Image Source: 
A map of Ukraine, highlighting the Kharkiv Oblast and the City of Kharkiv.
Blog / Russia and Eurasia

Understanding Kharkiv, Ukraine

A map of Ukraine, highlighting the Kharkiv Oblast and the City of Kharkiv – via Wikimedia Commons

Kharkiv*, Ukraine’s second largest city, is located in the eastern part of the country, only 25 miles from the Russian border. Although Kharkiv has had less of a presence in international headlines than Donetsk and Kiev, it has …

Industrial city, Donetsk
Blog / Environment & Energy

Assessing the environmental impact of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine

Industrial city Donetsk, Vladimir Yaitskiy via Flickr 

The conflict in Eastern Ukraine reached a tentative ceasefire at the second Minsk agreements in February of this year, and yet shelling and military activity continue in Donbass and the eastern part of the country. Coverage of the conflict highlights the strange interplay between cultural and linguistic claims …

The conflict in Ukraine has heightened tensions between Russia and NATO. Photo source: Sasha Maksymenko via Flickr Creative Commons.
Blog / International Security

Staying the Sword of Damocles: The Challenges Facing Nuclear Disarmament

The General election poses challenges for Britain’s Trident deterrent – estimated to cost £100bn over the next 30 years. Photo source: UK Ministry of Defence via Flickr Creative Commons

In December of last year the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) convened in Austria, the latest conference in a series of talks held previously in Norway …

Blog / Europe

Viktor, Vladimir and the European Union

Putin and Orban – Kremlin via Wikimedia Commons


Amid protests 2,000 strong in the streets of Budapest, Vladimir Putin visited Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban last month, reportedly to discuss gas and nuclear energy supply. Though these issues are far from the only reasons Putin sees value in his first visit to Budapest since 2006 …

Map of Georgia via ChrisO on Wikimedia Commons
Blog / Europe

The Lines On The Map And Why They Matter.

de l’Isle globe, 1765 -courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society via Wikimedia Commons

From finding our way, to simple curiosity; maps are tools which have been used by humans for thousands of years. With advances in satellite technology, it is now possible to create a map with near pixel perfect accuracy. Yet, whilst the geographical …

Blog / Europe

Moscow and NATO look towards the Baltics

‘Zapad’ Russian-Belarusian Strategic Military Exercises, November 2013 – via Wikimedia Commons

When discussing key foreign policy and international relations issues the three small Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania rarely enter the conversation. The former Soviet republics, who are now full members of the EU and NATO, are often viewed with insignificance. However with …

Blog / Europe

Why We Need To Keep An Eye On Belarus


Lukashenko in Minsk – 2014 – My Life the Universe & Everything via Flickr Creative Commons

Whatever the outcome of the current Ukrainian Crisis, further questions will remain about the European geopolitical situation. In particular, what will happen to Belarus, Ukraine’s more easterly loyal neighbour, and “Europe’s last dictatorship.” It seems clear, that after Russia …

Blog / Environment & Energy

The EU And Energy Security

Major Russian Gas Pipelines – Sam Bailey via Wikimedia Commons

This year the crisis in Ukraine has threatened EU gas supplies and along with this the recent drop in oil prices has threatened member nations’ resolve to move away from fossil fuels towards more sustainable and self sufficient energies. The crisis in Ukraine has particularly …

Americas / Blog

The Foreign Policy Motives Behind the US and Cuba’s Historic Agreement

Photo Source: Vardion/Rei-artur via Wikimedia Commons.

President Obama’s announcement of new measures that will thaw relations between the US and Cuba is both long-overdue, and a canny foreign policy ploy by the White House.

For President Obama, with two years remaining in office, a landmark move with respect to Cuba will help buttress a liberal legacy …

Vladimir Putin with the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko and the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev in Minks. August 2014.
Blog / Russia and Eurasia

The EEU: Putin’s new Soviet Empire?

Current signatories to the EEU. Photo Source: Leftcry via Wikimedia Commons.

Vladimir Putin once famously said “Anyone who does not regret the passing of the Soviet Union has no heart. Anyone who wants it restored has no brains”. This quote made by the Russian President has become increasingly relevant since the announcement establishing the Eurasian …