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

    Will the CSTO Go the Way of the Warsaw Pact

    The Collective Security Treaty Organization, better known by its initials, CSTO—or by Moscow’s aspiration that it should be an equal counterpart to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)—is now on

    Putin’s War in Ukraine Leading to Revival of GUAM

    Twenty-five years ago this month, Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova formed the GUAM consultative forum to counter Russian efforts to keep them within Moscow’s orbit via the Commonwealth of Independent

    Japan Increases Involvement in Central Asia

    Almost two decades ago, Japan adopted the 5+1 approach to dealing with Central Asia, a model other outside players have copied. Now, Japan is increasing its involvement in the region

    China Assuming New Dominance in Turkmenistan

    Turkmenistan’s longstanding neutrality has kept it out of Russian regional security arrangements like the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which has constrained the level

    Karabakh Conflict Takes a Dangerous Turn

    In mid-May 2021, the Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan began to take on a dangerous new dimension. In contrast to the last 25 years—when fighting between the two countries

    Karabakh Conflict Far From Over and Could Explode Again

    Following the Moscow-brokered ceasefire and post-war declarations signed by Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan that ended the 2020 Second Karabakh War, the international community has generally concluded three things. First is

    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 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.

    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