Russia and Eurasia
Germany’s reluctance to take on a more active role in the conflict in Ukraine has become an issue of public debate. In the latest episode of FeniksPod’s Atlantic Series, Dr. Mehmet Yegin spoke with Dr. Nele Marianne Ewers-Peters from Leuphana University of Lueneburg. Dr. Evers-Peters discussed Germany’s reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the impact it has had on NATO-EU relations.
It was clear that the involvement of these fighters – known as the Kadyrovtsy (Kadyrovites in English) – was not only an operational reinforcement for Russia, opening the northern route to Kyiv, but also a propaganda tool designed to spread fear of the atrocities the Chechens might inflict on Ukrainians in their path.
Ukraine was lured by the West for many years, but in its time of greatest need it was betrayed. Instead of protecting it militarily against the Russian invasion, the West has only been willing to engage the aggressor in economic warfare.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may create new fronts within Europe’s most fragile region. Throughout the Balkans, pro-Russian groups have eagerly awaited a Russian agenda that could topple current regional peace and security dynamics.
Chatham House’s Mathieu Boulegue told FeniksPod’s Atlantic Series that Russia has been using the Ukraine crisis to extort Western concessions in what has become the greatest test to European and global security since the Cold War.
After Kazakhstan’s most serious unrest since it gained independence, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is positioned to chart a new course that separates him from Nursultan Nazarbayev’s legacy. However, lingering questions about causes of the violence and the possibility of intra-elite conflict remain unanswered.
A Russian invasion of Ukraine would pose significant risks to Turkey. Moscow’s potential exertion of economic, military, and political pressure on Ankara may also weaken a NATO response to the crisis, especially from the Black Sea.
The new German government’s policy towards Russia deserves Turkey’s attention as it is likely to affect Ankara’s own balancing act between Washington, Moscow, and even Paris.
Throughout the U.S. war in Afghanistan, Iran has maintained extensive influence in its eastern neighbor. It played both sides of the conflict, supporting the now-deposed government in Kabul while also developing ties with the Taliban. With the Taliban’s takeover of the country in the wake of the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces, Tehran will engage pragmatically with the militant group to safeguard and further its national security strategy.