South of the Caucasus Mountains, between the countries of Armenia and Azerbaijan, are the contested territories of Nagorno-Karabakh. On Sept. 27, Azerbaijan launched a sustained military offense to retake territories it considers occupied by Armenians since a cease-fire agreement between the parties in 1994.
While there have been occasional military clashes, most notably in April 2016 and July of this year, the current fighting is the worst the region has seen since a devastating war killed around 30,000 and displaced more than 1 million people a quarter-century ago.
In February 2020, we conducted face-to-face public opinion surveys in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh on geopolitics in the region.… Seguir leyendo »
Belarus is in turmoil after the Aug. 9 election, when the country’s 65-year-old leader Alexander Lukashenko, president for the past 26 years, claimed to have won with more than 80 percent of the vote. Opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, 37, contested the election results and thousands of Belarusians have protested the disputed election. The European Union and the United States have also stated their concerns that the elections were “not free and fair.”
Police and security forces cracked down on the protesters, arresting and beating thousands of people. But rather than snuffing out protest, the government’s violent response only intensified opposition. An anti-Lukashenko rally on Aug.… Seguir leyendo »
Six years ago this week, a Russian-made missile shot Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17), a civilian passenger plane with 298 people on board, from the sky over war-torn Ukraine. Last week, the Dutch government, acting on behalf of the 193 Dutch nationals on the flight, announced it was taking Russia to the European Court of Human Rights. A criminal trial against four suspects involved in transporting the missile system that downed MH17 began in Amsterdam in March.
The destruction of MH17 on July 17, 2014, sparked outrage and accusations. Russia — and Russian separatists in Ukraine — continue to deny any responsibility.… Seguir leyendo »
Wednesday is the sixth anniversary of Russia’s annexation of Crimea. After a hastily organized and deeply contentious referendum on March 16, 2014, following Russia’s military occupation of the peninsula, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty of accession with Crimean leaders in Moscow two days later.
An avalanche of international criticism followed. Analysts pointed out that this was the first annexation by one state of the territory of a neighboring state on the European continent since World War II. In the United Nations, 100 countries condemned the unauthorized referendum and affirmed their support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
In Crimea itself, the annexation was popular, especially among Crimea’s large population of older ethnic Russians.… Seguir leyendo »
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month challenged a reporter to locate Ukraine on a blank map. While visiting Kyiv in late January, Pompeo described Ukraine in a colorful manner, as “the hinge of freedom.” The country, he said, “sits right on the edge between Europe and Russia.” Yet, mixing his metaphors, he said Ukraine is “firmly anchored in the West.”
So where is Ukraine on the geopolitical map? Is it an in-between country, caught between Europe and Russia — or is it definitely in the West? We asked Ukrainians this important question in a December 2019 nationally representative survey.
Which way is Ukraine leaning?… Seguir leyendo »
During last month’s U.S. Democratic presidential candidate debates, former congressman Beto O’Rourke, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, and former housing and urban development secretary Julián Castro all identified climate change as a major geopolitical threat facing the United States. Some even gave it equal billing with China and the prospect of nuclear war.
The United Nations warned that there’s now a climate change crisis every week — after cautioning that a “climate apartheid” would divide the world between those who have the means to adapt to higher temperatures and those who don’t. And experts identify Europe’s extreme heat wave as a taste of what is likely to happen more often because of climate change.… Seguir leyendo »