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national identity

Diversity Declines in Georgia's Southwestern Mountains

For centuries, mountainous southwestern Georgia lay at the crossroad of the Ottoman,...

Fear, Silence Weigh on Turkey's Armenians after Failed Coup

Aruş Taş, a silversmith in Istanbul’s historic Grand Bazaar, has witnessed decades...

Is This Putin’s Utopia?

“To be a Eurasianist should be cool, it should be stylish.”...

Kazakhstan: Terrorist Plot — or Concocted Conspiracy?

Three men in plain white face masks gaze into the camera as...

South Ossetian Leader Meets with President of Autonomous Serbian Region

On January 25, the chairperson of the National Assembly of the Republic...

Kazakhstan: Morality Mavens Monitoring Women

A new superhero called Uyatman appeared on the scene in Kazakhstan a...

The Royal Role Model: Historical Revisionism in Russia

An anomalous facet of Russia’s authoritarian political system is that presidential elections...

Azerbaijan’s Pre-Soviet Independence Embroiled in Post-Soviet Polemics

In 1918, Azerbaijan became the first democratic and secular republic in the...

Azerbaijan Wrestles with Rising Iranian Influence

Azerbaijan’s government is growing increasingly concerned about what it sees as growing...

Iran Denies Compromise on Caspian Division

Iran has denied Russian claims that it has agreed on how to...

What does Kazakhstan’s new military doctrine reveal about its relations with Russia?

Without much ado, Kazakhstan adopted a new military doctrine in September, replacing...

Kazakhstan: Is New Military Doctrine Response to Russia or the West?

In late September, Kazakhstan adopted its fifth military doctrine....

When Georgia's Fighting “Terrorists,” How Much Does the Public Need to Know?

Two days after a nearly 24-hour-long, armed counter-terrorism operation in Tbilisi that...

Scottish Memorial Sparks War of Words Between Abkhazia and Georgia

Most of the streets of Sukhumi, capital of the Georgian-claimed secessionist region...

Georgia: Athletes, Politicians Back Soccer Player’s Support for LGBT Rights

Georgian soccer player Guram Kashia faces an outcry at home over his...

Georgia to Promote Abkhaz Language, But Sukhumi Unimpressed

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has announced a new state program aimed...

Islam, the State, and Security in Post-Soviet Central Asia

It is a common assumption that the Bolsheviks, after consolidating their hold...

Bolshevik Squabbles Still Shape the Caucasus

At the end of Leon Avenue, in the capital of Abkhazia –...

What Is to Be Done About the ‘Russian Question?’

The October Revolution of 1917 was not a singular event, but five...

Uzbekistan & Turkey: Is It Love?

The just-concluded Uzbek-Turkish summit meeting in Ankara was like a meeting of...

Central Asia and the Bolshevik Revolution: A Look at the Balance Sheet at the Centennial

Although it happened thousands of miles away, and did not reflect any...

Kyrgyzstan: Report Shows Presidential Candidate Gained Access to Private Data

An in-depth investigation by news website Kloop.kg has revealed evidence of collusion...

Life in Limbo: Inside Bishkek's Illegal ‘New-Builds’

Hundreds of thousands fled their villages for novostroika slums on the edge...

South Ossetia Joins Russia in Ban on Jehovah's Witnesses

Breakaway South Ossetia is jumping on board with a Russian crackdown against...

Tajikistan: Small-Time Debtors Detained, Larger Delinquents Get Away

Police in Tajikistan announced in early October, via a run-of-the-mill press release,...

On Language: The Many Flavors of Persian in Eurasia

Is Tajik a dialect of Persian? Or a language in its own...

Azerbaijan: Scale of LGBT Persecution Is Rising – Lawyer

On September 22, a 19-year-old man, an aspiring fashion designer who currently...

Caucasus States, and Kurds, Assess Kurdistan's Independence Drive

In the wake of Iraqi Kurdistan's vote to declare independence, Armenia and...

Ukraine’s Battle with Russia Moves to the Classroom

Ukraine is trying to fight back against Russian influence with a new...

Armenia: Diaspora Conference Promotes Concept of New “Global Armenian Identity”

An all-day conference in Los Angeles, to be held September 23, will...

Georgia’s British Candidate

Georgia’s upcoming local elections would be quite local, indeed, were it not...

Kazakhstan: Latin Alphabet Is Not a New Phenomenon Among Turkic Nations

Kazakhstan’s planned transition to the Latin alphabet raises complex questions. While alphabets...

Kazakhstan Takes Decisive Step Toward Adopting the Latin Alphabet

Kazakhstan’s long-awaited transition from the Cyrillic to the Latin alphabet may be...

Georgia: Verdict Arrives in Church Poisoning Plot

A guilty verdict has been delivered in Georgia’s poisoning conspiracy, an outré...

Kyrgyzstan: Biometric IDs Fuel Debate About Ethnicity

Kyrgyzstan’s government is distributing biometric ID cards with embedded microchips to its...

Kazakhstan: Authorities Scrap Rainbow Wall Over Suspicions of LGBT Propaganda

Officials in the western Kazakhstan city of Aktobe thought it might be...

How Moldovan Politicians Use Foreign Leaders for Domestic Purposes

As thousands of Russian soldiers marched through Moscow’s Red Square on May...

Why Russian Ultranationalists Confronted Their Own Government on the Battlefields of Ukraine

On a snowy January day in 2016, a small crowd assembled in...

Georgia’s Game of Thrones: Enter the King

This Sunday, just as Georgia was caught up in another national debate...

Kyrgyzstan: Lineage Associations and Informal Politics

As Kyrgyzstan constructs a modern national identity, a social institution long considered...

On the Question of Religious Freedom in Azerbaijan

By Hikmat Hajiyev, Head of Press Service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the...

As Islamic Games Open, Azerbaijan Wrestles With Muslim Identity

With an opening ceremony rich in pageantry, Azerbaijan welcomed athletes and tourists...

Georgia: Public Shut Out of Priest's Trial for Attempted Murder

It’s a case with all the features of a period thriller: priests,...

China Mimics Central Asian States, Bans Long Beards in Restive Region

Chinese President Xi Jinping called recently for the creation of a “great...

Latin Alphabet in Uzbekistan: To B or Not to Б

When Sarvar Otamuradov ran for president in Uzbekistan last year, one of...

With Rhinoplasty on the Rise, Whither the Armenian Nose?

The Armenian nose is a source of national pride, sometimes said to...

Kazakhstan: Education Reforms Assailed by Patriotic Camp

Kazakhstan’s government knew what it was getting when Yerlan Sagadiyev was appointed...

Karabakh: Diplomatic Attention Needed to Address Growing Risks

A recent flare-up of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh highlights a growing risk of...

Kazakhstan: Reimagining the Past Through Art

Imperious khans and assorted dignitaries gaze into the distance. Meanwhile, fierce battles...

Stalin’s Giant Pencil: Debunking a Myth About Central Asia’s Borders

Few parts of the world are the subject of as much sustained...

Georgia: Protecting an Ancient Alphabet in a Digital Age

Dato Dolidze’s fingers move slowly on the old handset as he writes...

The Ukrainian Mystery of Nikolai Gogol

It is Christmas Eve and all sorts of mischief is afoot in...

Xinjiang: Uighurs Grapple with Travel Restrictions

Ethnic Turkic-speaking Uighurs in China have long faced restrictions relating mainly to...

Russia’s Colonial Allergy

“The history of Russia is the history of a country that colonizes...

Would South Ossetia, By Any Other Name, Be So Contentious?

The authorities in South Ossetia want to change the name of their...

Kazakhstan: Agents Capture Alleged Gang of Islamist Oil Thieves

Security forces in Kazakhstan carried out a special operation in the western...

Uzbekistan Picks President, But Who Will Be PM?

The main intrigue in Uzbekistan now the presidential election is over concerns...

A History of Ukraine with Big Ambitions, Mixed Results

“To understand the trends underlying current events in Ukraine and their impact...

Russia: Will Trump Become the Kremlin’s “Icebreaker”?

Be careful of what you wish for; it might come true. This...

Remembering Edward Allworth

It was with immense grief that I heard that my mentor and...

Kazakhstan: Subsidies Skew Media Development

The government of Kazakhstan maintains a system of state subsidies for mass...

Twitter Tricks: Will The Real Gulnara Karimova Please Stand Up?

Speculation about the fate of Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of the late...

Kyrgyzstan: Medieval Philosopher Reclaimed as National Hero

When the 11th-century philosopher and poet Yusuf Balasaguni published a work on...

Kyrgyzstan: Chinese Embassy Attack Still Mired in Mystery

It will take some time before a satisfactory line is drawn under...

Kazakhstan: Is Shymkent Tycoon a Coup Plotter or Fall Guy?

A military court in Kazakhstan last week began hearings behind closed doors...

Kyrgyz Authorities Describe Uighur-Led, Multinational Plot Against Chinese Embassy

Kyrgyzstan's authorities have released details of several people it accuses of organizing...

Kyrgyzstan: Chinese Embassy Hit by Bomb Blast

A car packed with explosives was rammed into China’s Embassy in Kyrgyzstan...

Azerbaijan: Mountain Jews See Government as Protectors

Beyond Azerbaijan’s bustling capital city of Baku, with its modern skyline now...

Tajik-Turkmen Relations Tested by Rape Claims

A series of alleged tapped telephone conversations among senior Tajikistan diplomats discussing...

Azerbaijan: Marching in Lockstep with Turkey in Cracking Down on Gulen

As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responds to the failed coup attempt...

Commentary: Hybrid Business -- The Risks in the Kremlin's Weaponization of the Economy

"How many divisions does the pope have?" Josef Stalin was meant to...

US Hate Group Forging Ties with the “Third Rome”

Matthew Heimbach is a burly, bearded 25-year-old propagator of hate....

Football Tournament for Unrecognized States, Minority Groups Gains Traction

June is a big month for football. The Copa America tournament is...

Kazakhstan: At Least 10 Killed in Unrest Blamed on Extremists

Authorities in Kazakhstan said at least 10 people were killed on June...

Georgia: How Closely Should the State Embrace the Church?

Twenty-five years after regaining its sovereignty, the South Caucasus country of Georgia...

Georgia’s Tbilisi Dinamo: Under Stalin, a Soccer Team for the Secret Police

For Soviet Georgia, Tbilisi Dinamo was not just a soccer club. It...

Azerbaijan Has Advantage Over Armenia In U.S. Military Aid

Azerbaijan has gotten $20 million in military aid from the U.S. Department...

Uzbekistan Opens Its First Uzbek Language College

Uzbekistan has for the first time in its history opened a college...

Kyrgyzstan: President Demands Russians Respect His Countrymen

A high-profile racially motivated assault on two migrants in Moscow last week...

Kazakhstan: Russian Exodus Continues Unabated

Fresh data from Kazakhstan’s National Economy Ministry has shown that the trend...

Tajikistan: TALCO Loses 600 Workers

Tajikistan industry’s visiting card: That was how President Emomali Rahmon once described...

Freedom House: Economic Troubles Threaten Stability in Ex-Soviet 'Dictatorships'

In a new report, Freedom House warns that economic woes are threatening...

Frozen Conflicts Undermine Nuclear Security

The renewal of armed conflict between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over the...

Kazakhstan: The Anatomy of a Pointless Election

With Kazakhstan’s meticulously staged parliamentary election now complete, only one question remains...

Georgia: Project Aims to Boost Orthodox Church’s Support for EU Integration

Many proponents of European Union integration tend to see the Georgian Orthodox...

Georgia: Sex-Video Scandal Prompts Outcry that "Sex Is Not a Crime"

As the country heads toward a highly contested parliamentary election, Georgia has...

Latvia: The ABC of “Traditional” Values Activism

A version of this article originally appeared on Re:Baltica.  Part 2 of...

Turkey and Russia: History Fuels Rancor

A long history of mutual enmity is exacerbating tension between Turkey and...

Georgia Scraps "Blasphemy Bill"

Georgia has dropped a proposed anti-blasphemy bill ardently opposed by freedom-of-speech activists....

Russia: Raising a Red Flag About Imperial Overreach

Part 1   Some experts in Russia are cautioning that the Kremlin’s...

Georgia Divided over “Blasphemy Bill”

Georgia has moved ahead with plans to make religious irreverence punishable by...

Georgia: The Fur and the Fury at Tbilisi’s Opera

This past weekend’s reopening of Tbilisi’s neo-Moorish opera house after a six-year...

Armenia and Georgia: Frenemy Battles over Song and Dance

The Caucasus’ most legendary love-hate relationship careened heavily toward hate recently amid...

Georgia: Can Civil Society Flourish Without Secure Property Rights?

After coming to power in 2012, the leaders of the Georgian Dream...

Tajikistan: Constitutional Reform Bolstering One-Man Rule Looming

Tajikistan’s slide toward a one-party, family-run order is picking up momentum, even...

Kyrgyzstan: Foreigner’s Faux Pas Exposes Cultural Rift

The row about the British miner expelled from Kyrgyzstan after likening a...

The Russia-Turkey Spat: The Big Picture

The past, in particular a shared desire to right perceived historical wrongs,...

Armenia: Church, State Joining Forces Against Western Religious Groups?

As Armenia readies for a controversial December 6 referendum, public attention has...