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About Sergei Markedonov

Sergei Markedonov is Associate Professor at the Russian State University for the Humanities

Articles by Sergei Markedonov

This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

What Armenians are protesting (and what they’re not)

Fresh protests in Yerevan have their roots in a number of deep-rooted domestic issues in Armenian politics. But we make comparisons to other protest movements at our peril.


Transnistria: West Berlin of the post-Soviet world

How to play hardball: Ukraine's parliament has revoked the agreement between Russia and Ukraine on the movement of Russian troops through Ukrainian territory to Transnistria.

Outsourcing sovereignty from Russia to Chechnya

Markedonov pic.jpgJust like in business, the centre of Russia has transferred a range of its functions to a regional political ‘contractor’. But now the tail is starting to wag the dog.


The Crimean ‘question’

There are more questions than answers to the Crimean ‘question’.



What does Russia really want with Abkhazia?

Abkhazia border crossing.jpg Will the new treaty being discussed between Abkhazia and Russia provide a blueprint for cooperation or something more like annexation?


A very Georgian disagreement

Post-Soviet Georgia is no stranger to drama or revolution, and after a short interregnum, the country once again finds itself in a febrile mood. Sergei Markedonov analyses the background to the present unrest.

Yeltsin’s complicated legacy in the Caucasus

Boris Yeltsin inherited many problems which he had to try and address while at the same time establishing the new Russian state. Many of these problems were, and continue to be, in the North Caucasus. Yeltsin’s presidency should be judged in the round, asserts Sergei Markedonov, rather than from the vantage point of Putin’s ‘vertical’ Russia.

A strategy for North Caucasus: don’t mention politics or religion!

The recently published Russian government strategy paper for the North Caucasus chooses to focus solely on the socio-economic development of the region. The refusal to address key political or religious issues undermines the whole rationale for the document, laments Sergei Markedonov

Charisma and complications: the legacy of Abkhazia’s founding father

With the death of Vladislav Ardzinba, Abkhazia’s first president, a period of post-Soviet upheaval passes further into history. Sergei Markedonov considers Ardzinba’s achievements in the wider context of the Caucasus

Post-Soviet integration: CST, CSTO, CRRF etc (2)

There have been many attempts at building new structures to replace the Soviet Union, since it fell 10 years ago. These have left the political landscape littered with acronyms: CST, CSTO, CRRF, SCO, EEC, SES, GUAM and GUUAM. In the second part of his article Sergei Markedonov reviews their success, failures and attendant complications.

Post-Soviet integration: does the CIS work?

2010 sees the 19th anniversary of the collapse of the USSR. In the first of this two-part review of the structures set up to replace it, Sergei Markedonov assesses the performance of the Commonwealth of Independent States ( CIS). He concludes that a complicating factor has been the lack of clarity surrounding the role of its dominant partner, Russia.

Can Armenia and Turkey be reconciled?

Could historical enemies Armenia and Turkey be moving towards reconciliation? Despite the potential pitfalls, Turkey's acknowledgement of the 1915 "genocide" being the most serious, compromise could be achieved, says Sergei Markedonov

North Caucasus: united we stand, divided we fall!

Responding to oD Russia's recent article by Denis Corboy et al the distinguished Russian commentator Sergei Markedonov disagrees profoundly.  Better to pay attention to the threat political Islam poses to our common values and come up with a joint strategy

Russia – Belarus: an odd couple

The refusal of Belarus to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia points to a key factor behind its "marriage with Russia".  Both may favour a union, but for very different reasons, explains Sergei Markedonov

Squabbles over the post-Soviet space

Success in ‘resetting' US-Russian relations will depend on realism about their future roles in the post-Soviet space, argues Sergei Markedonov

Azerbaijan: from bad to worse

 A recent referendum has given Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliev almost unlimited power. The people's vote for stability makes an undemocratic situation even worse

Dagestan and the art of government

Look below the surface, a long way below, to understand how power works in Dagestan. Sergei Markedonov, leading commentator on Russia's Caucasian republics dissects a story that starts modestly enough, in a tax office.

Azerbaijan: Islamic threat to religious harmony

Radical Islam is on the rise in Azerbaijan. Although the state is tolerant and secular, it will keep making converts because of political disenfranchisement and the social fallout from the country's ongoing programme of modernisation.
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