Portal to the Islamic State War

The Islamic State is one of the contemporary most serious and novel threats to the transitioning (or not) current world order. The fact that war is part and parcel of the Islamic State and its Caliphate or Khilafah (خلافة) very existence is only one of the many challenges and novelties that most of the rest of the world […]

Conflict in Ukraine – The Far-Right (3): Parties and Battalions

After we focused, in our series on the far-right in Ukraine, first on ultra-nationalism then on the new People’s Front ultra-nationalist outlook and related potential impacts, notably regarding war in Eastern Ukraine, this last post will deal with the remaining far-right groups. We shall first look at the way the war in Eastern Ukraine further legitimized not only far-right and nationalist groups but also their paramilitary branches. Then, after presenting a map of the ultra-nationalist and far-right actors on the Ukrainian scene, we shall introduce more in detail those right-wing groups that are both represented in parliament and certified by their participation in the war, before to turn to those that have no parliamentary representation but nevertheless remain legitimized by the war. Legitimizing paramilitary right-wing groups The […]

Mapping of the far-right actors in Ukraine – Premium content for Platinum members (yearly membership)

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Conflict in Ukraine – The Far-Right (2): Demise or Metamorphosis?

The 26 October 2014 election’s results show a metamorphosis of ultra-nationalism in Ukraine with potential impact on war in Eastern Ukraine and beyond.

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War in Libya and its Futures: State of Play – Nationalist Forces (1)

With two primary warring alliances and two rival governments, Libya’s civil war is becoming increasingly polarized. The Islamist/Misratan coalition, or Dawn of Libya, which supports the General National Congress (GNC) in Tripoli, is battling General Haftar and the Nationalist coalition, which supports the Council of Representatives in Tobruk. With this in mind, we shall begin the present state of play with the Nationalist coalition. In this post, we shall specifically evaluate the Petroleum Facilities Guard, the Army of Cyrenaica, the Cyrenaica Protection Force, the Libyan military, al-Saiqa (Special Forces), al-Sawaiq Brigade, and al-Qaqa Brigade. The remaining groups – the Libyan National Army, Zintan Brigades, various tribes and regional forces – shall be presented in the next post. The Council of […]

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Ultra-Nationalism and the Far Right in Ukraine (1): Victims and Heroes

Parliamentary election in Ukraine will be held on 26 October 2014. Meanwhile, the road towards full peace in Eastern Ukraine is still uncertain, despite the 5 September Minsk protocol and its 19 September memorandum (OSCE), witness, among others, the battles for Donetsk airport and latest fighting in Luhansk or near Mariupol (OSCE SMM reports). Furthermore, on 2 November, the special status territories of the Donbass, the “self-proclaimed” Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) will vote to elect their respective heads and representatives at the People’s Assemblies (Ria Novosti, 11 October 2014). It is thus all the more important to continue our evaluation of the state of play for the various Ukrainian actors. Ukraine is indeed more than ever poised […]

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War in Ukraine: Hope, Outrage and Fortitude – The Separatists (2)

(Update 20 January 2015 – see also the latest posts on ultra-nationalism in Ukraine – 1- victims and heroes; 2- demise or metarmophosis and 3- parties and battalions – which contribute to explain current interactions, and foresaw an increased likelihood to see the conflict re-start. What is below is still important and relevant to be able to understand the current situation as well as its possible evolution). In the framework of our analysis on Ukraine, this post is the second part of our focus on the separatists, the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), now united in the confederate Union of People’s Republics. It explores the various dimensions of the very challenging situation into which the two People’s Republics are and their […]

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War and Peace in Ukraine: The Separatists (1)

The war in Eastern Ukraine has killed from 15 April to 20 June an estimated number of “423 people, including servicemen and civilians,” (UN HCHR statement, 24 June 2014), which, compared with our own estimate of 99 deaths up to May 15 shows the rising violence of the ongoing fighting. Refugees and Internally Displaced People (IDPs) from the East now reach “nearly 34,600″ people,  with nearly half of the displacements – estimated to 15,200 within the Donetsk and Luhansk regions – taking place “over the last two weeks”, i.e. after 6 June 2014. Russia estimates that it now hosts 16,700 Ukrainian refugees on its territory, notably in the region of Rostov (Ria Novosti, 27 June; 14,000 on 25 June 2014, Itar-Tass). This, again, shows an intensification […]

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Conflict in Ukraine – State of Play – The Oligarchs

This post of our series on the war in Ukraine will focus on the oligarchs. We saw previously how the oligarchic system functions and its impacts on the country, notably in terms of poverty and a weak, fragile, and dependent state. Here, we shall look first at the way to classify oligarchs, if any, and at the interactions among oligarchs. We shall then present oligarchs and tycoons one by one, separating them into two sections, first the wealthiest and most influential, then the others. We shall only provide details for the most influential businessmen, notably addressing their relationship to politics and to the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. We shall, however, also name the others, notably to allow for monitoring. Groups and interactions among oligarchs Following […]

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Conflict in Ukraine – State of Play – The Oligarchic System

This article is the second of the series on the conflict in Ukraine and starts a review of the various domestic actors. It focuses on the oligarchic system, its dynamics and challenges. On 15 May 2014, steelworkers working for oligarch Rinat Akhmetov took over the city of Mariupol in the Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, as reported by Andrew Kramer for the New York Times, even if the People’s Republic of Donetsk seems to have kept power (e.g. Roza Kazan, 18 May 2014), after Akhmetov released a first statement video (see original 14 May, with subtitles). Meanwhile, Kim Sengupta for The Independent, writing on the 9 May attack on Mariupol mentions that “An assortment took part in the assault, including a private army supposedly bankrolled by an oligarch – the “men in black”. […]

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The Syrian War: the Start of a New Phase

This (long) post ends the current series of updates on the Syrian war. It focuses on the evolution within the National Coalition and the Supreme Military Council, the expected failure of Geneva 2 and the start of a new phase in the Syrian war. This will allow us, next, to finally turn to an evaluation of our scenarios and indicators. The National Coalition and the Supreme Military Council The last alliance to emerge over the Autumn has been Syria Revolutionaries Front (SRF), created on 9 December 2013 (see Youtube video), which is composed of moderate or non-ideologically motivated groups, as detailed by Lund (13 Dec 2013) and mapped below (click on the image for a larger picture). It is a reaction to the Salafi-Nationalist […]

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