Eastern Ukraine in chaos, Mayor of Kharkiv is shot

Pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine stormed government buildings in Luhansk, the provincial capital of Ukraine’s eastern region. Loyalties appear to have splintered, with local police waiting it out and not participating in the fighting, and the regional leadership and their state police still resisting the growing power of the pro-Russian militias. Among the locations seized…

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Turkmenistan Strengthens Energy Ties with Europe

Turkmenistan’s status as a gas giant and large scale provider to both East and West has expanded rapidly during the course of the last several years, and only looks to expand further as it announced plans to rapidly scale up existing infrastructure in order to accommodate the increasing needs of the European Union. The Turkmen…

Russia and India announce pipeline through Xinjiang

Russia and India have made tentative arrangements to construct a $30 billion oil pipeline through China’s Xinjiang province south to India. The pipeline is set to be the most expensive yet constructed, and the groundwork for the agreement was laid last October when Manmohan Singh visited Moscow during the 14th annual India-Russia summit. The agreement…

Russia Calls off State-Funded Economic Stimulus

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he will no longer seek to boost Russia’s sagging economy through an influx of government spending. The move turned heads in the international press given that Putin, along with his minister of economy, had initially voiced their support for the measure. The announcement was coupled with a statement released…

Debate over legal status of Caspian Sea continues

Yesterday foreign ministers of the Caspian countries – Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Iran – met in Moscow to prepare for the 4th summit of Caspian states in September. The legal status of the Caspian Sea with its rich reserves of petroleum and natural gas is up for debate. With few borders for maritime territories…

Afghan Election Process Decried as False Positive

Though the results are far from finalized, already tallied votes indicate that Abdullah Abduallah could prevail in the preliminary round of Afghan elections. More than half of all the votes cast have yet to be counted, and a run-off is still likely, but Abdullah has widened his lead over his closest rival, Ashraf Ghani by…

Water disputes raise tensions in FSU

The Toktogul hydroelectric power plant in Kyrgyzstan has reported low water levels. The plant is one of the largest in Central Asia and currently dams the Naryn River, and is part of the Naryn-Sry Darya cascade. Generating over 1,200 MW of power a day, it is the largest power plant in Kyrgyzstan and is one…

Ukrainian Political, Economic Challenges Put Country on Brink

Military operations designed to regain lost territory in eastern Ukraine failed on Wednesday. The much-publicized effort had seen Ukraine send columns of armored vehicles to cities that had been overtaken by pro-Russia separatist forces, but has thus far been an abject failure. Reported emerged that one column of armored vehicles were abandoned and subsequently seized…