Eastern Europe / Features

Attack of the Debt Tsunami: global debt soars to a new all-time high

Ben Aris n Berlin November 19, 2020

The coronacrisis has sent already record-high levels of global debt soaring to giddying new levels, reports the Institute of International Finance (IIF) in a note released on November 18.

Rural Russians are moving to cities to escape the impoverished regions

James C Pearce in Moscow November 16, 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) story in most of Russia’s regions is bleak and Russians are increasingly moving to the cities looking for a better life.

Just how close is Belarus to an economic crisis?

Linas Jegelevicius in Vilnius November 16, 2020

Gripped with the lingering political turmoil, the Belarusian economy is sinking despite a $1.5bn loan lifeline thrown to it by the Kremlin to help Belarus’ self-appointed leader Alexander Lukashenko tough out a huge political and economic crisis.

Who emerge as the real winners from the bloody Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?

bne IntelIiNews November 11, 2020

The six-week war has reshaped the geopolitical scenario in the South Caucasus. Azerbaijan has its yearned for victory, Armenia has been pushed aside. Moscow will now try to run the show while keeping Turkey at arm’s length.

The state is back in business

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow November 11, 2020

This year’s public health crisis has accelerated calls for an increased role of the state in the economy, shows a new report from the EBRD.

Russia's BioFoodLabs health food is flourishing in the times of the pandemic

Ben Aris in Berlin November 10, 2020

Russians have been bingeing on health food in an effort to build up their immune systems in the hope of protecting themselves from the coronavirus (COVID-19), sending the sales of BioFoodLabs soaring.

Russian online economy is booming

Ben Aris in Berlin November 5, 2020

Russia’s online economy is booming and no one has really noticed. The traditional economy will be badly hurt this year by the multiple crises, but online sales have only accelerated. Russia's New Economy has reached critical mass.

Russian tech deals galore

Ben Aris in Berlin November 5, 2020

As Russia’s new economy comes of age it seems there is a new deal announced on a daily basis as the leading companies snap up start-ups or rivals in the rush to build an ecosystem that covers all of life’s needs and wants.

Armenians flee fighting in Karabakh

Joshua Kucera for Eurasianet November 5, 2020

About 40,000 civilians have fled from Karabakh into Armenia, where they are being accommodated in schools, hotels and volunteers’ homes.

Russia's MegaFon invests in satellite network to provide internet access from space

Ben Aris in Berlin October 29, 2020

Leading Russian mobile phone operator MegaFon is investing in a project that will provide planet-wide data access to on-the-ground users from low-Earth orbit satellites.

The Russian retail digital revolution of the X5 supermarket chain

Ben Aris in Berlin October 29, 2020

It's been on the Kremlin’s agenda for years, but now the Russian economy is finally being rapidly digitised. Russia's leading supermarket chain X5 has launched a radical transformation of its business.

Russian crises drive a discount retail boom

Ben Aris in Berlin October 27, 2020

Russia’s leading discount store Fix Price’s promise is you can buy anything in the store for RUB199, or about $2.60. And that is just what consumers want as the company reports 15 quarters in a row of double-digit growth

Russia’s regions face a fresh debt crisis as they struggle to cope with the coronavirus pandemic

Ben Aris in Berlin October 27, 2020

After a near-miss debt crisis in 2015-16 Russia’s Ministry of Finance took direct control of the worst cases. But now the finances all Russia's regions are under pressure again as they struggle to cope with the corona-shock and soaring costs.