Russia Monitor
09/20/2021

Peace Mission-2021: CSO Countries Involved In Joint Drills

Russia and China are taking part in yet another military drill. The Peace Mission-2021 joint anti-terrorism military exercise is centered on the threat from the Taliban. As a couple of Central Asian countries are involved in the drills, they seem to be more afraid of an Islamic Afghanistan more than they are reluctant to see China's growing reach with tacit consent from Moscow. Russia and China are taking part in yet another military drill. The Peace Mission-2021 joint anti-terrorism military exercise is centered on the threat from the Taliban. As a couple of Central Asian countries are involved in the drills, they seem to be more afraid of an Islamic Afghanistan more than they are reluctant to see China's growing reach with tacit consent from Moscow.

09/15/2021

Progressive "Integration": Lukashenko Gives Belarus Into Russian Hands

The presidents of Russia and Belarus met in Moscow yet did not sign chapters to a union state between the two countries. Nonetheless, the two leaders spoke of most thorny issues, notably energy, and adopted a somewhat common stance. Integration between Russia and Belarus––or rather pushing the latter country into Moscow's clutches––is gaining momentum. Possibly by the end of the year Russia and Belarus will take some critical decisions that those in favor of an independent Belarus will find challenging to reverse in the future. The presidents of Russia and Belarus met in Moscow yet did not sign chapters to a union state between the two countries. Nonetheless, the two leaders spoke of most thorny issues, notably energy, and adopted a somewhat common stance. Integration between Russia and Belarus––or rather pushing the latter country into Moscow's clutches––is gaining momentum. Possibly by the end of the year Russia and Belarus will take some critical decisions that those…

09/14/2021

Russia Is Common Threat to Poland and Baltic States

The Zapad-2021 drills and the EU-Belarus border crisis are both the reminder that it is the northern section of NATO's eastern flank that is most vulnerable to any threat from Russia. Due to their location and military weakness, the three Baltic countries may feel particularly fearful of Russian pressure. It is only with the continued military support from the North Atlantic Alliance that these states could hope to deter Moscow. One example is the Air Policing Mission that aims to preserve the security of the airspace of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. The Zapad-2021 drills and the EU-Belarus border crisis are both the reminder that it is the northern section of NATO's eastern flank that is most vulnerable to any threat from Russia. Due to their location and military weakness, the three Baltic countries may feel particularly fearful of Russian pressure. It is only with the continued military support from the North Atlantic Alliance that these states could hope to deter Moscow. One…

09/10/2021

The Mysterious Death of Putin’s Trusted General

An unfortunate accident was supposed to be the cause of death of the Minister of Emergency Situations, General Yevgeny Zinichev, official statements say. For many years, Zinichev was a trusted man of Vladimir Putin, who guided his career. Zinichev was a personal security officer, the Governor of Kaliningrad Oblast, the Deputy Director of the Federal Security Service, and the Head of one of the important state power ministries. An unfortunate accident was supposed to be the cause of death of the Minister of Emergency Situations, General Yevgeny Zinichev, official statements say. For many years, Zinichev was a trusted man of Vladimir Putin, who guided his career. Zinichev was a personal security officer, the Governor of Kaliningrad Oblast, the Deputy Director of the Federal Security Service, and the Head of one of the important state power ministries.

08/31/2021

Rosneft In Talks With Potential Investors In Vostok Oil

Russia's biggest oil company Rosneft is in talks with various groups of investors on joining the company’s flagship Vostok Oil project. Earlier the energy giant had seen a major lifeline to develop its Arctic project once it sold a 10 percent stake to international trader Trafigura. Russia's biggest oil company Rosneft is in talks with various groups of investors on joining the company’s flagship Vostok Oil project. Earlier the energy giant had seen a major lifeline to develop its Arctic project once it sold a 10 percent stake to international trader Trafigura.

08/30/2021

Russia Deploys Missile Forces To Grodno, Belarus

Russia and Belarus are putting into practice their military cooperation deal both have concluded this spring. Units of the anti-aircraft missile forces of the Russian Federation arrived in Grodno to create three joint "combat training centers" for the air force and air defense forces of the two states. Thus for the first time in many years, Russia is beefing up its permanent military presence in Belarus. Russia and Belarus are putting into practice their military cooperation deal both have concluded this spring. Units of the anti-aircraft missile forces of the Russian Federation arrived in Grodno to create three joint "combat training centers" for the air force and air defense forces of the two states. Thus for the first time in many years, Russia is beefing up its permanent military presence in Belarus.

08/27/2021

Russia Stiffens Stance On The Taliban

Moscow's recent decisions show it hesitates whether the Taliban will meet their commitments to stop the Islamic expansions northwards to Central Asian countries. The Russian military is beefing up its Tajik base, Vladimir Putin says Islamic factions could "infiltrate" the region while the country's deputy foreign minister adds that Moscow is not racing to recognize the Taliban as Afghanistan's rulers. Moscow's recent decisions show it hesitates whether the Taliban will meet their commitments to stop the Islamic expansions northwards to Central Asian countries. The Russian military is beefing up its Tajik base, Vladimir Putin says Islamic factions could "infiltrate" the region while the country's deputy foreign minister adds that Moscow is not racing to recognize the Taliban as Afghanistan's rulers.

08/27/2021

Tensions Rise Along NATO Border In The Run-Up To Zapad-2021 Drills

Communication forces kickstarted their part of the joint Russia-Belarus military exercise on August 26 in the run-up to the Zapad-2021 war games. Some Russian soldiers are already in Belarus while in the August 23 phone call, Vladimir Putin exchanged views on the drills with Alexander Lukashenko. Communication forces kickstarted their part of the joint Russia-Belarus military exercise on August 26 in the run-up to the Zapad-2021 war games. Some Russian soldiers are already in Belarus while in the August 23 phone call, Vladimir Putin exchanged views on the drills with Alexander Lukashenko.

08/27/2021

Crimea Platform: Ukraine's Success, Russia's Defeat

Inaugurated on August 23 in Kyiv, a worldwide platform causes serious headache to Russia and its reputation. Not only does the world refuse to recognize Moscow's occupation of Crimea, but the issue is also gaining new momentum as the Crimea Platform was set up. That is the triumph of Ukraine's authorities and symbol of Zelensky's firm policy as the Ukrainian president does not focus solely on Donbas in his country's ties with Moscow but also bring back the peninsula to the international agenda. Inaugurated on August 23 in Kyiv, a worldwide platform causes serious headache to Russia and its reputation. Not only does the world refuse to recognize Moscow's occupation of Crimea, but the issue is also gaining new momentum as the Crimea Platform was set up. That is the triumph of Ukraine's authorities and symbol of Zelensky's firm policy as the Ukrainian president does not focus solely on Donbas in his country's ties with Moscow but also bring back the peninsula to the international agenda.

08/25/2021

Nord Stream 2: U.S., Germany Make Fictitious Moves, Putin Triumphs

While Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin made a symbolic deal to the completion of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, the United States imposed new sanctions on the project. They do not change much while the gas pipeline is set to be completed any day now. Moscow does not conceal that not only will it scrap the existing transit deal with Ukraine after it expires, but also it has no intention of meeting its commitments by 2024. It is pointless for Merkel and the EU to promise to do their utmost to make Russia continue sending gas through Ukraine. While Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin made a symbolic deal to the completion of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, the United States imposed new sanctions on the project. They do not change much while the gas pipeline is set to be completed any day now. Moscow does not conceal that not only will it scrap the existing transit deal with Ukraine after it expires, but also it has no intention of meeting its commitments by 2024. It is…

08/24/2021

Covid-19: Delta Variant Takes Heavy Toll In Russia

New days are bringing more than 800 new coronavirus deaths in Russia. The number of new infections remains high, too. The authorities do not know how to persuade people to get vaccinated. The poor vaccination rate in Russia and an uptick fueled by the Delta variant are both responsible for the surge in new cases across the country. New days are bringing more than 800 new coronavirus deaths in Russia. The number of new infections remains high, too. The authorities do not know how to persuade people to get vaccinated. The poor vaccination rate in Russia and an uptick fueled by the Delta variant are both responsible for the surge in new cases across the country.

08/24/2021

U.S. Failure In Afghanistan Runs Bigger Risk Of War In Ukraine

Possible Russian aggression gives rise to increasing concerns in Kyiv. First, the United States gave its green light to complete the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline that is a great danger to Ukraine. Now Washington is displaying helplessness in Afghanistan, which may encourage its enemies to take aggressive steps. Among them could be Russia, prone to attack Ukraine. Possible Russian aggression gives rise to increasing concerns in Kyiv. First, the United States gave its green light to complete the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline that is a great danger to Ukraine. Now Washington is displaying helplessness in Afghanistan, which may encourage its enemies to take aggressive steps. Among them could be Russia, prone to attack Ukraine.

08/24/2021

Russia Introduces New Sanctions, "Taking Revenge For Crimea Platform"

A few hours after German Chancellor Angela Merkel left Moscow, the Russian government published a new extended list of sanctions on Ukrainian officials. Kyiv says Moscow is taking its revenge for the Crimea Platform summit, scheduled for August 23. Merkel had been in Ukraine a day before. A few hours after German Chancellor Angela Merkel left Moscow, the Russian government published a new extended list of sanctions on Ukrainian officials. Kyiv says Moscow is taking its revenge for the Crimea Platform summit, scheduled for August 23. Merkel had been in Ukraine a day before.

08/11/2021

Russian Oil Tycoon Pays For Deals With Lukashenko

Sanctions imposed on Belarus and people doing business with the Lukashenko regime by the European Union and the United Kingdom forced a Russian oligarch to formally sell off stakes in oil companies. Mikhail Gutseriev, a Russian businessman, handed over his shares in Russneft and Neftis to his brother. Sanctions imposed on Belarus and people doing business with the Lukashenko regime by the European Union and the United Kingdom forced a Russian oligarch to formally sell off stakes in oil companies. Mikhail Gutseriev, a Russian businessman, handed over his shares in Russneft and Neftis to his brother.

07/30/2021

Moscow Plays Up Donbas As Part Of The Ukraine Conflict

Since the beginning of the war in Donbas, Russia has depicted the conflict as a Ukrainian civil war. In addition, the Kremlin consequently denies being a party to the ongoing conflict. Yet its recent decisions amid the upcoming State Duma elections and the fight against the coronavirus pandemic clearly show that one-third of Donbas, or so-called "people's republics," is in fact subordinated, or controlled, by the Kremlin. Ukraine's government has banned the registration of Sputnik V in the country. Since the beginning of the war in Donbas, Russia has depicted the conflict as a Ukrainian civil war. In addition, the Kremlin consequently denies being a party to the ongoing conflict. Yet its recent decisions amid the upcoming State Duma elections and the fight against the coronavirus pandemic clearly show that one-third of Donbas, or so-called "people's republics," is in fact subordinated, or controlled, by the Kremlin. Ukraine's government has banned the registration of Sputnik V in the…

07/30/2021

Russia Deploys More Missiles To The Baltic Sea

The coastal defense missile systems Bal and Bastion were developed to ensure Russia's control of the Gulf of Finland––and so was the purpose of similar complexes installed in Crimea nearby Ukrainian Black Sea ports. Intimidating enemies with missile defense systems is in line with Russia's long-running strategy to build up the Western Military District, notably its positions in the Baltic Sea. The coastal defense missile systems Bal and Bastion were developed to ensure Russia's control of the Gulf of Finland – and so was the purpose of similar complexes installed in Crimea nearby Ukrainian Black Sea ports. Intimidating enemies with missile defense systems is in line with Russia's long-running strategy to build up the Western Military District, notably its positions in the Baltic Sea.

07/30/2021

Astana Triangle Is Not Yet Dead

The 16th meeting of the Astana trio – made up of Turkey, Russia, and Iran – on Syria took place in July in Kazakhstan's capital Nur-Sultan. They all vowed to continue their fight against the Islamic State (IS) and other Syrian-based "rebel groups." The new round of Astana Syria talks took place amid conflicting interests both Moscow and Ankara have on Syrian soil. The 16th meeting of the Astana trio – made up of Turkey, Russia, and Iran – on Syria took place in July in Kazakhstan's capital Nur-Sultan. They all vowed to continue their fight against the Islamic State (IS) and other Syrian-based "rebel groups." The new round of Astana Syria talks took place amid conflicting interests both Moscow and Ankara have on Syrian soil.

07/30/2021

Another Russian Oil Giant Resumes Operations In Libya

Russian oil producer Tatneft is ready to resume oil production in Libya and the company's specialists are already working on this matter locally. Furthermore, not only does the giant wish to restart work abandoned as hostilities broke out in the country, but it is also looking for new opportunities for exploration. The Libyan government is encouraging Russian companies to come back to the country, seeking to rebuild economic ties both states had enjoyed in the Gaddafi era. Russian oil producer Tatneft is ready to resume oil production in Libya and the company's specialists are already working on this matter locally. Furthermore, not only does the giant wish to restart work abandoned as hostilities broke out in the country, but it is also looking for new opportunities for exploration. The Libyan government is encouraging Russian companies to come back to the country, seeking to rebuild economic ties both states had enjoyed in the Gaddafi era.

07/29/2021

Russia Sends Aid To Cuba Regime

Anti-government protests in Cuba pose a challenge to Russia. If the Communist regime collapsed, Moscow would lose a crucial ally in Latin America and its security foothold where the Kremlin enjoys influence, too. Anti-government protests in Cuba pose a challenge to Russia. If the Communist regime collapsed, Moscow would lose a crucial ally in Latin America and its security foothold where the Kremlin enjoys influence, too.

07/28/2021

Russia Makes More Aggressive Moves In Donbas

Tensions go high along the demarcation line in Donbas while there are more and more cases of the exchange of fire, with an increase in the number of wounded Ukrainian soldiers. In addition, Russia reportedly amasses heavy weaponry in the areas controlled by Moscow-loyal fighters. If the Kremlin launches a new offensive against Ukraine this summer, the eastern region of Donbas will certainly serve a pivotal role in the conflict. Tensions go high along the demarcation line in Donbas while there are more and more cases of the exchange of fire, with an increase in the number of wounded Ukrainian soldiers. In addition, Russia reportedly amasses heavy weaponry in the areas controlled by Moscow-loyal fighters. If the Kremlin launches a new offensive against Ukraine this summer, the eastern region of Donbas will certainly serve a pivotal role in the conflict.

07/28/2021

Putin Warns Of Russia's Hypersonic Nuclear Weapons At Naval Parade

An annual parade of warships in the port city of St. Petersburg is traditionally intended to showcase Russia's military strength. Nonetheless, this does not seem so for the country's navy as Russia still lags far behind some world powers, including the United States as well as the United Kingdom and China. This year, Putin used a Navy Day parade to deliver his latest reminder of Russia’s military muscle and its successful attempts to develop new weapons, also cutting-edge hypersonics. An annual parade of warships in the port city of St. Petersburg is traditionally intended to showcase Russia's military strength. Nonetheless, this does not seem so for the country's navy as Russia still lags far behind some world powers, including the United States as well as the United Kingdom and China. This year, Putin used a Navy Day parade to deliver his latest reminder of Russia’s military muscle and its successful attempts to develop new weapons, also cutting-edge hypersonics.

07/26/2021

U.S. Concessions On Nord Stream 2 Encourage Russia To Go To War

A U.S.-German deal on the Russian natural gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 deals a blow to the energy security of Eastern Europe, notably Ukraine, whose military security is at stake, too. As the Joe Biden administration is making new concessions to Russia while France and Germany show a Moscow-friendly attitude, Vladimir Putin feels encouraged to take further aggressive action, also militarily. At the same time, the deal offers no security guarantee to Kyiv. A U.S.-German deal on the Russian natural gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 deals a blow to the energy security of Eastern Europe, notably Ukraine, whose military security is at stake, too. As the Joe Biden administration is making new concessions to Russia while France and Germany show a Moscow-friendly attitude, Vladimir Putin feels encouraged to take further aggressive action, also militarily. At the same time, the deal offers no security guarantee to Kyiv.

07/23/2021

Russian FSB Detains Estonian Consul

Russia is keeping up with the espionage and diplomatic war it has waged against Western states. This time Moscow hit Estonia, and more precisely its St. Petersburg-based consul. The incident resembles a provocation staged against a Ukrainian consul a few months ago. Russian counterintelligence outlets thus can take similar steps to target Russian-based diplomats of any state that Moscow recognizes as hostile. Russia is keeping up with the espionage and diplomatic war it has waged against Western states. This time Moscow hit Estonia, and more precisely its St. Petersburg-based consul. The incident resembles a provocation staged against a Ukrainian consul a few months ago. Russian counterintelligence outlets thus can take similar steps to target Russian-based diplomats of any state that Moscow recognizes as hostile.

07/21/2021

OPEC+ Signs Deal To Raise Oil Output Each Month

Oil producers agreed to increase production at a July 18 meeting by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) from August. The decision will be beneficial to Russia since its daily oil output is projected to rise by 500,000 barrels beginning in May 2022. The two previous OPEC+ meetings were called off as the United Arab Emirates rejected a proposal. Oil producers agreed to increase production at a July 18 meeting by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) from August. The decision will be beneficial to Russia since its daily oil output is projected to rise by 500,000 barrels beginning in May 2022. The two previous OPEC+ meetings were called off as the United Arab Emirates rejected a proposal.