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Eurasia Security

The Russo-Ukrainian War and Nagorno-Karabakh’s Faltering Ceasefire

Azerbaijan has sought to exploit the world’s and Russia’s preoccupation with the war in Ukraine in order to militarily resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis. As Moscow becomes extensively embroiled in its so-called ‘special military operation’ against Kiev, it is highly likely that Baku will feel emboldened enough to push further into the contested region, even if this results in the antagonisation of Russian peacekeepers.

Eurasia Natural resources and energy Security

Opinion: An effective Russian sanctions regime

As Brussels and DC continue to expand their sanctions package they risk hurting the Russian people more than the Russian state. To target the Russian state, the West must consider oil and gas export restrictions and stop insulating the Kremlin’s main source of income through SWIFT loopholes. 

Eurasia Politics

Hungarians protest encroaching Chinese Influence

Recently, Hungary’s President Orban has faced a wave of protests in response to plans to build a Chinese satellite campus at a Budapest University at the cost of $1.8 billion. The Hungarian public have objected on the grounds that the project could undercut the country’s higher education and increase the influence of China’s communist authorities in Hungary and across Europe. If the project goes ahead, there could be benefits for Sino-Hungarian relations but possibly at the cost of Hungary’s relations with its European neighbours and the stability of Orban’s premiership. 

Eurasia Politics

Georgia’s political struggles may not be over just yet

Over the last year, Georgia has faced political disunity between the ruling government party, Georgian Dream, and its opposition, United National Movement. Tensions have been brewing, but the pinnacle of the division came after the 2020 election in October, which was declared rigged by the opposition. Following this, protests erupted and the opposition leader, Nick Melia was arrested. The EU has stepped in to broker a deal to resume the functioning of parliament. However, taking into account the deep institutional rifts between the political parties in regard to Russia, this solution is likely to only be temporary. Real change amongst the nation’s political actors needs to happen to consolidate democracy.

Eurasia Politics

Russia and its ‘diversionary space race’?

The International Space Station (ISS), that hub of extra-terrestrial cooperation, recently announced that Russia will be withdrawing from its team from 2025. Russia plans to set up a separate orbital space station by 2030. As a result, there has been much debate about what this means in terms of Russia-US  and Sino-Russian relations. However, little attention has been paid to the domestic implications of Russia’s decision: is it an attempt to divert attention from the ongoing saga with Alexei Navalny and muster patriotic fervor?

Eurasia Security

Have Russia and Ukraine been on the Verge of Open War?

The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine appears to have reached a new peak this year as President Putin has recently deployed over 100,000 troops to the Ukrainian border. Russia’s actions here initially appear to be ambiguous, as it can be interpreted in more than one way – has Russia been attempting to intimidate their enemies with a display of force and dominance, or are their intentions more aggressive? There is room to argue here that Russia has, at some point at least, been preparing for open war with Ukraine.

Eurasia Europe Politics

Were Sanctions by the EU the Right Move?

On 2nd March 2021, the EU announced sanctions on four Russian citizens for human rights violations. The continuing saga of Navalny’s imprisonment and the treatment of protestors by the Russian government has forced the international community to respond but are sanctions the right response? 

Eurasia Politics

Turkish Democracy Again at a Crossroads

While Turkish citizens are trying to cope with Covid-19, the government took the opportunity to further its agenda. In an unprecedented move, the Turkish government replaced Boğaziçi University’s director with Melih Bulu, a non-faculty member at the university and a former politician under Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party.

Eurasia Politics

Russia’s East is Fed Up

Fresh from a national referendum allowing for the continuation of President Vladimir Putin’s rule, Moscow capitalized on the renewed political mandate by arresting a troublesome regional governor. What followed next was a near unprecedented backlash from the inhabitants of the Khabarovsk region in Russia’s East, with 20-60,000 initial protestors getting involved in the single longest-running protest in the history of the Russian Federation. These protests represent the latest displays of a long-standing resentment of Moscow’s meddling in the east of the country, while also serving as an indictment of the failings of Russian federalism.

Debate Corner Eurasia

Russia: Space Expansionism Anew?

After the discovery of phosphine in Venus’ atmosphere, Russian Space Agency Roscosmos was quick to reaffirm Moscow’s commitment to exploring the planet. Furthermore, Russia’s previously dominant position in international space travel has been challenged since private actors have entered the field. These two factors prompt a potential revival of Russian extraterrestrial ambitions.