The strategic shift made by Vladimir Putin to focus Russia’s efforts on conquering territory in the south and east of Ukraine has been accompanied by a ramping up of rhetoric, and economic and diplomatic offensives aimed at countries opposing his war.

One of the most striking came this week, as Russia cut off gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria. There is clearly an attempt to flex power over these states that have long been well aware of the Kremlin’s reach. But the move has also come after much debate in numerous European countries, notably Germany, about how they might wean themselves off Russian fossil fuels. Alexander Mihailov, Associate Professor in Economics at the University of Reading in England, argues that such a move will actually be to the benefit of Europe in the long term. The big loser in all this? Russia.

The war is also posing huge problems for the future of cooperation in space. And that’s the subject of the new edition of The Conversation Weekly, which will go live later today – keep an eye out for it wherever you get your podcasts, and on our podcast page. Meanwhile, remember you can stay across the network’s latest coverage of the invasion via this page.

Stephen Khan

Executive Editor, The Conversation International

Russian money for Russian gas? Vyacheslav Lopatin/Alamy Stock Photo

Why Bulgaria and Poland can withstand Russia cutting off their gas supply

Alexander Mihailov, University of Reading

Democratic nations are adept at evolving to deal with economic shocks.

The Elon ranger. thongyhod

Twitter: not even Elon Musk is wealthy enough to bring absolute free speech to the platform – here’s why

Eric Heinze, Queen Mary University of London

We may be besieged by private companies in online spaces, but only up to a point.

Atlanta Braves fans perform the ‘tomahawk chop’ during a playoff game in 2004. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Cleveland Indians changed their team name – what’s holding back the Atlanta Braves?

Peter Dreier, Occidental College

The insistence on preserving the team name – along with fan traditions like the ‘tomahawk chop’ – is even more glaring given the city’s links to the civil rights movement.