News Summaries

Insight-In Economic Crisis, Putin Helps a Mogul He Once Attacked

ACEU Staff

Three major banks rescued industrialist Igor Zyuzin’s coal and steel firm Mechel from what would have been Russia’s biggest ever corporate collapse. The commodity price slump and sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine have hurt the economy and unsettled Putin’s grip on power. If Mechel went bankrupt it could lead to layoffs among the firm’s 66,000 workers, many of them in rust-belt regions where local TV has shown riot police training to put down worker protests.

NYT: Insight-In Economic Crisis, Putin Helps a Mogul He Once Attacked off-site link graphic

published 14 July 2016: News Summaries

Putin to Merkel, Hollande: Help avoid Ukraine escalation

ACEU Staff

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday asked German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande to use their influence to help prevent any escalation of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Putin expressed his concerns about the state of a shaky truce between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

R: Putin to Merkel, Hollande: Help avoid Ukraine escalation off-site link graphic

published 14 July 2016: News Summaries

Religious Freedom Revoked in Russia

ACEU Staff

Late on the afternoon of July 7, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law legislation against terrorism and extremism. An amendment in this law prohibits freedom of religion in a way that is considered the most restrictive measure in post-Soviet history.

PNn: Religious Freedom Revoked in Russia off-site link graphic

published 14 July 2016: News Summaries

How Russia has prepared for aggression against Ukraine for 10 years

ACEU Staff

The key objective is to recapture Ukraine, which should dramatically increase Russia’s demographic, political, economic, military and other resources. In the irrational worldview of the “Kremlin dreamers”, restoring control over Kyiv – “the mother of all cities”, capital and ancestral home of Eastern Slavic Orthodoxy – is a vital interest of Russia.

UAP: How Russia has prepared for aggression against Ukraine for 10 years off-site link graphic

published 14 July 2016: News Summaries

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Guest Articles

IN SEARCH OF THE MIRACULOUS

Guest Contributor

By Kirk Bennett

About two months after the Revolution of Dignity drove President Yanukovych out of office in February 2014, I received an e-mail from a fairly apolitical acquaintance in Kyiv. She assured me that, revolution notwithstanding, basically nothing had changed and the country was still being run by a bunch of crooks and scoundrels. I thought at the time that she was just being an understandably cynical Ukrainian, embittered by years of dashed hopes and expecting too much too soon in terms of reform or improvements in living conditions. It turned out she was being exceptionally perceptive, or possibly prescient.

continue reading IN SEARCH OF THE MIRACULOUS →

published 13 May 2016: News Summaries

Timothy Ash: UKRAINE ENTERING ‘SERIOUS POLITICAL CRISIS’: SPEAKER HROISMAN

Guest Contributor

One tip for politicians in places of power – don’t mention the “C” word when u are facing a tricky economic situation.

It reminds me of President Sezer in Turkey in 2001 when he famously (reportedly, but maybe urban legend) threw a copy of the constitution at then PM Ecevit and said “we have a crisis”. Within days the market had taken him at his word, and the crawling peg exchange rate regime had collapsed and the rest is history.

continue reading Timothy Ash: UKRAINE ENTERING ‘SERIOUS POLITICAL CRISIS’: SPEAKER HROISMAN →

published 4 February 2016: Economics, EU, Reform

Moscow’s Battle against Time

Guest Contributor

By Mykola Kapitonenko

Among many other things Russia is trying to achieve in Ukraine, it is desperately struggling to turn back time. Preferably to the good old days when supplies of natural gas to its neighbors energy inefficient economies were successfully converted into political control, or – even better – when military dominance secured regional hegemony.

Kremlin’s ultimate goal is restoring a part of its former greatness. Two years ago Russia was firmly seated among the regional powers. It ranked in the top ten of world economies, enjoyed rocketing prices for natural gas and oil – country’s main commodities, and had become the economic center of gravity for large part of its immediate neighborhood. Powerful Russian lobbies operated in former Soviet republics and took advantage of systemic corruption there. Extra revenues from exporting energy resources enabled Russian leadership to buy influence in those countries, to carry out large-scale military modernization and pump up its military budget, and even to launch projects of regional integration, such as Eurasian Economic Union, tailored to further cement Kremlin’s control over post-Soviet space.

continue reading Moscow’s Battle against Time →

published 8 December 2015: Democracy, Economics, Energy, Europe, Reform, Russia

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