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Azerbaijan’s 2016: sink or swim?

Protests have broken out in Azerbaijan against rising prices and falling living standards. Will the regime respond with anything but brute force?

Can the North Caucasus adapt to political change?

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Amid a crumbling and fragile system, central and regional elites gear up for a new power struggle in Russia’s North Caucasus.

 

Can Georgia ditch its surveillance culture?

Mikheil Saakashvili may have left his native Georgia for Odessa, but one particular legacy of his years in power is still strong. Русский


An unlikely home

Abkhazia may not be the first port of call for Syrian refugees, but historical ties link this unrecognised state on the Black Sea coast to the epicentre of conflict. Русский

Between dialogue and violence: the North Caucasus's bloody legacy

After Paris, we need to act against radicalisation. Russia's legacy in the North Caucasus tells us how not to. Русский

 

Like me, I'm an autocrat

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov might be the Russian Federation’s second most powerful figure. With such friends in high places, why would he need to make more online?

 

Gubden, Dagestan: where ‘radicals’ police themselves

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This village used to house one of the North Caucasus’ most dangerous Islamist paramilitary units. With the Russian state nowhere to be seen, Gubden has started policing — and developing — itself. RU

Refugees or repatriates? Syrian Armenians return to Armenia

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Armenians have lived in Syria for centuries. Following the outbreak of war, many have been seeking refuge in Armenia. на русском языке

In Georgia, justice delayed is justice denied

Giorgi Ugulava, political ally of Mikheil Saakashvili and former mayor of Tbilisi, has gone behind bars. Behind the charges of corruption may stand a darker motive – a desire for revenge.

Film review: ‘Grozny Blues’ (dir. Nicola Bellucci)

Grozny Blues is a haunting, often dreamlike documentary about Chechen people caught between the contradictory pressures of manufactured realities and coerced silences.

A sudden warning in Dagestan

On 27 July, Russian special forces abducted a senior Dagestan official from his home and transported him to Moscow for investigation. The Dagestani authorities knew nothing about it.

South Ossetia's creeping border

no to collaborators.jpgRenewed tensions along the de-facto border between Georgia and South Ossetia have raised concerns in Tbilisiand laid bare Georgia's political rivalries.


The Circassians come home

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Long exiled from their homeland, Circassians are now seeking refuge in the Caucasus following conflict in their adopted home, Syria. Adjusting to life in Russia has not been easy. Русский

Book review: Alisa Ganieva, 'The Mountain and the Wall'

The Mountain and the Wall is the first Dagestani novel to be published in English. Ganieva is very courageous to write about what is happening in her native country, thinly veiled in the traditional Russian literary use of fiction.

 

The power of Electric Yerevan

Strong-arm tactics and cynical compromises are yet to send Yerevan's protesters home. Is this the beginning of the end for the politics of old in Armenia?

 

North Ossetia is rethinking its role as Russia's ‘outpost’ in the Caucasus

From ‘outpost’ to ‘outpostism’ and then to ‘outposter’, North Ossetians are feeling increasingly alienated from the Russian centre.

Is this the end of the Caucasus Emirate?

After several North Caucasus commanders transferred their allegiance to Islamic State, an ISIS spokesman announced the creation of a 'Caucasus Province'. Is this the end of the Caucasus Emirate?

After Baku, let's not forget about human rights

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With the European Games in Baku over, what does the future hold for Europe's relationship with Azerbaijan?

 

Kadyrov and Putin: parallel lives

RIA Kadyrov Putin 2 (c) Aleskei Nikolsku.jpgWhile Vladimir Putin has given Ramzan Kadyrov a free hand in Chechnya, the relationship between Moscow and Grozny is far more complicated than it first appears.

 

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.

 

Azerbaijan’s European Games: giving sport a bad name

Rather than being a catalyst for positive change, the European Games have become a weapon in Baku’s effort to promote itself as progressive while continuing to crush independent voices.

Remembering Budyonnovsk

I was in Budyonnovsk on 14 June 1995, when Chechen separatists raided the town and took hostages, killing 129. Twenty years later, this town in southern Russia is still known as the 'town of black shawls'. 

From emancipation to restraint: violence and gender inequality in Azerbaijan

Passing laws against gender-motivated violence and gender inequality is not the same as putting them into practice.

 

Georgian fiction – in translation at last

Georgia_Mural (MEdwards).pngAt last, we can read what we have been missing – a literature as unpredictable as Georgian politics.

 

Happy Independence Day, Georgia!

Since 1991, Georgia has celebrated Independence Day annually on 26 May. But this national holiday only exposes the gap between elites and the people.

 

Book review: Hamid Ismailov ‘The Underground’

Cover_Ismailov_TheUnderground.pngIn The Underground, like his mixed-race hero, Hamid Ismailov is looking, above and below ground, for the answer to the question: what is 'Russianness'?

 

Derbent: how the oldest city in Russia missed its birthday

Export Vertical crop.jpgDerbent, the oldest city in Russia, was supposed to mark its 2000th birthday – or was it 5000th – this year, but bureaucratic wrangles and ineptitude have meant a postponement of the celebrations.

Georgia's puzzled transition

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The disintegration of the Soviet Union has given birth to a new and difficult reality in Georgia.

 

Assyrian stories from the Caucasus

Scattered throughout Russia and the South Caucasus, Assyrians are looking for recognition of their suffering.

 

Abkhazia's unequal partnership with Russia

RIA Aleksei Druzhinin Putin Abkhazia.jpgAbkhazia’s Strategic Partnership Agreement with Russia may be unpopular among the break-away republic’s population, but the government is keen to implement it and is clamping down on dissent.

Agreement by association: Georgia edges closer to Europe

Georgia’s signing of the Association Agreement with the EU has been welcomed by the country’s people and its elite, but it will likely not be the panacea they hope.

 

Who killed Boris Nemtsov?

RIAN Ilya Pitalev Nemtsov.jpg The murder of Boris Nemtsov tells us not that Putin is a strong leader, but rather one who has lost his grip.

 

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 crackdown in Azerbaijan

Preident Aliyev - Flickr - World Economic Forum.jpgIn allowing the Aliyev regime to suppress human rights and democracy, the West is hurting its own interests.

 

Georgian Muslims are strangers in their own country

Mosque in Chechla.jpgThe Republic of Georgia is an avowedly Christian country, but one out of every ten Georgian citizens is Muslim. 

 

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