Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#124 :: Wednesday 24 June 2015

Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#124
Wednesday 24 June 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.
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1. The Hill: House Armed Services chairman: Russia is an ‘existential threat’ to US.
3. Russia Beyond the Headlines: Could now be the time to visit Russia? Tourism experts answer the question.
4. Christian Science Monitor: Fred Weir, Does alleged NSA hack of Kaspersky signal new front in cyberwar? Newly released documents reveal a systematic campaign to reverse-engineer anti-virus software produced by firms like Russia’s Kaspersky Labs, allowing intelligence agencies to uncover vulnerabilities that could help subvert them.
5. The National Interest: This Is What Russia Really Wants. “I am absolutely sure that Russia is not going to yield anything,” Andranik Migranyan told an audience at the Center for the National Interest.
6. Russia Insider: Russians Pay Less Tax Than You – And Other Surprising (?) Facts. Most Russia coverage isn’t just biased – it’s plain wrong. Here are some real facts.
7. Civic Chamber’s plenary session.
8. Putin agrees to corrections of ‘Foreign Agents Law’, blasts NGOs servicing foreign interests.
8a. RFE/RL: Consumer-Rights Advocate Calls Putin ‘Paranoid’ After ‘Foreign-Agent’ Slur.
9. Sputnik: Putin’s Performance Hits Record 89% Approval Rating – Independent Poll.
10. Reuters: Crisis? What crisis? Russia stalls on reform.
11. TASS: Russia’s Finance Minister urges creating center of reforms.
12. Russia Beyond the Headlines: SPIEF 2015: Oil and gas deals dominate as political leaders stay away.
13. Asia Times: Pepe Escobar, SPIEF – St. Petersburg in the heart of the action.
14. Sanctions create favorable conditions for Russian industry – trade minister.
14a. Deutsche Welle: Fiona Clark, Sanctions: Who’s really hurting in Russia?
15. Moscow Times: Gleb Kuznetsov, Russians Are Loyal to Russian State, Not Putin.
16. Russia Direct: Nikolay Pakhomov and Daniel Wagner, How Western energy sanctions on Russia have backfired. Falling oil prices have had a far greater impact on Russia’s energy sector than sanctions, which have only served to ratchet up tensions between Russia and the West and raise unsettling questions about global energy security.
17. Moscow Times: Alexander Shumilin, Shadow of Islamic State Hangs Over Russia.
18. Interfax: Armenia is not immune to ‘color revolution’ – Kosachyov.
19. Russia Insider: Alexander Mercouris, Greenwald: Putin’s ‘Trolls’ Are No Match for UK’s Internet Manipulation Program. NSA files published by Greenwald expose unit within British intelligence that plants stories, sets up bogus sites and plants comments on the Internet in a far more systematic way than anything the Russians are accused of.
20. EUObserver: Russian propaganda wins EU hearts and minds.
21. EUObserver: EU drafts plan on Russia’s media ‘misuse’
22. Rossiyskaya Gazeta : Russian academic comments on US-China military agreement. (Aleksey Maslov)
23. Washington Post: How Russians learned to stop worrying and love the bomb again.
24. Interfax: U.S. plans to deploy heavy weapons in Europe unrelated to real threat – Russian SC Deputy Sec Lukyanov.
25. Patrick Buchanan, NATO-Russia Collision Ahead?
26. The New York Times: Thomas Friedman, Cold War Without the Fun.
27. Pepe Escobar, The Pentagon goes nuclear on Russia.


28. Roger Annis, Kid Glove Treatment of the Extreme-Right. The Murder of Journalist Oles Buzina in Ukraine.
29. Russia Insider: Poroshenko’s Corruption Crackdown Is a Sad Farce. Poroshenko claims that under his virtuous leadership, thousands of corrupt officials have been put behind bars. The problem? He refuses to provide any evidence to support his assertion.
30. Sputnik: EU Confirms It Wants Donbass Special Status to Be Permanent.
31. Bloomberg: IMF Staff Said to View Ukraine Russia Bond as Official Debt.
32. The Guardian: Paul Gogo, Goodbye, Lenin: how a weighty symbol of the Soviet past divided a Ukrainian city. Bitter arguments among local councillors and citizens over the fate of the communist hero’s statue highlighted a deep generational rift.
33. Business New Europe: Extended EU-Russia sanctions create risky new status quo.
34. Fort Russ/Die Welt: Die Welt: Cost of sanctions for Europe” 100 billion (100,000,000,000) euros.
35. Kenneth Rapoza, Are European Companies Ignoring E.U. Sanctions On Russia?
36. Conversation: The Standoff Between Russia and the West Over Ukraine.


Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion