Russia’s Not So Frozen Conflicts

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While Russia is invading Ukraine other countries in the region are being shaken up. The war could reshape politics in this part of Europe.

  • Following the break-up of the Soviet Union, Russia often pursued a policy of divide and conquer. In order to maintain influence in the region Moscow supported separatists and ethnic minorities.
  • Whenever a conflict within or between neighboring countries arose, Russia gave military backing to the rebellious party thereby gaining a foothold. If there was no conflict? It could be created.
  • The strategy gave Russia long term influence in countries like Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova and Georgia. In some cases Moscow had to go to war to maintain its influence.
  • The attack on Ukraine could shake up the whole region however. After witnessing Russia’s military weakness in the war, regional leaders could be tempted to change political conditions.
  • Azerbaijan is already making ground in its conflict with Armenia, Georgia’s Russia-backed breakaway regions are thinking about their future and Moldova fears it could be next after Ukraine.
  • Belarus is a special case: The country, run by dictator Aleksander Lukashenko, has been more or less reduced to a war base of Russia. Yet, the majority of the population does not back this decision.
Foreign Policy
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Asia Times

How Russia’s frozen conflicts could warm up along its borders

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