Policy Memos | Аналитические записки

Policy Memo # 53
This memo is based primarily on field research material gathered in the areas of Hemshil settlements, including the villages of Vpered, Erik, Kim, Kalinin, and Kubanskaya, all of which are in the Apsheronsk district, Krasnodar Territory, Russian Federation, and the villages of Sarpi, Akhalsopeli, Kakhaberi, Gonio, Dzharnali, Feriya, and Urekhi in the Khelvachauri district, Adjara, Georgia. The memo is about identity transformation affected by social...
Policy Memo # 51
There is little doubt that the August 2008 crisis in Georgia affected relations between Russia and Ukraine. At the time, a number of analysts voiced serious concerns that Ukraine would be the next addressee of Russia’s growing neoimperialist assertiveness. These concerns now look even more justified. Since the beginning of autumn (and de facto for far longer) Ukraine has been in a state of political crisis and lacking an effective and responsible...
Policy Memo # 50
Escalation of the South Ossetian conflict into a Russian-Georgian war immediately changed the security climate in the post-Soviet space. For the first time since 1991, the Russian Federation officially rejected internationally recognized borders. The territorial integrity of post-Soviet states was among the fundamental principles of the “peaceful divorce” that gave rise to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). It took six years of...
Policy Memo # 49
The “five-day war” between Russia and Georgia in August 2008 has many dimensions. For those trying to discern its strategic implications, perhaps the most important is its impact on alternative oil and gas export routes said to alleviate Europe’s energy dependence on Moscow. According to some, by recognizing South Ossetia and Abkhazia and deploying troops there, Russia has taken a giant step forward in controlling the alternative export...
Policy Memo # 48
Russian ships left their bases in Sevastopol and Novorossisk and sailed for the Georgian coast on August 9, the day after hostilities began in the region. A total of 13 ships were involved in the operation, including the Slava-class cruiser Moskva, the Kashin-class destroyer Smetlivyi, several Grisha-class corvettes (Suzdalets, Aleksandrovsk, Muromets, and possibly Kasimov), the Nanuchka-class missile ship Mirazh, two patrol craft, three amphibious...
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Policy Memo # 47
The August 2008 Russian-Georgian conflict has drawn renewed political attention to other areas of the former Soviet Union where Russia may assert territorial claims. Chief among these has been Crimea, the autonomous republic within Ukraine that hosts the maritime city of Sevastopol. Sevastopol is currently home to the Russian Black Sea Fleet (BSF), comprised of 50 warships, patrol boats and support vessels, 80 aircraft, and about 14,000 troops, as well as...
Policy Memo # 46
The dust of the five-day August war between Russia and Georgia was partly settled by the end of the year – and was partly blown away by the hurricane winds of the global economic crisis. The picture that has emerged out of the incomplete collection of hard facts (themselves distorted by massive propaganda campaigns) bears little resemblance to the initial impression of a colossal Russian military machine pulverizing a hapless Georgia. While Putin...
Policy Memo # 45
In August 2008, the Russian Federation demonstrated the will to exercise the concept of a “multipolar world” through military action. Most regional powers are unlikely to accept this concept, which in practice is based on the idea of spheres of influence (which Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has referred to as “privileged spheres of interests”). However, none of these powers, even those who are members of the European Union and/...
Policy Memo # 44
The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), like any autocephalous church, has an exclusive territory of jurisdiction, but its canonical territory extends beyond Russia’s state borders. Russian authorities would like to reinforce the position of the Moscow Patriarchate in the worldwide Christian community in general, and in the post-Soviet states in particular. To do so, it has to cooperate with authorities in Russia’s neighboring states. Its efforts,...
Policy Memo # 43
In the 1990s, many studies of regions at Europe’s margins were grounded in a “New Regionalism” approach. This approach focused on a type of intra-regional relations, in which security ranked much lower than economics, environment, communication, or technology. In the Baltic, Nordic, and Barents regions, cooperation was strengthened through policies of conditionality, norms diffusion, and social learning. There were expectations that the...

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