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International Relations Economy CSS Blog

Quiet Compliance: China’s Dilemma Over Western Sanctions Against Russia

Image courtesy of The Russian Presidential Press and Information Office, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

The quiet compliance of Chinese companies with Western sanctions against Russia highlights a critical dilemma for Beijing: China’s continued dependence on the United States and Europe in strategic sectors of the economy restrains its political objectives vis-à-vis Russia. This forced trade-off will further strengthen Beijing’s resolve to reduce critical economic dependencies and to bolster its resilience against potential future sanctions.

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International Relations Diplomacy CSS Blog

Why India Remains Neutral over Ukraine

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin at the 21st India–Russia Annual summit in New Delhi on December 6, 2021. (This image is a copyrighted work of the Government of India, licensed under the Government Open Data License – India (GODL) It was published by Press Information Bureau on behalf of Prime Minister’s Office, Government of India under the ID 105749.)

As Russia’s war rages in Ukraine, India has so far refrained from publicly criticizing Russia. India is unlikely to change course. This mirrors its national interests. India’s worst-case scenario would be an isolated Russia.

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Security Technology Cyber CSS Blog

“Sincere about Ulterior Motives”: The Invasion of Ukraine and Russia’s Shapeshifting Relationship with Ransomware Groups

 

A day after Russia’s President Putin ordered the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Conti, a hacker group suspected to be largely based in Russia and known for financially extorting Western companies, published a message in support of Moscow. The hackers threatened to use “all possible resources to strike back at the critical infrastructures” in retaliation for any “cyberattack or any war activities against Russia”. Soon after, the group sought to dial back this message, claiming not to side with any government.

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Security Defense CSS Blog

Russia’s hypersonic story in Ukraine: “Is this a dagger which I see before me?”

Image courtesy of @mod_russia on Twitter.

What does the reported first battle use of a hypersonic missile mean for the dynamic of Putin’s war in Ukraine? Open-source intelligence sources suggest that the Russian Kinzhal is a propaganda weapon.

On early Saturday March 19, the Russian Ministry of Defence released a video claiming that Russian forces fired a Kinzhal (“dagger” in Russian) missile against a military ammunitions warehouse close to Ukraine’s borders with Romania and Hungary. If this strike really did occur, it would be the first known battle use of a hypersonic weapon. However, the expert community has already pointed to several inconsistences in this Russian story. Furthermore, the use of Kinzhal would not alter the military balance in Russia’s favour. The second alleged launch of Kinzhal, which was supposed to have hit a fuel depot in Kostiantynivka near Mykolaiv on Sunday, was simply announced by defense ministry spokesman at a press conference.

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Development Economy Politics Trade CSS Blog

GDP and Perceptions of Corruption in Eastern Europe

This week’s featured graphic shows the GDP as well as perceptions of corruption in Eastern Europe. For more on the latest economic and political developments of the Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, read Henrik Larsen’s CSS Analysis in Security Policy here.