By Valeriy Dzutsev (the 22/01/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
As the attacks of the North Caucasian insurgency appear to move closer to the region of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the government further increases the security precautions. Apart from the failings of the Russian security services, the attacks highlight the growing support for the insurgents among the general population in the North Caucasus. Nearly extreme measures taken by Moscow to shield the Olympics from the North Caucasian insurgents further contribute to the isolation of this region from the rest of Russia and the rise of ethnic tensions. The situation around the Olympics looks increasingly odd as the sport event appears to be destined to take place in an area surrounded by a war zone.
By Emil Souleimanov (the 08/01/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
On the eve of the New Year's celebrations, two subsequent terrorist attacks hit Volgograd, located around 900 kilometers southeast of Moscow and around 650 kilometers northeast of Sochi. Leaving at least 34 dead and dozens injured, the Volgograd bombings raised questions regarding the ability of Russian intelligence and security services to properly anticipate and forestall terrorist attacks, and doubts about their capacity to ensure the security of the upcoming Winter Olympics. Additionally, the Volgograd bombings indicated a certain evolution of Russia's Jihadist underground that might have repercussions for the nation's security in the years to come.
By Dmitry Shlapentokh (the 08/01/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Kazakhstan is a member of the Russian-sponsored Custom Union, and intends to join the Eurasian Union. Yet, Kazakhstan’s foreign policy indicates that it regards Russia as just one among several partners, with which it cooperates in some areas but also competes against in others. The transportation of oil and natural gas has increasingly become a bone of contention, whereas China has emerged as a viable alternative. China has provided Kazakhstan with alternative transportation routes such as railroads, along with considerable investment, providing alternatives to Russia as well as the West. Neither the Russian-led Eurasian Union, nor any Western economic or geopolitical construction, is likely to monopolize Astana's attention.
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.