Latest Articles about Middle East

Russian Authorities Mull Tougher Residence Requirements

Nezavisimaya gazeta reported today (September 20) that in parallel with the Kremlin's restructuring of the country's system of governance in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks, the State Duma's Committee on Constitutional Law and State Construction is drafting legislation that would "restore the Soviet... MORE

Caucasians Attacked On Moscow’s Metro

In a sign of rising ethnic tensions in the wake of the Beslan school massacre, four people from the Caucasus were hospitalized after being beaten and stabbed in the late evening of September 18 by a group of up to 50 youths on the Moscow... MORE

Kremlin Still Lacks A Clear-cut Strategy For The Cis

Although Russian President Vladimir Putin was given the symbolic position of chairman of the CIS Council at the end of last week's summit in Astana, the gathering demonstrated that Russia has no coherent policy that would help it maintain a leadership position in the former... MORE

Gorbachev And Yeltsin Assess Putin’s Perestroika

The last Soviet leader and the first post-Soviet Russian president have waded into the debate swirling around President Vladimir Putin's proposals to end popular elections for the governors in Russia's 89 regions and abolish State Duma seats for deputies elected in single-mandate constituencies. Gorbachev criticized... MORE

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