Ukrainian power systems disabled by cyber attack

Hackers allegedly linked to Russian security services were  reportedly behind attacks on the Ukrainian power grid that caused black outs in the capital region and throughout western Ukraine. According to officials that have analyzed samples of BlackEnergy, the code used in the attacks, control systems used to “coordinate remote substations were disabled” in the attack. A…

Kyrgyzstan: Progress on hydroelectric plants halted

Investment in hydroelectricity in Kyrgyzstan has come to a standstill and the government has announced that it is courting new investment partners. A new report published by The Diplomat and a recent government announcement indicate that the country will look beyond Russia, its traditional partner in hydroelectric development, for financing due to ambiguous signs coming…

Exploring the Kazakh Economy: An Interview with Sabit Khakimzhanov

Earlier this year we had the opportunity to speak to Dr. Sabit Khakimzhanov,  the head of research at Halyk Finance, a leading Kazakh investment bank focused on Central Asia. Khakimzhanov is an authority on the Kazakh economy and investment climate, and has written and spoken widely on Kazakh monetary policy. Dr. Khakimzhanov has a Ph.D. in Applied Economics from…

New reports reveal Moldovan black market of nuclear materials

A report from earlier this month published by the Associated Press focused on the market for nuclear materials in Moldova. The report, compiled by investigators working in conjunction with Moldovan law enforcement agencies and the FBI, details a black market of nuclear materials available in Moldova. As has been documented in some detail here and…

Russia Commits ‘Volunteer’ Ground Troops to Syria

The Kremlin announced that Russian “volunteer” forces could soon join forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on the battlefields of Syria. Russia has publicly supported the Assad regime for years and recently amplified its support for the regime through airstrikes purportedly directed at extremist militias in the county. The latest announcement augurs a potential…