Mongolia’s wrestling culture: From the grasslands to the cage

Dr. Antonio Graceffo September 25, 2020

“When you’re little, they make you wrestle sheep. When you get older you wrestle horses, and finally, you wrestle camels,” says one wrestler. Can country’s centuries-old wrestling tradition be translated to domination of professional MMA?

Turkmenistan: Everybody yurts, sometimes

Eurasianet September 25, 2020

In a rare nod to reality, Turkmenistan’s strongman hints at austerity.

TURKEY INSIGHT: Surprise rate hike not actually a rate hike?

Akin Nazli in Belgrade September 24, 2020

“It’s more of a ‘catch-up’” says one analyst. New benchmark rate of 10.25% still below average cost of funding.

Uzbekistan 2.0 reforms making good progress

Ben Aris in Berlin September 23, 2020

Since he took over as president in late 2016, Shavkat Mirziyoyev has launched a comprehensive reform programme. Four years on and a lot of progress has been made, but there is still plenty of work left to do.

Capital forecasts 8 Turkish lira to dollar by year’s end

bne IntelIiNews September 23, 2020

Updates previous expectation of 7.50. As fears mount of currency crisis, IIF notes “historically low non-resident holdings of lira-denominated assets—with only $20.9bn in stocks and $5.8bn in bonds remaining”.

The Kremlin is hiking taxes for the first time in twenty years

bne IntelliNews September 21, 2020

the Kremlin has approved a new budget that will greatly increase spending but has also used the cover of the coronacrisis to hike a variety of taxes, many for the first time.

International bond investors are selling off local EM debt in all but the best markets

Ben Aris in Berlin September 21, 2020

Emerging markets capital markets have been through a revolution in the last decade, but the coronavirus pandemic and rising political and economic risks in some markets have seen these investors turn tail and flee.

An “Italian strike” is hobbling production at Belarus’ biggest companies

Ben Aris in Berlin September 21, 2020

The opposition leaders called for a general strike in Belarus on August 11, two days after the disputed presidential election. It flopped. But as details of brutal police beatings came out two days later one company after another walked out on strike

Disasters in the making

Will Conroy in Prague September 19, 2020

Iran, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan among countries ranked most vulnerable by inaugural edition of Ecological Threat Register.

Georgia experiences its first wave of COVID-19

Giorgi Lomsadze for Eurasianet September 18, 2020

With their borders still largely closed, Georgians hit the beach and let their guard down. The epidemiological result was inevitable.

Turkey takes assertive role in Caucasus conflict

Ayla Jean Yackley for Eurasianet September 16, 2020

The shift is motivated in part by energy considerations and in part by nationalist politics.

Ukraine’s partners worried about deteriorating commitment of Zelenskiy administration to judicial reform

Ben Aris in Berlin September 16, 2020

Lack of commitment to the rule of law and judicial reform are causing consternation, while the increasingly politically motivated actions of recently appointed General Prosecutor Iryna Venedyktova are raising tensions.

A new growth area in a clean new world

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow September 14, 2020

Hungary-based producer of anti-bacterial coatings Resysten was doing respectably well before the coronavirus pandemic caused demand for its product to explode.

Russia to vote in 83 regional elections

Ben Aris in Berlin September 11, 2020

Russia goes to the polls this weekend for important regional elections in 83 regions where the Kremlin will face a challenge due to the sinking popularity of the ruling United Russia Party.

Questions raised over veracity of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine test data

Ben Aris in Berlin September 10, 2020

A group of international doctors have written to the British medical magazine The Lancet raising questions about the veracity of data presented in a recent paper that showed Russia's Sputnik V vaccine was “100% effective” in Phase II trials.

Azerbaijani power struggle intensifies

Eurasianet September 10, 2020

The under-the-surface schism within the government has dominated public discourse in Azerbaijan in recent weeks.

Ruble slides to RUB76 to dollar on Navalny poisoning, new sanctions fears and falling oil prices

Ben Aris in Berlin September 9, 2020

The ruble fell for a third day in a row to reach RUB76 as of September 8. Analyst now say that it could fall to RUB80 by the end of this year before recovering to RUB72 next year.

Belarus’ battle of the journalists

Ben Aris in Berlin September 8, 2020

The war between the population of Belarus and entrenched President Alexander Lukashenko took a new turn on September 8 as the journalists' big guns were brought up to the front in the disinformation war that is gathering momentum.

Saakashvili returning to fray in Georgian general election defying critics who see move as own goal

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest September 8, 2020

Calls for a consensus candidate ignored as UNM attempts to galvanise opposition to ruling Georgian Dream with exiled ex-president.

A general strike in Belarus could bring the Lukashenko regime down, but so far it has failed to reach critical mass

Ben Aris in Berlin September 4, 2020

A general strike by Belarus blue collar workers could bring the Lukashenko regime down, but it has failed to reach critical mass, leading to an uncomfortable standoff