Islamic Iran is determined to push back against the Aliyev regime in Azerbaijan from providing a foothold for Zionist Israel on the border with Iran.
Aliyevs, the ruling clan in Azerbaijan, is using the Karabakh conflict to secure their future even though they connived with Armenian nationalists and committed treason by handing over the region to Armenians in 1994. The wild card in this equation is Russia.
Russia’s default position in the post-Soviet region is to resort to military force when there is trouble. While it has advantage in this field, it would be a mistake to always rely on brute force to solve problems.
The unusual crisis that erupted in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk last month may turn out to be the biggest challenge for Kremlin in 20 years. It could even shake Vladimir Putin’s government.
Last month’s massive protests in Azerbaijan were sparked by its humiliation in clashes with Armenian forces. A leading Azeri general was killed. The regime launched a crackdown of opposition forces, claiming Armenia would exploit the protests and cause further damage to Azerbaijan
After reading critical comments in some Russian media outlets about government of Bashar al-Asad in Syria, Western media speculated that Moscow wants to get rid of him. This is based on the assumption that the Russian media takes orders from the Kremlin. It doesn’t.
The autocratic regimes in Central Asia and the Caucasus are feeling the heat as a result of the pandemic (that they deny) and the falling oil prices (that they cannot deny). Will the survive the expected storm?
It is commonly believed that Russia intervened in Syria at the end of September 2015 to save the government of Bashar al Asad. There is another opinion: it did so to undermine the influence of Hizbullah and Iran in Syria at the behest of Zionist Israel with whom Russia has hidden but deep relations.
Vladimir Putin’s constitutional reforms are meant to build institutions so that the system can continue long after he is gone from the scene. At present, almost everything revolves around his personality.
Turkey and Azerbaijan announced completion of the gas pipeline from the Caspian Sea to Western Europe bypassing Russia but it did not sit well with Moscow. There will be repercussions for the Central Asian republics if they cross Russia’s path.
Ramzan Kadyrov is successfully exploiting the situation in Chechnya to garner support and stay in power.
Unlike the Wahhabi-led narrative after Russia defeated the pro-independence movement in Chechenya in 1994, the new pro-independence sentiment based on reasoned approach is more difficult to dismiss.
With the emergence of the Huseyniyyun organization in Azerbaijan, the Aliyev regime has lost its monopoly on force. It bodes ill for the autocratic ruler.
Despite the end of communism, the Central Asian republics are still controlled by family-based oligarchtes that continue to rule with an iron-fist. Dissent is ruthlessly suppressed.
At the end of July (July 31), Russian and international media reported that three Russian journalists investigating Russian presence in the Central African Republic were killed. One of those journalists was Orkhan Djemal, the other two are Alexander Rastorguev and Kirill Radchenko.
The heroic act of Yunis Safarov has led to social earthquake in Azerbaijan putting the dictatorial regime in a bind: ignore the protests and appear weak, use the iron-fist and provoke more backlash.
The traditionally Sufi-oriented former Soviet republics have been swept by Wahhabi zealots with disastrous consequences for the people.
The US uses a number of tools in its arsenal to advance its agenda in the Middle East. Soft power is one of them.
The US and its allies do not care for the people of Ukraine; their interest lies in destabilizing Russia that is becoming increasingly assertive.
Bandar bin Sultan, the most venal character of the House of Saud, was in Moscow early last month but his offer to buy $15 billion worth of Russian arms to get Vladimir Putin to change his policy on Syria was rebuffed.
People in Central Asia are beginning to see through Turkey’s plans to promote Pan-Turkism in the region because Ankara is viewed as advancing Washington’s agenda.
The US is not as helpless in Central Asia as thought of, nor is Russia as powerful and liked as is generally believed. Each views the other as a threat to its interests.
Russia is determined to assert itself in Central Asia and the Caucasus by using its former puppets to advance its agenda. Some republics offer better prospects than others.