By Emil Souleimanov (06/04/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
News has recently spread of the involvement of Chechens in the Ukraine crisis. According to numerous eyewitnesses, members of Chechen elite units, commonly known as kadyrovtsy, were spotted in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk where they were reportedly deployed in combat against local Ukrainian troops. Soon, sources in Chechnya started informing of dozens of corpses of Chechens being transported from Ukraine back to this North Caucasian republic. The participation of the kadyrovtsy units in military operations outside the North Caucasus indicates a novel trend that could have broad security implications transcending the region’s borders.
By Farkhod Tolipov (04/04/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
The outbreak of Ukraine's "second color revolution" in February has shaken not only Ukraine itself but also the foundations of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The drastic split of Ukraine as a state and a nation amounted to a moment of truth for the entire post-Soviet structure. The rise of anti-Russian nationalism in Ukraine and Russia's response to annex Crimea revealed not only a persistent Russian neo-imperial stance in the post-Soviet space but also triggered geopolitical concerns among former Soviet countries, including in Central Asia.
By Oleg Salimov (04/02/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
The events in Ukraine and Crimea are a wake-up call for most of Central Asia’s leaders. Although far away from Ukraine, Tajikistan is in the same zone of political and economic influence imposed by Russia. This implies that Tajikistan must consider the possibility of being subjected to a sequence of events similar to those in Crimea. The lack of a comprehensive reaction from Tajikistan’s president, usually supportive of President Putin, to the situation in Crimea can be interpreted as fear that Tajikistan could potentially be absorbed by Russia in part or as a whole. An evaluation of Tajikistan’s political and socioeconomic situation can provide clues to whether Tajikistan is susceptible to a Crimea scenario.
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.