Articles by Simon Saradzhyan



Killings in Armenia Point to Flaws in Russian Army

After the tragic murder of a family in Armenia by a Russian soldier, the Russian army needs to ask itself some difficult questions to ensure this never happens again, writes columnist Simon Saradzhyan.

NATO-Russian Relations Can Still Be Saved

It is indisputable that the Ukraine crisis has dealt a serious blow to Russia's relations with core members of NATO. It would take many years for Moscow, Washington and Brussels to fully mend the fences even if the conflict in Ukraine were resolved tomorrow.

Why Hopes of Putin's Unconditional Surrender Could Prove to Be Futile

With almost a week past the tragic crashing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over eastern Ukraine, it is becoming clear that whatever initial hopes Western leaders might have had — that Russia's Vladimir Putin can be shamed or coerced into unconditionally throwing the pro-Russian rebels under the bus — are futile.

A Victory for Russia's Special Forces

Russia's absorption of Crimea is still underway, but there have been already a number of attempts in the Western press to analyze the Russian military's performance there. Some, as the authors of the comment in the April 2 New York Times, compare that special operation with Russia's 2008 war with Georgia and two campaigns in Chechnya to conclude that the Russian military's performance has visibly improved.

Doku Umarov Is Finally Dead

Although Umarov's death was announced many times before, there is good reason to believe that last week's announcement was real.

Mixing Turncoats and Terrorism

Events of one August day in Russia's volatile republic of Dagestan have once again highlighted how turncoats can enhance terrorists' capabilities to carry out deadly attacks in the North Caucasus and other regions of Russia.

Creating a Culture of Giving

It is a truism that rapid accumulation of wealth by a privileged minority is bound to generate lasting resentment by the majority.

Mutually Assured Stability

Fall 1991 saw U.S. and Soviet leaders display goodwill by pledging to unilaterally consolidate and reduce their nations' arsenals of tactical nuclear weapons in what became the last milestone in the history of U.S.-Soviet arms control.

News Analysis: Vladimir Putin's 2012 Dilemma

Both Prime Minister Putin and President Medvedev have repeatedly suggested that they may run in the 2012 presidential election. But neither has announced an official bid, and they have put considerable effort into keeping everyone guessing.

A Silver Bullet for the Reset

At the November NATO summit in Lisbon, Russia and the alliance set June as a deadline to make progress in developing a framework for cooperating on missile defense. If an agreement is reached, it could become a game-changer in Russia's relations with the United States and its NATO allies.

From Toilet to Airport

We are going to pursue terrorists everywhere. If they are in the airport, we will pursue them in the airport. And if wecapture them in the toilet, then we will waste them in the outhouse. The issue has been resolved once and for all,  Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told Russian television on Sept. 24, 1999.

Working Toward a Russia for All

The recent ultranationalist rampage in downtown Moscow was made possible by ineffective law enforcement and ethnic policies that could prove devastating for the multiethnic Russian state.

Yamadayev Shot Dead in City Center

  • 25 September 08
  • Staff Writers
Ruslan Yamadayev, a former State Duma deputy and a member of a Chechen clan that challenged President Ramzan Kadyrovs authority, was gunned down in central Moscow late Wednesday.

Medvedev Praises EU Over Sanctions

President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday praised the European Unions decision to reject slapping sanctions on Russia over its war with Georgia but criticized the Western bloc for failing to understand the Kremlins motives in the conflict.

Conflict Exposes Obsolete Hardware

The brief but intensive armed conflict in South Ossetia has signaled Russia's willingness and ability to fight and win conflicts beyond its borders after years of focusing its war machine on nuclear deterrence and the suppression of internal security threats.

Medvedev Sticks Up For Private Business

  • 01 August 08
  • Staff Writers
In a second attempt this week to calm investors worried about the Mechel affair, President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday called on authorities to stop harassing businesses and private companies to start paying taxes in full.

Navy Talks Carriers on Annual Fleet Day

Russian armed forces will commission half a dozen aircraft carriers and the necessary support ships, a senior commander said Sunday during Navy Day celebrations.

Armed With Nukes and a Vague Plan

When Vladimir Putin became acting president on New Year’s Eve in 1999, he took over a country whose armed forces were struggling to fill combat-ready units to fight guerillas in Chechnya.

Putin Gets a Role in Foreign Policy

President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday unveiled a new foreign policy strategy that grants unprecedented rights to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and shows that the Kremlin will maintain the tough course set during Putins presidency.

Tbilisi, Moscow and West Jockey for Position

The Georgian government and its Western allies have reacted to the ongoing escalation of tensions in South Ossetia and Abkhazia by pushing harder for changes to the peacekeeping and conflict-resolution arrangements there.

Investor Signed Up For Tourist Spaceship

The Federal Space Agency has signed an agreement with an investor to secure financing for an additional ship to help the country cash in on the growing space-tourism boom.

Medvedev Meets CIS Presidents at Summit

President Dmitry Medvedev met Friday with leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States, a loose alliance of former Soviet republics, trying to keep energy exports in the region under Moscow's control while warning his counterparts against seeking NATO membership.

Armed Forces Chief Shown the Door

President Dmitry Medvedev fired General Staff chief Yury Baluyevsky on Tuesday in a much-anticipated move after regular reports of disagreements with Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov over the direction and implementation of military reforms.

Georgia Summons Russias Ambassador

Georgia’s Foreign Ministry on Monday summoned Russia’s ambassador to protest the unsanctioned deployment of Russian troops to Abkhazia, though the ambassador insisted the troops’ mission was merely to “improve the quality of life” in the breakaway Georgian region.

FSB Shuffle Seen Helping Medvedev

President Dmitry Medvedev has replaced the Federal Security Services longtime director with a veteran security agent who, analysts said, could tackle economic crimes with gusto and strengthen Medvedevs hand over the law enforcement agencies.

Ustinov's Ouster May Be a Loss For Siloviki

As part of Mondays government shakeup, President Dmitry Medvedev named Alexander Konovalov, the presidential envoy to the Volga Federal District, to replace Vladimir Ustinov as justice minister, in a move that appeared to further undercut the influence of the so-called siloviki.

Tensions in Chechnya Boil Over

The standoff between Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov and an influential Chechen clan entered the third day Wednesday as both sides traded accusations of murder and abuse of power.

Kadyrov Motorcade in Deadly Shootout

Tensions escalated in Chechnya on Tuesday after loyalists of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov and a local commander were locked in a standoff in which four people have already been killed.

Worries Loom for Sargsyan at Home

Serzh Sargsyan, the handpicked successor of outgoing Armenian President Robert Kocharyan, is to be sworn in Wednesday as the next president of the South Caucasus republic.

Security and a NATO Deal for Putin

Abandoning his bellicose rhetoric, President Vladimir Putin will seek to initiate a meaningful dialogue on security and to sign a political declaration with the NATO-Russia Council during this week's NATO summit.