Washington

London

Moscow

Novosibirsk

Vladivostok

Archive for September 2013

Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#177 :: Friday 27 September 2013

Map of Russia

Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#177 :: 27 September 2013 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES.org) at The George Washington University‘s Elliott School of International Affairs JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php POLITICS 1. Wall Street Journal: Medvedev Gives Economic

An Old Game With New Rules In Russia’s Backyard

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – September 27, 2013) A former Soviet republic has its sights set on moving closer to Europe, a move staunchly opposed by Moscow. With the Kremlin’s tacit support, one of its majority ethnic-Russian cities votes to secede, sparking fears of violent conflict. Officials in Moscow vow to defend the

Despite U.S.-Russia Tensions, Visa Deal Called a Success

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – September 27, 2013) As U.S. and Russian officials enter the umpteenth month of wrangling over how to address the Syrian civil war, and politicians from the former Cold War foes maintain their hostile rhetoric, one of the countries’ last bilateral agreements is turning one year old, and

Americans Say Putin Most Effective Leader on Syria, Obama Least – Poll

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(RIA Novosti – WASHINGTON, September 26, 2013) ­ Americans think Russian President Vladimir Putin was far and away the most effective world leader in dealing with the Syrian chemical weapons crisis, with US President Barack Obama trailing him in a distant second place, a new poll shows. Nearly half of 1,000 American adults polled ­

Risk of not implementing new development model the main risk for Russia – Ulyukayev

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Interfax – SOCHI, September 27, 2013) Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said the main risk for the Russian economy was the risk of not implementing a new economic development model. There are external and internal risks that can affect the rate of economic growth, he said. “But I think the major risk us the

Current History October Issue; Can Putin Keep His Grip on Power?

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2013 Subject: Re: Current History’s October issue From: Joshua Lustig [Managing Editor] <JoshuaLustig@currenthistory.com> Current History’s October 2013 issue, devoted to Russia and Eurasia, is available at www.currenthistory.com, in print, and via Kindle. It includes the following essays: Can Putin Keep His Grip on Power? by Daniel Treisman Moscow’s Soft Power Strategy,

World Bank: Russian Energy Strength is Economic Weakness

Oil Well file photo

(OilPrice.com – Daniel J. Graeber – September 26, 2013 – article also appeared at http://oilprice.com/Finance/the-Economy/World-Bank-Russian-Energy-Strength-is-Economic-Weakness.html; a version of the article also appeared in The Christian Science Monitor as “Is Russia’s economy running out of gas?” at http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2013/0926/Is-Russia-s-economy-running-out-of-gas) The head of the World Bank in Russia said Wednesday he was alarmed by the slowdown in the Russian

Putin chief of staff: 1993 constitution saves Russia’s ‘sovereignty and unity’

File Photo of Parliament Building Billowing Smoke in 1993

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 26, 2013) President Vladimir Putin’s chief of staff has credited Russia’s 1993 constitution with making it possible to “preserve the sovereignty and unity of Russia.” “The constitution has made it possible to preserve the sovereignty and unity of Russia. It has made it possible to step back from a very dangerous

TRANSCRIPT (continued): [Putin at] meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club (transcript concluded)

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(Kremlin.ru – Novgorod Region, September 19, 2013) [Complete transcript here http://eng.kremlin.ru/transcripts/6007] VLADIMIR PUTIN: And one more question for our American friend and colleague. What will the United States do about the budget deficit, the debt that has reached an incredible size? It is the largest debt in the United States’ post-war history. How will the

Moscow Ranks as Refreshingly Honest in ‘Lost Wallet’ Test

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 27, 2013) Russia might have an international reputation as a cauldron of stewing corruption, but people in Moscow appear to be more honest than their counterparts in Zurich and Lisbon. That was the finding of an experiment conducted by Reader’s Digest magazine that saw its reporters drop 192 wallets

Medvedev Bemoans Fear of ‘Incomprehensible,’ ‘Unpredictable’ Russia

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, September 27, 2013) ­ Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said that investors have an “irrational fear” of Russia, a country he described as “incomprehensible” and “sometimes unpredictable,” in a long opinion piece published Friday in a Russian newspaper. The article of over 3,000 words was titled “The Time of Simple

Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#176 :: Thursday 26 September 2013

Map of Russia

Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#176 :: 26 September 2013 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES.org) at The George Washington University‘s Elliott School of International Affairs JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php POLITICS 1. Moscow Times: Michael Pudaloff, My Eyewitness

Russia Pushes for Further Arctic Exploitation

Polar Bear on Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – September 26, 2013) It is impossible to stop Arctic exploitation, President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday, adding that Russia guaranteed that there would be no environmental catastrophe, since the most innovative technologies would be used. SALEKHARD, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District ­ The time for an industrial breakthrough has come

Floods in Sochi Cast Doubt on Olympic Infrastructure

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – September 26, 2013) A state of emergency has been declared in Sochi as water and mudslides have blocked the Olympic resort’s newly built main roads, just as International Olympic Committee inspectors arrived for their final assessment ahead of the upcoming Winter Olympic Games. Many local residents could

Kremlin Policies Increasingly at Odds with Values of Russians, Polls Suggest

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, September 26, 2013) The findings of the latest Levada Center survey show, Moscow commentator Sergey Chernyakhovsky says, that most Russians support the values of the left even as Moscow is pursuing policies of the right, a divergence that raises questions about the nature of the country’s political

Abkhazia, South Ossetia to be Surkov’s only responsibilities – Ivanov

Vladislav Surkov file photo

(Interfax – SALEKHARD, Russia, September 25, 2013) President Vladimir Putin’s chief of staff, Sergei Ivanov, has denied that Vladislav Surkov will have any other duties in his new capacity as a presidential aide than those relating to Russia’s economic relations with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. “I have answered this question a hundred times, but let

Navalny

Alexei Navalny file photo

From: “Michael Herzen” <mikeh@4herzen.net> Subject: Navalny Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2013 Re: JRL #145 of August 9, items 24 and 25: “ALEKSEI NAVALNY ­ AN EXAMINATION OF HIS TRIAL AND CONVICTION”, By Alexander Mercouris Surprised and dismayed that no one has commented on this “examination”, I will have to do so myself, though I am

RIA Novosti: Russian Experts Split On Iranian President’s Statements In New York

UN Building file photo

(RIA Novosti – September 25, 2013) Several Russian experts interviewed by state news agency RIA Novosti have said that they believe that the statements made by Iranian President Hasan Ruhani in New York that his country is ready to start effective talks on the nuclear programme, as well as his recognition of the Holocaust as

Science Reform Bill Passes Federation Council

Federation Council file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – September 26, 2013) The Federation Council on Wednesday approved a controversial bill to reform the Russian Academy of Sciences, paving the way for it to be signed into law by President Vladimir Putin, as opponents of the bill protested against it outside the upper house of parliament.

Russian volunteerism: An uphill battle

File Photo of Russian Volunteer Effort, With Group of People Outdoors with Boxes

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – September 26, 2013) When a devastating flash flood killed 155 people in the southern Russian town of Krymsk in July 2012, it was a summons for journalist Dmitry Aleshkovsky, who joined hundreds of volunteers flocking to the area. When Aleshkovsky created the “Nuzhna Pomosh” (Need Help) project

TRANSCRIPT continued: [Putin at] Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club (partial transcript continued)

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(Kremlin.ru – Novgorod Region, September 19, 2013) TELEVISION PRESENTER KSENIYA SOBCHAK: Mr President, the first post-Soviet generation grew up during your time in power. This generation has shown that it is prepared to invest time in politics. We see that these people ­ largely urban university graduates, middle or high income ­ are willing to

How former Soviet countrymen resettle in Russia

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Lyudmila Nazdracheva, special to RBTH – September 26, 2013) This year, thanks to a program that facilitates the return of nationals to Russia, around 15,000 people have moved back to the country. The plans for the program estimated the influx of returning émigrés to be in the hundreds

Russia’s UN Delegation Walks Out During Saakashvili’s ‘Crazy’ Speech

UN Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Andrew McChesney September 26, 2013) [Video of speech here http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/russias-un-delegation-walks-out-during-saakashvilis-crazy-speech/486649.html] Outgoing Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili assailed Russia as “the last authoritarian empire in the world” during a speech to the UN General Assembly, and predicted that President Vladimir Putin would disappear from Russian politics, prompting the Russian delegation to walk

Bill Clinton Offers Rare US Praise for Putin

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(RIA Novosti – WASHINGTON, September 25, 2013) ­ Former President Bill Clinton offered some rare words of praise Wednesday from a US politician about Vladimir Putin, describing the Russian president as “very smart,” “brutally blunt” and true to his word. “Mr. Putin … he’s very smart,” Clinton said in an interview with CNN talk show

RIA Novosti: Russia Says Sarin Gas in August 21 Syria Attack Was ‘Homemade’

Syria Map

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, September 26, 2013) ­ Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with a US newspaper published Thursday that homemade sarin nerve agent was used in a chemical weapons attack in Damascus on August 21, an attack that the United States maintains was carried out by the Syrian regime. Lavrov

Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#175 :: Wednesday 25 September 2013

Map of Russia

Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#175 :: 25 September 2013 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 POLITICS 1. RIA Novosti: Most Russians Satisfied

Four Very Different Russias Moving in Four Very Different Directions, Zubarevich Says

Map of Russia

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, September 25, 2013) Russia cannot be understood as a single whole, according to Natalya Zubarevich, but only as four different Russias whose increasingly different situations are pushing them in four different directions, a pattern that is often obscured by the use of data sets for the country

United Russia Lawmaker Backs Amnesty for Bolotnoye Suspects

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov – September 25, 2013) A key United Russia lawmaker said Tuesday that he supported granting amnesty to suspects in the high-profile Bolotnoye case, echoing recent comments by President Vladimir Putin. Speculation about a possible amnesty for suspects in the case has grown since Putin said at the Valdai

95% Russian natives returning to Russia are from CIS countries – Federal Migration Service

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 24, 2013) Over 18,000 applications of those wishing to move back to Russia within the framework of the state program to assist the voluntarily return of Russian natives from abroad were submitted in 2013. “Over 18,000 applications were taken this year. An analysis of the applications shows that the majority of

Denying Putin Wedding, Peskov Says Leave the President Alone

Alina Kabaeva file photo, seated and posturing during gymnatics routine

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Andrew McChesney – September 25, 2013) People should focus on Vladimir Putin’s work as president and avoid prying into his personal life ­ not that he has one because he is so busy with his Kremlin duties, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. Peskov, who made the appeal in a far-ranging

Navalny and the Moscow Mayoral Election – new issue of Russian Analytical Digest

Alexei Navalny file photo

Subject: No. 136: Navalny and the Moscow Mayoral Election Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2013 From: “Russian Analytical Digest (RAD)” <newslist@isn.ch> RUSSIAN ANALYTICAL DIGEST Newsletter 16 September 2013/No. 136 NAVALNY AND THE MOSCOW MAYORAL ELECTION To download this issue please click here: http://www.css.ethz.ch/policy_consultancy/products_INT/DetailansichtPubDB_EN?rec_id=2712 Analyses Navalny’s Campaign to be Moscow Mayor, by Robert W. Orttung, Washington Re-Setting

New Issue of Konstitutsionny Vestnik on the the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution

File Photo of Parliament Building Billowing Smoke in 1993

From: “Alexander Domrin” <adomrin@rumyantsevconsulting.ru> Subject: new issue of  Konstitutsionny Vestnik on the the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2013 Dear David ­ I am pleased to tell you and JRL readers that a new Konstitutsionny Vestnik issue of  can be downloaded from the web site of the Russian Foundation for

Russia’s new regulatory overlord

Russian Central Bank file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – September 25, 2013) Russia leapt 10 places in the latest “Economic Freedom of the World” report, released in September by Canada’s Fraser Institute, to 101st place largely thanks to its financial reforms. The US fell 13 spots, largely because of its financial mess. The

Soggy September Breaks 130-Year-Old Rainfall Record

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 25, 2013) Moscow residents may not have gotten the typical “Indian summer” this September, but they were able to get an idea of what life is like in a rainforest, just not the tropical variety. As of Tuesday, about 174 millimeters of rain had fallen on Moscow, which is

Interfax: Ombudsman Lukin hopes Greenpeace activists detained in Russia will not be too severely punished

Vladimir Lukin file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW. September 24, 2013) Russia’s human rights commissioner Vladimir Lukin said he expected that the Russian authorities would not punish the activists of the Greenpeace environmental organization too severely for their protest rally against oil extraction in the Pechora Sea. “I hope that our authorities will realize that they nevertheless had admirable and

World Bank Cuts Russian Economic Growth Forecasts, Urges Reform

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, September 25, 2013) ­ The World Bank cut its 2013 growth forecast for the Russian economy in a new report published Wednesday, asserting that domestic consumers had followed investors in “sitting on the fence” over the economy and warning that structural reforms would be necessary to stimulate new growth. Russia’s economy

Capital outflow putting pressure on ruble, forcing forecast revisions

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 25, 2013) The growing capital outflow from Russia is putting pressure on the ruble, the Economic Development Ministry said in an economic forecast for 2014-2016 published on Tuesday. “The increase in private capital outflow in 2013 from $30 billion to $70 billion, according to the forecast, was an important factor in

Russia aiming for 20 percent of world LNG market by 2030

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

(Interfax – September 25, 2013) The Russian government plans to actively promote production of hydrocarbons and the development of LNG projects, and the country aims to have a 20 percent share of the world liquefied natural gas (LNG) market by 2030, Deputy Energy Minister Kirill Molodtsov said at the Sakhalin Oil and Gas 2013 conference.

Syrian crisis: between unilateralism and collective effort

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexander Yakovenko, special to RBTH – September 24, 2013) Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, talks on Syria. It is widely agreed that the latest proposal to put Syrian chemical weapons under international control and subsequently destroy them has drastically changed the terms of debate on

RIA Novosti: ‘Gas War’ With Russia Impossible Now – Ukrainian FM

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(RIA Novosti – KIEV, September 25, 2013) ­ Diversification of natural gas supplies by Ukraine and Europe made “gas wars” with Russia impossible, the Ukrainian foreign minister said on Tuesday. Russia and Ukraine have long fought over natural gas deliveries, jeopardizing supplies to Europe, a major Russian gas buyer. In the row at the start

Saakashvili intends to train winemakers, new political elite of Georgia

Mikheil Saakashvili file photo

(Interfax – TBILISI, September 24, 2013) U.S. President Barack Obama gave a positive assessment of the activities of his Georgian counterpart Mikheil Saakashvili, the Georgian president’s administration said. Saakashvili leaves a reformed and democratic society, the administration quoted Obama as saying during a meeting with the Georgian president in New York in a video of

Wealthy Russians Hear London Calling and Answer

File Photo of British Parliament Building Including Saint Stephen's Tower Containing Big Ben

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Des Brown – September 25, 2013) “Meet the Russians,” a reality entertainment show produced by Fox TV, will start broadcasting in Britain on Sept. 25. It estimates there are 300,000 Russians now resident in London, and it intends to look at a cross section of the most flamboyant ones. “Prepare

RIA Novosti : Most Russians Satisfied With September Polls, Say Results Fair

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, September 25, 2013) ­ Nearly half of Russians believe that the recent regional elections were fair and are pleased with the results, the state-run Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) said. About 7,000 elections of various types, in which over 40 million of Russians were entitled to vote, were held across

RIA Novosti: Moscow Suspects Syrian Rebels of Holding CW Components

Syria Map

(RIA Novosti – NEW YORK, September 25, 2013) ­ Russia insists that all chemical weapons in Syria, including chemical arms components possibly held by Syrian opposition forces, should be destroyed, the Russian foreign minister said. Speaking after a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in New York early on Wednesday, Moscow time, Russian

Saudi Arabia ‘a root’ of Syrian crisis – Russian expert

Saudia Arabia Map and Flag

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 24, 2013) Russian Public Chamber member Sergei Markov said the world community must forge a mechanism for dealing with situations similar to the one in Syria. “One should make use of the energy of this crisis and work out a model of dealing with such conflicts,” Markov told the Open Rostrum

Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#174 :: Tuesday 24 September 2013

Map of Russia

Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#174 :: 24 September 2013 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 POLITICS 1. Moscow Times: Alexei Pankin, Yeltsin’s

Russia, U.S. have a lot in common in children’s rights protection issues – Astakhov

Pavel Astakhov file photo

(Interfax – KHANTY-MANSIYSK. September 23, 2013) Russia and the U.S. are running into similar problems with the protection of the rights of children left without parental care, Russian presidential children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said. “The number of adopted children and the number of children living in foster families is about the same in Russia

Drawing the Syrian poison

Syria Map

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yevgeny Shestakov, special to RBTH; Yevgeny Shestakov is Editor of the international politics desk at Rossiyskaya Gazeta. – September 23, 2013) Reporting from last week’s Valdai Club meeting as part of Foreign Minister Lavrov’s press retinue, Yevgeny Shestakov canvasses expert Russian opinion ­ both on and off the

Kremlin aide: there may be ‘some pretext’ for war on Assad if chemical arms scrapped

Sergei Ivanov file photo

(Interfax – VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, September 23, 2013) Syria may still be in danger of a military strike from abroad if it fulfills its commitment to scrap all its chemical weapons because there may be “some other pretext” for war, the Kremlin’s top aide said. Sergei Ivanov, president Vladimir Putin’s chief of staff, said in a

Interfax: Arab peoples may not be able to adapt European democracy model – Kremlin [Sergei Ivanov]

Sergei Ivanov file photo

(Interfax – STOCKHOLM, September 23, 2013) Sergei Ivanov, the head of the Russian presidential administration, believes the Arab peoples may not be able to adapt the European model of democracy quickly. “Yes, we support the Arab people’s ambitions for changes, for a better, calmer life. However, we understand very well that they will not be

Switch to our mobile site