Eastern Europe / Features

Belarus Corruption Watch: Lukashenko’s Shadow Diplomacy

bne IntelliNews November 24, 2022

Belarus is one of the world’s largest hubs for “Shadow Diplomacy”, where foreign countries employ businessmen to further their business interests with the regime. Similarly, Belarus is also engaged in its fair share of shadow diplomacy abroad.

Is the Kremlin betting on Wildberries to consolidate e-commerce as foreign players exit Russia?

bne IntelIiNews November 23, 2022

After a hugely successful couple of years, Wildberries dominates the Russian e-commerce market. bne IntelliNews looks into the company's rise and its prospects for further growth as foreign competitors pull out of Russia.

Belarus plans to modernise its agricultural industry

bne IntelliNews November 23, 2022

Belarus is planning to modernise its agricultural sector, which could help it keep its comparative advantage. However, sanctions are looming.

Ukraine faces one of worst declines in GDP from a war, says EBRD

Robert Anderson in London November 22, 2022

The contraction in Ukraine’s GDP will be among the worst 10-20% of those in conflicts in the last 200 years, the development bank predicts in its 2022/23 Transition Report.

Europe woos Central Asia as Russia’s appeal wanes

Joanna Lillis for Eurasianet November 21, 2022

EU’s foreign policy chief is latest high-level Western official to visit Central Asia.

Russia’s imports recover as trade pivots to the east

Ben Aris in Berlin November 20, 2022

Russia’s imports crashed after the invasion of Ukraine in February as Western trade partners simply cut supplies to the country off while around 1,000 firms promised to pull out altogether. Now they are recovering fast.

Kherson's liberated villages start to revive after horrors of occupation

Neil Hauer in Velika Okeksandrivka November 18, 2022

Amid the ruins of their houses, Ukrainian villagers recall the Russian invasion and Moscow's retreat in some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

World population hits 8bn. Where do we go from here?

bne IntelIiNews November 15, 2022

Greying of populations big dilemma for developed countries. Share of people on planet aged 65 years or above projected to rise from 10% now to 16% in 2050.

DON: Why Russia is withdrawing across the Dnipro now

Gav Don in Edinburgh November 11, 2022

The withdrawal goes back to the unanswered question of what was Moscow’s original objective on February 24, and why did it take the Kherson bridgehead in the first place?

How sanctions and government policies are strangling Belarusian growth

bne IntelliNews November 11, 2022

Sanctions, inflation rates and government policies have been (and still are) restraining Belarus’ industrial output and the domestic market’s expansion this year. The effects are clearly reflected in the increase in stocks of finished goods.

INTERVIEW: How to sue the world's most powerful paramilitary organisation, the Wagner Group

Dominic Culverwell in Oxford November 11, 2022

Outraged at Moscow’s virulent invasion, the British legal firm McCue Jury & Partners decided to launch a claim on behalf of Ukrainian refugees undergoing psychiatric care in the United Kingdom.

Russia’s VTB brings down the curtains in London on its “100+year history”

Jason Corcoran in Dublin November 9, 2022

VTB, the Kremlin’s second-largest bank, has brought down the curtains on “the final chapter” in its “100+year history” in the City of London, according to its latest regulatory filing.

Russian military activity in Belarus and Putin's hopes for bringing his ally into the conflict

bne IntelliNews November 9, 2022

Russia could form new strike groups to attempt another offensive from Belarusian territory in 2-3 months, according to one Ukrainian military official.

Ukraine fatigue builds, but Western support for Kyiv unlikely to falter soon

Ben Aris in Peterborough November 8, 2022

“Ukraine fatigue” among Kyiv’s Western allies is building as the war drags on, fuelling both a cost of living crisis and an energy crisis, but Western aid to the embattled country is still far from halting.

The Black Sea grain deal is about to expire. What is at stake for Africa?

Marco Cacciati in Berlin November 8, 2022

On October 29, Russia pulled out of the landmark “Black Sea Initiative” grain deal, brokered by the UN and Turkey last July, only to rejoin a few days later. However, the deal is set to expire soon, and its extension is uncertain.

Eurasian central bank governors battling inflation with mixed success

Ben Aris In Samarkand November 7, 2022

Inflation appears to be under control in Uzbekistan and to have peaked in Georgia and Armenia, but with prices still rising in Kazakhstan the regulator is ready to raise rates “as much as necessary,” the countries' central bank governors said.

IEA warns of major gas supply-demand gap in Europe next year

bne IntelliNews November 7, 2022

It now looks increasingly likely that Europe will make it through this coming winter with sufficient gas supply. But the International Energy Agency has warned of a 30bn cubic metre supply-demand gap next year in its latest analysis.

Ryanair Flight FR4978 and the beginning of the end for Belarusian flagship SOEs

bne IntelliNews November 7, 2022

The Ryan air incident of 2021 could be seen as a sort of prelude to what’s happening to the Belarusian economy today. Many other Belarusian SOEs struggling today are already (or will soon be) facing a similar fate.