Black Sea

Russia’s Southern Strategy

The Russian Federation is pursuing an active and wide-ranging strategy to reassert and strengthen its dominant position in the greater Black Sea region, which the Kremlin believes is critical for the restoration of Russia's great power status. Consolidation of...

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Five Years of War in the Donbas

The war in the eastern Ukrainian region known as the Donbas has killed over 13,000 people, displaced millions, and led to the worst rupture in relations between the Russian Federation and the West since the end of the Cold...

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Black Sea Strategic Volatility: Players and Patterns

The Black Sea has been called “the inhospitable sea” because of the “savage” tribes living on its shores. Today, the region is inhospitable for Western countries as they struggle to provide security in the region. The primary cause...

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Coal Mines, Land Mines and Nuclear Bombs: The Environmental Cost of the War in Eastern Ukraine

The war in eastern Ukraine has raged for five years, killed over 13,000 people, and displaced millions. It has affected Ukraine’s political system, economy, society, and security situation. It has caused a rupture in relations between Russia and the...

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On the Fault Line: Georgian Relations with China and the West

Relations between Georgia and the People’s Republic of China have expanded as China engages with the wider Black Sea region. The bilateral relationship is mostly economic in nature, with Georgia participating in the Belt and Road Initiative and the...

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Playing Both Sides: How Oligarchs in Eastern Europe Maintain Power and Control

Geopolitical competition between Russia and the West has polarized politics in the vulnerable lands in between Russia and the European Union, breaking voters and parties into pro-Russia and pro-Western camps. But there is a paradox. In this context of...

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The Pendulum of Ukrainian Politics: One Day You’re in, the Next Day You’re Out?

The Volodymyr Zelensky surge continued on July 21 when the Ukrainian president’s newly created Servant of the People (SoP) Party won the first outright parliamentary majority in the country’s post-Soviet history. Given that the party’s candidate list was a...

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Putin’s Ill-Advised Embrace of China

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the leaders of post-Soviet Russia faced herculean challenges and fundamental questions of national strategy and direction. Would Russia continue on the Soviet path of hostility toward the West—or would it take a...

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Russian Neo-Imperialism in Ukraine and Greece

The modern imperialist motives of the Russian Federation are often integrated into the notion that Russia is a revisionist power that behaves in line with its traditional national security interests. However, this argument oversimplifies the Kremlin’s foreign policy strategy...

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After a Full Week of Tbilisi Protests, Georgia’s Future Looks Partly Promising

Citizens of Georgia have been protesting for the past week in response to a Russian parliamentary delegation visit. The protests in Tbilisi have shed new light on Georgian political dynamics, civil society, and the country’s future. ...

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