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PONARS Eurasia 10 Aug 2018
(Point & Counterpoint) Based on both archival work and oral history, the growing research on the 1960-80s development policies in the Soviet periphery offers a more nuanced picture of how the Communist regime managed its population's expectations and needs. Maria Lipman discusses the topic with University of Amsterdam Senior Lecturer Artemy Kalinovsky. Maria Lipman: In your book, you look at modernization—or industrialization...
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PONARS Eurasia 08 Aug 2018
(CAD) This issue of the Caucasus Analytical Digest focuses on the international and regional implications of Armenia’s 2018 Velvet Revolution. More specifically, the articles look at 1) whether Armenia’s spring 2018 political transformation led to any changes in the country’s foreign policy priorities; 2) how Azerbaijan’s political elite responded to the spring events; 3) what Georgians think about the revolution; 4) why Armenia’s political...
Pavel Baev 07 Aug 2018
(EDM) In the first week of August 2008, escalating tensions between Georgia and Russia exploded in a messy battle for Tskhinvali, South Ossetia. The resulting “Five Day War” culminated in the advance of Russian tanks to the suburbs of Tbilisi. A ceasefire was negotiated by then-president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, acting on behalf of the European Union. But the resonance of that war proved to be heavy and lasting. Less than a decade later, Russian...
Alexei Trochev 06 Aug 2018
(CREECA Podcast) The criminal justice system in Kazakhstan is full of contradictions: Soviet-era accusatorial bias in pre-trial detention and sentencing goes hand in hand with the pro-defendant bias in closing criminal cases. This paradoxical co-existence of seemingly contradictory biases fits well within the informal power map of the criminal justice system. The major reform—reducing prison population to decrease recidivism and minimize international...
Eiki Berg 03 Aug 2018
(Ethnopolitics) (Co-authored with Kristel Vits) There is lack of proper accounts of the foreign policy practices of de facto state authorities. There is no common understanding for whether de facto states have their own agency, or if these fledgling states are used as pawns within the context of wider strategic manoeuvring. This work proceeds from the assumption that de facto states are ‘states’ which, above all, seek to secure their physical...
Dmitry Gorenburg 31 Jul 2018
(RMR blog) Last summer, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Russia will continue to strengthen its forces around the Black Sea in order to “neutralize the security threat in the Black Sea region from NATO.” This rhetoric highlights the change in threat perceptions that has taken place on both sides in the region in recent years. Just 10 years ago, the Black Sea was touted as a model of naval cooperation among former adversaries...
PONARS Eurasia 31 Jul 2018
(Forbes) On returning to Washington, he heard from both parties that for the first time in the history of the United States, an American president had been unwilling to defend the country from a hostile foreign power that had attacked it and that he had been faithless to his oath of office. Realizing the breadth and strength of the outcry, Trump made some motions to walk back some of the more egregious statements, but his heart wasn’t in the...
Pavel Baev 31 Jul 2018
(EDM) The fruits of President Vladimir Putin’s “victory” at the meeting with President Donald Trump in Helsinki, Finland, on July 16, are turning increasingly bitter for Russia as initial dismay and angry responses in the United States have continued to coalesce into strong pushback (see EDM, July 23). Perhaps the strongest manifestation of this reassertion of firm US stance against Russian attacks on the world order was the Crimea Declaration,...

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