Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. While there, he launched the “Window on Eurasia” series. Prior to joining the faculty there in 2004, he served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He writes frequently on ethnic and religious issues and has edited five volumes on ethnicity and religion in the former Soviet space. Trained at Miami University in Ohio and the University of Chicago, he has been decorated by the governments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania for his work in promoting Baltic independence and the withdrawal of Russian forces from those formerly occupied lands.

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Articles by Paul Goble

Neo-Ottomanism Edging Out Pan-Turkism in Central Asia

In the last several years, Turkey has shifted from promoting pan-Turkism in the Turkic-speaking countries of the post-Soviet space to backing neo-Ottomanism, a move which reflects both developments inside Turkey

Russia’s Caspian Flotilla Gains an Air Arm

Until the Russian Federation launched a barrage of cruise missiles against Syria from ships in the Caspian Sea in October 2015 (see EDM, October 26, 2015), few people in the

Moscow Signals a Not-so-Subtle Tilt Toward Baku

Moscow’s recent decision to extradite a Talysh activist to Azerbaijan was a not-so-subtle sign that reinforced previous impressions the Russian government is tilting away from Armenia and toward Azerbaijan in

Could GUAM Lose Another Member to Become GUM?

Like the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) against which it is arrayed, the GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development has for years attracted attention less for what it is

Putin Names FSB Officer to be New Ambassador to Belarus

Since 1991, Moscow has generally been careful to send Russian ambassadors with impeccable diplomatic credentials to the post-Soviet states. Nevertheless, many non-Russians have still suspected some of these diplomats of

Putin Reentering Korea Conflict in Big Way

Some, especially in the West, have argued that United States President Donald Trump has effectively sidelined Russia from the rapidly evolving Korean situation by his rapprochement with North Korea’s dictator,

Moscow Quickly Expanding Ties to Africa

Moscow is returning to sub-Saharan Africa in a big way by exploiting ties and themes developed in Soviet times: it is talking about anti-colonialism, providing university training for Africans in

Belarusian Military Rapidly Degrading

Almost no one in Minsk—or indeed anywhere else—expects that the Belarusian military could repel an invasion by Russian forces. The balance of power between the two countries is simply too

Central Asia Ready to Move on Without Russia

Since becoming independent in 1991, the countries of Central Asia, both individually and collectively, have been viewed by many outsiders and even some of their own people as the inevitable

Kaliningrad Separatism Again on the Rise

Kaliningrad oblast, the non-contiguous part of the Russian Federation that Joseph Stalin formed after annexing much of German East Prussia at the end of World War II, has often been

‘Railroad Wars’ Intensify in South Caucasus

The competition between two rail corridor projects in the South Caucasus—the north-south one, long promoted by Moscow, and the east-west one backed by China, Central Asia and the West—has been

Uzbekistan Achieves Railroad Independence

Twenty-five years after gaining its political independence, Uzbekistan has become “railway independent,” with its residents now able to travel between one part of their Central Asian republic to another, by

Russia’s Railways Not Ready for War

Even more than most continental powers, Russia for more than a century has relied on railroads to move massive amounts of men and materiel to respond to military challenges—a reflection

Central Asia’s Border Problems Materialize Again

In recent weeks, tensions have been high and rising along Kyrgyzstan’s borders with Uzbekistan as well as Tajikistan—neither of which have been fully demarcated by the countries involved since independence.

City on Russian-Azerbaijani Border Ready to Explode

Relations between ethnic Azerbaijanis and the Dagestani peoples in the North Caucasus republic’s southern city of Derbent have reached a boiling point. Two new acts of vandalism—one against a grave

Moscow Closes Okhotsk Sea to Outsiders

In a move that both exacerbates international conflicts in the Western Pacific and suggests how Moscow plans to proceed in the Arctic, Russian President Vladimir Putin has closed to all

Chechen Population Set to Explode

Much has been made in Moscow and the West in recent months about falling fertility rates—the number of children per woman over a lifetime—among the Muslim nationalities of the North

Moscow Threatens Ukraine From the West

Following the Russian Anschluss of Crimea, most Ukrainian, Russian and Western commentary has focused on the possibility that Moscow will use a similar strategy to move into the predominantly ethnic-Russian

Balts Again on Collision Course With Moscow Over Georgia

Moscow commentators have already denounced the Baltic countries for supposedly helping to organize the Ukrainian revolution (, and they have condemned Estonia, along with Finland, for supposedly stirring up the

Tatarstan Has Long Had Its Own Foreign Policy

An article intended to discredit Tatarstan and the Tatars by suggesting that radical Islamists have made significant inroads in the Middle Volga has the unintended consequence of calling attention to

China’s Growing Political Role in the Caucasus

China’s economic role in the south Caucasus is expanding rapidly, with Beijing’s investments in Azerbaijan alone now approaching a total of one billion US dollars and its bilateral trade with