Trouble in the Caucasus

Thursday, December 10, 2020 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Conflict continues to simmer in the former Soviet space. The recent war in Nagorno-Karabakh, which resulted in the loss of 5,000 lives, has challenged territorial boundaries, the regional balance of power and Russia’s involvement in the region. Arkady Ostrovksy from The Economist has called it one of the “biggest shake-ups in a turbulent region at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and the Middle East since the collapse of the Soviet empire.” What role does Russia play in the Southern Caucasus and on the eastern frontiers of Europe, and to what end? Yevgenia Albats, Russian investigative journalist and a visiting senior scholar at the Davis Center, will discuss these questions and more with Arkady Ostrovsky and Keith Darden.

Arkady Ostrovsky is Russia and Eastern Europe editor for The Economist. Prior to this role, he was the Moscow Bureau Chief for The Economist reporting on the annexation of Crimea and the war in Ukraine among many other subjects. He joined the paper in March 2007 after 10 years with the Financial Times where he covered Russian politics and business, including the Yukos Affair. His articles were among the first to warn of the resurgence of the security state under Putin. At The Economist, Arkady also writes about Russia-US relations, European security, Russia and China, Ukraine, Georgia and other former Soviet republics. He is the author of the 2016 Orwell Prize winning book The Invention of Russia: The Journey from Gorbachev’s Freedom to Putin’s War published in 2015 by Atlantic Book in the UK and in 2016 by Viking in the US. He is regular contributor to radio and television programs around the world, including the BBC and NPR. Arkady holds a doctorate degree in English Literature (University of Cambridge, 1998) and has contributed to the first Cambridge History of Russian Theatre as well as to collections of essays on theatre history published in the America, UK, France, Russia and Brazil. Arkady’s translation of Tom Stoppard’s trilogy, “The Coast of Utopia” and “Rock’n’Roll” have been published and staged in Russia.''

Keith Darden's research focuses on nationalism, state-building, and the politics of Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia. His forthcoming book, Resisting Occupation in Eurasia (Cambridge University Press), explores the development of durable national loyalties through education and details how they explain over a century of regional patterns in voting, secession, and armed resistance in Ukraine, Eurasia and the world. His award-winning first book, Economic Liberalism and Its Rivals (Cambridge University Press, 2009) explored the formation of international economic institutions among the post-Soviet states, and explained why countries chose to join the Eurasian Customs Union, the WTO, or to eschew participation in any trade institutions. At SIS, Prof. Darden teaches courses in international relations, comparative politics, and the politics of Eurasia. Beyond SIS, Prof. Darden is co-editor of the Cambridge University Press Book Series Problems of International Politics and is actively engaged with Russia and Eurasia though the Bilateral Working Group on US-Russia Relations, PONARS Eurasia, the Valdai Discussion Club, and other forums. His analyses and interviews concerning events in Ukraine have been published in Foreign Affairs, Survival, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, LeMonde, National Geographic, The National Interest, Russia in Foreign Affairs, the AP, the New Yorker, and Reuters, and he has been interviewed on CNN, Washington Public Radio’s Kojo Nnamdi Show, Sirius XM radio, CBS, Voice of America, Echo Moscow, Ukrainian television (Channel 5), and C-SPAN.


Arkady Ostrovsky, Russia and Eastern Europe editor, The Economist
Keith Darden, Associate Professor, School of International Service, American University, Washington D.C.
Moderator: Yevgenia Albats, Davis Senior Scholar, Davis Center; Investigative Journalist, Political Scientist, Writer and Radio Host; Editor-in-Chief & CEO of The New Times Magazine

Sponsored by the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.

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