"Most people prefer to believe their leaders are just and fair even in the face of evidence to the contrary, because once a citizen acknowledges that the government under which they live is lying and corrupt, the citizen has to choose what he or she will do about it. To take action in the face of a corrupt government entails risks of harm to life and loved ones. To choose to do nothing is to surrender one's self-image of standing for principles. Most people do not have the courage to face that choice. Hence, most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all." -- Michael Rivero

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A new round of US sanctions targeting Russia's Moscow Exchange (MOEX), National Clearing Centre and National Settlement Depository will further undermine the dollar's role, Sputnik's pundits say.

The US Treasury introduced a new round of sanctions against the Moscow Exchange (MOEX), the National Clearing Center (NCC) and the National Settlement Depository (NSD) on June 12 in a bid to shatter "the architecture of Russia’s financial system".

The yuan/ruble exchange rate will now set the trajectory for other currency pairs on the Moscow Exchange (MOEX), including for the euro and dollar, the Bank of Russia (CBR) announced on Thursday.

Afghanistan has sold 150,000 tons (1.1 million barrels) of crude oil from the Amu Darya basin for more than $80 million over the past 10 days, with Beijing’s investment in the country beginning to bear fruit.