Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine


Russia could be like ‘North Korea on steroids’ when Putin is replaced

Former Kremlin adviser Sergei Guriev has warned that Russia could become like “North Korea on steroids” when President Vladimir Putin is replaced.

“Regimes like this change in very unpredictable ways,” Guriev told CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick at the Ambrosetti Forum in Italy. “The reason is that Putin built his regime in such a way that no one could replace him.”

Guriev, a Russian economist who left the country abruptly in 2013, said Putin’s successor is unlikely to last long as the system is currently built around the 69-year-old leader.

“It could be months, it could be years, it could be North Korea on steroids, who knows? But it could also be a situation where the system is breaking down and someone who wants to rebuild the economy tends hand to the West,” Guriev said. said.

Read the full story here.

—Sam Meredith

Time to cap Russian gas pipeline prices, says EU chief

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the time had come for the bloc to impose a price cap on the Russian gas pipeline.

John Thys | AFP | Getty Images

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said the 27-nation bloc must urgently establish a price cap on the Russian gas pipeline to Europe.

“I firmly believe that now is the time to cap prices on the Russian gas pipeline to Europe,” von der Leyen told reporters, according to Reuters.

It comes shortly after Belgian Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten warned that the next five to 10 winters in Europe will be “terrible” unless the EU acts quickly to impose a cap on prices on skyrocketing gas prices.

—Sam Meredith

Russia warns Moldova not to threaten its troops

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a press conference in Moscow, Russia, June 6, 2022.

Russian Foreign Ministry | Reuters

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned Eastern European country Moldova that any threat to the security of Russian forces in the breakaway region of Transnistria would be considered an attack on Moscow.

“Everyone must understand that any type of action that will pose a threat to the safety of our military will be considered under international law as an attack on the Russian Federation,” Lavrov said, according to The Associated Press.

Internationally recognized as part of Moldova, Transnistria is located on the southwestern border of Ukraine and is home to a large pro-Russian separatist population.

Lavrov’s comments rekindled fears that the region risks being drawn into the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. The Moldovan Foreign Ministry reportedly summoned the acting Russian ambassador to clarify the situation.

—Sam Meredith

UN inspectors at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant ‘are not going anywhere’

UN inspectors have pledged to continue their visit to a Russian nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine despite an early bombardment of the nearby town of the facility.

Genia Savilov | AFP | Getty Images

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, is adamant that the team will maintain a continuous presence at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

His comments come as Russia and Ukraine say they fear a possible radioactive disaster following an intense bombardment of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. The IAEA was finally able to visit the site on Thursday after a delay of several hours.

“We’re not going anywhere,” Grossi told reporters. “The IAEA is now there, it’s at the factory and it’s not moving. It’s going to stay there. We’re going to have a continuous presence there at the factory.”

When asked if the world should be worried about the Zaporizhzhia factory, Grossi replied: “I didn’t need to come here to worry about the factory. I was worried, I’m worried and I will continue to worry about the plant until we have a situation that is more stable, that is to say more predictable.”

—Sam Meredith

Russia’s energy influence over Europe may be coming to an end

While the EU is on track to exceed targets for filling gas storage facilities, analysts warn that this alone will not be enough.

Image Alliance | Image Alliance | Getty Images

According to energy and political analysts, Russia’s energy influence over Europe appears to be coming to an end, potentially mitigating the risk of further supply disruptions.

Europe has suffered in recent months from a sharp drop in gas exports from Russia, traditionally its largest energy supplier.

A bitter gas dispute between Brussels and Moscow following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has heightened the risk of a recession and winter gas shortage. Moreover, many fear that Russia will soon completely turn off the taps.

Asked about the end of Russia’s energy influence over Europe, Agathe Demarais, global forecasting director at The Economist Intelligence Unit, told CNBC: “Yes. In fact, absolutely.”

“Europe is heading into a very difficult winter, probably two years of very difficult adjustment with a lot of economic difficulties. But then Europe will basically become more independent with a more diverse mix,” Demarais said.

“And what that means is that Russia’s energy weapon will become irrelevant,” she added.

Read the full story here.

—Sam Meredith

Oil rises as G-7 finance chiefs prepare to advance Russian oil price cap plan

More than 7 million Ukrainians became war refugees from Russia

6-year-old twins Artur (L) and Dawid from Odessa wait at Przemysl train station in southeastern Poland on April 6, 2022.

Wojtek Radwanski | AFP | Getty Images

More than 7 million Ukrainians have become refugees and moved to neighboring countries since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, the UN Refugee Agency said.

Nearly 4 million of these people have applied for temporary resident status in neighboring Western countries, according to data collected by the agency.

“The escalation of the conflict in Ukraine has resulted in civilian casualties and the destruction of civilian infrastructure, forcing people to flee their homes in search of safety, protection and assistance,” wrote the UN agency for the refugees.

—Amanda Macias

Zelenskyy said journalists were not allowed to visit the Zaporizhzhia plant with IAEA inspectors

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shakes hands with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, who is to lead a planned mission to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, as Russia attacks against Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine, on August 30, 2022.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service | via Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an overnight address that Ukrainian and international journalists were not allowed to visit the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant with IAEA representatives.

“Today the IAEA mission arrived at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. It’s good that it happened, the fact itself, despite all the provocations of the Russian military and the cynical bombardment of ‘Enerhodar and territory of the power plant’, said in a statement update on the Telegram messaging app, according to a translation by NBC News.

Zelenskyy added that the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, had promised him that independent journalists would accompany the inspectors.

“Unfortunately, IAEA representatives failed to protect independent media representatives,” Zelenskyy added.

—Amanda Macias

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