RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#254 :: Thursday 31 December 2015

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#254 Thursday 31 December 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 The contents do not necessarily represent the views of IERES or the George Washington University. JRL homepage: russialist.org – JRL […]

» Read more

Ukraine’s media: a plea for pluralism

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

Ukraine’s media is caught between propaganda and counter-propaganda. We need to stop this black and white thinking. (opendemocracy.net – Igor Burdyga – December 29, 2015) Igor Burdyga began his career as a journalist with Interfax-Ukraine in 2007 before moving to Kommersant-Ukraine. Since the fall of 2013, he has worked as a special correspondent for Vesti.Reporter, reporting on EuroMaidan, the annexation […]

» Read more

RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#253 :: Wednesday 30 December 2015

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#253 Wednesday 30 December 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 The contents do not necessarily represent the views of IERES or the George Washington University. JRL homepage: russialist.org – JRL […]

» Read more

Russia May Be Close to a Revolution But Not the One Opposition Hopes For, Sociologist Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, December 28, 2015) Given the increasing pessimism among Russians because of declines in their standard of living, Russia may be approaching a revolutionary situation, according to Yekaterina Dobrenkova; but the revolution may not succeed or it may turn out to be very different than the one the opposition hopes for. Earlier this […]

» Read more

2015: The Year Putin Bounced Back

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

(RFE/RL – Carl Schreck – December 29, 2015) In December 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama fielded a question about Russia while addressing a group of American business leaders in Washington. President Vladimir Putin’s incursion into Ukraine and “backward-looking” policies, Obama said, are “isolating Russia completely internationally.” If it was Russian expansionism last year that triggered this isolation, it was Putin’s […]

» Read more

Twelve Things to Do on the 12 Days Of Christmas

Snowy Night on Red Square with Old St. Basil's Lit Up

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 28, 2015) 1. Have dinner on an ice-breaker yacht Take in the stunning Christmas lights of Moscow whilst meandering on the Moscow River on one of the new Radisson Hotel flotilla of ice breaking yachts that ply the water 365 days a year. You can dine in the on-board restaurant or simply just come […]

» Read more

2015 in review: Eight key events in Russian culture

Bolshoi Theater file photo

This year brought mixed fortunes for Russian culture, with successes in the realms of literature, art and ballet offset by the growing interference of the Orthodox Church in the cultural sphere. RBTH looks back at 8 important events in Russia’s cultural life in 2015 that had an international impact. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Oleg Krasnov – December […]

» Read more

Interax: Lavrov reveals the key Russian diplomacy task in 2015

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(Interfax – December 28, 2015) The main objective of Russia’s foreign policy in 2015 was to secure the country’s leading role in the fight against terrorism; the actions of the Russian aviation group in Syria helped clear the situation in this regard, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “The key objective of Russian diplomatic efforts was to secure the leading […]

» Read more

Eight Shades of Crisis – Russia’s Year of Economic Nightmares

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – December 26, 2015) [Charts here themoscowtimes.com/business/article/8-shades-of-crisis—russias-year-of-economic-nightmares/553703.html] Imagine Russia as a combustion engine. Oil and gas pumped from its vast territories wash through the economy as taxes, government spending and investment. Foreign currency from oil and gas sales is used to fund imported equipment and products on shop shelves. Cash from the energy […]

» Read more

Nemtsov murder case suspects to request jury trial – lawyer

Nemtsov March of Mourning

MOSCOW. Dec 29 (Interfax) – The suspects in the case opened into the murder of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov intend to ask for a jury trial, one of the lawyers has said. “Our position remains unchanged: Zaur Dadayev pleads not guilty. We will request a jury trial,” lawyer Shamshudin Tsakayev told Interfax on Tuesday. The indictment says that the […]

» Read more

Russians recall most important events of 2015

New Year's Eve on Red Square with Fireworks, Kremlin, Saint Basil's, Crowds

(Interfax – December 29, 2015) The terror attack perpetrated onboard the Russian Kogalymavia airline’s plane in Egypt (39 percent) and the Russian Sukhoi Su-24 bomber downed by Turkey (34 percent) have been called by Russians the most important events of 2015, the Levada Center told Interfax. Respondents also mentioned the Russian military operation in Syria (28 percent) and terror attacks […]

» Read more

RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#252 :: Tuesday 29 December 2015

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#252 Tuesday 29 December 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 The contents do not necessarily represent the views of IERES or the George Washington University. JRL homepage: russialist.org – JRL […]

» Read more

100 Million Fewer People Speak Russian Now than Did 25 Years Ago

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia Staunton, December 26, 2015) The number of people who speak Russian has declined by 100 million since 1989 or 27 percent, according to Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the Duma committee on compatriots and Eurasian integration. (In 1989, 370 million said they spoke Russian; now, 270 million do.) But instead of seeing this as […]

» Read more

Russia’s politics of paranoia

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

Russian society tries to keep its nerve. The Kremlin thrives on it, the papers amplify it-but nobody can quite control this profound paranoia. (opendemocracy.net – ANNA ARUTUNYAN – December 22, 2015) Anna Arutunyan is a Russian-American journalist and the author of The Putin Mystique. She is currently a fellow at the Kennan Institute in Washington. Russian society tries to keep […]

» Read more

This Russian Bear Is Hitting the Mall

After sweeping YouTube and Netflix, Masha and the Bear looks to licensing. (Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – By Ilya Khrennikov – December 17, 2015) The bear has long been a ferocious projection of Russia’s power at home and abroad. Lately, a Russian bear that’s more like a kindly uncle has been winning hearts from Baltimore to Berlin: the affable and patient […]

» Read more

RIA Novosti: Putin warns against moves to close Ukrainian library in Moscow

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

(RIA Novosti – December 25, 2015) Vladimir Putin has intervened in the case of the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow, whose director is in custody and facing charges of inciting hatred, RIA Novosti news agency reported on 25 December. Natalya Sharina was held on 28 October when the Investigations Committee carried out a search of the Library and found […]

» Read more

TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting of the Presidential Council for Culture and Art

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Kremlin.ru – December 25, 2015) Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Presidential Council for Culture and Art in the Kremlin. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues. This meeting is taking place ahead of the New Year, so I want to begin by wishing you a Happy New Year. Greetings to all of you! The year of 2015 […]

» Read more

Putin’s Pivot: Out of Ukraine, Into Syria

Kremlin and River

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – December 24, 2015) “How great is it that our nation is ruled by a man that we can be so proud of?” To be honest, this is a first in my life.” This was the praise given to President Vladimir Putin in the wake of his speech before the United Nations General […]

» Read more

TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Statement for the press following Russian-Indian talks

India map

(Kremlin.ru – December 24, 2015) President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, ladies and gentlemen, The first official visit to Moscow by India’s Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, is coming to an end. Our talks were very substantive and fruitful. I hope they would assist in promoting the privileged Russian-Indian strategic partnership. Yesterday Mr Modi and I had a […]

» Read more

RBTH: Ruble rollercoaster: How Russia was shortchanged in 2015

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

National currency lost half its value in the space of a year (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ANNA KUCHMA, RBTH – December 23, 2015) The ruble has lost half its value in a span of just over a year. Since November 2014, foreign exchange value has been unregulated by the Russian Central Bank. Experts are divided in their […]

» Read more

TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Government members

Putin Descending a Staircase

(Kremlin.ru – December 24, 2015) Vladimir Putin held the final meeting of 2015 with Government members. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Medvedev, colleagues, friends, I would like to begin by thanking the Russian Federation Government, its ministries and agencies and all your employees for the good work. In a frankly complicated situation, you have demonstrated a high level of […]

» Read more

TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Gala reception celebrating arrival of 2016

Putin at Desk

(Kremlin.ru – December 25, 2015) Vladimir Putin attended a gala reception at the Kremlin celebrating the arrival of 2016. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues, friends, It gives me great pleasure to welcome you and wish you a Happy 2016. There are signs of the approaching holiday everywhere, and it feels like there is no need to […]

» Read more

[Khodorkovsky:] Who is to blame for what happened to the Russian Constitution, and What do we do about it now?

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

(Institute for Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Mikhail Khodorkovsky – December 17, 2015) Mikhail Khodorkovsky, founder of the Open Russia movement, discusses why the Russian Constitution is “no more than a piece of paper-a sham symbol of federalism, freedom and democracy.” December 12, Russia’s Constitution Day, was marked by the detention of one of the Constitution’s authors for organizing a […]

» Read more

RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#251 :: Monday 28 December 2015

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#251 Monday 28 December 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 The contents do not necessarily represent the views of IERES or the George Washington University. JRL homepage: russialist.org – JRL […]

» Read more

RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#250 :: Thursday 24 December 2015

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#250 Thursday 24 December 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 The contents do not necessarily represent the views of IERES or the George Washington University. JRL homepage: russialist.org – JRL […]

» Read more

Russia’s Moving Targets

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Maxim Trudolyubov – December 15, 2015) Maxim Trudolyubov is a Senior Fellow at the Kennan Institute and the Editor-at-Large of Vedomosti, an independent Russian daily Measuring the success of Russia’s largest and most recent “cross-border” projects-Ukraine and Syria-is extremely difficult. What could be considered Russia’s ultimate goals there? We often assume that Russia has fixed, clearly […]

» Read more

The End Of Russia’s Mass Hallucination

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(RFE/RL – Brian Whitmore – December 23, 2015) Fresh barbed-wire fencing around the nation’s main TV tower isn’t exactly a sign of a confident regime. In addition to reinforcing its perimeter, Moscow’s state-run Ostankino television center also upgraded its security detail, replacing regular police officers with elite Interior Ministry forces. “These are normal security measures that are connected to the […]

» Read more

10 Laws Putin’s Foes Say Russia Needs To Scrap

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(RFE/RL – Claire Bigg – December 23, 2015) A group of prominent Russian dissidents has identified what it says are Russia’s 10 most harmful laws. Their project, “Sanatsia Prava,” or Sanitation Of The Law, calls for the abolition of legislation that they say causes extensive harm to Russian society. The project’s initiators include writer Grigory Chkhartishvili, better known under his […]

» Read more

NEWSWATCH Reuters: “Ukraine health system in danger of collapse as reforms stall”

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

Reuters covers concerns over health care in Ukraine. A reform drive launched by the Western-leaning government installed after a pro-Moscow president, Viktor Yanukovich, was overthrown in a popular uprising last year has become mired in bureaucratic inertia, arguments and allegations of corruption. * * * [A] stalled health bill is one of many examples of the slow progress Ukraine is […]

» Read more

NEWSWATCH AP: “Winter heat wave, of a sort, envelops usually frigid Moscow”

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

AP covers unseasonably mild temperatures in Moscow. It’s usually the cold that’s bitter in Moscow in December, but this year it’s the humor that bites during an unusual warm spell. … temperatures climbed as high as 7 degrees Celsius (45 degrees Fahrenheit) … a joke began circulating … This was nature’s compensation for Russians being unable to take vacations in […]

» Read more

The world in 2015: A nostalgia for balance

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

The year 2015 has demonstrated a severe imbalance in the world order and the impossibility of returning to interaction governed by old principles. As global players strive for a return to their individual perception of a “golden age,” Fyodor Lukyanov considers which geopolitical model appears the most likely in the near future. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Fyodor […]

» Read more

TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] First Russian Internet Economy Forum

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Kremlin.ru – December 22, 2015) Vladimir Putin attended the First Russian Internet Economy Forum. The First Russian Internet Economy Forum is taking place in Moscow on December 21-22. The plenary session, attended by representatives of the national IT industry and relevant ministries and agencies, is dedicated to initiatives for the long-term development programme of the Russian Internet segment and branches […]

» Read more

RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#249 :: Wednesday 23 December 2015

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#249 Wednesday 23 December 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 The contents do not necessarily represent the views of IERES or the George Washington University. JRL homepage: russialist.org – JRL […]

» Read more

Ukrainian Refugees Say Russia Not So Welcoming Anymore

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Svitlana Prokopyeva and Tony Wesolowsky – PSKOV, Russia – December 18, 2015) Svitlana Moroz, her two sons, and her elderly mother have lived in the spartan Sport hotel in Pskov, in western Russia, for nearly a year and a half now. But they and hundreds more like them who fled the fighting at home in eastern […]

» Read more

In Forgotten Karelian Village, Frustration With Moscow Runs High

Russia Regions Map

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Sergei Khazov-Cassia – December 19, 2015) VEGARUS, Russia — The stream bounces gaily on its bed of pebbles as it passes through this tiny village in Russia’s republic of Karelia, some 70 kilometers from the Finnish border. Up until 1939, the pristine, wooded area was part of Finland. Today, despite its proximity to one of Europe’s […]

» Read more

Magnitsky’s mother asks Chaika to confirm publicized facts concerning her son

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Interfax – December 22, 2015) The mother of Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died at a Moscow jail in 2009, has asked the Russian Prosecutor General, Yury Chaika, to provide evidence for the claims he made in a letter to the Kommersant daily regarding her son and the activity of the fund’s head, William Browder. “The information you disseminated […]

» Read more

After Default to Putin, What’s Next for Ukraine-Russia Bond Row

International Monetary Fund Logo Over Ukraine Flag

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Natasha Doff and Marton Eder – December 20, 2015) A two-year feud between Ukraine and Russia is on the verge of being played out in a London courtroom after the government in Kiev defaulted on $3 billion in bonds. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko followed through on months of threats on Friday by reneging on the debt […]

» Read more

The Russian government ’embraces’ transparency

Kremlin and River

Russia is finally embracing transparency-so long as it poses no threat to political stability. (opendemocracy.net – Andrei Jvirblis – December 18, 2015) Andrei Jvirblis is a Moscow-based journalist and head of Transparency International Russia’s Public Activism group. As the response of Russia’s Prosecutor General to accusations of graft this week shows, nothing gets Russian public officials angrier than journalists rooting […]

» Read more

Orthodox Church Receives Majority of Russian Government Grants

File Photo of Russian Orthodox Cathedral with Man in Religious Garb in Foreground

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 21, 2015) The Orthodox Church has been the biggest beneficiary of presidential grants given to non-governmental organizations, or NGOs, in Russia over the past several years, a study published Monday revealed. According to the report prepared by the Center for Economic and Political Reforms, the organizations controlled by the Moscow Patriarchate or close to […]

» Read more

Another False Start for Russia as Oil Spells Longer Recession

Oil Wells File Photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anna Andrianova – December 21, 2015) A renewed sell-off in oil means the Russian economy will be testing new lows for much of next year. With crude trading near the lowest since mid-2004, banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co. say a second year of recession is all but inevitable. JPMorgan reversed its call for 0.5 percent […]

» Read more

How much are Western sanctions hurting Russia’s economy?

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

The difficult economic conditions have forced Russian businesses to reassess, which could be a good thing in the long run. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Ben Aris – December 21, 2015) Sanctions imposed by Western nations on Russia over its involvement in the Ukraine crisis and absorption of Crimea have hurt the country’s economy, but not mortally wounded […]

» Read more

Interfax: Recurrent Western attempts to ‘educate’ the East a kind of mania – Naryshkin

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 21 (Interfax) – World history shows that ideological wars have become a constant of Western policies, Russian State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said in his article published by Russian newspaper ‘Izvestia’ on Monday. “The fact is that from time to time the West attempts to ‘educate’ the East. But having no authority to do this, it gets rebuffed, […]

» Read more

Interfax: Russian calls not to impose values on others ignored by West – Putin

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

(Interfax – December 20, 2015) Moscow, 20 December: Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that he has always warned Western partners against “automatically, mechanically” spreading their ideas about democracy to other countries and nations. “I have spoken to many leaders, both European and American, over many years. And when it came to various operations, in Afghanistan, or in Iraq, or […]

» Read more

RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#248 :: Tuesday 22 December 2015

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#248 Tuesday 22 December 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 The contents do not necessarily represent the views of IERES or the George Washington University. JRL homepage: russialist.org – JRL […]

» Read more

West mistaken – no plans to re-create Soviet Union – Putin on Ukraine

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Interfax – December 20, 2015) Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, 20 December: Russian President Vladimir Putin regrets that in the implementation of its policy with regard to Ukraine and the whole post-Soviet space, the West is guided by the erroneous notion that Moscow wants to restore the Soviet Union. “As for Ukraine and all the former Soviet Union, I am convinced that the position […]

» Read more

Russia Will Not Object Assad Ouster After Syrian War Ends

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 19, 2015) Russia has no objections to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s ouster after the peace process starts in the country, Western diplomats say, the Reuters news agency reported Friday. Russia had been repeatedly voicing its support to the Syrian president, but since Western powers, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have agreed that Assad can stay […]

» Read more
1 2 3 5