The Daily Vertical: Putin Smells Blood
Ahead of the first anniversary of the shaky Minsk agreement, numerous circumstances appear to keep the war simmering, playing right into the Kremlin’s hands.
Serbian Court Considers Rehabilitation Of Fascist Wartime Leader
Demonstrators gathered outside a Belgrade courthouse to protest a judicial review that could rehabilitate Serbian General Milan Nedic.
Czechs Clean Up After Firebomb Attack
Volunteers in Prague cleaned up after a support center for refugees was firebombed on February 6, amidst a day of protests by far-right groups against Muslims and immigration.
Uzbek Leader Calls Homosexuality ‘Vulgar’ Western Habit
The remarks were made during a televised meeting of people’s deputies in Tashkent. Uzbekistan is the only former Soviet state where male homosexuality is illegal, punishable by prison terms of up to three years.
New Evidence Suggests That Putin Ordered The War In Ukraine
The investigative Conflict Intelligence Team has found that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu personally awarded a wounded Russian tank operator for his service in the battle for the eastern Ukrainian city of Debalcevo, evidence that the operation was planned and approved by Russia’s most senior leadership. (In Russian)
In Response To Political Crisis, IMF To Put Aid To Ukraine On Hold
In a sign of how Ukraine’s political crisis has shaken its relationship with creditors, the International Monetary Fund has put aid to the country on hold until it becomes clear whether the current government survives.
Russian Envoy Warns Prompt Response to NATO Buildup
Russian NATO envoy Aleksandr Grushko told Rossia-24 television on February 8, “...those preparations NATO has been making along our borders cannot be left without a military-technical response."
Thirty Years After Chernobyl, Ukraine Chooses Nuclear Option
Under pressure to end its energy dependence on Moscow, Ukraine plans to spend an estimated $1.7 billion to upgrade, rather than shut down, its fleet of Soviet-era nuclear power reactors.
Fugitive Former ‘Kremlin Banker’ Facing Potential Jail Time In Britain
Sergei Pugachyov, a former Russian lawmaker and shipping magnate who was once one of the country’s richest men, was found guilty by the London High Court of breaching numerous court orders in a contentious civil case involving the theft of $1 billion in funds from Russia’s Mezhprombank.
The Man Who Created Russia’s NTV
Igor Malashenko, an adviser to former President Boris Yeltsin and a founder of the once-independent TV network, said that a truly independent media can emerge in Russia only when society is prepared to demand a press that does not “sing in unison.” (In Russian)
Ukrainian Children Figure In Separatist Propaganda
Leaders of the separatist-controlled Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics have taken to organizing events and publishing books memorializing the war’s slain children, attributing their deaths to the Ukrainian army. (In Ukrainian)
In Central Asia, Leadership Is A Family Affair
A roundtable of experts looked at the shift from nepotism to institutionalized dynasty among the Central Asian states.