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Russia/North Caucasus

CrisisWatch Russia/North Caucasus

Unchanged Situation

In Far East, weekly mass protests continued while international community called for investigation into alleged poisoning of opposition leader. In Far East, thousands of people continued to protest each Saturday in Khabarovsk city against July arrest of former local governor and member of nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Sergei Furga, accused of involvement in murders of businessmen in 2005-2006; Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu 17 Sept announced increase of military presence in region. Moscow City Court 18 Sept upheld extension until 9 Dec of Furgal’s pre-trial detention; Furgal called charges against him “a persecution” via video link during hearing and demanded all hearings in his case be public. After French and Swedish laboratories 14 Sept independently confirmed that Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was poisoned in Aug with lethal nerve agent Novichok, Germany and France same day called on Russia to conduct credible and transparent investigation; UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet 8 Sept also asked Russia for “thorough, independent, impartial and transparent investigation into this assassination attempt.”

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

31 Aug 2020
The Kurdish leadership has every reason to suspect that Russia will not push Damascus to accept anything that Turkey might interpret as protecting or legitimizing the YPG. Kurdistan24

Dareen Khalifa

Senior Analyst, Syria
15 Apr 2020
To issue orders that people will not obey erodes one’s power. For Putin, that is existential. Politico

Anna Arutunyan

Former Senior Analyst, Russia
6 Apr 2020
[...] this is an effort to minimize offending Moscow that reflects the fact that U.N. officials believe that continued cooperation with Russia is key to the future of humanitarian operations in Syria. New York Times

Richard Gowan

UN Director
14 Feb 2020
Escalation is likely going to continue [in Syria] as long as Turkey and Russia cannot agree on a new cease-fire. NBC News

Berkay Mandıracı

Analyst, Turkey
11 Sep 2018
[Russia is] targeting the [African] regimes that do have not have very good relations with the west or who are dissatisfied with west like Sudan, Zimbabwe and CAR. The Guardian

Thierry Vircoulon

Former Senior Consultant, Central Africa
27 Aug 2018
[The rapprochement between Russia and Turkey] demonstrates a striking level of pragmatism in this relationship. Associated Press

Anna Arutunyan

Former Senior Analyst, Russia

Latest Updates

Q&A / Europe & Central Asia

Deadly Clashes in Syria’s Idlib Show Limits of Turkey’s Options

A deadly attack on Turkish forces in Syria has brought Idlib’s crisis to a dangerous crossroads. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Turkey, Syria and Russia experts explain what happened and what’s at stake.

Op-Ed / Europe & Central Asia

Putin’s Future: Reading the Tea Leaves

As President Putin announces changes to Russia’s constitution, Crisis Group expert Olga Oliker explores his plans for the future. Putin’s government may have resigned and his future role may be unknown, she says, but one thing is certain: he is the one calling the shots.

Originally published in Inkstick

Is Russia Changing Its Calculus in Eastern Ukraine?

Amid expectations that Russia will test Ukraine’s new president with escalatory actions, it appears that its calculus is to wait for Kyiv’s administration to make the first move – while quietly helping the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics entrench themselves economically.

Op-Ed / Europe & Central Asia

The End of The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty is on its deathbed. Some celebrate its increasingly likely demise, dismissing the decades-old treaty as antiquated and irrelevant to today’s realities. However, the mode of the INF treaty’s death bodes ill for the future of arms control, U.S.-Russian relations, and global security. 

Originally published in Valdai Discussion Club

Also available in Русский

“Nobody Wants Us”: The Alienated Civilians of Eastern Ukraine

With living conditions worsening, and crossfire still claiming casualties, people residing in eastern Ukraine’s conflict zone feel increasingly abandoned by the central government. Reintegrating the area requires Russian withdrawal, but in the meantime Kyiv can and should better protect civilians and meet humanitarian needs.

Also available in Українська

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Anna Arutunyan

Former Senior Analyst, Russia
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