Eastern Europe / News

Belarusian police use stun grenades, pepper spray and fire shots to control Sunday's mass rallies

Ben Aris in Berlin September 27, 2020

The violence at the Sunday mass rallies in Belarus went up yet another notch on September 27 when masked OMON officers used stun grenades against protesters, liberally doused the crowd with pepper stray and fired multiple shots into the air.

Major fighting erupts between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh

bne IntelIiNews September 27, 2020

Both sides accuse each other of starting clash. Russia calls for immediate ceasefire. Turkey pledges to stand by Azerbaijan.

Lukashenko has isolated himself from the rest of the world with a secret inauguration

Ben Aris in Berlin September 25, 2020

Even former leader of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev has thrown his support behind the Belarusian population protesting against self-appointed President Alexander Lukashenko.

“Putin’s chef” follows through on threat to bankrupt Navalny, bailiffs seize his apartment

Ben Aris in Berlin September 25, 2020

Russian bailiffs have seized the Moscow apartment of Alexei Navalny as the close personal ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Yevgeny Prigozhin, follows through on threats to ruin the opposition activist.

Belarus IT specialists develop software to identify OMON officers wearing masks

Ben Aris in Berlin September 25, 2020

Belarusian IT specialists based in Los Angeles have developed software that allows them to identify police and OMON riot police officers even if they are wearing a mask. Once identified, the officers' names are added to online blacklists.

Kudrin calls for restarting privatisation programme as tax reforms gather pace

Ben Aris in Berlin September 24, 2020

Former Finance Minister and Audit Chamber head Alexei Kudrin said the government could raise an additional RUB200bn-300bn ($2.6bn-4bn) a year from privatising state-owned enterprises (SOEs)

A dozen countries refuse to recognise Lukashenko’s inauguration

Ben Aris in Berlin September 24, 2020

A dozen countries refused to recognise Alexander Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus after he secretly inaugurated himself on September 23. Tensions were high in Minsk after the news broke and spontaneous protests erupted.

Profit of Russian developer Samolet Group soars 44% in 1H20

bne IntelliNews September 24, 2020

Russian developer Samolet Group reported a 44% year-on-year jump in net profit to RUB688mn in 1H20 under IFRS, with revenues maintained flat y/y at RUB23bn ($302mn) and Ebitda up by 5% y/y to RUB3.9bn, the company said in a statement.

Shares of Russian Yandex soar on Tinkoff Bank merger

bne IntelliNews September 24, 2020

Shares of Russian internet major Yandex jumped by 14% on the Moscow Exchange as news broke of its purchase of Tinkoff online bank

Navalny discharged from hospital

Ben Aris in Berlin September 23, 2020

Anti-corruption blogger and opposition activist Alexei Navalny was discharged from the Charité hospital in Berlin at the end of a month of treatment after he was poisoned with the Russian nerve agent Novichok

Lukashenko inaugurates himself in secret

Ben Aris in Berlin September 23, 2020

Fearing mass protests, Belarus' self-appointed President Alexander Lukashenko held an inauguration for himself in secret to complete the legal process of winning the disputed August 9 presidential election.

Putin calls for more and closer international co-operation at the United Nations General Assembly

Ben Aris in Berlin September 23, 2020

Russian President Vladimir Putin replayed his theme of closer international co-operation under the auspices of the UN, but added the same applies to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly.

Tikhanovskaya in Brussels to ask for help, but Cyprus vetoes EU proposed sanctions on Lukashenko

Ben Aris in Berlin September 21, 2020

Belarus opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya was in Brussels on September 21 to lobby the EU for support in the people's fight to oust Belarus' self-appointed President Alexander Lukashenko, but was stymied by Cyprus vetoing the bill

Hackers release another 1,000 Belarusian police officers' names after OMON again ratchets up violence at weekend rallies

Ben Aris in Berlin September 21, 2020

Riot police, operating in larger groups, slowly escalating level of violence. Officers are grabbing protesters making their way home. Scandalous move sees authorities intern six-year-old son of detained activist in orphanage.

Sberbank starts taking climate risk seriously

By Richard Lockhart in Edinburgh September 18, 2020

Russia’s Sberbank has set out its climate agenda, which aims to reduce the bank’s carbon footprint and put climate risk at the top of its investment strategy.

Zelenskiy's rating down by a quarter in just three months

Ben Aris in Berlin September 18, 2020

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s approval rating has tumbled from over 70% last year to just 29% now, but he remains by far the most popular politician in the country.

Lukashenko warns of war, closes the Western borders… not

Ben Aris in Berlin September 18, 2020

Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko called on the people of Poland and Lithuania to “stop your crazy politicians”, who he warned are spoiling for war, and announced that he was closing the borders with Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine.

Novichok found in a water bottle in Navalny’s hotel room

bne IntelliNews September 18, 2020

Colleagues of anti-corruption blogger and opposition activist Alexei Navalny found a bottle of water containing traces of the nerve agent Novichok used to poison him in a water bottle in his hotel room in Tomsk.

FPRI BMB Russia: Russia approves a new federal budget with 4.4% GDP deficit

FPRI BMB Russia September 18, 2020

The Russian government approved the Ministry of Finance’s proposal for Russia’s 2021-23 budget on September 16, which has been amended to include a 4.4% GDP deficit

Human Rights Watch documents police beatings, torture of protesters

Ben Aris in Berlin September 16, 2020

Human rights watchdog Human Rights Watch has released a report detailing the brutal police beatings and torture by Belarusian security forces during the crackdown on demonstrations after the blatantly falsified presidential elections.