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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. 


Film review: (Oscar-nominated) 'Tangerines'

Tangerines poster (for standfirst).pngTangerines, an Estonian film about the Abkhaz-Georgian conflict, is up for an Oscar in the category of Best Foreign Language Film. What was it that caught the eye of the Academy?


Armenia’s foreign policy: between dependence and complementarity

oskanian pic_0.jpgThe plight of the weakest member of the Eastern Partnership region – Armenia – should have alerted policymakers to the seriousness of Russia’s intentions in re-asserting its position within ‘its’ near abroad.


In Russia, nobody can be ‘Charlie’

Je suis charlie - Diogo Baptista - demotix_0.jpgRussian reaction to the Charlie Hebdo massacre has been muted, although a massive march in Chechnya defended Islam from the ‘mockers’.

Crime and punishment in Armenia

Gyumri massacre victim Seryozha Avetisyan laid to rest - Armenia - Demotix - PHOTOLURE News Agency.jpgAfter a Russian soldier emerged as the prime suspect in the murder of an Armenian family in Gyumri, Armenia, this month, relations between the two countries have become strained as Armenia enters the Eurasian Economic Union.

Armenia's unhappy New Year

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Armenia is now a member of the Eurasian Economic Union. But with the economy in trouble, does membership have any benefits?


Trial and error in the Kabardino-Balkaria Republic

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Nine years after a series of coordinated attacks on government and military installations in and around Nalchik, Russia, 58 men have been convicted in a show trial worthy of the Stalin era.

The end of the Georgian dream

Parlament_of_Georgia_(Kutaisi)- wiki.jpgGeorgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili's decision on 4 November 2014 to dismiss Defence Minister Irakli Alasania provoked an immediate reaction both in and outside the country.

A free-thinker loses his freedom in Azerbaijan

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On 12 January, Arif Yunus, the distinguished Azerbaijani scholar, will ‘celebrate’ his 60th birthday in a prison cell.


Kakha Bendukidze and Georgia’s failed experiment

KakhaBendukidze_wiki.jpgKakha Bendukidze died in November 2014 at the age of 58. Bendukidze directed the whirlwind of economic reform that characterised Georgia from 2004 to 2008-9.


Stepford Wives in Chechnya

RIA Tsarnayev Model Crop.jpgChechen women have to be very careful about what they wear because of Ramzan Kadyrov’s ‘virtue campaign.’


Letter from Tbilisi

tschumacher.jpgAcademic concepts about EU foreign policy and the European Neighbourhood Policy are not always enough to explain what is going on in the region.


Where now for Armenia’s opposition?

Public protests are mounting in Armenia over economic and political issues. But where is the Armenian opposition in all this?

Nagorno-Karabakh: a gender inclusive approach to peace

Research suggests that engaging local women in conflict resolution efforts increases the likelihood of violence ending within a year – a theory worth testing in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Nagorno-Karabakh: the not-so-frozen conflict

In recent months, the ‘frozen’ Karabakh conflict has been more fire than ice. With outside powers stoking the flames, what are the chances of finally securing peace?

Five bloody days in North Ossetia

For the Ingush and Ossetians, memories from an overlooked conflict continue to simmer…



The new (de-facto) President of Abkhazia

On his fourth attempt, Raul Khadjimba has finally become de-facto President of Abkhazia. But few would envy the challenges he faces…


The enemy, six feet under

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In Shirak Province, Armenia, memories of the Karabakh War still inflame; and even the cemeteries are not always sacrosanct.


‘Caviar diplomacy’ hides human rights abuses in Azerbaijan

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In Azerbaijan, prominent human rights defenders are being arrested; and NGOs raided. ‘Caviar diplomacy’ covers it all up.


Ambassador Warlick’s folly in Nagorno-Karabakh

How the US botched the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process.



Apostolics, evangelicals and neo-pagans in Armenia

Back in 301CE, Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its national religion, but in post-independence Armenia, the Apostolic Church has many competitors.

The galloping militarisation of Eurasia

In recent months, attention has overwhelmingly been focused on Moscow’s actions in Ukraine. But there is a wider and more disturbing process of militarisation underway throughout the Eurasian region. на русском языке

Nagorno-Karabakh: Crimea’s doppelganger

Crimea and Nagorno-Karabakh, two regions with similar histories, took very different paths after the Soviet Union broke up; until now.


South Ossetia’s unwanted independence

South Ossetians may yearn for union with Russia, but the complicated political realities of the South Caucasus make this an unlikely prospect.

Maidan comes to Abkhazia

Events in Ukraine have both highlighted and influenced Abkhazia’s political divisions, as yesterday’s protests clearly demonstrate.


Rough justice in Chechnya

Three recent court cases in Chechnya suggest that torture is routinely used to persuade people to confess to trumped up charges. на русском языке

Sochi, the Caucasus and Russian Romanticism

Since the 19th century the Caucasus has been Russian’s ‘window on the East,’ its access to another, often very romanticised world. The Sochi Winter Olympics took place in the Caucasus, but they presented a less complex image.

Dagestan: Russia’s hottest spot

Asked to name Russia’s most troublesome region, most people would plump for Chechnya. But its neighbour Dagestan is now officially the most dangerous part of the Federations.

Civil war, secession and the body politic

Working with young people is important in any society. The recent story of an unusual Chechen initiative demonstrates why functional governance has so spectacularly failed to take root during the last 23 years.

The myth of the black widow

Fears of terrorism surrounding the Sochi Olympics have seen much talk of ‘Black Widows’ and the 'Caucasus Emirate,' but do these headline-grabbing terms obscure the real nature and origins of terrorism in the North Caucasus? 

Baba-Hadji, symbol of ethnic harmony

The complicated relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan that have erupted since the break-up of the USSR belie the fact that in the past the two nations often coexisted more or less harmoniously. Maxim Edwards visited the mountain mausoleum of Baba-Hadji, an ancient symbol of erstwhile good relations

Georgia through a glass, darkly

Since the break-up of the USSR, the South Caucasus has trodden a chequered path, both political and economic. Is democracy really what the people want? Or just what Western donors and investors think they should have? Stephen F Jones reflects

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