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The Russian attack on Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea
Analyses | | Andrzej Wilk

On 24 November, a group of ships of the Ukrainian Navy, composed of two armoured artillery boats, the Berdyansk and the Nikopol (newly-constructed Giurza M-type units, which have been in service since 2016 and 2018 respectively) and the tugboat Yana Kapu (in service since 1974), left Odessa under instructions to join the vessels which have been stationed in Mariupol since September (namely the twin artillery boats, the Kremenchug and the Lubny; the command ship Donbas; and the tugboat Koreyets).

Analyses |

Russia’s draft budget for 2019–2021 was accepted on 21 November by the State Duma and, on 23 November, by the Federation Council. The document is still to be signed by the president.

Analyses | | Krzysztof Nieczypor, Andrzej Wilk, Jan Strzelecki, Wojciech Konończuk

Before midnight on 25 November, President Petro Poroshenko issued a decree at the request of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine to introduce martial law for a period of 60 days, while announcing that a general mobilisation will not be declared and civil liberties will not be restricted (the full text of the decree regulating the scope of martial law has not been released).

Analyses | | Szymon Kardaś

On 19 November, Gazprom completed the construction of the offshore section of the TurkStream gas pipeline running from Russia via the Black Sea to Turkey (from the Russian port of Anapa to Kıyıköy on the European coast of the Black Sea in Turkey). The pipeline consists of two branches, 930 km in length and each with a capacity of 15.75 bcm. The first branch of this pipeline is designed to supply the Turkish market; the second is to be used for Russian gas exports to the markets of southern European countries.

Analyses | | Jadwiga Rogoża

On 15 November, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled that the detention of Russian opposition activist Aleksei Navalny during rallies in 2012-2014 and the administrative penalties imposed on him were politically motivated and constituted a breach of Article 18 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and awarded damages in the amount of €63,000. Navalny came to Strasbourg to be present when the decision was announced.

Russia’s ‘turn to the East’?
Analyses | | Witold Rodkiewicz

Last week, Russian leaders participated in a series of multilateral meetings at the highest level in the Asia-Pacific region. During a three-day official visit to Singapore (13-15 November), President Vladimir Putin participated at the Russia-ASEAN summit (14 November), and then the East Asian Summit (15 November). Meanwhile Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev took part in the annual summit of the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) forum on 17-18 November.

Analyses | | Iwona Wiśniewska, Sławomir Matuszak, Jan Strzelecki

The Russian government imposed economic sanctions on Ukraine on 1 November by way of a decree passed by the president of the Russian Federation on 22 October. According to the document, the funds, securities and assets of selected Ukrainian entities will be frozen in the territory of Russia, and these entities will not be able to transfer capital from Russia.

Priceless friendship
Point of View | | Iwona Wiśniewska

The Western sanctions have proved painful for the Russian elite not only in terms of finance, but also of image and prestige. However, thanks to the EU's much softer sanctions policy compared to the US, the Russian oligarchs have still been able to conduct their business in Europe, either directly or through intermediaries. Since March 2014, the Kremlin has tried to compensate selected businessmen for at least some of the losses they have suffered.

The US intends to quit the INF treaty
Analyses | | Justyna Gotkowska, Andrzej Wilk

On 20 October, US President Donald Trump announced the US’s intention to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty on the elimination of ground-launch ballistic and cruise missiles with a range of from 500 km to 5500 km. The reason given was that Russia had repeatedly violated the Treaty.

Relations severed between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
Analyses | | Jan Strzelecki

On 15 October, the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) decided to sever relations and eucharistic communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (PC). This decision is a reaction to the decision by the Synod of Bishops of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, which on 11 October annulled its decision of 1686 to transfer the metropolis of Kiev to the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate, and confirmed that it would continue to work for the establishment of an autocephalous Orthodox Church in Ukraine.