ASRIE Analytica: our 2020 in review

Our organisation wants to celebrate the last year of activities with our friends, partners, sponsors, and followers with the hope of beginning the next year with the same commitment. Although 2020 was an uncommon year because of the pandemic, ASRIE Analytica has improved its activities and projects and affirmed its presence in Italy and abroad.

The beginning of 2020 was marked by the establishment of ASRIE Analytica (a project which has inherited the previous experience of the Association of Studies, Research, and Internationalisation in Eurasia and Africa) whose purpose is to guide people in the intrinsic and complex contemporary world through geopolitics and Intelligence analysis. We decided to start this new adventure because we wanted to support the decision-making process and transform current events into valuable Intelligence (We are honoured to announce the beginning of ASRIE Analytica).

Open Source Intelligence training courses

During the last year, we have organised three different Open Source Intelligence training course with the purpose of promoting this discipline among young researchers, scholars, journalists, analysts, and those people who were interested in security and analysis (Corso base in Open Source Intelligence a Dicembre; Corso in Open Source Intelligence online a Settembre; Corso Open Source Intelligence e Geopolitica Online). Our duty to promoting Open Source Intelligence and creating a community of experts and analysts will continue the next year because we are planning to organise new training course and workshops (basic and advanced level) for the national and foreign markets.

Our Intelligence analysis and monitoring activities

The pandemic marked 2020 and several media agencies, thin tanks, Intelligence agencies have covered this topic from different perspectives. From our point of view, Covid19 allowed Beijing to defeat the West and create unexpected chaos in the European democracies which have demonstrated their inability and incapacity to contrast the virus and manage the socioeconomic impact (Covid-19: how China defeated the West; Quella ‘casualità’ chiamata Coronavirus per la politica interna ed estera della Cina).  Although Covid19 was under the spotlight for the entire year, we decided to cover those significant events which have changed or might change the geopolitical balance and the field of international relations.

The map shows some of the main events which ASRIE Analytica monitored and analysed in 2020.

For this reason, since the beginning of 2020, we have monitored the situation in Belarus focusing the attention on Moscow-Minsk disagreement on oil supplies and the local political dynamics. According to our geopolitical model, Belarus is one of the battlegrounds (the others are Nagorno-Karabakh, Transnistria, Donbas, and Kyrgyzstan) where the West has challenged the Russian Federation in 2020 trying to undermine Moscow’s foreign policy in the blizhnee zarubezhie (near abroad) (Political crisis in Kyrgyzstan). The destabilisation of these areas has also created the opportunity for Beijing to affirm its economic and financial presence in those market considered strategic for the Belt and Road Initiative (Lo scontro Russia – Bielorussia e la ‘corsa al petrolio’; Raffreddamento dei rapporti Mosca-Minsk: arrestati 33 contractors russi in Bielorussia; Why Belarus matters now? Minsk-Moscow crisis and the opportunities for EU and China ).

The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh has been one of our priorities since the beginning of our activities because the confrontation between Armenia and Azerbaijan to control this area has always had the potentiality to destabilise the entire Caucasus, a region which plays a fundamental role in the EU Energy Security Strategy. In September we witnessed the resumption of the conflict which ended with the victory of Azerbaijan, the consequential internal political crisis in Armenia, and the affirmation of the Russian Federation as the most active and significant key player in the Caucasus (Tensioni Armenia – Azerbaigian, stabilità del Caucaso meridionale e dinamiche geopolitiche; The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict might destabilise the entire Eurasian region; Nagorno-Karabakh: and the winner is… Russia).

The events in the Caucasus and Central Asia are connected with the geopolitical importance of Eurasia as Mackinder’s Heartland and Spykman’s Rimland theories highlighted. When we monitored Eurasia we deeply studied the sociopolitical and economic situation of Afghanistan because since 2001 in this country the international coalition forces led by the United States have fought a prolonged war against the Taliban (Taliban attacks increased in Afghanistan in the last quarter of 2019). Our analysis, meetings, and interviews with Afghan representatives or regional experts have underlined the inefficacy of the US-Taliban peace deal (Washington signed a deal with the Taliban, but this is not the end of the war) and how dangerous for the future Afghan stability is the reduction of US military presence in the country. Despite the fact that terrorist attacks are still threatening the stability of the country and the current socio-economic development hugely depends on foreign direct investments (FDIs), Afghanistan might be considered a ‘land of opportunities’ because of its geopolitical position in the middle of the Asian continent and linked to different regional and international markets and the potentiality of some economic sectors such as agriculture and mining (Afghanistan today: security status and possible future development. Meeting with H.E. Helena Malikyar the Ambassador of Afghanistan to Italy; Afghanistan today between terrorism and geopolitics: interview with Jill Suzanne Kornetsky).

We did not forget the impact of terrorism and jihadist propaganda in the international arena. Since the beginning of Covid19  crisis governments and agencies strived to find a solution to contrast the spread of the virus forgetting how negatively terrorist organisations can affect our society.  In reality, terrorism still represents a serious threat in our daily life and the terrorist attacks that occurred in France underlined the fact that we still need to counter this problem (Terrorist attack in France and the Chechen diaspora in Europe).

Our official visit abroad and events

Due to lockdowns and movement restrictions during the entire 2020 was not easy to organise official visits abroad even though we managed to travel to Ukraine to evaluate the country after more than one year of Zelenksy’s presidential election.  Our work and analysis on the ground underlined that corruption is still one of the biggest challenges in the post-Soviet republic, the West support is essential in the Ukrainian-Russian confrontation over the Donbas because Kyiv government looks at the European Union and NATO as the solution of its domestic and international problems, Covid19 has highlighted socio-economic problems, and the country is experiencing a sort of ‘Russophobia’ which might exacerbate the cohabitation between the ethnic-Russians and the Ukrainians (Ucraina tra sogno europeo, problemi socioeconomici e scontro con Mosca: report da Kiev).

In Kiyv “Yevorpeiska ploshcha” (The European Square) highlights the importance of the European Union and NATO in the national strategic communication.

We might continue to list our analysis and monitoring reports for long because 2020 was a productive year which allowed our organisation to publish four volumes of our magazine Geopolitical Reportattend several online meetings, conferences, and events and continue our collaboration with international scholars and experts in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Psychological Security (The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence and International Psychological Security; Artificial Intelligence and International Psychological Security: report from STRATCOM-2020).

ASRIE Analytica would like to thank our followers, partners, sponsors, analysts for their support. Our team wish you an enjoyable and prosperous 2021!


If you want to contact our team to discuss possible cooperation or request information on our activities and services, please send an e-mail at info@asrie.org