Russia And Central Asia
This area covers most of the north Eurasian landmass, excluding territories commonly regarded as belonging to Europe. The core of this region is Russia, which has exerted a strong influence for centuries. The Soviet Union’s collapse allowed several new states to emerge. Other parts of this region are the Caspian basin, Central Asia and Mongolia.
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The Kremlin’s Chechen factor
The latest violent chapter in the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh has rebalanced geopolitical realities in the South Caucasus. Turkey has made significant progress in expanding its role there. Even more disturbingly for the Kremlin, the 2020 war has been associated with a surge in radical political Islam that threatens to spill over into the highly combustive North Caucasus. Russia’s security system there is fragile and costly, as it largely hinges on the rule of a Chechen warlord.