Policy Memos | Аналитические записки

Policy Memo # 78
Dmitry Gorenburg 01 Sep 2009
Last August, the Russian army undertook its first offensive action on foreign soil since the end of the Afghanistan war in 1989. After the initial outburst of patriotic fervor faded, the Russian military did not have long to bask in the glory of its first definitive military victory in many years. In early October, the civilian leadership of the Ministry of Defense announced a radical restructuring of the armed forces, one that, if enacted in full measure...
Policy Memo # 77
Oxana Shevel 01 Sep 2009
When Russian forces went into South Ossetia last year, Russia cited the protection of its citizens as one justification for its actions. That more than half of South Ossetia's 70,000 residents have taken Russian citizenship is often mentioned. Less well known is the fact that South Ossetians (as well as residents of other breakaway regions who have obtained Russian citizenship) have usually been granted passports only for foreign travel, not internal...
Policy Memo # 76
Eric McGlinchey 01 Sep 2009
This memo explores political Islam in Central Asia from three perspectives: that of (1) U.S. government analysts; (2) Central Asian government leaders; and (3) everyday Central Asian Muslims. Drawing on public statements and field research, I demonstrate that these three perceptions of political Islam in Central Asia differ markedly. U.S. government analysts consistently identify two groups, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT...
Policy Memo # 75
Andrey Makarychev 01 Sep 2009
The alleged success of former president (and current prime minister) Vladimir Putin in recentralizing the Russian Federation requires critical appraisal. A number of limitations to the reunification project, as Putin initially conceived it almost a decade ago, are emerging. A growing number of Russian and international scholars assert that center–regional relations did not change all that much during Putin’s presidency and that the mono-polar...
Policy Memo # 74
Mikhail Alexseev 01 Sep 2009
The Hajj, a pilgrimage to the holy sites of Islam in Mecca and Medina, is an increasingly common practice among Russia's Muslims. According to various estimates since 2007, at least 200,000 Russian Muslims have officially performed the Hajj since the collapse of the Soviet Union under an annual quota set by Saudi Arabia and allotted within Russia. Most of these pilgrims come from the Muslim regions of the North Caucasus. Despite frequent media...
Policy Memo # 73
Elizabeth Wishnick 01 Sep 2009
In the past year, China’s Central Asia policy has weathered several external and internal shocks, which have proven to be interconnected in unexpected ways. Although some differences emerged between China and Central Asian states over Russia’s support for the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the financial crisis provided an opportunity for China to deepen its economic engagement in the region, particularly in the energy sector....
Policy Memo # 72
Shairbek Juraev 01 Sep 2009
Kyrgyzstan’s February 2009 decision to close the U.S. military base at the country’s Manas airfield caught many by surprise. The decision was not preceded by domestic debate about a possible closure, nor had such an issue been raised bilaterally in formal Kyrgyz-U.S. discussions. Moreover, the 2006 renegotiation of the original 2002 agreement had seemed to put an end to any new challenges to the U.S.-leased base. [...] More (PDF)
Policy Memo # 71
Serghei Golunov 01 Sep 2009
Making up nearly 90 percent of the total area of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Russia and Kazakhstan are also two of the ten largest states in the world. Both have huge oil and gas reserves, considerable industrial and agricultural potential, and developed transportation infrastructures. Their more than 7,500-kilometer common border is the world’s longest unbroken international frontier. While Russia and Kazahkstan are among the main...
Policy Memo # 70
Vitali Silitski 01 Sep 2009
The European Union’s Eastern Partnership (EaP) initiative, generally welcomed on both sides of the Atlantic as a positive step toward drawing the countries of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus into the Western orbit, has also received its share of bad press. According to critics, the EU has failed to give these countries a clear European perspective, instead engaging them in a modified version of Cold War-era Ostpolitik. I argue, however, that the EaP...
Tags:EU, Silitski
Policy Memo # 69
Arkady Moshes 01 Sep 2009
In June 2009, a crisis developed in Russian-Belarusian relations, triggered by the Belarusian leadership’s refusal to accept payment in rubles of a promised $500 million Russian credit. It was exacerbated by harsh exchanges between Belarusian president Aleksandr Lukashenko and Russian finance minister Aleksei Kudrin. Within weeks, Russia introduced a milk and dairy embargo against Belarus, while Gazprom requested the payment of a $230 million gas...