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RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#224 table of contents with links :: Wednesday 29 October 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 10. Business New Europe: Ben Aris, Ukraine to introduce sweeping tax reforms.
11. Bloomberg: Safe-Deposit Box Craze Lays Bare Ukraine Woes After Vote.
12. Reuters: Ukraine’s Yatseniuk sees himself staying on as prime minister.
13. www.opendemocracy.net: Natalia Antonova, Post-election, Ukrainians and Russians face an uncertain future. …

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St. Basil's file photo

Thank you very much for following Johnson’s Russia List, with 7,454 followers on twitter and counting … 2,804 persons “liking” the JRL on facebook and counting … thousands subscribing to the core e-mail newsletter … and thousands visiting the JRL web home … Do you have any feedback you care to share about the JRL

Post-election, Ukrainians and Russians face an uncertain future

Maidan Square file photo

(opendemocracy.net – Natalia Antonova – October 28, 2014) Natalia Antonova was born in Kyiv and grew up in North Carolina. She works as a journalist, playwright, and social media director at Russia Beyond the Headlines. Ukraine’s snap parliamentary elections have once again proven that the mainstream of society rejects the far right – not that

Russians are not bothered by Western sanctions

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(opendemocracy.net – Vasil Jaiani – October 27, 2014) Vasil Jaiani is a senior management analyst for the government of the District of Columbia. Sanctions have had a limited effect on the Russian population whose support towards the government’s Ukrainian policy does not seem to be eroding. [Charts here opendemocracy.net/od-russia/vasil-jaiani/russians-are-not-bothered-by-western-sanctions] Russia’s economy is not in meltdown,

RIA Novosti: EU-Russia Sanctions: No One Wants to Show They are Giving in First

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

MOSCOW, October 29 (RIA Novosti) – The anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the European Union will not be scaled back or rescinded in the immediate future. They’re likely to be in effect until mid-March of next year, an EU diplomatic source told RIA Novosti. But as Nigel Kushner, the CEO of W Legal, an international law

RIA Novosti: Who and What Is Causing the Decline in Oil Prices, and Where Will It Lead?

Oil Well file photo

MOSCOW, October 28 (RIA Novosti) – With oil hovering around the $80-85 per barrel mark, down nearly 30 percent from a high of over $115 in mid-June, media and expert analysis about the causes and consequences of the price decline has been extensive. We present another, Russia-informed perspective. Saudi Machinations Against US Shale and the

How Slumping Oil Prices Hit Russia’s Sanctions-Struck Oil Industry

Oil Well file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – October 29, 2014) Three screws are tightening on Russia’s oil industry. International banks are calling in multibillion-dollar loans and refusing new ones due to sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine. Western oil companies are barred from handing over advanced drilling technology, also due to sanctions. And, unexpectedly, the

Business New Europe: Russia calls on EU to show money for Ukraine gas

Gas Flame file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 29, 2014) Russia’s ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov called on the EU to show Russia it has the money to pay for Ukrainian gas, before Russia renews gas supplies to Ukraine, which were cut after a dispute over pricing and arrears. The EU is set to disburse

Safe-Deposit Box Craze Lays Bare Ukraine Woes After Vote

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Daryna Krasnolutska – October 29, 2014) Wary of banks and alarmed by armed conflict around her parents’ town, Daria Demianenko joined Ukraine’s rush to an old-fashioned way of squirreling away cash. More commonly known as a home for fancy jewels and ill-gotten gains, safe-deposit boxes are swallowing a growing chunk of

Ukraine to introduce sweeping tax reforms

Maidan Square file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Kyiv – October 29, 2014) When Ukraine’s newly elected parliament meets for the first time, probably in November, the first thing it will do is vote on a set of sweeping tax reforms that could transform the country and spark a long-awaited economic recovery. “Once we

Interfax: Future Ukrainian government must adopt plan of country restoration for 2015-2017 by December 15 – draft coalition agreement

Rada File Photo

KYIV. Oct 29 (Interfax) – The Ukrainian Cabinet of ministers to be formed after the establishment of a parliamentary coalition in the 8th Verkhovna Rada will have to draw up and adopt a plan for the restoration of the country by December 15, 2014, says a draft coalition agreement published on the Petro Poroshenko Bloc’s

RIA Novosti: Kiev Withdraws From Delineation Agreement With East Ukraine: DPR

Ukraine Map and Flag

DONETSK, October 29 (RIA Novosti) – Kiev has withdrawn from the delineation agreement it signed with Donetsk authorities without any explanation, the deputy prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said Wednesday. “A delineation was agreed between the opposing forces, but Kiev recalled the signature of its representative, Gen. Dumanskiy, from the document

Blowing $24 Billion on Ruble Spurs Free-Float Bet

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Vladimir Kuznetsov – October 29, 2014) The ruble’s persistent weakening in the face of $24 billion of interventions is stoking speculation the Bank of Russia will accelerate its switch to a free float. The currency fell to a record for a sixth day today, losing 0.6 percent to 42.7410 per dollar

Navalny Wins Court Case Against Federal Media Watchdog

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 29, 2014) Opposition activist Alexei Navalny announced his victory Tuesday in a lawsuit challenging the Russian federal media watchdog’s refusal to register his news outlet as an official media outlet. Navalny filed an application with the agency on June 2 to set up the “Alexei Navalny Information Agency,” a

Russian Media Behemoth Set To Launch Wave Of Foreign Bureaus

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW – October 29, 2014) Rossiya Segodnya, Russia’s state-run media conglomerate, is reportedly preparing to open local bureaus in 29 world capitals, a move expanding the Kremlin’s global media presence amid what senior Russian officials call an “information war” with the West. The new bureaus are set to

Russia Denies Report Alleging Harassment of U.S. Embassy Staff

Artist's Rendition of U.S. Embassy, Moscow, with the Russian Foreign Ministry in the Background

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jennifer Monaghan – October 29, 2014) Russia’s Foreign Ministry has issued an angry denial following a report that U.S. Embassy staff are facing increased harassment and psychological pressure while working in Moscow, appealing to the U.S. to stop the “negativity.” In an article published Monday, U.S.-based broadcaster ABC News reported

The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine By Ivan Katchanovski, Ph.D. School of Political Studies & Department of Communication University of Ottawa Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada ikatchan@uottawa.ca Paper presented at the Chair of Ukrainian Studies Seminar at the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, October 1, 2014 [With visuals and footnotes here academia.edu/8776021/The_Snipers_Massacre_on_the_Maidan_in_Ukraine] The Snipers

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#223 table of contents with links :: Tuesday 28 October 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 20. Kyiv Post: Opposition Bloc outperforms forecasts, expected to be fourth largest party.
21. Bloomberg: Putin Narrative of Abandoned Ukraine East Fueled by Vote.
22. RFE/RL: Ten Takeaways From Ukraine’s Vote. …

Interfax: Russian pollster says citizens increasingly concerned about rising dollar

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Interfax – Moscow, October 27, 2014) Fourty-five per cent of Russian residents are now concerned about an increase in the dollar rate – this indicator has increased significantly compared with last year, when only 26 per cent of respondents worried about this, Levada Centre [independent research organization] sociologists have told Interfax. At the same time,

Interfax: Moscow Helsinki Group, but not Memorial, gets Russian presidential grant

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Interfax – Moscow, October 27, 2014) Leading human rights organizations Moscow Helsinki Group and the For Human Rights movement were among the recipients of presidential grants as a result of a bid process held by the Civil Dignity organization. “Among well-known organizations, Moscow Helsinki Group received R1.8m [about 34,000 dollars at the current exchange rate]

Red Square Exhibit Sheds New Light on Soviet Cult of Lenin

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Kevin O’Flynn – October 28, 2014) [Photos here themoscowtimes.com/arts_n_ideas/article/leniniana-returns-to-red-square-to-dispel-myth-of-beloved-leader/510079.html] Everyone knew what was in the redbrick 19th-century building by Red Square in Soviet times. It was the Lenin Museum, the home – together with the nearby mausoleum – of the Lenin cult, to which a visit was a rite of

Finance Ministry Eyes 10% Cuts to Russia’s State Spending as Economic Outlook Worsens

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 28, 2014) With sanctions, oil price falls and the ruble devaluation making Russia’s official growth forecasts look increasingly overconfident, the Finance Ministry will draw up contingency measures to shave 10 percent off state spending in 2016 and 2017, business daily Vedomosti reported, citing undisclosed government sources. Such a drastic

Fewer Russians Ready to Re-Elect Putin, Poll Shows

Putin Descending a Staircase file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 28, 2014) President Vladimir Putin’s rating has fallen for the first time this year, with a substantial drop in the number of those who say they are ready to re-elect him, a poll by the Levada Center showed Tuesday. While a poll in August showed 57 percent of respondents

Interfax: Poll: Western-style democracy won’t work for Russia

Map of Russia

(Interfax – October 28, 2014) Russians are prone to describe the Western democratic model as unviable under the Russian conditions but exhibit an interest in the life and work in Western countries, sociologists told Interfax. Fifty-five percent of 1,630 respondents polled by the Levada Center in 134 populated localities in 46 regions in September said

Ten Takeaways From Ukraine’s Vote

Rada File Photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Glenn Kates – October 27, 2014) Ukrainians have voted in a new parliament for the first time since the Euromaidan protests ousted President Viktor Yanukovych and his pro-Russian government earlier this year. Here are some takeaways from the October 26 vote: The West-Russia divide is no longer relevant in parliament Since

Putin Narrative of Abandoned Ukraine East Fueled by Vote

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Daryna Krasnolutska – October 27, 2014) Vladimir Putin may have more ammunition to extend his influence over the Ukraine’s war-torn east after the country’s parliamentary election. A surge in support for pro-European parties leaves the area, the bedrock of ousted leader Viktor Yanukovych’s popularity, with less of a say in the

RIA Novosti: Ukraine’s Elections Sealed Minsk Agreement’s Fate, Make Country Easier to Govern: Analysts

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW, October 28 (RIA Novosti), Daria Chernyshova – Ukraine’s snap parliamentary elections were a referendum on whether to support the Minsk agreements and give autonomy to Donbas or not and are expected to make the country easier to govern, experts told RIA Novosti on Tuesday. “This election was a referendum on the dominant political issue

Business New Europe: Russia will recognise rebel elections to be held in east Ukraine

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 28, 2014) Russia will recognize elections to be held by rebels in Ukraine’s Donbass region on November 2, Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, told newspaper Izvestiya in an interview. The move will likely worsen Russia’s already strained relations with the West, which has demanded that Russia withdraw support

Business New Europe: Poroshenko could squeeze tiny Yatsenyuk lead with constituency seats

Rada File Photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 28, 2014) With 80% of votes counted, People’s Front party headed by Ukraine’s prime minster, Arseny Yatsenyuk, has held its hair-breadth lead over President Petro Poroshenko’s eponymous party. People’s Front is on 21.94% of the vote, while Petro Poroshenko Bloc is on 21.6%, according to the Ukrainian Central

Interfax: People’s Front, Poroshenko Bloc leaders in Ukraine polls – election commission

File photo of Barack Obama and Petro Poroshenko facing one another, with Obama gesturing

KYIV. Oct 28 (Interfax) – Ukraine’s central election commission announced after processing 90.02% of valid protocols that the People’s Front had won 22.16% and Petro Poroshenko Bloc 21.77% of the votes in Sunday’s parliamentary polls. The Samopomich association garnered 10.96% of the votes, Opposition Bloc 9.35%, Radical Party 7.46% and Batkivshchina 5.7% according to figures

Oil drops below $80, implications for Russian budget

Oil Well file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 28, 2014) The price of a barrel of Texan light dropped lower than $80 for the first time in two years, but Russia’s economy minister has retained its forecast for the next three years of the oil price remaining within the corridor of $90-$110, according to Interfax. “It is not

Sixty Percent of Russians Today Live or Have Lived in Poverty, Moscow Study Says

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 28, 2014) Sixty percent of the population of the Russian Federation is either poor now or has had experience with living in poverty in the past, a figure that is no longer falling as it was a decade ago and one that means Russians may be

What Can Russia Bring to War Against Islamic State?

Map of Area Spanning Portions of Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, highlighting military engagements against ISIL

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko – October 28, 2014) Moscow will not join the U.S. effort to thwart the Islamic State terrorist group until Russian-American relations improve, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said this weekend. The big question, however, is whether Russia is in fact in a position to offer any substantial aid

Re: 2014-#220-Johnson’s Russia List (Adomanis on Applebaum)

Map of Russia

Subject: Re: 2014-#220-Johnson’s Russia List (Adomanis on Applebaum) Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2014 From: Martin Dewhirst <martin.dewhirst@googlemail.com> Anne Applebaum (whom I read but do not know personally) does not need a low-profile person like myself to spring to her defense, but I would guess that she is too busy, and would consider it beneath her dignity, to respond

NEWSLINK: Taking Measure Of The Ukrainian Mind-Set

Ukraine Map and Flag

["Taking Measure Of The Ukrainian Mind-Set" - RFE/RL - rferl.org - October 25, 2014] Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty interviewed Kiev-based sociologist Iryna Bekeshkyna about unfolding conditions in Ukraine, back on the eve of recent national legislative elections: How have Ukrainian attitudes toward the EU, Russia, and NATO changed? Is it possible to conduct opinion polls in

NEWSLINK: Russia in grim go-it-alone mood as sanctions bite

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

["Russia in grim go-it-alone mood as sanctions bite" - BBC - Bridget Kendall - BBC - Sochi, October 27, 2014] BBC News covers Russia’s Valdai Club meeting at Sochi and the impact of Ukraine-related Western sanctions on Russia. Russia’s efforts to reduce … reliance on trade with the West overshadowed a high-profile meeting between … Putin and foreign correspondents …. *

NEWSLINK: In eastern Ukraine, most voters dream only of peace

Ukraine Map and Flag

["In eastern Ukraine, most voters dream only of peace" - Reuters - Thomas Grove - Oct. 26, 2014] Reuters covers hopes in eastern Ukraine for an end to conflict, amidst recent national legislative elections, even as separatist-dominated areas failed to participate. Voters in eastern Ukraine had one thing on their mind as they voted in

NEWSLINK: In Ukraine’s East, Low Voter Turnout in Election Signals Kiev’s Challenges

Ukraine Map and Flag

["In Ukraine's East, Low Voter Turnout in Election Signals Kiev's Challenges; Wary of Poroshenko's Government, Few Voters Head to Polls in Eastern Town Controlled by Kiev" - Wall Street Journal - James Marson - October 27, 2014] The Wall Street Journal covers unfolding circumstances in Ukraine’s east, including issues over participation in recent legislative elections: *

NEWSLINK: Ukraine leader wins pro-West mandate but wary of Russia

Rada File Photo

["Ukraine leader wins pro-West mandate but wary of Russia" - Reuters - Richard Balmforth and Timothy Heritage - KIEV, Oct 27, 2014]  Reuters covers Ukrainian legislative elections that favored West-leaning Ukrainian Presidenti Petro Poroshenko: Pro-Western parties will dominate Ukraine’s parliament after an election handed President Petro Poroshenko a mandate to end a separatist conflict and

NEWSLINK: Alleged Russian intelligence agent caught outside Kyiv claiming to be FSB general

Stylized Artis Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

["Alleged Russian intelligence agent caught outside Kyiv claiming to be FSB general (PHOTOS)" - Kyiv Post - October 24, 2014] The Kiev Post covers reports that Ukraine captured a Russian operative connected with Ukrainian separatists, posing as a journalist: Ukraine’s State Security Service (SBU) says on Oct. 23 it apprehended a high-level Russian intelligence agent

Business New Europe: Ukraine’s bad start

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – October 24, 2014) This weekend’s crucial parliamentary elections in Ukraine could mark the end of two decades of failure and the launch of the country’s attempt to catch-up with the rest of the region. The trouble is that Ukraine is already off to a

RIA Novosti: Gorbachev says Putin’s latest speech questioning U.S. dominance best ever

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, October 26, 2014) The first president of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, thinks that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Valdai [Valday] speech was one of the strongest of his period in power. On Friday [24 October] the head of state gave a speech to participants in the Valdai discussion club in Sochi, in

Business New Europe: Ukrainians elect pro-European parliament

Rada File Photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Slack in Kyiv – October 27, 2014) Ukrainians have elected a pro-European parliament in snap elections on October 26, according to preliminary results. The results show pro-European parties headed by President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk respectively are neck-and-neck for first place, with 20% of votes

RIA Novosti: Ukraine Elections Offer Hope for Overcoming Crisis: Russian Human Rights Council’s Head

Mikhail Fedotov file photo

MOSCOW, October 27 (RIA Novosti) – The Ukrainian parliamentary elections went ahead according to Ukrainian law, which raises hope that the country could return to normal, the head of Russia’s Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights Mikhail Fedotov said Monday. “As far as it can be judged from media reports, the elections were

RIA Novosti: Lavrov: Moscow Recognizes Parliamentary Election Results in Ukraine

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW, October 27 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow considers the parliamentary elections in Ukraine as complete and is ready to recognize their results, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday. “It seems that these elections are complete, though not throughout the entire territory of Ukraine. I believe we will recognize these elections because it’s important for


RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#224 table of contents with links :: Wednesday 29 October 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 10. Business New Europe: Ben Aris, Ukraine to introduce sweeping tax reforms.
11. Bloomberg: Safe-Deposit Box Craze Lays Bare Ukraine Woes After Vote.
12. Reuters: Ukraine’s Yatseniuk sees himself staying on as prime minister.
13. www.opendemocracy.net: Natalia Antonova, Post-election, Ukrainians and Russians face an uncertain future. …

FEEDBACK REQUESTED: Thanks for following Johnson’s Russia List! We would love to hear from you …

St. Basil's file photo

Thank you very much for following Johnson’s Russia List, with 7,454 followers on twitter and counting … 2,804 persons “liking” the JRL on facebook and counting … thousands subscribing to the core e-mail newsletter … and thousands visiting the JRL web home … Do you have any feedback you care to share about the JRL

Post-election, Ukrainians and Russians face an uncertain future

Maidan Square file photo

(opendemocracy.net – Natalia Antonova – October 28, 2014) Natalia Antonova was born in Kyiv and grew up in North Carolina. She works as a journalist, playwright, and social media director at Russia Beyond the Headlines. Ukraine’s snap parliamentary elections have once again proven that the mainstream of society rejects the far right – not that

Russians are not bothered by Western sanctions

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(opendemocracy.net – Vasil Jaiani – October 27, 2014) Vasil Jaiani is a senior management analyst for the government of the District of Columbia. Sanctions have had a limited effect on the Russian population whose support towards the government’s Ukrainian policy does not seem to be eroding. [Charts here opendemocracy.net/od-russia/vasil-jaiani/russians-are-not-bothered-by-western-sanctions] Russia’s economy is not in meltdown,

RIA Novosti: EU-Russia Sanctions: No One Wants to Show They are Giving in First

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

MOSCOW, October 29 (RIA Novosti) – The anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the European Union will not be scaled back or rescinded in the immediate future. They’re likely to be in effect until mid-March of next year, an EU diplomatic source told RIA Novosti. But as Nigel Kushner, the CEO of W Legal, an international law

RIA Novosti: Who and What Is Causing the Decline in Oil Prices, and Where Will It Lead?

Oil Well file photo

MOSCOW, October 28 (RIA Novosti) – With oil hovering around the $80-85 per barrel mark, down nearly 30 percent from a high of over $115 in mid-June, media and expert analysis about the causes and consequences of the price decline has been extensive. We present another, Russia-informed perspective. Saudi Machinations Against US Shale and the

How Slumping Oil Prices Hit Russia’s Sanctions-Struck Oil Industry

Oil Well file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – October 29, 2014) Three screws are tightening on Russia’s oil industry. International banks are calling in multibillion-dollar loans and refusing new ones due to sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine. Western oil companies are barred from handing over advanced drilling technology, also due to sanctions. And, unexpectedly, the

Business New Europe: Russia calls on EU to show money for Ukraine gas

Gas Flame file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 29, 2014) Russia’s ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov called on the EU to show Russia it has the money to pay for Ukrainian gas, before Russia renews gas supplies to Ukraine, which were cut after a dispute over pricing and arrears. The EU is set to disburse

Safe-Deposit Box Craze Lays Bare Ukraine Woes After Vote

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Daryna Krasnolutska – October 29, 2014) Wary of banks and alarmed by armed conflict around her parents’ town, Daria Demianenko joined Ukraine’s rush to an old-fashioned way of squirreling away cash. More commonly known as a home for fancy jewels and ill-gotten gains, safe-deposit boxes are swallowing a growing chunk of

Ukraine to introduce sweeping tax reforms

Maidan Square file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Kyiv – October 29, 2014) When Ukraine’s newly elected parliament meets for the first time, probably in November, the first thing it will do is vote on a set of sweeping tax reforms that could transform the country and spark a long-awaited economic recovery. “Once we

Interfax: Future Ukrainian government must adopt plan of country restoration for 2015-2017 by December 15 – draft coalition agreement

Rada File Photo

KYIV. Oct 29 (Interfax) – The Ukrainian Cabinet of ministers to be formed after the establishment of a parliamentary coalition in the 8th Verkhovna Rada will have to draw up and adopt a plan for the restoration of the country by December 15, 2014, says a draft coalition agreement published on the Petro Poroshenko Bloc’s

RIA Novosti: Kiev Withdraws From Delineation Agreement With East Ukraine: DPR

Ukraine Map and Flag

DONETSK, October 29 (RIA Novosti) – Kiev has withdrawn from the delineation agreement it signed with Donetsk authorities without any explanation, the deputy prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said Wednesday. “A delineation was agreed between the opposing forces, but Kiev recalled the signature of its representative, Gen. Dumanskiy, from the document

Blowing $24 Billion on Ruble Spurs Free-Float Bet

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Vladimir Kuznetsov – October 29, 2014) The ruble’s persistent weakening in the face of $24 billion of interventions is stoking speculation the Bank of Russia will accelerate its switch to a free float. The currency fell to a record for a sixth day today, losing 0.6 percent to 42.7410 per dollar

Navalny Wins Court Case Against Federal Media Watchdog

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 29, 2014) Opposition activist Alexei Navalny announced his victory Tuesday in a lawsuit challenging the Russian federal media watchdog’s refusal to register his news outlet as an official media outlet. Navalny filed an application with the agency on June 2 to set up the “Alexei Navalny Information Agency,” a

Russian Media Behemoth Set To Launch Wave Of Foreign Bureaus

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW – October 29, 2014) Rossiya Segodnya, Russia’s state-run media conglomerate, is reportedly preparing to open local bureaus in 29 world capitals, a move expanding the Kremlin’s global media presence amid what senior Russian officials call an “information war” with the West. The new bureaus are set to

Russia Denies Report Alleging Harassment of U.S. Embassy Staff

Artist's Rendition of U.S. Embassy, Moscow, with the Russian Foreign Ministry in the Background

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jennifer Monaghan – October 29, 2014) Russia’s Foreign Ministry has issued an angry denial following a report that U.S. Embassy staff are facing increased harassment and psychological pressure while working in Moscow, appealing to the U.S. to stop the “negativity.” In an article published Monday, U.S.-based broadcaster ABC News reported

The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine By Ivan Katchanovski, Ph.D. School of Political Studies & Department of Communication University of Ottawa Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada ikatchan@uottawa.ca Paper presented at the Chair of Ukrainian Studies Seminar at the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, October 1, 2014 [With visuals and footnotes here academia.edu/8776021/The_Snipers_Massacre_on_the_Maidan_in_Ukraine] The Snipers

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#223 table of contents with links :: Tuesday 28 October 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 20. Kyiv Post: Opposition Bloc outperforms forecasts, expected to be fourth largest party.
21. Bloomberg: Putin Narrative of Abandoned Ukraine East Fueled by Vote.
22. RFE/RL: Ten Takeaways From Ukraine’s Vote. …

Interfax: Russian pollster says citizens increasingly concerned about rising dollar

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Interfax – Moscow, October 27, 2014) Fourty-five per cent of Russian residents are now concerned about an increase in the dollar rate – this indicator has increased significantly compared with last year, when only 26 per cent of respondents worried about this, Levada Centre [independent research organization] sociologists have told Interfax. At the same time,

Interfax: Moscow Helsinki Group, but not Memorial, gets Russian presidential grant

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Interfax – Moscow, October 27, 2014) Leading human rights organizations Moscow Helsinki Group and the For Human Rights movement were among the recipients of presidential grants as a result of a bid process held by the Civil Dignity organization. “Among well-known organizations, Moscow Helsinki Group received R1.8m [about 34,000 dollars at the current exchange rate]

Red Square Exhibit Sheds New Light on Soviet Cult of Lenin

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Kevin O’Flynn – October 28, 2014) [Photos here themoscowtimes.com/arts_n_ideas/article/leniniana-returns-to-red-square-to-dispel-myth-of-beloved-leader/510079.html] Everyone knew what was in the redbrick 19th-century building by Red Square in Soviet times. It was the Lenin Museum, the home – together with the nearby mausoleum – of the Lenin cult, to which a visit was a rite of

Finance Ministry Eyes 10% Cuts to Russia’s State Spending as Economic Outlook Worsens

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 28, 2014) With sanctions, oil price falls and the ruble devaluation making Russia’s official growth forecasts look increasingly overconfident, the Finance Ministry will draw up contingency measures to shave 10 percent off state spending in 2016 and 2017, business daily Vedomosti reported, citing undisclosed government sources. Such a drastic

Fewer Russians Ready to Re-Elect Putin, Poll Shows

Putin Descending a Staircase file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 28, 2014) President Vladimir Putin’s rating has fallen for the first time this year, with a substantial drop in the number of those who say they are ready to re-elect him, a poll by the Levada Center showed Tuesday. While a poll in August showed 57 percent of respondents

Interfax: Poll: Western-style democracy won’t work for Russia

Map of Russia

(Interfax – October 28, 2014) Russians are prone to describe the Western democratic model as unviable under the Russian conditions but exhibit an interest in the life and work in Western countries, sociologists told Interfax. Fifty-five percent of 1,630 respondents polled by the Levada Center in 134 populated localities in 46 regions in September said

Ten Takeaways From Ukraine’s Vote

Rada File Photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Glenn Kates – October 27, 2014) Ukrainians have voted in a new parliament for the first time since the Euromaidan protests ousted President Viktor Yanukovych and his pro-Russian government earlier this year. Here are some takeaways from the October 26 vote: The West-Russia divide is no longer relevant in parliament Since

Putin Narrative of Abandoned Ukraine East Fueled by Vote

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Daryna Krasnolutska – October 27, 2014) Vladimir Putin may have more ammunition to extend his influence over the Ukraine’s war-torn east after the country’s parliamentary election. A surge in support for pro-European parties leaves the area, the bedrock of ousted leader Viktor Yanukovych’s popularity, with less of a say in the

RIA Novosti: Ukraine’s Elections Sealed Minsk Agreement’s Fate, Make Country Easier to Govern: Analysts

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW, October 28 (RIA Novosti), Daria Chernyshova – Ukraine’s snap parliamentary elections were a referendum on whether to support the Minsk agreements and give autonomy to Donbas or not and are expected to make the country easier to govern, experts told RIA Novosti on Tuesday. “This election was a referendum on the dominant political issue

Business New Europe: Russia will recognise rebel elections to be held in east Ukraine

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 28, 2014) Russia will recognize elections to be held by rebels in Ukraine’s Donbass region on November 2, Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, told newspaper Izvestiya in an interview. The move will likely worsen Russia’s already strained relations with the West, which has demanded that Russia withdraw support

Business New Europe: Poroshenko could squeeze tiny Yatsenyuk lead with constituency seats

Rada File Photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 28, 2014) With 80% of votes counted, People’s Front party headed by Ukraine’s prime minster, Arseny Yatsenyuk, has held its hair-breadth lead over President Petro Poroshenko’s eponymous party. People’s Front is on 21.94% of the vote, while Petro Poroshenko Bloc is on 21.6%, according to the Ukrainian Central

Interfax: People’s Front, Poroshenko Bloc leaders in Ukraine polls – election commission

File photo of Barack Obama and Petro Poroshenko facing one another, with Obama gesturing

KYIV. Oct 28 (Interfax) – Ukraine’s central election commission announced after processing 90.02% of valid protocols that the People’s Front had won 22.16% and Petro Poroshenko Bloc 21.77% of the votes in Sunday’s parliamentary polls. The Samopomich association garnered 10.96% of the votes, Opposition Bloc 9.35%, Radical Party 7.46% and Batkivshchina 5.7% according to figures

Oil drops below $80, implications for Russian budget

Oil Well file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 28, 2014) The price of a barrel of Texan light dropped lower than $80 for the first time in two years, but Russia’s economy minister has retained its forecast for the next three years of the oil price remaining within the corridor of $90-$110, according to Interfax. “It is not

Sixty Percent of Russians Today Live or Have Lived in Poverty, Moscow Study Says

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 28, 2014) Sixty percent of the population of the Russian Federation is either poor now or has had experience with living in poverty in the past, a figure that is no longer falling as it was a decade ago and one that means Russians may be

What Can Russia Bring to War Against Islamic State?

Map of Area Spanning Portions of Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, highlighting military engagements against ISIL

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko – October 28, 2014) Moscow will not join the U.S. effort to thwart the Islamic State terrorist group until Russian-American relations improve, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said this weekend. The big question, however, is whether Russia is in fact in a position to offer any substantial aid

Re: 2014-#220-Johnson’s Russia List (Adomanis on Applebaum)

Map of Russia

Subject: Re: 2014-#220-Johnson’s Russia List (Adomanis on Applebaum) Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2014 From: Martin Dewhirst <martin.dewhirst@googlemail.com> Anne Applebaum (whom I read but do not know personally) does not need a low-profile person like myself to spring to her defense, but I would guess that she is too busy, and would consider it beneath her dignity, to respond

NEWSLINK: Taking Measure Of The Ukrainian Mind-Set

Ukraine Map and Flag

["Taking Measure Of The Ukrainian Mind-Set" - RFE/RL - rferl.org - October 25, 2014] Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty interviewed Kiev-based sociologist Iryna Bekeshkyna about unfolding conditions in Ukraine, back on the eve of recent national legislative elections: How have Ukrainian attitudes toward the EU, Russia, and NATO changed? Is it possible to conduct opinion polls in

NEWSLINK: Russia in grim go-it-alone mood as sanctions bite

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

["Russia in grim go-it-alone mood as sanctions bite" - BBC - Bridget Kendall - BBC - Sochi, October 27, 2014] BBC News covers Russia’s Valdai Club meeting at Sochi and the impact of Ukraine-related Western sanctions on Russia. Russia’s efforts to reduce … reliance on trade with the West overshadowed a high-profile meeting between … Putin and foreign correspondents …. *

NEWSLINK: In eastern Ukraine, most voters dream only of peace

Ukraine Map and Flag

["In eastern Ukraine, most voters dream only of peace" - Reuters - Thomas Grove - Oct. 26, 2014] Reuters covers hopes in eastern Ukraine for an end to conflict, amidst recent national legislative elections, even as separatist-dominated areas failed to participate. Voters in eastern Ukraine had one thing on their mind as they voted in

NEWSLINK: In Ukraine’s East, Low Voter Turnout in Election Signals Kiev’s Challenges

Ukraine Map and Flag

["In Ukraine's East, Low Voter Turnout in Election Signals Kiev's Challenges; Wary of Poroshenko's Government, Few Voters Head to Polls in Eastern Town Controlled by Kiev" - Wall Street Journal - James Marson - October 27, 2014] The Wall Street Journal covers unfolding circumstances in Ukraine’s east, including issues over participation in recent legislative elections: *

NEWSLINK: Ukraine leader wins pro-West mandate but wary of Russia

Rada File Photo

["Ukraine leader wins pro-West mandate but wary of Russia" - Reuters - Richard Balmforth and Timothy Heritage - KIEV, Oct 27, 2014]  Reuters covers Ukrainian legislative elections that favored West-leaning Ukrainian Presidenti Petro Poroshenko: Pro-Western parties will dominate Ukraine’s parliament after an election handed President Petro Poroshenko a mandate to end a separatist conflict and

NEWSLINK: Alleged Russian intelligence agent caught outside Kyiv claiming to be FSB general

Stylized Artis Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

["Alleged Russian intelligence agent caught outside Kyiv claiming to be FSB general (PHOTOS)" - Kyiv Post - October 24, 2014] The Kiev Post covers reports that Ukraine captured a Russian operative connected with Ukrainian separatists, posing as a journalist: Ukraine’s State Security Service (SBU) says on Oct. 23 it apprehended a high-level Russian intelligence agent

Business New Europe: Ukraine’s bad start

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – October 24, 2014) This weekend’s crucial parliamentary elections in Ukraine could mark the end of two decades of failure and the launch of the country’s attempt to catch-up with the rest of the region. The trouble is that Ukraine is already off to a

RIA Novosti: Gorbachev says Putin’s latest speech questioning U.S. dominance best ever

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, October 26, 2014) The first president of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, thinks that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Valdai [Valday] speech was one of the strongest of his period in power. On Friday [24 October] the head of state gave a speech to participants in the Valdai discussion club in Sochi, in

Business New Europe: Ukrainians elect pro-European parliament

Rada File Photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Slack in Kyiv – October 27, 2014) Ukrainians have elected a pro-European parliament in snap elections on October 26, according to preliminary results. The results show pro-European parties headed by President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk respectively are neck-and-neck for first place, with 20% of votes

RIA Novosti: Ukraine Elections Offer Hope for Overcoming Crisis: Russian Human Rights Council’s Head

Mikhail Fedotov file photo

MOSCOW, October 27 (RIA Novosti) – The Ukrainian parliamentary elections went ahead according to Ukrainian law, which raises hope that the country could return to normal, the head of Russia’s Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights Mikhail Fedotov said Monday. “As far as it can be judged from media reports, the elections were

RIA Novosti: Lavrov: Moscow Recognizes Parliamentary Election Results in Ukraine

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW, October 27 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow considers the parliamentary elections in Ukraine as complete and is ready to recognize their results, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday. “It seems that these elections are complete, though not throughout the entire territory of Ukraine. I believe we will recognize these elections because it’s important for

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#222 table of contents with links :: Monday 27 October 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 12. Wall Street Journal: In Ukraine’s East, Low Voter Turnout in Election Signals Kiev’s Challenges. Wary of Poroshenko’s Government, Few Voters Head to Polls in Eastern Town Controlled by Kiev.
13. Reuters: In eastern Ukraine, most voters dream only of peace.
14. Kyiv Post: Peace elusive for voters in Sloviansk district. …

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#221 table of contents with links :: Friday 24 October 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 16. Christian Science Monitor: Fred Weir, In gloomy Ukraine, an unexpected gleam for one company. …
17. Moscow Times: Russian Intellectuals Ask State-Run TV to Admit Falsehoods in Ukraine Reports.
18. Reuters: Russia still has troops in Ukraine, NATO says. …

Interfax: Ulyukayev: GDP likely to decline in 2015 if low oil prices persist

Alexei Ulyukayev file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 24 (Interfax) – If current prices for oil persist in 2015, Russian GDP, retail trade, real incomes and investment will all decline, Ulyukayev said at a business breakfast hosted by Rossiiskaya Gazeta.” “If the current price of oil persists, then as soon as this year there will be practically no growth in real

Finance Minister: Russia Needs Backup Budget For Worst-Case Scenario

Anton Siluanov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – October 24, 2014) Russia must create a contingency budget to counter the threat that Western sanctions, economic stagnation and low oil prices will dash the country’s hopes of restoring growth in the near term, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Friday. “A budget cannot constantly have expenses that

RIA Novosti: Western sanctions increase Russians’ fears over economy – poll

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, October 23, 2014) Russians have become more worried about the state of their country’s financial system after the introduction of Western sanctions, but at the same time the economic situation has not yet compelled Russians to massively change their spending behaviour, according to research conducted in October by Russia’s National Agency

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