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Tag: Russia

As Russia invades Ukraine, Israel walks a diplomatic tightrope

When Russian troops crossed the Ukrainian border on February 24th, Israel found itself in a dilemma. Faced with western pressure to pick sides, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid stressed that they had to act to preserve their freedom of action in Syria. The Israeli Air Force has long carried out airstrikes against Iranian and Hezbollah targets with the tacit permission of Russian forces stationed in the country.

July 14, 2022 - Sam Sokol

The war that brought back the eternal Bulgarian dispute

The war in Ukraine for Bulgarian society is what Donald Trump was for the United States and Brexit for the United Kingdom – a quake that divided society. Bulgaria became a member of the European Union in 2007, but never managed to part with two definitions of itself. One is that it is the poorest and most corrupt country in the EU, and the other is that it was the most loyal satellite of the Soviet Union. These labels continue to influence Sofia's policy and largely explain the political changes in the country since the beginning of the Russian invasion.

July 14, 2022 - Krassen Nikolov

From emperors to refugees: Russian emigration to Armenia and Georgia

Moscow’s war in Ukraine has not only forced millions of Ukrainians to flee their home country but has also led hundreds of thousands of Russian citizens to seek exile abroad. Among the most popular destinations for Russians are two South Caucasian republics: Armenia and Georgia.

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in late February, several hundred thousand Russians have fled the country. Some sources even estimate that more than one million Russian citizens have already gone into exile. Among them are some of the country's biggest celebrities, such as Alla Pugacheva, who settled in Israel, and music stars like Face and Zemfira, who both moved abroad out of fear of persecution for their anti-war activism.

July 14, 2022 - Svenja Petersen

The mission of journalists is to reveal the truth

An interview with Mykola Semena, a Ukrainian journalist originally from Crimea. Interviewer: Anna Efimova

ANNA EFIMOVA: You are a passionate advocate for the Crimean Tatars, the indigenous Crimean ethnic minority who were deported to Central Asia and Russia in 1944 for collaboration with the Nazis. You witnessed their resettlement to Crimea during perestroika. What was your role as a journalist at that time?

MYKOLA SEMENA: At that time, I was editing and writing for a Simferopol newspaper. At the peak of Crimean Tatar resettlement in Crimea, the situation was so complex. Crimean Tatars are closely linked to the history of the peninsula. Their agriculture and folk crafts laid the foundation of the Crimean economy, they had a developed material and intangible culture. However, till the end of the 1980s, their history was suppressed by Soviet propaganda.

July 14, 2022 - Anna Efimova Mykola Semena

What Russia needs most is cash for bombs

An interview with Piotr Woźniak, former president of Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo (PGNiG), Poland’s largest gas company. Interviewer: Mykola Voytiv

MYKOLA VOYTIV: If we look at prices and the war, what do you think awaits the European gas market?

PIOTR WOŹNIAK: The sharp rise in natural gas prices was caused by increased demand from the European Union in November and December 2021 – Russia expected this and prepared by not pumping natural gas into underground gas storages in the Netherlands, Austria and Germany. Russia’s aggression in Ukraine only intensified this dynamic. Keep in mind, that natural gas prices are a relative concept. Whilst some are fixed in bilateral contracts for gas supply, such as Russian natural gas, natural gas from the Norwegian continental shelf, or LNG, others are priced in line with European energy exchanges and hubs.

July 14, 2022 - Mykola Voytiv Piotr Woźniak

The ghosts of past wars live on in Russia’s Victory Day

Victory Day has become the main secular holiday in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. It is also an occasion for the government to showcase Russia’s military might and rally people around the flag. This year, the authorities used the celebration to bolster public support for the war in Ukraine, which they described as a necessary measure designed to "denazify" the country and prevent an imminent attack on Russian soil.

“Here in Leningrad people were dying of hunger during the blockade. We don’t want that to happen again,” says 31-year-old Valery. He was explaining the reasons why he supported Russia’s “special military operation” against Ukraine. Valery was among the tens of thousands of people who took to the streets of St. Petersburg to celebrate May 9th, or, as it is called in Russia, Victory Day.

July 14, 2022 - Adam Reichardt

A lot at stake for Estonia as it shifts away from oil shale

Amidst rising concerns over climate change, the Estonian government has pledged to stop burning oil shale for power generation by 2035. Tallinn will also give up the fossil fuel altogether by 2040. Oil shale, however, has a long history in Estonia and is the country’s main source of electricity. Abandoning its use is not only a climate-related issue, but a geopolitical one as well.

In the weeks immediately following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Estonia’s top brass showed up, one after another, in Narva, Estonia’s third largest and overwhelmingly Russian-speaking city. This included the country’s president, prime minister and defence and interior ministers. They gathered in places never far from the “Friendship Bridge” connecting Estonia’s most eastern city with its Russian sister city Ivangorod. Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said that she had come to assert her government’s “commitment to the region's development”.

July 14, 2022 - Isabelle de Pommereau

The Russo-Japanese War. A forgotten lesson?

The Kremlin appeared very confident as it launched its invasion of a comparatively weaker Ukraine in February. In light of this, the Russian authorities appear to have forgotten their country’s defeat at the hands of a relatively untested Japanese military at the start of the 20th century.

Russia’s Tsar Nicholas II (1868-1918) was a model nobleman, a gentleman with a decidedly British air about him. His face was well defined and he had a well-cut beard, similar to the ones seen on Royal Navy officers. Should you be shown his photograph among a group of British naval commanders, you would not see much difference. Some people argue this was the result of genetics. Of course, Nicholas II was the grandson of Queen Victoria, who was also grandmother to Wilhelm II of Hohenzollern, the emperor of Germany. In addition to having the same grandmother, Nicholas and Wilhelm also shared the same dream – they both wanted to become admirals of a sea fleet.

July 14, 2022 - Andrzej Zaręba

Putin’s grip on the Russian language

The Kremlin’s system of control can often seem like a mystery to western audiences. By understanding the Putin regime’s attempts to manipulate language, it is possible to gain a deeper insight into the authoritarian realities faced every day by Russian citizens.

June 27, 2022 - Serghei Sadohin

Disloyalty is punishable: Russians hide their true feelings about the war

Declared support for the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine among Russian citizens remains high. Despite this, new polls that look at more than just “yes or no” have revealed a complex reality in which citizens try to reach accommodation with the authoritarian state.

June 17, 2022 - Maria Domańska

The real danger of “Thucydides Trap” in post-Soviet space

The ongoing war in Ukraine has unveiled more of Russian thinking on foreign policy to the world. Faced with a neighbourhood increasingly looking to the West, Moscow has turned to conflict in an attempt to maintain its power and influence in the region.

June 6, 2022 - Jozef Hrabina

Delusions of empires past

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is simply another imperialistic adventure. As history has shown, the end of an empire does not mean the loss of imperial ambitions. Unless Russia faces a complete and total defeat in Ukraine and is forced to contend with its past and current aggressions, there is very little to suggest that Russia will end its imperialistic mindset.

May 26, 2022 - Daniel Jarosak

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