Vladimir Pachkov, SJ

Teaches at the St. Thomas Theological Institute in Moscow


Turkmenistan is one of the most mysterious countries in the world. The reason is simple: it is not easily accessible to outsiders. Although the history of civilization in the region of present-day Turkmenistan is almost as old as that of the agricultural centers of the Middle East, the Turkmen tribes – who would later come… Read the full article


“Russia needs to be frozen”: these words, which are attributed to a 19th century thinker and also to a government official, best express the current intentions of those wielding power and of conservative ideologues in Russia. During the inauguration of a monument dedicated to Czar Alexander III – who on March 13, 1881, had succeeded… Read the full article


Will there be a union of all Turkic peoples? For the first time in the 100-year history of the Turkish Republic, restoration of past greatness has become the policy of the Turkish government.[1] The failure of integration with Europe makes the idea of a new “empire” very attractive. Alongside the neo-Ottoman idea that focuses on… Read the full article


Cultural roots of a confrontation After the end of the Soviet Union, both the pro-Western Russian elite and the vast majority of the population harbored the hope of becoming part of the Western community, or rather, of becoming part of Europe again, after having traveled their own path since the October Revolution. There was a… Read the full article


“The term ‘moderate Islam’ is being used again. It was invented by the West. There is no moderate or radical Islam; there is only Islam. Use of this term is intended to weaken  Islam” (Turkish President Recep Erdoğan). “The Prophet showed us the way according to his ‘hadith’ and says that it is worthy of… Read the full article


The armed conflict in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, which broke out again this year, is only the latest in a dispute with a centuries-long history. I want to examine the genesis of this conflict and its historical background, without going into the current situation, which is constantly changing and well reported by the media. Since… Read the full article


When it was announced in April 2020 that the German authorities had arrested four Tajik citizens who were planning an attack on an American military base in Germany,[1] many wondered: “Where did these people come from? What country is this? Is it yet another hotbed of Islamic terrorism?” These are not the questions we will… Read the full article


In his book on Central Asia’s golden age, Lost Enlightenment, Stephen Frederick Starr recounts an event that occurred during the civil war in Tajikistan in the 1990s.[1] One day, in Dushanbe, the country’s capital, Starr was crossing one of the city’s central streets when he saw some government soldiers with a brand new flag. He… Read the full article

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