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.

Kazakhstan to launch customs monitoring to avoid circumventing Russia sanctions

Kazakhstan has announced that it will launch an online system that will track all goods crossing its borders from 1 April in an attempt to demonstrate that it is complying with Western sanctions on Russia.

patrickn97 Fri, 03/24/2023 - 11:15 Russia begins deploying Stalin-era tanks to Ukraine after "significant armored vehicle losses"

Open source intelligence (OSINT) groups are reporting that Russia has begun to deploy Stalin-era tanks to Ukraine after reportedly suffering "significant armoured vehicle losses".

After receiving photographs of a train transporting tanks in Russia's Far East to the west, the Georgia-based OSINT group Conflict Intelligence Team has identified them as T-54 and T-55 tanks. Although Russia's use of the later T-62 tank has been previously reported, this is the first recorded instance of Russia deploying even older tanks, they report.

patrickn97 Thu, 03/23/2023 - 10:26

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News
G7 countries issue tough statement on Ukraine in response to Russian missile attacks against Ukrainian cities

G7 countries issue tough statement on Ukraine in response to Russian missile attacks against Ukrainian cities

Leaders of the G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United States, United Kingdom, together with the European Union) met virtually in extraordinary session on Monday to discuss developments in the Ukraine situation, and particularly the recent Russian missile attacks against Ukrainian cities and civilian infrastructure. The meeting was convened by Germany which holds the current chairmanship of the Group. In a tough statement, the G7 leaders said that Russia has blatantly violated the principles enshrined in the UN Charter and called upon all countries to unequivocally reject these violations of international law and demand that Russia cease all hostilities and immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its troops and military equipment from Ukraine. The statement also had a word of warning for Russia: "We deplore deliberate Russian escalatory steps, including the partial mobilisation of reservists and irresponsible nuclear rhetoric, which is putting global peace and security at risk. We reaffirm that any use of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons by Russia would be met with severe consequences". Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky also attended the virtual summit and he was assured that the G7 countries are undeterred and steadfast in their commitment to provide the support Ukraine needs to uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
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Analysis
Analysis: Mohammed bin Zayed meets Putin in Moscow as Gulf states ponder the new world order

Analysis: Mohammed bin Zayed meets Putin in Moscow as Gulf states ponder the new world order

The president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), met in Moscow on Tuesday (11 October) with president Valdimir Putin of Russia. Putin warmly greeted his UAE guest at the Kostantinovsky Palace. The visit comes as Gulf states ponder about the new world order, Even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the world order that had emerged at the end of the Cold War had clearly run out of steam. Russia and the West, instead of partners in the international system through membership of the G8, cooperation in space, and extensive arms control agreements, became first rivals, and, since February this year, enemies. China, whose rise over the last four decades as an economic power was first admired, has subsequently become a “systematic rival”. As it verges on superpower status it has become more assertive and less predictable. The US and its allies are seriously worried.  For the countries of the Gulf this new world order is uncharted waters. During the Cold War the Gulf was first a British lake, and later an American one. The American shield protected the Gulf states against intruders. When Iraq invaded Kuwait and occupied it in 1990, the US and its allies led the international community in a fightback, and Saddam Hussein was driven back across the border with a bloody nose. When he tried to rear his head again, the West finished him off. Then there was Iran. A huge American presence, with other allies in the wings, saw off Iranian ambitions in the region. It seemed that US-GCC relations were set in stone. Yet as the world reverted back to a multipolar state - the parameters of which are as yet undefined - it was only the naïve who thought that the GCC states will simply slide back to their old role of doing the USA's bidding in return for protection. Things in the Gulf have changed dramatically in the last six decades, and in the last decade in particular, in political terms the region is unrecognisable. In Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Doha and elsewhere the national interest has been re-defined. 
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News
Eastern European civil society activists awarded the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize

Eastern European civil society activists awarded the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize

The 2022 Peace Prize has been awarded to human rights advocate Ales Bialiatski from Belarus, the Russian human rights organisation Memorial and the Ukrainian human rights organisation Center for Civil Liberties. A statement published on the official website of the Norwegian Nobel Peace Committee in Oslo said The Peace Prize laureates represent civil society in their home countries. They have for many years promoted the right to criticise power and protect the fundamental rights of citizens. They have made an outstanding effort to document war crimes, human right abuses and the abuse of power. Together they demonstrate the significance of civil society for peace and democracy.
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Monday Commentary
Opinion: Preparing for the worst, whilst working to avoid it

Opinion: Preparing for the worst, whilst working to avoid it

Putin’s annexation of parts of Ukraine takes the world to the verge of War, but a stronger and more united global condemnation of Russian aggression can still make Putin step back. Monday Commentary is back. Every Monday, commonspace.eu Managing Editor, Dennis Sammut discusses a hot topic on the European and international agenda. This week he weighs the implications of Russia’s annexation of parts of Ukraine, and the dilemma it poses to the rest of the world. He argues that it takes the world to the verge of a world war involving nuclear-armed states. But this can still be avoided if there is more global unity in condemnation of the Russian aggression.