Kimberly Marten 01-29-2015
Despite the allure of another Russian spy scandal in New York City, the real news right now centers on the upsurge of fighting in eastern Ukraine. During the weekend, 30 people were killed by a rocket attack on an open-air market in Mariupol. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) — an international organization which counts Russia as a member state and is monitoring the fighting with Russian agreement — announced that crater-...
Pavel K. Baev 01-26-2015
(Eurasia Daily Monitor) The sharp escalation of hostilities in eastern Ukraine last week (January 22) has disheartened many in Europe who had hoped for a gradual resolution of the Ukraine conflict. On the other hand, it has been a welcome return to the path of victory for many in Russia who consume or produce the flow of war propaganda. For some observers, the fragility of the ceasefire and the impossibility of “freezing” the conflict in the present...
PONARS Eurasia 01-26-2015
(Bloomberg) Russian President Vladimir Putin sent the new Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras a congratulatory telegram after his far-left party won national elections, offering to boost cooperation between the countries. Putin wished Tsipras success in “difficult conditions,” and said the two countries will continue to cooperate in resolving European and global issues. Euro-area finance ministers are gathering Monday in Brussels to discuss Greece....
PONARS Eurasia 01-26-2015
(Bloomberg) European Union nations edged closer to tightening sanctions against Russia as fighting between government troops and rebels consumed the front line in eastern Ukraine in the deadliest escalation since a September truce. The EU will add more individuals this week to a list of those facing visa bans and asset freezes over Russia’s involvement in the conflict, Latvian President Andris Berzins, whose country holds the 28-nation bloc’s rotating...
PONARS Eurasia 01-26-2015
(AFP) - A major offensive in eastern Ukraine by rebels allegedly backed by Russia has marked a dangerous new stage in the nine-month conflict and dashed hopes for a truce, pressuring Western nations to act. A deadly rocket attack on the port city of Mariupol on Saturday highlighted a week-long rebel advance that has seen the separatists take the long-disputed Donetsk airport and pledge to conquer more territory. Rebels did not claim responsibility for the...
PONARS Eurasia 01-26-2015
(The New York Times) DONETSK, Ukraine — Unexpectedly, at the height of the Ukrainian winter, war has exploded anew on a half-dozen battered fronts across eastern Ukraine, accompanied by increasing evidence that Russian troops and Russian equipment have been pouring into the region again. A shaky cease-fire has all but vanished, with rebel leaders vowing fresh attacks. Civilians are being hit by deadly mortars at bus stops. Tanks are rumbling down snowy...
Harris Mylonas 01-26-2015
(The Washington Post) Greece just completed one of its shortest electoral campaign periods which — for the first time since 1964 — occurred right after the winter holidays. The polarized climate was coupled with the resounding absence of any concrete proposals for a wide array of issues such as pensions, public administration, national security and foreign policy — with the exception of Greece’s relationship with its creditors. Despite the single-issue...
Konstantin Sonin 01-26-2015
(St. Petersburg Times) The ruble price of the dollar rose by more than 20 percent on Dec. 15-16, 2014, and now that the currency markets have calmed down a bit, the dollar costs about twice as much as it did one year ago. However, this relative calm has come at a very high price. The devaluation of the ruble has already led to a sharp rise in the cost of imports and an immediate drop in living standards. Also, the Central Bank's decision to raise the key...

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