TRENIN: Russia-Ukraine war alert – what’s behind it and what lies ahead?

Dmitri Trenin of the Carnegie Moscow Center April 13, 2021

Perhaps the most important thing for the Russian leadership in this episode was to prevent the need to actually go to war against Ukraine in the future. Going for overkill in terms of military manoeuvres now prevents actual war later.

ING: Russian ruble downgraded on weak balance of payments in 1Q21

Dmitri Dolgin chief economist Russia ING April 13, 2021

In 1Q21, ruble weakness was caused not just by political tensions, but also by a disappointing trade balance and resumed preference for foreign assets by residents. ING has downgraded its mid-year ruble expectations to USD/RUB75.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Minsk peace talks may abandon Minsk

FPRI BMB Ukraine April 12, 2021

Ukraine has announced that it will not hold further peace talks in Minsk within the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Turning up the heat in the Donbas and Crimea

FPRI BMB Ukraine April 11, 2021

For the past couple of weeks, videos have flooded social media showing convoys of Russian military trucks, trains full of tanks, and hordes of helicopters heading toward Ukraine. The question everyone’s asking is: is Russia going to invade Ukraine?

ASH: Ukraine, ask yourself what Putin wants

Timothy Ash Senior Sovereign Strategist at BlueBay Asset Management in London April 9, 2021

Russia has the most troops on Ukraine's border than at any time since 2014 but what does Russian President Vladimir Putin actually hope to gain? Tim Ash, Senior Sovereign Strategist at BlueBay Asset Management runs through the possibilities

RIMMER: The Hunger Games

Julian Rimmer in London April 9, 2021

The medical consensus is that it takes roughly two months for someone to die of starvation. Dying, as Gore Vidal drily observed, can be a good career move, but it has its downside. Jailed opposition figure Alexei Navalny is on hunger strike.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Zelenskiy-Biden talks

FPRI BMB Ukraine April 8, 2021

After much anticipation, US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy finally spoke on the phone last Friday.

COMMENT: Is Ukraine facing an imminent Russian invasion?

Robert Homans in Washington DC April 7, 2021

Russia will probably not invade, at least in the short term, but it won’t stop threatening Ukraine until it believes that it doesn’t pose a future threat to the current regime in Russia.

STOLYPIN: Talk of renewed war in Ukraine likely Russian coercive diplomacy, but worrying for all that

Mark Galeotti director of the consultancy Mayak Intelligence and also an honorary professor at UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies April 6, 2021

Russian forces are on the move around Donbas and into Crimea, and the unsettling thing for the outside world is that we don’t know why.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Donbas tensions rising

FPRI BMB Ukraine April 1, 2021

The ceasefire in Ukraine’s Donbas region has eroded in recent weeks. Last Friday, four Ukrainian soldiers were killed amid heavy fighting near Shymy in the Donetsk region as Russian-backed forces attacked Ukrainian lines.

FPRI BMB Russia: Russia’s Ministry of Economy says the CBR is too conservative

FPRI BMB Russia March 31, 2021

After Russia’s central bank (CBR) raised its key interest rate to 4.5% on March 19, metals tycoon Oleg Deripaska called the move an “attack on Russians’ incomes and companies’ profits.”

OBITUARY: Election campaigns suspended after former Albanian PM Bashkim Fino dies of COVID-19

bne IntelliNews March 29, 2021

A rare unifying figure in a divided country, Fino led Albania away from the brink of civil war after the collapse of huge Ponzi schemes in 1997.

SP ADVISORS: Ukraine’s economic recovery of growth will be varied

SP Advisors in Kyiv March 29, 2021

The Ukrainian economy experienced a relatively mild contraction in 2020, but its growth rate in 2021 is unlikely to be spectacular.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Majority of Ukrainians want to join the EU

FPRI BMB Ukraine March 27, 2021

According to a recent survey from the Razumkov Centre, 59% of Ukrainians are in favour of their country joining the EU, while 26% are opposed. That said, the polling results show significant variation when broken down by region and age group.

COMMENT: How bad can it get if US imposes sanctions on Russian debt?

Maximilian Hess head of political risk at Hawthorn Advisors in London March 26, 2021

Sovereign debt sanctions targeting Russia's ability to issue foreign currency debts are once again in the news, with the Biden administration and Boris Johnson’s UK government both said to be considering the move.

OPINION: Erdogan – how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways…

Julian Rimmer in London March 26, 2021

Julian Rimmer mulls over the management style of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and why Turkey always seems to be in crisis.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Germany remains conflicted over Nord Stream 2

FPRI BMB Ukraine March 25, 2021

During the 4th German-Ukrainian Business Forum, Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasised Ukraine and Germany’s long-standing partnership, but she remained committed to the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Protesters trash Bankova’s façade in Sternenko demonstrations

FPRI BMB Ukraine March 25, 2021

On Saturday, March 20, hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the President’s Office in Kyiv, demanding the immediate release of Serhiy Sternenko, a controversial Odesa activist who was sentenced to seven years in prison last month.

COMMENT: How the USSR’s collapse is remembered in Russia today

James C Pearce in Moscow March 24, 2021

Thirty years on and the jury is not out on this question. When it comes to the Soviet collapse, Russians increasingly regret this momentous event.

COMMENT: Navalny was box office for a fortnight but a decade of obscurity beckons

Julian Rimmer March 24, 2021

In WH Auden’s ‘Musée des Beaux Arts’ he writes about the banality of suffering, how it “takes place/ While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along”.