New Caspian Accord Resolves Some Issues, Not All

Old Soviet Volga car and abandoned oil rig on the shore of Caspian sea, Azerbaijan (Shutterstock)

by Mark N. Katz Ever since the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, the five states bordering the Caspian Sea (Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Iran) have been unable to reach agreement on a legal regime for the body… Continue Reading  

Will Russia Bring Home Children Who Lived in Islamic State?

Zagidat Abakarova, 33, and her one-year-old daughter Mariam, returned to Dagestan, Russia, from northern Syria in October 2018 (Tanya Lokshina)

By Tanya Lokshina “I thought she was in Turkey, close to the Syrian border, but still in Turkey… and then they told me she was in Iraq.” Galina’s eyes fill with tears as she picks at her salad in a… Continue Reading  

Wagner vs. the Russian Media

Photos of the three Russian journalists killed in the Central African Republic

by David Isenberg Some things don’t go together: water and electricity, science and religion, Donald Trump and basic human decency. The latest entry is journalists and Wagner, the Russian private military company. Wagner is the increasingly prominent Russian private military… Continue Reading  

The Bear, The Dragon, and The Persian Cat

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by Esfandyar Batmanghelidj  “Today, Russia and China effectively shelter Iran from complete isolation and provide it with political support, defence assistance, and economic ties it cannot receive elsewhere.” That is the primary contention of a new book by Dina Esfandiary,… Continue Reading  

Idlib Further Complicates Turkish-Russian Relationship

Photo by quetions123 via Shutterstock

by Giorgio Cafiero and Theodore Karasik On July 26, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks in South Africa on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit. The two met against the backdrop of growing Turkish concerns… Continue Reading