Paul Stronski

Senior Fellow
Russia and Eurasia Program
Paul Stronski is a senior fellow in Carnegie’s Russia and Eurasia Program, where his research focuses on the relationship between Russia and neighboring countries in Central Asia and the South Caucasus.


BS, Georgetown University
MA, Stanford University
Ph.D. Stanford University




English; French; Russian


Paul Stronski is a senior fellow in Carnegie’s Russia and Eurasia Program, where his research focuses on the relationship between Russia and neighboring countries in Central Asia and the South Caucasus.

Until January 2015, Stronski served as a senior analyst for Russian domestic politics in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research. He was director for Russia and Central Asia on the U.S. National Security Council Staff from 2012 to 2014, where he supported the president, the national security advisor, and other senior U.S. officials on the development and coordination of policy toward Russia. Before that, he worked as a State Department analyst on Russia from 2011 to 2012, and on Armenia and Azerbaijan from 2007 to 2010. A former career U.S. foreign service officer, Stronski served in Hong Kong from 2005 to 2007.

Stronski has taught history and post-Soviet affairs at Stanford, George Mason, and George Washington universities. Prior to his government service, he worked on a USAID-sponsored technical assistance project for the healthcare sector in Central Asia.

He is the author of Tashkent: Forging a Soviet City, 1930-1966 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010), which won the 2011 Central Eurasian Studies Society Book Award for History and the Humanities. Since the mid-1990s, he has undertaken extensive research and work experience in Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Armenia.

  • World Politics Review January 11, 2022
    Kazakhstan’s Protests Helped Mask a Post-Nazarbayev Purge

    Kazakhstan needs a return to normal in the short term. The unprecedented violence of the past week has traumatized many citizens, destroyed budding small businesses and undermined the country’s image as a welcoming and stable destination for investors.

  • Hundreds of protesters rallied in South Africa’s capital calling for the country’s medicines regulatory body to give the greenlight to additional COVID-19 vaccines.
    Article December 10, 2021
    Russian COVID-19 Diplomacy in Africa: A Mixed Bag

    Moscow’s use of Sputnik V as a key part of its COVID-19 diplomacy has only had limited success in showcasing Russia as a partner for Africa.

  • A health worker shows a dose of the second component of the Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19
    Q&A November 15, 2021
    What Went Wrong With Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine Rollout?

    While Russian marketing touts the country’s Sputnik V vaccine as safe and effective, everything from supply chain and production issues to lingering safety concerns has complicated the vaccine’s rollout. What’s going on with Sputnik V?

  • Op-Ed East Asia Forum November 4, 2021
    How Taliban Victory Will Reshape Regional Dynamics in Central Asia

    The Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan enhances the prospects for cooperation between the Russian, Chinese and Central Asian governments, but does not guarantee it. Both Beijing and Moscow enjoy far greater economic clout in Central Asia than any Western state does, due in part to geographic proximity.

  • Image of a knot
    Paper October 13, 2021 Magyar Ελληνικά
    China’s Influence in Southeastern, Central, and Eastern Europe: Vulnerabilities and Resilience in Four Countries

    China’s presence has brought socioeconomic opportunities to Georgia, Greece, Hungary, and Romania. Yet it has exacerbated governance shortfalls, undermined elements of political and economic stability, and complicated the European Union’s ability to reach consensus on key issues.

  • Op-Ed World Politics Review August 11, 2021
    Unnerved By Taliban Gains, Central Asia Boosts Ties With Russia and China

    The ongoing withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan is transforming diplomatic and security dynamics in Central Asia, creating opportunities for Russia and China to enhance their engagement with increasingly anxious governments in the region.

  • Vladimir Putin
    Paper June 28, 2021
    A Difficult Balancing Act: Russia’s Role in the Eastern Mediterranean

    Russia’s assertiveness in the Eastern Mediterranean is part of its broader strategy for undermining the cohesion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union and thus complicating the Western alliance’s ability to operate, plan, and formulate policy.

  • Cityscape of Tbilisi
    Article June 23, 2021 Русский
    The Shifting Geography of the South Caucasus

    The traditional geopolitical boundaries that have defined the South Caucasus in the post-Cold War era are shifting as the region becomes increasingly connected to the eastern Mediterranean and wider Middle East.

  • A ship building the offshore section of the Turkish Stream natural gas pipeline on the Bosphorus
    Q&A May 20, 2021
    What Is Russia Doing in the Black Sea?

    Russia has long seen the Black Sea as essential for projecting power and influence in the Mediterranean and beyond. Yet protecting Russian interests in the region has come at a cost.

  • Army paratroopers assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5 Commentary May 17, 2021 Русский
    A Fresh Start on U.S. Arctic Policy Under Biden

    The Biden administration does not want conflict in the Arctic, but the potential for tension in the region depends not only on the U.S. administration, but on the actions of Russia (and China) too.

  • The Warcast (War on the Rocks) January 11, 2022
    Russia’s Intervention In Kazakhstan

    It was on economic issues, but they quickly moved toward more political issues, and then these protests merged with violent groups

  • Majlis: Talking Central Asia August 29, 2021
    Tajikistan Takes a Hard Line on the Taliban

    Tajikistan was the only one of Afghanistan’s neighbors that did not engage in talks with the Taliban prior to the militant group’s conquest of most of Afghanistan.

  • Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty August 31, 2016
    Uzbekistan—Where Are We Now, And What’s Next?

    Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov has held that position since the country gained independence in 1991. A great deal of uncertainty remains about who his successor might be.

  • Voice of America February 3, 2016
    What Should Be the U.S. Priority in Central Asia?

    Twenty five years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States must reevaluate its policy toward Central Asia and bring it in line with the new reality of the region.

  • The Vicious Cycle of Electoral Volatility in Kyrgyzstan
    December 6, 2021 Live Online
    The Vicious Cycle of Electoral Volatility in Kyrgyzstan

    On November 28, Kyrgyzstan returned to polls for the third time this year to vote for its new parliament. This election occurs at a time of tremendous economic and social distress, and amid a shifting geopolitical framework in the aftermath of the U.S. withdrawal from nearby Afghanistan.

  • Uzbekistan's Presidential Elections: What Comes Next
    October 20, 2021 Live Online
    Uzbekistan’s Presidential Elections: What Comes Next?

    On October 24, Uzbekistan will hold a carefully choreographed presidential election that almost certainly will lead to a resounding win by its President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, a self-proclaimed reformer. Join us for a discussion on Mirziyoyev’s reform agenda and Tashkent’s calculus at home and abroad.

  • Kyrgyzstan’s Constitutional Referendum: Another Step Backward?
    April 9, 2021 Live Online
    Kyrgyzstan’s Constitutional Referendum: Another Step Backward?

    On April 11, Kyrgyzstan will head to the polls for the third time in six months to vote on a controversial constitutional referendum that would enhance the political power of the president, allow presidents to run for a second term, and push through initiatives designed to weaken the parliament.

  • Kyrgyzstan's Presidential Elections: What Next?
    January 8, 2021 Live Online
    Kyrgyzstan’s Presidential Elections: What Next?

    After tumultuous elections and the ousting of former President Jeenbekov in October 2020, Kyrgyzstan is holding early presidential elections and a referendum on constitutional reform on January 10, 2021.

  • The Politics of Reform in Kazakhstan
    December 7, 2020 Live Online
    The Politics of Reform in Kazakhstan

    In 2019, Kazakhstan’s new President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev pledged large-scale political and economic reforms to open up political space and initiate a series of substantial social and fiscal reforms. Now, eighteen months into the Tokayev presidency, progress is slower than expected.

  • Corruption in Kyrgyzstan: The Path Forward
    November 16, 2020 Live Online
    Corruption in Kyrgyzstan: The Path Forward

    After a month of political upheaval in Kyrgyzstan and the collapse of now-former President Sooronbay Jeenbekov’s government, followed by the rise of Sadyr Japarov, a former convict, to the position of acting president, the country’s political landscape is changing fast.

  • Public Event on Nagorno-Karabakh
    October 9, 2020 Live
    A New Era for the Karabakh Conflict?

    A new and deadly conflict has broken out between Armenia and Azerbaijan that has already cost hundreds of lives, including those of many civilians, and upended regional stability in the South Caucasus.

  • Kyrgyzstan Parliamentary Elections and the Path Forward
    October 8, 2020 Live Online
    Kyrgyzstan Parliamentary Elections and the Path Forward

    Please join us for a discussion on Kyrgyzstan as it holds parliamentary elections on October 4. Kyrgyzstan is Central Asia’s only democracy, but contested elections and pluralistic politics there have not necessarily led to better governance and accountability in the nation.

  • China in Central Asia: COVID-19 and Beyond
    September 8, 2020 Live Online
    China in Central Asia: COVID-19 and Beyond

    With anti-Chinese sentiment rising in recent years across Central Asia, this panel will analyze the impact of the pandemic on the Beijing’s relationship with both Central Asian states and populations.

  • An Update on COVID in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan
    July 8, 2020 Live Online
    An Update on COVID in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan

    After initially successful attempts to contain the the COVID-19 virus, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are once again experiencing its rapid spread. What went wrong and what are the prospects for addressing the growing social, economic and humanitarian emergencies in the region?

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