For Russia, control of the coronavirus narrative is designed to ensure President Vladimir Putin continues to be cast as the guarantor of security, as well as to prevent mass panic that could lead to political destabilisation.
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.
With competition for influence increasing, old tensions are being revived in the fragile Western Balkans. The West must avoid complacency and show leadership in resolving critical issues before they become dangerous.
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.