In late April Norwegian fishermen, off the country’s north-east coast, spotted a white Beluga whale moving alongside their boat. The whale repeatedly came up to the boat and sought to rub itself against the side of the vessel. The whale, upon closer observation, appeared to be wearing some sort of harness. It had it seemed … Continue reading Norway: The Strange Case of the Military Whale and Russia’s Northern Policy
On 14 January the government of Zimbabwe announced that it was doubling the price of fuel, increasing the burden on the country’s already impoverished population. Protests broke out in Harare, Bulawayo, and a dozen other urban centres. The police and army responded with force. Twelve protestors were killed. Hundreds were arrested. The authorities moved to … Continue reading Russia and Zimbabwe: Putin and Mnangagwa Seek to Strengthen Economic and Political Links
On 22 September the Finnish National Bureau for Investigation (NBI) launched a series of raids on property owned by the company Airiston Helmi. Seventeen premises in the Turku region of south-west Finland were searched. The NBI directed raids were supported by the police, coastguard, and army. The raids involved over a 100 members of the … Continue reading Finland: The Authorities Move Against, Russian Owned, Airiston Helmi
Vladimir Putin has sought to preside over a carefully managed political system. A series of recent events, however, suggest increasing incoherence and loss of control within Russia’s political elite. These have included an election won and then lost by Russia’s ruling party, a public feud between a general and Russia’s leading anti-corruption campaigner, the poisoning … Continue reading Russia: Putin under Pressure at Home and Abroad
On 3 June Andrei Nastase, supported by a coalition of centre-right opposition parties, won a clear victory over Ion Ceban from the pro-Russian Socialist Party in the second round run-off of the election for Mayor of Chisinau.
March 2018 saw Vladimir Putin re-elected as Russian President. As he begins his new six year mandate he is, however, facing a series of inter-connected problems which are largely the product of the policies he has put in place, and which it seems he will find increasingly hard to manage using the political and military … Continue reading Russia: Putin’s Hollow Victory
Maria Gaidar (born 1982) was appointed as advisor to Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko on 28 March 2017, previously served as Deputy Governor of Odessa (Ukraine) from July 2015 to May 2016, Deputy Governor of Kirov Region (Russia) and in 2005 was founder of the DA! youth organisation. Maria Gaidar’s political career illustrates the inter-connected nature … Continue reading Ukraine and Russia: Key Personality Profile – Maria Gaidar