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private91Kiril Avramov
(Post-doctoral fellow at the Intelligence Studies Project at the University of Texas at Austin. He is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Department of Political Science and former Vice-Rector of the New Bulgarian University in Sofia and a former Senior Fulbright Visiting Researcher at CREEES, UT Austin, Texas)

Ruslan Trad
(Freelance journalist and analyst with more than 10 years' experience in covering and analysis of MENA, Balkans, and Turkey regional issues. He is the co-founder of the De Re Militari Journal and the author of The Murder of a Revolution (2017)

Copyright: http://eaworldview.com/2018/02/music-for-russias-private-military-companies-in-syria/ Publication at RIEAS web site on 19 February 2018.

“Private military companies” have been an essential part of Russia’s intervention in the Syrian conflict since Moscow’s widespread aerial and ground intervention in September 2015.

Even before that intervention, the PMCs were supporting pro-Assad forces on the battlefield. The most notorious is the “Wagner” Group, led by a former lieutenant colonel of the 2nd Spetznaz (Special Forces) Brigade of the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU). At the height of its deployment, Wagner had more than 2000 personnel on the ground to execute “sensitive operations”, augmenting Russian “advisors” and Assad regime detachments in reconnaissance and assault missions. The mercenaries also provided security for strategic sites and training of regime units. Other PMCs include the “ISIS Hunters” — who reportedly suffered losses when the US carried out airstrikes last week on pro-Assad forces attacking the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in eastern Syria — and the “Turan” battalion. Read more

cyprus81Yiorghos Leventis (PhD)
(Director, International Security Forum, Cyprus)

Copyright: International Security Forum (www.inter-security-forum.org) Publication on RIEAS web site (www.rieas.gr) on 12 November 2017.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the West’s reconciliation with Russia will start from the eastern corners of the European Union. In particular, both the Estonian President Kirsti Kaliulayd and the Speaker of the Slovak Parliament, Andrey Danko, call upon the club not to antagonise Moscow. Truly speaking, these small but strategically located states have little influence in the foreign policy making of Brussels. However, it is clear that as the West's reconciliation with Russia finally gets under way, such normalization of relations originates in the eastern corners of the European Union. Read more

usrussia88Dr Nikolaos Lampas
(Adjunct Lecturer in Politics and International Relations,University of Piraeus, Greece)

Copyright: Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr) Publication date: 10 December 2016

Note: The article reflects the opinion of the author and not necessarily the views of the Research Institute for European and American Studies (RIEAS).

In the last decade, Russia’s actions showed clear signs of her aspirations to re-assert itself as the major counterpart of the United States. Russia has ‘revamped its military, invaded two neighbouring countries, intervened on behalf of President Assad in Syria, and threatened NATO with nuclear saber-rattling, aerial incursions, and military exercises.’(RAND Corporation, 2016) Particularly since the 2014 invasion of Ukraine the relationship between the United States and Russia resembles that of post-Cold War. ...Read more

syria2012Alexandros P. Kassidiaris
(Security Analyst, Postgraduate from the Department of War Studies, King's College London, UK)

Copyright: Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr) Publication date: 17 July 2016

Note: The article reflects the opinion of the author and not necessarily the views of the Research Institute for European and American Studies (RIEAS).


In September 2015, Moscow announced the upcoming campaign in Syria taking a wide part of the public by surprise. Despite the progressive support since 2011 and the catalytic contribution of Russian advisors on June 2013 regarding the voluntary destruction of Syrian stockpile of chemical weapons –a decision that undoubtedly saved Assad’s regime literally in the last minute - no one could predict a straight Russian military intervention in Syria, especially in a moment that the record low oil prices and the EU sanctions have left the country’s economy bleeding....Read more

coldwarthinkingDr. Glen Segell,
(FRGS, Fellow, Ezri Center for Iran & Persian Gulf Studies, University of Haifa, Israel)

Copyright @ 2016 Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr) Publication date: 4 January 2016

The Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union entailed building up nuclear arsenals with delivery systems and then negotiating treaties of disarmament and non-proliferation. Simply put both sides realised that the weapons once deployed couldn't be used even to deter or win proxy wars and therefore their existence was more dangerous than any benefits that could be gained from their being. Mutually assured destruction (MAD) was the most likely result of any conflict escalation so at best the nuclear arsenals and their delivery systems gave their owners a feeling of security that they couldn't be directly attack. This was providing that the other side was rational to comprehend the consequences of nuclear annihilation...Read more

tsiprasalexisRIAC asked RIEAS Editorial Team to comment on purposes and the results of Tsipras' visit to Moscow.

On April 8-9, 2015 Greek Prime-Minister visited Russia. Mr. Tsipras' decision to conduct talks with President Putin caused anxiety and concern in the EU and among Greek opposition. International relations, it is often said, resemble a game of chess. A good chess player should strive to be ahead of his opponent by a move or two at all times. By visiting Moscow shortly after he decisively won a general election on January 25, 2015, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has obviously borrowed a leaf out of a good chess player's book... Read more

russian18Kvashnin Yuri (Ph.D in History)
(Head, European Union Studies Department, IMEMO RAN, RIAC Expert)

Copyright: Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr) Publication date: 1 January 2015)

Today the Russian-Greek economic relations are affected by a triple crisis: the ongoing crisis in Greece, the crisis in Russian–EU relations and Russia's economic hardships.
As for the first one, at the beginning of this year Greece's economic prospects looked bright. 2013 was the first year when Greece achieved primary surplus of 1.5 billion euro. In the passing year it showed new signs of recovery. In mid-December Greece's central bank slightly raised its forecast for economic growth this year to 0.7 percent and predicted growth of 2.5 percent in 2015.... Read more

russia12Walter Schwimmer
(Former Secretary General of the Council of the Europe)

Interview by George Protopapas
(RIEAS Media Analyst)

Copyright: Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr) – Publication date: 9 December 2014.

Mr. Walter Schwimmer is a former Austrian politician and diplomat and former Secretary General of the Council of Europe between 1999- 2004. He is considered an expert on Russian- European affairs as during his tenure he handled the war in Chechnya. H.E Walter Schwimmer analyzes how the crisis in Ukraine affects the European security system, Russia - Europe relations and Russia- USA relations....Read more

kurdistan15By Zhyldyz Oskonbaeva
(RIEAS Senior Advisor & Eurasian Liaison)

Copyright: Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr) Publication Date: 2 November 2014

On a number of levels, the situation between the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the ethnic Kurds of Syria, Iraq and Turkey is creating a power shift that no one is discussing. In this article, I will explain why: 1) The Kurds have an unprecedented opportunity to achieve a political homeland; 2) Tehran's strategy of expanding Shia influence over the Sunnis is possible because of an independent Kurdistan; 3) Moscow is orchestrating an independent Kurdistan and 4) Turkey's recalcitrance against the United States and Western Europe squanders any chance of the Nabucco Pipeline going through Turkey..... Read more

Dr Yuri D. Kvashnin, PhD in History, Head of the European Union Studies Department, IMEMO RAN, RIAC expert

Dr Vladimir A. Olenchenko, PhD in Law, Senior Research Fellow, IMEMO RAN, RIAC expert

Dr. John M Nomikos, Director, Research Institute for European and American Studies (Athens)

George Protopapas, Media Analyst, Research Institute for European and American Studies (Athens)

Copyright: http://russiancouncil.ru  (Publication Date on: 24 May 2014)

The partnership between Russia and Greece is a unique case of international relations, in that Russia and Greece have no serious mutual claims that might impede further development or enhancement of their cooperation. Nor are there any permanent irritant factors hindering initiatives on either side. Even so, despite the historical and cultural proximity of the two countries, for the last few years Russian-Greek relations have stagnated and have lost significance, in part due to the abandonment of the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline project and the suspension of military and technical cooperation between the two countries. The 2009 Greek debt crisis also relegated Greek-Russian ties to the background, focusing the government’s efforts on economic recovery...  Read more..... Read more


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