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Chechnya & the Caucasus
Chechens in the Homeland
Ron Coody - 5/13/2013
Among the ever twisting and turning mountains, hills and vales of the Russian Caucuses live dozens of Muslim ethnic groups. Since the fall of the Soviet Union many of these have either agitated for independence or launched an outright rebellion to separate from the Russian government. Countless Russian soldiers and rebel fighters have died. But the innocent victims include school children who were taken hostage and killed. Pictures of mourning mothers and fathers brought to light the desperate situation of Chechnya, a place deep in the heart of Eurasia that otherwise few Americans would have ever heard about. Until now.
Chechnya: Separatists, Russian Forces in for the Long Haul and Big Cash
Angelique van Engelen - 3/29/2013
The next turn in the war in Chechnya is highly unpredictable, but the Islamic independence fighters who have insisted on wreaking total chaos appear to have gotten themselves what they have been after - an all out war against the Russians. Some have said that with the death of Aslan Maskhadov in 2005, the war in Chechnya as such is over. Now the show is run by Islamists who run a 'race to extermination' and Moscow-backed security forces run by Ramsan Kadyrov, the disgraced son of the country's former president who was killed earlier on.
War Is In The Air: A Troubled Caucasus
Vahan Dilanyan - 6/10/2012
While Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was on her way to South Caucasus perhaps troubled by growing intensity around Iran, the Nagorno Karabakh conflict has proven to be more explosive and hazardous.
Georgia’s “repressive democracy”
Petar Kanef, Ph.D. - 10/8/2011
Can Georgia’s active contribution in Afghanistan be the down payment for violation of democratic norms in the country and its admission into NATO?
Obama’s policy toward the Caucasus and U.S. credibility
Dr. Fariz Huseynov and Tamerlan Vahabov - 6/1/2010
The U.S. image in Azerbaijan has never been as bad as it is now and anti-American rhetoric in this predominantly Muslim country bordering Iran is unprecedented. President Obama’s “reset” policies towards Russia can have certain far-reaching implications for the U.S. interests and credibility in new democracies of the ex-Soviet Union. Azerbaijan is one example where President Obama’s “reset” policies with Russia can significantly damage U.S. interests in European Union energy security, NATO ISAF supply routes and democracy.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely: Azerbaijan lifts term limits
Farid Guliyev, Ph.D. candidate - 5/4/2009
“Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This famous dictum of Baron Acton sounds so true today in the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan. Here the referendum this Wednesday (March 18) lifted term limits on the presidency granting approval to President Ilham Aliyev to serve as many times as he wishes after his second term finishes in 2013. The poll approved more than 40 amendments to the constitution removing some of the restraints on the presidency. Ilham Aliyev, 47, succeeded his ailing father Heydar Aliyev in the presidential election in 2003 and voted to continue in office for the second five-year term in October 2008.
Armenian people: Pain, faith, & hope
Elias Bejjani - 4/29/2008
On the ninety-third anniversary of the Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Empire government's military forces which took place in 1915 in what is known today as Turkey, we, from the Lebanese Canadian Coordination Council (LCCC), offer our heartily felt condolences to the Armenian people all over the world, share their grief, pain and anguish, as well as their on going cry for justice.
ICJ and Armenian Genocide dispute
Cenap Cakmak, Ph.D. - 2/28/2008
Newspapers have reported that Turkey readies to take the longstanding Armenian Genocide dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the UN-affiliated judicial institution authorized to deal with interstate disagreements. In consideration of the growing problem in regards to the recognition of the so-called Armenian genocide by a number of parliaments allegedly committed by Turkish authorities in early 1900s, Turkey has decided to prove in reliance on a global court’s judgment that the events may not be viewed as repercussions of the deliberative acts to destroy or eliminate a certain ethnic or religious group in part or as a whole.
Azerbaijan: In Search Of Multiple Identities
Prof. Alireza Asgharzadeh - 12/11/2007
This article focuses on emerging Azerbaijani identity and its competing versions in the Republic of Azerbaijan, Iran, and in the diaspora. The Republic of Azerbaijan has over eight million people compared with more than 20 million Azeris in Iran. The two groups have ethnic, linguistic, and historical ties but also different experiences, giving them both a common identity contradicted by other factors.
Armenia Becomes The Focus of Attention in the Caucasus
Gohar Gevorgian - 11/11/2007
Director of NAA (National Academy of Armenia) Institute of Oriental Studies Ruben Safrastian was the guest of "Hayatsk" club on Wednesday. He touched upon the three factors in the region, mentioning that the Armenian factor has gained a significant role in the world and especially Turkish policy. "In this case, Armenia is in the focus of attention in the region", he added.
Bombing Georgia - Is Russia To Blame?
Angelique van Engelen - 8/9/2007
Relations between Russia and Georgia took a turn for the worse when a bomb landed just outside the Georgian village Sjavsjvebi, 60 km North West of the capitol Tblisi, earlier this week. The international community has devoted modest attention to the incident but in the absence of any clarity on the issue there has been no condemnation of sorts of Russia, who the Georgians say is the culprit. The Russian government denies any wrongdoing but the Georgians believe two Russian SU-24 bombers dropped the device, which luckily failed to detonate. The bomb weighed nearly a tonne and if it had exploded, the disaster would have been vast.
Interview with Ruben Safrastyan, Ph.D. on the Caucasus, Russia and Turkey
GP Interviews - 7/3/2006
Q: The statement of Matthew Bryza, OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair for settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh Conflict, caused numerous comments. What do you think on the occasion?
Transport And Energy Communications In Caucasus and Black Sea
Todor Kondakov, Ph.D. - 10/25/2005
It is a well-known fact that during the course of two centuries, Russia has been putting a lot of effort in enforcing its positions in the Black Sea and Caucasus regions, as well as in Central Asia. As a result of the series of wars between Russia and Turkey, the Caucasian war and the Turkistan marches, which ended with the inclusion of Khiva and Bukhara into the empire, this task seemed accomplished. Key element in the Russian domination in the above regions has always been the control over strategic communications between Europe and Asia.
The Armenian Genocide
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/6/2005
The Armenian massacres in Turkey started in the 19th century and continued well after the Armenian genocide of 1915 in which some 600,000 Armenians perished. The Armenians were also raided by Kurdish tribesmen on a regular basis. An Ottoman military tribunal, convened between 1919-21, even convicted for the crimes members of the administration of the Young Turks, including cabinet ministers.
Chechnya's Troubles Spill Into Dagestan
Angelique van Engelen - 7/22/2005
Russia is intensifying efforts to assert the idea of 'managed democracy' that topped the public agenda at the onset of President Vladimir Putin's rule a decade ago. The many questions that arose at the time regarding the future of the Soviet Union have by far not been answered. But one thing is clear; inactivity is the ultimate in destruction.
Russia and Turkey in South Caucasus: A Geostrategic Armistice
Prof. Ruben Safrastyan, Ph.D. - 6/26/2005
Two meetings of the Russian president V. Putin and Turkish Prime Minister R.T. Erdogan, held in the end of the last year and in the beginning of this year, as well as the wide spectrum of problems discussed and contents of the signed documents, marked the start of the a new phase in the Russian-Turkish relations. Experts spoke about that start in several recent years, and this phase can be characterized as the starting period of the real strategic process.
Interview with Prof. Safrastyan: "Armenia Must Get Rid Of Its Complex As Russia's Younger Brother"
GP Interviews - 6/17/2005
Prof. Ruben Safrastyan, Ph.D. is a Professor of International Relations at Acharyan University in Yerevan, Armenia. He's also the Director of the Department of Turkish Studies at Institute of Oriental Studies, Armenian National Academy of Sciences. In the past, he served as a Counselor of the Armenian Embassy in Germany and was the Deputy Director of the Department of Political Analysis for the Office of the President of Armenia.
Genocide Factor in Armenia's Foreign Policy
Prof. Ruben Safrastyan, Ph.D. - 4/30/2005
Among the issues on the Armenian foreign policy agenda, perhaps the problem of the recognition of the fact of the Genocide and its condemnation is in many respects the most significant one. It also has a serious domestic political and all-national meaning (in terms of functioning of the whole Diaspora-Homeland system), as well as an important foreign political resonance.
INTERVIEW: Caucasus is No Longer the Source of Discord for Russia and Turkey
GP Interviews - 4/18/2005
Ruben Safrastyan, Ph.D. is a Professor of International Relations at Acharyan University in Yerevan, Armenia. He's also the Director of the Department of Turkish Studies at the Armenian National Academy of Sciences. In the past, he served as a Counselor of the Armenian Embassy in Germany and was the Deputy Director of the Department of Political Analysis for the Office of the President of Armenia.
Chechnya War: Economic Cost to Russia
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/7/2005
One hundred and eighteen hostages and 50 of their captors died in the heavy handed storming of the theatre occupied by Chechen terrorists three years ago. Then, two years later, hundreds of children and teachers were massacred together with their captors in a school in Beslan. This has been only the latest in a series of escalating costs in a war officially terminated in 1997. On August 22, 2002 alone a helicopter carrying 115 Russian servicemen and unauthorized civilians went down in flames.
Foreign Mercenaries in Chechnya
Aliheydar Rzayev, Ph.D. - 3/30/2005
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Closely related to the geopolitical aspects of the Chechen crisis is the issue of foreign interference in the region. It is a well-known fact that from the very onset of his political career Johar Dudaev has been counseled by several representatives of the radical, anti-Russian nationalistic circles from the former Soviet republics in the Trans-Caucasus, the Ukraine and the Baltic regions, who in practice formulated his first program for the building of an independent Chechen state. At the same time, immediately after the with...
Historical, Physical and Geographical Aspects of the Chechen Conflict
Whitney Garcia - 1/15/2005
The area known as the Caucasus in Russia is made up of six autonomous Russian republics nestled between Russia and Turkey, to the north and south, and the Black and Caspian seas to the West and East. The northern portion of the Caucasus, located in southwestern Russia, is home to the territory known as Chechnya. Chechnya extends over approximately 19,300 square kilometers (about 8,000 square miles) on the northern slope of the Caucasus Mountains and covers several natural regions, spaning from her highest point at 14, 741 feet in the south to the northern plains and lowlands.  Chechnya ...
The Circassian Genocide
Antero Leitzinger - 12/14/2004
The genocide committed against the Circassian nation by Czarist Russia in the 1800s was the biggest genocide of the nineteenth century. Yet it has been almost entirely forgotten by later history, while everyone knows the later Jewish Holocaust and many have heard about the Armenian genocide. "Rather than of separate, selectively researched genocides, we should speak of a general genocidal tendency that affected many - both Muslim and Christian - people on a wide scene between 1856 and 1956, continuing in post-Soviet Russia until today", writes Antero Leitzinger. This article was originally published in "Turkistan News."