Articles by Alexander Shumilin



Shadow of Islamic State Hangs Over Russia (Op-Ed)

It is impossible to say with certainty how many people holding Russian passports now fight for the Islamic State, but the reasons that many of them join the group are obvious, writes columnist Alexander Shumilin.

Why The Crisis in Ukraine Will Determine What Happens in Syria

Twice in the last six months, Russia has managed to divert attention from what had previously been the central focus of international relations: the conflict in Syria.

High Stakes in U.S.-Iran Deal

The temporary six-month agreement between Iran and the six countries negotiating with it can be viewed in several different ways. On one hand, the document creates an atmosphere of trust between the parties involved.

Russia Saves Assad From U.S. Bombs

In an 11th-hour deal, Russia seems to have found a way to save the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Moscow's initiative to place all of Syria's chemical weapons under international control with Damascus' hasty consent sounds like a realistic resolution to the crisis.

Syrian Crisis Shows an Increasingly Irrelevant UN

On Monday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov acknowledged that the U.S. had submitted evidence that the army of Syrian President Bashar Assad had used chemical weapons but said the classified documents were "absolutely unconvincing."

Why Arab Monarchies Support Egypt's Coup

The United Arab Emirates was the first Arab monarchy to provide assistance for the "corrective revolution" taking place in Egypt.

A Ship Leading to Escalation in Syria

On Friday, NBC News, citing U.S. military and intelligence sources, reported that Russia is sending a military ship based in the Black Sea to the port it rents in Tartus, Syria.

Russia's Role in the Houla Massacre

The Syrian problem has become a vicious vortex sucking the Russian ship downward into its maw.

Why Putin Has Begun Abandoning Assad

Here's an interesting bit of news: According to information attributed to WikiLeaks and published in Britain's Guardian newspaper, Syrian President Bashar Assad wrote to his wife that he is not serious about his promised democratic reforms, has consulted with Iran about ways to put down the protests and prefers the shedding of blood to other options.

Between Iran and the West

The Kremlin was hoping all along to use the S-300 system to increase its influence on Iran — and in the Middle East as a whole.

The Prince and Putin

If Russia and Saudi Arabia join forces, their alliance will have a major impact on world energy markets as well as on geopolitical relations between the northern and southern hemispheres, or in religious terms, between the Christian and Muslim worlds.

Iran Balancing Game

Events in and around Iran are unfolding at quite a pace. University professors have been joining their students in pro-democracy demonstrations in Tehran and other cities.

Russia and Last-Minute Diplomacy

Storm clouds are gathering over Baghdad. Even before UN weapons inspectors discovered 12 empty warheads designed to carry chemical weapons that were not included in Iraq's declaration to the Security Council, chief weapons inspector Hans Blix had assessed the situation as tense and unpredictable.

Saddam the Superfluous Man

Official Moscow and Russian public opinion is already shifting toward the prospect of Iraq after Hussein.

Here to Save the Day

Russia Rethinks Kosovo

Russia Reasserts Empire

Power Politics in Cyprus

Russia Fell in Iraq's Trap

Polishing Up Luzhkov

Russia's New Club Med

Choosing Oil, Not Iraq

Russia Pushes Cyprus

Objecting to Sanctions

Morality of Arms Trade

Weapons of Diplomacy

An Armenian Rabin?

Why Swiss Banks Paid

Penetrating Persian Gulf

Press Back to Old Stereotypes on Iraq