Latest Articles

Ukraine: Countering Threats of Strategic Drift and Economic Collapse

By Matthew BryzaThis article first appeared on Eastbook and on the International Centre for Defence Studies (ICDS, Tallinn) blog page.Last weekend’s breathtaking triumph of those who seek a democratic, prosperous, and modern future for Ukraine will remain fragile for months to come, even in a... MORE

Cossack Militia Whip Pussy Riot in Sochi

By Richard ArnoldOne of the most positive (and most surprising) features of the 2014 Winter Olympiad in Sochi has been the absence of security problems—an absence which has boosted the perception of Vladimir Putin’s Russia as a more stable, orderly, and developed country than Western... MORE

Putin Says West Using Circassian Issue to ‘Contain’ Russia

By Paul GoblePresident Vladimir Putin said today (February 10) that the West is using the Circassian issue as part of its broader effort to “contain” Russia and “hold back” its development. This has been the Russian president’s most definitive comment to date on the Circassians,... MORE

Non-Russians in the Russian Federation Fighting a Two-Front Language War

By Paul GobleThe non-Russian nations within the Russian Federation are increasingly fighting a two-front war in their struggle to preserve their languages and national identities. On the one hand, they are seeking to ensure that members of their own nationalities continue to speak their native... MORE

Is Moscow Equating Kabardino-Balkaria and Abkhazia?

By Paul GobleRussia’s recognition of Abkhazia as an independent state is creating problems for Moscow in the North Caucasus. On the one hand, Abkhazia has not received the international recognition that the Russian government said it hoped for and thus remains in the minds of... MORE

Traditional Islam Does Not Mean What Moscow Thinks It Does

By Paul GobleUnder Vladimir Putin, the Russian government, the Russian Orthodox Church, and most leaders of Russia’s Muslim community have said that “traditional Islam” must be the dominant form of the Islamic faith in the Russian Federation. Although few define it, an examination of their... MORE

Ukraine, the EU and Russia: Win, Don’t Whine

By Matthew BryzaIt is understandable that European leaders are angry with Russia for spoiling the European Union’s Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius by pressuring Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to “suspend” signing of Ukraine’s EU Association Agreement (see EDM, November 22, December 3, 4). Moscow’s hardball... MORE

Orenburg’s Bashkirs Look to Ufa and Islam for Survival

By Paul GobleThe Bashkirs of Orenburg, increasingly concerned about their present and past mistreatment by the authorities, appear to be stepping up their collective political activity. The Orenburg oblast was created by Joseph Stalin to prevent Bashkortostan from having an external border and thus be... MORE

For Moscow, the ‘Tyumen Matryoshka’ No Longer Exists

By Paul GobleVladimir Putin’s plan to eliminate all “matryoshka” autonomies has stalled at the political level. Nevertheless, Moscow is using a reorganization of its oil and gas agency to downgrade the status of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District (AD) and the Yamalo-Nenets AD, which are surrounded... MORE

Mongolia TV Broadcasts to Buryatia and Tuva

By Paul GobleUlaanbaatar has launched television programming directed at the Buryats, with whom the Mongols are closely related linguistically and religiously, and at the Tuvins, with whom they share a common Buddhist heritage. This represents another way in which Mongolia, rather than European Russia, is... MORE