Interfax: U.S. to deploy bases in Ukraine after peacekeeping mission – Russian Deputy Defense Minister

Aerial Photo of Pentagon and Environs

(Interfax – April 30, 2015) Over 400 U.S. military sites have been deployed in countries surrounding Russia, and the Pentagon will open its bases in Ukraine if American peacekeepers are sent there, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov has said. “I agree. No matter where the Americans go, bases are built there,” Antonov said in an interview published by the […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2015-#86 table of contents with links :: Johnson’s Russia List – Thursday, April 30, 2015

Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#86 :: Thursday 30 April 2015 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) 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 RUSSIA 1. Russia Beyond the Headlines: Moving to the rhythm: Russia’s growing love affair with dance. 2. Euromaidan Press: Paul Goble, Putin’s […]

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NEWSLINK: World Bank: Reforms are the Best Antidote to Exogenous Shocks Confronting Ukraine, Says World Bank

World Bank Building

Despite decisive measures in 2014 to stabilize the economy and jumpstart growth, Ukraine’s economic woes worsened mainly due to the conflict in the east. In its new Ukraine Macroeconomic Update, the World Bank projects real GDP to fall by 7.5 percent in 2015, down from 6.8 percent in 2014. This lower forecast is mainly driven by the ongoing conflict that […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: Russia’s Beloved Borscht Reveals Reality of Inflation. Retired Siberian journalist tracks ingredients to document the country’s soaring food prices

Red Cabbage and Green Cabbages, adapted from image at pnnl.org

Russia had its most severe year-over-year monthly inflation in 13 years in March, the result of a plunge in crude oil prices, a devalued ruble and the Kremlin’s ban on an array of Western food imports imposed in retaliation for sanctions over Ukraine. Overall, inflation climbed to 16.9% compared with a year earlier, according to the state statistics service, pinching […]

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NEWSLINK AP: US now sees Russia directing Ukraine’s rebels

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

The United States now sees the Ukrainian rebels as a Russian force. American officials briefed on intelligence from the region say Russia has significantly deepened its command and control of the militants in eastern Ukraine in recent months, leading the U.S. to quietly introduce a new term: “combined Russian-separatist forces.” The State Department used the expression three times in a […]

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Russia’s Media Offensive Seen by the West as Real Threat

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – April 30, 2015) Western governments and institutions are scrambling to devise a commensurate response to Russia’s state-run media offensive, analysts told The Moscow Times on Wednesday amid a wave of reports of Western governments seeking to beef up their own media capabilities. When the Russian authorities moved to establish in 2005 the international […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Dutch Foreign Minister Reports Progress in Inquiry Into Downing of Malaysian Jetliner

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

NATO officials have said Russian-backed Ukrainian insurgents firing a Russian-made missile were responsible for downing the jetliner on July 17. Russia has blamed Ukrainian forces and denied responsibility in the disaster, which caused shock around the world and played a role in the worsening of relations between Russia and the West over the past year. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/29/world/europe/progress-reported-in-malaysian-plane-shootdown-inquiry.html

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2015-#85 table of contents with links :: Johnson’s Russia List – Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#85 :: Wednesday 29 April 2015 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) 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 RUSSIA 1. Newsweek.com: Alexander Motyl, Is Vladimir Putin a Fascist? 2. www.rt.com: Putin pledges state support for independent mass media. 3. Kremlin.ru: […]

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SENATE HEARING: Russia, Ukraine, and U.S. Policy – Prepared statement by Stephen Sestanovich

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

Senate Committee on Armed Service April 28, 2015 Russia, Ukraine, and U.S. Policy Prepared statement by Stephen Sestanovich George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies Council on Foreign Relations Kathryn and Shelby Collum Davis Professor of International Diplomacy School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University Chairman McCain, Senator Reed, members of the Armed Services Committee: Thank […]

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Persecuted Russian Lawyer Finds New Ways Around Foreign Agents Label

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Sergey Chernov – April 29, 2015) The life of St. Petersburg human rights lawyer Ivan Pavlov has changed dramatically in the last 12 months. After his American wife was deported as a “threat to national security” in August, the family moved to Prague, but Pavlov returns regularly to lead high-profile cases and manage a group […]

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A Vicious Circle: The More Aggressive Putin Is, the More Russians Love Him

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 29, 2015) Russian polls, admittedly not the most reliable source, suggest that the more aggressive Vladimir Putin is, the more Russians love and support him regardless of the immediate impact of his policies on their lives, a vicious circle that history suggests could lead to a disaster especially given Moscow’s possession […]

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NEWSLINK STRATFOR: Russia’s Scare Tactics in Ukraine

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Minor clashes continue along the conflict line in Ukraine, but behind the front lines U.S. and Russian officials are waging a war of words. Russia and the United States have each accused the other of threatening to undo the ceasefire, while in reality both the Russian and Ukrainian sides are largely respecting the cease-fire terms of the Minsk agreement. Russian military movements […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: Russian Assets Regain Appeal for Investors. The country’s ruble, sovereign bonds, and stocks attract those seeking higher yields

Investors have taken Russia out of the penalty box. The ruble has gained 17.5% in 2015 against the U.S. dollar, after losing nearly half of its value in 2014, according to financial-data provider CQG. It has soared 46% from an intraday record low set in December. Russia’s stock index denominated in the ruble has soared 20% this year through Monday, […]

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NEWSLINK Forbes: New Data Shows Russia’s Demography Is Rapidly Deteriorating

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

Sometimes labeled “the dying bear” or “the dying nation,” Russia has caught a lot of flack for its demographic problems. No demography isn’t the most popular topic in the world, it’s unfortunately quite a niche topic, but to the extent that anyone hears anything about Russia demography in the popular press they hear a tale of unmitigated calamity and woe.

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NEWSLINK Forbes: The Beginning Of The End For Putin? Real Reform Begins To Take Hold In Ukraine

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

In just over a year, Ukraine has seen a political revolution, two elections (one presidential, one parliamentary), an economic collapse and a Russian invasion resulting in a “hybrid war” that has ravaged the country.  Its new western-leaning government has struggled to maintain sovereignty as well as stability.

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NEWSLINK The National Interest: ISIS on the Move: Russia’s Deadly Islamist Problem

Caucasus Map of Chechnya and Caucasus Environs

Killings of leaders of the ongoing insurgency in Russia’s North Caucasus no longer make front page news in either Moscow or foreign capitals, and the recent violent death of Emirate Caucasus’ emirAliskhab Kebekov is no exception. But regardless of whether such deadly news is buried in the inside pages or not, the North Caucasus insurgency, whose representatives not only regularly […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2015-#84 table of contents with links :: Johnson’s Russia List – Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#84 :: Tuesday 28 April 2015 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) 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 1. Reuters: Russians seethe over Western snub of war anniversary parade. 2. Eurasianet.es: “Ukraine’s European discourse does not correspond to reality”: Interview with […]

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Putin gives the world his geography lesson: ‘All the former USSR is Russia’

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – April 28, 2015) The 150-minute film “The President” about Vladimir Putin is mostly boring and predictable in that it insists that “without Vladimir Vladimirovich nothing in the country will work,” Kseniya Kirillova notes. But she points out that there are three “lessons” contained in the film that must not be ignored. First, she argues, […]

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New website offers three centuries’ worth of historical statistics on Russia

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Interfax – April 27, 2015) A new electronic archive has been launched, making it possible to trace the social and economic development of Russia’s regions over the past three centuries. The Electronic Repository for Russian Historical Statistics [https://ristat.org/] was proposed and created by Gijs Kessler from the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam and Andrei Markevich from the New […]

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Business New Europe: Can Russian markets sustain the strong rally?

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Chris Weafer of Macro Advisory – April 27, 2015) Russia’s equity indices (especially those denominated in US dollars), debt prices and the ruble have all surged strongly since the start of the year as investors became much more optimistic that the sell-off in 2014 was excessive and the risk premium depended too much on […]

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Why Foreign Investment in Russia’s Regions is Falling

Russia Regions Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anastasia Bazenkova – April 28, 2015) Ninety-five percent of Russian regions are unattractive to foreign investors, a study released last week in Moscow found, in a sign that investment is likely to remain sluggish after Russia emerges from a deep recession. Only a few regions are managing to create favorable investment conditions for foreigners, according […]

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Open economy should be created in Russia – Putin

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

ST. PETERSBURG. April 28 (Interfax) – Raising private investment for different economic sectors, including the defense industry, is one of the key paths for the development of the Russian economy in general, President Vladimir Putin has said. “Raising private investment is one of the general paths of economic development as a whole. It is one of the main points that […]

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Interfax: Increasingly difficult for Kyiv to explain its problems by ‘Russian threat’ – Senator Kosachyov

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

MOSCOW. April 28 (Interfax) – The chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Konstantin Kosachyov, believes that the latest Ukraine-EU summit had a ‘sobering-up’ effect on Kyiv. “At the Ukraine-EU summit, Brussels focused on things that sobered Kyiv up – the pace and scope of constitutional and other reforms in Ukraine, the fight against corruption, the restructuring of […]

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Support the JRL

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

HOW TO SUPPORT JOHNSON’S RUSSIA LIST Donate online directly by going to The George Washington University’s JRL Donation Page. Recent message from David Johnson to JRL subscribers: Dear JRL recipient, If you receive Johnson’s Russia List you should support it. $50 is the normal annual contribution. Business-users should pay more. A minimum contribution of $25 is suggested. HOW TO SUPPORT […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2015-#83 table of contents with links :: Johnson’s Russia List – Monday PM, April 27, 2015

Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#83 :: Monday PM 27 April 2015 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) 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 UKRAINE 1. Moscow Times: Matthew Kupfer, De-Communization Won’t Help Ukraine. 2. Interfax: Poroshenko calls on EU leaders to give Ukraine prospect […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2015-#82 table of contents with links :: Johnson’s Russia List – Monday AM, April 27, 2015

Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#82 :: Monday 27 April 2015 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) 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 RUSSIA 1. Interfax: Putin confesses he expected radical upturn in relations with West after fall of the Communist regime. 2. Interfax: Putin […]

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No Non-Military Solution to Russian-Ukrainian War Possible, Illarionov Says

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 27, 2015) Yesterday, Yuri Lutsenko, the leader of the Poroshenko Bloc in the Verkhova Rada, said that the probability of the renewal of military actions in eastern Ukraine was “more than 80 percent,” a statement that underscores analyst Andrey Illarionov’s argument in Tallinn that “there is no non-military solution” for the […]

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EU-Ukraine free trade talks with Russia likely to go nowhere

EU Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – TRADE BLOG: Iana Dreyer in Brussels – April 27, 2015) The likelihood of trilateral talks involving Ukraine, the EU and Russia over Ukraine’s implementation of the deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA) embedded in its Association Agreement with the EU – the deal that triggered the Ukraine crisis – is low. The continuing […]

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Poroshenko calls on EU leaders to give Ukraine prospect of EU membership

EU Map

KYIV. April 27 (Interfax) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has called on the European Union to give Ukraine the prospect of EU membership. “I am calling on the EU to admit that Ukraine, like any other European state that respects and is ready to defend common values, can become an EU member in the future, supporting ambitions for European integration […]

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Ukraine’s President Says Martial Law Ready If Troops Attacked

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – April 24, 2015) President Petro Poroshenko said he’s ready to place Ukraine under martial law if his army is attacked in the embattled eastern part of the country. “If Ukrainian troops are attacked, we can do everything to introduce martial law,” Poroshenko said in an interview with the Ukraina television channel on Friday. “I will submit […]

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Europe’s historic lack of economic engagement with Russia

Europe Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – COMMENT: Ousmène Mandeng in London – April 27, 2015) The alienation felt between the EU and Russia has seemingly deepened to a post-Soviet Union low. This may in large part be due to the fact that Europe has never fully engaged with Russia economically in the first place. At the third “East Forum Berlin” held on April […]

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From Igor Rotar (a Russian journalist)

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Subject: From Igor Rotar (a Russian journalist) Date: Fri, 24 Apr 2015 13:46:00 -0700 From: Igor Rotar <igorotar@gmail.com> Dear colleagues, My name is Igor Rotar. I am a veteran journalist and researcher who recently received a “green card” in the USA and currently lives in San Diego. I am the author of three books about ethnic conflicts in the Soviet […]

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Putin sees growth of wages outrunning labor productivity as one of causes of economic crisis

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

ST. PETERSBURG. April 27 (Interfax) – The causes of the crisis in the Russian economy are not only external, but also internal, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “As to overcoming the crisis in the Russian economy, we need to understand the causes to decide what to do […] There are, of course, external causes, but they are primarily internal,” Putin […]

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Russian Cabbage Prices Triple as Much-Loved Staple Falls Victim to Inflation

Red Cabbage and Green Cabbages, adapted from image at pnnl.org

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – April 27, 2015) The cost of a cabbage in Russia has almost tripled in less than six months. The Russian staple – and a key ingredient in traditional dishes such as the famous shchi soup – leads the field among foods suffering from inflation because of huge ruble devaluation in 2014 and […]

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Russia-Focused Funds Get Most Investment in 8 Months

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 27, 2015) Investment funds focused on Russia saw their largest weekly influx of cash since September last week, showing that international investors are now returning to Russia after last year’s torrential capital outflows, the Kommersant newspaper reported Friday. Funds concentrating on Russia gained $182 million in investment in the week ending April 22, more […]

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Putin didn’t see partners for dialogue among opposition campaigners in December 2011 – Kudrin

Alexei Kudrin file photo

VLADIVOSTOK. April 26 (Interfax) – Vladimir Putin did not see partners for dialogue among opposition activists who organized rallies “For Fair Elections” in December 2011, said ex-finance minister and leader of the Civil Initiatives Committee Alexei Kudrin. “I talked with him, at length. And I said that I would probably go to the rally on Sakharov Avenue. I won’t speak […]

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More Russians Believe Sanctions Will Result in Economic Crisis, Poll Shows

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – April 27, 2015) Six out of 10 Russians believe that Western sanctions against their country over the crisis in Ukraine could lead to financial upheavals, while the number of those who think a crisis can be avoided has shrunk to 31 percent from 55 percent a year earlier, according to a recent […]

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NEWSLINK: Putin Accuses U.S. of Supporting Separatists in Russia’s North Caucasus

Caucasus Map of Chechnya and Caucasus Environs

Intercepted calls showed that the United States helped separatists in Russia’s North Caucasus in the 2000s, President Vladimir Putin claimed in a new documentary in which he underscored his suspicions of the West.

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Putin confesses he expected radical upturn in relations with West after fall of the Communist regime

File Photo of G7 Leaders and other Officials Around Round Table at the Hague, with Flags

(Interfax – April 26, 2015) There was no point in counting on radical changes in the West’s attitude to Russia after the fall of the Communist regime, as each country has its own geopolitical interests not linked to ideology, President Vladimir Putin said in a documentary, titled “President,” released by the Russia 1 television channel. “All of us had illusions. […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: From Putin, a New Tune on Ukraine?

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Vladimir Putin’s annual call-in show is not where I usually look for important statements of Russian policy. Most of the four-hour event is devoted to semi-comical political pandering (Mr. Putin presenting himself as the friend of struggling dairy farmers, for example). Still, last week’s extravaganza contained unmistakable hints of a new line on Ukraine. To cope with Russian policy in […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2015-#81 table of contents with links :: Johnson’s Russia List – Friday, April 24, 2015

Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#81 :: Friday 24 April 2015 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) 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 RUSSIA 1. Russian Foreign Ministry: http://www.mid.ru/bdomp//brp_4.nsf/english/0BCA9A90832725FC43257E3000210820    

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NEWSLINK The Atlantic: How the Media Became One of Putin’s Most Powerful Weapons

After decades of wielding Soviet-style hard power, Russia is developing a subtler form of influence. … From his first days as president, Putin moved quickly to dominate the media landscape in Russia, putting not only state media but privately owned broadcast media under the Kremlin’s influence.

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Champagne Tastes On Beer Incomes: Tax Declarations In Ukraine Suggest Enduring Corruption

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Katya Gorchinskaya – KYIV, April 21, 2015) Yulia Tymoshenko didn’t have much of an income in 2014. The former Ukrainian prime minister spent part of the year in prison, part of it rehabilitating in the hospital, and much of it in back-to-back campaigns for president and parliament. But nevertheless, she managed to buy a luxury car, […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2015-#80 table of contents with links :: Johnson’s Russia List – Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#80 :: Wednesday 22 April 2015 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) 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 RUSSIA 1. Business New Europe: Russia faces ‘new reality’ as it counts cost of Ukraine crisis, says Medvedev. 2. Government.ru: Government report on […]

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Agriculture eases Ukraine’s economic pain

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Sergei Kuznetsov in Kyiv – April 22, 2015) While Ukraine’s steel, heavy engineering and power sectors have been crippled by the war in the east and the economic crisis, agriculture has become the country’s leading source of export revenue and the only sector putting in a positive performance. Even so, farmers are facing difficulties […]

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Miners break through security cordons near Ukrainian Presidential Administration building

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

KYIV. April 22 (Interfax) – Over a thousand miners who approached the Presidential Administration edifice on Wednesday morning to deliver their demands have broken through security cordons on Bankova Street in downtown Kyiv and came close to the building. The protesters are pounding their helmets against the ground and shouting. They have not expressed their demands but their behavior is […]

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NEWSLINK Deutsche Welle: High-profile killings in Ukraine sow hatred

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

The murder of a pro-Russian opposition politician and a journalist in Kyiv threaten to further divide Ukraine. While many are pointing the finger at Moscow, others are blaming the government for not doing enough.

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