From Ukraine to the Middle East: a Geopolitical Puzzle

By Nina Bachkatov

Since February 2022, President Volodymyr Zelensky has demonstrated a knack for urging his allies to confront uncomfortable questions while maintaining an unusual level of sympathy in international relations. Even when allies disapproved of Ukraine’s undiplomatic approaches, they stood by their original commitment: “we will support Ukraine as long as it takes.” Zelensky’s rallying cry, asserting that Ukraine is not just fighting for its survival but protecting the entire European continent and beyond from a plot to destroy democracy, resonated strongly. However, a shift occurred when Hamas launched a brutal attack, killing civilians and taking hostages, leading Israel into a conflict with the group.

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The Syrian imbroglio – Putin’s cautious reaction to Western bombs

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

The Western intervention in Syria tested the “new” Vladimir Putin – between his reelection and inauguration. He seems much the same person, preparing for the next stage of political developments while not controlling fully the existing situation. There was not much he could have done to prevent the Western intervention. After the diatribes of president Trump, Russia raised the red flag on various fronts with declarations by a few generals, by the foreign minister and some ambassadors, by a few political figures, and by Putin himself – all making the expected statements, each in their roles. Continue reading “The Syrian imbroglio – Putin’s cautious reaction to Western bombs”

Sochi: another step towards a Syrian resolution

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

The main success of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress held on 30 January in Sochi is that it existed. Up to the last moment, Russian diplomats and experts doubted that the Congress would attract enough Syrian delegates to be credible. There was fears that it might be cancelled for a third time. Continue reading “Sochi: another step towards a Syrian resolution”

Syria provides a post-Soviet foothold

by Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

The 50th edition of Strategic Survey of the International Institute for Strategic Studies includes a lively chapter on Russia’s entry into the Middle Eastern power scene, involving its relations with the United States over Syria. Continue reading “Syria provides a post-Soviet foothold”