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

NEWSWATCH: “Putin will elevate loyalty over all in his next presidency” – RaamopruslandNL/ Mark Galeotti

Putin Descending a Staircase

“Is Putin’s grip on power still as strong as ever? Some observers are … presenting him as some kind of a ‘lame duck president’, even as he prepares to be re-elected yet again. … Mark Galeotti suggests such talk misrepresents the nature of power in today’s Russia. ‘Power is the capacity to act and get away with it’ …. Putin […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s invisible, ubiquitous lobbyists; How armies of fixers and specialists negotiate the nation’s dicey relationship between businesses and the state” – Meduza

Russian State Duma Building file photo

“Technically speaking, lobbying doesn’t exist in Russia. The concept, at least, isn’t established anywhere in the country’s laws, and the activity itself isn’t formally regulated in any way. On December 18, just the latest business association encouraged the parliament to rectify this situation, though previous efforts like this one have always come to nothing. There are, nevertheless, many people in […]

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NEWSLINK: “Now Shaking Up Russia: The Bernie Bro Taking on Putin on His Home Turf; The strategist for a socialite candidate running what’s seemed a quixotic campaign against Putin for the presidency already has handed the Kremlin some surprises” – DailyBeast/ Anna Nemtsova

Kremlin and River » Read more

RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-6 :: Tuesday, 9 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-#6 Tuesday, 9 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: “Russia has been meddling in foreign elections for decades. Has it made a difference?” – Washington Post/ Lucan Ahmad Way, Adam Casey

Multilingual Polling Place Sign from U.S. Election Polling Place

“… Russia has been intervening in foreign elections for decades. Has it been effective? …. we put together and examined a data set of all 27 Russian electoral interventions since 1991. …  First wave: In the former Soviet states, 1991 to 2014 … Second wave: in Western democracies, 2014 to now …. It’s true that Russia has been increasingly trying to […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Steele boasted to friends of his ‘professional’ work on Russia-Trump dossier” – Washington Times/ Rowan Scarborough

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“… On Friday, two Republican senators made a criminal referral to the Justice Department. An investigation revealed that … Steele misled the FBI, said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. The FBI told lawmakers that the bureau had not confirmed the dossier’s core collusion charges since … Steele’s first briefing in […]

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NEWSLINK: “RT’s editor-in-chief on election meddling, being labeled Russian propaganda; ‘There’s nothing illegal that we did … nothing murky,’ says Margarita Simonyan, who dismisses the U.S. intelligence report that says the Russian news network she heads meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election” – CBS News

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov » Read more

NEWSLINK: “A RESPONSE TO JOSEPH BIDEN, JR. AND MICHAEL CARPENTER’S ARTICLE IN FOREIGN AFFAIRS MAGAZINE, PART I” – Hal Freeman/ Between Two Worlds; The “Art” of an American Surviving in Small Town Russia

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

“The first week in December I received an e-mail from Foreign Affairs magazine with a featured article attached, ‘How to Stand Up to the Kremlin,’ by Joseph Biden, Jr., and Michael Carpenter. ‘The Team’ at Foreign Affairs [FA] told me to enjoy it and please share it. I began reading it, but pretty soon it looked a lot like a […]

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NEWSLINK: “A RESPONSE TO JOSEPH BIDEN, JR. AND MICHAEL CARPENTER’S ARTICLE IN FOREIGN AFFAIRS MAGAZINE, PART II” – Hal Freeman/ Between Two Worlds; The “Art” of an American Surviving in Small Town Russia

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“I discussed the background of Russian-American election interference in part 1 of this section of my blog. Apparently wanting to appeal to the casual reader, the authors give the distinct impression that NATO, the EU, and, of course, the United States (although not specifically mentioned) wanted to help along our Eastern European neighbors …”

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NEWSLINK: “Russia Outlook 2018” – Intellinews/ Ben Aris

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Russia needs a new economic model and 2018 is the year that one will be chosen – or not. First the country needs to get through a presidential election in March (that will almost certainly be won by president Vladimir Putin). After that the Kremlin will turn to making reforms, but the effects of any reforms that do happen are […]

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Putin Hails ‘Eternal Christian Values’ Amid Orthodox Christmas Celebrations

Russian Orthodox Believers Holding Candles at Cathedral at Christmas

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – January 7, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-christmas-russia-belarus-georgia-kazakhstan-macedonia-moldova-serbia-ukraine-armenia/28959952.html) [Photos: http://www.mk.ru/photo/gallery/13772-232315.html] Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered greetings to Orthodox Christians and all Russians on Christmas celebrated according to the Julian calendar on January 7. A Kremlin press service statement quoted Putin as saying that Christmas “gives millions of believers joy […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-5 :: Monday, 8 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-#5 Monday, 8 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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Russians Today Lack the ‘Ironic’ – and Critical — Attitude toward the State of Their Soviet Ancestors, Zhelenin Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 2, 2018) Present-day Russian society is ever more like the old Soviet one, many people say, Aleksandr Zhelenin observes; but this is true “only in part” because the way in which today’s Kremlin manages its information monopoly leads many Russians to conclude that they are still living in freedom and thus […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-4 :: Friday, 5 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-#4 Friday, 5 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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Russian Presidential Election Watch 2018, the Candidates

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 4, 2018) Russia’s election officials have received a record 64 applications from potential candidates for the March 18 presidential race, the Central Election Commission announced on Tuesday. Only a minority of applicants are expected to get the chance to challenge President Vladimir Putin’s re-election bid by getting on the ballot, with deadlines for signatures […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-3 :: Thursday, 4 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-#3 Thursday, 4 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: “Gazprom gas exports to Europe rise 8% to new record” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy

Gas Flame file photo

“Russia’s gas exports to Europe rose 8.1 per cent last year to a record level of 193.9bn cubic metres (bcm), the company’s head said … as the world’s largest gas producer continued to increase sales despite rising competition from LNG and other sources. Gazprom … has a monopoly over Russia’s gas pipelines to Europe [and] has been forced to reduce […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin’s Rival Can’t Run for President, But He’s Still a Threat; Did the Russian leader add to Alexey Navalny’s protest prowess by barring him from this year’s election?” – Bloomberg/ Henry Meyer

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

“Now that he’s been officially barred from challenging Russian President Vladimir Putin in presidential elections next March, opposition leader Alexey Navalny is counting on becoming an even bigger nuisance for the Kremlin. The 41-year-old Navalny, who is banned from appearing on state television and whose name Putin never even mentions in public, is urging his supporters to protest nationwide on […]

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NEWSLINK: “A record number of Russians want to run for president this year, but Alexey Navalny’s candidacy is still a no-go” – Meduza

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

“Russia’s Central Election Commission has received candidacy applications from 64 people for the March 2018 presidential election – ‘more than in recent years,’ according to commission member Evgeny Shevchenko. Only 21 of these candidates are running as representatives of political parties, and 13 of these people have already begun campaign fundraising. …”

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-2 :: Wednesday, 3 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-#2 Wednesday, 3 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: “Putin Toughens Penalty for Bomb Threats Plaguing Russia” – AP

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

“… Putin has signed a law doubling the penalty for false reports of impending explosions or fire to a possible 10 years in prison. … Since September, authorities have received false bomb reports allegedly targeting more than 3000 structures in about 180 Russian cities. The subsequent building evacuations have sometimes caused severe traffic problems. A top Interior Ministry official said […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin] New Year Address to the Nation” – KremlinRu

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

(Kremlin.ru – December 31, 2017) President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, We are on the threshold of a New Year, year 2018. Although we celebrate this every year, we are always happy to usher the year in as something new, hoping that the wishes we make at the stroke of midnight do come true. New Year’s Eve is above all […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-1 :: Tuesday, 2 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-#1 Tuesday, 2 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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