Anna Arutunyan

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de abril de 2009. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has a flair for understated drama. When he met with Donald Trump last July, his cool gaze at the floor contrasted with the more animated gestures of the U.S. president. And so when the two meet again on Monday, Putin is unlikely to greet Trump with a bouquet of flowers as he did German Chancellor Angela Merkel in May. But the Helsinki summit will nonetheless be a contest of theatrical power projection—and it’s one that Putin has perhaps already won.

The game Putin plays is not so much about practicing diplomacy or striking deals; it is about optics, both at home and abroad.…  Seguir leyendo » “No Matter What Happens in Helsinki, Putin Has Already Won”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has a flair for understated drama. When he met with Donald Trump last July, his cool gaze at the floor contrasted with the more animated gestures of the U.S. president. And so when the two meet again on Monday, Putin is unlikely to greet Trump with a bouquet of flowers as he did German Chancellor Angela Merkel in May. But the Helsinki summit will nonetheless be a contest of theatrical power projection—and it’s one that Putin has perhaps already won.

The game Putin plays is not so much about practicing diplomacy or striking deals; it is about optics, both at home and abroad.…  Seguir leyendo » “No Matter What Happens in Helsinki, Putin Has Already Won”

Magomed Aligadjiev, the father of Islamist militant Akhmed Aligadjiev, who is believed to be in Syria, points at a mosque near the village of Gimry in Dagestan, Russia, 27 January, 2016. REUTERS/Maria Tsvetkova

In February 2016, 5,000 Salafi Muslims marched into the centre of Khasavyurt, the second-largest city of the North Caucasus republic of Dagestan, to protest the forced closure of their mosque. Dagestan’s Salafi community, orthodox Muslims who practice a revivalist Islam that originated in the Gulf, is one of Russia’s largest. It has long faced discrimination from the Dagestani authorities.

In this instance, few expected those authorities to bend to the marchers’ demands. But, in a rare gesture of compromise, the mosque was reopened the next day.

The apparent victory, however, did not come cheap. One protest leader, a popular and charismatic Salafi imam, was subsequently arrested by security forces, reportedly tortured and sentenced to serve five years in a penal colony, accused of justifying jihadist (what the authorities deride as “Wahhabi”) violence.…  Seguir leyendo » “Dagestan’s Abandoned Counter-insurgency Experiment”

ISIS Returnees Bring Both Hope and Fear to Chechnya

The victories over ISIS in Mosul and Raqqa pose a dilemma for states whose citizens travelled to join the Islamic State’s (ISIS) ranks and who may now seek to return home. These states include Russia, and in particular its republic of Chechnya.

On the one hand, Chechen authorities fear the return of insurgents who fought for ISIS. They worry those militants, most of whom are mortal enemies of Ramzan Kadyrov’s heavy-handed regime, will renew the attacks they mounted some years ago in Chechnya. As has been the case in the past, authorities might not stop at jailing returnees, and might also go after their families, friends or associates, potentially hardening hatred of the regime among a wider circle of people.…  Seguir leyendo » “ISIS Returnees Bring Both Hope and Fear to Chechnya”