Wagner in the C.A.R: who blesses the Russian mercenaries down in Africa?

By Sean Crowley On 27 July 2018, three Russian journalists – Orkhan Dzhemal, Aleksandr Rastorguyev, and Kirill Radchenko – arrived in the Central African Republic. They were in country to film a documentary about the shadowy Russian private military firm the Wagner Group for the Information Control Center, an initiative bankrolled by Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovskiy. After unsuccessfully pursuing leads for the first few days … Continue reading Wagner in the C.A.R: who blesses the Russian mercenaries down in Africa?

Georgia(’s presidential election) on my mind

By Steven Luber The Republic of Georgia will hold a presidential election this October, an important test for the government after ratifying a new constitution in September 2017. The new electoral system, the prominence of non-traditional candidates, and a perennially complex relationship with neighboring Russia make the election worth watching. In early August, French-born diplomat Salome Zurabishvili announced her candidacy with an independent affiliation. Approximately … Continue reading Georgia(’s presidential election) on my mind

Charlotte’s VEB: Beijing feigns partnership with bank play

By Nicholas Trickett Putin’s visit to Beijing in June bred the usual dog and pony show of effusive and warm statements about Sino-Russian ties. But the details, as usual, told a different story. In particular, a tentative agreement that China Development Bank (CDB) loan Vneshekonombank (VEB) roughly $10 billion was an eye-catching PR ploy to highlight bilateral cooperation on infrastructure projects. But the terms of … Continue reading Charlotte’s VEB: Beijing feigns partnership with bank play