Post-Soviet States // Analysis

21 march 2017

Russia’s Political Agenda in the Post-Soviet Space

Irina Bolgova PhD in History, Post-Soviet Studies Center at the MGIMO University


Russia’s current policy in the post-Soviet space is a key part of its global strategy. The positioning of Russia in the international arena and the emergence of new rules for the world order that are seen as a precondition for the stable development of the country depend on the implementation of foreign policy goals in Russia’s immediate geographical surroundings. Successful completion of the integration project is thought to be an indispensable condition for creating an independent and self-sufficient centre in the global economy, hence the basis for the emergence of a real, undeclared poly-centricity of the global political system.


09 march 2017

The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: At the Crossroads of Foreign Policy Interests

Sergey Markedonov PhD in History, Associate Professor, Department of Regional Studies and Foreign Policy, Russian State University for the Humanities, RIAC Expert


The conflict around Nagorno-Karabakh was one of the first of its kind in the former USSR. Over the past quarter of a century, it has transformed from an intercommunal and inter-republic conflict within a single state (the USSR) into a protracted confrontation between Armenia and Azerbaijan with the prospects for resolution being unclear. Russia (the successor to the USSR) has expressed an interest in settling this confrontation, as have neighbouring Turkey and Iran, and a number of external actors, namely the United States and the European Union.

28 february 2017

Advance or Contain? How to Respond to the Escalation in Donbass

Ivan Timofeev PhD in Political Science, Director of Programs at Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), RIAC Member, Head of "Contemporary State" program at Valdai Discussion Club


The current surge of violence in the Donbass conflict zone was expected, but its intensity came as an unpleasant surprise for many, with military and civilian deaths at a level not seen since 2015. The Ukrainian authorities are seeking to exploit this opportune moment to carry out a sweeping political maneuver in relations with the West and Russia. What might the escalation lead to and what is to be expected from the key players?

27 february 2017

Armenia after 25 years of Independence: Maintaining Stability in an Unpredictable Neighborhood

Hovhannes Nikoghosyan PhD, Adjunct Lecturer, American University of Armenia


Like all other post-Soviet countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States, Armenia celebrated its 25th anniversary of independence in 2016, which is a fitting occasion to draw lessons from the first quarter of a century’s experience, and to look to the future — after lengthy Caucasian toasts have all been raised and drained. As it commonly happens, the course of development in the next few years will depend on a number of internal and external factors, and none of those are constant variables, neither can they be assessed and predicted with mathematical accuracy.

21 february 2017

The Post-Soviet Space in 2017

Yulia Nikitina PhD in Political Science, associate professor at the School of World Political Processes, research associate at the Center for Post-Soviet Studies, MGIMO University


In 2017, we are likely to see more skirmishes in Nagorno-Karabakh, since neither party learned the lessons from the escalation that took place last spring: information on the truce being periodically breached keeps coming in. Most likely, the conflict will not be resolved, but its escalation into a full-fledged war is unlikely either. As for the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), there is little chance of it changing its stance with regard to the situation, meaning that it will not intervene in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

25 january 2017

Ukraine after 30 Years: Manoeuvring between Geopolitical Centres

Anton Naychuk Ph.D. in Political Science, International Center for Advanced Studies


Ukraine is still on the path of international self-determination and experimenting with the modelling of its state. European and Euro-Atlantic integration process is complicated by internal political situation and country’s foreign policy. What follows are current assessments of the political process in the country and the possible scenarios for the next five years.

11 january 2017

Ukraine: 25 Years of Missed Opportunities

Aleksandr Gushchin PhD in History, Associate Professor, Department of Post-Soviet Countries, Russian State University for the Humanities, RIAC expert


2016 has in many respects been a milestone year for the region that is conventionally referred to as the post-Soviet space. It marks 25 years since the disintegration of the USSR and the creation of the new independent states. Almost everywhere in the region this quarter of a century has been extremely rich in socio-political changes. Ukraine occupies a special place even against this background as a unique example of large-scale transformations. Recent events in the country demonstrate that the very model of Ukrainian statehood is full of hidden traps and pitfalls, and that the Ukrainian elites have in many instances been unable to cope with the mission of ensuring the development of society and the government, which has resulted in a number of serious crises.

30 december 2016

An Echo of the Little War in Nagorno Karabakh

Hovhannes Nikoghosyan PhD, Adjunct Lecturer, American University of Armenia


The Azerbaijani armed forces staged a new subversion along the Northeastern part of Armenian-Azerbaijani international border on the early morning hours of December 29. Three Armenian soldiers are confirmed killed, while Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense spokesperson declined to comment the operation, nor published about losses — in a long-standing practice.

05 december 2016

The Iskanders in Armenia: Restoration of a Balance or a New Round of the Arms Race?

Mikael Zolyan Ph.D. in History, Associate Professor, Yerevan State Linguistic University


A military parade rehearsal is always a big deal. Yet the media’s interest in a rehearsal that took place in Yerevan on September 16, 2016 was not caused by the fact that Armenia was about to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its independence. The Russian-made Iskander missiles were spotted in the streets of Yerevan that day. Armenia’s Iskanders have remained in the crosshairs of attention of journalists and analysts alike ever since.

21 november 2016

Dmitry Poletaev: Up to 50% of Migrants in Russia Are Illegal


Almost two years have passed since Eurasian Economic Union started functioning, which allows drawing certain conclusions. Dmitry Poletaev, Director at the Center for Migration Studies, shared his opinion on the changes in the area of migration during this period with RIAC editing team.

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