Conflict in the Caucasus

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“Imagine a cannonball packed with explosives up on three fingers, while several people push from various sides with increasing force.” The Economist magazine conjures this image to illustrate the current situation in the Caucasus.

The pushers are Russia, Europe and the United States, all eyeing the region’s rich oil and natural gas reserves, as well as its strategic location east of Turkey, north of Iran. Trying to maintain their grip on independence are the three former Soviet Republics of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia. This week the power shifted when Eduard Shevardnadze was pushed out of Georgia’s presidency in a non-violent revolution prompted by the nation’s recent fraudulent election.


Kent Lucken, former diplomat at American Embassies in Moscow and Tbilisi, Georgia

Robert Parsons, longtime BBC reporter in Georgia

David Holley, reporter, Los Angeles Times, in Tbilisi.