Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the West of building a new "virtual" Berlin wall and promised his compatriots that the country's economy will recover, as he seeks to soothe anxiety over the falling ruble and present an image of strength in the face of adversity from abroad.
In November, a Kyrgyz news agency posted a news story in Russian about the falling number of Russian-speaking schoolteachers in Osh, Kyrgyzstan’s second-largest city. In only five sentences, the author made over a dozen grammar mistakes.
Kazakhstan is scrambling to keep its diplomatic options open amid rapidly rising Western-Russian tension. Not wanting to get dragged down by Western sanctions imposed on Russia, Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s administration is ramping up an international charm offensive.
Energy-poor Turkey stands to benefit from Moscow’s surprise decision to drop the $45-billion South Stream natural gas pipeline project, analysts say. At the same time, it raises questions about whether Turkey will become a pawn in the broader energy contest between Russia and the EU.
Pro-Western parties have retained a slim majority in the national legislature, but their hold on parliament may not last long unless substantive progress is made in tackling rampant corruption, observers predict.
President Vladimir Putin accused the West of trying to destroy Russia, drawing a parallel with Hitler's invasion, and said Moscow will never bend to the will of foreigners, talking tough in an annual address after a year of conflict and crisis that has severely strained ties with the United States and Europe.
Turkey has professed itself the steadfast defender of the Crimean Tatars’ minority rights, but, so far, that mission has not interfered with its interest in trade with Russia, its largest export-import partner.