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Kyrgyzstan joins the Customs Union, and business finds itself in stand-by mode

For this state of small traders, entry into the Customs Union will bring both headaches and opportunities.


The elephant in the room at Riga

Russia was everywhere and nowhere at the recent Eastern Partnership summit in Riga.


Book review: Bill Browder, 'Red Notice: How I Became Putin’s No. 1 Enemy'

Tangerines poster (for standfirst).pngWhat they don't teach you at business school: how to go from being the grandson of the leader of the Communist Party of America, to a multi-millionaire in ex-Communist Russia. And back again…


Sanctions and regime survival

The sanctions knife cuts both ways – rallying around the flag, and regime change.



Requiem for EuroMaidan

As Ukraine turns into an oligarch republic, civil society has few chances left to make itself the true victor of EuroMaidan.


Ukraine’s European integration

If the EU is serious about helping Ukraine, both parties should focus on the country’s most glaring problem, and the Maidan’s principal demands – justice and the rule of law.

Moldova's ambiguous European integration

EU:Moldova flag - Yuriy Vlasenko - Shutterstock.jpgThe EU may like to think of Moldova as its ‘star pupil’, but its unconditional support for successive corrupt governments may have lost it the support of the country’s people.


Vying for influence in Ukraine


Oligarchs and Western experts are lining up to shape the future of Ukraine. But they're not all on the same side.


When Russia sneezes, Central Asia catches a cold

Simon_opt022 crop 65x80.jpgRussia’s financial crisis has produced a contagious effect in Central Asia, where cheap oil is exacerbating the poor economic outlook.


The empire that is Shakhtar Donetsk FC

Anton Hlushchenko - Shakhtar Stadium - Shutterstock.jpgRinat Akhmetov, Ukraine’s richest man, has financed the success of Shakhtar Donetsk FC. But war in the Donbas means that the club is now playing in Lviv, 1,200 kilometres away from its home in Donetsk. Can it survive?


Six steps to return Russia to economic growth

Rodionov Crop pic.jpgThe Russian economy is under pressure: it’s time for an alternative.


What has gone wrong with reform in Ukraine?

International_Monetary_Fund_logo.svg_.png - Ssolbergj - Wiki.pngWhat has gone wrong with reform in Ukraine? There will be no IMF bailout without economic, political and social reform. So why do Ukrainian politicians drag their feet?



Re-drawing the map of migration patterns

Migration trends picture - Dbachmann- wiki.pngThe Ukrainian crisis has triggered a redirection of migration patterns in the post-Soviet space, affecting both host countries and suppliers alike.

Economic dystopia in Kyrgyzstan

New EurasiaNet - Kyrgyzstan -Demotix.jpg

Hailed as a success story for liberal market reforms, Kyrgyzstan in fact provides an example of how the rentier class have become an integral part of the economy, and how democracy has given way to plutocracy.

Climate policy according to Gazprom

4893122425_724729caa0_z.jpgAs Russian dreams of becoming a ‘great ecological power’ fade, Gazprom, it seems, has been driving climate policy all along.


Biting into Apple's Russian earnings

crop apple surovstova _3.jpgThe market for iPhones in Russia is not looking as healthy as it was before the economy and the rouble took a nosedive.


The art of smuggling in Belarus

Russian cigarettes - Igor Golovniov - Demotix.jpgIn Belarus, smuggling is a fine art, and, unlike stealing, morally acceptable. на русском языке


Armenia's unhappy New Year

Gyumri march - Vahan Stepanyan PAN photo Demotix.jpg

Armenia is now a member of the Eurasian Economic Union. But with the economy in trouble, does membership have any benefits?


Discounting the future of climate change in Russia

STS039-085-00E_Lake_Balkhash,_Kazakhstan_April_1991 wiki - NASA_0.jpgLike it or not, global warming will affect Russia, and ignoring it only stores up problems for later.



The buckwheat crisis in Russia

buckwheat on shelves.jpgBuckwheat prices in Russian shops are soaring without any apparent reason. Russians are stocking up on this nutritious and usually cheap foodstuff, anticipating the worst is yet to come.

Putin stays

Optimized-weafer_Photo '13[1].jpg The Kremlin has adopted a deliberate strategy  to let the rouble continue falling as the 'lesser of two evils'; and protect President Putin’s core support base.



Talking about the rouble, President Putin makes a few phone calls

Romanycheva.jpg Even as the Russian rouble responds to Central Bank intervention, people are taking to the streets in search of imported goods. Meanwhile, President Putin makes a few phone calls.


The rouble crisis in Siberia

Fofanova Shuttershock standfirst.jpg

As the rouble collapses, residents of Tomsk have long memories — from Black Tuesday 1994 to Black Tuesday 2014.


Welcome to the not-so-new world order

The latest IMF report has confirmed what some have long argued – ‘rising powers’ like Russia and China are changing the world, but not in the way you might think.


How much does a Russian distillery really cost?

In Kirov, an incautious remark by Aleksei Navalny might result in five people going to prison for 10 years.


Russians are not bothered by Western sanctions

pic_vaso_crop.jpgSanctions have had a limited effect on the Russian population whose support towards the government’s Ukrainian policy does not seem to be eroding.


For the Russian elite, loyalty is all

Life has changed for Russia’s elite – and not just their holiday destinations… На русском языке

Stimulating the Russian economy

The dividing line between market liberals and supporters of active state intervention in the Russian economy has considerably shifted.


We have made today's Frankenstein with our own hands

Tom Margie crop.jpgWhen communism ended, Russia’s people wanted democracy. Instead, they got the market and neoliberalism. Now, it appears, some of them want revenge.

Yevgeny Prigozhin: сaterer to the Kremlin

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Putin’s ‘personal chef' seems to have a finger in every Russian pie...


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