Kazakhstan: Low election turnout tempers talk of political reset

Almaz Kumenov for Eurasianet March 21, 2023

Only one in four voters in Almaty, the country's largest city, cast their ballot.

All to play for in Russian-Chinese backyard

bne IntelIiNews March 21, 2023

Russia and China will struggle for common policy on possible Russian soft underbelly Central Asia, Afghanistan, Mongolia, the vital Europe/Asia Caucasus crossroads, the Baltics, CEE and SEE.

TBC Bank looks to Uzbekistan for growth

bne IntelIiNews March 20, 2023

Georgia's leading bank is expanding its international operations and investing in cutting-edge banking technologies.

Mongolian herders’ lives out of ‘steppe’ with global economic realities

Antonio Graceffo in Ulaanbaatar March 17, 2023

Pandemic and Ukraine war impacts bring hardship that makes battle to subsist outside of the city a gruelling challenge.

Demining Ukraine: "The most important thing is to protect people"

Dominic Culverwell in London March 17, 2023

Ukraine is the most mine-contaminated country on Earth. Red warning signs bearing skulls and crossbones litter the fields and forests of liberated territories.

A fresh face and dirty games in Montenegro’s presidential election

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia March 16, 2023

Longstanding ruler Milo Djukanovic is fighting off challenges from newcomer Europe Now’s candidate Jakov Milatovic and pro-Russian Andrija Mandic.

Has Southeast Europe come of age as an investment destination?

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 15, 2023

The Western Balkan countries are following the path established by Central Europe that emerged as a prominent manufacturing and services hub early in the transition period.

Volunteers tackle Ukraine's food poverty crisis

Dominic Culverwell in London March 14, 2023

The Russian invasion has caused a poverty crisis in Ukraine and the most vulnerable citizens are struggling with basic necessities, particularly food.

Combined economic and political pressure push Serbia towards sanctions decision

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 14, 2023

As economic and political pressure on Serbia to join Western sanctions on Russia grow, Serbian Economy Minister Rade Basta took the unexpected step of calling for Belgrade to impose sanctions.

The wheels are coming off Russia’s banking sector

Jason Corcoran in Dublin March 14, 2023

From March, Russians struggling to make ends meet will be able to take “credit holidays” for mortgages, consumer loans and credit card bills.

Turkey cuts trade ties with Russia, Hungary to “rethink” relationship as Western pressure to end sanctions-busting mounts

Ben Aris in Berlin March 12, 2023

Turkey has abruptly stopped exporting goods to Russia and one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s strongest advocates in Europe, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, has said that he might “rethink” his relations with Russia in the future.

Russian oligarch Fridman sells out of Alfa Bank that made him rich

Ben Aris in Berlin March 10, 2023

Alfa Bank is a doyen of the Russian banking sector, a well spring of trained talent in the 1990s that did “real” banking business at a time when most oligarchs’ banks were either “bank-like” institutions or glorified treasury operators.

Awkward embrace as Iran and Saudi Arabia seal deal on restoring relations brokered by China

bne IntelIiNews March 10, 2023

Agreement could have implications on reviving nuclear deal and could even help build ties between Moscow, Beijing, Tehran and Riyadh.

Central Asia’s poorest farmers know the value of their land

bne IntelIiNews March 10, 2023

Farmland and pastures across the region are far less productive after decades of monocropping.

Moldovans turn to tourism and online sex work to make ends meet

James C Pearce in Moscow March 10, 2023

Moldova is often painted as small, struggling and stuck between the East and West. Its tourism industry was no different, at least until 2020. It has since borne the brunt of three global crises and has the battle scars to show for it.

Czech President Milos Zeman: a populist tragedy of our times

Robert Anderson in Prague March 9, 2023

The Kremlin-backing head of state, who left office this week, is widely seen as without question the worst Czech president since the restoration of democracy in 1989.

Outgunned Ukrainian soldiers near Bakhmut wait for more Western ammo

Guillaume Ptak in Bakhmut March 9, 2023

With Ukraine firing more than 5,000 artillery rounds each day by some estimates, ammunition for the country's artillery systems is running low, despite the country inheriting massive stocks of 155mm shells following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Incoming Czech President Petr Pavel marks clean break from Zeman's 10-year rule

Albin Sybera, Robert Anderson March 8, 2023

Pavel’s record election victory has widely been seen as a blow to the powerful populist trend in Central Europe, epitomised in the Czech Republic by Zeman and his ally, opposition leader Andrej Babis.

Bomb hoaxes disrupt education and daily life in North Macedonia

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje March 8, 2023

Thousands of fake bomb threats linked by officials to Ukraine war have disturbed the everyday lives of North Macedonia’s citizens for months, with schools being the main targets.

The endless battle for Bakhmut

Neil Hauer in Chasiv Yar March 8, 2023

Civilian life still continues in Chasiv Yar, a few kilometres from Bakhmut, the fortress city that has become Ukraine's Stalingrad.