Foreign Policy Blogs

Caucasus

Nagorno-Karabakh: Expect Status Quo in 2013-14

Nagorno-Karabakh: Expect Status Quo in 2013-14

Two decades of international community administered talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, a predominantly Armenian enclave inside Azerbaijani territory, have failed to reach a resolution. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s petro-dollar aided exponential increase in defence expenditure amid pitched rabble-rousing and frequent sniper skirmishes in the region has led many to fear …

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Prisoner of the Mountains (1996)

Prisoner of the Mountains (1996)


The conflict between Russia and the territory of Chechnya is the backdrop for this film.
In it two Russian soldiers are taken away to a Chechen village after their group is ambushed. The reason they are captured is so that a villager can use them …

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Georgian Elections Again an International Affair

Georgian Elections Again an International Affair

Nestled among gorgeous mountains, blessed with exotic cuisine, and loved for its arts and outgoing people, Georgia has many suitors. Long courted by her northern Russian neighbor, she has in recent years been beset by foreign admirers, bearing gifts of “democracy” and “growth” that (they promise) will ensure she lives …

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Peace Activist Threatened in Armenia, Azerbaijani Film Festival Cancelled

Peace Activist Threatened in Armenia, Azerbaijani Film Festival Cancelled

 
When I first met Georgi Vanyan back in 2009, I couldn’t hide my excitement. For me that middle-aged man who smoked one cigarette after another and had sadness in his eyes, even when he smiled, was equal to a rockstar. I couldn’t …

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Baku Protests Foreign Policy’s Assertion of Airbase Access for Israel

Baku Protests Foreign Policy’s Assertion of Airbase Access for Israel

It’s just so hard to launch an international bash these days. Everyone’s a critic. Just ask Azerbaijan.
Preparations for Eurovision, one of Europe’s biggest song contests to be held in May in Baku, are regularly sidetracked either by criticism of the country dismal human rights record, or allegations of the country’s …

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UPDATE: Peaceful Activists Arrested, Amnesty International Reports Torture Fears

UPDATE: Peaceful Activists Arrested, Amnesty International Reports Torture Fears

The sanctioned peaceful protest that took place in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku on Saturday, March 17 resulted in arrest of three activists. Members of Bulistan band Jamal Ali, 24, and Natig Kamilov, 24, and another activist Etibar Salmanli, 25, were arrested after a fight that broke during Ali’s performance. The singer …

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Azerbaijan: Blackmail Video Made Public, Possible Imminent Release of Political Prisoners

Azerbaijan: Blackmail Video Made Public, Possible Imminent Release of Political Prisoners

It was bound to happen, although I prayed that it wouldn’t. But at least one web site in Azerbaijan has now released the blackmail video involving well-known correspondent Khadija Ismayilova. In response, Khadija has issued a public statement,

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Azeri Journalist Alleges Blackmail Attempt

Azeri Journalist Alleges Blackmail Attempt

Azerbaijan’s best-known journalist (who also happens to be Azerbaijan’s best journalist, period) alleged yesterday that she is being victimized in a blackmail attempt. Khadija Ismayilova, who writes for a number of publications and hosts the popular “After Work” radio show for RFE/RL’s Baku bureau, made the allegations after receiving a …

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Sudden, Violent Demonstration Erupts in Northern Azerbaijan

Sudden, Violent Demonstration Erupts in Northern Azerbaijan

Thousands of protesters took to the streets early today in the northern Azeri city of Quba in what became a scene of violence as police fired tear gas and clubbed demonstrators. Radio Free Europe reports that four people were injured, according …

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South Ossetian Presidential Candidate Hospitalized After Police Raid, May Leave Politics

South Ossetian Presidential Candidate Hospitalized After Police Raid, May Leave Politics

After being hospitalized last Thursday under mysterious circumstances, the winner of November’s South Ossetian presidential election had, as of yesterday, told the press that she may leave politics and is reportedly considering asking for asylum in an unnamed country.
Alla Dzhiolyeva, 62, was transferred on Monday from

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Car Bomb Defused in Tbilisi, Israeli Embassy Target

Car Bomb Defused in Tbilisi, Israeli Embassy Target

Georgian authorities report today that a bomb planted in the car of an employee of the Israeli embassy was defused by police. The employee was, according to Georgian TV news …

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Azerbaijan: Fallout from Tagi Murder, New Internet Protest Movement, and an American Ambassador Goes Home

Azerbaijan: Fallout from Tagi Murder, New Internet Protest Movement, and an American Ambassador Goes Home

There is no real progress to report on the investigation into the murder of Rafiq Tagi, although as I mentioned shortly after his death, a number of theories—some of them rational, others not—cropped up immediately on social networking sites and internet forums.
My guess is that Tagi was killed by Islamists …

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Jabbar Savalan released from prison!

Jabbar Savalan released from prison!

News out of Baku courtesy of Radio Free Europe and the viral Azerbaijan rumor mill is that Jabbar Savalan was released from prison today (26 December) in a general amnesty granted by President Aliyev.

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Caucasus Year in Review, Part II: Azerbaijan

Caucasus Year in Review, Part II: Azerbaijan

For Azerbaijan’s political and human rights landscape, 2011 was a year of tumult, small triumphs, and anguish. I’ve written a great deal on topics this year such as the arrests and imprisonment of Jabbar Savalan and Bakhtiar Hajiyev, the opposition protests in February through mid-June, and the tragic death of …

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Caucasus Year in Review Part I: Georgia and Armenia

Caucasus Year in Review Part I: Georgia and Armenia

Georgia
2011 was the year when former Parliament Speaker Nino Burjanadze put the finishing touches on her long campaign to discredit former Parliament Speaker Nino Burjanadze.
Ms. Burjanadze began her re-branding effort from responsible, clear-headed opposition leader to uncompromising radical after forming her own political party in 2008. The disastrous Russo-Georgian War …

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