Pavel K. Baev 02 Feb 2016
(EDM) Last week’s (January 26) reporting in the Western media that the United States government waslinking Russian President Vladimir Putin to corruption has rocked Russian domestic politics. Specifically, a recent BBC documentary carried remarks to this effect by Acting US Treasury Department Under Secretary Adam J. Szubin, who heads the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (Slon.ru, January 26). The real shock came, however, when the White...
Eric McGlinchey 01 Feb 2016
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) U.S. policymakers confront a paradox in Eurasian politics: more pluralistic Central Asian states are more prone than the region’s solidly authoritarian states to ethno-nationalist violence. In particular, Kyrgyzstan’s and Tajikistan’s turn toward nationalism has been problematic for these two countries’ ethnic minorities, but it also has implications for U.S.-Kyrgyz and U.S.-Tajik relations. Kyrgyzstan, once the U.S...
Şener Aktürk 28 Jan 2016
(Daily Sabah) While the Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD) is hailed by some in the West almost as a pro-Western democratic militia fighting for a liberal pluralist oasis in the desert, nothing can be further from the truth. The PYD has already established a one-party regime that can be best described as a "belated Soviet experiment" in Syria. The PYD regime is the antithesis of the political pluralism and partisan competition that is the sine...

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