Looking in the Mirror? Examining the Logic behind Pakistan’s Support for Damascus

Looking in the Mirror? Examining the Logic behind Pakistan’s Support for Damascus

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. 

Information War or Cyber War? Exploring the Russo-Ukrainian Digital Conflict

Information War or Cyber War? Exploring the Russo-Ukrainian Digital Conflict

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? 

From Cyber to Khyber – Russia’s New Footprint in South Asia, Part I

From Cyber to Khyber – Russia’s New Footprint in South Asia, Part I

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.

Moldovan Elections I: Setting the Stage

Moldovan Elections I: Setting the Stage

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 Tsar and the Sultan I: Examining Russo-Turkish Tensions

The Tsar and the Sultan I: Examining Russo-Turkish Tensions

Russo-Turkish relations are old and complex. From an imperial rivalry in the 19th century, being Cold War adversaries in the 20th, and to contemporary competition for influence in the Middle East and Caucasus, Moscow and Ankara have long been the main actors in an often volatile borderland between the East and the West. How does this long history influence current events? Leksika's Sean Crowley offers an in-depth look of the background to the current rivalry.

Belarus: A Change in Direction?

Belarus: A Change in Direction?

Belarus has long been Moscow's most reliable ally in the former Soviet heartland, but recent developments have led some to wonder if the country may be re-evaluating its stance. Is Belarus drifting further away from Russia? Where do relations stand currently? What progress has there been toward political and economic integration projects between Minsk and Moscow? Leksika's Breellen Plucknett offers insight.