The Many Flavors of Persian in Eurasia

by James Pickett Is Tajik a dialect of Persian? Or a language in its own right? What differentiates it from varieties prevalent in Afghanistan and Iran? There is no easy answer to these questions because the very categories we use… Continue Reading  

Russia to Build New Home Base for Caspian Flotilla

by Joshua Kucera Russia is planning to create a new home base for its Caspian Flotilla, moving it from Astrakhan to Dagestan by 2020. The new base will be one of Russia’s most technically advanced naval facilities, Ministry of Defense… Continue Reading  

Azerbaijan Threatens to Cut Off Military Cooperation With US, NATO

by Joshua Kucera Azerbaijan has threatened to cut off its military cooperation with the West in response to escalating pressure on Baku for its human rights violations. But that threat may ring hollow in light of Azerbaijan’s declining importance for… Continue Reading  

Tajikistan Accuses Iran of Assassination Campaign in Foreign Policy Gambit

by Eurasianet Despite the close cultural connection that Tajikistan has with Iran, Dushanbe seems intent on burning all its diplomatic bridges with Tehran. In a remarkably hostile gesture, Tajik state television in early August aired a sensationalist, 45-minute documentary produced… Continue Reading  

Kazakhstan: Space for Civil Society Shrinking?

by Joanna Lillis First, there was a media report hinting at shadowy links between foreign-funded charities and terrorism in Kazakhstan. Then, the taxman came knocking. The tax inspections served as a prelude to legal action against two non-governmental organizations (NGOs)… Continue Reading