Eastern Europe / Features

Belarus announces next stage in “surprise inspection” of its armed forces

bne IntelliNews May 24, 2022

Lukashenko’s attempt to save face via mixed messages of peace and increased threats of war with the West and Ukraine haven’t got him very far and many Belarusians are more than eager to bring the fight to Lukashenko.

Anthems of victory: How Ukraine is winning the online culture war

Social media correspondent Dominic Culverwell May 20, 2022

Whilst all eyes are on Donbas as Russia continues its devastating invasion of Ukraine, another war is being fought on our TVs, phones and computers: the culture war. From the start, Ukraine has been quick to establish the cultural narrative.

Western sanctions block $16bn-$18bn worth of Belarusian exports

bne IntelliNews May 19, 2022

Belarus' prime minister said that Western sanctions had blocked almost all the country's exports to the EU and North America.

Just another day in Ukraine's hell

Neil Hauer in Lysychansk May 18, 2022

Ukrainian refugees seek shelter from heavy shelling in a school's basement as Russian troops grind ever closer.

Nordic Nato accession set to reinforce Baltic states' security

Linas Jegelevicius in Vilnius May 16, 2022

The accession of Finland and Sweden to Nato will transform the picture in the Baltic region but more military deployments are still needed, argue Baltic experts.

What's behind Belarus' latest troops movements along the border with Ukraine?

bne IntelliNews May 13, 2022

While Belarus' latest troop increases along the border with Ukraine have worried many, these actions should be seen in the light of Lukashenko's aim of de-escalating tensions with the West while showing loyalty to Putin.

EBRD 2022: Food security in times of crisis

Ben Aris in Marrakech May 12, 2022

The war in Ukraine has sent prices for food soaring, and they were already high due to the coronavirus pandemic. Even if peace returns tomorrow, prices for grain are likely to remain elevated for the foreseeable future.

Georgians take up arms against Russia in Ukraine

Giorgi Lomsadze for Eurasianet May 10, 2022

Georgians make up the most prominent contingent of foreign fighters in Ukraine. At least nine have been killed.

“A war of two worldviews”: Zelenskiy and Putin trade barbs in Victory Day speeches

Theo Normanton May 9, 2022

The Presidents of Ukraine and Russia used their Victory Day speeches to draw parallels between the war in Ukraine and WWII, but Zelenskiy emphasised that Russia and Ukraine are now different countries.

Belarus' looming economic crisis

bne IntelliNews May 8, 2022

The Belarusian regime is expanding the state authorities' grip on the economy to manage the sanctions pressure. However, this may have inverse effects.

Perspectives | Does a Russian bank merit a sanctions waiver for Central Asia?

Maximilian Hess for EurasiaNet May 5, 2022

Transkapitalbank has requested the US Treasury let it continue to operate in Central Asia.

Russian fertility rates fall to record lows on the back of a deteriorating economy and sanctions pressure

Ben Aris in Berlin May 4, 2022

The decline in the size of Russia’s population is accelerating, driven by a combination of the arrival of the demographic dip caused by the 1990s and one of the lowest fertility rates in the world.

The likely impact of EU sanctions on Russian oil imports

Jennifer DeLay May 4, 2022

The EU is mulling proposals for introducing a formal embargo on Russian oil imports, and Russia is already well-versed in embargo evasion techniques.

Dark days for Belarusian potash

bne IntelliNews May 3, 2022

Sanctions are taking its toll on the Belarusian economy, and its making some of the world's largest potash fertiliser importers rethink their trade-dependence on the post-Soviet nation.

The energy war with Russia escalates as Europe searches for ways to cut off Russian oil imports

Ben Aris in Berlin April 29, 2022

Can Europe cut off supplies of Russian oil? If it does, how can it replace imports of Russian crude? Can Russia switch and sell its oil to other markets such as in Asia? Is there enough demand in new markets to absorb all the Russian oil?

Russia on fire: Is Ukraine giving Moscow a taste of its own medicine?

Dominic Culverwell in Berlin, Theo Normanton in Moscow April 29, 2022

A decade-long secret war is reaching its boiling point as mysterious explosions ripple throughout the Russian Federation.

Serbia’s pro-Russian media turn on Putin

bne IntelliNews April 28, 2022

Russia risks losing one of its last remaining European friends after President Vladimir Putin hints Moscow may drop support for Serbia on Kosovo issue.

INVESTIGATION: New evidence raises questions over the EU’s decision to sanction Russian oligarch Usmanov’s sister

Ben Aris in Berlin April 28, 2022

On April 8 the EU added Saodat Narzieva, the sister of Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov, to the personal sanctions list after Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), claimed she controls 27 Swiss accounts holding more than $2bn.

Kremlin ‘attack dog’ unsettles Kazakhs who fear Russia’s territorial ambitions

bne IntelIiNews April 28, 2022

Talk show anchor who suggested Kazakhstan might suffer same fate as Ukraine prompts memories of Vladimir Putin once stating that historically “the Kazakhs never had statehood”.

Kazakh businesses reliant on Russia for re-exports wary of knock-on effects of war sanctions

Nizom Khodjayev in Almaty April 27, 2022

Traders in Kazakhstan, meanwhile, see opportunities in building up re-exports to the Russian market.