How newly-elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy responds to Moscow’s provision of Russian passports to residents in occupied Donbas will not only set the tone for his administration’s foreign policy, but could seriously unsettle Putin’s project of consolidating a sphere of influence in the post-Soviet region.
Russia is strengthening its links with North Korea in order to position itself as an indispensable interlocutor between Washington and Pyongyang. But the cost Russia could demand for regional cooperation may prove prohibitive for the US.
Israeli opinion generally regards the country’s efforts to contain Iran, especially in Syria, as having been successful. In fact, the trendline runs the other way: Iran is constraining Israel, entrenching all around the Jewish state.
Since the beginning of armed conflict in Syria and Iraq, thousands of militants from the Caucasus region have participated in the war. However, dislodging Daesh and a collapse of the insurgency in the North Caucasus have substantially diminished the capacities of North Caucasian jihadi groups. Nevertheless, militancy in the region has potential.