Welcome to the conference “Circassians in the 21st century: Identity and Survival – in the homeland and diaspora”, hosted by the research platform Russia and the Caucasus Regional Research (RUCARR) at Malmö University, Sweden, November 23-24, 2017. The aim of this conference is to focus on the ongoing Circassian revival or mobilisation following the international attention on the...

Russia held a quadrennial military exercise called ‘Zapad’ in mid-September on the territory of Western Russia, Russian exclave Kaliningrad and Belarus. Current tensions with the West add up to the salience of the upcoming drills, which according to NATO allies, will be one of the largest since the Cold War. Although the risk of open confrontation is low, “Zapad-2017” can become the...

Mikeil Saakashvili’s dramatic return to Ukraine has elicited numerous comments on social media, most of which regard his actions as a positive boost to his reputation and a negative impact on the presidency of Petro Poroshenko, who deprived him of his Ukrainian citizenship in July. But what will be its long-term results? And how should Ukraine’s president respond? From Ukraine’s...

Russia is preparing to hold a quadrennial military exercise called ‘Zapad’ (which translates as the West) in mid-September on the territory of Western Russia, Russian exclave Kaliningrad and Belarus. Current tensions with the West add up to the salience of the upcoming drills, which according to NATO allies, will be one of the largest since the Cold War. Although the risk of open confrontation...

"Sleeping cells" We currently witness an alarming trend when the organized terrorist groups with their hierarchy are replaced by amateur "sleeping" radical cells consisting of two or more people. They are difficult to control, as they are often formed outside the framework of an organization, as it was before. On the other hand, access to social networks and web resources creates their extensive network....

The Second Annual RUCARR Conference will be held at Malmö University, Sweden, on November 22-23, 2017. The Russia and the Caucasus Regional Research (RUCARR) is an intellectual hub for scholars at the Faculty of Culture and Society, Malmö University. Established as late as in 2016, RUCARR builds on an established and well-recognized area studies tradition at the University which connects...

This year`s August 23, marks the 78th anniversary of the Pact signed in Moscow between German Foreign Minister Joachim Von Ribbentrop and Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, with Stalin in attendance. The Pact had dramatic consequences for Central and Eastern Europe and some analysts perceive it as the real date on which the Second World War began. Others, such as Russian president Vladimir...

Recent events in Russia raised lots of questions regarding the modern Russian political culture and political system.  In order to understand the roots of ongoing protests and its possible consequences we have to look at the Russian political culture which is quite complex to understand.  With its communist past, Russia still remains distant from fully absorbing democratic values even though...

At the beginning of this decade, Turkmenistan was enjoying the privileges of its position as an exporter in three different directions, which led the Turkmen government to rest assured of the benefits the Turkmen energy policies provided for the economy of the country. In the last couple of years, however, the conditions have changed drastically, as Turkmenistan has been increasingly dependent on a sole...

Several Belarusian newspapers have noted that August 9, 2017, is the 115th anniversary of the birth of Panteleimon Ponomarenko (1902-1984, a native of Krasnodar, Russia), the party leader of Belarus during the Stalinist repressions and war years. Ponomarenko has a mixed reputation but there seems to be a consensus that he was always not the hard-hearted stone-faced Stalinist of lore, but a man with the...

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