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RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2015-#16 table of contents with links :: Friday 23 January 2015

St. Basil's file photo

Johnson’s Russia List JRL 2015-#16 :: Friday 23 January 2015 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. Reuters: Ukraine death toll may be far higher than known 5,000: U.N. 2. Kyiv Post: No

Turf War Seen at Heart of Russian Space Industry Shake-Up

International Space Station file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – January 23, 2015) An ambitious drive by a friend of President Vladimir Putin’s to take control of Russia’s defense industry may be behind a shock announcement this week that Russia would merge its federal space agency with a major industry group, analysts said. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

More Russians See Potential for Political Protests in Their Country, Poll Shows

Moscow Protest file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jennifer Monaghan – January 23, 2015) The number of Russians who see potential for political protests to break out in their country has more than doubled in the past five months, a new survey showed Friday, though the majority would choose not to participate in them themselves. The survey, published

Interfax: Russia’s Rosatom ready to continue nuclear safety cooperation with US

Radioactivity Symbol

(Interfax – Moscow, January 22, 2015) Russia and the United States will continue cooperation in global nuclear safety in 2015. According to a press release by the state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom, the sides have special responsibility for ensuring the safety and security of nuclear materials, preventing them from falling into the hands of terrorist

Discounting the future of climate change in Russia

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

(opendemocracy.net – Maria Sharmina, Christopher Jones – January 22, 2015) Dr Maria Sharmina and Dr Christopher Jones are researchers at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Manchester. Like it or not, global warming will affect Russia, and ignoring it only stores up problems for later. The future is not what it used

The Great Succession Game: Central Asian leaders’ silence on succession plans poses a growing threat to stability in this volatile region.

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, Central Asian States

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Naubet Bisenov in Almaty – January 23, 2015) In Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, where ageing leaders run one-man shows that suppress any hint of opposition, the issue of succession resurfaces every time the autocratic presidents are reported to have travelled abroad for medical treatment. That these leaders hide succession plans

Moscow Times: How Poland Kept Putin Away From the Auschwitz Memorial

Auschwitz Concentration Entrance with Sign Arbeit Macht Frei

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – January 23, 2015) Leading up to the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the Nazis’ largest concentration camp, organizers vowed that this year’s event would focus on the survivors, not the politicians. But as controversy runs rampant over President Vladimir Putin’s anticipated absence from the ceremony,

Interfax: Luhansk authorities ask Ukrainian “guerrillas” not to blow up coal trains

Ukraine Map and Flag

KYIV. Jan 23 (Interfax) – Head of the Luhansk region state administration Hennadiy Moskal has asked the so-called “guerrillas” who blew up a coal train at the Krasna Mohyla station not to stage acts of sabotage on the Kyiv-controlled part of the Luhansk region. “A lion’s share of electric power for populated localities on our

Putin Said to Shrink Inner Circle as Hawks Beat Billionaires

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Irina Reznik – January 23, 2015) Vladimir Putin isn’t just angering leaders from Berlin to Washington. He’s irking some of his richest friends, too, by snubbing their pleas to end the conflict in Ukraine and ostracizing all but a handful of hardliners. The ruble’s plunge has heightened opposition to

Russian Patriarch Says Halving Abortions Will Help Solve Population Crisis

Patriarch Kirill file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – January 23, 2015) Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, crossed Russia’s shifting line between Church and politics in his first-ever address to the State Duma on Thursday, calling on lawmakers to ensure that traditional moral values are safeguarded in the country’s legislation. The Russian Orthodox Church

Russia now in extremely difficult economic condition, but could use this for reform – Shuvalov

Igor Shuvalov file photo

(Interfax – January 23, 2015) The Russian economy is currently in extremely difficult economic condition, and Russia’s problems should not be underestimated, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said at Sberbank’s business breakfast at the Davos forum. “Russia is currently in an extremely difficult situation. Our economic situation isn’t good,” he said. There are

Putin Now has His Storm Troopers and Pogroms Will Surely Follow, Ganapolsky Says

Vladimir Putin

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 23, 2014) Putin’s Russia has crossed a Rubicon: it now has sanctioned the Anti-Maidan Movement, a domestic version of Hitler’s storm troopers, and thus created a monster that almost certainly will engage in pogroms against one group or another in the future, according to Moscow commentator

Deputy Prime Minister Shuvalov Sees Hard Landing for Russia

Igor Shuvalov file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas, Ott Ummelas, Anna Andrianova – January 23, 2015) Russia is in an “extremely difficult” economic situation and faces a worse crisis than in 2008-2009, according to First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov. The country must prepare for a hard landing, Shuvalov said at a breakfast organized by the nation’s

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2015-#15 table of contents with links :: Thursday 22 January 2015

St. Basil's file photo

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List JRL 2015-#15 :: Thursday 22 January 2015 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. Bloomberg: Ukrainian Deaths Surge as Merkel

Russian Authorities to Create Blacklist of Corrupt Officials

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – January 22, 2015) The Russian government has called for the creation of a special registry of officials who have been dismissed from their positions on the basis of a “loss of trust” due to corrupt activities, Kommersant reported Thursday. The move aims to serve both as a

Lavrov: Russia to Push Ukraine Agenda Until Bitter End

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – January 22, 2015) Russia is determined to play a leading role in the new multipolar world that the United States relentlessly opposes and will not give up on Ukraine until a desirable outcome is reached, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists during an annual news conference Wednesday.

In Ukraine, NATO has ceased to be an instrument of US foreign policy

NATO meeting file photo

(opendemocracy.net – Bob Rigg – January 21, 2015) Bob Rigg is former senior editor with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and a former chair of the New Zealand National Consultative Committee on Disarmament. He is a freelance researcher and writer specialising in nuclear issues, the Middle East, Central Asia, and US foreign

Russia about to Lose Its ‘Thick’ Journals and Culture Ministry Won’t Help

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 22, 2015) Russia’s “thick” journals, the pride of its intellectual life for more than a century are dying, the result of changes in the media marketplace, but despite 2015 having been declared “The Year of Literature” in Russia, the Russian government is unwilling to do anything

Fall in oil prices could shrink Russia’s GDP by five percent

Oil Well file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – January 21, 2015) Russian experts say that due to a six-year low in oil prices, Russia’s economy could contract by up to five percent in 2015. Moreover, the situation drastically differs from the 2008-2009 crisis when Russia was not as dependent on oil prices

Business New Europe: Russia prepares RUB1.375 trillion anti-crisis plan

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – January 22, 2015) Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has approved the provisional version of an anti-crisis plan drawn up by the government. According to media reports, the plan involves recapitalisation of banks, provision of state guarantees, support measures for state development bank VEB and diverse sectors, changes

The Deadly Legend of the Donetsk Airport

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – January 20, 2015) Donetsk Airport has become a dystopian ruin, with its runways so cratered, only a helicopter could land. Yet both sides in the fight over it keep claiming to control it. Ukrainians consider it a symbol of their military resurgence since last summer’s painful defeats. Instead,

Interfax: Support for urgent heavy arms withdrawal from Donbas line of contact is crucial decision of Berlin meeting – Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov file photo

BERLIN. Jan 22 (Interfax) – Foreign ministers from Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France, the countries of the “Normandy format”, have supported the need to urgently withdraw heavy weapons from the line of engagement defined by the September 16, 2014 Minsk agreements, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “The most important decision that was adopted today

Business New Europe: Ukraine investment case depends on peace, aid and unity, says Weafer

Maidan Square file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – January 21, 2015) “Ukraine 2015 investment case depends on peace, aid and unity,” says Chris Weafer, CEO of Macro Advisory, but of the three at the moment aid is probably the most important. Ukraine has only five weeks left of hard currency reserves in

RIA Novosti: Russia doing all it can to help Ukraine – Putin’s spokesman

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

(RIA Novosti – January 20, 2015) The current stand-off between Russia and the West is ideological, informational, political and diplomatic but “thank God not military”, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitriy Peskov said in an interview with the mass-circulation Russian weekly Argumenty i Fakty, which will be published on 21 January, RIA Novosti (part

Interfax: Ukrainian army admits retreat from 31st roadblock near Luhansk

Ukraine Map and Flag

KYIV. Jan 21 (Interfax) – Ukrainian servicemen are in control of the 29th roadblock but the 31st roadblock has had to be abandoned because of a high risk to personnel. Both roadblocks are located in the area of Krymske in the Luhansk region, not far from the Bakhmutka road. “We have had to retreat from

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Lack of U.S. interest in Russia felt in speeches

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

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Lara McCoy Roslof, RBTH – January 21, 2015) Comments by both U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Tefft and U.S. President Barack Obama indicate that the U.S. has little motivation to lift sanctions against On Jan. 20, the same day U.S. President Barack Obama delivered his annual State of

Russia To Face Same Old Questions at Davos In Chillier Atmosphere

File Photo of "World Economic Forum" Display at Davos from Past Session

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – January 21, 2015) As the World Economic Forum kicks off in the Swiss alpine town of Davos on Wednesday, Moscow’s delegates will be working hard to convince participants that Russia is still a sound investment despite tensions over Ukraine and a faltering economy. Speaking at a curtain-raising

Ukrainian Deaths Surge as Merkel Sharpens Rhetoric on Russia

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Daryna Krasnolutska, Rainer Buergin – January 22, 2015) German Chancellor Angela Merkel slammed Russia for undermining neighboring Ukraine’s sovereignty and cited “many setbacks” in peace efforts as the death toll in the conflict jumped. As Ukraine’s army suffered its worst casualties in two weeks, an attack Thursday in Donetsk killed eight

Analyst Provides Insider View of Russian Government Think Tank

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 12, Issue 11 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Valery Dzutsev – January 20, 2015) The revelations of Alexander Sytnik, who recently left his position as a senior fellow at the Russian Institute for Strategic Research, a government-funded think tank, provides a rare glimpse into the inner mechanisms of policymaking in Russia. In

A Tour Through Russia’s Five Poorest Cities

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – January 21, 2015) While Moscow offers some wealthy residents a level of luxury on par with other world capitals, urban life in the dozens of other cities across Russia is quite another story. A study released this week offers a peek into this other side of urban

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2015-#14 table of contents with links :: Wednesday 21 January 2015

St. Basil's file photo

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List JRL 2015-#14 :: Wednesday 21 January 2015 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  Russia 1. Sputnik: Putin Says Russia

Russia in for recession, high inflation even if oil rebounds to $80-$90 – RenCap

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW. Jan 21 (Interfax) – The Russian economy will not see any growth and inflation will remain high in 2015 even if oil prices rebound to $80-$90 per barrel, economists at Renaissance Capital believe. At an oil price of about $60, which is the investment bank’s baseline scenario, Russia’s GDP will contract by 4.3% in

Interfax: In 2008 crisis also came from abroad, Russia resolved problems by itself – Putin

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Desk

NOVO-OGARYOVO. Jan 21 (Interfax) – The current, critical situation in the Russian economy was provoked from abroad, President Vladimir Putin believes. “I want to remind you that this is not the first situation of its kind which we are going through. We went through the same thing in 2008 and 2009. Then the crisis also

State Department Report on U.S.-Russia Relations [excerpt]

State Department Building and U.S. Flag

(United States Department of State – International Security Advisory Board – December 9, 2014) [DJ: Best to read this from the PDF file. Complete text with footnotes and appendices here http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/235118.pdf] MEMORANDUM FOR UNDER SECRETARY GOTTEMOELLER SUBJECT: Final Report of the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB) on U.S.-Russia Relations I am forwarding herewith the ISAB’s

Ambassador John F. Tefft Speech to the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia

John Tefft file photo

(US Embassy Moscow – January 20, 2015) Thank you for that introduction, Alex. I am grateful for this opportunity to speak to members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia. I am sure you already know them and work closely with them, but let me start by introducing my team. First, there is Deputy

Ten New Laws That Will Affect Your Life in Russia in 2015

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – January 21, 2015) New year, new you: An expression that has taken on a special meaning for those living in Russia, where a plethora of new laws – many with a direct impact on the daily lives of citizens and residents – entered into effect on Jan.

Putin’s Attacks on Science, Rooted in His Fear of the Educated, Destroying Russia’s Future, Koch Says

File Photo of Test Tubes with Algae Displaying Different Colors, Part of U.S. Energy-Related Research; from nrel.gov

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – January 20, 2014) Vladimir Putin “understands that the threat to his regime is to be found among the thinking and educated” and thus has been taking steps to “destroy higher education” in Russia and cut the financing of science, according to Moscow commentator Alfred Koch. Such actions may buy

Moscow Times: Russian Culture Ministry Reverses Plans to Ban Films That Undermine ‘National Unity’

Movie Theater file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 20, 2015) The Culture Ministry has reversed plans to deny distribution licenses to films deemed harmful to Russia’s “national unity,” after the proposed restrictions drew widespread criticism. A ministry spokesman said some of the requirements set for films seeking clearance for screening in Russian movie theaters and on television

Moscow Times: Over Half of French Citizens Think Paris Should Deliver Mistral Warship to Russia

Mistral Class Ship

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 20, 2015) Over 60 percent of French citizens think their country should honor a 1.2 billion euro ($1.39 billion) contract with Russia for the stalled delivery of two French-built Mistral-class helicopter carriers, according to a poll published Tuesday. In contrast, 36 percent of French citizens support French President Francois

Moscow Times: New Russian Space Station Blueprint Ready for Kremlin Consideration

International Space Station file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – January 20, 2015) A prominent research institute affiliated with Russia’s space agency will present conceptual designs for a new Russian national space station to the government’s military-industrial commission that would potentially replace the International Space Station (ISS), the institute’s deputy director said. “We have prepared the relevant

Double trouble – Russia 2014 vs 2008

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – COMMENT: Peter Szopo of Erste Asset Management – January 20, 2015) [Charts here http://www.bne.eu/content/story/comment-double-trouble-russia-2014-vs-2008] History, they say, does not repeat itself – it rhymes. Even if this were true, history’s rhymes are clunky at best. While Russia’s current crisis has obvious parallels with the turmoil in 2008, such as

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Is a banking crisis looming in Russia?

Russian Central Bank file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – January 20, 2015) The Russian government will supply banks with nearly $15 billion to help stave off a possible financial crisis. Only banks that are willing to increase credit in the production sector of the economy will be eligible to receive the money. In

Business New Europe: Pain but no disaster in store for Russia, says Rencap

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – January 20, 2015) If the average price of oil in 2015 is $60 then Russia’s economy will contract by 4.3% and the ruble will be RUB56.4 to the dollar, say analysts at Renaissance Capital in a note released on January 20 exploring different oil price scenarios.

Igor Eidman: Putin became a fascist-style leader in mid-2014

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – January 20, 2014) [from Euromaidan PR: Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. He has served as director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy, vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn, and a senior

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Gazprom throws down the gauntlet to Europe over gas supplies via Turkey

Gas Facility file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – January 19, 2015) Russian gas giant Gazprom says Europe must build a new pipeline from Turkey if it wants to secure energy supplies via its new route that cuts out Ukraine. Russia had been intending to supply gas to Europe that bypassed Ukraine through


RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2015-#16 table of contents with links :: Friday 23 January 2015

St. Basil's file photo

Johnson’s Russia List JRL 2015-#16 :: Friday 23 January 2015 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. Reuters: Ukraine death toll may be far higher than known 5,000: U.N. 2. Kyiv Post: No

Turf War Seen at Heart of Russian Space Industry Shake-Up

International Space Station file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – January 23, 2015) An ambitious drive by a friend of President Vladimir Putin’s to take control of Russia’s defense industry may be behind a shock announcement this week that Russia would merge its federal space agency with a major industry group, analysts said. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

More Russians See Potential for Political Protests in Their Country, Poll Shows

Moscow Protest file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jennifer Monaghan – January 23, 2015) The number of Russians who see potential for political protests to break out in their country has more than doubled in the past five months, a new survey showed Friday, though the majority would choose not to participate in them themselves. The survey, published

Interfax: Russia’s Rosatom ready to continue nuclear safety cooperation with US

Radioactivity Symbol

(Interfax – Moscow, January 22, 2015) Russia and the United States will continue cooperation in global nuclear safety in 2015. According to a press release by the state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom, the sides have special responsibility for ensuring the safety and security of nuclear materials, preventing them from falling into the hands of terrorist

Discounting the future of climate change in Russia

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

(opendemocracy.net – Maria Sharmina, Christopher Jones – January 22, 2015) Dr Maria Sharmina and Dr Christopher Jones are researchers at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Manchester. Like it or not, global warming will affect Russia, and ignoring it only stores up problems for later. The future is not what it used

The Great Succession Game: Central Asian leaders’ silence on succession plans poses a growing threat to stability in this volatile region.

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, Central Asian States

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Naubet Bisenov in Almaty – January 23, 2015) In Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, where ageing leaders run one-man shows that suppress any hint of opposition, the issue of succession resurfaces every time the autocratic presidents are reported to have travelled abroad for medical treatment. That these leaders hide succession plans

Moscow Times: How Poland Kept Putin Away From the Auschwitz Memorial

Auschwitz Concentration Entrance with Sign Arbeit Macht Frei

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – January 23, 2015) Leading up to the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the Nazis’ largest concentration camp, organizers vowed that this year’s event would focus on the survivors, not the politicians. But as controversy runs rampant over President Vladimir Putin’s anticipated absence from the ceremony,

Interfax: Luhansk authorities ask Ukrainian “guerrillas” not to blow up coal trains

Ukraine Map and Flag

KYIV. Jan 23 (Interfax) – Head of the Luhansk region state administration Hennadiy Moskal has asked the so-called “guerrillas” who blew up a coal train at the Krasna Mohyla station not to stage acts of sabotage on the Kyiv-controlled part of the Luhansk region. “A lion’s share of electric power for populated localities on our

Putin Said to Shrink Inner Circle as Hawks Beat Billionaires

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Irina Reznik – January 23, 2015) Vladimir Putin isn’t just angering leaders from Berlin to Washington. He’s irking some of his richest friends, too, by snubbing their pleas to end the conflict in Ukraine and ostracizing all but a handful of hardliners. The ruble’s plunge has heightened opposition to

Russian Patriarch Says Halving Abortions Will Help Solve Population Crisis

Patriarch Kirill file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – January 23, 2015) Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, crossed Russia’s shifting line between Church and politics in his first-ever address to the State Duma on Thursday, calling on lawmakers to ensure that traditional moral values are safeguarded in the country’s legislation. The Russian Orthodox Church

Russia now in extremely difficult economic condition, but could use this for reform – Shuvalov

Igor Shuvalov file photo

(Interfax – January 23, 2015) The Russian economy is currently in extremely difficult economic condition, and Russia’s problems should not be underestimated, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said at Sberbank’s business breakfast at the Davos forum. “Russia is currently in an extremely difficult situation. Our economic situation isn’t good,” he said. There are

Putin Now has His Storm Troopers and Pogroms Will Surely Follow, Ganapolsky Says

Vladimir Putin

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 23, 2014) Putin’s Russia has crossed a Rubicon: it now has sanctioned the Anti-Maidan Movement, a domestic version of Hitler’s storm troopers, and thus created a monster that almost certainly will engage in pogroms against one group or another in the future, according to Moscow commentator

Deputy Prime Minister Shuvalov Sees Hard Landing for Russia

Igor Shuvalov file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas, Ott Ummelas, Anna Andrianova – January 23, 2015) Russia is in an “extremely difficult” economic situation and faces a worse crisis than in 2008-2009, according to First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov. The country must prepare for a hard landing, Shuvalov said at a breakfast organized by the nation’s

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2015-#15 table of contents with links :: Thursday 22 January 2015

St. Basil's file photo

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List JRL 2015-#15 :: Thursday 22 January 2015 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. Bloomberg: Ukrainian Deaths Surge as Merkel

Russian Authorities to Create Blacklist of Corrupt Officials

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – January 22, 2015) The Russian government has called for the creation of a special registry of officials who have been dismissed from their positions on the basis of a “loss of trust” due to corrupt activities, Kommersant reported Thursday. The move aims to serve both as a

Lavrov: Russia to Push Ukraine Agenda Until Bitter End

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – January 22, 2015) Russia is determined to play a leading role in the new multipolar world that the United States relentlessly opposes and will not give up on Ukraine until a desirable outcome is reached, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists during an annual news conference Wednesday.

In Ukraine, NATO has ceased to be an instrument of US foreign policy

NATO meeting file photo

(opendemocracy.net – Bob Rigg – January 21, 2015) Bob Rigg is former senior editor with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and a former chair of the New Zealand National Consultative Committee on Disarmament. He is a freelance researcher and writer specialising in nuclear issues, the Middle East, Central Asia, and US foreign

Russia about to Lose Its ‘Thick’ Journals and Culture Ministry Won’t Help

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 22, 2015) Russia’s “thick” journals, the pride of its intellectual life for more than a century are dying, the result of changes in the media marketplace, but despite 2015 having been declared “The Year of Literature” in Russia, the Russian government is unwilling to do anything

Fall in oil prices could shrink Russia’s GDP by five percent

Oil Well file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – January 21, 2015) Russian experts say that due to a six-year low in oil prices, Russia’s economy could contract by up to five percent in 2015. Moreover, the situation drastically differs from the 2008-2009 crisis when Russia was not as dependent on oil prices

Business New Europe: Russia prepares RUB1.375 trillion anti-crisis plan

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – January 22, 2015) Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has approved the provisional version of an anti-crisis plan drawn up by the government. According to media reports, the plan involves recapitalisation of banks, provision of state guarantees, support measures for state development bank VEB and diverse sectors, changes

The Deadly Legend of the Donetsk Airport

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – January 20, 2015) Donetsk Airport has become a dystopian ruin, with its runways so cratered, only a helicopter could land. Yet both sides in the fight over it keep claiming to control it. Ukrainians consider it a symbol of their military resurgence since last summer’s painful defeats. Instead,

Interfax: Support for urgent heavy arms withdrawal from Donbas line of contact is crucial decision of Berlin meeting – Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov file photo

BERLIN. Jan 22 (Interfax) – Foreign ministers from Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France, the countries of the “Normandy format”, have supported the need to urgently withdraw heavy weapons from the line of engagement defined by the September 16, 2014 Minsk agreements, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “The most important decision that was adopted today

Business New Europe: Ukraine investment case depends on peace, aid and unity, says Weafer

Maidan Square file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – January 21, 2015) “Ukraine 2015 investment case depends on peace, aid and unity,” says Chris Weafer, CEO of Macro Advisory, but of the three at the moment aid is probably the most important. Ukraine has only five weeks left of hard currency reserves in

RIA Novosti: Russia doing all it can to help Ukraine – Putin’s spokesman

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

(RIA Novosti – January 20, 2015) The current stand-off between Russia and the West is ideological, informational, political and diplomatic but “thank God not military”, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitriy Peskov said in an interview with the mass-circulation Russian weekly Argumenty i Fakty, which will be published on 21 January, RIA Novosti (part

Interfax: Ukrainian army admits retreat from 31st roadblock near Luhansk

Ukraine Map and Flag

KYIV. Jan 21 (Interfax) – Ukrainian servicemen are in control of the 29th roadblock but the 31st roadblock has had to be abandoned because of a high risk to personnel. Both roadblocks are located in the area of Krymske in the Luhansk region, not far from the Bakhmutka road. “We have had to retreat from

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Lack of U.S. interest in Russia felt in speeches

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

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Lara McCoy Roslof, RBTH – January 21, 2015) Comments by both U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Tefft and U.S. President Barack Obama indicate that the U.S. has little motivation to lift sanctions against On Jan. 20, the same day U.S. President Barack Obama delivered his annual State of

Russia To Face Same Old Questions at Davos In Chillier Atmosphere

File Photo of "World Economic Forum" Display at Davos from Past Session

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – January 21, 2015) As the World Economic Forum kicks off in the Swiss alpine town of Davos on Wednesday, Moscow’s delegates will be working hard to convince participants that Russia is still a sound investment despite tensions over Ukraine and a faltering economy. Speaking at a curtain-raising

Ukrainian Deaths Surge as Merkel Sharpens Rhetoric on Russia

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Daryna Krasnolutska, Rainer Buergin – January 22, 2015) German Chancellor Angela Merkel slammed Russia for undermining neighboring Ukraine’s sovereignty and cited “many setbacks” in peace efforts as the death toll in the conflict jumped. As Ukraine’s army suffered its worst casualties in two weeks, an attack Thursday in Donetsk killed eight

Analyst Provides Insider View of Russian Government Think Tank

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 12, Issue 11 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Valery Dzutsev – January 20, 2015) The revelations of Alexander Sytnik, who recently left his position as a senior fellow at the Russian Institute for Strategic Research, a government-funded think tank, provides a rare glimpse into the inner mechanisms of policymaking in Russia. In

A Tour Through Russia’s Five Poorest Cities

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – January 21, 2015) While Moscow offers some wealthy residents a level of luxury on par with other world capitals, urban life in the dozens of other cities across Russia is quite another story. A study released this week offers a peek into this other side of urban

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2015-#14 table of contents with links :: Wednesday 21 January 2015

St. Basil's file photo

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List JRL 2015-#14 :: Wednesday 21 January 2015 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  Russia 1. Sputnik: Putin Says Russia

Russia in for recession, high inflation even if oil rebounds to $80-$90 – RenCap

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW. Jan 21 (Interfax) – The Russian economy will not see any growth and inflation will remain high in 2015 even if oil prices rebound to $80-$90 per barrel, economists at Renaissance Capital believe. At an oil price of about $60, which is the investment bank’s baseline scenario, Russia’s GDP will contract by 4.3% in

Interfax: In 2008 crisis also came from abroad, Russia resolved problems by itself – Putin

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Desk

NOVO-OGARYOVO. Jan 21 (Interfax) – The current, critical situation in the Russian economy was provoked from abroad, President Vladimir Putin believes. “I want to remind you that this is not the first situation of its kind which we are going through. We went through the same thing in 2008 and 2009. Then the crisis also

State Department Report on U.S.-Russia Relations [excerpt]

State Department Building and U.S. Flag

(United States Department of State – International Security Advisory Board – December 9, 2014) [DJ: Best to read this from the PDF file. Complete text with footnotes and appendices here http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/235118.pdf] MEMORANDUM FOR UNDER SECRETARY GOTTEMOELLER SUBJECT: Final Report of the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB) on U.S.-Russia Relations I am forwarding herewith the ISAB’s

Ambassador John F. Tefft Speech to the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia

John Tefft file photo

(US Embassy Moscow – January 20, 2015) Thank you for that introduction, Alex. I am grateful for this opportunity to speak to members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia. I am sure you already know them and work closely with them, but let me start by introducing my team. First, there is Deputy

Ten New Laws That Will Affect Your Life in Russia in 2015

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – January 21, 2015) New year, new you: An expression that has taken on a special meaning for those living in Russia, where a plethora of new laws – many with a direct impact on the daily lives of citizens and residents – entered into effect on Jan.

Putin’s Attacks on Science, Rooted in His Fear of the Educated, Destroying Russia’s Future, Koch Says

File Photo of Test Tubes with Algae Displaying Different Colors, Part of U.S. Energy-Related Research; from nrel.gov

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – January 20, 2014) Vladimir Putin “understands that the threat to his regime is to be found among the thinking and educated” and thus has been taking steps to “destroy higher education” in Russia and cut the financing of science, according to Moscow commentator Alfred Koch. Such actions may buy

Moscow Times: Russian Culture Ministry Reverses Plans to Ban Films That Undermine ‘National Unity’

Movie Theater file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 20, 2015) The Culture Ministry has reversed plans to deny distribution licenses to films deemed harmful to Russia’s “national unity,” after the proposed restrictions drew widespread criticism. A ministry spokesman said some of the requirements set for films seeking clearance for screening in Russian movie theaters and on television

Moscow Times: Over Half of French Citizens Think Paris Should Deliver Mistral Warship to Russia

Mistral Class Ship

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 20, 2015) Over 60 percent of French citizens think their country should honor a 1.2 billion euro ($1.39 billion) contract with Russia for the stalled delivery of two French-built Mistral-class helicopter carriers, according to a poll published Tuesday. In contrast, 36 percent of French citizens support French President Francois

Moscow Times: New Russian Space Station Blueprint Ready for Kremlin Consideration

International Space Station file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – January 20, 2015) A prominent research institute affiliated with Russia’s space agency will present conceptual designs for a new Russian national space station to the government’s military-industrial commission that would potentially replace the International Space Station (ISS), the institute’s deputy director said. “We have prepared the relevant

Double trouble – Russia 2014 vs 2008

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – COMMENT: Peter Szopo of Erste Asset Management – January 20, 2015) [Charts here http://www.bne.eu/content/story/comment-double-trouble-russia-2014-vs-2008] History, they say, does not repeat itself – it rhymes. Even if this were true, history’s rhymes are clunky at best. While Russia’s current crisis has obvious parallels with the turmoil in 2008, such as

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Is a banking crisis looming in Russia?

Russian Central Bank file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – January 20, 2015) The Russian government will supply banks with nearly $15 billion to help stave off a possible financial crisis. Only banks that are willing to increase credit in the production sector of the economy will be eligible to receive the money. In

Business New Europe: Pain but no disaster in store for Russia, says Rencap

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – January 20, 2015) If the average price of oil in 2015 is $60 then Russia’s economy will contract by 4.3% and the ruble will be RUB56.4 to the dollar, say analysts at Renaissance Capital in a note released on January 20 exploring different oil price scenarios.

Igor Eidman: Putin became a fascist-style leader in mid-2014

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – January 20, 2014) [from Euromaidan PR: Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. He has served as director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy, vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn, and a senior

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Gazprom throws down the gauntlet to Europe over gas supplies via Turkey

Gas Facility file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – January 19, 2015) Russian gas giant Gazprom says Europe must build a new pipeline from Turkey if it wants to secure energy supplies via its new route that cuts out Ukraine. Russia had been intending to supply gas to Europe that bypassed Ukraine through

Interfax: Russians begin to feel economic crisis – poll

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Interfax – January 19, 2015) Almost two-thirds of Russian citizens (62 percent) think that the country is living through an economic crisis although it has no effect on their finances as of yet, the Public Opinion Foundation said. The crisis mostly manifests itself in Moscow (70 percent) and cities with a population of 50,000 to

Interfax: Medvedev calls agreements on electricity shipments to Ukraine and Crimea mutually beneficial

Electrical Yard file photo

GORKI. Jan 20 (Interfax) – Agreements to ship electricity to Crimea and Ukraine are beneficial to both parties, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a meeting with Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Gazprom (MOEX: GAZP) CEO Alexei Miller. He also said that work must continue in this area. “I think that this is a

Residents of War-Torn East Ukraine Left in Deadly Limbo

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Veronika Silchenko – DONETSK, Ukraine – January 20, 2015) Despair and a bitter sense of having been abandoned by both Russia and Ukraine reign among residents of the rebellious Ukrainian city of Donetsk after two weeks of renewed heavy shelling between pro-Russian separatists and the central government in Kiev amid

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2015-#13 table of contents with links :: Tuesday 20 January 2015

St. Basil's file photo

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List JRL 2015-#13 :: Tuesday 20 January 2015 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. Euromaidan Press: Olena Bilozerska, The

Business New Europe: Russia’s tech sector defies downturn

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – January 16, 2015) Most of Russia’s economy will be in the proverbial dustbin in 2015, except for the technology sector. The gadget-loving Russians have been driving the explosion of e-commerce in recent years, which is now starting to spill over into technological innovation and

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