Russia

Exile on Silk Road: The rise of the near abroad

There is a case to be made among historians that the Silk Road was the eighth wonder of the world: not a monument in stone, but a monument to furthering the cause of humanity, allowing for the transmission of economic, cultural and political exchanges between East and West in a manner previously unthinkable and surviving …

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Russia, Ukraine and Africa: Against the grain

Is Russia’s war in Ukraine a localised conflict, a regional war, or a global disaster? The military action concentrated on one country alone would suggest the first, the various nuclear- and cyber-threats against Europe the second, but global trends are increasingly confirming the third. It is possible to view the Russian invasion, and by extension …

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Creating a Dictator

The quagmire of a lengthy, painful, and ultimately unsuccessful campaign in Afghanistan in the 1980s is credited with hastening the demise of the Soviet Union. History could well be repeating, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine stretches into an eleventh month and domestic discontent with Putin’s war continues to rise. Could this be the trigger that …

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Russia’s second front

Vladimir Putin’s efforts to change the world’s balance of power requires not just a strong military, but serious influence over the world’s oil & gas markets, and to be really effective, he needs more than just Saudi Arabia and Iran on side – he needs control directly or indirectly of South America’s oil production as …

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Multipolarity and the Middle East: The not-so-beautiful game

Four years ago, one of the defining images of the 2018 World Cup was of Vladimir Putin and Mohammed bin Salman together in the stands, sharing a joke as hosts Russia hammered Saudi Arabia five-nil. There will be no such repeat this time, given that Russia is – amazingly – too corrupt even for FIFA …

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Russia and Putin: The end of the road?

If you drive south-east out of St. Petersburg, you find yourself on the Trans-Siberian Highway, a network of roads eleven thousand kilometres long that is, depending on your disposition towards Australia, either the longest or second-longest highway on the planet. But even eleven thousand kilometres must come to an end, and the prospect of Vladivostok …

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Brazil: Future imperfect

Although according to its national anthem, Brazil’s future ‘mirrors greatness’, the country presently finds itself looking to the past, in more ways than one. After four years of rule by the right-wing Jair Bolsonaro, this dictatorial populist lost by a margin of just 1.8%, the thinnest in Brazil’s history, to Lula da Silva – who …

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Ilan Shor: the Kremlin’s new man in Moldova

In previous articles, KCS Group Europe has reported on the Kremlin’s strategy to fund pro-Russia politicians and influential figures in various Eastern European nations like Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Bulgaria, and Romania. Next on the list is Moldova. The small Eastern European nation finds itself in a very difficult position regarding Russian influence – arguably, …

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Moldova: in between a rock and a hard place

Moldova finds itself in a tricky situation currently. Since the invasion of Ukraine, the neighboring country has struggled to maintain its support for Ukraine and its pro-Western stance while, at the same time, receiving an enormous amount of pressure from Russia. The lack of natural energy resources means Moldova relies heavily on Russian natural gas …

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