Kyiv Rebrands Its War In The East

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Christopher Miller – KYIV, January 19, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/ukraine-russia-fighting-donbas-rebranding-ato-/28985423.html) Ukraine’s “antiterrorist operation” is officially over. But since the fight against Russia-backed separatists that most Ukrainians know as the “ATO” grinds on, what is still up for debate is: under what name? With the passage of a contentious […]

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Interfax: Russian Constitutional Court doesn’t accept Navalny’s complaint over participation in presidential election

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

ST. PETERSBURG. Jan 19 (Interfax) – The Russian Constitutional Court has refused to accept Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny’s complaint about the norms of the court’s law on presidential elections. The court’s ruling, dated January 18, is available on the court’s website. The Russian Constitutional Court earlier scrutinized a norm similar to that contested by Navalny as part of a […]

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73% of Russians Plan To Vote for Putin – Survey

File Photo of Kremlin Aerial View, adapted from .gov source

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 18, 2018) The majority of Russians say they will go to the polls to vote for Putin in the March 2018 presidential elections, according to a survey published by the state-run Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) on Wednesday. Another polling agency, the independent Levada Center, announced last week that they would not be […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Intel Committee Releases Glenn Simpson Testimony Transcripts” – House Intelligence Committee

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence today voted to publish the transcripts of testimony provided to the committee by Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. The November 8 transcript is available here: http://docs.house.gov/meetings/IG/IG00/20180118/106796/HMTG-115-IG00-20180118-SD001.pdf and the November 14 transcript is available here: http://docs.house.gov/meetings/IG/IG00/20180118/106796/HMTG-115-IG00-20180118-SD002.pdf

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NEWSLINK: “Containing Russia, Again; An Adversary Attacked the United States-It’s Time to Respond” – Foreign Affairs/ Robert D. Blackwill, Philip H. Gordon

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“… evidence of Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election – and in U.S. politics and society more generally – grows. …”

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-14 :: Friday, 19 January 2018

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2018-#14 Friday, 19 January 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine passes bill to get occupied regions back from Russia” – AP

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

“Ukraine’s parliament … passed a bill to reintegrate the country’s eastern territories … currently controlled by Russia-backed separatists … supporting taking them back by military force if necessary.  The bill describes the areas in Ukraine’s … Donetsk and Luhansk regions as ‘temporarily occupied’ by ‘aggressor country’ Russia. … Poroshenko welcomed the new bill, saying it would help restore control of […]

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Interfax: Ukrainian bill on Donbas reintegration puts an end to Minsk Agreements – Kosachyov

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

MOSCOW. Jan 18 (Interfax) – The Ukrainian bill on the reintegration of Donbas puts an end to the Minsk Agreements, and Germany and France should evaluate the act accordingly, Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee head Konstantin Kosachyov said on Thursday. “By adopting the odious bill on Donbas reintegration, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada essentially put an end to the Minsk Agreements [the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Future of Navalny’s Opposition Movement; Why It Will Continue to Challenge the Kremlin” – Foreign Affairs/Anton Barbashin

“In March 2017 … Navalny released a shocking video investigation … reveal[ing] that Medvedev has been able to amass a tremendous fortune while in power … several mansions in Russia, a villa and property in Italy, and other assets worth roughly $1.2 billion. … spark[ing] a great deal of interest among Russians … receiv[ing] almost 26 million views on YouTube […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-13 :: Thursday, 18 January 2018

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2018-#13 Thursday, 18 January 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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Interfax: Russian Foreign Ministry suggests barring U.S. diplomats from monitoring presidential election

File Photo of U.S. Embassy Moscow, with Russian Foreign Ministry Building in Distance

MOSCOW. Jan 17 (Interfax) – A proposal to deprive United States diplomats of the right to monitor Russia’s upcoming presidential election has been forwarded to the Russian Central Elections Commission (CEC), a source at the Foreign Ministry told Interfax. “The Russian Foreign Ministry assumes that the U.S. side did not allow [Russian] diplomats who planned to visit some polling stations […]

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Russian senator wants more nuclear weapons if US violates START-3

Russian Nuclear Submarine

(Interfax – January 16, 2018) Russia will have justification for a symmetrical response if the US boosts its nuclear forces in violation of the START-3 treaty, the chairman of the Defence Committee of the Federation Council (parliament’s upper house), Viktor Bondarev, has said. “If, in the process of bolstering its nuclear arsenal, the US violates START-3 (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty […]

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Russia ‘No Longer an Empire but Not Yet a Nation,’ Emil Pain Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 17, 2018) Russian historian Aleksey Miller recently observed that “Russian never was, is not and never will be a nation state” (republic.ru/posts/88426), Emil Pain reports, to which ethnographer Valery Tishkov “angrily” responded that it is if it calls itself that (facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1483888388397177&id=100003280900276&pnref=story). Of course, if one follows Tishkov’s logic, Moscow’s leading specialist […]

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NEWSLINK: “Do Russians Want Change?” – Carnegie Moscow/Andrei Kolesnikov, Denis Volkov

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

“Russians do not express an overwhelming desire for change. Few understand how it could occur in their country. But most recognize that Russia cannot move forward without reform. In Russia, hoping for change often appears to be a lost cause. The public’s social expectations are seldom high, and they often get what they expect: very little. But Russia’s upcoming March […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-12 :: Wednesday, 17 January 2018

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2018-#12 Wednesday, 17 January 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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Who’s On The List? Russia’s Elite Nervous About New U.S. Sanctions

Portion of U.S. Treasury Department Building Facade, North Side, with Sculpture of Alexander Hamilton

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – WASHINGTON – January 15, 2018 – also appeared at https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-sanctions-list-putin-circle-elite-nervous/28976991.html) There’s a chill settling in over Moscow, and it’s not just the arctic temperatures that typically smother the Russian capital in January. As U.S. officials put the finishing touches on new financial and travel sanctions against Russia, […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia Weighs Biggest Spending Spree Since Putin’s Re-Election” – Bloomberg/Andrey Biryukov, Ilya Arkhipov, Evgenia Pismennaya, Anna Andrianova, Olga Tanas

Putin Descending a Staircase

“Russia’s government is discussing a proposal to turn on the fiscal taps in what would be the biggest domestic spending spree since President Vladimir Putin last ran for re-election in 2012. …”

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U.S. not prepared for contacts with Russia in format of meetings between foreign policy, defense chiefs – ambassador

File Photo of John Huntsman, Men in Military Uniforms and Others, adapted from image at army.mil

MOSCOW. Jan 16 (Interfax) – The United States is currently not prepared to discuss the resumption of contacts with Russia in the 2+2 format – meetings between the heads of the two countries’ foreign-policy and defense agencies – even though the countries are trying to intensify bilateral dialogue on key issues, U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman said in reply […]

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Russian Alcohol Consumption Falls 80% in 5 Years, Says Minister

Man in Silhoette with Bottle of Alcohol and Head in Hand

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 16, 2018) Russia’s health minister has said that Russians consume 80 percent less alcohol than they did five years ago, amid a decrease in smoking levels and an increase in the number of people who do sports. The latest World Health Organization figures put Russia’s alcohol consumption below France and Germany. “We have managed […]

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Alexander R. Vershbow: “Re: 2018-#8-Johnson’s Russia List [re Russia and NATO expansion]”

Alexander Vershbow file photo

Subject: Re: 2018-#8-Johnson’s Russia List [re Russia and NATO expansion] Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2018 23:24:42 -0500 From: Alexander R. Vershbow <arvershbow@gmail.com> David: Re: JRL No. 8 item 19: Happy New Year. Steve Cohen and others, in accusing the West of “deceiving” Gorbachev and breaking an alleged “promise” not to enlarge NATO, forget that Gorbachev himself refuted this in an […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-11 :: Tuesday, 16 January 2018

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2018-#11 Tuesday, 16 January 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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Interfax: Zyuganov files complaints over biased coverage of Communist candidate’s campaign

Satellite Dishes

MOSCOW. Jan 15 (Interfax) – Russian Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov urged President Vladimir Putin on Monday to take measures to stop the use of TV programs to spread “counter-propaganda” against the Communist Party’s presidential candidate, Pavel Grudinin. In his letter to Putin, which was shared with Interfax, Zyuganov pointed out that Grudinin has publicized “a substantive, detailed, and constructive […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Kremlin tries to stir voters’ interest in Putin’s election campaign; Slick, US-style apparatus set up in effort to present Russian poll as a contest” – Financial Times/ Kathrin Hille

Russia Regions Map

“… With 18 years in power … far-reaching control over institutions from parliament to courts and the election watchdog, and no serious challenger, [Putin] can afford to skip wooing voters …. the Kremlin frets that too smooth a campaign is dangerous. … voters’ passivity [includes] resignation that they cannot effect political change anyway … [that] could metastasise into widespread disaffection […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian economy suddenly shrinks in November” – Reuters

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Russia’s economy unexpectedly contracted in November, hit by a drop in industrial production, the economy ministry said …. Gross domestic product shrank 0.3 percent year on year in November, the economy ministry said, contrasting with analysts’ consensus call for a 1.5 percent growth. Russia’s oil-dependent economy was on the mend in 2017 after two years of recession, triggered by a […]

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VCIOM: 81% of respondents to vote for Putin in election

File Photo of Kremlin Aerial View, adapted from .gov source

MOSCOW. Jan 15 (Interfax) – Of the 67% of respondents surveyed by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) who said they firmly intend to vote in the coming presidential election, over 80% said they are inclined to vote for Vladimir Putin, Valery Fyodorov, the head of the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM), said. “We are presenting another rating, […]

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Russian Workers an ‘Invisible Class’ Since Collapse of Soviet Union, New Study Concludes

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 11, 2018) Russians employed in factories have become “an invisible group” in society since 1991; and as a result, the identity even now is based largely on memories of the Soviet past as exacerbated by their sense of growing social inequality, according to a new study by the Higher School of […]

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NEWSLINK: “From Siberia to Crimea: The Revenge of History in U.S.-Russian Relations; One is tempted to conclude that the Washington foreign-policy establishment has learned little over the past century” – The National Interest/ Lyle J. Goldstein

Balaklava harbour, the cattle pier, Crimea, Ukraine, 1855; adapted from image at loc.gov; Fenton, Roger, 1819-1869, photographer;

“… What were more than 7,000 ‘doughboys’ doing in Siberia at the end of the First World War? To make a long and complex story-explored in detail by such luminaries as George Kennan-a bit shorter, the intervention by a large group of allied powers was not simply anti-Bolshevik, but was premised at the outset as a wartime operation to prevent […]

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Interfax: New U.S. nuclear doctrine is next step to build infrastructure enabling global strike on Russia – MP Slutsky

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 15 (Interfax) – The United States’ new nuclear doctrine is aimed at protecting the infrastructure which is being created in Europe to enable a strike on Russia, the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Leonid Slutsky said on Facebook. “It’s hardly a revelation that the U.S. is building comprehensive infrastructure to support Prompt Global Strike. Under the pretext […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-10 :: Monday, 15 January 2018

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2018-#10 Monday, 15 January 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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Snob: The Mathematics of a Boycott

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

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – January 12, 2018) Dmitry Oreshkin argues that Navalny’s call for a boycott is good step for him, but not for voters Even before he was officially denied nomination as a presidential candidate, Alexei Navalny called on his supporters to boycott the presidential elections. Political commentator Dmitry Oreshkin discusses why this is good step […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia’s Break From a Recession Was Fleeting” – Bloomberg/ Anna Andrianova

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“After suffering its longest economic contraction this century, Russia may just have had the shortest recovery. JPMorgan Chase & Co. says the world’s biggest energy exporter probably capped last year with two consecutive quarters of contraction — or a technical recession — a surprise cooldown that ranged from struggling consumer spending to a flop in industrial output. …”

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NEWSLINK: “The DNC: Swimming In Malware But Never Once Targeted” – Medium/ Jeffrey Carr

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

  “… As I and other cybersecurity researchers have pointed out, malware is shared. The concept of ‘exclusive use’ is an unsubstantiated myth. The differences in how the DNC and Joint Staff networks were breached versus the White House and State Department suggest an alternative theory that makes more sense; i.e., that malware developed by Russian-speaking hackers for use by […]

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Putin: We’re not going to interfere with U.S. affairs, but it should be ready to meet challenges it prompts

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

MOSCOW. Jan 11 (Interfax) – Russia is not going to interfere with affairs of the United States, but Washington should be ready to meet the challenges provoked by the U.S. itself, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “If they stick their nose into everything, they should be ready, they should be capable of meeting certain challenges, which they, as a matter […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-9 :: Friday, 12 January 2018

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2018-#9 Friday, 12 January 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting with heads of Russian print media and news agencies” – KremlinRu

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

(Kremlin.ru – January 11, 2018) Ahead of Russian Press Day marked on January 13, Vladimir Putin met with heads of Russian print media and news agencies in the editorial office of the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper. The discussion focused on current professional issues. The President congratulated media representatives on their professional holiday. In December 2017, during Vladimir Putin’s annual news conference, […]

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By Dividing Society, Putin has Unintentionally Opened Up Russia’s Politics, Pavlovsky Says

Kremlin and River

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 8, 2018) Vladimir Putin during his first two terms in office sought to unify Russians around him; but in his third, he divided them by attacking what he calls “the fifth column,” thus unwittingly creating two communities within Russia, opening up the country’s political space, and making competition for power possible, […]

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U.S. Urges Travelers To Reconsider Visiting Russia

State Department Building and U.S. Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 11, 2018) The U.S. State Department listed Russia as one of the most dangerous countries to visit in a new travel advisory system released Wednesday, together with states including Sudan, Pakistan and Niger. The new four-tier advisory replaces the State Department’s travel warnings and alerts system and is based on seven risk factors including […]

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Four out of Five Russians Find “Gay Sex” ‘Reprehensible’ – Poll

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 11, 2018) An overwhelming majority of Russians believe it is ‘reprehensible’ for people of the same gender to have sex, a new poll says, charting growing intolerance towards same-sex relationships in the past 20 years. The independent Levada Center survey released on Thursday serves as the latest sociological evidence of increasing homophobia in the […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Visit to Tver Carriage Works” – KremlinRu

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

(Kremlin.ru – January 10, 2018) During his working trip to the Tver Region, Vladimir Putin visited Tver Carriage Works, where he was informed about the plant’s operation and shown its finished products. The plant’s General Director Andrei Solovei informed the President about its performance indicators and the efficiency of the government support measures. Vladimir Putin visited a number of shops […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-8 :: Thursday, 11 January 2018

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2018-#8 Thursday, 11 January 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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U.S. Orders Sputnik News Agency to Register as ‘Foreign Agent’

Department of Justice Headquarters Building file photo, adapted from image at justice.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 10, 2018) The United States has ordered the Russian government-funded Sputnik news agency to register as a “foreign agent” – the latest episode in a media war that has unfolded between the two countries in the past year. U.S. intelligence agencies have accused Russian media organizations of participating in a propaganda campaign to influence […]

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Cut Off: What Does the Economic Blockade of the Separatist Territories Mean for Ukraine?

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

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Brian Milakovsky – January 9, 2018) Brian Milakovsky works on economic recovery issues at a humanitarian organization in Luhanska Oblast, Ukraine . He has been in Ukraine or Russia since 2009, working in both the ecological and humanitarian sectors [Text with links kennan-focusukraine.org/cut-off-what-does-the-economic-blockade-of-the-separatist-territories-mean-for-ukraine/] Ten months have passed since Ukraine imposed a full economic blockade of […]

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Two-thirds of citizens believe Russia has enemies

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

MOSCOW. Jan 10 (Interfax) – The share of Russians who believe that their country has enemies has declined from 80% in September 2015 to 66%, the Levada Analytical Center told Interfax. Those enemies include the United States (68%), Ukraine (29%), EU countries (14%), former Soviet republics (10%), and Poland (8%), Levada said. Twenty-one percent of Russians polled said the country […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-7 :: Wednesday, 10 January 2018

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2018-#7 Wednesday, 10 January 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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Ukrainian Security Service questions Saakashvili for 4 hours

Mikheil Saakashvili file photo

KYIV. Jan 10 (Interfax) – The leader of the Ukrainian opposition party Movement of New Forces and former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has walked out of the Ukrainian Security Service building in Kyiv after being questioned for four hours. “All of the questions concerned exclusively political actions,” Saakashvili told journalists after being questioned on Thursday. Saakashvili said he intends to […]

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Drones that attacked Russian military bases in Syria could have been shipped only from U.S. – Russian senator

Syria Map

MOSCOW. Jan 9 (Interfax) – The drones that attacked Russia’s military bases in Syria could have been shipped to the country only from the United States, Russian Federation Council Defense and Security Committee head Viktor Bondarev said. “I think it’s clear to everyone who stands behind the militants. Only a technologically powerful state could have supplied the drones that bombarded […]

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NEWSLINK: “Trump’s Russia Ambassador: U.S.-Russia Relations ‘Done’ if Kremlin Meddles in 2018 Elections; Jon Huntsman tells a room full of lawmakers that Russia is very much on course to play a disruptive role again” – DailyBeast/ Andrew Desiderio

File Photo of John Huntsman, Men in Military Uniforms and Others, adapted from image at army.mil » Read more
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