Features

15% of Russian industrial companies are zombies

Cameron Jones in London August 22, 2021

The share of zombie companies in Russian industry is 10-15%, according to the Centre for Business Studies of the National Research University Higher School of Economics.

The borscht index: The number of portions Russians can afford to cook has been falling

Cameron Jones in London August 20, 2021

The purchasing power of Russians in the first half of this year fell in 64 of Russia’s 85 regions, according to the “borscht index”, a sort of Russian version of the well-known “Big Mac index”.

Armenia criminalises insulting public figures

Mania Israyelyan for IWPR August 19, 2021

Using foul language or “hurting the dignity” of public figures could lead to up to three months in jail.

Can China tap Afghanistan’s lithium treasure?

Cameron Jones in London August 19, 2021

Afghanistan has hundreds of millions of dollars of hard-to-find lithium deposits in dusty ground. Following the Taliban sweeping to an effortless victory in the country, it is China that is best positioned to exploit the resource.

Food prices in Armenia hit generational high

Ani Mejlumyan for Eurasianet August 18, 2021

Inflation is further stifling weak demand, putting the central bank in a bind.

Ukraine’s law enforcement clashes with far right Azov movement

Ben Aris in Berlin August 17, 2021

Violent clashes after Ukrainian law enforcers attempted to crack down on the criminal schemes the movement uses to make money.

Belarus' flower man given 8.5 years in jail, tells court of his harrowing treatment and torture

bne IntelliNews August 17, 2021

A year ago Stepan Latypov (Stsyapan Latupau) went down to one of the main squares in central Minsk and started to hand out flowers to the women he met there. He was later arrested, beaten and finally sentenced to 8.5 year in jail.

$6bn of IMF SDRs will hardly dent Turkey’s net reserves deficit of $41bn

Akin Nazli in Belgrade August 17, 2021

A $2bn swap deal with Korea also provides little but make-up. Turkish central bank has no competitor worldwide in carrying such a huge short FX position.

As Taliban regime takes shape, Central Asia and Iran assess fate of Afghanistan investments

Muzaffar Ismailov in Tashkent & Kanat Shaku in Almaty, Will Conroy in Prague August 16, 2021

The future of plans for a gas pipeline, trade links to South Asian ports, power transmission lines and railways will remain up in the air until the direction of the new Afghan regime is clear.

Central Asia and Afghanistan: Enemies at the gate?

Chris Rickleton for Eurasianet August 14, 2021

The Taliban has assured the region’s governments that it has no designs on them, but can it keep more hostile groups in check?

The Taliban's resurgence in Afghanistan is headache for China

Ben Aris in Berlin August 14, 2021

The rapid recapture of almost all of Afghanistan by the Taliban only weeks after the US pulled out is a major headache for China, but Beijing has already moved to recognise the fundamental Islamic movement in an effort to quickly end the fighting.

Stitching Albania’s garment industry back together

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow August 13, 2021

Fashion industry figures have forecast an explosion of consumption in a new “roaring twenties” when the pandemic ends, but rebuilding Albania’s garment and footwear sector won’t be easy.

Russia’s stumbling along in the race to carbon neutrality

Cameron Jones in London August 12, 2021

Earlier this year Vladimir Putin’s called for cutting Russia’s greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions to below those of the European Union as the Kremlin starts to wake up to the dangers of global warming.

Defeat and Uncertainty: Russia’s new wave of politically fuelled emigration

Cameron Jones in London August 12, 2021

This year will go down in Russian history as the start of a new era of political emigration. While waves of emigration from the country are part of the drama of Russian life, today, for the first time since Soviet times, people are emigrating again

Uzbekistan grapples with urgent climate change problems

Clare Nuttall in Tashkent August 12, 2021

Uzbekistan is already the site of the world’s worst man-made catastrophe, and things will only get worse as temperatures rise. bne IntelliNews looks at Tashkent's efforts to adapt to climate change.

Uzbekistan’s energy sector overhaul

Clare Nuttall in Tashkent August 11, 2021

An expected increase in energy demand and the need to cut emissions have prompted Tashkent to draw up plans to overhaul existing infrastructure, raise efficiency and encourage investment into renewables.

Azerbaijan’s 'foreign' Olympic team frustrates fans

Heydar Isayev for Eurasianet August 11, 2021

Sports commentators are questioning the wisdom of hiring foreign players to compete for the Azerbaijani flag.

Kazakhstan suffers from acute shortage of doctors

Almaz Kumenov for Eurasianet August 10, 2021

The COVID-19 outbreak has compounded a problem caused by low salaries.

Belarusians hold solidarity demonstrations on the first anniversary of the disputed presidential elections

Ben Aris in Berlin August 9, 2021

Belarusians went to the polls to choose a new president exactly a year ago on August 9, 2020 in elections that plunged the country into its worst political crisis in three decades.

Local authorities in Romania expect new impetus from regional airports

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest August 9, 2021

Disappointed by the weak traffic at Oradea airport, the municipality and county authorities decided to set up their own airline.

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