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UKRAINE & RUSSIA :: Recent Issues: WEDNESDAY JRL 8.27.14 :: TUESDAY JRL 8.26.14 :: MONDAY JRL 8.25.14 :: SUNDAY JRL 8.24.14 :: SATURDAY JRL 8.23.14 :: FRIDAY JRL 8.22.14 :: THURSDAY JRL 8.21.14 :: WEDNESDAY JRL 8.20.14 :: more ...

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Anders Aslund: RE: Response [re: Ukraine, Russia, Putin, Media, JRL]

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Subject: RE: Response Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 From: Anders Aslund <AAslund@PIIE.COM> Dear David, Thank you for your inordinate attention you have given to my personal words to you. I appreciate your kind consideration. At the same time, I am surprised that anybody can object to me calling your list biased in favor of Putin.

No Basis for Moscow’s Claims that Russian Corruption has Declined, Experts Say

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 26, 2014) Independent Russian experts say that there is no basis for the claim by Boris Titov, presidential plenipotentiary for the rights of entrepreneurs, that the level of corruption in the Russian Federation has fallen. Instead, they say, all measures point to corruption still being a

Most Russian Students Want to Find Jobs Abroad

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 26, 2014) Three of every four Russian university students would prefer to work abroad rather than in Russia, Newsru.com reported Monday, citing a survey conducted by Career.ru. The survey revealed that 77 percent of Russian students found the prospect of overseas employment more appealing than working at home. Those

Economy faces challenge from fall in oil price and ruble value

Oil Well file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – August 25, 2014) Low price-per-barrel for Urals crude oil is putting pressure on the Russian budget On Aug. 18, Reuters reported that the price for Russia’s benchmark Urals oil fell to $98 a barrel – its lowest level since May 2013. Even as recently

RIA Novosti: Russian Finance Ministry Expects Oil Prices of $90-95 per Barrel in 2015

Oil Well file photo

MOSCOW, August 26 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Ministry of Finance expects an average oil price of $90-95 per barrel in 2015, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev told RIA Novosti on Tuesday. “The price for oil in 2015 will be $90-95 per barrel,” Moiseyev said. The Ministry of Economic Development earlier predicted an average oil price

Re: Pictures of the Odessa massacre

Ukraine Map and Flag

Subject: Pictures of the Odessa massacre Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2014 From: Ludmila Foster <ludmilaf001@gmail.com> David: I hesitated sending you these pictures, but after all those attacks on you, you may want to post them on the JRL. http://ersieesist.livejournal.com/813.html [Very graphic!]  

RIA Novosti: NATO, EU Should Give Up Plans of Incorporating Ukraine – Dr. John Mearsheimer

NATO Meeting file photo

MOSCOW, August 26 (RIA Novosti) – The West ought to fundamentally change its approach towards the Ukrainian crisis, making Ukraine a ‘neutral buffer’ between Russia and NATO instead of westernizing it, asserts John J. Mearsheimer, American professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. “The United States and its European allies now face a

Interfax: RPD claims up to 7,000 Ukrainian soldiers trapped in east Ukraine “pockets”

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW. Aug 26 (Interfax) – Militiamen of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DPR) claim that up to 7,000 Ukrainian army servicemen have been trapped in three “pockets” in Ukraine’s eastern regions. “We have managed to drive the adversary into three “pockets”. One of them is located outside of Ilovaysk, the second one near Lutuhyne, and

Interfax: Ukrainian situation deteriorating, Russians say in poll

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Interfax – August 26, 2014) Eighty percent of Russians are monitoring the political events evolving in Ukraine; 32 percent of them are doing so on a regular basis and 48 percent learn the news from time to time, the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) said. The interest in the Ukrainian events has been high

Interfax: Russia could lose over 100 billion rubles from EU-Ukraine association – Putin

EU Map

MINSK. Aug 26 (Interfax) – The association agreement signed between the European Union (EU) and Ukraine could cost Russia billions and force it to introduce protective measures, said Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Due to Ukraine adopting zero duties on EU imports (which is to take effect almost immediately after the ratification of the agreement and

Ukraine reloaded: Poroshenko calls snap parliamentary elections for October

Maidan Square file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Kyiv – August 26, 2014) Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has dissolved parliament and called snap elections for October 26, in a move he says aims to “reload” Ukraine’s political elite. The move was widely anticipated and could help Poroshenko and his allies in the Rada clear

Interfax: Federation Council expects no breakthroughs from Minsk meeting, humanitarian issues to be emphasized

Federation Council file photo

MOSCOW. Aug 26 (Interfax) – No serious breakthroughs are expected with regard to a peace settlement in eastern Ukraine at the possible meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Minsk because Poroshenko is guided by the U.S. stance, the Russian Federation Council international affairs committee said. “Washington is not represented

Meeting in Minsk

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris – August 26, 2014) Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian peer Vladimir Putin are due to sit down in Minsk on August 26 for their first formal meeting since the fighting in eastern Ukraine kicked off. Expectations for a peace deal are low, but what exactly can

The Grad system: A hot hail of cluster-fired rockets

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexander Korolkov, special to RBTH – August 25, 2014) Currently in the headlines for its use by both sides in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, the Grad BM-21 multiple launch rocket system has a history that goes back all the way to the early 1960s, when it succeeded

Interfax: Lavrov: talks the only way to find out if eastern regions want to be part of Ukraine

Sergei Lavrov file photo

SELIGER, Russia. Aug 27 (Interfax) – Only talks between the Ukrainian government and eastern Ukrainian regions can make it clear whether the eastern territories are willing to remain part of Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov argued on Wednesday. “We are now convinced that everything possible must be done to ensure that they sit down

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#188 table of contents with links :: Wednesday 27 August 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-#187 :: Wednesday 27 August 2014 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George  Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist  JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  1. Financial Times: The right stomach for sanctions.

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Distribution of Russian humanitarian assistance begins in Lugansk

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexandra Trifonova, Nikolai Litovkin, RBTH – August 26, 2014) The issuing of provisions of Russian humanitarian aid in Lugansk has begun after the controversial arrival of the aid convoy from Moscow. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says another convoy is planned and insists that on this occasion delivery

RIA Novosti: Questions Left Unanswered at Putin-Poroshenko Minsk Talks

Petro Poroschenko file photo, with additional men in background, adapted from image at state.gov

MOSCOW, August 27 (RIA Novosti), Antonina Ivanova – The talks on Ukraine in the Belarusian capital of Minsk that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said would decide “the fate of the world and Europe” did not yield any breakthrough solutions to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The talks were attended by the presidents of Russia and

Interfax: Kyiv needs NATO help – Ukrainian PM

Arseniy Yatsenyuk file photo

KYIV. Aug 27 (Interfax) – The Ukrainian government plans to endorse a Ukraine-NATO action program for 2014 at its Wednesday session, Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said. “The government will endorse a Ukraine-NATO annual action program today. The president of Ukraine will be present at the NATO summit. NATO is our partner, and we expect our

Ukraine: Cool the Rhetoric; Focus on the Outcome

Maidan Square file photo

(jackmatlock.com - Jack Matlock - August 26, 2014) Jack Matlock is a career diplomat who served on the front lines of American diplomacy during the Cold War and was U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union when the Cold War ended. In his interview with Thomas Friedman published on August 9, President Obama gave a convincing explanation of

Business New Europe: “Scores” of regular Russian troops captured, claims Ukraine commander

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Schastye, Ukraine – August 27, 2014) Irregular and regular Ukrainian forces have already captured “scores” of Russian Federation forces, a battalion commander tells bne, after Ukrainian media played videos of interviews with some captured members of Russia’s elite Pskov airborne division. Ukraine now appears to possess

Moscow Times: Russian Paratroops in Ukraine: Lost in a Game of Thrones

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko, Ivan Nechepurenko – August 27, 2014) A slew of reports about Russian paratroopers slain or captured in Ukraine have reignited fears of a Russian invasion in the war-torn country, but confusion reigned supreme, indicating that the stories are above all part of the propaganda battle. The reports came

Minsk peace talks make little progress as shelling in Ukraine continues

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – August 27, 2014) There was little concrete progress in bringing about a ceasefire in the conflict ravaging eastern Ukraine, following a two-hour tete-a-tete between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko behind closed doors at a regional summit held in the marble-clad

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#187 table of contents with links :: Tuesday 26 August 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 6. Reuters: Slim chance of progress as Russian and Ukrainian leaders meet.
7. Moscow Times: Ukraine Compromise on the Table in Minsk.
8. Carnegie Moscow Center: Balazs Jarabik, Minsk Freeze: Can Ukraine Handle a Compromise? …

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#186 table of contents with links :: Monday 25 August 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 29. Moscow Times: Alexey Eremenko, On Independence Day, Ukraine’s Existence Questioned.
30. www.opendemocracy.net: Rodric Braithwaite, Review: Serhii Plokhy, ‘The Last Empire.’ When the Soviet Empire collapsed, Ukraine was the key.
31. Financial Times: Susan Glasser, Putin profits politically from wars and western apologists. The west is told what it wants to hear and turns a convenient blind eye. …

Ukraine Compromise on the Table in Minsk

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – August 26, 2014) After months of a bloody struggle over the fate of Ukraine, all sides in the conflict will attempt to initiate a tangible diplomatic resolution to the crisis during high-profile talks in the Belarussian capital Minsk on Tuesday, to be attended by the Russian and

Russia Claims Captured Soldiers Crossed Ukraine Border by Accident

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – August 26, 2014) The Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed that the ten Russian paratroopers captured by Ukrainian security services in the country’s east are indeed Russian, but said they crossed the border by mistake. Ukrainian security services earlier on Tuesday claimed they had detained ten Russian servicemen

As Russia and U.S. Struggle, China Rejoices

China Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – August 25, 2014) With multi-billion dollar energy deals between Moscow and Beijing recently being pushed through, China, the world’s second-biggest economy, is benefiting the most from the spiraling tension between Russia and the West over the violence in Ukraine. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban earlier this month

Opposition claims victory in Abkhazia’s presidential poll

Georgia Beach in Abkhazia Region

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – August 25, 2014) Opposition candidate Raul Khadzhimba has claimed victory in the August 24 presidential poll in the breakaway Georgian republic of Abkhazia. Khadzhimba’s campaign staff said he had taken around 60% of the vote in the first round of voting in the unrecognized state. The head of Khadzhimba’s

@Fu-kingPutin; The rhetoric of hatred describing the situation in Ukraine misses the point – Ukraine has problems that are not derived from Russia or the Putin presidency

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Seated at Desk

(opendemocracy.net - David Marples - August 22, 2014) David Marples is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of History and Classics, University of Alberta, Canada. For summer 2014 he is Visiting Professor at the Slavic and Eurasian Research Center, Hokkaido University, Japan. [DJ: Just to clarify: One word in this article has been tweaked so that spam

Interfax: Moscow ready for transparency in delivering second aid batch for eastern Ukraine – Lavrov

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

MOSCOW. Aug 25 (Interfax) – Russia is ready for complete openness in its actions in issues relating to the delivery of humanitarian aid to south-eastern Ukraine and urges against speculation on this topic, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a news conference in Moscow. “We have an absolutely open approach here and we are

Interfax: Moscow open to any format of Ukraine settlement – Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW. Aug 25 (Interfax) – Russia is ready to take part in settling the Ukrainian crisis in any format, provided this “does not substitute the substance,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “Basically, we are prepared – as was repeatedly stressed by President Putin – for any format, as long as there is a result

JRL Helpful Guide to Avoiding “Russian Lies”

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

[note from web editor: check back for activated hyperlinks] DJ: On rare occasion “Russian lies” show up in a few of these sources but for the most part you are safe. All of these have appeared in JRL and have achieved a greater coherence of message than, say, Russia Direct or the Valdai Discussion Club.

RE: 2014-#184-Johnson’s Russia List/Russian lies

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

Subject: RE: 2014-#184-Johnson’s Russia List/Russian lies Date: Sat, 23 Aug 2014 From: Anders Aslund <AAslund@PIIE.COM> David: Why do you run so many obvious Russian lies, such as this one? RIA Novosti: Shelling Kills Hundreds in Besieged Luhansk in East Ukraine. Frankly, I have stopped reading your list as I see little but Putin propaganda in

Interfax: Poroshenko will not agree to peace in exchange for Ukraine’s sovereignty and integrity

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

(Interfax – August 25, 2014) Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that peace in the zone of the armed operation will not be achieved at the expense of Ukraine’s sovereignty or territorial integrity. “Steps to peace cannot be unilateral. They should not be taken at the expense of the sovereignty, territorial integrity or independence of

Ukrainians Now Almost Unanimous in Supporting Independent Ukraine

Maidan Square file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 24, 2014) Vladimir Putin’s Crimean Anschluss which was intended among other things to highlight or promote divisions among Ukrainians about the status of their country has had exactly the opposite effect: It has boosted the share of supporters of independent statehood from 83 percent to 90

Interfax: Rebel leader in Ukraine says independence is new aim

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Interfax – Donetsk – August 24, 2015) The prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s republic [DNR], Oleksandr Zakharchenko, rules out the possibility of Ukraine’s federalization and insists on DNR’s independence. “We want to live independently. Federalization (of Ukraine) doesn’t suit us,” he told journalists at a news conference in Donetsk. In Zakharchenko’s opinion, the

Five Reasons Why This Weekend Might Be The Start Of The Endgame In Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Daisy Sindelar – August 21, 2014) It’s a risky business, attempting to predict the outcome of the conflict in Ukraine. But this weekend’s Kyiv visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stirred hopes that a resolution to the Ukraine-Russia standoff and the bloody fighting in Donbas may finally be near. We look at five of

RIA Novosti: Putin Would Not Be Lured Into Military Invasion of Ukraine – Expert

File Photo of Russian Tanks in Military Parade

WASHINGTON, August 21 (RIA Novosti), Leandra Bernstein – The last thing Russian President Vladimir Putin would do is getting involved by the West into a military invasion of Eastern Ukraine, a senior fellow at the Foreign Police Center on the US and Europe told RIA Novosti. “I don’t think [Putin] would invade Ukraine. I think

Interfax: Some 100,000 Ukrainians request refugee status or temporary asylum in Russia – migration service

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

MOSCOW. Aug 21 (Interfax) – Up to 100,000 Ukrainian citizens have applied for refugee status or temporary asylum in Russia since the conflict broke out in Ukraine’s southeastern regions in April, first deputy head of the Russian Federal Migration Service Yekaterina Yegorova told Interfax on Thursday. “The latest information available indicates that 99,364 people have

RIA Novosti: Watchdog Urges Kiev to Reverse Ban on Russian TV Channels

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

MOSCOW, August 21 (RIA Novosti) – A New York-based media rights watchdog has hit out at Ukrainian authorities over their ban on Russian television broadcasts in the country and has urged Kiev to immediately restore unrestricted access to information, a statement published on its website Thursday said. “We are concerned by Ukraine’s ban on Russian

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#185 table of contents with links :: Sunday 24 August 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-#185 :: Sunday 24 August 2014 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George  Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist  JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  1. Anders Aslund: RE: 2014-#184-Johnson’s Russia List/Russian lies

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#184 table of contents with links :: Saturday 23 August 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 15. Reuters: Merkel says tightening Ukraine-Russian border is key to peace deal.
16. Reuters: Ukraine’s Poroshenko sees removal of Russian ‘mercenaries’ as key to peace.
17. Interfax: Poroshenko: Ukrainian must remain only official language in Ukraine.
18. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: Dmitri Trenin, Russia’s New National Strategy ….

Opposition Must Admit Most Russians Were Deceived about What 1991 Meant, Eidman Says

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 20, 2014) “It is time to acknowledge the responsibility of the successful minority before the 90 percent of [Russian] citizens, whose hopes for a better future were deceived” following the collapse of the Soviet system, and for that minority to make changes “in the interests of

NATO to Shun Major Eastern Footprint in Nod to Russia

NATO meeting file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – James G. Neuger, Patrick Donahue – August 18, 2014) NATO will stop short of basing substantial combat forces in eastern Europe to avoid a complete rupture in relations with Russia, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said. A North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit next month will settle on other ways of protecting the


Anders Aslund: RE: Response [re: Ukraine, Russia, Putin, Media, JRL]

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Subject: RE: Response Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 From: Anders Aslund <AAslund@PIIE.COM> Dear David, Thank you for your inordinate attention you have given to my personal words to you. I appreciate your kind consideration. At the same time, I am surprised that anybody can object to me calling your list biased in favor of Putin.

No Basis for Moscow’s Claims that Russian Corruption has Declined, Experts Say

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 26, 2014) Independent Russian experts say that there is no basis for the claim by Boris Titov, presidential plenipotentiary for the rights of entrepreneurs, that the level of corruption in the Russian Federation has fallen. Instead, they say, all measures point to corruption still being a

Most Russian Students Want to Find Jobs Abroad

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 26, 2014) Three of every four Russian university students would prefer to work abroad rather than in Russia, Newsru.com reported Monday, citing a survey conducted by Career.ru. The survey revealed that 77 percent of Russian students found the prospect of overseas employment more appealing than working at home. Those

Economy faces challenge from fall in oil price and ruble value

Oil Well file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – August 25, 2014) Low price-per-barrel for Urals crude oil is putting pressure on the Russian budget On Aug. 18, Reuters reported that the price for Russia’s benchmark Urals oil fell to $98 a barrel – its lowest level since May 2013. Even as recently

RIA Novosti: Russian Finance Ministry Expects Oil Prices of $90-95 per Barrel in 2015

Oil Well file photo

MOSCOW, August 26 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Ministry of Finance expects an average oil price of $90-95 per barrel in 2015, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev told RIA Novosti on Tuesday. “The price for oil in 2015 will be $90-95 per barrel,” Moiseyev said. The Ministry of Economic Development earlier predicted an average oil price

Re: Pictures of the Odessa massacre

Ukraine Map and Flag

Subject: Pictures of the Odessa massacre Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2014 From: Ludmila Foster <ludmilaf001@gmail.com> David: I hesitated sending you these pictures, but after all those attacks on you, you may want to post them on the JRL. http://ersieesist.livejournal.com/813.html [Very graphic!]  

RIA Novosti: NATO, EU Should Give Up Plans of Incorporating Ukraine – Dr. John Mearsheimer

NATO Meeting file photo

MOSCOW, August 26 (RIA Novosti) – The West ought to fundamentally change its approach towards the Ukrainian crisis, making Ukraine a ‘neutral buffer’ between Russia and NATO instead of westernizing it, asserts John J. Mearsheimer, American professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. “The United States and its European allies now face a

Interfax: RPD claims up to 7,000 Ukrainian soldiers trapped in east Ukraine “pockets”

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW. Aug 26 (Interfax) – Militiamen of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DPR) claim that up to 7,000 Ukrainian army servicemen have been trapped in three “pockets” in Ukraine’s eastern regions. “We have managed to drive the adversary into three “pockets”. One of them is located outside of Ilovaysk, the second one near Lutuhyne, and

Interfax: Ukrainian situation deteriorating, Russians say in poll

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Interfax – August 26, 2014) Eighty percent of Russians are monitoring the political events evolving in Ukraine; 32 percent of them are doing so on a regular basis and 48 percent learn the news from time to time, the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) said. The interest in the Ukrainian events has been high

Interfax: Russia could lose over 100 billion rubles from EU-Ukraine association – Putin

EU Map

MINSK. Aug 26 (Interfax) – The association agreement signed between the European Union (EU) and Ukraine could cost Russia billions and force it to introduce protective measures, said Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Due to Ukraine adopting zero duties on EU imports (which is to take effect almost immediately after the ratification of the agreement and

Ukraine reloaded: Poroshenko calls snap parliamentary elections for October

Maidan Square file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Kyiv – August 26, 2014) Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has dissolved parliament and called snap elections for October 26, in a move he says aims to “reload” Ukraine’s political elite. The move was widely anticipated and could help Poroshenko and his allies in the Rada clear

Interfax: Federation Council expects no breakthroughs from Minsk meeting, humanitarian issues to be emphasized

Federation Council file photo

MOSCOW. Aug 26 (Interfax) – No serious breakthroughs are expected with regard to a peace settlement in eastern Ukraine at the possible meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Minsk because Poroshenko is guided by the U.S. stance, the Russian Federation Council international affairs committee said. “Washington is not represented

Meeting in Minsk

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris – August 26, 2014) Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian peer Vladimir Putin are due to sit down in Minsk on August 26 for their first formal meeting since the fighting in eastern Ukraine kicked off. Expectations for a peace deal are low, but what exactly can

The Grad system: A hot hail of cluster-fired rockets

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexander Korolkov, special to RBTH – August 25, 2014) Currently in the headlines for its use by both sides in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, the Grad BM-21 multiple launch rocket system has a history that goes back all the way to the early 1960s, when it succeeded

Interfax: Lavrov: talks the only way to find out if eastern regions want to be part of Ukraine

Sergei Lavrov file photo

SELIGER, Russia. Aug 27 (Interfax) – Only talks between the Ukrainian government and eastern Ukrainian regions can make it clear whether the eastern territories are willing to remain part of Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov argued on Wednesday. “We are now convinced that everything possible must be done to ensure that they sit down

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#188 table of contents with links :: Wednesday 27 August 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-#187 :: Wednesday 27 August 2014 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George  Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist  JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  1. Financial Times: The right stomach for sanctions.

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Distribution of Russian humanitarian assistance begins in Lugansk

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexandra Trifonova, Nikolai Litovkin, RBTH – August 26, 2014) The issuing of provisions of Russian humanitarian aid in Lugansk has begun after the controversial arrival of the aid convoy from Moscow. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says another convoy is planned and insists that on this occasion delivery

RIA Novosti: Questions Left Unanswered at Putin-Poroshenko Minsk Talks

Petro Poroschenko file photo, with additional men in background, adapted from image at state.gov

MOSCOW, August 27 (RIA Novosti), Antonina Ivanova – The talks on Ukraine in the Belarusian capital of Minsk that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said would decide “the fate of the world and Europe” did not yield any breakthrough solutions to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The talks were attended by the presidents of Russia and

Interfax: Kyiv needs NATO help – Ukrainian PM

Arseniy Yatsenyuk file photo

KYIV. Aug 27 (Interfax) – The Ukrainian government plans to endorse a Ukraine-NATO action program for 2014 at its Wednesday session, Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said. “The government will endorse a Ukraine-NATO annual action program today. The president of Ukraine will be present at the NATO summit. NATO is our partner, and we expect our

Ukraine: Cool the Rhetoric; Focus on the Outcome

Maidan Square file photo

(jackmatlock.com - Jack Matlock - August 26, 2014) Jack Matlock is a career diplomat who served on the front lines of American diplomacy during the Cold War and was U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union when the Cold War ended. In his interview with Thomas Friedman published on August 9, President Obama gave a convincing explanation of

Business New Europe: “Scores” of regular Russian troops captured, claims Ukraine commander

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Schastye, Ukraine – August 27, 2014) Irregular and regular Ukrainian forces have already captured “scores” of Russian Federation forces, a battalion commander tells bne, after Ukrainian media played videos of interviews with some captured members of Russia’s elite Pskov airborne division. Ukraine now appears to possess

Moscow Times: Russian Paratroops in Ukraine: Lost in a Game of Thrones

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko, Ivan Nechepurenko – August 27, 2014) A slew of reports about Russian paratroopers slain or captured in Ukraine have reignited fears of a Russian invasion in the war-torn country, but confusion reigned supreme, indicating that the stories are above all part of the propaganda battle. The reports came

Minsk peace talks make little progress as shelling in Ukraine continues

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – August 27, 2014) There was little concrete progress in bringing about a ceasefire in the conflict ravaging eastern Ukraine, following a two-hour tete-a-tete between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko behind closed doors at a regional summit held in the marble-clad

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#187 table of contents with links :: Tuesday 26 August 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 6. Reuters: Slim chance of progress as Russian and Ukrainian leaders meet.
7. Moscow Times: Ukraine Compromise on the Table in Minsk.
8. Carnegie Moscow Center: Balazs Jarabik, Minsk Freeze: Can Ukraine Handle a Compromise? …

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#186 table of contents with links :: Monday 25 August 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 29. Moscow Times: Alexey Eremenko, On Independence Day, Ukraine’s Existence Questioned.
30. www.opendemocracy.net: Rodric Braithwaite, Review: Serhii Plokhy, ‘The Last Empire.’ When the Soviet Empire collapsed, Ukraine was the key.
31. Financial Times: Susan Glasser, Putin profits politically from wars and western apologists. The west is told what it wants to hear and turns a convenient blind eye. …

Ukraine Compromise on the Table in Minsk

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – August 26, 2014) After months of a bloody struggle over the fate of Ukraine, all sides in the conflict will attempt to initiate a tangible diplomatic resolution to the crisis during high-profile talks in the Belarussian capital Minsk on Tuesday, to be attended by the Russian and

Russia Claims Captured Soldiers Crossed Ukraine Border by Accident

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – August 26, 2014) The Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed that the ten Russian paratroopers captured by Ukrainian security services in the country’s east are indeed Russian, but said they crossed the border by mistake. Ukrainian security services earlier on Tuesday claimed they had detained ten Russian servicemen

As Russia and U.S. Struggle, China Rejoices

China Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – August 25, 2014) With multi-billion dollar energy deals between Moscow and Beijing recently being pushed through, China, the world’s second-biggest economy, is benefiting the most from the spiraling tension between Russia and the West over the violence in Ukraine. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban earlier this month

Opposition claims victory in Abkhazia’s presidential poll

Georgia Beach in Abkhazia Region

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – August 25, 2014) Opposition candidate Raul Khadzhimba has claimed victory in the August 24 presidential poll in the breakaway Georgian republic of Abkhazia. Khadzhimba’s campaign staff said he had taken around 60% of the vote in the first round of voting in the unrecognized state. The head of Khadzhimba’s

@Fu-kingPutin; The rhetoric of hatred describing the situation in Ukraine misses the point – Ukraine has problems that are not derived from Russia or the Putin presidency

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Seated at Desk

(opendemocracy.net - David Marples - August 22, 2014) David Marples is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of History and Classics, University of Alberta, Canada. For summer 2014 he is Visiting Professor at the Slavic and Eurasian Research Center, Hokkaido University, Japan. [DJ: Just to clarify: One word in this article has been tweaked so that spam

Interfax: Moscow ready for transparency in delivering second aid batch for eastern Ukraine – Lavrov

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

MOSCOW. Aug 25 (Interfax) – Russia is ready for complete openness in its actions in issues relating to the delivery of humanitarian aid to south-eastern Ukraine and urges against speculation on this topic, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a news conference in Moscow. “We have an absolutely open approach here and we are

Interfax: Moscow open to any format of Ukraine settlement – Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW. Aug 25 (Interfax) – Russia is ready to take part in settling the Ukrainian crisis in any format, provided this “does not substitute the substance,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “Basically, we are prepared – as was repeatedly stressed by President Putin – for any format, as long as there is a result

JRL Helpful Guide to Avoiding “Russian Lies”

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

[note from web editor: check back for activated hyperlinks] DJ: On rare occasion “Russian lies” show up in a few of these sources but for the most part you are safe. All of these have appeared in JRL and have achieved a greater coherence of message than, say, Russia Direct or the Valdai Discussion Club.

RE: 2014-#184-Johnson’s Russia List/Russian lies

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

Subject: RE: 2014-#184-Johnson’s Russia List/Russian lies Date: Sat, 23 Aug 2014 From: Anders Aslund <AAslund@PIIE.COM> David: Why do you run so many obvious Russian lies, such as this one? RIA Novosti: Shelling Kills Hundreds in Besieged Luhansk in East Ukraine. Frankly, I have stopped reading your list as I see little but Putin propaganda in

Interfax: Poroshenko will not agree to peace in exchange for Ukraine’s sovereignty and integrity

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

(Interfax – August 25, 2014) Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that peace in the zone of the armed operation will not be achieved at the expense of Ukraine’s sovereignty or territorial integrity. “Steps to peace cannot be unilateral. They should not be taken at the expense of the sovereignty, territorial integrity or independence of

Ukrainians Now Almost Unanimous in Supporting Independent Ukraine

Maidan Square file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 24, 2014) Vladimir Putin’s Crimean Anschluss which was intended among other things to highlight or promote divisions among Ukrainians about the status of their country has had exactly the opposite effect: It has boosted the share of supporters of independent statehood from 83 percent to 90

Interfax: Rebel leader in Ukraine says independence is new aim

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Interfax – Donetsk – August 24, 2015) The prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s republic [DNR], Oleksandr Zakharchenko, rules out the possibility of Ukraine’s federalization and insists on DNR’s independence. “We want to live independently. Federalization (of Ukraine) doesn’t suit us,” he told journalists at a news conference in Donetsk. In Zakharchenko’s opinion, the

Five Reasons Why This Weekend Might Be The Start Of The Endgame In Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Daisy Sindelar – August 21, 2014) It’s a risky business, attempting to predict the outcome of the conflict in Ukraine. But this weekend’s Kyiv visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stirred hopes that a resolution to the Ukraine-Russia standoff and the bloody fighting in Donbas may finally be near. We look at five of

RIA Novosti: Putin Would Not Be Lured Into Military Invasion of Ukraine – Expert

File Photo of Russian Tanks in Military Parade

WASHINGTON, August 21 (RIA Novosti), Leandra Bernstein – The last thing Russian President Vladimir Putin would do is getting involved by the West into a military invasion of Eastern Ukraine, a senior fellow at the Foreign Police Center on the US and Europe told RIA Novosti. “I don’t think [Putin] would invade Ukraine. I think

Interfax: Some 100,000 Ukrainians request refugee status or temporary asylum in Russia – migration service

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

MOSCOW. Aug 21 (Interfax) – Up to 100,000 Ukrainian citizens have applied for refugee status or temporary asylum in Russia since the conflict broke out in Ukraine’s southeastern regions in April, first deputy head of the Russian Federal Migration Service Yekaterina Yegorova told Interfax on Thursday. “The latest information available indicates that 99,364 people have

RIA Novosti: Watchdog Urges Kiev to Reverse Ban on Russian TV Channels

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

MOSCOW, August 21 (RIA Novosti) – A New York-based media rights watchdog has hit out at Ukrainian authorities over their ban on Russian television broadcasts in the country and has urged Kiev to immediately restore unrestricted access to information, a statement published on its website Thursday said. “We are concerned by Ukraine’s ban on Russian

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#185 table of contents with links :: Sunday 24 August 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-#185 :: Sunday 24 August 2014 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George  Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist  JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  1. Anders Aslund: RE: 2014-#184-Johnson’s Russia List/Russian lies

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#184 table of contents with links :: Saturday 23 August 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 15. Reuters: Merkel says tightening Ukraine-Russian border is key to peace deal.
16. Reuters: Ukraine’s Poroshenko sees removal of Russian ‘mercenaries’ as key to peace.
17. Interfax: Poroshenko: Ukrainian must remain only official language in Ukraine.
18. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: Dmitri Trenin, Russia’s New National Strategy ….

Opposition Must Admit Most Russians Were Deceived about What 1991 Meant, Eidman Says

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 20, 2014) “It is time to acknowledge the responsibility of the successful minority before the 90 percent of [Russian] citizens, whose hopes for a better future were deceived” following the collapse of the Soviet system, and for that minority to make changes “in the interests of

NATO to Shun Major Eastern Footprint in Nod to Russia

NATO meeting file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – James G. Neuger, Patrick Donahue – August 18, 2014) NATO will stop short of basing substantial combat forces in eastern Europe to avoid a complete rupture in relations with Russia, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said. A North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit next month will settle on other ways of protecting the

Ukrainian sanctions on Gazprom could threaten European economy

Russian Gas Facility file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Kira Egorova, Anna Kuchma, RBTH – August 19, 2014) On August 14, the Ukrainian parliament passed a law enabling Kiev to introduce sanctions against Russian companies, meaning that if measures are introduced against Gazprom, the transit of Russian gas through Ukrainian territory will be blocked. What threats does

Russian consumers hardest hit by sanctions

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Kira Tverskaya, special to RBTH – August 19, 2014) Economists point out that the Russian government’s recent food ban is likely to backfire as restaurants and consumers look for new sources for favorite products Moscow’s home cooks and restaurateurs alike have spent the past two weeks scrambling to

RIA Novosti: Red Cross Instructing Russian Humanitarian Convoy Drivers at Ukrainian Border Checkpoint

Ukraine Map and Flag

DONETSK (Rostov Region), August 20 (RIA Novosti) – A convoy carrying Russian humanitarian aid to southeastern Ukraine remains at the border checkpoint with the representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) giving instructions to the drivers, a representative of the contractor carrier company transporting the cargo told RIA Novosti on Wednesday. “The

Interfax: Russian Red Cross explains delay with lack of safety guarantees

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

MOSCOW. Aug 20 (Interfax) – The main reason for the delay of the Russian humanitarian cargo for residents of eastern Ukraine is a lack of safety guarantees from Ukraine, Russian Red Cross Chairperson Raisa Lukutstova said. “The Ukrainian authorities do not comply with one demand of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) –

Can Russia stage a comeback in space?

International Space Station file photo

(opendemocracy.net – Ivan Safronov – August 18, 2014) Ivan Safronov is a correspondent at Kommersant and an expert on the space industry. Fifty years ago, the USSR was in the lead in the proxy war that was the space race, but now Russia is better known for rockets that either fail to launch or crash

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