Moderate Protests, Business Disruptions Remain Likely in Georgia

Moderate Protests, Business Disruptions Remain Likely in Georgia

Hundreds of people were injured on 20 June 2019 when protesters clashed with riot police in the Georgian capital Tbilisi. Protests persisted for several weeks, met with intermittent police crackdowns. Though the situation has largely calmed down, moderate protests and business disruptions remain likely through 2019. Impact for non-Russian businesses and visitors is likely to be minimal however.

Exporting the Kadyrov Model Part III: Beyond Syria

Exporting the Kadyrov Model Part III: Beyond Syria

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. 

Are Russo-American Relations at an Impasse?

Are Russo-American Relations at an Impasse?

Russia argues that Western meddling in its self-declared “sphere of influence” left it with no choice but to shore up its defenses leading to the present rivalry between the two powers. To what extent have American policies triggered the rise of a paranoid security class in Russia traditionally hostile to the United States, and can both sides overcome their seemingly incompatible worldviews?

Ride of the Russkis: The Wagner Group in Syria

Ride of the Russkis: The Wagner Group in Syria

The last two weeks have seen the widespread coverage of clashes between U.S.-backed Kurdish forces and Russian private military contractors. As many as 300 Russian nationals fighting with the Wagner PMC (private military company) were reportedly killed in Syria, including by possible US airstrikes. If true, this would constitute the most serious Western-Russian military clash since Turkey shot down a Russian jet in November 2015.

From Cyber to Khyber - Russia's New Footprint in South Asia, Part II

From Cyber to Khyber - Russia's New Footprint in South Asia, Part II

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.

Not in Our Backyard II: Russia’s Secret Fight to Deny the West Influence in the Balkan States

Not in Our Backyard II: Russia’s Secret Fight to Deny the West Influence in the Balkan States

An attempted coup in Montenegro in October 2016 as the country prepared to join NATO prompted accusations of Russian involvement. But how credible are the allegations? In the final part of this series on Russian involvement in the Balkans, Lekisika's Sean Crowley investigates this incident as well as broader Russian efforts to maintain influence in the region. 

Not in Our Backyard I: Why NATO’s Balkan Presence Upsets Russia

Not in Our Backyard I: Why NATO’s Balkan Presence Upsets Russia

As the tensions between the Russian Federation and the United States in Ukraine and Syria receive the most media attention, the two states are waging a shadow war of political and economic influence and cloak and dagger activities in the Balkans. Part One of this two-part Leksika investigation examines the historical motives for why Russia wishes to limit Western influence in the region. 

Examining the Logic behind Pakistan’s Support for Damascus

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.