Latest Articles

Russia’s Border Marking in Georgia Is Part of Broader Strategy

By George TsereteliOver the past two weeks the issue of Georgia’s so-called “border” with the Russian-occupied breakaway region of South Ossetia has again garnered attention. As reported by multiple sources and eyewitnesses, on July 10, Russian troops placed border markers even further into Georgian territory,... MORE

Russia Bets on China: Picking the Wrong Horse in the Short Term and Long

By Paul GobleRussians are waking up to the fact that Vladimir Putin’s much-ballyhooed “turn” to China is not bringing Russia the benefits he promised or that they expected. Not only has Beijing refused to tow Moscow’s line on a variety of international issues at the... MORE

Estonians of Kabardino-Balkaria Maintain Close Ties With Tallinn

By Paul GobleGiven Vladimir Putin’s aggressive rhetoric about the Baltic countries, Moscow and Tallinn do not maintain warm relations. Despite that, Estonia has close and growing ties with the 70 Estonians of Kabardino-Balkaria, a community that descends from ethnic Estonians who came to the North... MORE

Will Threat of Islamic State Push Georgia Closer to Russia?

By Paul GobleAs it has done in Central Asia, Moscow is urging Georgia and other countries in the South Caucasus to return to closer cooperation with Russia in order to counter the threat from the Islamic State (IS). And some defense officials in Tbilisi seem... MORE

Lezgin Areas in Southern Dagestan Seem on a Path Toward Radicalization

By Valery DzutsevUntil recently, the Lezgin-populated areas of Dagestan—the most violent republic of the North Caucasus—were relatively quiet. However, the situation has recently reached greater volatility. For the past month, a special operation has been ongoing in previously calm Kurakhsky and Suleiman-Stalsky districts of southern... MORE

ECHR Rules on Claims by Armenian and Azerbaijani Refugees

By Erik DavtyanOn June 16, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) adopted two resolutions based on a pair of claims that were separately put forward by Azerbaijani and Armenian refugees. The claim against Armenia was raised by Elkhan Chiragov and five other Azerbaijani Kurds,... MORE

Alleged IS Recruiter Arrested in Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge

By George TsereteliOn June 14, the counter-terrorism unit of the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs conducted special operations in the Pankisi Gorge, leading to the arrest of Aiuf Borchashvili as well as several other men. According to investigators, Borchashvili, a resident and imam of the... MORE

Moscow Faces Uprisings in Its Penal System

By Paul GobleIt is one of the paradoxes of authoritarian regimes that they face revolts among their prison population far more often than democratic systems.  On the one hand, that seems odd given that authoritarian regimes are far more willing to employ violence to suppress... MORE

‘Buryatia Has Already Entered a Revolutionary Situation’

By Paul GobleOn May 30, a group of Buryats went out into the streets on the 92ndanniversary of the formation of the Buryat-Mongol Autonomous Republic, and demanded that the republic’s head be replaced and that both the republic government and Moscow focus on preventing the... MORE

Sargsyan’s Visit to the US Opens New Stage in Bilateral Relations

By Erik DavtyanOn May 6–8, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, along with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian and Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians Garegin II, paid a working visit to the United States (, May 6). Not counting Sargsyan’s previous visit in... MORE