Features

Russian focus on Severodonetsk leaves Kherson susceptible to Ukrainian counter-offensives

Dominic Culverwell in Berlin June 2, 2022

Russia’s intense focus on capturing cities in Eastern Ukraine, particularly the major assault on Severodonetsk, has left Russian troops vulnerable to Ukrainian counter-offensives in the Kherson region.

Kyrgyzstan’s big-dollar deal with newbie Chinese company raises questions

Eurasianet May 31, 2022

Bishkek is pinning its industrial hopes on a small Chinese company with no past. The opaque arrangement reflects how Kyrgyzstan’s government does business.

Russian forces in Donbas push Ukraine troops to the limit

Neil Hauer southeast of Bakhmut May 30, 2022

Moscow is now making steady progress in Donbas, bne IntelliNews’ correspondent reports from outside Bakhmut, the latest target of the Russian offensive.

Ukrainian refugees in Poland to lift economy but will not cure demographic woes

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw May 30, 2022

Poland has long struggled with a huge undersupply of labour, but while the influx of 1.5mn Ukrainians will meet the needs of sectors, the impact will be uneven.

Russian banking business starts to return to normal but sanctions headaches persist

Ben Aris in Berlin May 29, 2022

By the end of April the acute phase of the crisis induced by the start of the war in Ukraine was clearly coming to an end. The financial system had a shock but fast action by the CBR prevented a crisis.

Three landmark legal verdicts strengthen LGBTI rights in Southeast Europe

bne IntelliNews May 28, 2022

Despite growing anti-LGBTI rhetoric from politicians across Europe, courts in Bosnia, Bulgaria and Croatia issued rulings reinforcing protection for the rights of LGBTI people.

Russia seeks ‘new Mariupol’ in the Donbas

Meduza May 26, 2022

Since mid-April, Russia has focused on capturing the Donbas. In the last week it seems as if Ukraine’s leadership is preparing the nation for a major defeat.

EU’s credibility on the line over enlargement

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow May 26, 2022

Austria’s foreign minister calls enlargement the EU’s biggest geopolitical instrument – but will member states use it to encourage candidates and would-be candidates at the upcoming EU Council?

Explainer | Why Tajikistan’s Pamiris don’t trust their government

Bruce Pannier for Eurasianet May 25, 2022

Dushanbe wants obedience but treats the region as something to be exploited and ignored.

Meet the latest Russian tycoon to be promoted to the Premier League

bne IntelIiNews May 25, 2022

AFC Bournemouth won promotion to the Premier League this season. The club has seen remarkable success since it was bought by Russian petrochemicals trader Maxim Demin, but its owner is yet to give any interviews in English.

Ruble falls to below RUB60/$1, putting pressure on the Russian budget in 2022

Ben Aris in Berlin May 24, 2022

Russia’s ruble continued to rally strongly, dropping below the psychologically important RUB60 to dollar barrier again this week, its strongest level in four years. Russia’s national currency has been on a wild ride that will hurt the budget.

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.

Poland expected to avoid hard landing

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw May 23, 2022

Rampant inflation has already eaten into household incomes, while more expensive credit will tighten wallets. The question is how deep the slowdown will be.

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.

Turkmenistan: Car and beauty bans further erode women’s rights

Serdar Aitakov for IWPR May 18, 2022

Fresh prohibitions have crushed hopes that newly appointed 40-year-old president Serdar Berdimuhamedov would pursue a more enlightened path.

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.

EBRD 2022: Reforms and privatisation to drive Uzbekistan’s mid-term growth

Clare Nuttall in Marrakesh May 16, 2022

Uzbekistan's growth slowed in 2022, but if the pace of reforms continues to be as fast as in the last few years it is expected to rebound to around 10% a year once the current health and geopolitical crises are over.

After war victory, Azerbaijan keeps increasing military spending

Ulkar Natiqqizi for Eurasianet May 13, 2022

This year it is spending more than 10% more than it did before its 2020 defeat of Armenia, and is planning to spend even more in coming years.

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