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UKRAINE & RUSSIA :: Recent Issues: THURSDAY JRL 7.24.14 :: WEDNESDAY JRL 7.23.14 :: TUESDAY JRL 7.22.14 :: MONDAY JRL 7.21.14 :: SUNDAY JRL 7.20.14

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#161 contents with links :: Thursday 24 July 2014

St. Basil's file photo

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List JRL 2014-#161 :: Thursday 24 July 2014 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George  Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist  JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  1. Valdai Discussion Club/Gazeta.ru: Fyodor Lukyanov, Going It

EU opposes Russian oil and gas sanctions, considers targeting other sectors

EU Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Concorde Capital – July 24, 2014) EU Energy Commissioner GYnther Oettinger opposes sanctions on Russian natural gas and oil but doesn’t rule out sanctions on energy technology and equipment, he told a July 23 press conference in Brussels, as reported by the UNIAN news agency. “I always spoke against

Putin Now Down to One Ally – Moscow Television

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, July 24, 2014) Tsar Aleksandr III famously said that Russia has only two allies – its army and its fleet – but now, according to Rashit Akhmetov, the editor of “Zvezda Povolzhya,” Vladimir Putin is down to only one – Moscow television with its ability to shape

RIA Novosti: Putin plays down threat of third world war at security meeting – Russian pundits

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(RIA Novosti - July 23, 2014) Having stated at a meeting of the Russian Security Council that there are no direct threats to the sovereignty of the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin has cooled the intensity of the debate about the possibility of a third world war, and also demonstrated his personal judo dexterity in relations with

RIA Novosti: Ukrainian Parliament Speaker Dissolves Communist Party Following Newly Introduced Rules

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

KIEV, July 24 (RIA Novosti) – The speaker of Ukraine’s parliament, Oleksandr Turchynov, dissolved the country’s Communist Party during Thursday’s session. “As of July 1, 2014, this parliamentary party was down to 23 members [from the previous number of 33], which is significantly less than the minimum requirement for parliamentary parties. In this regard and

RIA Novosti: Ukrainian Lawmakers Quit Coalition to Enable Parliament’s Dissolution

Ukraine Map and Flag

KIEV, July 24 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s Svoboda and UDAR parties announced Thursdaytheir factions in the Ukrainian parliament were quitting the majority coalition, paving the way for the dissolution of parliament. The majority coalition in the Ukrainian parliament, created after the February coup, had 256 members, the vast majority of them representing the erstwhile opposition

Ukraine update

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Tim Ash, Standard Bank – July 24, 2014) What is now clear on the ground is that Ukraine is at war, and with significant casualties suffered now by both sides on a daily basis – tens of lives lost almost daily now. The conflict is also causing very significant

RIA Novosti: Ukraine’s Claim of Russia Downing Attack Aircraft ‘Hogwash’ – Defense Ministry Source

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

MOSCOW, July 24 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Defense Ministry has labeled Ukraine’s claim that two Su-25 attack aircraft were shot down in eastern Ukraine from Russia as “hogwash.” On Wednesday, independence forces in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region said they downed two Su-25s. Later in the day, a spokesman from Ukraine’s National Security information center,

Interfax: Clashes continue in different districts of Donetsk region

Ukraine Map and Flag

DONETSK. July 24 (Interfax) – Explosions and volley fire are audible in Donetsk and smoke can be seen above north-western suburbs of the city, the Interfax correspondent reported on Thursday. According to the information of the press office of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) information ministry, a fight between militia and the Ukrainian army

Interfax: Kyiv denies holding Russia responsible for downing two Su-25 warplanes

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

KYIV. July 24 (Interfax) – Ukraine has not accused Russia of shooting down Ukrainian military planes in the military operation area in the eastern part of the country but only suggested it as one of the theories of the Wednesday incident, Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council spokesman Andriy Lysenko said. “We haven’t accused anyone

RIA Novosti: Donetsk Commander Denies Telling Media Militia Had Buk Missiles During MH17 Crash

File Photo of Buk-1 SAM

MOSCOW, July 24 (RIA Novosti) – A leader of the independence supporters in the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk, Commander of the Vostok Battalion Alexander Khodakovsky, denied having told Reuters that militia forces possessed Buk missiles when the Malaysia airliner crashed in the region, RT television channel reported Thursday. “We were discussing theories but one

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#160 contents with links :: Wednesday 23 July 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 39. Reuters: Putin ally warns Russia risks isolation over Ukraine rhetoric. (Kudrin)
40. The National Interest: Nikolas Gvosdev, Can Russia Avoid Being Hit with More Sanctions? Four indicators to consider.
41. Business New Europe: Clifford G. Gaddy and Barry W. Ickes, Can Sanctions Stop Putin? ….

Making sense of war: The perspective of five great Russian writers

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Mikhail Butov, special to RBTH – July 23, 2014) The author is a writer and Russian Booker Prize winner. The current conflict in Ukraine is raising sensitive ethical questions, forcing us to consider the justifications and meaning of using military force, and whether it should be allowed at

Ukraine Claims Rebels Wanted Phosphorus Bombs

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 23, 2014) Ukraine’s Interior Ministry on Tuesday accused the pro-Russian insurgency of attempting to procure white phosphorus ammunition, whose use is limited by international agreements. The ministry cited intercepted conversations between the insurgents, who allegedly spoke about obtaining phosphorus missiles for Grad missile launchers at their disposal. The rebels

Rebel Stronghold Donetsk Holds Breath as Shellfire Mounts

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Aliaksandr Kudrytski – July 22, 2014) The grass is being trimmed, the flowers tended and the potholes on roads filled. Jazz plays out from a cafe, and a few people are out enjoying the sunshine. Yet puncturing the scene of a European summer is the distant boom, boom, boom of artillery

Last train from Luhansk

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Luhansk – July 23, 2014) Luhansk falls quiet as its citizens flee the city. The train station is the town’s last populated place as residents queue for any ride out of town – and not by coincidence it is also one of the rebels’ favourite artillery

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Loss of Ukraine’s military-industrial complex will cost Russia $938 million

File Photo of Russian Nuclear Missile on Mobile Launcher Near Woods

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Nikolai Litovkin, RBTH – July 23, 2014) The business newspaper Kommersant has reported the findings of a special working group of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), which has quantified the costs of ceased collaboration with Ukrainian military-industrial enterprises. Russia will need to spend $938 million (33 billion

Obama’s Reluctance to Arming Rebels Stiffened by Airliner Strike

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated Before Russian and U.S. Flags

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Margaret Talev – July 23, 2014) The downing of a Malaysian passenger aircraft in Ukraine may stiffen Obama administration resistance to providing heavy armaments to rebels — or even besieged governments — seeking U.S. help in hotspots around the world. In the wake of the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) disaster, President Barack

Interfax: Putin vows to avoid clampdown in fight against radicalism

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Interfax – July 22, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed that the fight against radicalism in Russia will not result in a state clampdown on civil society and said he expects the Russian public to help prevent one, Russian privately-owned news agency Interfax reported on 22 July. Putin made the statements at a meeting

Interfax: Putin says Ukrainian “scenario” won’t happen in Russia

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Interfax – July 22, 2014) The “scenario” that has been used in Ukraine by “external” forces will not happen in Russia, President Vladimir Putin has said. He made these remarks at a meeting with the Russian Security Council, as reported by privately-owned news agency Interfax. Speaking about the so-called “colour revolutions” and in particular Ukraine,

Interfax: Russians believe situation in Ukraine threatens Russian-speaking residents of Ukraine – poll

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

MOSCOW. July 23 (Interfax) – An overwhelming majority of Russians surveyed by the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) (88%) believe there is currently a threat to Russian-speaking people in Ukraine and the Russian administration should protect their interests. Seven percent of the respondents said they do not believe such a threat exists in Ukraine.

RIA Novosti: Ukrainian Communist Party to Be Dissolved Thursday

Ukraine Map and Flag

KIEV, July 23 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchynov announced that the Communist Party, who occupy 23 seats in the Verkhovna Rada, would be dissolved on Thursday. On Tuesday, the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, made changes to its rules that would allow the speaker of the house to dissolve the Communist party. Ukrainian

Interfax: Ukrainian Communist Party leader attacked in Rada

Ukraine Map and Flag

KYIV. July 23 (Interfax) – Petro Symonenko, leader of the Ukrainian Communist Party faction, was attacked by parliamentarians during the Wednesday morning parliament session. After a proposal was made to remove Symonenko from the hall, deputies from the Svoboda faction began pushing him from the hall for his statements “on the killing by Ukrainian military

RIA Novosti: Kiev Receives Russia’s Risk Assessment of Ukraine’s EU Association

EU Map

BRUSSELS, July 23 (RIA Novosti) – Kiev received Moscow’s list of potential risks that Ukraine’s association with the European Union could present to Russia’s economy, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin told journalists. “Just yesterday, we received Russia’s perception of the potential risks,” Klimkin said on Tuesday. Ukraine signed the agreement on its association with the

Interfax: Ukrainian Security Service keeps recordings of tower conversations with Malaysian Boeing – source

MOSCOW. July 23 (Interfax) – Recordings of conversations between Ukrainian air traffic controllers and Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 have yet to be transferred to aviation specialists for an objective analysis. An informed source in Kyiv told Interfax last Friday, “Recordings of tower conversations with the Boeing crew have been seized and kept by the Ukrainian

RIA Novosti: Russia to Protect Economy From Risks Posed by Ukraine’s EU Association

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW, July 23 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow will have to resort to protective measures if Ukraine’s association deal with the European Union poses risks for the Russian economy, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday. «We believe that the risks remain quite serious, especially concerning technical regulations and standards of sanitary and phytosanitary control. That’s

RIA Novosti: Medvedev Says US, EU Companies Clearly Show Intention to Continue Work in Russia

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

MOSCOW, July 23 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow has received «clear signals» from US and European companies about their intention to continue work in Russia, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday. «We have received quite clear signals that European and American companies are set to continue work with Russian partners. Time is ripe now to use

RIA Novosti: The Disaster, Lies and Video. And Obama’s Fueling it All

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(RIA Novosti - Dmitry Babich - July 22, 2014) The latest breaking news about the agreement of the insurgents in eastern Ukraine to permit Dutch forensics experts on Monday to search the wreckage of the downed Malaysia Airlines jetliner and to transfer the bodies of the victims, as well as the plane’s flight recorder boxes to the

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#159 contents with links :: Tuesday 22 July 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 38. Russian Military Reform: Dmitry Gorenburg, Who shot down MH 17?
39. CNN.com: Andrew Kuchins, Act now, or face war in Ukraine.
40. Paul Goble: Window on Eurasia: Convinced of His Own Exceptionalism, Putin is Both ‘a Pragmatist and a Fool,’ Milshtein Says.
41. Stratfor.com: George Friedman, Can Putin Survive?
42. Moscow Times editorial: Moscow Won’t Back Down on Ukraine. …

Convinced of His Own Exceptionalism, Putin is Both ‘a Pragmatist and a Fool,’ Milshtein Says

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, July 22, 2014) In a commentary entitled “Forewarned and Armed,” Ilya Milshtein argues that tragically “there are no particular reasons to hope that Putin will change his approach” in Ukraine. Instead, the Moscow analyst says, he will proceed in ways that reflect his beliefs in his own

Britain Announces Well-Timed Litvinenko Inquiry in Open Snub to Russia

file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 22, 2014) Britain is planning to hold a public inquiry into the death of former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko while in exile in Britain, news agencies reported Tuesday. Home Secretary Theresa May confirmed that the public inquiry will be held, Reuters reported. The inquiry will open the way for

Russia Beyond the Headlines: MH17 disaster leaves Moscow’s international relations on slippery slope

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Marina Starodubtseva, Nikolai Litovkin, RBTH – July 22, 2014) The Boeing 777 tragedy, which claimed the lives of 298 people, has seriously changed the course of the political game surrounding Ukraine. We asked the leading Russian experts to assess how the political situation changed after the events of

Moscow Won’t Back Down on Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Moscow Times editorial – themoscowtimes.com – July 22, 2014) Despite hopes that the tragedy of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 would be a game-changer in Ukraine’s simmering conflict, days later it is clear that this is highly unlikely. Nothing will be dramatically altered by the results of the investigation into the catastrophe. No matter who –

Stratfor: Can Putin Survive?

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Stratfor.com – George Friedman – July 21, 2014) There is a general view that Vladimir Putin governs the Russian Federation as a dictator, that he has defeated and intimidated his opponents and that he has marshaled a powerful threat to surrounding countries. This is a reasonable view, but perhaps it should be re-evaluated in the

King’s gambit: Can Russia remain a world leader on the chessboard?

Chess Pieces File Photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Svetlana Korneva, special to RBTH – July 20, 2014) July 20 is International Chess Day. Chess is practically the only sport in which Russia has managed to preserve its leadership since the breakup of the Soviet Union. Although public interest in chess has waned in recent years, chess

Why Putin Can’t Afford to Dump the Ukrainian Separatists

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko – July 22, 2014) While Russia’s support of Ukrainian separatists has led to its worst standoff with the West in post-Soviet history, the Kremlin cannot afford to disown them because that would spell a major geopolitical defeat and alienate the jingoistic masses at home, Russian pundits said. The

RIA Novosti: U.S. Could Unveil Intelligence Data on Downed Boeing 777 in Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

WASHINGTON, July 22 (RIA Novosti) – The United States could unveil intelligence assessment on the crash of a Malaysian passenger plane in eastern Ukraine, White House Spokesperson Josh Earnest said Monday. “I’m not in the position to offer a specific intelligence assessment. It’s certainly possible that we may be in the position to do that

Interfax: Moscow expects Boeing flight recorders to be given to ICAO experts – Russian Foreign Ministry

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

MOSCOW. July 22 (Interfax) – Moscow is satisfied with the southeastern Ukraine militia giving flight recorders of the crashed plane to Malaysian representatives and expects they will be transferred in the future to the international expert group under the aegis of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Russian Foreign Ministry posted a statement on

Interfax: Patrushev says Russian decision-makers must heed opposition

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

MOSCOW. July 22 (Interfax) – The Russian Security Council Secretary, Nikolai Patrushev, has spoken of the need to draw conclusions from what is going on in Ukraine and heed the opinion of the Russian opposition. “The events occurring in Ukraine – their role for us is this: we must draw the right conclusions from them,”

Ukrainian Cows Kidnapped, Trafficked to Russia, Police Say

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 18, 2014) Against the backdrop of blistering diplomatic tensions between Moscow and Kiev, a 172-head herd of cows has been illegally trafficked across the Russian border, the Luhansk region branch of Ukraine’s Interior Ministry claimed Thursday. The herd went missing Wednesday night from a farm in Luhansk region’s Belovodsky

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#158 contents with links :: Monday 21 July 2014

St. Basil's file photo

1. Financial Times: Thomas Graham, To stop Putin the west should repair Ukraine’s economy. Those who want Russia punished with tougher sanctions are misguided.
2. Carnegie Moscow Center: Dmitri Trenin, Midsummer Blues.
3. Euromaidan Press/Ukrainska Pravda: The Klimkin interview: terrorism, war, EU, Merkel and Putin. (new Ukraine foreign minister)
4. Reuters: Fighting flares in Ukraine as crash investigators arrive …

Interfax: Russia did not provide Buk missile systems to Donbas militia – Gen. Staff

File Photo of Buk-1 SAM

MOSCOW. July 21 (Interfax) – Russia did not provide the militia in southeastern Ukraine with Buk missile systems, the Russian Defense Ministry said. “The Russian Federation did not hand Buk missile systems, or other kinds of weapons or military hardware, to the militia,” said Gen. Andrei Kartopolov, chief of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operations

More blame game in Ukraine as dozens die in Luhansk shelling

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Luhansk, Ukraine – July 21, 2014) While the world has been transfixed by the crash site of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, just an hour and half away dozens died from shelling in Luhansk on July 18. And while the guilt of Russian-backed rebels seems close to

Interfax: Water supplies to Donetsk stopped, city has water to last five days at most

File Photo of Water Facet with Drop of Water Coming Out

KYIV. July 21 (Interfax) – Donbas Water Company has stopped three pumping stations bringing water to the Seversky Donets – Donbas channel due to damage inflicted during battles, the press office of DTEK energy holding company of Ukrainian businessman Rinat Akhmetov said. “Due to the three pumping stations which have stopped pumping water to the

Russian Billionaires in ‘Horror’ as Putin Risks Isolation

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Irina Reznik, Ilya Arkhipov – July 21, 2014) Russia’s richest businessmen are increasingly frantic that President Vladimir Putin’s policies in Ukraine will lead to crippling sanctions and are too scared of reprisal to say so publicly, billionaires and analysts said. If Putin doesn’t move to end the war in


RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#161 contents with links :: Thursday 24 July 2014

St. Basil's file photo

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List JRL 2014-#161 :: Thursday 24 July 2014 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George  Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist  JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  1. Valdai Discussion Club/Gazeta.ru: Fyodor Lukyanov, Going It

EU opposes Russian oil and gas sanctions, considers targeting other sectors

EU Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Concorde Capital – July 24, 2014) EU Energy Commissioner GYnther Oettinger opposes sanctions on Russian natural gas and oil but doesn’t rule out sanctions on energy technology and equipment, he told a July 23 press conference in Brussels, as reported by the UNIAN news agency. “I always spoke against

Putin Now Down to One Ally – Moscow Television

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, July 24, 2014) Tsar Aleksandr III famously said that Russia has only two allies – its army and its fleet – but now, according to Rashit Akhmetov, the editor of “Zvezda Povolzhya,” Vladimir Putin is down to only one – Moscow television with its ability to shape

RIA Novosti: Putin plays down threat of third world war at security meeting – Russian pundits

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(RIA Novosti - July 23, 2014) Having stated at a meeting of the Russian Security Council that there are no direct threats to the sovereignty of the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin has cooled the intensity of the debate about the possibility of a third world war, and also demonstrated his personal judo dexterity in relations with

RIA Novosti: Ukrainian Parliament Speaker Dissolves Communist Party Following Newly Introduced Rules

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

KIEV, July 24 (RIA Novosti) – The speaker of Ukraine’s parliament, Oleksandr Turchynov, dissolved the country’s Communist Party during Thursday’s session. “As of July 1, 2014, this parliamentary party was down to 23 members [from the previous number of 33], which is significantly less than the minimum requirement for parliamentary parties. In this regard and

RIA Novosti: Ukrainian Lawmakers Quit Coalition to Enable Parliament’s Dissolution

Ukraine Map and Flag

KIEV, July 24 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s Svoboda and UDAR parties announced Thursdaytheir factions in the Ukrainian parliament were quitting the majority coalition, paving the way for the dissolution of parliament. The majority coalition in the Ukrainian parliament, created after the February coup, had 256 members, the vast majority of them representing the erstwhile opposition

Ukraine update

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Tim Ash, Standard Bank – July 24, 2014) What is now clear on the ground is that Ukraine is at war, and with significant casualties suffered now by both sides on a daily basis – tens of lives lost almost daily now. The conflict is also causing very significant

RIA Novosti: Ukraine’s Claim of Russia Downing Attack Aircraft ‘Hogwash’ – Defense Ministry Source

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

MOSCOW, July 24 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Defense Ministry has labeled Ukraine’s claim that two Su-25 attack aircraft were shot down in eastern Ukraine from Russia as “hogwash.” On Wednesday, independence forces in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region said they downed two Su-25s. Later in the day, a spokesman from Ukraine’s National Security information center,

Interfax: Clashes continue in different districts of Donetsk region

Ukraine Map and Flag

DONETSK. July 24 (Interfax) – Explosions and volley fire are audible in Donetsk and smoke can be seen above north-western suburbs of the city, the Interfax correspondent reported on Thursday. According to the information of the press office of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) information ministry, a fight between militia and the Ukrainian army

Interfax: Kyiv denies holding Russia responsible for downing two Su-25 warplanes

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

KYIV. July 24 (Interfax) – Ukraine has not accused Russia of shooting down Ukrainian military planes in the military operation area in the eastern part of the country but only suggested it as one of the theories of the Wednesday incident, Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council spokesman Andriy Lysenko said. “We haven’t accused anyone

RIA Novosti: Donetsk Commander Denies Telling Media Militia Had Buk Missiles During MH17 Crash

File Photo of Buk-1 SAM

MOSCOW, July 24 (RIA Novosti) – A leader of the independence supporters in the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk, Commander of the Vostok Battalion Alexander Khodakovsky, denied having told Reuters that militia forces possessed Buk missiles when the Malaysia airliner crashed in the region, RT television channel reported Thursday. “We were discussing theories but one

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#160 contents with links :: Wednesday 23 July 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 39. Reuters: Putin ally warns Russia risks isolation over Ukraine rhetoric. (Kudrin)
40. The National Interest: Nikolas Gvosdev, Can Russia Avoid Being Hit with More Sanctions? Four indicators to consider.
41. Business New Europe: Clifford G. Gaddy and Barry W. Ickes, Can Sanctions Stop Putin? ….

Making sense of war: The perspective of five great Russian writers

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Mikhail Butov, special to RBTH – July 23, 2014) The author is a writer and Russian Booker Prize winner. The current conflict in Ukraine is raising sensitive ethical questions, forcing us to consider the justifications and meaning of using military force, and whether it should be allowed at

Ukraine Claims Rebels Wanted Phosphorus Bombs

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 23, 2014) Ukraine’s Interior Ministry on Tuesday accused the pro-Russian insurgency of attempting to procure white phosphorus ammunition, whose use is limited by international agreements. The ministry cited intercepted conversations between the insurgents, who allegedly spoke about obtaining phosphorus missiles for Grad missile launchers at their disposal. The rebels

Rebel Stronghold Donetsk Holds Breath as Shellfire Mounts

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Aliaksandr Kudrytski – July 22, 2014) The grass is being trimmed, the flowers tended and the potholes on roads filled. Jazz plays out from a cafe, and a few people are out enjoying the sunshine. Yet puncturing the scene of a European summer is the distant boom, boom, boom of artillery

Last train from Luhansk

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Luhansk – July 23, 2014) Luhansk falls quiet as its citizens flee the city. The train station is the town’s last populated place as residents queue for any ride out of town – and not by coincidence it is also one of the rebels’ favourite artillery

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Loss of Ukraine’s military-industrial complex will cost Russia $938 million

File Photo of Russian Nuclear Missile on Mobile Launcher Near Woods

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Nikolai Litovkin, RBTH – July 23, 2014) The business newspaper Kommersant has reported the findings of a special working group of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), which has quantified the costs of ceased collaboration with Ukrainian military-industrial enterprises. Russia will need to spend $938 million (33 billion

Obama’s Reluctance to Arming Rebels Stiffened by Airliner Strike

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated Before Russian and U.S. Flags

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Margaret Talev – July 23, 2014) The downing of a Malaysian passenger aircraft in Ukraine may stiffen Obama administration resistance to providing heavy armaments to rebels — or even besieged governments — seeking U.S. help in hotspots around the world. In the wake of the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) disaster, President Barack

Interfax: Putin vows to avoid clampdown in fight against radicalism

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Interfax – July 22, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed that the fight against radicalism in Russia will not result in a state clampdown on civil society and said he expects the Russian public to help prevent one, Russian privately-owned news agency Interfax reported on 22 July. Putin made the statements at a meeting

Interfax: Putin says Ukrainian “scenario” won’t happen in Russia

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Interfax – July 22, 2014) The “scenario” that has been used in Ukraine by “external” forces will not happen in Russia, President Vladimir Putin has said. He made these remarks at a meeting with the Russian Security Council, as reported by privately-owned news agency Interfax. Speaking about the so-called “colour revolutions” and in particular Ukraine,

Interfax: Russians believe situation in Ukraine threatens Russian-speaking residents of Ukraine – poll

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

MOSCOW. July 23 (Interfax) – An overwhelming majority of Russians surveyed by the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) (88%) believe there is currently a threat to Russian-speaking people in Ukraine and the Russian administration should protect their interests. Seven percent of the respondents said they do not believe such a threat exists in Ukraine.

RIA Novosti: Ukrainian Communist Party to Be Dissolved Thursday

Ukraine Map and Flag

KIEV, July 23 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchynov announced that the Communist Party, who occupy 23 seats in the Verkhovna Rada, would be dissolved on Thursday. On Tuesday, the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, made changes to its rules that would allow the speaker of the house to dissolve the Communist party. Ukrainian

Interfax: Ukrainian Communist Party leader attacked in Rada

Ukraine Map and Flag

KYIV. July 23 (Interfax) – Petro Symonenko, leader of the Ukrainian Communist Party faction, was attacked by parliamentarians during the Wednesday morning parliament session. After a proposal was made to remove Symonenko from the hall, deputies from the Svoboda faction began pushing him from the hall for his statements “on the killing by Ukrainian military

RIA Novosti: Kiev Receives Russia’s Risk Assessment of Ukraine’s EU Association

EU Map

BRUSSELS, July 23 (RIA Novosti) – Kiev received Moscow’s list of potential risks that Ukraine’s association with the European Union could present to Russia’s economy, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin told journalists. “Just yesterday, we received Russia’s perception of the potential risks,” Klimkin said on Tuesday. Ukraine signed the agreement on its association with the

Interfax: Ukrainian Security Service keeps recordings of tower conversations with Malaysian Boeing – source

MOSCOW. July 23 (Interfax) – Recordings of conversations between Ukrainian air traffic controllers and Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 have yet to be transferred to aviation specialists for an objective analysis. An informed source in Kyiv told Interfax last Friday, “Recordings of tower conversations with the Boeing crew have been seized and kept by the Ukrainian

RIA Novosti: Russia to Protect Economy From Risks Posed by Ukraine’s EU Association

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW, July 23 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow will have to resort to protective measures if Ukraine’s association deal with the European Union poses risks for the Russian economy, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday. «We believe that the risks remain quite serious, especially concerning technical regulations and standards of sanitary and phytosanitary control. That’s

RIA Novosti: Medvedev Says US, EU Companies Clearly Show Intention to Continue Work in Russia

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

MOSCOW, July 23 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow has received «clear signals» from US and European companies about their intention to continue work in Russia, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday. «We have received quite clear signals that European and American companies are set to continue work with Russian partners. Time is ripe now to use

RIA Novosti: The Disaster, Lies and Video. And Obama’s Fueling it All

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(RIA Novosti - Dmitry Babich - July 22, 2014) The latest breaking news about the agreement of the insurgents in eastern Ukraine to permit Dutch forensics experts on Monday to search the wreckage of the downed Malaysia Airlines jetliner and to transfer the bodies of the victims, as well as the plane’s flight recorder boxes to the

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#159 contents with links :: Tuesday 22 July 2014

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… 38. Russian Military Reform: Dmitry Gorenburg, Who shot down MH 17?
39. CNN.com: Andrew Kuchins, Act now, or face war in Ukraine.
40. Paul Goble: Window on Eurasia: Convinced of His Own Exceptionalism, Putin is Both ‘a Pragmatist and a Fool,’ Milshtein Says.
41. Stratfor.com: George Friedman, Can Putin Survive?
42. Moscow Times editorial: Moscow Won’t Back Down on Ukraine. …

Convinced of His Own Exceptionalism, Putin is Both ‘a Pragmatist and a Fool,’ Milshtein Says

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, July 22, 2014) In a commentary entitled “Forewarned and Armed,” Ilya Milshtein argues that tragically “there are no particular reasons to hope that Putin will change his approach” in Ukraine. Instead, the Moscow analyst says, he will proceed in ways that reflect his beliefs in his own

Britain Announces Well-Timed Litvinenko Inquiry in Open Snub to Russia

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 22, 2014) Britain is planning to hold a public inquiry into the death of former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko while in exile in Britain, news agencies reported Tuesday. Home Secretary Theresa May confirmed that the public inquiry will be held, Reuters reported. The inquiry will open the way for

Russia Beyond the Headlines: MH17 disaster leaves Moscow’s international relations on slippery slope

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Marina Starodubtseva, Nikolai Litovkin, RBTH – July 22, 2014) The Boeing 777 tragedy, which claimed the lives of 298 people, has seriously changed the course of the political game surrounding Ukraine. We asked the leading Russian experts to assess how the political situation changed after the events of

Moscow Won’t Back Down on Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Moscow Times editorial – themoscowtimes.com – July 22, 2014) Despite hopes that the tragedy of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 would be a game-changer in Ukraine’s simmering conflict, days later it is clear that this is highly unlikely. Nothing will be dramatically altered by the results of the investigation into the catastrophe. No matter who –

Stratfor: Can Putin Survive?

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(Stratfor.com – George Friedman – July 21, 2014) There is a general view that Vladimir Putin governs the Russian Federation as a dictator, that he has defeated and intimidated his opponents and that he has marshaled a powerful threat to surrounding countries. This is a reasonable view, but perhaps it should be re-evaluated in the

King’s gambit: Can Russia remain a world leader on the chessboard?

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Svetlana Korneva, special to RBTH – July 20, 2014) July 20 is International Chess Day. Chess is practically the only sport in which Russia has managed to preserve its leadership since the breakup of the Soviet Union. Although public interest in chess has waned in recent years, chess

Why Putin Can’t Afford to Dump the Ukrainian Separatists

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko – July 22, 2014) While Russia’s support of Ukrainian separatists has led to its worst standoff with the West in post-Soviet history, the Kremlin cannot afford to disown them because that would spell a major geopolitical defeat and alienate the jingoistic masses at home, Russian pundits said. The

RIA Novosti: U.S. Could Unveil Intelligence Data on Downed Boeing 777 in Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

WASHINGTON, July 22 (RIA Novosti) – The United States could unveil intelligence assessment on the crash of a Malaysian passenger plane in eastern Ukraine, White House Spokesperson Josh Earnest said Monday. “I’m not in the position to offer a specific intelligence assessment. It’s certainly possible that we may be in the position to do that

Interfax: Moscow expects Boeing flight recorders to be given to ICAO experts – Russian Foreign Ministry

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

MOSCOW. July 22 (Interfax) – Moscow is satisfied with the southeastern Ukraine militia giving flight recorders of the crashed plane to Malaysian representatives and expects they will be transferred in the future to the international expert group under the aegis of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Russian Foreign Ministry posted a statement on

Interfax: Patrushev says Russian decision-makers must heed opposition

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

MOSCOW. July 22 (Interfax) – The Russian Security Council Secretary, Nikolai Patrushev, has spoken of the need to draw conclusions from what is going on in Ukraine and heed the opinion of the Russian opposition. “The events occurring in Ukraine – their role for us is this: we must draw the right conclusions from them,”

Ukrainian Cows Kidnapped, Trafficked to Russia, Police Say

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 18, 2014) Against the backdrop of blistering diplomatic tensions between Moscow and Kiev, a 172-head herd of cows has been illegally trafficked across the Russian border, the Luhansk region branch of Ukraine’s Interior Ministry claimed Thursday. The herd went missing Wednesday night from a farm in Luhansk region’s Belovodsky

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#158 contents with links :: Monday 21 July 2014

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1. Financial Times: Thomas Graham, To stop Putin the west should repair Ukraine’s economy. Those who want Russia punished with tougher sanctions are misguided.
2. Carnegie Moscow Center: Dmitri Trenin, Midsummer Blues.
3. Euromaidan Press/Ukrainska Pravda: The Klimkin interview: terrorism, war, EU, Merkel and Putin. (new Ukraine foreign minister)
4. Reuters: Fighting flares in Ukraine as crash investigators arrive …

Interfax: Russia did not provide Buk missile systems to Donbas militia – Gen. Staff

File Photo of Buk-1 SAM

MOSCOW. July 21 (Interfax) – Russia did not provide the militia in southeastern Ukraine with Buk missile systems, the Russian Defense Ministry said. “The Russian Federation did not hand Buk missile systems, or other kinds of weapons or military hardware, to the militia,” said Gen. Andrei Kartopolov, chief of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operations

More blame game in Ukraine as dozens die in Luhansk shelling

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Luhansk, Ukraine – July 21, 2014) While the world has been transfixed by the crash site of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, just an hour and half away dozens died from shelling in Luhansk on July 18. And while the guilt of Russian-backed rebels seems close to

Interfax: Water supplies to Donetsk stopped, city has water to last five days at most

File Photo of Water Facet with Drop of Water Coming Out

KYIV. July 21 (Interfax) – Donbas Water Company has stopped three pumping stations bringing water to the Seversky Donets – Donbas channel due to damage inflicted during battles, the press office of DTEK energy holding company of Ukrainian businessman Rinat Akhmetov said. “Due to the three pumping stations which have stopped pumping water to the

Russian Billionaires in ‘Horror’ as Putin Risks Isolation

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Irina Reznik, Ilya Arkhipov – July 21, 2014) Russia’s richest businessmen are increasingly frantic that President Vladimir Putin’s policies in Ukraine will lead to crippling sanctions and are too scared of reprisal to say so publicly, billionaires and analysts said. If Putin doesn’t move to end the war in

United States Assessment of the Downing of Flight MH17 and its Aftermath

File Photo of U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, with U.S. Flag on Pole and U.S. Military

Embassy of the United States, Kyiv Ukraine July 19, 2014 We assess that Flight MH17 was likely downed by a SA-11 surface-to-air missile from separatist-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine. We base this judgment on several factors. Over the past month, we have detected an increasing amount of heavy weaponry to separatist fighters crossing the border

New Post on Russian Guilt; “Here Are The Intercepted Transcripts Indicating Russian Rebels Shot Down Malaysian Flight MH17″

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[featured image is file photo] Subject: FW: new post on Russian guilt Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2014 From: Anders Aslund <AAslund@PIIE.COM> David: Another version of the same evidence. Best, Anders From: paul roderick gregory [pgregory@stanford.edu] Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2014 3:27 PM To: Anders Aslund; Gregory Paul Subject: new post on Russian guilt http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2014/07/19/what-more-smoking-guns-are-needed-for-mh17-the-worlds-first-sam-terrorism/ Forbes.com

The truth about MH17

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[featured image is file photo] Subject: The truth about MH17 Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2014 From: Anders Aslund <AAslund@PIIE.COM> David: I hope you will lead with this excellent SBU video with English text next time. You can hardly get a better view of the reality of the MH17. http://www.sbu.gov.ua/sbu/control/en/publish/article?art_id=129088&cat_id=35317 Best, Anders [note from JRL web

The Nightmare of Being a Russian-Language Ukrainian Playwright

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – John Freedman – July 21, 2014) “I don’t know what to do about it, John. It is a nightmare and it is hell. And something in me has been broken irreparably.” Thus responded Maksym Kurochkin, a Ukrainian Russian-language playwright, to my question about what he is experiencing these days. As

RIA Novosti: Kiev Says Needs Almost $780 Million to Continue Special Operation

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW, July 22 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s Finance Ministry has asked the parliament to earmark 9.1 billion hryvnia ($780 million) to finance the special operation against independence supporters in the country’s east, the ministry’s press service said. Finance Minister Oleksandr Shlapak said some 6.8 billion hryvnia ($583 million) was allocated for the operation in March.

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