Thomas de Waal

Senior Associate
Carnegie Europe
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De Waal is a senior associate with Carnegie Europe, specializing in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus region.


BA, Balliol College, University of Oxford


English; Russian


Tom de Waal is a senior associate with Carnegie Europe, specializing in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus region.

He is the author of numerous publications about the region. His latest book is Great Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide (Oxford University Press, 2015). He is also the author of the authoritative book on the Nagorny Karabakh conflict, Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan Through Peace and War (NYU Press, second edition 2013), which has been translated into Armenian, Azeri, Russian, and Turkish, and of The Caucasus: An Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2010).

De Waal has worked extensively as a journalist and writer in the Caucasus and Black Sea region and in Russia. From 1993 to 1997, he worked in Moscow for the Moscow Times, the Times of London, and the Economist, specializing in Russian politics and the situation in Chechnya. He is the co-author (with Carlotta Gall) of the book Chechnya: Calamity in the Caucasus (NYU Press, 1997), for which the authors were awarded the James Cameron Prize for Distinguished Reporting.

He has also worked for the BBC and for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, a London-based NGO.

  • Caucasus
    Op-Ed POLITICO Europe May 4, 2016
    Why We Need to Contain the Caucasus Crisis

    Armenia and Azerbaijan are two or three steps away from a Bosnia-style conflict that could be deleterious for the wider region. What can be done to stop that from happening?

  • Strategic Europe April 26, 2016
    Honoring Turkey’s Voice of the Voiceless

    A new English-language biography offers a fresh insight into the inspiring life of the assassinated Armenian-Turkish editor and civil rights leader Hrant Dink.

  • Ukraine; Corruption
    Article April 18, 2016
    Fighting a Culture of Corruption in Ukraine

    To make progress on stamping out corruption, Ukraine requires targeted reform of the powerful institutions that perpetuate corrupt practices, particularly the justice system.

  • Caucasus
    Op-Ed New York Times April 7, 2016
    Solve the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Before It Explodes

    The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict requires more than just shuttle diplomacy. A resolution requires a complex multination peacekeeping operation.

  • Karanakh
    Op-Ed BBC April 3, 2016
    Nagorno-Karabakh’s Cocktail of Conflict Explodes Again

    The unresolved conflict between Armenians and Azerbaijanis has again shown itself to be a tinderbox that can ignite to disastrous effect. The world cannot continue to ignore it.

  • Commentary April 2, 2016 Русский
    Dangerous Days in Karabakh

    The twenty-one-year ceasefire in and around Nagorny Karabakh had been looking very precarious. A tragic outbreak of fighting there could be dangerous for the whole region.

  • Strategic Europe March 15, 2016 Русский
    Fighting Europe’s Monument Wars

    The past can be either sanctified or trivialized. A good policy on monuments needs to navigate between those two extremes.

  • Ukraine
    Strategic Europe February 18, 2016 Русский
    The Odessa Project

    Mikheil Saakashvili, governor of Odessa, promised to make the region a “showcase of reform.” He has yet to make good on that promise.

  • Transnistria; Moldova
    Op-Ed Politico Europe February 16, 2016 Русский
    An Eastern European Frozen Conflict the EU Got Right

    The recent deal sealed with Russia over Transnistria is an example of the EU at its best, operating as a technocratic normative actor and letting trade lead geopolitics.

  • Strategic Europe January 19, 2016 Русский
    Azerbaijan’s Perfect Storm

    Rising prices, a collapsing currency, international turbulence, and a nervous elite. Azerbaijan is starting 2016 in the middle of what looks like a perfect storm.

  • Oxford University Press January 27, 2015
    Great Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide

    Although it is now a century old, the issue of what most of the world calls the Armenian Genocide of 1915 is still a live and divisive issue that mobilizes Armenians across the world, shapes the identity and politics of modern Turkey, and has consumed the attention of U.S. politicians for years.

  • NYU Press July 8, 2013
    Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan Through Peace and War, 10th Year Anniversary Edition

    Nearly 20 years since the 1994 ceasefire, Armenia and Azerbaijan have still failed to resolve their dispute and normalize relations.

  • Oxford University Press September 17, 2010
    The Caucasus: An Introduction

    While the Caucasus is too often treated as a subset of Russian history or as merely a gateway to Asia, it remains an important and combustible region, whose inner dynamics and history deserve a much more complex appreciation from the wider world.

  • KPCC AirTalk April 22, 2015
    Armenians in U.S. Double-take as Obama Balks on Using ‘Genocide’ in Commemoration

    Friday marks the 100th anniversary of the mass killing of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Turks, but President Obama won’t be using the term ‘genocide’ to describe them.

  • WAMU’s Diane Rehm Show April 14, 2015
    A New Chapter in the Century-Old Debate Over the Massacre of Armenians

    Pope Francis reignited a debate that has smoldered for a hundred years: Whether the deaths of more than a million Armenians were caused by a policy of genocide by the Turks.

  • WBEZ January 22, 2014
    Sochi’s Security Threat

    The Sochi Olympics may actually be one of the safest places in Russia, but terrorists could still affect the Olympics by carrying out an attack elsewhere.

  • Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty January 13, 2014
    Armenia, the Eurasian Customs Union, and the Future

    There are still many questions about Armenia’s future in the Russia-led Eurasian Customs Union, as well as the future of the union itself.

  • Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty October 24, 2013
    Georgia’s Presidential Elections

    Georgia elects a new president on October 27, a key moment in the country’s transition to a parliamentary republic.

  • CNN April 27, 2013
    Boston Terror: Behind the Bombings

    The two suspected terrorists were influenced at least indirectly by the Chechen wars which devastated Chechnya. While this was traumatic for most, a small minority have become radicalized.

  • PRI’s The World March 5, 2013
    Why Stalin Remains Popular in Parts of Former Soviet Union

    Stalin is a figure not just of the past, but of the present.

  • BBC World News March 5, 2013
    Remembering Stalin

    The figure of Stalin still provokes many positive reactions in the former Soviet Union.

  • Voice of America February 28, 2013
    Tensions Between Armenia and Azerbaijan

    The situation in the South Caucasus continues to be perilous as leaders of both Armenia and Azerbaijan find themselves increasingly boxed in by domestic political constraints.

  • Worldview October 1, 2012
    Georgia’s Parliamentary Elections

    With the ruling party’s loss to the opposition Georgian Dream coalition, the country’s leading political parties must find a way to share power and enable a peaceful political transition.

  • April 27, 2016 Carnegie Europe
    Fighting Corruption in the EU’s Eastern Neighborhood

    From the East-West standoff in Ukraine to mass migration and its causes, corruption is a surreptitious underlying driver.

  • Ukraine
    February 23, 2016 Carnegie Europe
    Reforming Ukraine: State of the Economy and Anticorruption Effort

    Extensive reform efforts are under way across Ukraine. Yet the country will not stabilize its finances until it addresses what both investors and ordinary citizens care about most—corruption.

  • April 30, 2015 Washington, DC
    After April 24: Where Now for Armenia, Turkey, and the United States?

    For a generation, the issue of the Armenian Genocide has played a role in U.S. domestic politics and has overshadowed U.S.-Turkish relations. On April 24 this year, competing centennial ceremonies in Yerevan of the 1915 Genocide, and in Turkey of the Battle of Gallipoli, will once again highlight the issue on the global stage.

  • Great Catastrophe Q&A
    April 30, 2015
    Great Catastrophe Q&A

    Thomas De Waal participated in a Reddit AMA to discuss his new book, Great Catastrophe.

  • March 17, 2015 Brussels
    Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of 1915

    One century on, the destruction of the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire during World War I is still a live and divisive issue for Armenians and Turks alike.

  • March 10, 2015 Beirut عربي
    The Armenian World, 100 Years After the Genocide

    One hundred years later, the issue of the Armenian Genocide still remains a contentious issue between Armenia and Turkey.

  • January 28, 2015 Washington DC
    Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide

    Although the issue of what most of the world calls the Armenian Genocide of 1915 is now a century old, it is still a live and divisive issue that mobilizes Armenians across the world, shapes the identity and politics of modern Turkey, and has consumed the attention of U.S. politicians for years.

  • November 5, 2014 Washington, DC
    Rising Tensions in the North Caucasus

    The North Caucasus may be out of the headlines, but it remains the most turbulent part of the Russian Federation.

  • September 24, 2014 Washington, DC
    Trends in Armenia’s Politics

    Armenia has not been immune to the recent turmoil affecting the post-Soviet space and this summer saw the worst flare-up on the Line of Contact between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces since 1994.

  • February 12, 2014 Washington, DC
    Georgia’s Conflicts: A New Approach to Reconciliation

    Despite an improvement in relations since 2012, Georgia and Russia remain at odds over the breakaway territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.


Areas of Expertise

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
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