Stephen Blank (the 02/10/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Five years after its war with Georgia, Russia is now moving to institutionalize its gains into enduring territorial-political structures. During September 2013, Moscow effectively blackmailed Armenia into joining the Eurasian Union and has now announced that it is going to sign a treaty with South Ossetia and Abkhazia, recognizing the “international borders” between them and Russia. As a result, Russian soldiers are now erecting fences effectively demarcating these territories from Georgia, if not formally annexing them to Russia. Both of these moves undermine the sovereignty, and in Georgia’s case the integrity, of these two South Caucasian states and demonstrate that Russia’s neo-imperial effort to create a closed bloc in the CIS is intensifying and accelerating.
Archil Zhorzholiani (the 02/10/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
In mid-September, the Russian troops restored the installation of fences or the so called “borderization” process along the South Ossetia administrative boundary line (ABL) in the vicinity of the villages Ditsi and Khurvaleti.
By Valeriy Dzutsev (the 18/09/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
An increasing number of conflicts between Chechnya’s strongman Ramzan Kadyrov and Moscow may signify that the Russian government is gearing up to change the status quo in Chechnya. Regional authorities and Kadyrov himself have long been exempt from Russian law, which Russian leaders have motivated as a necessity for keeping Chechnya stable. Kadyrov’s success in keeping Moscow at bay has to a large extent depended on his personal relationship with President Putin. Growing resentment among ethnic Russians against North Caucasians and Putin’s weakening position make a tougher position on Moscow’s part against Chechnya’s pro-Moscow government more likely, a development that may have numerous unintended consequences.
By Tomáš Šmíd (the 18/09/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
On September 8, the president of Ingushetia was for the first time in history elected by the Ingushetian parliament. The People's Assembly elected the highest representative of this North Caucasian republic, and could choose from three candidates, all of whom were nominated by the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. The candidates were Urushan Yevloyev, Magomed Tatriev and the incumbent President of Ingushetia, Yunus-bek Yevkurov. As many observers predicted, Yevkurov won the elections having received 25 out of 27 votes. The remaining two deputies voted for Yevloyev. Yevkurov was inaugurated soon after his election.
By Mina Muradova (the 04/09/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
In mid-August, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin paid his first visit to Baku after resuming his presidency. No significant political declarations were made, but observers considered the visit to be a gesture aimed at dismissing speculations that the Kremlin is supporting an opposition candidate with Russian citizenship in Azerbaijan’s presidential elections, scheduled for October. The visit was intended to demonstrate that bilateral relations between the two countries are developing, even in the face of recent setbacks.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.