Sunday, August 30, 2015



Under The Black Flag

Tracking Islamic State

Said Mazhayev (right), a Chechen who returned home purportedly after six months fighting in Syria,  was touted in Russian media as repentant former Islamic State (IS) militant.

North Caucasus Men In Syria Face Different Fates On Return

Russian media published two very different reports this week about Russian citizens who returned home allegedly after fighting alongside the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria -- one was jailed for 14 years, the other walked away free. More

Power Vertical

How Russia Is Ruled

What a long, strange month it's been.

Russia's Surrealistic August

Russia has survived its August curse so far. But that hasn't stopped Moscow's chattering classes from predicting a turbulent autumn. More

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Ukraine Unspun

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Qishloq Ovozi

Blogging Central Asia

IMU leader Usmon Ghazi (second left) and his fighters are shown taking an oath of allegiance, in Arabic, to IS and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Audio What Next For The Islamic Movement Of Uzbekistan?

In early August, news broke that Usmon Ghazi, the current leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), had pledged the Central Asian militant group's allegiance to Islamic State. In an attempt to shed some light on the IMU's current situation, RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service assembled a panel to discuss this development, Ghazi's leadership of the movement, and what it could mean for the IMU’s future. More

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Persian Letters

Notes Of An Iran Watcher

Film director Jafar Panahi (left) and human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh are two prominent Iranians inside the country who have joined the campaign.

Prominent Iranian Activists, Intellectuals Call On Congress To Back Nuclear Deal

Dozens of prominent Iranian rights activists and academics, including Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, have joined a social-media campaign to express support for the July 14 agreement on Tehran's nuclear program and urge U.S. lawmakers to approve the deal. More

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