Since Russia started its unprovoked war in Ukraine on 24th February 2022, the world – and Europe in particular – has entered a new geopolitical reality, one difficult to imagine only a year previous. The repercussions of these developments are driving changes in Russia’s export-dependent coal sector, with Western sanctions cutting revenues and access to export markets. This insights report provides decision-makers with an in-depth analysis of the sanctions’ impact and scenarios for the future of Russia’s main coal region, Kuzbass.

Photo by Dominik Vanyi on Unsplash

The report answers the following questions:

  • What are the implications of sanctions (financial, technological, export, divestments) on the coal sector and related sectors in Kuzbass?
  • Are there alternative markets for Russian coal?
  • What are the likely outcomes of declining coal exports for Kuzbass region – in particular, from the social, economic, environmental and greenhouse gas emissions perspectives?
  • Based on the above, what are alternative development paths for the Kuzbass coal sector?


Climate Strategies commenced a project on Russian Energy Transitions in December 2021, building on previous work on the Russian Coal Sector. Following the start of the Russian War in Ukraine in February 2022, we determined to continue the project to maintain insights in the rapidly evolving Russian energy sector. This research was co-authored by a group of experts in fossil fuel transitions and climate policy. However, a number of our experts appear under pseudonyms to protect their identity, as expressing critical views on Russian government policies incurs personal risk.