Putin’s Valdai Club Remarks on Nuclear War Not New But Very Worrisome, Golts Says

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 20, 2018) At the Valdai Club this week, Vladimir Putin said Moscow would not use a preventive nuclear strike but would “launch on warning” of such an attack on Russia, a position that is not new as such but that given the Kremlin leader’s constant talk about nuclear weapons recently, is […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT & VIDEO: “Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club (transcript continued)” – KremlinRu

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

(Kremlin.ru – October 18, 2018 – en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/58848 Includes full video with English translation) Fyodor Lukyanov: To use the wind metaphor – let the east wind blow some more. Let us hear from our colleague from Japan. What do you think he will ask, Mr President? Vladimir Putin: I have no idea. Fyodor Lukyanov: Neither do I. Vladimir Putin: Is it […]

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RUSSIALINK: “It’s wrong to tie future of New START Treaty to situation around INF Treaty – Russian Foreign Ministry” – Interfax

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 21 (Interfax) – The Russian Foreign Ministry sees Washington’s attempts to tie the issue of preserving the New START Treaty to the situation surrounding the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty as a mistaken approach. “The Americans themselves both at the level of the executive branch of government and the level of the Congress have tied the prospect […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia has never considered INF Treaty anachronism, acknowledges issues – Peskov” – Interfax

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

MOSCOW. Oct 22 (Interfax) – Russia has never considered the Russia-U.S. Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) an anachronism, although it acknowledges that there are issues associated with the development of missile systems in other countries, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said “No. Without a doubt, issues remain with this treaty because – and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin has […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia has trained over 1,000 troops in CAR, more instructors to go there – Foreign Ministry” – Interfax

Africa Map

MOSCOW. Oct 22 (Interfax) – Moscow is planning to send an additional 60 Russian military instructors to the Central African Republic (CAR), and more than 1,000 CAR troops have already completed training, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website. “Over 1,000 Central African servicemen have been trained to date. We intend to continue to provide Bangui […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-184 :: Monday, 22 October 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-#183 Friday, 19 October 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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EVENT: November 1, 2018 – Book Launch – “Understanding Russia: The Challenges of Transformation” at The George Washington University, Elliott School of International Affairs

File Photo of George Washington Bust at George Washington University

Subject: Event – November 1, 2018 – Book Launch – Understanding Russia: The Challenges of Transformation Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2018 From: IERES, GW Elliott School <ieresgwu@gwu.edu> Understanding Russia: The Challenges of Transformation [Amazon: amzn.to/ 2S1KHak] This timely book provides a balanced and comprehensive overview of the geographical, historical, political, cultural, and geostrategic factors that drive Russia today. Russia has […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-183 :: Friday, 19 October 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-#183 Friday, 19 October 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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David Malaher: “Re: Oct. 16, 2018 #41: IMF ranks Ukraine as Europe’s poorest country”

International Monetary Fund Logo Over Ukraine Flag

Subject: Oct. 16, 2018 #41: IMF ranks Ukraine as Europe’s poorest country Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2018 From: David Malaher <david@malaher.org> To: David Johnson <davidjohnson@starpower.net> I try to follow Ukraine news through the Johnson List, among other sources. I visited Ukraine in June, touring through nine cities from Liviv to Odessa via a combination automobile and boat (on the Dnieper […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘Crimea’s Columbine’: Massacre Draws Comparisons to U.S. Shootings; Death toll from college attack rises to 20, as authorities try to determine the attacker’s motive” – Wall Street Journal/ Ann M. Simmons

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

“… Authorities said 18-year-old student Vladislav Roslyakov detonated explosives and opened fire Wednesday at [Crimea’s] Kerch Polytechnic College before taking his own life. Initially thought to be a terrorist attack, the massacre was later classified by officials as mass murder. … Kerch is a city in the east of Crimea, a Black Sea peninsula … annexed by Russia from Ukraine […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin calls himself nationalist fighting for preservation of multi-national Russia” – Interfax

Russia Regions Map

SOCHI. Oct 18 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin sees himself as a nationalist who advocates the preservation of a multi-ethnic Russia, not as the “caveman” kind. “If we are going to peddle such caveman nationalism, pour dirt on representatives of other ethnicities, we will break up the country, and the Russian people are not interested in this. What I […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club [Partial Transcript]” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Valdai Club Gathering at Long Tables in Large Hall

(Kremlin.ru – October 18, 2018) [Video with English translation en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/58848] Vladimir Putin took part in the plenary session of the 15th anniversary meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club. The main topic is The World We Will Live In: Stability and Development in the 21st Century. The plenary session moderator is Fyodor Lukyanov, Research Director of the Foundation for Development […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with RT France, Paris Match and Le Figaro” – Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Sergei Lavrov file photo

“Question: Western countries, the media and various organisations, including the World Anti-Doping Agency and the OPCW, have been constantly accusing Russia of meddling in elections and staging cyberattacks. Just recently, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and the Netherlands simultaneously voiced similar accusations and submitted six-month-old information to the media. What is this? Is this part of a planned […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Sanctions Give Russian Economy an Unintended Boost; For months, rising dollar-denominated oil prices, falling ruble have worked to Moscow’s benefit” – Wall Street Journal/ Avantika Chilkoti

Oil Well file photo

“U.S. sanctions have driven the price of oil and the ruble apart – leaving Russia with expensive crude and a cheaper currency … helping its economy. The price of oil, Russia’s main export, has risen almost 14% since mid-August. … largely because of the coming resumption of U.S. sanctions against Iran, choking off the supply of crude from that country. […]

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Putin Youth Have Fallen in Love with the West but Not with Democracy, Levada Expert Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 17, 2018) Putin’s “Generation Z” love the West but not democracy and because of their numbers assume that they won’t be able to change things in Russia and are thus even less inclined to support the opposition of take part in demonstrations, according to Denis Volkov of the Levada Center. In […]

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Russia Must Escape from Hyper-Centralization to Flourish, Pastukhov Says

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 15, 2018) Both supporters of the Putin regime and its opponents share a belief that a hyper-centralized state is the only basis for Russia’s survival, with the first thinking that the way things are being done now will ensure that outcome and the latter certain that with new rulers such an […]

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NEWSLINK: “Cold War and the Academy: An Oral History on Russian and Eurasian Studies [Interview Transcripts Hub]” – The Harriman Institute at Columbia University

Columbia University Campus with Main Building

“… the Harriman Institute at Columbia University, in collaboration with the Columbia Center for Oral History Research, and the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE), embarked on an oral history project that would document the Institute’s substantive role in area studies and academia and its influence on the making of U.S. foreign policy towards the Soviet Union, Russia, […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Dmitry Medvedev’s interview with Euronews TV channel” – GovernmentRu

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – October 18, 2018 – government.ru/en/news/34370/) The Russian Prime Minister answers questions of TV host Tesa Arcilla ahead of the 12th ASEM Summit, which is to take place on 18-19 October in Brussels. Tesa Arcilla: Joining us on the programme is Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Thank you very much, Mister Medvedev, for joining us on the programme. Earlier […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-182 :: Thursday, 18 October 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-#182 Thursday, 18 October 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Inflation Stalking Russia Adds to ‘Hopelessness’ Among Consumers” – Bloomberg/ Anna Andrianova, Evgenia Pismennaya, Zoya Shilova

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“The mood among Russian consumers is souring just as inflation increasingly eats into their purchasing power. Faster price growth and an unsteady ruble are hurting household finances, contributing last quarter to the biggest plunge in consumer confidence since 2015. … mirror[ing] a broader loss of momentum in the economy … slow to rebound despite higher oil prices. … Fed up […]

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Russia’s Top Judge Spurs New Talk Of Changing Constitution

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – October 16, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-s-top-judge-spurs-new-talk-of-changing-constitution/29547265.html) When the Russian Constitution was approved in late 1993, the fledgling country’s parliament building– now known as the White House– was blackened and charred, the result of an all-out military assault ordered by President Boris Yeltsin to quell […]

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The Cold War, Post-Cold War, and the Academy: Policy Recommendations from an Oral History of Russian and Eurasian Studies

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

(PONARS Eurasia – Alexander Cooley, George Gavrilis – October 15, 2018) Alexander Cooley is the Claire Tow Professor of Political Science at Barnard College and Director of Columbia University’s Harriman Institute. George Gavrilis is an Independent Consultant specializing in international relations, foreign policy, higher education, and oral history. [ponarseurasia.org/memo/cold-war-post-cold-war-academy-oral-history-Harriman-russia-eurasia] (PONARS Policy Memo) In Know Your Enemy: The Rise and Fall […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Climbs in Global Competitiveness Index” – Moscow Times

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 17, 2018) The Russian economy has climbed two spots in an annual rating of the world’s most competitive economies published by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Russia returned to a growth rate of 1.5 percent in 2017 after two years of decline and is projected to grow a further 1.7 percent this year and […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “The 7th Open Innovations Moscow international forum” – GovernmentRu

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – October 16, 2018) The plenary session’s theme is Smart Country: National Strategy. The international innovation-driven development forum, Open Innovations, has been held in Moscow since 2012 and is co-hosted by the Ministry of Economic Development, the Moscow Government, the Rusnano Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programmes, the Russian Venture Company, the Foundation for Promoting Innovation, the Skolkovo Foundation […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-181 :: Wednesday, 17 October 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-#181 Wednesday, 17 October 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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‘They’ve Stolen Everything’: In Russia’s Far East, Dreams Deferred Amid Grim Mood Over Pension Reform

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Matthew Luxmoore – October 14, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/in-russia-s-far-east-dreams-deferred-amid-grim-mood-over-pension-reform/29542683.html) USSURIYSK, Russia — An unusually warm spell in early October filled this Far Eastern city’s central square with couples and schoolkids enjoying the last bright evenings before the onset of winter. Steps from the main landmark, a monument honoring […]

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Russians Will Suffer in Five Serious Ways from Global Warming, Kuvaldin Says

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 12, 2018) Russians are so accustomed to thinking about how cold the climate is in their country that they have assumed that global warming will bring mostly positive changes to their lives, but Stanislav Kuvaldin says that in fact global warning carries with it five serious risks for them, all of […]

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RUSSIALINK: “More Ukrainians Hold Positive Views of Russia Than Negative, Poll Says” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 10, 2018) More Ukrainians say they have a positive view of Russia than a year ago despite continuing conflicts between the two countries, according to a joint Russian-Ukrainian poll, while a majority of Russians say they continue to see Ukraine in a negative light. Russian-Ukrainian ties deteriorated after Moscow annexed the Crimean peninsula in […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Majority of Russians Favor China, Dislike U.S. – Poll” – Moscow Times

Asia Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 16, 2018) A new survey shows an overwhelming asymmetry in the Russian public’s attitudes toward China and the United States as Moscow’s ties with Washington continue suffering post-Cold War lows. U.S.-Russia relations are at historic lows amid claims of a Kremlin-backed campaign of election interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Two out of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Entrepreneurs of political violence: the varied interests and strategies of the far-right in Ukraine; For Ukraine’s far right, violence has become a source of influence and power [Excerpt]” – OpenDemocracy/ Denys Gorach

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

(opendemocracy.net – Denys Gorach – October 16, 2018) Denys Gorbach is a leftist activist and researcher working on the Ukrainian labour movement. [Full text: opendemocracy.net/od-russia/denys-gorbach/entrepreneurs-of-political-violence-ukraine-far-right] “The recent wave of anti-Roma pogroms in Ukraine has spawned a new series of texts on right-wing violence. However, a significant part of this literature still mostly relies on discourse analysis, which cannot fully explain […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Acceptance of Corruption Has Grown in Russia Under Putin, Report Suggests” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Two Persons Shaking Hands and Exchanging Cash

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 16, 2018) A new study suggests that Russians have become more tolerant of corrupt practices in the years since the fall of the Soviet Union. Russia ranks among the world’s most corrupt countries in international ratings, with corruption-related crimes costing an estimated $2.5 billion in damages between 2014 and 2017. Observers have said that […]

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Skepticism About US Intentions and Other Enduring Consequences of Russia’s 1993 Crisis

File Photo of Parliament Building Billowing Smoke in 1993

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Paul Saunders – October 4, 2018 – russiamatters.org/analysis/skepticism-about-us-intentions-and-other-enduring-consequences-russias-1993-crisis) Paul Saunders is the executive director of the Center for the National Interest. Twenty-five years ago this week, a confrontation between Russia’s then President Boris Yeltsin and the country’s parliament culminated in armed standoffs that left more than 100 people dead and became unambiguously one of the […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-180 :: Tuesday, 16 October 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-#180 Tuesday, 16 October 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-179 :: Monday, 15 October 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-#179 Monday, 15 October 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Sanctions Unlikely to Pass Congress Before November” – Bloomberg/ Arit John, Anna Edgerton, Natasha Doff (Sept. 27, 2018)

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

“… Congress is unlikely to pass any new sanctions on Russia, including proposals that would affect its sovereign debt and energy projects, until after … November elections. The House is likely to go on recess … and not return until after Nov. 6 balloting, according to a Republican aide and a lawmaker. No bills on sanctions against Russia are scheduled […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Regional Elections Rundown” – Bear Market Brief (Sept. 28, 2018)

Russia Regions Map

“Moscow’s political control over regional governments is slipping, opening the door for local elites to gain greater control …. [including] greater de facto control over natural resources, creating opportunities for external investment but … increasing corruption risks …. [T]rend[s] [are] rooted in a sustained decline in living standards … also prompt[ing] unprecedented protest activity and a more confrontational … ‘systemic’ […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Autumn Fun: The Word’s Worth” – Moscow Times/ Michele A. Berdy

File Photo of Autumn Leaves and Wooded Trail, With Patches of Sunshine or Sky, adapted from image at fws.gov by Steven C. Welsh :: www.stevencwelsh.info :: www.stevencwelsh.com

“Осень: autumn There are, I’ve heard, places on earth where weather is not a topic of conversation. I’ve heard that in some places a few degrees up or a few degrees down is pretty much the entire range of weather events. That is not Moscow. Погода (weather) can run your life, determine when and if you go outside, raise or […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S., Russia Clash at U.N. as Lavrov Calls for Easing of North Korea Sanctions” – Wall Street Journal/ Jessica Donati (Sept. 28, 2018)

File Photo of UN Building with Flags

“The Trump administration worked to move ahead on its top diplomatic priority – the denuclearization of North Korea – but ran head-on into opposition to its plans from Russia, which called for the easing of United Nations sanctions against Pyongyang. The proposal by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the U.N. Security Council ran directly counter to the U.S. demand […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s pension reform still seen as unjust, but less willing to protest” – bne Intellinews [Sept. 27, 2018]

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“The number of Russians willing to protest … unpopular pension reform and the hiking of the retirement age has dropped … from 53% in September to 35% in August, according to [the] Levada Center …. confirm[ing] previous reports that … Putin scaling back the reform managed to calm the masses. … [But] downplaying and squeezing the reform, despite popular discontent, […]

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NEWSLINK: “Voronezh and the re-branding of post-Soviet Russia; The writer returns to the university she studied at in the 1970s to find a city transformed” – Mary Dejevsky

Russia Map

“… Voronezh is, in many ways, unrecognisable from its Soviet self. Even its layout has been altered to restore the 19th-century plan. A vast new church rises from what was once a scruffy park. The skyline boasts a dozen gleaming domes and crosses. Old vistas have been reopened. Voronezh is, once again, a river town. … But the history told […]

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