By Nurlan Aliyev
November 10, 2020, the CACI Analyst
From early November, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin conducted telephone conversations with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan, thoroughly discussing the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and reaching a truce on November 9. Both countries have criticized Moscow’s position on the current war. Russia has been a security guarantor for Armenia since the 1990s and has more recently become a strategic partner of Azerbaijan. Moscow’s position has raised the question of whether Russia struggles to balance its relations with a strategic ally and a strategic partner, or if the Kremlin’s reluctance to become involved signals a change in policy regarding the former Soviet republics.
By Dmitry Shlapentokh
November 3, 2020, the CACI Analyst
After the death of President Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan’s new leadership has engaged in a transformation process structurally similar to those in the post-Stalinist USSR and post-Maoist China. Manifestations of this new reality are manifold. Some are quite visible to the public, such as the recent harsh jail term for Karimov’s daughter, accused of corruption, embezzlement, money laundering and other crimes. Other manifestations are more subtle, yet important in order to understand the new trends. In particular, a shift is underway from the emphasis of Tamerlane (Timur) as the founder of Uzbekistan to the role of Alexander the Great in the country’s antecedents.
By Emil A. Souleimanov and Huseyn Aliyev
October 22, 2020, the CACI Analyst
The ongoing conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh saw a number of dramatic developments over the past couple of weeks. Most notably, Azerbaijani forces proved able to breach through Armenian defenses in the south, resulting in Azerbaijan’s rapid advance into both the Nagorno-Karabakh region and adjacent Armenian-controlled territories in the “buffer zone.” This battlefield transformation will likely affect the balance of power on the ground and influence Baku’s willingness and Yerevan’s capacity to negotiate a peaceful settlement. Recent developments on the frontlines will also affect Russia’s and Turkey’s positions and roles in the conflict and the South Caucasus.
By Johan Engvall
October 8, 2020, the CACI Analyst
Kyrgyzstan is again in turmoil following the country’s parliamentary elections on October 4. The day after the election, thousands of demonstrators gathered in central Bishkek to protest the outcome of what opposition leaders described as the dirtiest in the country’s history, ending in a violent showdown between riot police and demonstrators. The fighting went on long into the night, until the protesters overrun the police and seized the presidential palace and the parliament. State power collapsed in the blink of an eye. Now begins the hard part of bringing back law and order and finding a viable path forward. The outcome is genuinely uncertain. There are no boundaries for what kind of interests that can lay claim on political authority. Old and new politicians, criminal groups and political activists all try to fill the power vacuum.
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.