Emil Avdaliani

Emil Avdaliani

Emil Avdaliani

Emil Avdaliani specializes on former Soviet space and wider Eurasia with particular focus on Russia's internal and foreign policy, relations with Iran, China, the EU and the US. He teaches history and international relations at Tbilisi State University and Ilia State University (Georgia). He has worked for various international consulting companies and regularly publishes various works with BESA on military and political developments across Eurasia.

The Khazars: Judaism, Trade, and Strategic Vision on the Eurasian Steppes

| September 15, 2019

Harnessing the Eurasian lands has always been difficult. The Khazars, an obscure people from the steppes that converted to Judaism many centuries ago, stand out as an exceptional example of how geography, economy, and religion can be used to advance geopolitical interests.

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Russia Will Likely Collapse from the Inside

| September 11, 2019

Russia is historically prone to internal collapse, as is shown by numerous examples from both the imperial and Soviet periods. The collapse usually takes place as Russia rests on the laurels of recent military victories while internal economic and social troubles grow. History teaches that the best way to deal with Russia is to keep intervention to a minimum and wait for its internal troubles to bring about its collapse.

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Putin’s 20th Anniversary as the Leader of Russia

| August 30, 2019

Vladimir Putin’s government might be proud of many internal as well as foreign achievements, but strategically, Russia has fallen well behind the West. Putin is partly to blame, though titanic shifts in world politics and Russian history have dwarfed his ability to influence events. Russia’s geography and poverty also limit his ability to pull off grand reforms inside the country.

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Declining US Naval Power Does Not Augur Well for Eurasia

| July 29, 2019

As US naval power declines, other powers – such as China, Russia, and, to a lesser extent, India and Iran – are set to increase their presence in the world’s naval lanes. Because American power depends on its dominance at sea, Washington’s ability to control Eurasia is coming under increasing pressure.

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Russia’s and China’s Geopolitical Offensive in Africa

| July 10, 2019

Both China and Russia have increased their influence on the African continent through money, diplomacy, and other measures – efforts that go directly against US interests. Washington has paid little attention to Africa and will find it difficult to compete with Moscow and Beijing, particularly as other geopolitical theaters require its immediate attention.

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Russia Resurrects Mass Mobilization

| June 25, 2019

Mass mobilization saved the Russian state on many occasions in past centuries, proving effective against Charles XII, Napoleon I, and Hitler. The Russians are still inclined toward mass mobilization, even though modern wars tend to be more short-term. The large-scale military spending required to sustain mass mobilization will create additional problems for the already embattled Russian economy.

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The Trade War Is Just the Start of a US-China Cold War

| June 16, 2019

Many observers view the current confrontation on trade between China and the US as temporary. However, the two countries have opposed geopolitical imperatives that make it highly unlikely that a long-term solution will be found. The US will have to consider how to contain China, which is a far more formidable competitor than the Soviet Union ever was. The US will need much more than a Cold War-style “containment” strategy to counter Chinese ambitions. 

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Russian Elites and Why They Matter

| May 23, 2019

Mainstream analysis of Russian foreign policy decision-making often neglects to factor in the influence of the Russian elites. Despite the inclination of the current Russian government to centralize, elite groups continue to exert considerable influence. Their support for the government is crucial for Vladimir Putin, and their disenchantment with him would be fatal to his rule.

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Why Rapprochement with Russia Is Unlikely Under Zelensky

| May 15, 2019

Ukraine has a new president, 41-year-old Volodymyr Zelensky. While some argue that Kiev’s policy toward Russia is now likely to undergo a significant positive change, geopolitical realities suggest the opposite. Ukraine-Russia relations might in fact worsen now that Moscow has eased the citizenship process for Donbas residents.

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Russians Should Question Moscow’s Foreign Policy

| May 5, 2019

Hints from the Russian media show that more and more Russians are starting to question Moscow’s foreign policy during Putin’s 19 years of rule. Russia needs to reevaluate its position in the world: Should it focus only on the former Soviet space, or should it expand its vision of itself in a world where it might play a much grander role?

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