Weekly Round Up 24th – 30th September

Image from RFE/RL

Caucasian Powder Keg

Ramzan Kadyrov and Yunus-Bek Yevkurov

Equivalent exchange of uninhabited land

Chechnya and Ingushetia, Northern Caucasus

Why is it important, relevant, worth consideration or keeping an eye on?
Despite being a fairly innocuous land exchange deal, the agreement to stabilize the borders between the Chechen and Ingush Republics have sparked protests in both regions. In one case the local security forces used batons to disperse and detain protesters.
Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of the Chechen Republic called the agreement a move to “enhance the relations between the two republics”. And although the border issue was not a serious or urgent one, Kadyrov sees this agreement as laying the foundation for a more stable future of the two regions.

The significance of the protests however is not at the agreement as such but shows just how fragile stability is in the northern Caucasus. The Caucasus have been a thorn in the side of the Russian regime as far back as the mid 19th century. The Russian Government has fought two very bloody wars in Chechnya within the last 30 years, which resulted in a series of devastating terrorist attacks.
This is not to say that Moscow’s strategy of strongman leadership in the form of Ramzan Kadyrov, or the staggering sums of money spent to rebuild the region, are not working. Instead it is important to bear in mind that the turbulent history of the region has left deep scars that will not be swiftly forgotten.

Full Articles:
Moscow Times
New York Times

Taken from the official Facebook page of Jair Bolsonaro

Protesting Bolsonaro

Hundreds of Thousands of Protestors

Massive protests against far right presidential Candidate

Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil

Why is it important, relevant, worth consideration or keeping an eye on?
In light of the upcoming October 7th election, hundreds of thousands of people, led mostly by women, have taken to the streets in Brazil’s metropoles to protest far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro. The movement known as #EleNao, (#NotHim), has become increasingly popular in recent weeks.
The main cause of the #EleNao movement is that Bolsonaro has a history of misogyny, racism and belittling rape, as well as being inspired the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985.
Bolsonaro has said that he will not accept defeat in the election results. This could be an implication that a coup d’etat might be a very real circumstance in the aftermath of the election. The far-right candidate was recently released from a hospital in Rio de Janeiro after having barely survived a a near-fatal stab wound he received three weeks ago.

The coming election is being hailed as the most polarizing in Brazil’s democratic history since 1985. The coming first round election on October 7th will give a good indication for what is in store for the future of Brazil.

Full Articles:

Taken from El Periodico

Stifled Independence

Pro-Independence Protesters

Took to the streets on 1-year anniversary of Secession vote

Barcelona, Spain

Why is it important, relevant, worth consideration or keeping an eye on?
Its been a year since the divisive vote of the Catalonian independence movement to secede from Spain and form its own country. The vote was called illegal by the Madrid government and the protests and demonstrations were suppressed by the Spanish police. Marking the first anniversary of the vote, thousands of protesters took to the streets of Barcelona. The protesters clashed not only with pro-unionist protesters but also with the local police, resulting in 6 arrests and a few dozen injured. The vote itself is still a point of contention for many residents of Catalonia.

This issue of Catalonian independence will not being going away anytime soon. With the increasingly tense situation in the count down to Brexit, it remains to be seen what influence this will have on the Scottish independence movement, and on the European Union as a whole.

Full Articles:


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