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The dismemberment of the Soviet Union prompted a very unstable decade of decline for Russia, and generated numerous conflicts in the post-Soviet space. Russia regained influence at global and, chiefly, regional level from 2000, after Vladimir Putin became president and the price of hydrocarbons rose. Arguably, energy policy played an essential role. The South Caucasus, where three secessionist conflicts took place, leading to Russian political, diplomatic and military intervention, was crucialdoi:10.4119/unibi/ijcv.464 fatcat:dkhcnduzvjfrdb5aqrkhdk2cay