Sibylline Insight Series
Discussing the Implications of Violent Protests in Kazakhstan

Discussing the Implications of Violent Protests in Kazakhstan

January 12, 2022

In this week's podcast, join Liana Semchuk, our Lead Europe and Eurasia Analyst and Zsofia Wolford and Alex Lord, our Europe and Eurasia Analysts, to discuss the uprising's implications for the future of the Tokayev government and for the wider region.

Last week's nationwide protests in response to a surge in liquified natural gas prices were marked by unprecedented violence and harsh repression, resulting in more than 160 deaths and almost 8,000 arrests. With the authorities initially struggling to control the situation, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev appealed to the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) for help in quelling the protests. 

Although the Tokayev regime has subsequently managed to re-establish order with CSTO's help, the underlying drivers of dissatisfaction remain and are likely to continue undermining government stability and driving policy and human rights risks moving forward. Moreover, the deployment of CSTO peacekeeping troops is likely to increase Kazakhstan's dependency on Russia in the year ahead. 

Discussing the Diplomatic Boycotts of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games

Discussing the Diplomatic Boycotts of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games

December 23, 2021

Join your host Alex Parsons, our Director of Intelligence, who is joined by our Asia-Pacific Analysts, Hans Horan and Aédán Mordecai, to discuss official delegates attendance at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

Since Washington's announcement of a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games early this month, a number of governments, including Australia, the UK, and Canada, have joined in, citing China's human rights record. However, many other governments are leaning in favour of critical engagement with China over diplomatic boycotts, while others, such as New Zealand, quoted the pandemic and China's strict border control and quarantine rules for deciding not to send an official delegation to the Games. Meanwhile, Russian President Putin and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will be among a handful of leaders that have confirmed their attendance at the Games.

Discussing the Presidential Elections in Libya

Discussing the Presidential Elections in Libya

December 17, 2021

Join your host Alex Parsons, our Director of Intelligence, who is joined by Valeria Scuto, our Middle East Analyst, and Anastasia Chisholm, our Middle East Associate Analyst, to discuss the mounting political divisions threatening to disrupt Libya's presidential elections, due to take place on Friday, 24 December.

A military build-up in the capital, Tripoli, overnight on 15 December, has contributed to growing concerns that the country is not prepared to host its first round of polls, despite sustained pressure from some domestic players and the international community. Libya's security environment, which remains characterised by rival militia groups and foreign actors, will play a central role in determining whether elections can take place.

Elections, or their postponement, are likely to exacerbate existing factionalism and institutional divisiveness. This is set to drive an uptick in the likelihood of armed hostilities, presenting risks to physical assets, particularly energy infrastructure, and foreign personnel.

Discussing Global Covid-19 Trends and the Omicron Variant

Discussing Global Covid-19 Trends and the Omicron Variant

December 10, 2021

John Breen, Lead Analyst for Global Risk at Sibylline is joined by North America Analyst James Hannan for a discussion on global Covid-19 trends following the emergence of the Omicron variant. Their conversation unpacks prevailing endemiological trends, including Europe's ongoing infection wave, followed by an overview of further variant proliferation risk factors, and the disruptions this could have on global business operations

Discussing the latest Russian military build-up and the likelihood of war in Ukraine

Discussing the latest Russian military build-up and the likelihood of war in Ukraine

November 26, 2021

Last week US and Ukrainian intelligence published warnings over the most recent Russian military build-up along Ukraine's eastern border, predicting that it may be a precursor to a larger military offensive in early 2022. Increasingly heated rhetoric between Moscow, Ukraine and NATO has ramped up regional tensions in recent weeks, with both sides accusing one another of provocations in Donbas and the Black Sea. In this week's Sibylline podcast, Liana Semchuk, our Lead Europe and Eurasia Analyst, is joined by Alex Lord, our Europe and Eurasia Analyst, and Zsofia Wolford, our Europe Analyst, to discuss the latest developments and whether the current tensions will result in conflict.

Discussing the Terrorist Attack on Remembrance Sunday

Discussing the Terrorist Attack on Remembrance Sunday

November 19, 2021

On 14 November, Remembrance Sunday, a man detonated an improvised explosive device outside Liverpool Women's Hospital in the UK, killing himself just before the national two-minute silence. While the motive behind the attack remains uncertain at this stage, the incident was declared a terrorist incident by security services and precipitated an increase in the UK's Terror Threat Level from "substantial" to "severe", meaning an attack is "highly likely". In this week's Sibylline podcast, Alexander Parsons, our Director of Intelligence, is joined by Alex Lord, Europe and Eurasia analyst, and Zsofia Wolford, Europe associate analyst, to discuss the attack and its impact on the terror threat environment in Europe.

Regional stability further undermined by Sudan‘s disrupted transition and deteriorating military conflict in Ethiopia

Regional stability further undermined by Sudan‘s disrupted transition and deteriorating military conflict in Ethiopia

November 4, 2021

Recent developments in the horn of Africa have severely threatened longer-term stability in both Ethiopia and Sudan. In Ethiopia, Tigray rebels have made notable gains against government forces, raising concerns about a potential advance on the capital Addis Ababa. While in Sudan, the 25 October coup is flailing, with military leaders doubting their capability to contain substantial domestic opposition compounded by international isolation.

Discussing the up-and-coming UN Climate Change Conference (COP26)

Discussing the up-and-coming UN Climate Change Conference (COP26)

October 28, 2021

The UN's 26th Climate Change Conference (COP26) is set to take place in Glasgow between 31 October and 12 November. With environmentalist movements like Extinction Rebellion and Greenpeace seeing it as a make-or-break summit, activist protests and direct actions are highly likely to cause significant disruption to businesses not only in Glasgow but across the UK.

In this week's Sibylline podcast Liana Semchuk, our Lead Europe and Eurasia Analyst, is joined by Alexander Lord, our Europe and Eurasia analyst, and Louis Cox-Brusseau, our Europe analyst, to discuss what we can expect from the summit.

Discussing the Rising Situation in Lebanon

Discussing the Rising Situation in Lebanon

October 22, 2021

This week join Eloise Scott, our Lead Analyst for the Middle East and Africa and Rhiannon Phillips, our Associate Analyst for the Middle East and North Africa to discuss the rising situation in Lebanon.

In the aftermath of last week’s street violence in Beirut, Lebanon is experiencing a worrying rise in sectarian tensions and aggressive posturing amidst deepening financial crises and enduring political uncertainty. The ongoing investigation into the 2020 Beirut port blast is subject to considerable political pressure, and will likely be a trigger for further mobilisation and protests. Key sectarian fault lines across Lebanon, therefore, remain flashpoints for further confrontations as ethnoreligious tensions spill over into violence.  

China-Taiwan: Persistent Tensions, Possible Flashpoints and Potential Implications

China-Taiwan: Persistent Tensions, Possible Flashpoints and Potential Implications

October 15, 2021

The past few days have seen tensions across the Taiwan Strait rise further as Beijing and Taipei marked their respective national days. China’s air force deployed a record number of warplanes into Taiwan's air defence identification zone (ADIZ), while Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen again defended the island as a de facto democratic, sovereign nation. Beijing's increased political and economic pressure, as well as military posturing, on Taipei takes place against the backdrop of an intensifying China-US strategic rivalry, for which Taiwan remains a key point of contention.

Join our Asia-Pacific analysts, Dr Guo Yu, Aedan Mordecai and Jack Broome to discuss the latest situation concerning Taiwan, and how such persistent cross-strait tensions may evolve in the coming year, assessing possible future flashpoints and business implications.

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