Russia’s economy depends on oil, and the oil price has plummeted over the past year. Then there are the sanctions that Europe and the United States have laid on Russia, and Russia’s countersanctions. Even the military is seeing cuts, although Vladimir Putin seems determined to forge ahead. Here are some graphs from the New York Times on the Russian economy. Sam Greene explains why those charts are not the last word. How Russians are coping. (Image from RTE News)
Is this blackmail, an attempt to split Europe, or just reasonable cooperation between two countries? Russia and Finland reach an agreement on refugees. The article leans toward the first two, but there is something to be said for the two countries working things out together. On the other hand, Russia seems to be accepting very few refugees from the Middle East and North Africa. Might be an obligation for a Christian/Moslem/nomad country: welcome the stranger!
A deep dive on producing tritium in North Korea. Tritium is necessary for the hydrogen bomb that Kim Jung Un claims to have, or a boosted device. Not clear where North Korea is getting it.