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Simon Saradzhyan

Mailing address

One Brattle Square 525
79 John F. Kennedy St, Mailbox 134
Cambridge, MA, 02138

Simon Saradzhyan

Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Contact:
Telephone: 617-496-8228
Fax: 617-496-0606
Email: simon_saradzhyan@hks.harvard.edu

 

Experience

Simon Saradzhyan is assistant director of the U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism and a research fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center. His research interests include international arms control,  counter-terrorism, foreign, defense, and security policies of Russia and other post-Soviet states and their relations with great powers.

Prior to joining the Belfer Center, Saradzhyan worked as a researcher for East West Institute and as a consultant for the United Nations and World Bank.

Simon has also worked as deputy editor of the Moscow Times and as Moscow correspondent for Defense News. He has contributed scores of articles to other publications, ranging from the Times of London to Space News, earning certificate of merit from the commander of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces for his coverage of Russia's military affairs.

As an editor, he led coverage of such dramatic events in Russia, as the Dubrovka and Beslan-hostage taking crises. As a reporter, Simon has covered a number of milestone security events in Russia on the ground, including the October 1993 coup and the 1999 apartment bombings in Moscow.

Saradzhyan is the author of a number of papers on arms control and security, including "Russia's Non-strategic Nuclear Weapons in Their Current Configuration and Posture: A Strategic Asset or Liability?" and "Russia's Support for Zero: Tactical Move or Long-term Commitment?" and published by the Belfer Center;"Russia: Grasping Reality of Nuclear Terror," published in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science; "Russia's System to Combat Terrorism and Its Application in Chechnya" published in the "National Counter-Terrorism Strategies" of NATO Security through Science Series; and "La Guerra Olvidada de Chechenia" (Forgotten War in Chechnya,) published in La Vanguardia Dossier Quarterly.

Saradzhyan has presented his research at  numerous conferences, such as the European Union Institute for Security Studies' annual conference and the EastWest Institute's annual Worldwide Security Conference. In his capacity as an expert, Saradzhyan has appeared on BBC, CBS, NPR, AP and Reuters television as well as on Russian radio and television stations.

Simon co-founded and served as the first president of Harvard Club of Russia in 2004-2006.

Saradzhyan earned a Masters in Public Administration the John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2002.

 

 

By Date

 

2014

AP Images

August 12, 2014

"Cornering Putin Could Backfire"

Op-Ed, Boston Globe

By Gary Samore, Executive Director for Research, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

The Ukrainian army has made significant gains against pro-Russian separatists in recent weeks, forcing the rebels to retreat to pockets around Donetsk and Luhansk. Victory seems to be within the Ukrainian soldiers’ grasp, but can it be attained and will it last?

 

 

AP

July 25, 2014

Why Hopes of Putin's Unconditional Surrender Could Prove to Be Futile

Op-Ed, Moscow Times

By Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

With almost a week past the tragic crashing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over eastern Ukraine, it is becoming clear that whatever initial hopes Western leaders might have had — that Russia’s Vladimir Putin can be shamed or coerced into unconditionally throwing the pro-Russian rebels under the bus — are futile. There is hope, however, that both the conflicting sides and their supporters will sit down to negotiate a sustainable resolution to the conflict which threatens the foundations of Europe’s already fragile system of collective security.

 

 

June 16, 2014

The U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism Newsletter: March-May 2014

Newsletter

By Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

IPNT Participants Urge U.S and Russia to Continue Cooperating on Nuclear Security and Counter-Terrorism In Spite of Ukraine Crisis;  Matthew Bunn Highlights Insider Threats; Belfer Center Offers Policy Recommendations for Nuclear Security Summit;  and Elbe Group Calls for Continuation of Joint Actions on Preventing Nuclear Terrorism; and more.

 

 

April 16, 2014

How Russia's Red Line in Ukraine Got Real

Op-Ed, Russia Direct

By Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

In 2008, Kiev was actively pushing to integrate Ukraine into the West not only economically and politically, but also militarily. And yet Russia didn't intervene. So what's changed between now and then?

 

 

April 6, 2014

Comparing Crimean Apples with Georgian Oranges

Op-Ed, Moscow Times

By Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Comparing a covert operation conducted by special forces in Crimea against an adversary that chose not to fight with a larger-scale military campaign, which involved mostly regular units and intensive military-to-military fighting, such as the 2008 Russian-Georgian war, is like comparing Crimean apples with Georgian oranges.

 

 

March 24, 2014

Doku Umarov Is Finally Dead

Op-Ed, Moscow Times

By Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Russia's most wanted terrorist Doku Umarov is dead after all. His death must have been a tangible setback for the insurgency in the North Caucasus. After all, Umarov was the founding emir of the Emirate Caucasus, which serves as the umbrella organization for many Islamist militant and terrorist groups operating in the North Caucasus and seeks to build a caliphate in this volatile region. He was also the last living prominent warlord who had occupied commanding positions in both of the Chechen Wars.

 

 

March 21, 2014

Putin's Long Game

Op-Ed, The National Interest

By Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Anyone with good knowledge of the post-Soviet neighborhood and time to think things through should have guessed that Russia would have acted to prevent the interim government of Ukraine from decisively anchoring their country to the West. The separation of Crimea could be just the Kremlin’s first move in what Vladimir Putin rightly sees as a long game.

 

 

March 13, 2014

The U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism Newsletter: December 2013 - February 2014

Newsletter

By Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Siegfried Hecker Honored For Commitment to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism; William Tobey Briefed Nuclear Security Summit Sherpas; Vladimir Dvorkin Participates in Luxemburg Forum Meeting;Graham Allison Briefs Senior Executives on Nuclear Terrorism and more.

 

 

March 12, 2014

Stand-off in Crimea: Cui Bono?

Op-Ed, Power & Policy Blog

By Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

It seems there has been no Russia watcher left in the world who has not opined on Vladimir Putin’s swift and not so covert moves in the Crimea, pondering: “who’s to blame and what to do?”  In times like these it is also as customary for analysts of international affairs to wonder “to whose benefit?” Yet this question remains open even though some of the Western diplomats are already calling the current standoff the biggest crisis in Europe of the 21st century.

 

 

February 25, 2014

"Does Russia Really Need Ukraine?"

Op-Ed, The National Interest

By Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

As the triumphant soldiers of Ukraine’s protest movement savor their victory on the streets and squares of Kiev, their commanders probably can’t help wondering how the Kremlin will respond to the ouster of Ukraine’s ‘pro-Russian’ president Viktor Yanukovych. Vladimir Putin has condemned the forceful seizure of power in Ukraine and suspended promised purchase of Ukrainian bonds. But the question remains: will Russia’s strongman get actively involved in the chaos of Ukrainian politics as he did back during the previous Ukrainian evolution when he rallied for Yanukovych?

 

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