Emil Avdaliani

Russia After the Ukraine Crisis: European, Asian, or Eurasian?

| January 11, 2019

As competition grows more intense between the US and China, Moscow must assess which side will do more to help it solve its problems across the former Soviet space. Moscow’s choice will affect Russia’s identification as European, Asian, or Eurasian.

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The Geopolitics of Ukraine’s Newly Independent Church

| December 11, 2018

The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) is experiencing troubles in Ukraine. Areas once considered to be the uncontested territory of the Russian Patriarchate are now becoming autocephalous (independent), adding yet another dimension to the geopolitical challenges Russia is facing in the borderlands of the former Soviet space.

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At the Centenary of the End of WWI, Is the World Safer?

| November 29, 2018

Earlier this month, world leaders gathered in France to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War I, which ushered in a century of wars and ethnic cleansing. Though the commemoration served as a unifying moment for leaders, the world is as divided as it has been since the end of the Soviet Union.

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Russia Responds to Military Pressure, not Economic

| November 11, 2018

Russia has been subjected to numerous economic sanctions from Western countries that have tried to compel it to abandon its interventions across the former Soviet space. Although sanctions harm Russia’s economy and raise discontent among the population, they are unlikely to change Moscow’s behavior. Russia’s history shows that it is only military pressure that influences it to change.

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The Russian Perspective on the Downing of the IL-20

| October 22, 2018

The downing of a Russian air force plane by Syrian government forces was a predictable consequence of the overcrowding of the Syrian battleground. The Russians might genuinely be angry at what happened, but from a geopolitical perspective, they understand that Israel will not abstain from further military interventions in Syria when needed. Israel’s national interest is at stake, and Jerusalem will not allow Iran to increase its already substantial presence.

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China’s Naval Success and Its Grand Strategy

| September 28, 2018

US world power rests upon its ability to dominate the seas and the world’s commercial and military routes. Any power aspiring to a similar position goes against American geopolitical interests. China’s naval successes in the past decade or so therefore have far-reaching effects as the country is gradually becoming more experienced in military operations in far-flung regions across the globe.

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Battle with Fate: Russia, Geography, and the Historical Cycle

| September 20, 2018

Russia under Putin falls neatly into the Russian historical cycle. When the old state is in decline, chaos ensues, and a new, powerful leader emerges to rebuild Russia. There are plenty of comparisons from Russian history that echo Putin’s rise and success – but there are crucial differences, too, which help explain his inability to transform Russia into a truly global power.

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The Rise of Chinese Eurasianism

| August 19, 2018

Chinese Eurasianism, which – if the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is successful – will give Beijing new foreign policy tools to use against Washington, could prove more threatening to the US in the long run than the USSR was during the Cold War.

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The Aftermath of the Helsinki Summit

| August 12, 2018

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin held a historic summit in Helsinki, Finland on July 15 that was assessed by many as a defeat for US prestige and interests. The summit should not, however, be construed as a Russian victory. US foreign policy moves after the summit indicate that there is little chance for meaningful improvement in bilateral relations. The complexity of issues surrounding Syria, Ukraine, Georgia, and Iran will continue to weigh heavily on US-Russian diplomatic efforts.

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The US in Eurasia: New Challenges

| July 24, 2018

The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the US the sole indisputable world power with almost unlimited resources. However, over the past decade, it has become clear that US resources are not limitless. The Eurasian landmass now contains many competitors with strategies opposed to those of Washington. In a sense, the monolithic Soviet Union was easier to contain than the simultaneous challenges of a rising China, a revanchist Russia, and an ambitious Iran. There are further serious problems to be dealt with, such as terrorism and cyber security. Containment of post-Cold War Eurasia will be no easy task for the US.

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