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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 7,454 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

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#225 table of contents with links :: Thursday 30 October 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-#225 :: Thursday 30 October 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  Ukraine 1. Moscow Times: Fire Sweeps Through

Interfax: State pollster denies Russian TV brainwashes viewers about Putin

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(Interfax – October 29, 2014) Russian TV is not a zombie box as it speaks of President Vladimir Putin not only in glowing terms but also carries criticisms of him, the head of the Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VTsIOM), Valeriy Fedorov, has said. He was speaking at a news conference in Moscow on 29

Vast Majority of Russians Think Foreign Media Criticize Putin to Weaken Russia

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – October 30, 2014) The overwhelming majority of Russians view negative foreign media coverage of President Vladimir Putin and of Russia in general as an attempt to destabilize the country, pollster VTsIOM revealed Wednesday. The poll revealed that 87 percent of respondents see such ulterior motives in critical

Russia Could Be Facing 35-Year Cold Weather Spell, Scientist Says

File Photo of Moscow In Snowy Winter Showing St. Basil's At Night in Snowfall, with People on the Ground in the Distance

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 30, 2014) The early onset of winter experienced this year by residents in Siberia and the Ural Mountains could mark the start of a 35-year cycle of colder weather, a leading Russian scientist said Wednesday. “Changes in climate are cyclical. From 1946 to 1976, there was a cold cycle,

Russia offers EU a backdoor out of gas war

Gas Flame file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 30, 2014) Russia’s Gazprom said on October 29 that it will seek to open talks with the new European Commission on expanding its access to the Opal pipeline, which carries gas from Germany to the heart of Central Europe. The move serves as a reminder to member states

Fire Sweeps Through Kiev’s Oldest Movie Theater During LGBT Movie

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – October 30, 2014) A fire has swept through the oldest movie theater in Ukraine’s capital Kiev during the showing of an LGBT movie, ravaging the building in what witnesses described as a likely arson attack. None of the 100 or so people who attended the screening Wednesday

Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk parties dispute victory in tight elections

Rada File Photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 30, 2014) The People’s Front party, founded and led by Ukraine’s prime minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, and President Petro Poroshenko’s eponymous Petro Poroshenko Bloc are disputing which of them won Ukraine’s landmark parliamentary elections held on October 26. At stake is the right to draw up a crucial programme

Ukrainian GDP Plunges 5.1% Amid Deadly Conflict in Nation’s East

Maidan Square file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Daryna Krasnolutska – October 30, 2014) Ukraine’s economy shrank 5.1 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, the most in almost five years, as industrial production and the hryvnia slumped amid the bloody conflict in the country’s east. The drop is less than the 9 percent median estimate of

RIA Novosti: East Ukraine Demarcation Line Yet to Be Set: DPR Prime Minister

Ukraine Map and Flag

NOVOAZOVSK (Ukraine), October 30 (RIA Novosti) – The self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk (DPR) will stipulate its own conditions on if it were to sign a demarcation line agreement with Kiev, DPR Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko said Thursday. “There will be new conditions [on the signing of the demarcation line agreement], ours. We consider the

Interfax: Separatist leader in Ukraine’s Donetsk says “preparing for war”

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Interfax – October 29, 2014) Work on agreeing a new dividing line between militia forces and the Ukrainian army has been suspended on Kiev’s initiative, and now “we are preparing for war”, Oleksandr (Aleksandr) Zakharchenko, prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s republic (DPR) has said, as reported by privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax on

Number of Russians ready to support Putin in presidential polls falls from 66% to 38%

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Outdoor Rally with Microphone in Hand and Heavy Coat

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 30, 2014) 38% of Russian citizens interviewed by the Levada Center in September said they were ready to vote for incumbent President Vladimir Putin if the presidential elections were to be held this coming Sunday, as compared with 66% at the beginning of the year, center sociologists told

Half of Russians Expect Repeat of Soviet-Era Repression, Poll Says

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – October 30, 2014) Nearly half of all Russians believe that a return to Soviet-era repression is possible within their lifetime, a poll by the state-run Public Opinion Foundation revealed Wednesday. The poll, titled “Mass Repression in the Soviet Union,” examined the public’s perceptions and interpretations of Soviet-era

How a 1960s Soviet Engine Appeared on an Exploded U.S. Rocket (with Video)

Explosion After Wallops Rocket Disaster

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – October 30, 2014) [http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/how-a-1960s-soviet-engine-appeared-on-an-exploded-u-s-rocket/510311.html] A U.S. commercial rocket powered by a Soviet-built Russian rocket engine exploded seconds after liftoff early Wednesday morning Moscow time, adding fire to debates concerning the U.S. space industry’s heavy use of Russian rocket engines. While unfortunate, the incident does not threaten the

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. …

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


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

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#225 table of contents with links :: Thursday 30 October 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-#225 :: Thursday 30 October 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  Ukraine 1. Moscow Times: Fire Sweeps Through

Interfax: State pollster denies Russian TV brainwashes viewers about Putin

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(Interfax – October 29, 2014) Russian TV is not a zombie box as it speaks of President Vladimir Putin not only in glowing terms but also carries criticisms of him, the head of the Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VTsIOM), Valeriy Fedorov, has said. He was speaking at a news conference in Moscow on 29

Vast Majority of Russians Think Foreign Media Criticize Putin to Weaken Russia

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – October 30, 2014) The overwhelming majority of Russians view negative foreign media coverage of President Vladimir Putin and of Russia in general as an attempt to destabilize the country, pollster VTsIOM revealed Wednesday. The poll revealed that 87 percent of respondents see such ulterior motives in critical

Russia Could Be Facing 35-Year Cold Weather Spell, Scientist Says

File Photo of Moscow In Snowy Winter Showing St. Basil's At Night in Snowfall, with People on the Ground in the Distance

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 30, 2014) The early onset of winter experienced this year by residents in Siberia and the Ural Mountains could mark the start of a 35-year cycle of colder weather, a leading Russian scientist said Wednesday. “Changes in climate are cyclical. From 1946 to 1976, there was a cold cycle,

Russia offers EU a backdoor out of gas war

Gas Flame file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 30, 2014) Russia’s Gazprom said on October 29 that it will seek to open talks with the new European Commission on expanding its access to the Opal pipeline, which carries gas from Germany to the heart of Central Europe. The move serves as a reminder to member states

Fire Sweeps Through Kiev’s Oldest Movie Theater During LGBT Movie

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – October 30, 2014) A fire has swept through the oldest movie theater in Ukraine’s capital Kiev during the showing of an LGBT movie, ravaging the building in what witnesses described as a likely arson attack. None of the 100 or so people who attended the screening Wednesday

Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk parties dispute victory in tight elections

Rada File Photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 30, 2014) The People’s Front party, founded and led by Ukraine’s prime minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, and President Petro Poroshenko’s eponymous Petro Poroshenko Bloc are disputing which of them won Ukraine’s landmark parliamentary elections held on October 26. At stake is the right to draw up a crucial programme

Ukrainian GDP Plunges 5.1% Amid Deadly Conflict in Nation’s East

Maidan Square file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Daryna Krasnolutska – October 30, 2014) Ukraine’s economy shrank 5.1 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, the most in almost five years, as industrial production and the hryvnia slumped amid the bloody conflict in the country’s east. The drop is less than the 9 percent median estimate of

RIA Novosti: East Ukraine Demarcation Line Yet to Be Set: DPR Prime Minister

Ukraine Map and Flag

NOVOAZOVSK (Ukraine), October 30 (RIA Novosti) – The self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk (DPR) will stipulate its own conditions on if it were to sign a demarcation line agreement with Kiev, DPR Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko said Thursday. “There will be new conditions [on the signing of the demarcation line agreement], ours. We consider the

Interfax: Separatist leader in Ukraine’s Donetsk says “preparing for war”

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Interfax – October 29, 2014) Work on agreeing a new dividing line between militia forces and the Ukrainian army has been suspended on Kiev’s initiative, and now “we are preparing for war”, Oleksandr (Aleksandr) Zakharchenko, prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s republic (DPR) has said, as reported by privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax on

Number of Russians ready to support Putin in presidential polls falls from 66% to 38%

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Outdoor Rally with Microphone in Hand and Heavy Coat

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 30, 2014) 38% of Russian citizens interviewed by the Levada Center in September said they were ready to vote for incumbent President Vladimir Putin if the presidential elections were to be held this coming Sunday, as compared with 66% at the beginning of the year, center sociologists told

Half of Russians Expect Repeat of Soviet-Era Repression, Poll Says

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – October 30, 2014) Nearly half of all Russians believe that a return to Soviet-era repression is possible within their lifetime, a poll by the state-run Public Opinion Foundation revealed Wednesday. The poll, titled “Mass Repression in the Soviet Union,” examined the public’s perceptions and interpretations of Soviet-era

How a 1960s Soviet Engine Appeared on an Exploded U.S. Rocket (with Video)

Explosion After Wallops Rocket Disaster

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – October 30, 2014) [http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/how-a-1960s-soviet-engine-appeared-on-an-exploded-u-s-rocket/510311.html] A U.S. commercial rocket powered by a Soviet-built Russian rocket engine exploded seconds after liftoff early Wednesday morning Moscow time, adding fire to debates concerning the U.S. space industry’s heavy use of Russian rocket engines. While unfortunate, the incident does not threaten the

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. …

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

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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

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(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

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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

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… 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

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(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

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(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

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(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

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(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

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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

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(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

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(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

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(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)

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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

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["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

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["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

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["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

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