Tuesday, September 01, 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

Caucasus Report

Regional Smoke Detector

Khamzat Chumakov is a charismatic preacher who  has acquired a huge following among younger Muslims across the North Caucasus, many of whom regard the state-sponsored clergy as corrupt.

Ingushetian Chief Fires Adviser Over Quarrel Between Rival Clerics

For the second time in three months, Republic of Ingushetia head Yunus-Bek Yevkurov has intervened to defuse tensions between supporters of the republic's mufti, Issa-hadzhi Khamkhoyev, and of popular preacher Khamzat Chumakov. More

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Odds, Ends, And Autocrats

Transdniester's Yevgeny Shevchuk (left) and Nina Shtanski are set to be married, and she will take a new job.

Breakaway Bride And Groom: Transdniester Leader To Wed 'Foreign Minister'

The leader of Moldova's breakaway Transdniester region, Yevgeny Shevchuk, is set to marry Nina Shtanski, who serves as the territory's top diplomat. But will their marriage be recognized? Their region isn't. More

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Ukraine Unspun

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Qishloq Ovozi

Blogging Central Asia

Independence Day approaching in Uzbekistan can mean only one thing -- police sweeps!

Uzbekistan's Independence Day: Preparations Of Epic Proportions

Uzbekistan celebrates Independence Day on September 1 and there is always much to do ahead of this occasion, including a perennial ingredient in such preparations: security sweeps across the country. 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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