Sunday, January 26, 2014

The New Great Game Round-Up #38

The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits between a U.S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players.

Western mainstream media reporting about China's fight against the "liberation of East Turkestan" follows some basic rules, one of which is to highlight the oppression of the Uyghur population at any given opportunity. So Western media outlets widely covered the arrest of Uyghur economics professor Ilham Tohti. European and American officials, led by U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, voiced their concern and demanded an explanation. The Chinese government, not amused by all this hype, decided to set the record straight and explained why the West's new darling had been detained [emphasis mine]:
Leave no chance for malicious preaching

The nearly live coverage shows a particularly close link between Tohti and the West.

Indeed, Tohti is no ordinary Joe. Closely watched by the World Uyghur Congress, he is known to have often given aggressive lectures in class. He founded the Uighur Online website in 2006, which was very active around the riots in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in 2009, which left nearly 200 people dead.
The authorities must resolutely crack down on the terrorists, as well as the "brains" behind them. Without the brains, the terrorists will be like a clueless mob.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The New Great Game Round-Up #37

The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits between a U.S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players.

A few months ago, NATO's Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen reassured the Kremlin that no Russian neighbor will join the U.S.-led military alliance in 2014. However, shortly thereafter NATO tried to integrate Ukraine into the military structure of the European Union using the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, which has been accurately described as a "NATO military agreement disguised as a customs and economic agreement". So sooner or later the United States will incorporate more Russian neighbors into its military bloc and some Georgian officials do not want to wait any longer for this moment:

Usupashvili's Blunt Warning over NATO MAP

Refusal to grant Georgia a membership action plan (MAP) at NATO summit in Wales in early September will "ruin and undermine" political stability in the country, Georgia's parliament speaker, Davit Usupashvili, has warned.

Speaking at an event organized by the Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership, Usupashvili, who is one of the leaders of the Georgian Dream ruling coalition, also suggested that if Georgia is again denied to MAP, like it happened four years ago at the NATO summit in Bucharest, it will give a “momentum” to anti-Western political forces in Georgia.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

The New Great Game Round-Up #36

The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits between a U.S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players.

In response to the 2013 Volgograd bombings, the Russian authorities tried to show that they are in control of the security situation in the North Caucasus ahead of the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Anti-terror operations have been stepped up and until the new suicide bomb detectors are available, law enforcement officers will do their best to nip the threat of "black widows" in the bud. But despite all these efforts, every other day a new incident occurs reminding the public of the violence in Sochi's neighborhood:

Five bodies found in Russia region near Olympics host Sochi

Russia on Thursday launched a counter-terrorism operation after six bodies riddled with bullets were found in a region bordering that of Winter Olympic host city of Sochi, just weeks before the start of the Games.

Two districts in the southern Stavropol region were placed on high alert after the bodies were discovered in or close to parked cars, at least one of them apparently booby-trapped, in the rural area on Wednesday, the regional authorities said.

The Stavropol region borders the Krasnodar region where the Black Sea resort of Sochi is located.
© Photo ITAR-TASS/Dmitry Rogulin

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The New Great Game Round-Up #35

The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits between a U.S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players.

2013 was a memorable year for the Russian city of Volgograd. At the beginning of February, Russia celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Soviet victory in the Battle of Stalingrad, which ultimately denied the German war machine access to the crucial oil fields near Baku and led to the defeat of Nazi Germany in WWII. In commemoration of this decisive battle, Volgograd will from now on be renamed as Stalingrad for a few days each year.
But 2013 will also be remembered because the important industrial city has become the latest target in the ongoing terror campaign plaguing the Russian Federation:
Consecutive Volgograd suicide bombing kills at least 15 (PHOTOS, GRAPHIC VIDEO)

A terrorist attack in the Russian city of Volgograd has killed at least 15 passengers on a trolleybus. The explosion comes just one day after a separate suicide bombing in the city killed 18 people and injured scores of others.

104 people were injured in twin blasts and 33 were killed, according to the Emergencies Ministry.
© Photo Reuters/Sergei Karpov