The Bug Pit
An Azerbaijani airline with close ties to the ruling family was the beneficiary of a large Pentagon contract and an attractive loan by a U.S. government bank, a new investigation has found. The revelations are yet another chapter in what has proven to be a long saga of the U.S. partnering with corrupt governments in the Caucasus and Central Asia for the sake of the war effort in Afghanistan.
Amid a period of heightened tensions between Yerevan and Moscow, Armenia has charged the head of the Russia-led security bloc with the crime of “subverting public order.”
Russia appears to have stepped up its information war against the new government in Armenia, with a pair of analytical essays on prominent websites painting newly elected Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan as a unfaithful ally of Moscow. The two pieces have been seen in Yerevan as a black PR campaign and a not-very-veiled threat from the Kremlin to quit flirting with the West.
A Russian military official has apologized after Russian soldiers carried out unannounced exercises in an Armenian village, panicking the population and reopening the sensitive issue of Russian-Armenian military ties.
The exercises took place on July 17, with about 30 Russian soldiers blocking off the roads in the village of Panik, after which a column of military vehicles passed through accompanied by loud gunfire, as documented by local residents.
Armenia's newly elected prime minister Nikol Pashinyan visited Brussels and had a clear message for European Union and NATO officials: We're democratic now, so we deserve your support.
Pashinyan's visit to the NATO summit, held in Brussels on July 11 and 12, was being closely watched due to his geopolitically delicate balancing act: dependent on support from Russia but clearly more sympathetic to the West.
Azerbaijan has sharpened its threats of war against Armenia in an apparent attempt to ratchet up tension over Nagorno-Karabakh, the territory that both sides claim.
Russia has transferred at least five warships out of the Caspian Sea into European waters in response to threats in that theater, at least temporarily leaving Russia without a substantial portion of its Caspian firepower.
Azerbaijan has displayed new missiles it has bought from Belarus and Israel, the latest escalation in the arms race between it and Armenia.
Azerbaijan's military has advanced further into a no man's land on the border with Armenia, causing panic in the nearby Armenian areas, local media have reported. Armenia's military leadership has tried to downplay the advance, while Azerbaijan has been silent.