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About Donald Rayfield

Donald Rayfield is emeritus professor of Russian in the school of modern languages, Queen Mary College, University of London. His latest book is Edge of Empires: A History of Georgia (Reaktion, 2012). His other books include Stalin and His Hangmen (Random House, 2005); (as editor-in-chief) A Comprehensive Georgian-English Dictionary (Garnett Press, 2006); and The Literature of Georgia: A History (Garnett Press, 3rd edition, 2010)

Articles by Donald Rayfield

This week's editor

NSS, editor

Niki Seth-Smith is a freelance journalist and contributing editor to 50.50.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Bidzina Ivanishvili and the new-old Georgia

The election victory of Bidzina Ivanishvili has reconfigured Georgia's political landscape, dominated by Mikheil Saakashvili since the "Rose Revolution" of 2003. But there are already concerns over what the billionaire leader is doing with his power, says Donald Rayfield.

Georgia, two years on: a future beyond war

A vicious short war between Georgia and Russia erupted on 8 August 2008 over one of Georgia's “occupied territories”, South Ossetia. Two years on, Mikheil Saakashvili remains in power, surrounded by another cluster of ambitious young colleagues. Tbilisi’s construction projects are transforming the city’s public spaces and social customs. A new realism governs foreign policy and economic ambitions, with Turkey an increasingly prominent neighbour. But amid the flux, the key to Georgia’s future relationship with Russia may lie in the distant past, says Donald Rayfield in a richly textured portrait.

The Georgia-Russia war, a year on

Georgia’s disastrous defeat in the conflict of August 2008 is not all it seemed.  The losses are clear and devastating, but Tbilisi has - albeit in less tangible ways - gained too. The outlines of a more realistic national project are becoming visible, says Donald Rayfield.

(This article was first published on 6 August 2009)

Georgia and Russia: the aftermath

The reverberations of the vicious conflict in the south Caucasus continue. A fresh assessment of the circumstances and outcomes of the war suggests what its possible longer-term consequences might be, says Donald Rayfield.

(This article was first published on 16 November 2008)

The Georgia-Russia conflict: lost territory, found nation

The two regions at the heart of the Georgia-Russia war of August 2008 must be understood in their own terms if the problem of Georgia - and western illusions about the country - are to be seriously addressed, says Donald Rayfield.

(This article was first published on 13 August 2008)

Russia vs Georgia: a war of perceptions

An intimate past and bitter present make it hard for Russians and Georgians to live as neighbours but impossible to separate completely, says Donald Rayfield.

Georgia and Russia: with you, without you

Wine and roses, spies and sanctions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia...Tbilisi's long, intimate and turbulent relationship with Moscow has gone badly wrong. Donald Rayfield explains how and why.

This article was first published on 3 October 2006

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