Russia

Uzbekistan’s President Goes to Washington

Policymakers in Washington have begun to wake up to the changes taking place in Uzbekistan. Ilan Berman The National Interest In official Washington, which is routinely awash in foreign dignitaries, it’s all too easy to miss the comings and goings of world leaders. But even by the rather selective standards of the Beltway, last week’s state visit of Uzbekistan’s president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, was noteworthy because it provided policymakers with an authoritative glimpse into the… Uzbekistan’s President Goes… Read More »

Uzbekistan: Activist’s Passing a Huge Loss

Giant of Rights Movement Leaves Formidable Legacy (Bishkek) – Vasila Inoyatova, an Uzbek human rights activist who died of medical complications on May 19, 2018, at age 62, made an unassailable contribution to Uzbekistan’s human rights movement and nascent democracy, Human Rights Watch said today. She was the founder and chairwoman of Ezgulik (Compassion)¸ one of Uzbekistan’s most prominent independent human rights organizations. “Vasila Inoyatova fiercely defended human rights and spoke truth to power even during the… Uzbekistan: Activist’s Passing… Read More »

Russian Naval Exercises in Sea of Azov: A Prelude to ‘Hybrid’-Style Invasion?

On May 18, Moscow released a navigation alert (NAVAREA 0423/18—reprinted by the Ukrainian government as coastal warning PRIP 173) for a section of the Sea of Azov, cautioning that Russian naval training exercises would make the area dangerous for maritime passage from… Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 15 Issue: 78 Ihor Kabanenko The Jamestown Foundation The zone, which occupies 2,000 square kilometers, has been closed to shipping traffic. Though the announcement quickly drew the attention of Ukrainian news outlets (Obozrevatel.com, ... Read More »

Turkey’s pipedreams and NATO’s nightmares

Turkey’s relationship with NATO is at a nadir. Following its recent incursion into Syria’s Afrin district against NATO-backed Kurdish forces, Ankara now finds itself at loggerheads with the United States and other NATO… Amelia Meurant-Tompkinson The Strategist More troubling, Turkey’s offensive wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Russia: the operation required Russian clearance for Turkish warplanes to enter Syria’s airspace, and Ankara would have heeded assurances from… Then there’s the rapid progress on the controversial deal for Turkey ... Read More »

Exclusive: As Rosneft’s Vietnam unit drills in disputed area of South China Sea, Beijing issues warning

HANOI (Reuters) – Rosneft Vietnam BV, a unit of Russian state oil firm Rosneft, is concerned that its recent drilling in an area of the South China Sea that is claimed by China could upset Beijing, two sources with direct knowledge of the… James Pearson Rosneft said on Tuesday its Vietnamese unit had started drilling at the LD-3P well, part of the Lan Do “Red Orchid” offshore gas field in Block 06.1, 370 kms (230 miles) southeast of Vietnam. The ... Read More »

House of Cards

Due in part to Russia, war between Israel and Iran is not on the horizon, despite rising tensions in Syria. Yossi Melman JPost THE FIRST two weeks of May were very hectic and dramatic for Israeli leaders and security chiefs in dealing with Iran. On May 1, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed that Mossad operatives had stolen Iran’s central nuclear archive, proving that the Islamic Republic had violated its nuclear deal with the six major world powers. A week later, in ... Read More »

To Free a Human Rights Defender in Russia’s Chechnya

Daughter of Chechnya’s Slain Rights Worker Pleas for Freedom of Mother’s Successor Tanya Lokshina HRW Today, my late friend’s daughter published a video calling on the public to petition Russia’s President Putin to free Oyub Titiev, the Chechnya director for Russia’s leading human rights organization, Memorial. Titiev has been jailed since January, pending trial on trumped-up drug possession charges. My late friend, Natasha Estemirova, was Chechnya’s most prominent rights defender. In summer 2009, a group of security officials kidnapped her ... Read More »

Turkey’s long, slow pivot to the dark side

Some hardline conservatives in America are already over Turkey. “Turkey is effectively an ally no more,” argues Frank Gaffney, president and CEO of the right wing Center for Security Policy. “I think we have been divorced by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who seeks to become the leader of a new Ottoman caliphate.” Jamie McIntyre Washington Examiner It’s a harsh assessment for a country that has been a NATO member for 66 years, and which had been considered a model ... Read More »

Submarines are increasingly lurking in seas around the world, and the US Navy’s high-tech Poseidon is there to hunt them

The US Navy announced this month that it was restarting the 2nd Fleet to oversee the western Atlantic Ocean, including the North Atlantic and the US East Coast. Christopher Woody Business Insider The decision comes after several years of tensions between NATO members and Russia — and several warnings from Western officials about growing Russian naval activity, including more sophisticated and more active submarines. NATO has responded in kind, with a special focus on antisubmarine warfare — a capability that ... Read More »

Are dictators on the way out – or on the way up?

All around the world, democracy is looking shaky. While consolidated democracies are struggling to stay healthy, many flawed ones have turned into outright authoritarian regimes – most notably Russia under Vladimir Putin and Turkey under… Natasha Ezrow The Conversation But the news isn’t all bad: on several continents over the last decade, longstanding dictators have resigned, lost elections, or been deposed. As the table below indicates, the number of dictators who’ve fallen in recent years for all sorts of reasons ... Read More »

‘Flagrant’ Kremlin breaches international rules: UK intel chief

Russia is committing “flagrant breaches of international rules,” the head of Britain’s security service claimed May 14 in which he will also stress the importance of post-Brexit security ties. LONDON – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet MI5 chief Andrew Parker said in a landmark speech in Berlin that a March nerve agent attack on Russian nationals Sergei and Yulia Skripal, which also injured a police officer, was a “deliberate and… Parker, who has a 35-year career in intelligence will say the attack is evidence of Russia pursuing an agenda through “aggressive ... Read More »

Intelligence agencies of Russia, Turkey discuss counterterrorism efforts

Heads of intelligence agencies of Russia and Turkey discussed in Istanbul cooperation in the fight against international terrorism, head of the press office of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) of Russia Sergei… Trend “On May 13, Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation Sergei Naryshkin held a meeting in Istanbul with Director of the National Intelligence Organization of Turkey (MIT) Hakan… The heads of intelligence agencies of the two countries discussed further strengthening cooperation in the fight ... Read More »

Turkey’s Regional and Global Vision

English translation The President of Turkey outlines his country’s foreign policy priorities and the strategies for achieving them. Speakers: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President, Republic of Turkey Chair: Dr Robin Niblett CMG, Director, Chatham House Please note, this video features an English translation. A Turkish version is also available from the event page below… Read More »

Russia backs off delivery of S-300s to Syria after Israel PM’s Moscow trip

Kremlin denies that sudden change of heart was related to Netanyahu’s talk with Putin Asia Times A high-profile visit to Moscow by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to have paid off, as comments from the Kremlin on Friday suggest they will not be delivering an advanced missile defense system to Syria. The change of heart comes after Russia’s defense ministry announced last month it was planning to send S-300 defense systems to Syria. Israel issued a warning in response that ... Read More »

Missile attacks reflect changing strategic landscape

Russia has shown its willingness to allow attacks by Israel on the Iranians or Hezbollah Stephen Bryen Asia Times While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu marched in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Immortal Regiment in memory of Russian fighters who died in World War II, Israel was getting ready to retaliate for an Iranian rocket attack on Israeli military units in the strategically sensitive Golan. Israel attributed the missile attack to Iran’s al-Quds Force, an elite unit of Iran’s ... Read More »

What to Expect from Putin’s Fourth Term

And will he begin to groom a successor? Moscow was the scene of two elaborate celebrations this week. Angela Stent The National Interest On May 7, Vladimir Putin took the oath of office in the Kremlin for his fourth term as president, describing Russia as a “country of magnificent victories and accomplishments” and vowing to “do everything to build up Russia’s might, prosperity and glory.” On May 9, Russia commemorated the victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War with ... Read More »