Author: Nikola Mikovic

Nikola Mikovic is a freelance journalist, researcher and analyst based in Serbia. His work focuses mostly on the foreign policies of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. His area of focus is the ongoing conflict in the Donbass, as well as relations between Russia and former Soviet republics. Nikola also covers Russia's involvement in Syria and Libya. He writes for several publications such as Diplomatic Courier, Asia Times, CGTN, Tsarizm, Global Comment, among others.

Two years after Armenia lost the war against its archenemy Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, Yerevan seems to be looking for a model that would allow it to de facto capitulate to Baku, but at the same time to save face. Azerbaijan, strongly backed by its ally Turkey, will undoubtedly continue pressuring the land-locked nation to fulfill the ceasefire deal signed in Moscow in November 2020 – a document that many in Yerevan see as capitulation. As a result of the 44-day war, Armenian forces lost control over parts of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts, including strategically important town of Lachin. It…

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Many global media outlets are reporting about the potential for increased violence between the Kosovo Security Forces and local Serbs in northern Kosovo. Although a local dispute over license plates and IDs could escalate, chances for another war in the Balkans are minimal. I traveled to northern Kosovo in mid-August. Nothing I saw indicated that the Serbs and the Albanians were preparing for a large-scale conflict. Except for two NATO KFOR (Kosovo Force) mission Humvee vehicles not far from the so-called administrative boundary line with Serbia, I did not see any increased KFOR presence in the region. That, however, does…

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While Ukrainian Armed Forces were destroying Russian aircraft at Saky base in Crimea, the Kremlin was too busy preparing to hold a tank biathlon at the Albino military training ground – located very close to Moscow, but still too far to be within reach of Ukraine’s missiles and drones. Although the Russian military might have shown good performances at the event, in Ukraine its troops are making extremely slow progress in the Donbass, while in the southeast of the country they might soon be forced to make another “goodwill gesture” and withdraw from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Ukraine, strongly…

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Moscow-backed authorities in Ukraine’s Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts are reportedly preparing to hold a referendum on joining Russia. But given that the Kremlin still has not incorporated the self-proclaimed Donbass republics into the Russian Federation, it remains highly uncertain if the two southern Ukraine’s regions will become part of Russia any time soon, if at all. From the perspective of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic, a potential Russian annexation of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia would represent a “stab in the back”. In May 2014 the two Donbass entities held a referendum in which, according to reports, people…

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The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), better known as North Korea, is expected to participate in the reconstruction of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and Luganks People’s Republic. Pyongyang’s decision to recognize the two Russia-backed entities in eastern Ukraine was almost certainly greenlit by China – North Korea’s nominal ally – although that does not mean that Moscow and Beijing will change their approach regarding “the most isolated country in the world”. On July 13 North Korea recognized the Donbass republics, joining Russia and Syria as the only countries to do so. In response, Ukraine terminated its diplomatic relations…

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Ever since Russian President Vladimir Putin came to power in 2000, the Kremlin has been allegedly trying to create a “multipolar world order”. More than 20 years later, Russia is isolated in the international arena, abandoned by almost all of its allies, and the United States-dominated NATO has brought its military infrastructure close to the Russian borders. In virtual reality, however, Putin – often portrayed as a “geopolitical strategist” and a “chess master” – is winning the war against the “declining US Empire”. On the ground, in a “multipolar world”, the Western-backed Ukraine continues striking Russian cities on a daily…

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While the war in Ukraine rages on, the Eastern European country’s armed forces continue conducting missile strikes on the Russian territory. Unable to protect its own country, the Kremlin focuses on imposing empty threats to Kiev, although Ukrainian leadership stopped taking such a Russian policy seriously a long time ago. Ukraine has clearly demonstrated that it is not afraid of Russia anymore. In response to the Russian offensive in the Donbass, where forces of the Russian Federation and the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic made significant tactical gains, the Ukrainian army intensified missile attacks on Western Russia.…

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Belarus – Russia’s only ally in Europe – seems to be preparing for direct involvement in the Ukraine war. If Russian Armed Forces do not make significant progress in the Donbass, or if the Ukrainian Army launches a successful counteroffensive in the south of the country, the Kremlin might have to pressure Minsk to open a “second front” against Ukraine. Ever since Russia launched its “special military operation” on February 24, Ukrainian and Western officials and analysts have been speculating about possible Belarusian involvement in the conflict. To this day, however, Belarusian troops have not crossed the border and attempted…

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While all eyes are on Ukraine, Turkey is preparing to launch a “special military operation” in northern Syria. But in order to achieve some of its strategic goals in the war-torn Middle Eastern country, Ankara would first need to get at least tacit approval from the United States. Turkey aims to seize the towns of Tell Rifaat, Kobani, Ain Isa, and Manbij, and create a 30-kilometer (18 miles) deep buffer zone south of its border with Syria. Despite limited presence of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the region is de facto under control of the Kurdish-dominated People’s Defense Units (YPG)…

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The invasion of Ukraine has ended the era of globalization the Russian elite enjoyed since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Although Russian oligarchs will be able to continue purchasing Western-made luxuries, the Kremlin’s overall geopolitical vector is expected to shift eastward. Russia’s so-called special military operation in Ukraine has brought Western sanctions and economic isolation to the Russian Federation. Moscow is now forced to look for ways to bypass sanctions and increase business ties with “friendly countries” – those that have not implemented any restrictions in their cooperation with Russia. However, some very close Russian allies have openly stressed…

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