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Olesya Vartanyan

Analyst, Eastern Neighbourhood

Crisis Group Role

Olesya Vartanyan is Crisis Group’s Analyst for the EU Eastern Neighbourhood. Based in Tbilisi, she researches and produces reports on regional security issues in Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, with a particular focus on breakaway regions in the South Caucasus – Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh and South Ossetia.

Professional Background

Olesya Vartanyan has worked on conflicts in the South Caucasus for more than ten years. Before joining Crisis Group in 2016, Olesya worked as a journalist, with a particular focus on security and conflict-related issues in Georgia and its breakaway regions. With her field reporting during the 2008 Russia-Georgia war, Olesya contributed to the ground-breaking investigations of The New York Times about the origins of the conflict. Enjoying unique access to Abkhazia, for a number of years she covered crisis developments in this region for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. In 2013, Olesya received the first EU Monitoring Mission’s special prize in Peace Journalism. She holds master degrees from the King’s College London’s War Department and from the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs’ Media School.

Languages

  • Russian (Fluent)
  • English (Fluent)
  • Georgian (Advanced)
  • Armenian (Intermediate)

In The News

6 Aug 2018
The current situation does not contribute to the post-war reconciliation [between Russia and Georgia] - it only fuels conflict with an increasing feeling of injustice for [people] living near the dividing line. Al Jazeera

Olesya Vartanyan

Analyst, Eastern Neighbourhood
2 Aug 2018
The general public sees Mr. Kocharian as a person responsible for accelerating the political stagnation that led to economic decline and social problems in [Armenia]. Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Olesya Vartanyan

Analyst, Eastern Neighbourhood
13 Jun 2018
The Georgian government has been in crisis for quite a long time. Mr. Ivanishvili’s comeback and popular protests are just symptoms of this process. The New York Times

Olesya Vartanyan

Analyst, Eastern Neighbourhood
16 Mar 2018
The guys in the Kremlin can barely deal with Ukraine-related headaches – why add this small plot of land [South Ossetia or Abkhazia] which they already effectively control? The Globe and Mail

Olesya Vartanyan

Analyst, Eastern Neighbourhood
12 Mar 2018
Over the last three years, we have been seeing a serious decline in the situation in the districts [of South Ossetia] mainly populated by ethnic Georgians. Al Jazeera

Olesya Vartanyan

Analyst, Eastern Neighbourhood
5 Feb 2018
There was a social media campaign two years ago [in Abkhazia] encouraging people to boycott the funerals of anyone who died after seeking medical care in Tbilisi. EurasiaNet

Olesya Vartanyan

Analyst, Eastern Neighbourhood

Latest Updates

“Velvet Revolution” Takes Armenia into the Unknown

Massive street protests have brought down Armenia’s long-serving leader Serzh Sargsyan. Meanwhile, tensions persist in the unresolved conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. Both Armenia’s new leadership and Azerbaijan must pay attention to avoid triggering a new conflagration along that territory’s volatile front lines.

Also available in Русский
Op-Ed / Europe & Central Asia

30 лет оказалось недостаточно для решения карабахской проблемы

30 лет назад началось движение карабахских армян за присоединение к Армении, положившее начало противостоянию с Азербайджаном, конца которому не видно по сей день.

Originally published in Netgazeti

Op-Ed / Europe & Central Asia

Rare Summit Meeting on Nagorno-Karabakh Peace

A rare meeting between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan on 16 October 2017 could lead to a breakthrough. But the two countries have very different ideas on how to reconcile their competing narratives and goals in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Originally published in JAM News

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