Kazakhstan bolsters defences amid Russian invasion of Ukraine

Almaz Kumenov for Eurasianet April 15, 2022

In its current state, Kazakhstan’s army is in little condition to discourage sabre-rattling from the north.

DATACRUNCH: Sanctions by the numbers – gas

Ben Aris in Berlin April 14, 2022

Voices are calling very loudly for the EU to shut off deliveries of Russian gas immediately. Since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, Germany has paid Russia some €9bn a week for gas imports that critics say is being used to fund the Putin war.

DATACRUNCH: Sanctions by numbers – grain

Ben Aris in Berlin April 14, 2022

Grain has not been included in the sanctions the West has imposed on Russia, and is very unlikely to be, as so many countries rely on the commodity. But Russia is threatening to restrict exports of grain and fertiliser for exactly this reason.

Who will lead Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party after Zhirinovsky’s death?

Theo Normanton April 14, 2022

Following the death of ultranationalist firebrand Zhirinovsky, his LDPR party may get a new leader for the first time in 30 years. Leonid Slutsky is the most likely candidate, but rumours say that the party may not have any future in the Duma.

EU moves closer to full Russia embargo in fifth sanctions package

bne IntelIiNews April 13, 2022

The EU's fifth package of sanctions targets Russian imports from practically all remaining sectors. The one notable exception is gas, which is still welcome at European ports and on European roads.

DATACRUNCH: Sanctions by the numbers – oil

Ben Aris in Berlin April 12, 2022

Russia dominates Europe’s oil supplies, accounting for 25% of all oil deliveries. Most of Europe wants to diversify away from Russian oil, but adding to the difficulties is that much of this oil is delivered not by ship but the Druzhba pipelines.

Orban faces daunting economic challenges, many of his own making

bne IntelliNews April 12, 2022

The victorious authoritarian leader now faces a slowdown in economic growth, an unfolding energy crisis, rising inflation, and bulging budget and current account deficits.

DATACRUNCH: Sanctions in numbers – coal

Ben Aris in Berlin April 11, 2022

Coal was included in the EU’s fifth package of sanctions, the first time that energy has been targeted by the tough sanction regime being imposed on Russia. Coal only makes up 3% of EU imports, but Russia continues to be the major supplier.

DATACRUNCH: Sanctions by numbers – UN voting

Ben Aris in Berlin April 11, 2022

Russia has been condemned for its attack on Ukraine at two votes in the UN but the voting patterns shed some light on who Russia's friends are and those that are sitting on the fence

Poland pushing hard to end oil dependency on Russia

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw April 10, 2022

Warsaw has been accused of dragging its feet about ending Russian oil imports, while calling for an urgent EU-wide embargo at the same time.

Minsk switches its rhetoric in fear of a domestic political revival

bne IntelliNews April 10, 2022

Lukashenko has demanded that Belarus is granted a place at Russia's and Ukraine's peace negotiations. Minsk is more and more sidestepping its previous war rhetoric against Ukraine, and has stopped calling Russia's invasion a "special operation".

Meduza releases critical video proving civilians killed in Bucha while Russian troops were stationed in the city

Meduza April 8, 2022

Independent Russian publication Meduza has obtained files containing high-quality videos depicting the southern districts of the city of Bucha that show the dead bodies in the street while Russian troops still occupied the Kyivian suburb.

Uzbekistan: Nuclear deal with Russia still on the table despite sanctions

Joanna Lillis for Eurasianet April 8, 2022

Even if Rosatom is not targeted by sanctions, its future projects could still be affected.

Russia learning to live with sanctions

Ben Aris in Berlin April 7, 2022

The world was shocked after Russian armour rolled over the Ukrainian border on February 24. Now Russia will have to live for decades to come with the consequences of living with the harshest sanctions regime it has ever seen.

Ukrainians withdrew $130mn from “cashback” services at shop’s checkouts in March

bne IntelliNews April 7, 2022

Ukraine’s banking system is still working but with chaos across the country and many branches closed, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) recommends that retail businesses offer “cashback” services to their clients paying by card.

Ukraine’s banking sector well positioned to weather the war storm

bne IntelliNews April 7, 2022

Despite Russian soldiers marching around Ukraine and destroying entire cities, Ukraine’s banking system is still working and has managed to remain stable.

Kazakhstan seeks to thread diplomatic needle over Russia’s Ukraine war

Chris Rickleton for Eurasianet April 6, 2022

Diplomats are trying to put distance between Nur-Sultan and Moscow, but Tokayev wants to show he is still loyal.

Fertiliser prices continue to surge over Russia supply concerns

Theo Normanton April 5, 2022

Russia is one of the world's biggest fertiliser producers, and its dominance in natural gas complicates European attempts to set up domestic fertiliser production instead. A Russian fertiliser export ban is unlikely, but would be catastrophic.

Does Putin have cancer?

bne intellinews April 5, 2022

A report by investigative journalists shows that Putin's medical entourage has grown in recent years, and that he has received regular visits from throat and cancer specialists, fuelling speculation that he could have thyroid cancer.

Hungarian opposition parties at crossroads after crushing election defeat

bne IntelliNews April 5, 2022

Demoralised democratic forces need to find a new strategy to defeat Viktor Orban's authoritarian regime on a very uneven playing field.