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Yemen, from the Arab Spring to military intervention

On March 3, 2021, 2021 the School of International Regional Studies of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, HSE University, together with the Russian Middle East Association within the framework of the permanent online seminar «Contemporary area studies», organized the  meeting dedicated to the 10th anniversary of Arab Spring with with political scientist, RIAC expert, Al-Monitor columnist Kirill Semenov.

The seminar was moderated by Sadygzade Murad - President of the Russian Middle East Association, Assistant Head of the School of International Regional Studies at the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, HSE University. 

Kirill Semenov has mentioned in his speech that «Arab Spring» in Yemen was expected. Moreover, the revolution in Yemen was not spontaneous. As the expert said, behind each action there was a certain political force that coordinated all the processes that took place. 

The beginning of the revolution in Yemen is considered to be the Houthi uprising in January 2011. At first, the events covered the provinces, and then spread to the city of Sanaa. As it known, Ali Abdullah Saleh was in a difficult situation and did not put down the uprising. At that time, all the decisions were in the hands of administrative resource. It was the stepbrother of the Head of the State. Subsequent developments in Yemen led to the Houthis seizing the city of Sanaa without a fight, and the country once again experienced a crisis. 

As the experts noticed, the situation was conducive to the parties being able to reach a compromise, but the external influence has played its role. It was the military intervention that brought Yemen to its present situation. 

Kirill Semenov stressed that almost 80% of Yemen’s population is still dying because of hunger. The number of victims exceeds more than 100 thousand people. The situation is complicated by the fact that the mechanisms of humanitarian support are weak in the region, as there is a confrontation between coalitions. 

The expert also paid attention to the Russian attitude to the Yemen’s conflict. When the intervention began, Russia maintained its representation in Sanaa and continued to maintain relations with the Houthis. The crucial thing is that conflict has the peripheral nature. That is why countries are not so interested in these uprisings. 

Kirill Semenov answered all the participant ’s questions. 

The link to the video: https://youtu.be/jc3_J4CaEhs