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Igor Torbakov

Perspectives | Rethinking the “Russian World” concept

The concept of Russkii Mir (the Russian World) has been one of...

Royal Role Models: Historical Revisionism in Russia and Turkey

Like his counterpart in Russia, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is looking...

The Royal Role Model: Historical Revisionism in Russia

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

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

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

Russia: Why Does Moscow’s Perennial Quest for Recognition Go Nowhere?

The rise of Donald Trump’s administration in the United States was supposed...

Russia: The Specter of Revolution – Part 1

Part 1 of a 2-Part Series...

Russia: Putin the Historian

According to a number of biographical accounts, history was Russian President Vladimir...

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

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

Russia: Raising a Red Flag About Imperial Overreach

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

The Russia-Turkey Spat: The Big Picture

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

Russia and the EU: The Tale of Two Empires

The differing, imperial-like natures of Russia and the European Union are going...

Turkey: Voters Derail Erdoğan’s Ambition to Become Turkish Putin

President Vladimir Putin of Russia and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey...

Russia: Is Nemtsov’s Murder Just the Beginning?

Boris Nemtsov’s assassination can be considered the natural outcome of trends that...

Russia: Economic Crisis Signals the Beginning of End for Putinism

The combination of Western sanctions and the collapse of oil prices is...

Russia: Looking at History as a Continuation of Politics

The leading Bolshevik historian Mikhail Pokrovsky famously defined history as “politics projected...

Russia: Pondering Putin’s Policy Contradiction

Russia’s conduct toward Ukraine and other formerly Soviet states in Eurasia reflects...

History, Myth, and the Struggle over Crimea

When empires collapse, disputes over new borders – both political and cultural...

Insecurity Drives Putin’s Crimea Response

Scenes of Russian troops taking control of Crimea might well lead one...

Russia: Can the Kremlin Develop a Warm & Fuzzy Side?

In the post-Soviet age, Russia has relied on military muscle and energy...

Russia: Putin’s Tsar Paul Complex

Now that Vladimir Putin has dispensed with the formalities of reclaiming presidential...

Russia: Looking at Putin’s Nationalist Dilemma

Don’t look now, but Vladimir Putin, the man who wants to reclaim...

Russia: Can Obama Visit Close Values Gap Between Washington and Moscow?

US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev got down...

Post-Soviet Eurasia Enters a New Era

As the dust settles following the Georgian-Russian conflict, it is becoming clear...

The Kremlin: Enter a New False Dmitry?

The last Dmitry to rule in the Kremlin, way back in 1605,...

Russia and NATO: A Meeting of the Minds on Afghanistan?

During the run-up to the NATO summit in Bucharest, expert attention has...

The CIS: A Vanishing Reality?

With the "multi-vector" mindset taking hold in the Commonwealth of Independent States,...

Turkish Scholars Seek to Engage Armenian Counterparts in Historical Debate

As Turkey prepares for what promises to be a lengthy European Union...

Russia Faces Foreign Policy Debate for 2005

The Kremlin's foreign policy course for 2005 appears to be at a...

Russian Policy Experts Believe Ukraine's Revolutionary Fervor Is Contagious

Policy analysts in Russia are divided in their understanding of the nature...

Russia Mulls Recognition of Independence for Georgian Separatist Regions

A contentious election in Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia is stoking new...

Wanted: A New CIS Policy for Russia

Since the Beslan tragedy, Moscow has redoubled its efforts to cast itself...

Wanted: A New CIS Policy for Russia

Since the Beslan tragedy, Moscow has redoubled its efforts to cast itself...

The West: Friend or Foe for Russia?

Post-Beslan Russia, the Kremlin says, is a country at war. Yet defining...

Beslan Tragedy Has Potential to Fan Conflict Across the Caucasus

The Beslan hostage tragedy has the potential to spark upheaval across the...

Policy Makers in Moscow Debate the Limits of Russian Power in the Caucasus, Central Asia

Policy-makers in Moscow are engaged in a strenuous debate on the limits...

South Ossetia Crisis Stokes Tension Between Russia and Georgia

As a tenuous ceasefire remains in effect in Georgia's separatist region of...

Chechen Elections Spur Stability Concerns in North Caucasus

As the Kremlin prepares for Chechnya's August 29 presidential elections, some analysts...

Whither Saakashvili's Reunification Efforts in Georgia?

With Ajaria now back under Tbilisi's control, attention is turning to how...

Uzbekistan Set to Diversify Its Security Options in Wake of Recent Militant Attacks

Uzbek President Islam Karimov appears intent on diversifying his security options in...

Uzbekistan Set to Diversify Its Security Options in Wake of Recent Militant Attacks

Uzbek President Islam Karimov appears intent on diversifying his security options in...

Saakashvili's Political Punch Prompts Kremlin to Rethink Policies

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's rapid consolidation of authority is forcing Russian leaders...

Russia Remains Wary of Georgia's Geopolitical Intentions

For policy-makers in Moscow, Russia's rapprochement with Georgia comes with a caveat:...

Azerbaijan's Geopolitical Intentions Subject of Increasing Speculation

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's recent visit to Moscow was marked by speculation...

Reexamining Old Concepts About the Caucasus and Central Asia

The growing economic rivalry between the United States and Russia for influence...

Moscow Views Military Withdrawal Issue as Litmus Test for Georgian-Russian Relations

Both Georgian and Russian leaders have expressed a desire to repair their...

Russian Policy Makers Struggle to Respond to Political Changes in Georgia

Faced with the oft-stated desire of Georgian President-elect Mikheil Saakashvili to improve...

Parliamentary Elections Signal Growing Russian Assertiveness Towards CIS Neighbors

The marked growth of nationalist sentiment in Russia, reflected in the country's...

Georgia and Turkey Strengthen Ties to Offset Russian Influence

Georgia, before the Soviet Union absorbed it, owed its sovereignty indirectly to...

Russia Turning Up Pressure on Georgia

Russia, concerned about geopolitical slippage in the Caucasus, is intensifying the pressure...

Russia Seeks to Use Energy Abundance to Increase

At the end of the 19th century, Tsar Alexander III liked to...

Russian Policymakers Air Notion of "Liberal Empire" in Caucasus, Central Asia

Russian policy makers are relying on the precedents established by the US...

The Geopolitical Stakes Are High As Azerbaijan Holds Presidential Election

The geopolitical stakes in today's presidential election in Azerbaijan are high. Both...

Russian Election Meddling Could Stoke Violence in Chechnya

Russia designed the presidential election in Chechnya to foster an aura of...

Domestic Political Uncertainty in Azerbaijan Raise Danger of Renewed Karabakh Conflict

An escalating domestic political struggle in Azerbaijan increases the odds that fighting...

Turkey's Political Class Divided Over Azerbaijani Politcal Transition

Azerbaijan's political succession process is opening a rift among Turkey's governing elite....

Russia Backs Dynastic Political Succession Scenario in Azerbaijan

Russian policy makers are solidly backing Azerbaijan's political transition process, viewing the...

Turkish Experts Pessimistic on Prospects for Restoration of US-Turkish Relationship

Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul begins a visit to the United States...

Policy Differences Strain Relations Between Turkey's Government, Military Establishment

The policy priorities of Turkey's government and those of the country's military...

Russia Set to Toughen Position on Turkmenistan Over Dual Citizenship Dispute

Russian policy makers are growing increasingly vexed by Turkmenistan's intransigent position on...

Policy Makers in Russia Concerned About Possibility of "Losing" Azerbaijan and Georgia

A recent Russian media campaign claimed the United States had prepared a...

Turkmenistan's Move to Eliminate Dual Citizenship Creates Political Problems for Russian President

Rancorous rhetoric between Russia and Turkmenistan is escalating over Ashgabat's swift action...

Changing Nature of Chechen Conflict Dims Russia’s Stabilization Hopes

The Chechen conflict started out as a separatist struggle pitting Chechen rebels...

Azerbaijan President Heidar Aliyev's Illness Underscores Leadership Conundrum in Azerbaijan

After more than three decades at or near the pinnacle of power...

Expanding Turkish-Georgian Strategic Ties Rankle Russia

Turkey seeks to expand its security presence in the Caucasus, and Georgia...

Russian-Turkmen Pacts Mark Strategic Shift for Moscow in Central Asia

Russia and Turkmenistan have reached two deals – one on long-term energy...

Moscow Seeks to Take Advantage of Iraq Conflict to Reassert its Leadership in CIS

As American-led troops take control in Iraq, the Turkish government that declined...

Historical Factors Influence Turkey's Stance on Iraq War

The Turkish parliament's reluctance to accept US troop deployment reflects widespread concern...

Russian Policy Establishment Lauds Kyrgyz Referendum Results

Russia is welcoming the recent constitutional referendum results in Kyrgyzstan, in which...

Geopolitical Pressure Compels Turkey to Re-examine International Options

Turkey is facing mounting geopolitical pressure – including the prospect of another...

In the Aftermath of Turkey's Elections: A Period of Uncertainty

Part IV of Igor Torbakov's The Turkish Factor in the Geopolitics of...