Latest Articles about Middle East

Cis Summit Pins Hope On Greater Security

CIS heads of state gathered in Astana on September 15-16 for a scheduled Commonwealth of Independent States summit meeting. Such meetings usually serve as a forum that projects a semblance of former Soviet unity but renders few practical achievements. This meeting, however, witnessed renewed hopes... MORE

Putin’s New Course: Maximizing Control And Sacrificing Efficiency

This week Moscow issued two landmark announcements. On Monday (September 13), President Vladimir Putin unveiled a radical restructuring of the political system that greatly increases executive authority. One day later, Gazprom's takeover of Rosneft was officially endorsed (see EDM, September 15). Many analysts detected a... MORE

Putin’s Latest Moves Invoke Russian Tradition, Not Western Standards

The radical shakeup of Russia's system of power recently announced by President Vladimir Putin will further inhibit political pluralism. This shift away from democracy and toward more authoritarian practices will likely hinder Russia's long-term cooperation with the West, independent experts predict. This Russian retreat has... MORE

Unraveling Russia’s Strategy For Its War On Terror

According to recent high-profile statements from the Russian political and military leadership, Russia is effectively at war with terrorists -- again. Many would argue that Russia has been at war with a form of terrorism in its ongoing decade-long conflict in Chechnya, officially portrayed as... MORE

Putin Merges Gazprom And Rosneft

In yet another move apparently aimed at strengthening the Kremlin's "vertical of power" in the wake of the Beslan tragedy, President Vladimir Putin on September 14 gave a green light to the Gazprom natural gas monopoly to acquire the state-owned oil company Rosneft. Putin also... MORE

Russian Preventive Strikes — Options And Capabilities

When General Yuri Baluyevsky, the new chief of the Russian General Staff, declared on September 8 that Russia could deliver preventive strikes on terrorist bases anywhere in the world, most experts considered his statement either as an attempt to draw attention away from the dismal... MORE

Russia Mulls Rules For Its Version Of War On Terror

For ordinary Russians, once far removed from such troubles, recent events have brought Russia's experience with terrorism on its southern periphery to the forefront. As the full impact of the Beslan tragedy gradually takes hold, the Kremlin has lost no time in projecting an image... MORE

Moscow Seeks To Control Spin On The Beslan Tragedy

Russian President Vladimir Putin's September 4 address to the nation after the horrific resolution of the hostage crisis in Beslan galvanized Russian diplomacy into action. One of the first steps during the weekend was to summon the Dutch ambassador to the Foreign Ministry and request... MORE

Observers Say Terror Attacks Eroding Putin’s Legitimacy

Russians are still in shock and mourning over the vast human tragedy in Beslan, North Ossetia. However, a number of observers, including both supporters and critics of the Kremlin, are saying that the terrorist attack there could present a challenge to the legitimacy of President... MORE