City Duma member Aleksandr Shishlov, from the Yabloko party, has been arrested, allegedly for discrediting Russia’s military currently fighting in Ukraine. Many scholars have taken his side. He is an example of those who are still fighting for freedom of expression in Russia.
Although independence is not on the agenda of the Moscow-controlled World Congress of Tatars, interest in Mirsaid Sultan-Galiev, one of the fathers of modern Tatarstan purged by Stalin, is reviving. Many Tatars are tilting against Putin's neo-imperialist ideology.
Poland is building up its defences with US$ 14.5 billion in South Korean weapons, some of which could go to Ukraine. Germany’s seeming failure to help Ukraine against Russia’s aggression is proving controversial in bilateral relations. Warsaw wants a strong military deterrent against Moscow’s threats.
Ukraine and Syria will be the main points of discussion. The Turkey-mediated grain deal between Ukraine and Russia still reverberates. Turkey’s “sultan” defends Russia’s “tsar” from Western criticism. Both want to keep their hold on power.
A moral counter-revolution, as some Russian media call it, is the global and declared aim of the war in Ukraine; for this reason, it has touched a sensitive nerve in the West, much more than the geographical proximity between NATO forces and those of neo-Soviet Russia.
Putin's invasion has blocked Chinese funding in Russia for the Belt and Road Initiative. A project for the joint construction of a transport super plane also suspended. The Chinese limit collaboration with Moscow to the energy market for fear of running afoul of Western sanctions.