WiP: Regis Gente book presentation: Putin and the Caucasus, 12 February – Régis Genté

American Councils, ARISC and CRRC present the third talk in the Spring 2014 Works-in-Progress Series!

Régis Genté

Book Presentation of ‘Putin and the Caucasus’
Wednesday, 12 February, 2014 at 6:15pm

EPF/CRRC-Georgia, Kavsadze St. 3, Tbilisi

Régis Genté will present his new book “Putin and the Caucasus” (in French), published in Paris on January 9th, 2014, a month before the beginning of the Sochi Olympic games. As he explains, the idea of the book came to him when he realized how much Putin’s career as President is connected to the Caucasus. Putin became Prime minister, in August 1999, amid a new increase in tensions in Dagestan and Chechnya, followed by 5 terrorist bombings in Moscow and in the South of the Russian Federation, with a strong suspicion that FSB was involved, the second war in Chechnya, the consecutive extension of the nationalist-islamist rebellion in almost all the North Caucasus, and then the war in Georgia in 2008. All of these events, and especially those connected to his ascension to power, put under question the legitimacy of Mr. Putin and of his policy, especially towards the Caucasus. Therefore, as the book tries to demonstrate, the Sochi Olympic games are about to regaining this legitimacy, especially in the eyes of the international community. By welcoming the delegation from the entire world, Mr. Putin expects to force the international community to admit that his choices were correct. This is about more than Russia and Putin’s image, it’s about his essential legitimacy, which goes beyond the Putin’s fate as an individual. The Olympic games will take place exactly 150 years after what the Russian usually view as the official end of the Caucasian Wars of the 19th Century, the victory over the Circassian tribes in May 1864. The Olympic competitions will partly take place on the very spot of this “victory,” in Krasnaya Polyana. That’s more than a symbol. Perhaps the Olympic games are designed as a second victory over the Caucasus, as the final victory never took place? The book also raises the question of the Russia that Mr. Putin is building and the place for the Caucasian people in the Russian Federation.
Régis Genté, 45, is a French free-lance journalist based in Tbilisi and has been covering the Caucasus, Central Asia and Russia for 12 years for Le Figaro, Radio France Internationale, France 24 TV and other media outlets.


W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public.The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.Would you like to present at one of the W-i-P sessions? Send an e-mail to natia@crrccenters.org.