Caucasus

The Egyptian national team's star striker Mohamed Salah, left, and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov pose in Grozny, Chechnya, on June 10, ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. (Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia’s Muslim Strongman Is Winning the World Cup

Ramzan Kadyrov is using sports diplomacy to bolster his image.

Members of the Russian military police hand out food aid to Syrians arriving in a convoy carrying displaced people in Idlib province, on June 1, 2018, with a banner on a Russian military vehicle seen in the background showing the portraits of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad , and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russia Doesn’t Solve Conflicts, It Silences Them

The Kremlin’s involvement in the Middle East has raised Moscow’s profile while letting underlying tensions fester.

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The Wait Is Finally Over: Chechen Leader Picks New Protege in ‘The Apprentice’-style Reality TV Show Finale

Ignore the corruption or human rights abuse allegations. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov wants you to know he’s a really great guy, and he’s got a reality show to prove it.

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The Case for Outcast Media

In authoritarian states, foreign-based media can be the best source of reliable information — as one exiled Azerbaijan news outlet proves.

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A Car Bomb Rattles Georgians As Election Nears

The government in Tbilisi says all is well with democracy. But many Georgians aren’t so sure.

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Another Country Gets Tired of Hope and Change

Voters in Georgia have had enough of turbulent politics. Their upcoming election is marked by apathy — and maybe that’s OK?

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The Dissident’s Guide to Azerbaijan’s Formula 1 Grand Prix

One independent media organization is hoping to use the race as a guide to Azerbaijan’s endemic corruption, deteriorating press freedom, and beleaguered human rights activists.

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The World’s Most Famous Dissident Journalist Returns to the Fight

Azerbaijan’s authoritarian rulers defamed, threatened, and jailed their country’s most stubborn journalist. But Khadija Ismayilova doesn’t know when to quit.

DAGESTAN, RUSSIA. FEBRUARY 15, 2016. At the site of a car bomb explosion at a traffic police post in the Derbentsky District, Dagestan. 2 police officers were killed and 18 people were injured in the explosion. Bashir Aliyev/NewsTeam/TASS (Photo by TASSTASS via Getty Images)

Cracking Down on Russia’s Caliphate

In Dagestan, authorities are trying to quash an Islamist insurgency that has sent hundreds of young Russians to Syria. They might be making it worse.

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Azerbaijan Blasts Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian may have 66 million followers on Instagram, but that doesn’t make her an expert on the frozen conflict in the mountainous Caucasus enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

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Freeze the Dictator Out

Azerbaijan’s authoritarian president is in Washington this week, plainly hoping for some love — or at least attention — from President Obama. He must not get it.

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Shooting of Opposition Leader Roils Georgia Ahead of Contentious Election

The shooting of Aleksi Petriashvili, a former minister, introduces a dangerous new element to Tbilisi's overheated politics.

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA - FEBRUARY 1 : Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event at the U.S. Cellular Convention Center February1, 2016 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Trump who is seeking the nomination for the Republican Party attends his final campaign rally ahead of tonight's Iowa Caucus. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

Trump Says IED Blasts Send Troops in Armored Vehicles ‘For a Little Ride’

Thousands of U.S. troops, many of them riding in armored vehicles, have been killed by IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA - JANUARY 31: Members of the media watch GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump as he holds a campaign rally at the Gerald W. Kirn Middle School on January 31, 2016 in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Trump and other presidential hopefuls are in Iowa trying to gain support and crucial votes for tomorrow's caucuses.
(Photos by Charles Ommanney/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Paulo Rubio and Ronald Trump: How the World Sees the Iowa Caucuses

A look at what a smattering of the world’s news gatherers have had to say about Iowa.

TSENTEROI, CHECHNYA, RUSSIA - NOVEMBER 2005:  Ramzan Kadyrov proudly displays his shooting skills at a firing range in his village of Tsentoroi in front of members of his private army. Officially his army are known as the anti-terrorism squad, but everyone refers to its soldiers as Kadyrovtsy - "Kadyrov's guys". Ramzan was born 5 October 1976 in Tsenteroi, Chechnya, and was made Prime Minister of Chechnya in the beginning of March 2006 and leader of a powerful Chechen militia known as kadyrovtsy. He is the son of former Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov, who was assassinated in May 2004. He has the backing of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and was awarded the Hero of Russia medal, the highest honorary title of the Russian Federation. As the head of the Chechen Presidential Security Service, Kadyrov has often been accused of being brutal, ruthless and antidemocratic; according to media and human rights groups, he was personally implicated in several instances of torture and murder. It is also rumoured that he owns a private prison in his stronghold village of Tsenteroi, where he uses inmates as a punching bags. Kadyrov is known for keeping a pet lion cub, given to him as a gift after the birth of his first son, as well as a tiger and a number of a fighting dogs, and also used to own a wolf and a bear. He has only a few classes of elementary education finished; despite his lack of education, Kadyrov is a honorary member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.  (Photo by Kadyrov Press Office/Getty Images)

Fall into Fall with Former Warlords!

It's the season for decorative gourds. And frolicking with Chechen strongmen!

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How Georgia Stamped Out Corruption on Campus

First they fired the Education Ministry. Then came the hard part.

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The Next Iranian Revolution

With an end to sanctions in sight, one of the world’s richest oil and gas prizes is about to open up. That makes some nervous, but has oil majors and energy-hungry countries rubbing their hands in anticipation.

Protesters gesture as a riot police vehicle sprays a jet of water to disperse them during a rally against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, June 23, 2015. The protest started on Monday, when about 5,000 demonstrators marched to the presidential headquarters, as they rallied against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices, but were stopped by riot police. The protesters began a sit-in protest, blocking traffic on a central boulevard. Police asked demonstrators to leave the road but they refused. REUTERS/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY     

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#ElectricYerevan Protesters Give Cops the Finger Amid Showdown Over Rate Hike

Despite a violent crackdown by police in the Armenian capital of Yerevan, protests over energy prices continue to grow.

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How Azerbaijan and Its Lobbyists Spin Congress

The Aliyev regime is selling itself in Washington as friendly and progressive. Is your Congressman buying it?

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Chechnya’s Lost Boys

Why young Muslims from Russia’s war-torn republic are succumbing to the lure of the Islamic State.

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