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Keep up to date with the latest news and events from around the department and the wide-ranging projects our staff and students get involved with.
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Al-Qaeda's Yemen branch adds Paris attacks to list of successes

Al-Qaeda's Yemen branch adds Paris attacks to list of successes
Description
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff. Al-Qaeda's most active and notorious branch – the Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) – has claimed responsibility for the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris. While some questions remain about the full credibility of the claim, it is not entirely implausible: it's been established that some of the attackers had been trained in Yemen, and at least one of them had met AQAP's former chief ideologue, Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born jihadist killed in a US drone strike in 2011.
Date:
Monday 19th January 2015

Ukraine steels for more unrest as Donetsk bus attack kills 12

Ukraine steels for more unrest as Donetsk bus attack kills 12
Description
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff. The deadly attack on a bus carrying civilians near Donetsk, killing at least 12 of them and wounding many more, comes in the wake of yet another round of failed talks among the foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France. It also follows a pattern of persistent violence between rebels and government forces that has made a mockery of a ceasefire agreement brokered between the two sides back in September 2014.
Date:
Thursday 15th January 2015

CREES' CASCADE team conduct a joint meeting with a co-ordinator of a sister FP7 project from Switzerland

CREES' CASCADE team conduct a joint meeting with a co-ordinator of a sister FP7 project from Switzerland
Description
Dr Kataryna Wolczuk, Dr Derek Averre, Dr Kevork Oskanian and Nino Kemoklidze discussed their research project and exchanged ideas with former CREES PhD graduate Dr Katharina Hoffman, co-ordinator of CASCADE's sister FP7 project from Switzerland in Birmingham.
Date:
Thursday 8th January 2015

Putin meets the press – as state takes tighter grip of economy

Putin meets the press – as state takes tighter grip of economy
Description
Written by Dr Richard Connolly. Vladimir Putin has delivered his annual press conference and at the top of the agenda was the Russian economy, reflecting that the turmoil buffeting the Russian rouble has reached critical levels.
Date:
Thursday 18th December 2014

Huge Russian rate hike plays roulette with the economy

Huge Russian rate hike plays roulette with the economy
Description
Written by Dr Richard Connolly. Russia's Central Bank has raised its key interest rate from 10.5% to 17% in an emergency move that is designed to halt the ongoing collapse of the rouble, which has accelerated in recent weeks. The dramatic intervention comes after the rouble suffered its worst one-day fall since the August 1998 financial crisis.
Date:
Tuesday 16th December 2014

Slovak Expert Visits University of Birmingham

Slovak Expert Visits University of Birmingham
Description
Leading Expert on Slovak politics, Marek Rybar of Comenius University, visited the University of Birmingham.
Date:
Tuesday 16th December 2014

Russia's economy is failing, but that gives it a chance to reform

Russia's economy is failing, but that gives it a chance to reform
Description
Written by Dr Richard Connolly. Since the summer, the global price of oil has plummeted. After hovering above the US$100 per barrel level since 2010, prices have declined by around 40% in the space of just a few months. Brent crude has fallen below the $70 a barrel mark, with OPEC's recent decision to leave production levels unchanged raising the possibility that oil prices may have further to fall.
Date:
Tuesday 9th December 2014

Podcast: The New Challenges and Choices of the South Caucasus: Between Political, Cultural and Economic Priorities

Podcast: The New Challenges and Choices of the South Caucasus: Between Political, Cultural and Economic Priorities
Description
Dr Denis Dvornikov spoke on the current political situation in the South Caucasus region, focussing on the new challenges linked with geopolitical integration projects such as the Eurasian Economic Union and the Iran factor as well as the situation with the region's non-recognised states (Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Nagorno-Karabakh). He will also address recent events in Russia – Georgia dialogue and perspectives for economic development.
Date:
Friday 5th December 2014

Focus on the Caucasus

Focus on the Caucasus
Description
A roundtable on the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict, a presentation on the challenges and choices of the South Caucasus and participation at conferences in Baku highlight research strengths and interest in the Caucasus.
Date:
Thursday 4th December 2014

Moldova's future in the balance after uncertain election result

Moldova's future in the balance after uncertain election result
Description
Written by Professor Stefan Wolff. Moldova has gone to the polls in a vote seen as crucial for determining the country's future direction. Preliminary results indicate that the pro-European parties together achieved about 44% of the vote, while those parties considered to be more pro-Russia came in with just under 40% of the vote, on a turnout of around 56%. These headline figures, however, mask a more complicated picture.
Date:
Tuesday 2nd December 2014
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