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UKRAINE & RUSSIA :: Recent Issues: WEDNESDAY JRL 11.26.14 :: TUESDAY JRL 11.25.14 :: MONDAY JRL 11.24.14 :: FRIDAY JRL 11.21.14 :: THURSDAY JRL 11.20.14 :: WEDNESDAY JRL 11.19.14 :: TUESDAY JRL 11.18.14 :: MONDAY JRL 11.17.14 :: more ...

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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 7,646 followers on twitter and counting … 2,963 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

Interfax: Putin to make annual address to Federal Assembly on Dec. 4 – Federation Council Chair Matviyenko

Federation Council file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 26 (Interfax) – Russian Federation Council Chair Valentina Matviyenko has reminded the Federation Council members that the president will present an annual address to the Federal Assembly on December 4. “Both parliamentary chambers will hold a joint session at the Grand Kremlin Palace on December 4 to listen to the president’s address to

Interfax: Some 540 Ukrainian officials fired in two stages of lustration – Yatsenyuk

Maidan Square file photo

KYIV. Nov 26 (Interfax) – A total of 28,000 people have been let go as a result of the reduction in costs of keeping Ukrainian public officials, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said. Opening the government meeting on Wednesday, Yatsenyuk also said that some 500 officials had been fired based on the results of the

Interfax: Donetsk separatists urge UN to send peacekeepers to eastern Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Interfax – Moscow, November 25, 2014) The leadership of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic [DPR] has suggested that a mixed Russian-European peacekeeping contingent should be sent to eastern Ukraine. “We urge the United Nations to send a mixed peacekeeping contingent including Russian and European peacekeepers,” the deputy speaker of the supreme council of the DPR,

Ukraine Shrugged Off as Russia ETF Swells to Record

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Elena Popina – November 24, 2014) As oil fell into a bear market, the ruble traded at record lows and NATO said President Vladimir Putin is stoking conflict in Ukraine, bets on the biggest exchange-traded fund tracking Russian stocks surged to a record. Demand for shares in the Market Vectors Russia

Interfax: No comment from Kremlin spokesman on suspension of Mistral warship delivery by France

Mistral Class Ship

SOCHI. Nov 26 (Interfax) – Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has refused to comment on French President Francois Hollande’s statement on Tuesday regarding the postponement of the delivery of the Mistral helicopter carrier to Russia because of the situation in Ukraine, saying that the matter had not been discussed at a conference hosted by President Vladimir

Far-Right Europe Has a Crush on Moscow

Europe Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – November 26, 2014) International headlines have been rife with speculation about Russia’s ties to Europe’s far right in recent days, since news broke that France’s right-wing National Front party had borrowed 9 million euros ($11.2 million) from the Moscow-based First Czech-Russian Bank. Disillusioned with the EU, European

Poll: Most Russians Predict More War in Ukraine, But Oppose Russian Intervention

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 26, 2014) Most Russians believe that the current cease-fire in Ukraine will eventually give way to renewed military action, a poll by the independent Levada Center showed Tuesday. The poll’s publication on Tuesday came as shelling in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk killed at least two people and

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#245 table of contents with links :: Wednesday 26 November 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-#245 :: Wednesday 26 November 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 me JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  Ukraine 1. Russia Direct: Pavel Andreev, Is

Russia’s Rate of Global Warming Twice as High as World Average

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 26, 2014) Russia is heating up 2.5 times faster than the rest of the world, but may yet stand to benefit from it, the country’s chief meteorologist said in comments carried by the Interfax news agency. Temperatures in Russia increase 0.43 degrees Celsius per decade, compared with a world

Merkel Said to Reject Ukraine NATO Bid as Rousing Tension

NATO meeting file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Patrick Donahue, Arne Delfs, Ilya Arkhipov – November 26, 2014) German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is alarmed by President Petro Poroshenko’s plan to hold a referendum on Ukraine joining NATO, seeing it as a dead end that would only inflame tensions with Russia. Ukrainian membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Interfax: Moscow hopes six mediators, Iran overcome differences in further talks

Map of Iran with Stylized Radar Sweep and Radiation Symbol Background Image

MOSCOW. Nov 25 (Interfax) – Moscow hopes another extension of the six-party talks with Iran will be the last, says Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. “With respect to the decisions, the last four days have been more important than the last four months, and the issues that remain are so obvious and clear that

The True Russia in Book ‘Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible’

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ola Cichowlas – November 25, 2014) Television “is the only force that can unify and rule and bind this country,” British producer and journalist Peter Pomerantsev says in his superb debut book “Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible,” which follows the author’s decade-long career in factual television set against

Moscow Times: Iran Talks Show Why West Still Needs Russia

Iran Map and Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – November 25, 2014) As Monday’s negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program failed to yield a deal and resulted in Iran, Russia, the U.S., China, Britain and Germany setting a new deadline of July 1, analysts hailed the talks as a rare remaining area of cooperation between Russia and

Russia pivots East – or is it just playing the field?

China Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ian Ivory of Goltsblat BLP – November 24, 2014) Ian Ivory is an English qualified solicitor and Partner at Goltsblat BLP, the Russian Practice of Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP), an award-winning international law firm. Ian is a fluent Russian speaker and regularly represents both Russian and international corporations on

Russia and Breakaway Georgian Region to Create Joint Military

Georgia Beach in Abkhazia Region

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko – November 22, 2014) Russia will form a joint army with Georgia’s breakaway province of Abkhazia under a new cooperation pact that one expert said is part of the continuing fallout from the Ukraine crisis. The treaty was inked Monday in Sochi by Russian President Vladimir Putin and

Spy Malware Deployed Against Russia by Unknown Nation, Report Says

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – November 25, 2014) Russian and Saudi Arabian telecommunications and Internet firms are being targeted by highly advanced cyber espionage malware that is likely being controlled by a Western intelligence agency, The Financial Times reported Monday. Leading computer security company Symantec issued a statement Sunday warning about a

Russia to fingerprint foreigners seeking visas starting Dec. 10, 2014

File Photo of Airplane Approaching Runway About to Land

(Interfax – November 25, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree on the collection of biometric data for personal identification of foreign citizens and stateless persons. The decree posted on the official legal information portal says foreigners and stateless persons applying for Russian entry visas or transit visas in their travels across Russian

Russian Oil-Output Cuts to Support OPEC Seen as Unlikely

Oil Well file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Stephen Bierman, Elena Mazneva – November 26, 2014) Each time oil takes a dive, the idea of Russia allying with OPEC to shore up prices gets an airing. It happened in the months after 9/11 and again during the 2008 financial crisis. Now it’s back on the agenda. Russia’s top two

How to Become a Russian Billionaire With No Help from the Kremlin

Krasnodar and Road

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Khrennikov – November 20, 2014) It’s a hot day in Krasnodar, deep in southern Russia. The action is hot on the soccer field, too. Ari, the local club’s Brazilian striker, takes a pass from the left flank and scores a beautiful goal. Ari (full name Ariclenes da Silva Ferreira) then

Failures of Russian Law Enforcement Leading More Russians to Want to Carry Guns

Makarov Handgun file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 24, 2014) Russians increasingly want to have the right to carry guns for the same reason many people in the United States say they do – their conviction that police are not willing or able to defend them and their belief that they must therefore be

Unnecessary Sacrifice

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Alexander Podrabinek – November 24, 2014) Prominent Russian journalist, writer and human rights activist. His articles appeared in Novaya Gazeta, Ezhenedelny Journal (Ej.Ru), Grani.Ru, et al. He is a regular guest at Ekho Moskvy radio station. Podrabinek is also a well-known Soviet dissident and former political prisoner. In

RIA Novosti: Top Russian psychiatrist links increased drunk driving to economic strain

Shelf of Alcoholic Beverages with Red and White Tape Across It

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, November 24, 2014) The Russian Health Ministry’s chief freelance psychiatrist [Zurab Kekelidze] has declared that the number of road traffic accidents involving drunk drivers has risen by 10 per cent in Russia this year, possibly due to psychological strain owing to changes to the international and economic situation. “In the first

Marriage? No thanks, I’m too busy: Why Russians are delaying tying the knot

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Darya Lyubinskaya, special to RBTH – November 25, 2014) Russians are increasingly leaving marriage to a later age in order to focus on their careers and personal interests. While a decade ago 40 percent of weddings were between people under the age of 24, that figure is now

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#244 table of contents with links :: Tuesday 25 November 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-#244 :: Tuesday 25 November 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 me JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  1. Russia Beyond the Headlines: Marriage?

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#243 table of contents with links :: Monday 24 November 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-#243 :: Monday 24 November 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 me JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  1. Financial Times: John Thornhill, It

NEWSLINK: Russia puts losses from sanctions, cheaper oil at up to $140 billion/year

Anton Siluanov file photo

[“Russia puts losses from sanctions, cheaper oil at up to $140 billion/year” – Reuters – Nov. 24, 2014] Reuters reports on Russia’s claims about the extent to which Western sanctions and lower oil prices are impacting the Russian economy. The assertions were made by Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov at a Monday press conference. Lower oil

NEWSLINK: Russia, China plan war games, arms sales. Could alliance be in the cards?

China Map

[“Russia, China plan war games, arms sales. Could alliance be in the cards? With Russia alienated by the West and China eager to buy high-end weaponry, a joint military pact – though still a long way off – looks increasingly seductive to both” – Christian Science Monitor – Fred Weir – Nov. 21, 2014] The

NEWSLINK: Newsless Joe Biden’s disappointing visit to Kyiv

File Photo of Joe Biden at Podium with U.S. Seal, With Ukrainian and U.S. Flags in Background

[“Newsless Joe Biden’s disappointing visit to Kyiv” – Kyiv Post – Brian Bonner – Nov. 23, 2014] The Kyiv Post covers U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s recent trip to Ukraine and bemoans the fact that more was not accomplished, at least publicly. At the same time, a meeting involving Biden, Victoria Nuland, Geoffrey Pyatt, new members

NEWSLINK: On revolution anniversary, anger over unpunished deaths

Ukraine Map and Flag

[“On revolution anniversary, anger over unpunished deaths” – Kiev Post – Olena Goncharova – Nov.21, 2014] A year after Maidan protests, the Kiev Post covers ongoing reactions in Ukraine over killings that occurred during the protests and the pace of investigation and prosecution. The killings of more than 100 Ukrainians by the ousted president remain

NEWSLINK: It is time for the west and Ukraine to offer Putin a deal. Ukraine will never succeed with a hostile Russia on its borders.

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

[“It is time for the west and Ukraine to offer Putin a deal. Ukraine will never succeed with a hostile Russia on its borders.” – Financial Times – John Thornhill – Nov. 23, 2014] A Financial Times commentary by John Thornton urges Western and Ukrainian engagement of Russia to help facilitate a way forward for Ukrainian peace and

U.S. Ambassador John Tefft Unfazed by ‘Inevitable’ Slump in Russia Relations

John Tefft file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – November 24, 2014) The new U.S. Ambassador to Russia, John Tefft, has said the current crisis between Moscow and Washington can be resolved and that Western sanctions may be rolled back if Russia implements the terms of a peace plan for Ukraine that it co-signed. Tefft, who

De-Stalinization Hasn’t Been Completed in Russia, Lukin Says

Joseph Stalin file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 23, 2014) De-Stalinization will have occurred not when everyone denounces Stalin in a chorus at the direction of the state but rather when each person can assess him in his or her own way and have debates about him, Vladimir Lukin says. Unfortunately, Russia has not

Kremlinphobia, russophobia and other states of paranoia; The Russian government likes to regularly accuse the West of being ‘russophobic.’ They’re right, but not for the reasons they think.

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(opendemocracy.net – Natalia Antonova – November 21, 2014) Natalia Antonova was born in Kyiv and grew up in North Carolina. She works as a journalist and playwright. ‘Russophobia’ has become a charge as common as fascism in the information war between Russia, Ukraine and the West. The accusation brings to mind the tale of the

Medicine and Meat Out of Reach Amid Ukrainian Price Shock

Maidan Square file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Daryna Krasnolutska – November 20, 2014) Valentyna is thankful for the two pensions she and her husband share, even if Ukraine’s inflation shock means they’re no longer enough to buy medicine and meat. “We have some potatoes, tomatoes and cucumbers from our dacha,” said the 72-year-old pensioner as she made her

Putin Talks Obama, God and the Iron Curtain in New Interview

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 24, 2014) President Vladimir Putin addressed everything from the possibility of re-election and his thoughts on U.S. President Barack Obama, to God and his preference for tea, in a massive interview published by state news agency TASS on Sunday. Putin on His Political Future Putin said in the interview

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#242 table of contents with links :: Friday 21 November 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-#242 :: Friday 21 November 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 me JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  Ukraine 1. CNN.com: Starving, seething and scared:

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#241 table of contents with links :: Thursday 20 November 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-#241 :: Thursday 20 November 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 me JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  Ukraine 1. New York Times editorial: Ukraine’s

Faces Of The Maidan: Where Are They Now?

Maidan Square file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Iryna Stelmakh, Tom Balmforth – November 20, 2014) Kyiv’s Euromaidan protests began a year ago on November 21 and continued for months, through the cold winter of 2013-14. During the long, tense days of waiting and of celebrating genuine people power on Kyiv’s Independence Square, the world had the chance to

Don’t speak, memory: Voice against Stalin’s crimes may soon be silenced

File Photo of Prison in Russia with Wall, Barbed Wire, Guard Tower

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Oleg Yegorov, special to RBTH – November 21, 2014) Russia’s supreme court is preparing to examine the lawsuit filed by the Ministry of Justice requesting to liquidate Memorial, Russia’s first organization dedicated to preserving the memory of Stalin’s repressions and victims. RBTH reports on who else is telling

Interfax: Kudrin suggests five steps towards effective Russian economy amid sanctions

Alexei Kudrin file photo

(Interfax – November 21, 2014) Russia may see a growth and develop every sphere of public life even under the sanctions, said Committee of Civil Initiatives Chairman Alexei Kudrin. “There is always a wish to have a simple recipe: five steps that can make a great change. I have to admit there is no such

Interfax: Putin says calling for overthrow of Russia’s system of government “extremism”

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Seated at Desk

(Interfax – Moscow, November 20, 2014) Calls to overthrow the existing system [of government in Russia] are a manifestation of extremism and anti-popular thinking, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. “In standing up for freedom of elections, assembly, marches, rallies, you should not forget responsibility for your words and actions. You must know and understand

Hermitage’s Head Defends Contemporary Art Show

Hermitage Museum

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Kit Rees – November 21, 2014) He’s the head of one of the seemingly most conservative art institutes – St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum – but Mikhail Piotrovsky has been in the middle of a dispute about contemporary art this year as the museum hosted the 10th biennial Manifesta art festival.

TRANSCRIPT: Text of Ambassador Pyatt’s Panel Comments at the Kyiv Post Tiger Conference WEF Panel

Geoffrey R. Pyatt file photo

(US Embassy Ukraine – November 19, 2014) I think with government servants like Hanna Hopko and Dmytro (Shymkiv), you get a sense of Ukraine’s direction. I think the greatest single risk factor is business as usual. It’s the assumption in some circles that Ukraine can keep doing as it had been doing in the past.

New Ukraine Coalition Agreed; Sets NATO As Priority

NATO meeting file photo

(RFE/RL – November 21, 2014) Ukraine’s newly agreed five-party ruling coalition has reportedly set the country’s membership of NATO as its major goal. The coalition comprises the Petro Poroshenko Bloc, the Popular Front, Samopomich (Self-Rule), the Radical Party, and Batkivshchyna (Fatherland). The five pro-Western parties that passed the 5 percent threshold in last month’s parliamentary


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 7,646 followers on twitter and counting … 2,963 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

Interfax: Putin to make annual address to Federal Assembly on Dec. 4 – Federation Council Chair Matviyenko

Federation Council file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 26 (Interfax) – Russian Federation Council Chair Valentina Matviyenko has reminded the Federation Council members that the president will present an annual address to the Federal Assembly on December 4. “Both parliamentary chambers will hold a joint session at the Grand Kremlin Palace on December 4 to listen to the president’s address to

Interfax: Some 540 Ukrainian officials fired in two stages of lustration – Yatsenyuk

Maidan Square file photo

KYIV. Nov 26 (Interfax) – A total of 28,000 people have been let go as a result of the reduction in costs of keeping Ukrainian public officials, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said. Opening the government meeting on Wednesday, Yatsenyuk also said that some 500 officials had been fired based on the results of the

Interfax: Donetsk separatists urge UN to send peacekeepers to eastern Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Interfax – Moscow, November 25, 2014) The leadership of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic [DPR] has suggested that a mixed Russian-European peacekeeping contingent should be sent to eastern Ukraine. “We urge the United Nations to send a mixed peacekeeping contingent including Russian and European peacekeepers,” the deputy speaker of the supreme council of the DPR,

Ukraine Shrugged Off as Russia ETF Swells to Record

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Elena Popina – November 24, 2014) As oil fell into a bear market, the ruble traded at record lows and NATO said President Vladimir Putin is stoking conflict in Ukraine, bets on the biggest exchange-traded fund tracking Russian stocks surged to a record. Demand for shares in the Market Vectors Russia

Interfax: No comment from Kremlin spokesman on suspension of Mistral warship delivery by France

Mistral Class Ship

SOCHI. Nov 26 (Interfax) – Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has refused to comment on French President Francois Hollande’s statement on Tuesday regarding the postponement of the delivery of the Mistral helicopter carrier to Russia because of the situation in Ukraine, saying that the matter had not been discussed at a conference hosted by President Vladimir

Far-Right Europe Has a Crush on Moscow

Europe Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – November 26, 2014) International headlines have been rife with speculation about Russia’s ties to Europe’s far right in recent days, since news broke that France’s right-wing National Front party had borrowed 9 million euros ($11.2 million) from the Moscow-based First Czech-Russian Bank. Disillusioned with the EU, European

Poll: Most Russians Predict More War in Ukraine, But Oppose Russian Intervention

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 26, 2014) Most Russians believe that the current cease-fire in Ukraine will eventually give way to renewed military action, a poll by the independent Levada Center showed Tuesday. The poll’s publication on Tuesday came as shelling in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk killed at least two people and

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#245 table of contents with links :: Wednesday 26 November 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-#245 :: Wednesday 26 November 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 me JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  Ukraine 1. Russia Direct: Pavel Andreev, Is

Russia’s Rate of Global Warming Twice as High as World Average

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 26, 2014) Russia is heating up 2.5 times faster than the rest of the world, but may yet stand to benefit from it, the country’s chief meteorologist said in comments carried by the Interfax news agency. Temperatures in Russia increase 0.43 degrees Celsius per decade, compared with a world

Merkel Said to Reject Ukraine NATO Bid as Rousing Tension

NATO meeting file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Patrick Donahue, Arne Delfs, Ilya Arkhipov – November 26, 2014) German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is alarmed by President Petro Poroshenko’s plan to hold a referendum on Ukraine joining NATO, seeing it as a dead end that would only inflame tensions with Russia. Ukrainian membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Interfax: Moscow hopes six mediators, Iran overcome differences in further talks

Map of Iran with Stylized Radar Sweep and Radiation Symbol Background Image

MOSCOW. Nov 25 (Interfax) – Moscow hopes another extension of the six-party talks with Iran will be the last, says Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. “With respect to the decisions, the last four days have been more important than the last four months, and the issues that remain are so obvious and clear that

The True Russia in Book ‘Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible’

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ola Cichowlas – November 25, 2014) Television “is the only force that can unify and rule and bind this country,” British producer and journalist Peter Pomerantsev says in his superb debut book “Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible,” which follows the author’s decade-long career in factual television set against

Moscow Times: Iran Talks Show Why West Still Needs Russia

Iran Map and Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – November 25, 2014) As Monday’s negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program failed to yield a deal and resulted in Iran, Russia, the U.S., China, Britain and Germany setting a new deadline of July 1, analysts hailed the talks as a rare remaining area of cooperation between Russia and

Russia pivots East – or is it just playing the field?

China Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ian Ivory of Goltsblat BLP – November 24, 2014) Ian Ivory is an English qualified solicitor and Partner at Goltsblat BLP, the Russian Practice of Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP), an award-winning international law firm. Ian is a fluent Russian speaker and regularly represents both Russian and international corporations on

Russia and Breakaway Georgian Region to Create Joint Military

Georgia Beach in Abkhazia Region

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko – November 22, 2014) Russia will form a joint army with Georgia’s breakaway province of Abkhazia under a new cooperation pact that one expert said is part of the continuing fallout from the Ukraine crisis. The treaty was inked Monday in Sochi by Russian President Vladimir Putin and

Spy Malware Deployed Against Russia by Unknown Nation, Report Says

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – November 25, 2014) Russian and Saudi Arabian telecommunications and Internet firms are being targeted by highly advanced cyber espionage malware that is likely being controlled by a Western intelligence agency, The Financial Times reported Monday. Leading computer security company Symantec issued a statement Sunday warning about a

Russia to fingerprint foreigners seeking visas starting Dec. 10, 2014

File Photo of Airplane Approaching Runway About to Land

(Interfax – November 25, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree on the collection of biometric data for personal identification of foreign citizens and stateless persons. The decree posted on the official legal information portal says foreigners and stateless persons applying for Russian entry visas or transit visas in their travels across Russian

Russian Oil-Output Cuts to Support OPEC Seen as Unlikely

Oil Well file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Stephen Bierman, Elena Mazneva – November 26, 2014) Each time oil takes a dive, the idea of Russia allying with OPEC to shore up prices gets an airing. It happened in the months after 9/11 and again during the 2008 financial crisis. Now it’s back on the agenda. Russia’s top two

How to Become a Russian Billionaire With No Help from the Kremlin

Krasnodar and Road

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Khrennikov – November 20, 2014) It’s a hot day in Krasnodar, deep in southern Russia. The action is hot on the soccer field, too. Ari, the local club’s Brazilian striker, takes a pass from the left flank and scores a beautiful goal. Ari (full name Ariclenes da Silva Ferreira) then

Failures of Russian Law Enforcement Leading More Russians to Want to Carry Guns

Makarov Handgun file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 24, 2014) Russians increasingly want to have the right to carry guns for the same reason many people in the United States say they do – their conviction that police are not willing or able to defend them and their belief that they must therefore be

Unnecessary Sacrifice

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Alexander Podrabinek – November 24, 2014) Prominent Russian journalist, writer and human rights activist. His articles appeared in Novaya Gazeta, Ezhenedelny Journal (Ej.Ru), Grani.Ru, et al. He is a regular guest at Ekho Moskvy radio station. Podrabinek is also a well-known Soviet dissident and former political prisoner. In

RIA Novosti: Top Russian psychiatrist links increased drunk driving to economic strain

Shelf of Alcoholic Beverages with Red and White Tape Across It

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, November 24, 2014) The Russian Health Ministry’s chief freelance psychiatrist [Zurab Kekelidze] has declared that the number of road traffic accidents involving drunk drivers has risen by 10 per cent in Russia this year, possibly due to psychological strain owing to changes to the international and economic situation. “In the first

Marriage? No thanks, I’m too busy: Why Russians are delaying tying the knot

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Darya Lyubinskaya, special to RBTH – November 25, 2014) Russians are increasingly leaving marriage to a later age in order to focus on their careers and personal interests. While a decade ago 40 percent of weddings were between people under the age of 24, that figure is now

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#244 table of contents with links :: Tuesday 25 November 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-#244 :: Tuesday 25 November 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 me JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  1. Russia Beyond the Headlines: Marriage?

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#243 table of contents with links :: Monday 24 November 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-#243 :: Monday 24 November 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 me JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  1. Financial Times: John Thornhill, It

NEWSLINK: Russia puts losses from sanctions, cheaper oil at up to $140 billion/year

Anton Siluanov file photo

[“Russia puts losses from sanctions, cheaper oil at up to $140 billion/year” – Reuters – Nov. 24, 2014] Reuters reports on Russia’s claims about the extent to which Western sanctions and lower oil prices are impacting the Russian economy. The assertions were made by Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov at a Monday press conference. Lower oil

NEWSLINK: Russia, China plan war games, arms sales. Could alliance be in the cards?

China Map

[“Russia, China plan war games, arms sales. Could alliance be in the cards? With Russia alienated by the West and China eager to buy high-end weaponry, a joint military pact – though still a long way off – looks increasingly seductive to both” – Christian Science Monitor – Fred Weir – Nov. 21, 2014] The

NEWSLINK: Newsless Joe Biden’s disappointing visit to Kyiv

File Photo of Joe Biden at Podium with U.S. Seal, With Ukrainian and U.S. Flags in Background

[“Newsless Joe Biden’s disappointing visit to Kyiv” – Kyiv Post – Brian Bonner – Nov. 23, 2014] The Kyiv Post covers U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s recent trip to Ukraine and bemoans the fact that more was not accomplished, at least publicly. At the same time, a meeting involving Biden, Victoria Nuland, Geoffrey Pyatt, new members

NEWSLINK: On revolution anniversary, anger over unpunished deaths

Ukraine Map and Flag

[“On revolution anniversary, anger over unpunished deaths” – Kiev Post – Olena Goncharova – Nov.21, 2014] A year after Maidan protests, the Kiev Post covers ongoing reactions in Ukraine over killings that occurred during the protests and the pace of investigation and prosecution. The killings of more than 100 Ukrainians by the ousted president remain

NEWSLINK: It is time for the west and Ukraine to offer Putin a deal. Ukraine will never succeed with a hostile Russia on its borders.

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

[“It is time for the west and Ukraine to offer Putin a deal. Ukraine will never succeed with a hostile Russia on its borders.” – Financial Times – John Thornhill – Nov. 23, 2014] A Financial Times commentary by John Thornton urges Western and Ukrainian engagement of Russia to help facilitate a way forward for Ukrainian peace and

U.S. Ambassador John Tefft Unfazed by ‘Inevitable’ Slump in Russia Relations

John Tefft file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – November 24, 2014) The new U.S. Ambassador to Russia, John Tefft, has said the current crisis between Moscow and Washington can be resolved and that Western sanctions may be rolled back if Russia implements the terms of a peace plan for Ukraine that it co-signed. Tefft, who

De-Stalinization Hasn’t Been Completed in Russia, Lukin Says

Joseph Stalin file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 23, 2014) De-Stalinization will have occurred not when everyone denounces Stalin in a chorus at the direction of the state but rather when each person can assess him in his or her own way and have debates about him, Vladimir Lukin says. Unfortunately, Russia has not

Kremlinphobia, russophobia and other states of paranoia; The Russian government likes to regularly accuse the West of being ‘russophobic.’ They’re right, but not for the reasons they think.

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(opendemocracy.net – Natalia Antonova – November 21, 2014) Natalia Antonova was born in Kyiv and grew up in North Carolina. She works as a journalist and playwright. ‘Russophobia’ has become a charge as common as fascism in the information war between Russia, Ukraine and the West. The accusation brings to mind the tale of the

Medicine and Meat Out of Reach Amid Ukrainian Price Shock

Maidan Square file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Daryna Krasnolutska – November 20, 2014) Valentyna is thankful for the two pensions she and her husband share, even if Ukraine’s inflation shock means they’re no longer enough to buy medicine and meat. “We have some potatoes, tomatoes and cucumbers from our dacha,” said the 72-year-old pensioner as she made her

Putin Talks Obama, God and the Iron Curtain in New Interview

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 24, 2014) President Vladimir Putin addressed everything from the possibility of re-election and his thoughts on U.S. President Barack Obama, to God and his preference for tea, in a massive interview published by state news agency TASS on Sunday. Putin on His Political Future Putin said in the interview

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#242 table of contents with links :: Friday 21 November 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-#242 :: Friday 21 November 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 me JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  Ukraine 1. CNN.com: Starving, seething and scared:

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#241 table of contents with links :: Thursday 20 November 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-#241 :: Thursday 20 November 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 me JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  Ukraine 1. New York Times editorial: Ukraine’s

Faces Of The Maidan: Where Are They Now?

Maidan Square file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Iryna Stelmakh, Tom Balmforth – November 20, 2014) Kyiv’s Euromaidan protests began a year ago on November 21 and continued for months, through the cold winter of 2013-14. During the long, tense days of waiting and of celebrating genuine people power on Kyiv’s Independence Square, the world had the chance to

Don’t speak, memory: Voice against Stalin’s crimes may soon be silenced

File Photo of Prison in Russia with Wall, Barbed Wire, Guard Tower

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Oleg Yegorov, special to RBTH – November 21, 2014) Russia’s supreme court is preparing to examine the lawsuit filed by the Ministry of Justice requesting to liquidate Memorial, Russia’s first organization dedicated to preserving the memory of Stalin’s repressions and victims. RBTH reports on who else is telling

Interfax: Kudrin suggests five steps towards effective Russian economy amid sanctions

Alexei Kudrin file photo

(Interfax – November 21, 2014) Russia may see a growth and develop every sphere of public life even under the sanctions, said Committee of Civil Initiatives Chairman Alexei Kudrin. “There is always a wish to have a simple recipe: five steps that can make a great change. I have to admit there is no such

Interfax: Putin says calling for overthrow of Russia’s system of government “extremism”

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Seated at Desk

(Interfax – Moscow, November 20, 2014) Calls to overthrow the existing system [of government in Russia] are a manifestation of extremism and anti-popular thinking, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. “In standing up for freedom of elections, assembly, marches, rallies, you should not forget responsibility for your words and actions. You must know and understand

Hermitage’s Head Defends Contemporary Art Show

Hermitage Museum

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Kit Rees – November 21, 2014) He’s the head of one of the seemingly most conservative art institutes – St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum – but Mikhail Piotrovsky has been in the middle of a dispute about contemporary art this year as the museum hosted the 10th biennial Manifesta art festival.

TRANSCRIPT: Text of Ambassador Pyatt’s Panel Comments at the Kyiv Post Tiger Conference WEF Panel

Geoffrey R. Pyatt file photo

(US Embassy Ukraine – November 19, 2014) I think with government servants like Hanna Hopko and Dmytro (Shymkiv), you get a sense of Ukraine’s direction. I think the greatest single risk factor is business as usual. It’s the assumption in some circles that Ukraine can keep doing as it had been doing in the past.

New Ukraine Coalition Agreed; Sets NATO As Priority

NATO meeting file photo

(RFE/RL – November 21, 2014) Ukraine’s newly agreed five-party ruling coalition has reportedly set the country’s membership of NATO as its major goal. The coalition comprises the Petro Poroshenko Bloc, the Popular Front, Samopomich (Self-Rule), the Radical Party, and Batkivshchyna (Fatherland). The five pro-Western parties that passed the 5 percent threshold in last month’s parliamentary

The Tale of Two Crises (re The Economist)

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

Subject: The tale of two crises (re The Economist) Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 From: Ben Aris <baris@bne.eu> I would like to comment on two sets of pieces you ran from the Economist on eastern European woes on JRL#241. I know I keep taking pops at the Economist and I try not to as I

Moscow Times: Putin Warns of Color Revolutions and Uncontrolled Migration in Extremism Speech

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 21, 2014) President Vladimir Putin called on law enforcement agencies, religious leaders, institutions of civil society and Russia’s education system to join together to prevent the rise of extremism. Describing the threat of extremism, Putin pointed to color revolutions. “In the modern world extremism is often used as a

Russia’s Igor Strelkov: I Am Responsible for War in Eastern Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – November 21, 2014) Russian national Igor Strelkov, a former commander of pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine, has claimed “personal responsibility” for unleashing the conflict across the border, in which 4,300 people have been killed since April. “I was the one who pulled the firing trigger of this

Interfax: Russians say Crimea situation legal, Western opinion doesn’t bother them – poll

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Interfax – November 21, 2014) Most Russians approve of the Crimean affiliation to Russia and the negative attitude of Ukraine and the West does not bother them, the Levada Center told Interfax. Eighty-four percent of 1,600 respondents polled in 134 populated localities on November 14-17 supported the Crimean accession to Russia, 11 percent opposed the act

Interfax: Russia will pay bigger price in case Donbas situation escalates further – Biden

File Photo of Joe Biden at Podium with U.S. Seal, With Ukrainian and U.S. Flags in Background

KYIV. Nov 21 (Interfax) – The United States Vice President Joe Biden has said that the U.S. is prepared to put more pressure on Russia if it does not honor its obligation to settle the situation in southeastern Ukraine and continues escalation. Russia will pay an even bigger price and will be isolated, if these

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