The Customs Union’s Strength is Its Weak Link: Oil Prices Threaten Putin’s Project

Russian economic and military power is heavily dependent on high oil and natural gas prices. Cut the floor beneath those prices and a Communist superpower crumbles, and a revanchist Empire buckles.

2013’s Year of Upheaval

2014 will be the year that Europe’s mettle is truly tested.

Kazakhstan Decides to Defeat Bubonic Plague Once and for All

Outbreaks of plague have become all too common over the last year in the Central Asian parts of the former Soviet Union. At last, one of those nations is determined to be a source of the solution, rather than a target of the problem. According to National Geographic — one of the few Western outlets […]

Kazakhstan Finally Sees Kashagan Oil Field Come On-Line

This is a hopeful sign for energy security in the region, as the increase in nearby oil reserves makes reliance on Middle Eastern states almost as unnecessary as it is undesirable.

Black Death Returns to Central Asia

The Central Asian republics’ future depends in large part on their ability to reconstruct their civil society as much as to distribute broad-spectrum antibiotics.

Cozying Up to Kazakhstan?

The EU needs to do more to make Astana earn its keep in the area of political and media freedoms before showing Nazarbayev the money.

Amnesty International Misses the Mark on Torture in Kazakhstan

Yelling at Astana for failing to bring in UN representatives to tell these people what to do is not actually going to turn them into Switzerland. Quite the opposite, in fact.

David Cameron Visit Underscores Need for Reform in Kazakhstan

The Kazakh government sees its future in the West. Political reform in Kazakhstan is necessary not only for its own sake, but also for Astana to take full advantage of expanding economic opportunities.

Kazakhstan’s Underappreciated Beauty

Kazakhstan’s shortcomings as a democracy have not stopped a basic desire by Kazakhs that the world should appreciate what they’ve done since the Soviet Union died.

Cybersecurity and the Former Soviet Union

As long as these former Soviet republics maintain a Soviet-era view of private property, their future in the modern world will be more than a few nodes away.