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Russia and Caucasus Observatory

Caucasus Essentials Pt.3 – The Caucasus today: a region still on the cleavage

by Giovanni Zorra* Nowadays the Caucasus is one more time on the cleavage. Not anymore between culture, religions or languages. This time between past and future. Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia have a troubled past which still influences deeply their politics and self-perception of their peoples. Regional and ethnic issues are open wounds which do not stop […]

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Russia and Caucasus Observatory

Caucasus Essentials Pt.2 – Caucasus in the short Twentieth Century: Dealing with oil, domination and war

by Giovanni Zorra* In the previous part, we tried to resume all those geographical issues which are relevant for a better understanding of the Caucasus. This second contribution approaches the region on the historical side, addressing the focus on three macro-arguments, which can provide an interesting reading key. These three arguments are broad and obviously […]

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Democratic Empowerment and Transnational Threats

Do Belarusians want further integration with Russia?

In recent months, Belorussian President Alexander Lukashenko has held several rounds of talks with President Putin to discuss further integration between Belarus and her neighbouring giant, but the results were not as good as expected. As new generations roll out into Belorussian politics, is the feeling of closeness between the country and Russia fading out? […]

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Foreign Policy geopolitics

Is there a Russian spy network in Lithuania?

About one month ago, several people were arrested in Lithuania on suspicion of spying on behalf of Russia. Although Moscow firmly rejected this accusation it is undeniable that Russia after 2014 has intensified its espionage activities in the Baltics. In view of this, how is the Russian threat perceived in Lithuania and how does the […]

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geopolitics Special issues

Sea of Flames: the Russia-Ukraine possible escalation in the Black and Azov Seas

A possible escalation in the hostilities between Russia and Ukraine is mounting in the last days in the Black Sea and Azov Sea region, after Russian naval forces seized three Ukrainian ships. After the two ground-battle frontlines, first in Crimea and then in Donbas, the conflict could now spread to the sea with the opening […]

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Commentaries geopolitics

Il futuro incerto dell’INF Treaty: quali implicazioni per la sicurezza dell’Europa centro-orientale?

Una delle pietre miliari che contribuirono al disgelo tra le due superpotenze protagoniste della Guerra fredda rischia di andare in frantumi in seguito alle dichiarazioni del Presidente Trump di voler abbandonare il trattato INF. Si tratta di una presa di posizione che si inserisce nel contesto dei già complicati rapporti tra USA e Russia, ma […]

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Commentaries Domestic Policy

Cosa sta succedendo alla chiesa ortodossa ucraina e perché sta portando a uno Scisma

Passando largamente inosservata in Italia, con il riconoscimento dell’autocefalia alla Chiesa Ortodossa Ucraina si è aperta una delle più serie divisioni nel cristianesimo dai tempi della riforma protestante. La frattura è destinata ad avere profonde ripercussioni su vari piani, mettendo a rischio la coesione sociale in Ucraina, i rapporti tra il patriarcato di Mosca e […]

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geopolitics

Military expenditure and geostrategic dilemmas in Central-Eastern Europe

A recent publishing made by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) sheds light on the world military expenditure during the past year. The report highlights two opposite trends (Table 1): while there has been a significant increase in military expenditure in Central Europe (which rose by 12% between 2016 and 2017), Eastern Europe experienced […]