Eastern Europe / Features

The Kremlin takes control of the internet in Russia’s Duma elections

Ben Aris in Berlin September 18, 2021

Russia Duma elections are underway but the election is not about re-electing the ruling United Russia Party but more to ensure that jailed anti-corruption activist and opposition politician Alexei Navalny’s smart voting project is a total failure.

LONG READ: Russia's hybrid Duma elections

Ben Aris in Berlin September 16, 2021

Russia goes to the polls this weekend to vote in a new Duma. There is little doubt that the ruling United Russia will win a majority. The elections are fixed. But in many regions the elections are fair and those are the smart voting targets.

SPB Exchange driving Russia's retail equity investment revolution

Ben Aris in Berlin September 15, 2021

Russia is going through a retail investment revolution. Plunging interest rates at bank deposits – long the favoured store of wealth for the average person – have led to a boom in Russians investing into equities.

Russia's ultra-convenience shopping’s future isn’t just online

Stephen Bierman in Moscow September 13, 2021

Europe’s largest retail market may see sales from small local shops offering low-price basic items more than double over the next five years. Russia's new "ultra-convenience" stores are the next big thing in retail.

bneGreen: Green push comes to steel

Stephen Bierman of NEO September 10, 2021

The world got its first delivery of carbon-free steel last month, setting a pair of green goalposts for the industry’s future. Progress for the moment and future, all the same, will require changes in production processes, feed stock and fuels.

Azerbaijan-Russia relations sour over Karabakh disagreements

Heydar Isayev for Eurasianet September 9, 2021

Baku has been increasingly airing public criticisms of Moscow over the post-war order, which have been exacerbated by the lack of a formal mandate for the Russian peacekeepers in Karabakh.

bneGreen: Meat’s animal-free future

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow September 8, 2021

Startups in emerging Europe developing alternative proteins are part of a growing movement aimed at helping to fight climate change and feed the world’s expanding population.

INTERVIEW: Metinvest reports record results, but expects the market to cool from here

Ben Aris in Berlin September 2, 2021

Ukraine’s biggest company, the iron and steel producer Metinvest, just reported its best results in 13 years, but Metinvest’s CEO Yuriy Ryzhenkov says he is focused on building a robust business for the long haul.

The crushing weight of China’s debt burden on Eurasia

bne IntelIiNews September 1, 2021

Emerging European economies were already facing heavy debt burdens before the pandemic. Now it’s worse. Several countries in Eurasia and Emerging Europe are struggling to pay off huge loans they took from China.

bneGreen: Emerging Europe’s perfect storm for illegal logging

bne IntelliNews September 1, 2021

High demand for wood for the booming global furniture market, poverty, persistent corruption and huge areas of sparsely populated forest land combine to create the conditions for illegal logging in Emerging Europe.

European Medical Centre, 32 years of caring for Muscovites

Ben Aris in Berlin August 31, 2021

Any expat that has lived in Moscow for an extended period knows the European Medical Centre. Set up in 1989 before the fall of the Soviet Union to cater to the diplomatic community, the EMC is now a largely Russian business and recently IPO'd.

Russia’s ruling United Russia Party faces prospect of losing its majority in the upcoming elections

Ben Aris in Berlin August 27, 2021

As its poll numbers drop to new lows, Putin-supporting United Russia Party faces the prospect of losing its absolute hold on power in September’s elections as its popularity falls to about 35%.

Nord Stream 2 fails to get exemption from EU gas market rules

bne IntelliNews August 25, 2021

A court in Germany has ruled that Russia’s controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline should not be exempt from EU gas market rules, creating new headaches for the project’s state-owned operator Gazprom, which may be unable to use half the capacity.

Kyiv residential real estate booms as high demand causes price surge

by Cameron Jones in London August 25, 2021

Demand for residential real estate in Kyiv is outstripping supply. As a result, Kyiv has a lack of available apartments and prices are surging, following trends seen earlier this year.

Ukraine shows off its old and new military hardware in 30th anniversary of Independence Day parade

by Cameron Jones in London August 25, 2021

New military technology joins ranks of Soviet-era weaponry at Ukraine’s Independence Day

Ukraine to receive $2.7bn worth of IMF SDR allocation

Ben Aris in Berlin August 22, 2021

The International Monetary Fund is due to grant Ukraine a $2.7bn gift on August 23 as part of its $650bn Special Drawing Rights giveaway to help poorer countries recover from the coronacrisis more quickly.

15% of Russian industrial companies are zombies

Cameron Jones in London August 22, 2021

The share of zombie companies in Russian industry is 10-15%, according to the Centre for Business Studies of the National Research University Higher School of Economics.

The borscht index: The number of portions Russians can afford to cook has been falling

Cameron Jones in London August 20, 2021

The purchasing power of Russians in the first half of this year fell in 64 of Russia’s 85 regions, according to the “borscht index”, a sort of Russian version of the well-known “Big Mac index”.

Ukraine’s law enforcement clashes with far right Azov movement

Ben Aris in Berlin August 17, 2021

Violent clashes after Ukrainian law enforcers attempted to crack down on the criminal schemes the movement uses to make money.

Belarus' flower man given 8.5 years in jail, tells court of his harrowing treatment and torture

bne IntelliNews August 17, 2021

A year ago Stepan Latypov (Stsyapan Latupau) went down to one of the main squares in central Minsk and started to hand out flowers to the women he met there. He was later arrested, beaten and finally sentenced to 8.5 year in jail.