Region

Russia

Stories under this heading cover Russia, as well as countries in the eastern part of the European continent, such as Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova.

Borrell: Russia is waging total war against Ukraine; we must respond with total support
On Thursday (1 December) EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, addressed the annual Ministerial Council of the OSCE, which this year is meeting in Poland. Speaking about the conflict in Ukraine, Borell said that Russia was waging total war against Ukraine, and this requires total support for Ukraine in response. Borrell said that Russia has brought the war back in Europe. Russia is now turning this into a purely punitive campaign, trying to inflict as much pain as possible on Ukrainian citizens, using winter as a weapon, putting them into the darkness and the cold. The Russian army is deliberately targeting energy and water infrastructure on which normal Ukrainian citizens depend
dennis2020 Fri, 12/02/2022 - 08:56 First shipment of Russian fertiliser en route to Africa

The first Russian shipment of fertiliser left the Dutch port of Terneuzen on Tuesday (29 November) after days of negotiating to ensure it would not be snagged by Western sanctions. The ship was commissioned by the UN’s food security agency, the World Food Programme, and the cargo is part of some 260,000 tonnes of Russian fertiliser stored in European ports.

patrickn97 Thu, 12/01/2022 - 07:18

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Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant again disconnected from power grid

On Thursday (3 November), Ukrainian officials announced that widespread Russian shelling close to the Zaporizhzhia power plant in southern Ukraine has damaged its power lines, causing it to be disconnected from the power grid.

patrickn97 Thu, 11/03/2022 - 13:07
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In Sochi, leaders affirm committment to Prague principles but leave space for a role for Russia

In Sochi, leaders affirm committment to Prague principles but leave space for a role for Russia

The president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, on Monday (31 October) hosted in Sochi the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan, prime minister Nikol Pashinyan and president Ilham Aliyev. Putin met separately with the two leaders, before hosting a two-hour trilateral meeting to discuss the current state of Armenia-Azerbaijan relations. The highly choreographed meetings in the grand settings of the Kremlin's summer residence in Sochi did not, it seems, result in the expectations that the Russian leader had of the sessions. After concluding the discussions only Putin made press comments, saying that they could not agree on many issues, but that he still felt that the meeting was "useful". The Russian president said that many elements that had been included in the draft of the statement prepared by the experts had to be deleted. In the joint written statement eventually issued at the end of the meeting, the three leaders touched upon the current state of Armenia-Azerbaijan relations, and the role of Russia. The statement appeared to endorse most of what was included in the Prague statement of 6 October 2022 between the president of the European Council, the president of France and the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan. The statement appeared to give a nod to a continuing Russian military force in Nagorno-Karabakh, and spoke about dialogue between representatives of societies.
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Opinion
Opinion: Balancing the mediators - Armenia and Azerbaijan should avoid offending Russia

Opinion: Balancing the mediators - Armenia and Azerbaijan should avoid offending Russia

Russia has become increasingly critical of western involvement in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict settlement process, writes Benyamin Poghosyan in this op-ed for commonspace.eu. "Armenia and Azerbaijan should take all necessary steps to avoid being trapped in Russia – West or US – Iran confrontation. The ongoing war in Ukraine proved that this scenario might have catastrophic implications for both states. It does not mean that negotiations should be stopped. However, the hectic moves to sign a US or EU-prepared agreement, which Russia may view as an attempt to kick it out from South Caucasus, may destabilize the situation and bring new war instead of peace. In this context, the possible option to not lose the momentum could be a signature of a document that will envisage the principles of the future peace agreement while providing more time to carefully draft a peace treaty based on the balance of interests of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and other actors."
Russia holds first major nuclear drill since invasion of Ukraine
Russian armed forces conducted a major nuclear drill on Wednesday (October 26), the first since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February. The last Russian nuclear drill took place five days before it invaded Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin monitored the drill from a control centre. The exercise, which Russia says is an "annual routine", worries western countries because Putin has hinted he may be ready to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine Russian Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu called the drill a simulation of a “mass nuclear strike with strategic attack forces in response to a nuclear attack by our adversary”. According to Shoigu, the army practised a 'massive nuclear strike' in preparation for a possible nuclear attack by an enemy. The exercise included firing long-range cruise missiles at practice targets. The missile-carrying K-114 Tula submarine and two Tu-95 long-range strategic nuclear bombers were also used, the Kremlin reported. The missiles were fired from the Kamchatka Peninsula, in the far east of Russia. Cruise missiles from a nuclear-powered submarine were fired in the Barents Sea, in the north of Russia.
Maximiliaan va… Wed, 10/26/2022 - 23:43
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Ukrainian parliament recognises independence of Chechnya

Ukrainian parliament recognises independence of Chechnya

In a move likely to create further animosity between Kyiv and Moscow, on Tuesday (18 October), the Ukrainian parliament, known as the Verkhovna Rada, recognised the independence of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, declaring it 'temporarily occupied by Russia'. The Rada also condemned the 'commission of genocide against the Chechen people'. The resolution reads: ‘We declare the recognition of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria as temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation as a result of armed aggression committed in violation of the UN Charter’. The Ukrainian parliament also called on UN member states and international organisations to carry out an independent and impartial investigation into purported crimes committed in Chechnya over the last three decades, to 'ensure that the guilty are brought to justice'. Out of 351 members present, 287 voted for, and 0 voted against or abstained. The remaining 64 did not vote. Chechens have been playing a prominent role in the fighting in Ukrainian, with groups supporting either the Ukrainian government or Moscow.
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Opinion
Opinion: Russia fears it is being elbowed out of the South Caucasus, and prepares to react

Opinion: Russia fears it is being elbowed out of the South Caucasus, and prepares to react

Russia is worried that the success of European diplomacy in approximating the positions of Armenia and Azerbaijan, and the prospect of a peace agreement before the end of the year, would see it elbowed out of the South Caucasus. Russia may use its presence in Karabakh to throw spokes in the wheel, writes Vasif Huseynov in this op-ed for commonspace.eu. "This situation seriously threatens peace and stability in the South Caucasus. The region would  descend into a catastrophic escalations if the present peace efforts fail, and the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict becomes another theater of the Russia-West confrontation. Baku and Yerevan, having declared their willingness to recognize each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, would suffer the most from such a situation. Hence, both should make efforts to reach a deal with a delicate geopolitical balance", he writes.
Belarusian authorities says Russian troops to start arriving in coming days

Belarusian authorities said on Friday (14 October) that Russian military troops will start arriving in the country. The deputy chief of the Belarusian Armed Forces General Staff Viktar Tumar said in a statement that "in the coming days," Russian troops that are part of the group will start arriving.

Maximiliaan va… Fri, 10/14/2022 - 23:10