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Dossiers

Statehood of South Ossetia

The leadership of South Ossetia has announced a necessity to call a referendum on joining Russia. Meanwhile, the Republic of South Ossetia and Russian Federation have already signed an alliance and integration treaty, intergovernmental agreements to the Big Treaty are being signed. The referendum issue regarding direct joining Russia is being actualized in the republic by various political forces every time it is facing an election campaign. There is no clear vision when and how the accession should be taking place. Various scenarios are still being discussed, from joining the Russian Federation as a single region to becoming a part of North Ossetia. Russia’s position is that the referendum is South Ossetia’s internal affair; the issue of South Ossetia’s accession is not being discussed.

21 articles. Updated May 29th, 2018 11:55 PM

Abkhazia's Way

Up to 2008, Abkhazia had been an unrecognized state. After the Georgian aggression against South Ossetia and the five-day war in August 2008, Abkhazia was officially recognized by the Russian Federation. Abkhazian politics has always been marked by outbursts resulting in unexpected outcomes. Economically, Abkhazia is much dependent on Russia’s financial aid. Meanwhile, Tbilisi is persistent in its attempts to derail Abkhazia from its way to sovereignty. Where will the Abkhazian people finally come, being between Georgia and brotherly people of the Russian Caucasus?

28 articles. Updated May 29th, 2018 11:55 PM

The Balkans: Tinderbox in Europe

The collapse of Yugoslavia marked by numerous ethnic conflicts turned to be one of the most notable landmarks while the new global order was taking shape. The NATO aggression against Serbia, overthrow of the legitimate government and alienation of Kosovo followed by recognition of its independence seemed to be showing complete submission of the Balkan countries to the interests of the United States and European Union. Nevertheless, numerous growing contradictions in the region can be a sign of an incomplete political configuration of the Balkan Peninsula as well as of new conflicts, including military ones, that can be expected in the near future.

57 articles. Updated May 25th, 2018 08:36 PM

Disintegration of Ukraine

Once prospering Ukraine has turned into a country living on grants. The new leadership that came to power through anti-state armed coup in 2014 took a course for “European integration” and confrontation with Russia with the help of the United States. This sparked large-scale protests in the southeast of Ukraine, and those protests grew into a civil war. The Autonomous Republic of Crimea adopted a decision to unite with Russia. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics proclaimed independence. Centrifugal tendencies continue in other regions of Ukraine, amid power vacuum and chaos. Economy keeps shrinking, causing dramatic impoverishment of the population.

130 articles. Updated May 24th, 2018 04:32 PM

Unfreezing of Nagorno-Karabakh

In early April 2016, the situation in Nagorno Karabakh escalated sharply. The Azerbaijani army units violated the years long ceasefire and took a number of strategic positions along the line of confrontation. Armored vehicles, heavy and reactive artillery, and helicopters were used in the fighting. The status quo was violated when the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan were at the Nuclear Security Summit in the United States. The frozen conflict in Karabakh is gradually starting to thaw, though Russia and its OSCE MG partners – U.S. and France – appear to have been exerting efforts for peaceful diplomatic settlement of the issue.

89 articles. Updated May 22nd, 2018 06:01 PM

The Syrian Knot

In 2011, the Arab Spring brought a war to the previously safe Syria. Due to its strategic location of the country, major geopolitical regional and global actors turned to be involved in it. The USA and Middle-East monarchies wanted to replace the legitimate Syrian president Bashar al-Assad by any means, so terror groups took the side of the opposition and the country was flooded by Islamic radicals. As a result, the extremist Islamic State rooted in the weakened Syria; Jihadists from the “moderate opposition” are fighting against governmental troops “for democracy” and the war turned into a religious and ethnic massacre. Under a request of Damascus, Russia launched an air force operation against the terrorists and prevented Syria from sliding into chaos and supporters of “restoring the caliphate in al-Sham” from winning. However, no one knows what will be the end of the confrontation that took lives of a quarter of 1mn Syrians. Under the slogans of protecting democracy, the West and Middle-East monarchies continue playing their games.

106 articles. Updated May 14th, 2018 12:46 PM

Cryptocurrency market: developments and trends

The global cryptocurrency boom has got unambiguous assessments from experts and a great response from unprofessional investors. Designed as a payment instrument, an alternative to the conventional ones controlled by governmental regulators, cryptocurrencies have soon shown their investment potential: capitalization of the segment grew by hundreds of percentage points within several months. At the same time, another peculiar thing about cryptocurrencies has demonstrated itself: they are characterized by high volatility rate which makes investments in them extremely risky.

5 articles. Updated May 8th, 2018 09:38 AM

Belarus: The decline of Lukashenko's era

In recent years, Belarus, an official ally of Russia, has been pursuing a policy sometimes contradicting to Russia’s national interests. Refusal to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia's independence, the stance on the Crimean issue, economic and military cooperation with Ukraine, encouragement of nationalism inside the country, constant oil and gas conflicts with Moscow, smuggling of sanctioned European goods to Russia – all this does pile uncertainty in the Russian-Belarusian relations and puts under question their future.

36 articles. Updated April 25th, 2018 02:00 PM

The Island of Crimea

In March 2014, Crimea has “returned to home harbor,” into Russia. Further developments have shown that that the process of coming back is not that smooth and swift as one could wish. Nevertheless, problems accumulated in the peninsula under Ukraine are being settled slowly but steadily. While old problems are solved, new ones occur. “The Island of Crimea” is being blockaded from Ukraine. Russia is laying alternative communication and supply routes.

17 articles. Updated April 10th, 2018 11:59 AM

Russians in the Baltics: No right for rights

Russian communities are quite significant in numbers in the Baltic states. However, since the beginning of 1990s Russians there have been second-class people. They are oppressed through persecution of their native language, closure of Russian schools, deprivation of civil rights. Parties advancing interests of national minorities are not allowed to power; political activists and human right defenders are being oppressed. The authorities in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are constant in their unwillingness to recognize Russians as citizens of the states with equal rights and are trying to assimilate them. Nevertheless, local Russians keep on struggling for equal rights and opportunities with other citizens. The situation with Russian compatriots is under close examination of Moscow, especially as the Baltics is the only NATO region bordering with Russia.

10 articles. Updated April 4th, 2018 07:33 AM

The birth of Kurdistan

The Iraqi Kurds have announced an independence referendum; the Syrian Kurds are preparing for federalization of Syria. The Turkish government is trying to suppress the Kurdish revolt by force. Will the dozens of millions of Kurds manage to win a right for their own state? What territories will it cover if they win? Or, will be the Kurds dominated by more independent and powerful rivals?

30 articles. Updated February 16th, 2018 11:18 AM

Anti-corruption campaign in Russia

The anti-corruption campaign in Russia has been implemented for several years already; however, the situation still resembles the many-headed Hydra: new heads grow immediately after the law enforcement cuts away a head. It lays reasonable grounds to assume that the fight with corruption is a way of inside competition between the elites in Russia. Although, one needs to admit that none of the power levels in the country is guaranteed from a hard look by law enforcers. Several governors and mayors of big cities arrested, a criminal suit against acting deputy economic development minister, dozens of adjudications for financial fraud in bankrupt banks show that the government intends to demonstrate to the public practical results in combating corruption. However, there is no single unambiguous attitude to this among the public. Many “grassroot” activists believe that the measures taken are not enough, while the decision-making system in the government is still subject to corruption, despite numerous sentences. No doubt, the issue will be of top priority on the agenda at least until the key sign of the current economic crisis, the drop in income, is overcome. On this background, any facts of corruption in the elites cause a strong response in the public and need urgent reaction from the government.

1 article. Updated October 31st, 2017 05:13 PM

Brexit: Divorce with EU English-style

In 2016, Great Britain had a referendum on exit from the European Union (Brexit). 51.9% of the voters spoke for exiting the EU, while 48.1% would like to continue being part of the union. It caused a stormy reaction both inside and outside the kingdom. The EU is not happy to see Britain go: first, Brussels urged the UK to pay 50-60 bn euros “to fulfil financial obligations”, then, under France and Germany’s pressure, the sum grew up to 91-113 bn euros. As a result, UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced that all the 27 members of the EU “lining up to oppose” Brexit.

4 articles. Updated June 3rd, 2017 07:46 PM

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