Russia resurgent

Russia resurgent
Russia’s incursion in Ukraine raised alarm about a new Cold War, deepened with the intervention in Syria and allegations of meddling in U.S. elections. But the Kremlin’s new assertiveness is largely defensive, while Ukraine’s emergence as a nation-state undermines Moscow’s power base. In economic and technological terms Russia is a slow growth country, demographically it is in decline, while President Putin’s political grip is in question.

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Russian peacekeeping forces at a checkpoint in Nagorno-Karabakh

Iran’s choices in the Caucasus

The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, recently halted by a Russia-backed cease-fire, exposed a new balance of foreign interests in the region. Iran has faced a difficult choice: whether to back a Shia Muslim Azerbaijan that is also receiving support from Israel and Turkey. The prospect of Israeli access to Iran’s northern border causes concern, as does agitation among the country’s sizable Azeri minority.

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