Latest Articles

Cossacks’ Contradictory Demands Suggest Kremlin Meddling

By Valery DzutsevOn November 18, an association of southern Russia’s Cossacks issued a strongly worded address to the Russian leadership. The Cossacks demanded that Moscow provide preferential treatment for ethnic Russians in comparison to other Russian citizens, in particular, the North Caucasians. The Cossacks warned... MORE

Russia’s Cossacks Increasingly Diverse, Numerous and Important

By Paul GobleWith each passing month, the number and diversity of Russia’s Cossack community become greater, with both aspects increasing faster than Moscow can keep track. Last week, the regional development ministry published its latest count of members of the 11 Cossack voiskas (“armies”), but... MORE

Russians, Tatars and Chuvash Share Considerable ‘Psychological Similarity’

By Paul GobleA survey conducted by scholars at the Naberezhny Chelny Institute for Social-Pedagogical Technologies and Resources found that Russians, Tatars, and Chuvash living in Tatarstan’s second largest city share many positive and negative stereotypes about their own nation and the other two, something the... MORE

Shifting Ethnic Balance in Sakha Sparks Russian Fears and Anger

By Paul GobleIn recent months, most discussions about the rise of xenophobia among ethnic Russians have focused on the impact of the influx of Central Asian and Caucasian guest workers into Moscow and other Russian cities. But there is another source of Russian xenophobia that... MORE

Few Azerbaijanis Distinguish Between Sunni and Shia Islam

By Paul GobleIn most Islamic countries where there is a significant Shia population, Muslims are deeply concerned about tensions between this and the Sunni branch of Islam, according to a Pew Forum poll. In Lebanon, 67 percent of the population says that Sunni-Shia tensions are... MORE

Ukraine’s Boxer Klichko May Be out of Presidential Race

By Oleg VarfolomeyevUkrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has signed into law a tax amendment that may disqualify world boxing champion Vitaly Klichko from the presidential race in early 2015 (, November 8). The parliament, which is dominated by Yanukovych’s Party of Regions (PRU), on October 24,... MORE

‘Russian March’ 2013: A Post-Mortem Analysis

By Richard ArnoldThe “Russian March,” which took place on November 4—Russian Unity Day—passed off without a major violent incident this year, but the most interesting feature for observers of Russian politics is how central the nationalists have become to protests against the government and opposition... MORE

Ukraine Pursues ‘Small-Steps’ Tactics in 5+2 Talks on Transnistrian Conflict Settlement

By Hanna ShelestThe most recent round of official “5+2” format negations on the settlement of Moldova’s breakaway territory of Transnistria took place in Brussels on October 3 and became the fourth such negotiation session in 2013 ( Ukraine’s success as a mediator in the Transnistrian... MORE

Cossack Participation in Elections May Destabilize Russia

By Paul GobleTwo weeks ago, the Russian Presidential Council of Cossack Affairs officially gave its blessing to the formation of Cossack “druzhinniki” patrol units, many of which have already been formed, and to the formation of Cossack political parties for participating in regional and municipal... MORE