RIA Novosti: US Envoy Candidate Urges Russia-U.S. Cooperation on Ukraine

Steven Pifer File Photo

WASHINGTON, February 28 (RIA Novosti) – A veteran US diplomat linked with a possible ambassadorial posting to Moscow has said the United States and Russia must refrain from adopting confrontational positions on Ukraine and should instead cooperate on assisting the country achieve stability. Steven Pifer, who served as US Ambassador to Ukraine for two years up until 2000, was named […]

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Dvorkovich Sees 4% Economic Growth Next Year

Arkady Dvorkovich file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 28, 2014) Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich on Friday said the country’s economy could accelerate to a growth rate of 4 percent next year, in stark contrast to the dour expectations of the Economic Development Ministry. The ministry sees the Russian economy struggling to rise above 3 percent growth for the next two decades. […]

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Sochi Visitors Cherish Olympic Memories

Sochi 2014

(Moscow Times – moscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – SOCHI, February 28, 2014)  For perhaps the first time since the Olympic Park project was conceived and the first stones were laid in 2007, the hub of sports facilities and venues on the Black Sea coast in Sochi looked deserted. What was once occupied by phalanxes of excavators, road rollers and trucks […]

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Kremlin Uncertain How to Connect with Rising Generation, Sociologist Says

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 27, 2014) Kremlin strategists now recognize that the themes of stability and modernization will not allow them to connect with the rising generation in Russia as such ideas did in the last election with slightly older people, but they have not yet figured out what themes they will try to use, […]

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Maslenitsa Weekend in Moscow

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Katerina Azarova – February 28, 2014) Sunshine and pancakes: If you ask me, it doesn’t get any better than that. That’s what Moscow is all about this week, because it’s Maslenitsa time! The delicious, gluttonous week of sweet and savory pancakes before Lent is finally upon us, and you should definitely take advantage of all […]

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Will Ukraine’s hotheads trigger a new cold war?

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Fyodor Lukyanov, special to RBTH – February 26, 2014) Fyodor Lukyanov is Chairman of the Council for Foreign and Defence Policies and Editor in Chief of the journal Russia in Global Affairs. Like 10 years ago following the “Orange Revolution”, there’s been a dramatic shift in power in Ukraine and a formerly stable […]

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New Ukraine Government Has White House’s Support, U.S. Vice President Says

File Photo of Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in front of U.S. Flag and Russian Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – February 28, 2014) U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has told new Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk in a telephone conversation that the interim government in Kiev has Washington’s full support. The White House said in a statement that Biden congratulated Yatsenyuk on his appointment on Thursday and said that the U.S. will […]

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Russia Criticized in U.S. Human Rights Report

Department of State Signage and Headquarters Building File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 28, 2014) Russia’s anti-gay laws and attempts by the ousted Ukrainian president to quash opposition protests were among the world’s most grievous human rights violations to emerge over the past year, the U.S. State Department said in its annual report. The review of 200 countries and territories around the globe said a chemical attack […]

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IMF’s History With Ukrainian Leaders May Cloud Aid Negotiations

Maidan Square file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Sandrine Rastello and Terry Atlas – February 28, 2014) The International Monetary Fund has extensive experience lending to Ukraine in recent years. It’s not a track record favoring the country as it seeks aid to stave off default. Twice since 2008, the IMF froze loans to the former Soviet republic after governments at the time balked […]

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Russians Increasingly Nostalgic for Soviet System, Poll Finds

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 27, 2014) An increasing share of Russians say they are nostalgic for the Soviet system with the number indicating that they support for democracy and free markets or the political system they now live under has fallen in recent years, according to the results of a new poll by the Levada […]

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Russia waiting for U.S. investors

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Igor Dunayevsky, special to RBTH – February 27, 2014) Russian Minister of Economic Development Alexey Ulyukayev on Russia’s plans to attract U.S. investors and boost mutual trade. Russian Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev paid a visit to the Washington, DC on Feb. 24-26 to discuss possibilities for increased bilateral trade and investment […]

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How to succeed after McFaul

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexander Gasyuk, special to RBTH – February 26, 2014) Foreign policy experts and former foreign service officers weigh in on what’s needed in the next U.S. ambassador to Russia. Spaso House, the neoclassical villa that is the longtime home of American ambassadors to Russia, awaits a new occupant to warm the frosty bilateral […]

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Interfax: Nearly half of Russians believe riots in Ukraine influenced by West – poll

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Interfax – February 27, 2014) Most Russians are following the events in Ukraine, and nearly half of them are sure that the recent protests in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities have been influenced by the West, as is seen from a public opinion poll of 1,603 people the Levada Center sociological service conducted in 130 populated areas of 45 regions […]

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McFaul Leaves U.S. Ambassador Post Amid Ukraine Turmoil

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – February 27, 2014) Michael McFaul officially relinquished his position as U.S. ambassador to Russia on Wednesday morning, leaving one of the U.S.’ most vital diplomatic posts empty amid political upheaval in neighboring Ukraine. McFaul, known for his active presence on Twitter, wrote goodbyes to Russian users of the microblogging service throughout the […]

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Paper trail leads to massive corruption at heart of Ukraine

Maidan Square file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Kyiv – February 27, 2014) [Graphics here http://www.bne.eu/storyf5807/Paper_trail_leads_to_massive_ corruption_at_heart_of_Ukraine] With former president Viktor Yanukoych and most of his cronies on the run, the full extent to which they have looted Ukraine is now coming to light as activists and journalists sift through documents abandoned in the haste of flight. Document scraps […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Russian military drills “unrelated” to Ukraine events

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – February 27, 2014) The surprise combat inspection of the country’s western and central military command will involve all wings of the Russian armed forces with over 150,000 personnel taking part. Although not connected to the drills, the developments in Crimea are being closely monitored by the Russian Defence Ministry. On Wednesday, February 26 […]

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Investigative Committee to Crack Down on Corruption During Coming Privatization

Empty Boardroom

(RIA Novosti – February 27, 2014) The head of the powerful Investigative Committee said Thursday that preventing corruption during a planned privatization of state assets will be a top priority for his agency this year. The government recently announced plans for an ambitious three-year program running up to 2016 to privatize a wide array of state property, from energy to […]

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Emerging middle class delays major purchases; lots of catchup left

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – February 27, 2014) [Charts here http://www.bne.eu/storyf5775/Emerging_middle_class_delays_major _purchases_lots_of_catchup_left] Winds of uncertainty are blowing again and many in emerging markets have put off big-ticket purchases as a result. However, a survey from Credit Suisse released in February found some of these markets have progressed and diverged to such an extent that […]

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Official sees sliding ruble adding $10 billion to Russian treasury

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(RIA Novosti – February 27, 2014) Steady weakening of the ruble will contribute to inflation, but may also boost revenues to the Russian treasury by $10 billion, a senior finance official has predicted, according to a report in a daily newspaper Thursday. Since the federal budget for 2014 assumed an exchange rate of 33 rubles to the dollar, a weaker […]

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Comment on Johnson’s Russia List #36/ Tennison & Ferguson [re: Post-Soviet Political Culture in Russia]

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

Subject: Comment on Johnson’s Russia List #36/Tennison&Ferguson Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2014 From: Al Weeks <Aweeks11@comcast.net> Two postings on JRL, one by Ms. Tennison, the other by Mr. Ferguson, raise some issues that in my opinion, neither writer coped with realistically. For her part, Sharon Tennison argues that post-1991 Russia has performed what she calls a “miracle” in its recovery […]

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RIA Novosti Employees Await Word on Fate of News Agency

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – February 27, 2014) Less than two weeks ahead of the deadline set by the Kremlin for the abolishment of major state-funded news agency RIA Novosti, its employees say they still lack details about what will happen to their jobs or when the company will cease its work. The wire service is set […]

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Johnson’s Russia List headlines :: 2014-#41 :: Thursday, 27 February 2014

St. Basil's file photo

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: 2014-#41 :: 27 February 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 […]

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UKRAINE ONLINE POLL: What would be Ukraine’s best course to follow?

Maidan Square file photo

[poll originally posted in late 2013] We would like to hear your opinion about unfolding events in Ukraine and welcome your participation in the following poll. Visitors can vote for up to three choices, and generally can vote once each day.  There also as an option to “fill in the blank.” After you have made your choice(s) and/or added a […]

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Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: 2014-#40 :: Wednesday, 26 February 2014

St. Basil's file photo

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: 2014-#40 :: 26 February 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 […]

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Ukraine Awaits Economic Impact of New Government’s Tension With Russia

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – February 26, 2014) As Russia ally and former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych fled and a new government took over in Kiev this weekend, Russia awoke to unpaid debts and a question: how to deal with its neighbor’s government not only politically, but economically. “The main channel of influence on the Russian economy […]

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Ukraine ready for full-fledged dialogue with Russia after new government is formed – ministry

Maidan Square file photo

KYIV. Feb 26 (Interfax) – Ukraine will be ready to resume a full-fledged bilateral dialogue in the Ukrainian-Russian Interstate Commission’s institutions as soon as the new Ukrainian government is formed, says a report posted on the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry website on Tuesday. “We reaffirm our loyalty to Ukrainian-Russian relations on a brand new, truly equal and neighborly basis, which has […]

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Riot Police in Lviv Beg People’s Forgiveness on Bended Knee

Map of Ukraine and Ukrainian Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – February 26, 2014) [Video here http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/riot-police-in-lviv-beg-peoples-forgiveness-on-bended-knee/495203.html] About 100 riot police officers in Lviv in western Ukraine got down on their knees on stage on Monday and asked the city’s residents to forgive them for their role in the attempts to suppress recent anti-government protests. The riot police, or Berkut, promised to take […]

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US ready to help Ukraine hold fair presidential elections in May – Burns

William Burns file photo adapted from state.gov image

KYIV. Feb 26 (Interfax) – U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns has said the United States is ready to cooperate with Ukraine on the road to holding free and fair presidential elections on May 25, 2014, the press service of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine has reported. He said that the United States looked forward to working with the […]

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All eyes on Russia’s Putin as Crimea tensions simmer

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Harriet Salem in Sevastopol – Feburary 26, 2014) Sixty years ago Sevastopol was part of Russia, and over the last few days this Crimean city perched on the edge of Black Sea has come to epitomise the angry divide between Ukraine’s pro-Europe west and pro-Russia south and east. The Crimean peninsula is the only […]

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Russia Urges Dialogue on Ukraine Amid Military Fears

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov and Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – February 26, 2014) As uncertainty about Ukraine’s future grew on Tuesday and fears of separatism in Crimea increased, President Vladimir Putin remained silent – fueling speculation about what Russia’s next move could be to recoup potential losses from the ouster of Kremlin-backed Viktor Yanukovych. While the European Union and […]

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Russia still views Yanukovych as legitimate Ukrainian president – Duma deputy

Viktor Yanukovych file photo

SIMFEROPOL. Feb 25 (Interfax) – Russia still considers Viktor Yanukovych the legitimate president of Ukraine, says Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the Russian State Duma committee for the CIS affairs, Eurasian integration, and links with compatriots. “We still view Viktor Yanukovych as the legitimate president of Ukraine. He did not sign the 2004 constitution; hence, we don’t have the 2004 […]

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Russia Says It Will Keep Out of Ukrainian Affairs

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

MOSCOW, February 25 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s top diplomat said Tuesday that Moscow will not interfere with affairs in Ukraine as the former Soviet nation scrambles to recover from the outcome of a street-based uprising that culminated in the overthrow of the president. The Kremlin has reacted with barely disguised anger to the ascent to power by political forces that […]

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Stability across Former Soviet Space ‘Deceptive,’ Moscow Paper Says

European Portion of Commonwealth of Independent States

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 26, 2014) Despite the fact that the Ukrainian revolution is far from over, many in Moscow are asking where the next such outburst of turmoil and change in the former Soviet space will happen, a question prompted by the fact that most Russians were “unprepared” for what happened in Kyiv, according […]

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Weak ruble could push Russian budget into surplus – report

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(RIA Novosti – February 25, 2014) A weakening ruble could boost Russia’s federal income by $28 billion this year, pushing the treasury into surplus, according to a report published Tuesday by Moscow’s Higher School of Economics. The ruble has fallen by more than 7.5 percent since the beginning of the year against the dollar-euro basket used by the Central Bank […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Interview to Channel One, Rossiya-1, NTV and RBC TV channels

Sochi 2014

(Kremlin.ru – February 25, 2014) Following the Sochi Olympics, Vladimir Putin answered questions from Channel One, Rossiya-1, NTV, and RBC TV journalists. IRADA ZEYNALOVA (CHANNEL ONE): Mr President, I would like to begin by congratulating you. The successful Olympic Games are being praised by everyone who was there: IOC members, athletes, guests and fans. Nearly everything went smoothly, without a […]

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Putin says Sochi criticism motivated by global politics

(RIA Novosti – February 25, 2014) Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has said in a television interview that he thinks criticism of the recently concluded Sochi Winter Games was motivated by rivalry in international politics. Many in Russia have bristled at perceived excess criticism of some aspects of preparations for the Olympics, from sometimes incomplete accommodation to the reportedly exorbitant cost […]

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Top Russian anti-corruption official nabbed in bribery case

Hands Opening Envelope Containing Cash

(RIA Novosti – February 25, 2014) A senior Russian anti-corruption police official has been detained over claims of bribery and abuse of office in a case the appears to highlight the challenges of fighting graft. Boris Kolesnikov, deputy head of the Interior Ministry’s directorate fighting corruption and economic crimes, was held for questioning Tuesday in connection with recent arrests in […]

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Russia’s Best Bet in Ukraine? Sitting on the Fence (for Now)

Maidan Square file photo

(RIA Novosti – Nabi Abdullaev – February 26, 2014) Nabi Abdullaev is the head of RIA Novosti’s Foreign-Language News Service. The views expressed in this column are the author’s alone. Since Ukraine exploded last week in a blaze of lethal violence and collapsed leadership, some ominous predictions have been circulating about Russia’s plans for its neighbor’s future. But military intervention […]

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Johnson’s Russia List daily links hub :: 2014-#39 :: Monday, 24 February 2014

St. Basil's file photo

Johnson’s Russia List :: 2014-#39 :: 24 February 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 POLITICS Russian Maidan, Ukraine 1. Paul Goble: Window on Eurasia: Russians Overwhelmingly […]

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Ukraine: The View From the West

Maidan Square file photo

(opendemocracy.net – David Marples – February 20, 2014) David Marples is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of History and Classics, University of Alberta, Canada. Author of 13 books, he is also President of the North American Association for Belarusian Studies. What is happening in Ukraine has provoked outrage and shock in the west. But do we really understand what […]

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Ukraine Ex-Ruling Party Moves to Opposition

Map of Ukraine and Ukrainian Flag

KIEV, February 24 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s former ruling Party of Regions, which had until recently held an overwhelming majority of seats in parliament, announced Monday that it will take up the role of the opposition. Faction leader Oleksandr Yefremov said at a meeting of party officials in the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, that the erstwhile opposition had enough power […]

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Klitschko, Tyahnibok favor lustration in Ukraine

Maidan Square file photo

KYIV. Feb 24 (Interfax) – Leader of the Udar party Vitaly Klitschko and leader of the Svoboda rightwing radical party Oleh Tyahnibok favor lustration in Ukraine. “The parliament should today solve the issue that Ukrainian people expect them to do: to restore justice and start lustration and reforms,” Klitschko said at a meeting of the conciliatory council in the Ukrainian […]

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Ukraine abolishes law on languages of minorities, including Russian

(Interfax – February 23, 2014) Ukraine’s Verkhovna has abolished the law on the foundations of the state language policy adopted on July 3, 2012, by 232 out of 334 votes. In July 2012 Verkhovna Rada passed the law initiated by the Party of Regions. In August Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed it into law and bound the Cabinet to set […]

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Russia: Don’t Trust Ukraine’s Opposition

Maidan Square file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – February 24, 2014)  Russian officials have warned that the political opposition that has taken power in Ukraine consists of “illegal extremist groups” that do not represent the majority of the Ukrainian people and called on opposition leaders to abide by an earlier reached agreement. In accordance with the European Union-mediated deal reached […]

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McFaul to leave Russia on Wednesday

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

(Interfax – February 24, 2014) U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul said on Twitter he is leaving Russia on Wednesday. McFaul earlier said he will leave his post after the Sochi Olympics. He reiterated that his dismissal from the post of U.S. ambassador to Russia was caused by family circumstances and is not connected to the state of U.S.-Russian relations.

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Ukraine’s revolution continues apace with interim president named

Maidan Square file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Harriet Salem and Graham Stack in Kyiv – February 24, 2014) Ukraine’s revolution is moving apace, with parliament naming its speaker Oleksandr Turchynov as acting president, following on key appointments with oversight of the interior ministry and other state security organisations, while the formerly governing Party of Regions is crumbling and in disarray. Worryingly, […]

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Economic Crime Afflicts Over Half of Russian Companies

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 24, 2014) More than 60 percent of Russian companies say that they have been victims of economic crimes like bribery, a report said. Worldwide, the incidence of fraud is much lower, with 37 percent of companies having come into contact with it, according to research by PricewaterhouseCoopers released late last week. The most common […]

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Interfax: Russian MP denies talk of separatism at congress in southeast Ukraine

Alexei Pushkov file photo

(Interfax – February 22, 2014) The south and east of Ukraine are not seeking to break away but they reject “political diktat” from “extremists” in Kiev, a senior Russian MP warned in reports on 22 February. Aleksey Pushkov, of the ruling One Russia party, chairs the State Duma’s international affairs committee. He was in Kharkiv to observe a congress of […]

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Interfax: Crimean authorities vow to prevent anarchy in autonomous republic

Map of Ukraine and Ukrainian Flag

KYIV. Feb 24 (Interfax) – The Crimean Council of Ministers is closely cooperating with the Ukrainian police, Security Council, and prosecutors in order to take urgent measures to prevent manifestations of extremism and anarchy, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea’s head of government Anatolii Mohyliov said on Sunday. “As the republic’s chief executive, I want to reassure you that the Crimean […]

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Economists and Officials Disagree On Recovery Forecasts

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – February 24, 2014) According to government predictions, state companies’ spending plans are likely to pull the economy out of stagnation toward the end of the year. Other economists, however, remain skeptical of these forecasts. Figures for January released last week did not give grounds for optimism, and recent news reports have said […]

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