Russia Ukraine Conflict

The luxuries of avoiding sanctions

Global sanctions on Russia continue apace, and there are rare admissions from within the country that these are working. Transport Minister, Vitaly Savelyev, has indicated that current trade logistics have been ‘virtually wrecked’, and the news that McDonalds and Starbucks are to permanently leave the country is, to the ordinary Russian, just as disappointing as …

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France: Liberty, Equality, Inadequacy?

How quickly things change in politics. In April, Emanuel Macron was heralded as the latest saviour of Europe, having defeated the far-right challenge of Marine Le Pen for a second time and promising to remain leader of the fight against Putin – a statesman for our times. Now, he has lost control of the French …

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Africa and Russia: It takes two

While most of the world has condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, one region has been far less forthcoming than most in registering its opposition. This is Africa, where half of the continent’s representatives in the UN failed to support the initial resolution demanding an immediate end to the invasion and from which condemnation has …

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Strongman of the Year: Kremlin Edition

Where does the soul of Russia lie? Some might say in its literature, with Chekhov, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy providing a formidable ‘reading list’. Others might speak for its music, with Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov among the foremost of classical composers. But, perhaps, there is a third answer, something inextricably bound up in the Russian soul that …

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Political Risk Advisory Briefing: a growing geopolitical force?

Introduction Issues of unity and belonging dominate the political consciousness right now. These are expressed in the sense of Ukraine’s nationhood versus Russia’s desire to eradicate it, in the perhaps-to-be-expanded continental bodies of the EU and NATO, and the ‘global family’ that, still tackling the coronavirus pandemic together, could yet be plunged into a global …

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Central Asia – A House Built on Sand

The phrase “The Great Game” has become something of a lazy cliché when referencing anything to do with Central Asia. Regrettably, therefore, it has never been more apt than today. Much as it was during the days of empire, it is once again a hotbed of political and geopolitical struggle. Where aristocrats, warlords, tribesmen and …

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Disinformation overload

‘Facts are sacred’, was the famous maxim of Guardian owner and editor, CP Scott, in the early 1900s. Quite what he would have made of the media of today, where ‘fake news’ runs rampant across social media and disinformation is not only endorsed but enacted by individuals, corporates, and governments alike, we can only imagine. …

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Mustang Panda, Hidden Dragon

‘Bronze President’ is not just another nickname for Donald Trump. It is a Chinese state-sponsored hacking group that has historically operated in the South Asian region, working across Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Burma (Myanmar), to gather sensitive information of interest to Beijing in its own backyard. But there are signs that the group’s targets are …

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