Russia and Eurasia

Inside The Obscure Russian Agency That Censors The Internet – Analysis
Russia and Eurasia

Inside The Obscure Russian Agency That Censors The Internet – Analysis

By Daniil Belovodyev and Anton Bayev (RFE/RL) — In the first half of October 2022, employees of an obscure Russian government department working out of a small business center in northeast Moscow were worried about the weather. Not Moscow’s weather, but rather weather in four regions of Ukraine that President Vladimir Putin a couple weeks earlier had summarily declared were annexed and now part of Russia. The employees — IT specialists, analysts — worked for a relatively unknown entity called the Main Radio Frequency Center, a unit of the federal government agency charged with policing Russia’s Internet, Roskomnadzor. They trawled Russian websites, social-media pages, chat rooms, Telegram channels, and more, watching for potentially problematic issues: opposition protests, anti-war de...
Russian saboteurs seek to hamper Putin’s war machine
Russia and Eurasia

Russian saboteurs seek to hamper Putin’s war machine

Anti-Putin activists try to slow down Russia’s war in Ukraine and say they are willing to step up their violence. On the night of January 4, a section of tracks along the Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk region was blown up. The rail line was used by the Russian army to transport supplies to Ukraine. A photo and video clip of an explosion ripping through a railway bridge were posted on Telegram by an organisation calling itself BOAK, the Combat Organisation of Anarcho-Communists. According to Ukrainian intelligence, this was the sixth such incident this year after 40 during all of 2022, suggesting that anti-war resistance in Russia is growing bolder. Since the invasion of Ukraine in February, Russian-occupied territories there have experienced regular sabotage from the ...
Mutual FDI in Eurasia has been dominated by Russia, but war and sanctions make the outlook uncertain
Russia and Eurasia, Economics

Mutual FDI in Eurasia has been dominated by Russia, but war and sanctions make the outlook uncertain

By Ben Aris in Berlin The mutual Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) stock in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries grew fast until Russia went into recession in 2012, when its GDP growth sank to zero. However, it started to recover after the recession ended in 2016. As of the first half of 2022 the mutual FDI was on track to slightly exceed that of 2021, but the outlook is now in doubt after the war in Ukraine began in February, according to research released by the Eurasia Development Bank (EDB) in December. The mutual FDI stock in Eurasia (CIS countries and Georgia) totalled $44.6bn by mid-2022, of which Russian investors accounted for approximately 80%. Kazakhstan imported the largest amount of investments, $10.8bn or 24.3% of the total. The mutual FDI stock in the narr...
Will a Turkish Gas Hub Solve Eurasia’s Energy Troubles?
Energy and Geopolitics, Russia and Eurasia

Will a Turkish Gas Hub Solve Eurasia’s Energy Troubles?

By: Nuray Alekberli / James Town Foundation Speaking at the Russian Energy Week held in Moscow in October 2022, President Vladimir Putin stated that Russia hoped to turn Turkey into an energy hub so that Russian gas may be transited to Europe via Turkey. Putin’s proposal surprised Ankara, though Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Donmez declared in a statement that the project should be seriously evaluated (Indyturk.com, October 17, 2022). While Russia’s offer was unexpected for the Turkish side, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated he viewed Russia’s proposal positively and that the Trakya region was being evaluated as the potential site for the distribution center. It is quite clear that the project’s realization also depends on the interests and approaches of th...
Devastating strike on Russian military base in Ukraine exposes ‘gross criminal incompetence’
Russia and Eurasia

Devastating strike on Russian military base in Ukraine exposes ‘gross criminal incompetence’

The New Year strike on a Russian military base in Makiivka has led to Moscow's biggest admission of loss of life since it invaded Ukraine in February 2022. But aside from the devastating, and still mounting, death toll, experts say the incident has exposed something even more alarming for Russia: broad incompetence and carelessness at the heart of its military command. Just minutes after Ukraine rang in the New Year, four US-made HIMARS rockets rained down on a purported school building housing Russian army recruits in the industrial town of Makiivka, in the occupied region of Donetsk. Ukraine, along with Russian military bloggers, quickly put the death toll at a staggering 400. Moscow on the other hand, first estimated it at 63, but early Wednesday revised it up to 89. In either case,...
Why are relations between Azerbaijan and Israel developing now?
Russia and Eurasia

Why are relations between Azerbaijan and Israel developing now?

Azerbaijan's announcement that it's going to open an embassy in Israel came as no surprise. It reflects the strong ties between the two countries for nearly three decades in the political, security and military fields. While there is an Israeli Embassy in the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, the latter only had commercial and tourist offices in Tel Aviv. This in part reveals the nature of the diplomatic strategy Azerbaijan has begun to follow in recent years, which has reached the point of normalisation agreements. For a number of reasons, Azerbaijan topped the list of countries that Israel set its sights on, including its extremely important geopolitical location which extends beyond the Caucasus. This places it in Russia's backyard and has helped it to cover 48 per cent of Israel's oil and ...