On to a Personal Site

After a good run, this Tumblr is finally giving way to a personal site (http://www.caseymichel.com/). An updated resume can be found here, a complete list of clips can be found here, a new blog can be found here, and a chain of post-Soviet snapshots can be found here, toward the bottom of the page.

This Tumblr never saw the Mariners win a World Series. Here’s hoping the next site will break the streak.

'Ukrainian Rebels' Aren't Ukrainian or Rebels | The Moscow Times

Over at The Moscow Times, I looked at those pushing for the disintegration of Ukraine – who, while being painted as “Ukrainian rebels,” are anything but:

But if the annihilation of MH17 ends in anything, it should be the realization that these men are neither “Ukrainian” nor “rebels.” Rather than Ukrainian citizens carrying a legitimate grievance against the Kiev government’s pro-EU outlook, they are outsiders and usurpers, men with either mercenary or imperial motivations.

(Permalink: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/ukrainian-rebels-aren-t-ukrainian-or-rebels/504197.html)

US power on the wane in Central Asia | Al Jazeera

Earlier this month, the US washed its hands of the most influential asset it maintained Central Asia. In Al Jazeera, I had the chance to detail the fraught history of the Manas Transit Centre, and what the US’s choice to recede from Central Asia portends: 

However, it was not only internal pressures that led to the expulsion. In the past decade, Russia has morphed from a reserved partner in the NATO-led war in Afghanistan to a resurgent competitor with the US in Central Asia. While the Russian and American bases existed just 30km from one another for nearly a decade, it seems no coincidence that Moscow announced over $2bn in financial assistance to Kyrgyzstan as Bakiyev began demanding the US withdrawal in 2009. … 

China, likewise, was not happy about the US presence in its neighbouring country, and China’s growing economic clout there made Kyrgyzstan that much more receptive to its overtures - especially when the Shanghai Cooperative Organisation (SCO), of which Kyrgyzstan is a member, released a statementdemanding the removal of any non-SCO bases from participating countries.

Russia Has Lost Control of Central Asian Gas

I had the chance to write another piece for The Moscow Times assessing Russia’s blinkered energy policies - focusing on how they’ve all but lost their stranglehold on the Central Asian energy market: 

Moscow’s focus on the European market allowed China to co-opt Central Asian supplies and become an influential regional player. The Kremlin’s unabated aggression surrounding Ukraine, meanwhile, is likely to intensify the EU’s search for alternatives to Russian energy, while sanctions, both potential and realized, continue to bite. Russia seems to have unwittingly backed itself into a corner and has no one to blame but itself.

The gang at TMT also whipped up a fantastic map for some visual context:

This Tumblr is now defunct. (Sorry.) Updated information can be found at www.caseymichel.com.

Email: casey.michel@gmail.com
Twitter: @cjcmichel

Current: Master's student in Columbia University's Harriman Institute, focusing on Russian, Eurasian, and Eastern European political and social developments.

Former: Researcher with International Crisis Group Bishkek; reporter and polling analyst with the Houston Press and Talking Points Memo; northernmost male Peace Corps Volunteer in the world. (It's very cold in northern Kazakhstan.)

Written for: The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, Al Jazeera, The Diplomat, The Moscow Times, TPM, Washington Post, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Houston Chronicle, Slate, Global Times, Roads & Kingdoms, Sports Illustrated, and Registan, among others.

Also: I taught a course on Batman during my final year at Rice University, which was completely worth it.

twitter.com/cjcmichel

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