The presence of pro-Moscow Chechen forces in Syria has gathered widespread attention in recent months. What motivates their deployment to the country? What role do they play in Moscow's wider foreign policy strategy? This new Leksika series will attempt to answer these questions.
Despite the United States' longstanding relationship with the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte appears perfectly willing to seek closer ties with states such as the Russian Federation in light of what the Filipino president views as uncalled for American criticism of his hardline counter-narcotics policies.
Since the start of hostilities in 2011, Pakistan has shown consistent support for the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad. Despite protests coming from Pakistan’s security partners - Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United States, as well as from domestic Islamist actors, Islamabad has remained persistent in its approach. What can explain this policy? This paper will examine the historical legacies of the Pakistan-Syria partnership, the presence of global Jihadist actors in both countries, as well as key geopolitical considerations in an attempt to identify the logic in Islamabad.
The dispute between Russia and Japan over the southern Kuril Islands represents one of the longest territorial disputes in East Asia. In recent years, Japan and Russia have been attempting to resolve the dispute through bilateral cooperation and economic trade. What are the prospects for success however? What might the implications be for the wider region?
Since the collapse of the Yanukovych government in 2014, Ukraine has found itself destabilized, divided, and vulnerable to outside attacks - military or otherwise. Though the annexation of Crimea and subsequent war in south-eastern Ukraine captured international headlines, careful Western observers have also been following the cyber dimension of the conflict with great interest. While most observers have focused on the cyber-attacks harming Ukrainian infrastructure, might there be another objective? Might the ongoing cyber conflict in Ukraine be about influence, rather than subversion?
Russia has been rapidly expanding its military and political footprint across South Asia over the past several months. Simultaneously pursuing military exercises with Pakistan and signing bilateral cyber pacts with India, Moscow has found itself as the middle man between two nuclear-armed rivals. But why is this happening now? This series will examine Russia's relations with both India and Pakistan to try to identify what long-term trends are at work in the region.
After decades of stagnation, Russia and Indonesia have signed a number of new defense agreements. Russia has returned to South East Asia in a dramatic fashion, but why now? What are the implications for the region? Leksika's new Asia specialist investigates.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has announced that the US and Russia have agreed to terms for a general ceasefire in Syria. Leksika explores the terms of the ceasefire agreement, promises of new US-Russia counterterrorism coordination, and the reactions of various factions active in the conflict. This ongoing report will be revised as new developments come to light.
Moldova's Presidential elections have once again put democracy in this small Eastern European country to the test. Candidates from outside the political mainstream are making serious progress, and come from both pro-EU and pro-Russian camps. In part one of this new series Leksika will provide an overview of the existing candidates and explain why Moscow is likely to gain more influence in Moldova regardless of outcome.
The failed coup attempt has resulted in a widespread and thorough crackdown in Turkey, providing President Erdogan with an unprecedented opportunity to centralize power. Less publicized however are the similar crackdown attempts against the Gulen movement throughout Eurasia, which has left few in the Caucasus and Central Asia unaffected.