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.

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Lavrov on diplomatic offensive in the Gulf, as poll results suggest Arab street is indifferent to Ukraine situation

Lavrov on diplomatic offensive in the Gulf, as poll results suggest Arab street is indifferent to Ukraine situation

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited Bahrain and Saudi Arabia this week as part of efforts to consolidate relations with the region, despite the international outcry over the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The visit comes amid finding in a poll by YOUGOV that show that the Arab street is largely indifferent to the events in Ukraine. Faisal Abbas, the Editor in Chief of Arab News which commissioned the poll, in an article on 30 May, said that "most strikingly, perhaps, the findings lay bare the extent of the distrust of the West across all 14 of the countries covered in the survey. Almost a quarter of the 7,835 people surveyed (24 percent) pointed the finger of blame for the conflict squarely at NATO, while more than one in ten (13 percent) said US President Joe Biden was responsible. Only 16 percent blamed Russia." Abbas says that "this can be attributed in part to Russia’s massive investment in its own news channels in Arabic, and to a massive online outreach effort. But underpinning the widespread Arab skepticism on this issue is not so much the success of Russian propaganda, but rather the steady ebbing away of trust in the West over the past two decades."

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Shock turns into anger as the pain of Ukraine is felt across the world

Shock turns into anger as the pain of Ukraine is felt across the world

In unleashing this war on Thursday morning, President Putin assured Russians it was going to be a short war, even though he knows very well this is not going to be the case, and that the cost for Russia is going to be enormous. Whether the Russian people have the same single minded view of things as Putin does is another matter. Most Russians usually fall in line once the men in the Kremlin – or in this case the man in the Kremlin – have made up their mind. Putin’s Russia is no democracy, but Russians are aware of what is going on around them. One can sense a disquiet at the turn of events which augurs badly for Mr Putin. A long protracted conflict will severely test the resilience of the current Russian leadership. Already last night, thousands took to the streets in Russian cities, to protest against the war. Many shouted, this is Putin's war, not ours.
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Russia launches massive attack against Ukraine

Russia launches massive attack against Ukraine

Continuing in the cynical mode that he has been using throughout the crisis Putin claimed his plans “don’t include occupation of Ukrainian territory, we are not going to impose anything on anyone by force.” “To anyone who would consider interfering from outside: If you do, you will face consequences greater than any you have faced in history. All the relevant decisions have been taken. I hope you hear me,” he said.
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Opinion
Opinion: A new chapter in the history of the post-Soviet space

Opinion: A new chapter in the history of the post-Soviet space

The current events in Ukraine "are part of the shifts in global security architecture amidst the transformation of the world order from a unipolar moment to a multipolar system. It is not about Ukraine, in the same way that the cold war was not about the fate of West Berlin", says Benyamin Poghosyan in this op-ed.
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Opinion
Opinion: Why non-aligned Azerbaijan signed an alliance declaration with Russia

Opinion: Why non-aligned Azerbaijan signed an alliance declaration with Russia

The signing of the an allied cooperation declaration with Russia should not come as a surprise since official Baku has long been maneuvering between Moscow and the West as much as it is possible to preserve its own “red lines” in terms of national interests, writes Fuad Shahbazov.
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News
Diplomacy put on hold as Ukraine crisis continues to unfold

Diplomacy put on hold as Ukraine crisis continues to unfold

A meeting between the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday, 24 February) has been cancelled by the American side. It has also been reported that a proposed meeting between President Biden and President Putin is no longer envisaged in the immediate future. Blinken said a meeting now was futile since the US believes that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has already began.