Columnist

Maria Dubovikova

Maria Dubovikova is a prominent political commentator, researcher and expert on Middle East affairs. She is president of the Moscow-based International Middle Eastern Studies Club (IMESClub).

Twitter: @politblogme

Latest published



Chances of a US-Russia confrontation set for a significant increase

The recent series of firings and appointments in the American administration have come quicker than expected.

March 27, 2018

Competing powers unable to find a cure for ‘sick man’

The paradoxes between the strategic priorities of global and regional powers are an inherent trait of Middle Eastern conflicts. This was clear when Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi said last month: “The priorities of Western countries are contrary to those of the countries of the region.

March 21, 2018

Major powers step up battle for Africa

Rex Tillerson’s final overseas visit before Donald Trump fired him as US Secretary of State was to Africa, where many global and regional powers are coming into direct competition. Tillerson’s trip came within the framework of the American administration’s bid to secure its influence in Africa fo

March 14, 2018

Machiavellian tactics undermining hopes of peace in Syria

The situation in Syria is heating up, as the international powers play an expanding geopolitical game on the Syrian chessboard. The sequence and timings of recent events raise many questions.

March 11, 2018

Putin ready to lead Russia into new era

Vladimir Putin has given his annual speech to the Federation Council, surprisingly arranging it not in the Kremlin but at Moscow’s Central Exhibition Hall. In his speech, he addressed numerous vital aspects of life in Russia, setting the goals and priorities for the upcoming years.

March 04, 2018

Middle Eastern players all talking but none are listening

The Valdai Discussion Club — the main expert discussion platform in Russia — last week held its annual conference on the Middle East. It was the most representative Middle Eastern Valdai in history, as it was attended by two foreign ministers (Russia’s Sergey Lavrov and Iran’s Javad Zarif), the d

February 25, 2018

Russia plays kingmaker in the Middle East

While US representatives are going to Middle Eastern countries to discuss American concerns, the region’s leaders are visiting Russia. In the space of about two weeks, Russia has hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah.

February 16, 2018

Remember Napoleon: Why sanctions will never work against Russia

The effectiveness of sanctions against Russia is debated all over the West. Some acknowledge that they do not work, and say it is time to launch a dialogue instead.

February 10, 2018

Putin will win six more years — but what then?

A presidential election in Russia is scheduled for March 18 — symbolically marking the anniversary of the date of Crimea’s “return” to the motherland — but the outcome is already clear.

February 06, 2018

Russian political stances beyond Western calculations

It is hard to believe that Western powers could ever have expected the invitation extended by Moscow to concerned parties to attend the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.

January 29, 2018