Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has continued to refer to its neighboring countries – the former Soviet republics and, at times, other Eastern European countries formerly under Soviet influences – as the “near abroad.” The term, a literal translation of the Russian blizhnee zarubezh’ye, implies a special relationship with Russia, though the kind of special has varied by specific country or region.
Here, John Russell, professor of Russian and Security Studies at the University of Bradford in England, answers three questions about Russia’s recent politics in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Russell, who is the author of Chechnya: Russia’s “War on Terror,” spoke at a meeting of the International Council for Central and East European Studies this summer.
'Interview 180' features roughly three-minute videos of one-on-one, Q&A sessions with decisions makers, politicians and analysts who provide focused insight on Eurasianet's coverage region. Justin Burke is editor of Eurasianet.