Russia Monitor Articles
It is very likely that the military forces of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad will attack the Idlib province – the last rebel-held bastion; the operation will probably take place in mid-September. The battle of the province may be the most difficult as well as the bloodiest one since both rebels and civilians have nowhere to escape.
Due to the analysis of defence and modernisation projects, as well as changes within the organisational structure of Russia’s armed forces over last two years, it may be indicated that the state’s authorities pay a lot of attention to the Western Military District.
The Russians seek to mark their presence in Pakistan; first, the country was visited by Russia’s Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service who took part in a meeting of leaders of intelligence services of Russia, China and Iran. The Russians tend to replace the Americans while their recent rapprochement with Pakistan may considerably affect the development of the situation in a neighbouring Afghanistan and in the region.
Russia’s energy giant Gazprom gradually loses the possibility of raising some funds on external markets due to a deepening legal dispute with Ukraine’s Naftogaz. The long-lasting dispute with the Ukrainian giant may affect Gazprom’s financial condition and it may even hamper the implementation of export gas pipeline projects, including Nord Stream 2.
Huge protests have recently erupted in Iran in response to the deteriorating economic situation in the country. U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the JCPOA keeps increasing the pressure on Iran’s economy.
The fact of murdering three Russian journalists in the Central African Republic (CAR) may have serious political repercussions both for the authorities in Bangui and Russia’s interests in the country.
It is expected that Western restrictions, imposed on Russia by the United States and the European Union after the annexation of Crimea, will become troublesome for the state’s economy only in a few years.
Mariia Butina, a Russian national indicted by a federal grand jury, has been spying for Russia for years. The 29-year-old has specialized in an alleged fight for the broadest possible right to bear a gun in her native country.
The Russians will start to extract oil in the Kurdish part of Iraq at any moment, as confirmed by reports from both sides of a deal concluded in October 2017. At that time, Russia’s oil company Rosneft purchased 80 percent of shares in five oil fields.
A long-time battle over the shape of taxation changes in Russia’s oil industry will probably end up with the success of oil companies. The government will use its best efforts to make sure that they feel as less affected by the consequences of the so-called tax manoeuvre as possible.
Greenpeace has recently drawn attention to damages made to Russia’s natural environment due to the disastrous state of the country’s pipelines. Rosneft has accused Greenpeace of performing actions ordered by other entities. The NGO has long been under Russia’s scrutiny.
Russia’s new ambassador to Moscow used to serve in both the KGB and the FSB. Previously, he had been nominated to hold a diplomatic position in particularly sensitive regions. Such designation suggests that the Kremlin may tighten its policies towards Belarus.
The Russian-Iranian alliance has not been exposed to such a difficult test for a long time. In July, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin held a meeting at the Helsinki summit; both leaders met face-to-face in order to discuss the issue of Syria as well as the role of Iran.
It was only recently that a series of corruption scandals have been revealed in the supervisory institution of Russia’s refinery industry. An investigation led to the deputy head of Rostekhnadzor; interestingly, she is a friend of Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin. It is another example of his huge influence in the Russian oil and gas sector; in addition, it constitutes a blatant manifestation of a high-level corruption in this industry.