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Blog / International Security

Digital diplomacy during the Ukraine crisis

Protests in Kiev’s Independence Square. Photo source: Ivan Bandura via Flickr Creativecommons

Ukraine’s pro-European protest movement has been shaped by social media. Facebook and Twitter tracked the path of protestors and provided a mouthpiece for their demands. The digital  #EuroMaidan movement did not merely report on-the-ground developments, but actively influenced them. Future protest …

Heartland
Blog / Europe

Geopolitics and Ukraine

The map showing the Heartland area from Mackinder’s 1904 work ‘The Geographical Pivot of History’. Photo source: Halford J. Mackinder. Original uploader was Marc-king at nl.wikipedia via Wikimedia Commons.

Media coverage of the on-going Ukraine crisis regularly refers to geopolitics. Whilst the term is often misused as a synonym for geography, and the theoretical background …

Two United States Air Force F-15C fighters - normally based in the UK - pause on the taxiway at Šiauliai International Airport, Lithuania. Source: A1C Dana J. Butler via Wikimedia Commons
Blog / Europe

NATO’s Baltic Problem

Two United States Air Force F-15C fighters – normally based in the UK – pause on the taxiway at Šiauliai International Airport, Lithuania, prior to another mission supporting NATO’s Baltic Air Policing efforts. Photo source: A1C Dana J. Butler via Wikimedia Commons.

Whatever the ultimate outcome of the crisis triggered by Russia’s seizure of the …

Vladimir Putin
Blog / Russia and Eurasia

Understanding Russia

Vladimir Putin. Photo Source: www.kremlin.ru via Wikimedia Commons.

On 18th of March, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech to Russian parliamentarians, putting forward his case for why he is supporting Crime’s choice to join the Russian Federation. His speech was passionate and at times emotional, pushing the right buttons that touched the souls of many …

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Blog / International Law

Ukraine and Jus Ad Bellum: Past Application and Future Trajectory

Military base at Perevalne during the 2014 Crimean crisis. Photo Source: Anton Holoborodko via Wikimedia Commons.

Article 2(4) of the UN Charter prohibits states from using force in their international relations. Though the laws governing the use of force are convoluted, especially as a result of state practice in this arena, this starting point for …

Blog / Russia and Eurasia

The Eurasian Union

In 2015 the Eurasian Union — a prospective political union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, preceded by economic (the Customs Union) is expected to be launched. It still remains of the biggest puzzles of the post-Soviet space. How will it be used? Does it have any future?

Although the idea of Eurasian integration was first suggested …

Referendum in Crimea
Blog / Russia and Eurasia

Sanctions against Russia will not work

Referendum in Crimea. Photo Source: Aclacko via Wikimedia Commons.

On 16 March Crimea voted on a referendum to decide whether they want to join the Russian Federation. The outcome is a foregone conclusion, as the majority of people living in Crimea are ethnically Russian and support Crimea’s secession from Ukraine. The United States and the …

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Blog / Russia and Eurasia

Symbolic Politics, Social Media and Writing on Foreign Affairs

Analysis of Turkmenistan is dominated by talk of its bizarre cult of personality, notably in Ashgabat’s golden statue of its former president. Photo Source: David Stanley via Wikimedia Commons.

Having recently examined the role of symbolic politics in the regimes of Central Asia, I started to think about the wider parallels between this and the …

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Blog / Europe

Geopolitics and Security, Balance of Power, and the Fate of Borderland States

Alliance Map. Photo Source: Aris Katsaris via Wikimedia Commons.

Ukraine is the classic borderland country, infinitely trapped between Europe to the West and Russia to the east. Given its strategic location in the Eurasian heartland, the country has constantly been, and will constantly be, an arena in which the West and Russia duel for influence.

Rivalry …