Leksika Editor Steve Luber reports from Tbilisi, Georgia, on recent events and the population's attitudes toward geopolitical circumstances. What are the defining issues, and is Georgia as pro-West as many believe?
A visiting Azeri scholar has found some reprieve from Baku's government and takes a moment to discuss with Leksika the political situation in Azerbaijan, the security dilemma facing the Aliyev regime, and some mistakes made in Western calculus toward the liberal opposition in Azerbaijan and elsewhere.
The allegiances in fractured Chechnya both for and against Moscow have had a resounding influence on the structure and composition of separatist volunteers in eastern Ukraine that, while unofficial, are well aligned with the Kadyrov government in Grozny and counter anti-Russian Chechens supporting Kiev.
With Russian attention focused on Ukraine, a Chechnya that threatens to erupt once again into violence, and the Islamic State to the south, Georgia has once again figured into US and NATO security calculus. But, will Tbilisi successfully exact defense aid and guarantees from the West this time around?
Following attacks in Grozny late last year, the Chechen republic's leader has strongly opposed any Islamic militantism in the region, while the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and following world reactions has been met with an official outpouring of criticism for the cultural mindset that precipitated the attacks.