Sixty-year-old Irina Grigoryan's voice is drowned out by the merry noise of 230 children waiting for their lunch. Director of kindergarten N3, located in Stepanakert, capital of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Region (NKR) deep in the Caucasus, Grigoryan smiles tolerantly at the din.
For most of the world the issue of Kosovo is long over. The nation declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and has gained recognition from 76 out of 192 U.N. member states.
More than half of Georgia’s population still lives in abject poverty due to economic stagnation, worsening living standards, rising unemployment and low pay nearly nine years after the 2003 bloodless ‘Rose Revolution’ that promised post-Soviet economic revival, a new political course and better living conditions.
In the wake of anti-government protests by the opposition and youth activists in Baku, Azerbaijan, authorities have arrested and detained scores of demonstrators and journalists in deplorable and inhumane conditions.
Campaigners are asking the Azerbaijan government to introduce radical reforms early to avoid a popular uprising sweeping the Arab world.
Kazakhstan's nine million registered voters went to the polls Apr. 3. Incumbent Nursultan Nazarbayev is not expected to lose.
The nomination of the Russian city Sochi to host the 2014 Winter Olympics is already affecting the sensitive geopolitical balance in the region.
As the European Union launches a probe into the conflict between Georgian and Russian troops in the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia last August - with much of the blame now being cast on Georgia for firing the first shots - thousands of civilians remain displaced and homeless at the start of winter.
The Georgian-Russian war has detonated a political war in Ukraine. The governing coalition has collapsed, and new elections loom in a country struck by a grave economic crisis and facing accusations of trading illegal arms with Georgia.
Brinkmanship over weapons overshadowed a summit between the European Union and Russia held in the French city Nice Nov. 14.
The Russian city of Adler, at the southern edge of the country on the Black sea coast, is the only gateway that has kept Abkhazia connected to the rest of the world during 16 years of isolation since the Abkhazian-Georgian war of 1992.
The Russia-Georgia peace deal indicates that the EU is acting as an independent power and plans to maintain dialogue with Moscow in spite of pressure by some of its own members and the U.S. to switch to sanctions.
When the United States and the former Soviet Union were on the verge of a military confrontation over Cuba during the height of the Cold War, the legendary U.S. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson went eyeball-to-eyeball with Soviet envoy Valerian Zorin in the Security Council chamber.
Few, if any, regions present a greater challenge for the European Union's foreign policy than the former Soviet Union.
As if the outgoing administration of U.S. President George W. Bush didn't already have enough on its plate, the question of whether and how to re-arm Georgia in the aftermath of its thrashing last month by Russia is moving steadily up its increasingly crowded foreign policy agenda.