Thomas de Waal

Nonresident Senior Associate
Carnegie Europe
De Waal is a nonresident 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 nonresident 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.

  • Commentary November 6, 2015 Русский
    Trepidation at Georgia’s TV Takeover

    The Georgian government’s move to take over Rustavi-2 television drags the country further into the politics of vendetta.

  • Op-Ed EurAsia Daily October 26, 2015 Русский
    Armenia and Azerbaijan May Play the Karabakh Card

    The situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone grows more tense. What should the sparring parties and the mediators do to come closer to a resolution?

  • UK
    Op-Ed POLITICO Europe October 19, 2015 Русский
    Lessons From a No-Longer Top Nation

    As America grapples with its place in the world, there are lessons to be drawn from Britain.

  • Caucasus
    Op-Ed Politico Europe October 11, 2015 Русский
    Losing Control in the Caucasus

    Russia’s involvement in a conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is likely to do more harm than good.

  • Putin
    Op-Ed POLITICO Magazine October 2, 2015 中文
    What Is Putin Really Up To in Syria?

    Russia may be using the pretense of combating the self-proclaimed Islamic State to justify its air strikes in Syria, but its true objectives are up for debate.

  • Commentary September 30, 2015
    The Still-Topical Tagliavini Report

    Many people are trying to rewrite the history of the 2008 Georgia-Russia War in the light of the Ukraine crisis. The EU’s report on the war is still a useful baseline and a reminder of how different the two conflicts are.

  • Op-Ed National Interest July 9, 2015
    The New Siege of Crimea

    Western sanctions on Crimea are hurting locals and empowering the Kremlin.

  • Commentary June 18, 2015
    Sochi Revisited in Baku?

    Baku’s European Games may be following a pattern set by the Sochi Olympics. The end result of the games is likely to be an even less pro-European and pro-Western Azerbaijan.

  • Commentary June 16, 2015
    In Memoriam: Alexander Rondeli

    Alexander Rondeli passed away on June 12th, 2015. He was a Georgian political scientist, policy advisor, commentator, and founder of the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies. Eugene Rumer and Thomas de Waal join Rondelia's many friends and colleagues in expressing their condolences.

  • Commentary June 2, 2015
    Misha Takes Over Odessa

    The sensational appointment of Mikheil Saakashvili to run Odessa will shake up both Ukraine and Georgia.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • January 24, 2014 Washington, DC
    Roundtable on Government Crisis in Turkey

    Upcoming elections will be a test of Prime Minister Erdoğan’s continued political strength, which has been shaken by a major corruption scandal, an increasingly vocal opposition, and mounting economic challenges.

  • November 18, 2013 Washington, DC
    Turkey’s Energy Strategy: Weathering Uncertainties

    A regional conflict in Syria and a fast-expanding economy are pushing Turkey to embrace new energy strategies, focusing on new technologies and a realignment of partnerships.


Areas of Expertise

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
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