Focus on Eurasia: Oliver Backes '04

Oliver Backes '04 is in his third year at Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), a nonpartisan foreign policy think tank in Washington, D.C. As a researcher in the Russia Eurasia Program, he recently has largely focused on the volatile situation in Ukraine - from the clashes between the Euromaidan protesters and military police in Kiev, to the Ukrainian revolution, to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, to the downing of Malaysian Airlines MH17. 

Oliver's work included the creation of the Crisis in Ukraine Timeline, which has become a model for similar timelines at other think tanks. He also created two iTunes U courses on the crisis. The Russia Eurasian Program is currently finishing a major research study, “Eurasia From the Inside Out,” examining the eight states of the South Caucasus and Central Asia in relation to the pullout from Afghanistan and the Ukrainian crisis. Oliver has taken research trips to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.  Oliver continues to publish articles on the CSIS website. His latest is "Putin's Absence Defines Russia's Relationship with the EAS."  

(Thank you to Mary Lisbeth Bartlett for sharing this information with us.)