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Thank you very much for following Johnson’s Russia List, with 7,454 followers on twitter and counting … 2,804 persons “liking” the JRL on facebook and counting … thousands subscribing to the core e-mail newsletter … and thousands visiting the JRL web home … Do you have any feedback you care to share about the JRL

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#225 table of contents with links :: Thursday 30 October 2014

St. Basil's file photo

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List JRL 2014-#225 :: Thursday 30 October 2014 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George  Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist  JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  Ukraine 1. Moscow Times: Fire Sweeps Through

Interfax: State pollster denies Russian TV brainwashes viewers about Putin

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(Interfax – October 29, 2014) Russian TV is not a zombie box as it speaks of President Vladimir Putin not only in glowing terms but also carries criticisms of him, the head of the Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VTsIOM), Valeriy Fedorov, has said. He was speaking at a news conference in Moscow on 29

Vast Majority of Russians Think Foreign Media Criticize Putin to Weaken Russia

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – October 30, 2014) The overwhelming majority of Russians view negative foreign media coverage of President Vladimir Putin and of Russia in general as an attempt to destabilize the country, pollster VTsIOM revealed Wednesday. The poll revealed that 87 percent of respondents see such ulterior motives in critical

Russia Could Be Facing 35-Year Cold Weather Spell, Scientist Says

File Photo of Moscow In Snowy Winter Showing St. Basil's At Night in Snowfall, with People on the Ground in the Distance

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 30, 2014) The early onset of winter experienced this year by residents in Siberia and the Ural Mountains could mark the start of a 35-year cycle of colder weather, a leading Russian scientist said Wednesday. “Changes in climate are cyclical. From 1946 to 1976, there was a cold cycle,

Russia offers EU a backdoor out of gas war

Gas Flame file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 30, 2014) Russia’s Gazprom said on October 29 that it will seek to open talks with the new European Commission on expanding its access to the Opal pipeline, which carries gas from Germany to the heart of Central Europe. The move serves as a reminder to member states

Fire Sweeps Through Kiev’s Oldest Movie Theater During LGBT Movie

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – October 30, 2014) A fire has swept through the oldest movie theater in Ukraine’s capital Kiev during the showing of an LGBT movie, ravaging the building in what witnesses described as a likely arson attack. None of the 100 or so people who attended the screening Wednesday

Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk parties dispute victory in tight elections

Rada File Photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 30, 2014) The People’s Front party, founded and led by Ukraine’s prime minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, and President Petro Poroshenko’s eponymous Petro Poroshenko Bloc are disputing which of them won Ukraine’s landmark parliamentary elections held on October 26. At stake is the right to draw up a crucial programme

Ukrainian GDP Plunges 5.1% Amid Deadly Conflict in Nation’s East

Maidan Square file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Daryna Krasnolutska – October 30, 2014) Ukraine’s economy shrank 5.1 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, the most in almost five years, as industrial production and the hryvnia slumped amid the bloody conflict in the country’s east. The drop is less than the 9 percent median estimate of

RIA Novosti: East Ukraine Demarcation Line Yet to Be Set: DPR Prime Minister

Ukraine Map and Flag

NOVOAZOVSK (Ukraine), October 30 (RIA Novosti) – The self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk (DPR) will stipulate its own conditions on if it were to sign a demarcation line agreement with Kiev, DPR Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko said Thursday. “There will be new conditions [on the signing of the demarcation line agreement], ours. We consider the

Interfax: Separatist leader in Ukraine’s Donetsk says “preparing for war”

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Interfax – October 29, 2014) Work on agreeing a new dividing line between militia forces and the Ukrainian army has been suspended on Kiev’s initiative, and now “we are preparing for war”, Oleksandr (Aleksandr) Zakharchenko, prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s republic (DPR) has said, as reported by privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax on

Number of Russians ready to support Putin in presidential polls falls from 66% to 38%

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Outdoor Rally with Microphone in Hand and Heavy Coat

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 30, 2014) 38% of Russian citizens interviewed by the Levada Center in September said they were ready to vote for incumbent President Vladimir Putin if the presidential elections were to be held this coming Sunday, as compared with 66% at the beginning of the year, center sociologists told

Half of Russians Expect Repeat of Soviet-Era Repression, Poll Says

File Photo of Prison in Russia with Wall, Barbed Wire, Guard Tower

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – October 30, 2014) Nearly half of all Russians believe that a return to Soviet-era repression is possible within their lifetime, a poll by the state-run Public Opinion Foundation revealed Wednesday. The poll, titled “Mass Repression in the Soviet Union,” examined the public’s perceptions and interpretations of Soviet-era

How a 1960s Soviet Engine Appeared on an Exploded U.S. Rocket (with Video)

Explosion After Wallops Rocket Disaster

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – October 30, 2014) [http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/how-a-1960s-soviet-engine-appeared-on-an-exploded-u-s-rocket/510311.html] A U.S. commercial rocket powered by a Soviet-built Russian rocket engine exploded seconds after liftoff early Wednesday morning Moscow time, adding fire to debates concerning the U.S. space industry’s heavy use of Russian rocket engines. While unfortunate, the incident does not threaten the

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#224 table of contents with links :: Wednesday 29 October 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 10. Business New Europe: Ben Aris, Ukraine to introduce sweeping tax reforms.
11. Bloomberg: Safe-Deposit Box Craze Lays Bare Ukraine Woes After Vote.
12. Reuters: Ukraine’s Yatseniuk sees himself staying on as prime minister.
13. www.opendemocracy.net: Natalia Antonova, Post-election, Ukrainians and Russians face an uncertain future. …

Post-election, Ukrainians and Russians face an uncertain future

Maidan Square file photo

(opendemocracy.net – Natalia Antonova – October 28, 2014) Natalia Antonova was born in Kyiv and grew up in North Carolina. She works as a journalist, playwright, and social media director at Russia Beyond the Headlines. Ukraine’s snap parliamentary elections have once again proven that the mainstream of society rejects the far right – not that

Russians are not bothered by Western sanctions

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(opendemocracy.net – Vasil Jaiani – October 27, 2014) Vasil Jaiani is a senior management analyst for the government of the District of Columbia. Sanctions have had a limited effect on the Russian population whose support towards the government’s Ukrainian policy does not seem to be eroding. [Charts here opendemocracy.net/od-russia/vasil-jaiani/russians-are-not-bothered-by-western-sanctions] Russia’s economy is not in meltdown,

RIA Novosti: EU-Russia Sanctions: No One Wants to Show They are Giving in First

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

MOSCOW, October 29 (RIA Novosti) – The anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the European Union will not be scaled back or rescinded in the immediate future. They’re likely to be in effect until mid-March of next year, an EU diplomatic source told RIA Novosti. But as Nigel Kushner, the CEO of W Legal, an international law

RIA Novosti: Who and What Is Causing the Decline in Oil Prices, and Where Will It Lead?

Oil Well file photo

MOSCOW, October 28 (RIA Novosti) – With oil hovering around the $80-85 per barrel mark, down nearly 30 percent from a high of over $115 in mid-June, media and expert analysis about the causes and consequences of the price decline has been extensive. We present another, Russia-informed perspective. Saudi Machinations Against US Shale and the

How Slumping Oil Prices Hit Russia’s Sanctions-Struck Oil Industry

Oil Well file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – October 29, 2014) Three screws are tightening on Russia’s oil industry. International banks are calling in multibillion-dollar loans and refusing new ones due to sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine. Western oil companies are barred from handing over advanced drilling technology, also due to sanctions. And, unexpectedly, the

Business New Europe: Russia calls on EU to show money for Ukraine gas

Gas Flame file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 29, 2014) Russia’s ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov called on the EU to show Russia it has the money to pay for Ukrainian gas, before Russia renews gas supplies to Ukraine, which were cut after a dispute over pricing and arrears. The EU is set to disburse

Safe-Deposit Box Craze Lays Bare Ukraine Woes After Vote

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Daryna Krasnolutska – October 29, 2014) Wary of banks and alarmed by armed conflict around her parents’ town, Daria Demianenko joined Ukraine’s rush to an old-fashioned way of squirreling away cash. More commonly known as a home for fancy jewels and ill-gotten gains, safe-deposit boxes are swallowing a growing chunk of

Ukraine to introduce sweeping tax reforms

Maidan Square file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Kyiv – October 29, 2014) When Ukraine’s newly elected parliament meets for the first time, probably in November, the first thing it will do is vote on a set of sweeping tax reforms that could transform the country and spark a long-awaited economic recovery. “Once we

Interfax: Future Ukrainian government must adopt plan of country restoration for 2015-2017 by December 15 – draft coalition agreement

Rada File Photo

KYIV. Oct 29 (Interfax) – The Ukrainian Cabinet of ministers to be formed after the establishment of a parliamentary coalition in the 8th Verkhovna Rada will have to draw up and adopt a plan for the restoration of the country by December 15, 2014, says a draft coalition agreement published on the Petro Poroshenko Bloc’s

RIA Novosti: Kiev Withdraws From Delineation Agreement With East Ukraine: DPR

Ukraine Map and Flag

DONETSK, October 29 (RIA Novosti) – Kiev has withdrawn from the delineation agreement it signed with Donetsk authorities without any explanation, the deputy prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said Wednesday. “A delineation was agreed between the opposing forces, but Kiev recalled the signature of its representative, Gen. Dumanskiy, from the document

Blowing $24 Billion on Ruble Spurs Free-Float Bet

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Vladimir Kuznetsov – October 29, 2014) The ruble’s persistent weakening in the face of $24 billion of interventions is stoking speculation the Bank of Russia will accelerate its switch to a free float. The currency fell to a record for a sixth day today, losing 0.6 percent to 42.7410 per dollar

Navalny Wins Court Case Against Federal Media Watchdog

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 29, 2014) Opposition activist Alexei Navalny announced his victory Tuesday in a lawsuit challenging the Russian federal media watchdog’s refusal to register his news outlet as an official media outlet. Navalny filed an application with the agency on June 2 to set up the “Alexei Navalny Information Agency,” a

Russian Media Behemoth Set To Launch Wave Of Foreign Bureaus

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW – October 29, 2014) Rossiya Segodnya, Russia’s state-run media conglomerate, is reportedly preparing to open local bureaus in 29 world capitals, a move expanding the Kremlin’s global media presence amid what senior Russian officials call an “information war” with the West. The new bureaus are set to

Russia Denies Report Alleging Harassment of U.S. Embassy Staff

Artist's Rendition of U.S. Embassy, Moscow, with the Russian Foreign Ministry in the Background

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jennifer Monaghan – October 29, 2014) Russia’s Foreign Ministry has issued an angry denial following a report that U.S. Embassy staff are facing increased harassment and psychological pressure while working in Moscow, appealing to the U.S. to stop the “negativity.” In an article published Monday, U.S.-based broadcaster ABC News reported

The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine By Ivan Katchanovski, Ph.D. School of Political Studies & Department of Communication University of Ottawa Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada ikatchan@uottawa.ca Paper presented at the Chair of Ukrainian Studies Seminar at the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, October 1, 2014 [With visuals and footnotes here academia.edu/8776021/The_Snipers_Massacre_on_the_Maidan_in_Ukraine] The Snipers

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#223 table of contents with links :: Tuesday 28 October 2014

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… 20. Kyiv Post: Opposition Bloc outperforms forecasts, expected to be fourth largest party.
21. Bloomberg: Putin Narrative of Abandoned Ukraine East Fueled by Vote.
22. RFE/RL: Ten Takeaways From Ukraine’s Vote. …

Interfax: Russian pollster says citizens increasingly concerned about rising dollar

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Interfax – Moscow, October 27, 2014) Fourty-five per cent of Russian residents are now concerned about an increase in the dollar rate – this indicator has increased significantly compared with last year, when only 26 per cent of respondents worried about this, Levada Centre [independent research organization] sociologists have told Interfax. At the same time,

Interfax: Moscow Helsinki Group, but not Memorial, gets Russian presidential grant

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Interfax – Moscow, October 27, 2014) Leading human rights organizations Moscow Helsinki Group and the For Human Rights movement were among the recipients of presidential grants as a result of a bid process held by the Civil Dignity organization. “Among well-known organizations, Moscow Helsinki Group received R1.8m [about 34,000 dollars at the current exchange rate]

Red Square Exhibit Sheds New Light on Soviet Cult of Lenin

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Kevin O’Flynn – October 28, 2014) [Photos here themoscowtimes.com/arts_n_ideas/article/leniniana-returns-to-red-square-to-dispel-myth-of-beloved-leader/510079.html] Everyone knew what was in the redbrick 19th-century building by Red Square in Soviet times. It was the Lenin Museum, the home – together with the nearby mausoleum – of the Lenin cult, to which a visit was a rite of

Finance Ministry Eyes 10% Cuts to Russia’s State Spending as Economic Outlook Worsens

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 28, 2014) With sanctions, oil price falls and the ruble devaluation making Russia’s official growth forecasts look increasingly overconfident, the Finance Ministry will draw up contingency measures to shave 10 percent off state spending in 2016 and 2017, business daily Vedomosti reported, citing undisclosed government sources. Such a drastic

Fewer Russians Ready to Re-Elect Putin, Poll Shows

Putin Descending a Staircase file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 28, 2014) President Vladimir Putin’s rating has fallen for the first time this year, with a substantial drop in the number of those who say they are ready to re-elect him, a poll by the Levada Center showed Tuesday. While a poll in August showed 57 percent of respondents

Interfax: Poll: Western-style democracy won’t work for Russia

Map of Russia

(Interfax – October 28, 2014) Russians are prone to describe the Western democratic model as unviable under the Russian conditions but exhibit an interest in the life and work in Western countries, sociologists told Interfax. Fifty-five percent of 1,630 respondents polled by the Levada Center in 134 populated localities in 46 regions in September said

Ten Takeaways From Ukraine’s Vote

Rada File Photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Glenn Kates – October 27, 2014) Ukrainians have voted in a new parliament for the first time since the Euromaidan protests ousted President Viktor Yanukovych and his pro-Russian government earlier this year. Here are some takeaways from the October 26 vote: The West-Russia divide is no longer relevant in parliament Since

Putin Narrative of Abandoned Ukraine East Fueled by Vote

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Daryna Krasnolutska – October 27, 2014) Vladimir Putin may have more ammunition to extend his influence over the Ukraine’s war-torn east after the country’s parliamentary election. A surge in support for pro-European parties leaves the area, the bedrock of ousted leader Viktor Yanukovych’s popularity, with less of a say in the

RIA Novosti: Ukraine’s Elections Sealed Minsk Agreement’s Fate, Make Country Easier to Govern: Analysts

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW, October 28 (RIA Novosti), Daria Chernyshova – Ukraine’s snap parliamentary elections were a referendum on whether to support the Minsk agreements and give autonomy to Donbas or not and are expected to make the country easier to govern, experts told RIA Novosti on Tuesday. “This election was a referendum on the dominant political issue

Business New Europe: Russia will recognise rebel elections to be held in east Ukraine

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 28, 2014) Russia will recognize elections to be held by rebels in Ukraine’s Donbass region on November 2, Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, told newspaper Izvestiya in an interview. The move will likely worsen Russia’s already strained relations with the West, which has demanded that Russia withdraw support

Business New Europe: Poroshenko could squeeze tiny Yatsenyuk lead with constituency seats

Rada File Photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 28, 2014) With 80% of votes counted, People’s Front party headed by Ukraine’s prime minster, Arseny Yatsenyuk, has held its hair-breadth lead over President Petro Poroshenko’s eponymous party. People’s Front is on 21.94% of the vote, while Petro Poroshenko Bloc is on 21.6%, according to the Ukrainian Central

Interfax: People’s Front, Poroshenko Bloc leaders in Ukraine polls – election commission

File photo of Barack Obama and Petro Poroshenko facing one another, with Obama gesturing

KYIV. Oct 28 (Interfax) – Ukraine’s central election commission announced after processing 90.02% of valid protocols that the People’s Front had won 22.16% and Petro Poroshenko Bloc 21.77% of the votes in Sunday’s parliamentary polls. The Samopomich association garnered 10.96% of the votes, Opposition Bloc 9.35%, Radical Party 7.46% and Batkivshchina 5.7% according to figures

Oil drops below $80, implications for Russian budget

Oil Well file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 28, 2014) The price of a barrel of Texan light dropped lower than $80 for the first time in two years, but Russia’s economy minister has retained its forecast for the next three years of the oil price remaining within the corridor of $90-$110, according to Interfax. “It is not

Sixty Percent of Russians Today Live or Have Lived in Poverty, Moscow Study Says

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 28, 2014) Sixty percent of the population of the Russian Federation is either poor now or has had experience with living in poverty in the past, a figure that is no longer falling as it was a decade ago and one that means Russians may be


NEWSLINK: In Ukraine’s East, Low Voter Turnout in Election Signals Kiev’s Challenges

Ukraine Map and Flag

["In Ukraine's East, Low Voter Turnout in Election Signals Kiev's Challenges; Wary of Poroshenko's Government, Few Voters Head to Polls in Eastern Town Controlled by Kiev" - Wall Street Journal - James Marson - October 27, 2014] The Wall Street Journal covers unfolding circumstances in Ukraine’s east, including issues over participation in recent legislative elections: *

NEWSLINK: Ukraine leader wins pro-West mandate but wary of Russia

Rada File Photo

["Ukraine leader wins pro-West mandate but wary of Russia" - Reuters - Richard Balmforth and Timothy Heritage - KIEV, Oct 27, 2014]  Reuters covers Ukrainian legislative elections that favored West-leaning Ukrainian Presidenti Petro Poroshenko: Pro-Western parties will dominate Ukraine’s parliament after an election handed President Petro Poroshenko a mandate to end a separatist conflict and

NEWSLINK: Alleged Russian intelligence agent caught outside Kyiv claiming to be FSB general

Stylized Artis Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

["Alleged Russian intelligence agent caught outside Kyiv claiming to be FSB general (PHOTOS)" - Kyiv Post - October 24, 2014] The Kiev Post covers reports that Ukraine captured a Russian operative connected with Ukrainian separatists, posing as a journalist: Ukraine’s State Security Service (SBU) says on Oct. 23 it apprehended a high-level Russian intelligence agent

Business New Europe: Ukraine’s bad start

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – October 24, 2014) This weekend’s crucial parliamentary elections in Ukraine could mark the end of two decades of failure and the launch of the country’s attempt to catch-up with the rest of the region. The trouble is that Ukraine is already off to a

RIA Novosti: Gorbachev says Putin’s latest speech questioning U.S. dominance best ever

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, October 26, 2014) The first president of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, thinks that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Valdai [Valday] speech was one of the strongest of his period in power. On Friday [24 October] the head of state gave a speech to participants in the Valdai discussion club in Sochi, in

Business New Europe: Ukrainians elect pro-European parliament

Rada File Photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Slack in Kyiv – October 27, 2014) Ukrainians have elected a pro-European parliament in snap elections on October 26, according to preliminary results. The results show pro-European parties headed by President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk respectively are neck-and-neck for first place, with 20% of votes

RIA Novosti: Ukraine Elections Offer Hope for Overcoming Crisis: Russian Human Rights Council’s Head

Mikhail Fedotov file photo

MOSCOW, October 27 (RIA Novosti) – The Ukrainian parliamentary elections went ahead according to Ukrainian law, which raises hope that the country could return to normal, the head of Russia’s Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights Mikhail Fedotov said Monday. “As far as it can be judged from media reports, the elections were

RIA Novosti: Lavrov: Moscow Recognizes Parliamentary Election Results in Ukraine

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW, October 27 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow considers the parliamentary elections in Ukraine as complete and is ready to recognize their results, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday. “It seems that these elections are complete, though not throughout the entire territory of Ukraine. I believe we will recognize these elections because it’s important for

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#222 table of contents with links :: Monday 27 October 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 12. Wall Street Journal: In Ukraine’s East, Low Voter Turnout in Election Signals Kiev’s Challenges. Wary of Poroshenko’s Government, Few Voters Head to Polls in Eastern Town Controlled by Kiev.
13. Reuters: In eastern Ukraine, most voters dream only of peace.
14. Kyiv Post: Peace elusive for voters in Sloviansk district. …

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#221 table of contents with links :: Friday 24 October 2014

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… 16. Christian Science Monitor: Fred Weir, In gloomy Ukraine, an unexpected gleam for one company. …
17. Moscow Times: Russian Intellectuals Ask State-Run TV to Admit Falsehoods in Ukraine Reports.
18. Reuters: Russia still has troops in Ukraine, NATO says. …

Interfax: Ulyukayev: GDP likely to decline in 2015 if low oil prices persist

Alexei Ulyukayev file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 24 (Interfax) – If current prices for oil persist in 2015, Russian GDP, retail trade, real incomes and investment will all decline, Ulyukayev said at a business breakfast hosted by Rossiiskaya Gazeta.” “If the current price of oil persists, then as soon as this year there will be practically no growth in real

Finance Minister: Russia Needs Backup Budget For Worst-Case Scenario

Anton Siluanov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – October 24, 2014) Russia must create a contingency budget to counter the threat that Western sanctions, economic stagnation and low oil prices will dash the country’s hopes of restoring growth in the near term, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Friday. “A budget cannot constantly have expenses that

RIA Novosti: Western sanctions increase Russians’ fears over economy – poll

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, October 23, 2014) Russians have become more worried about the state of their country’s financial system after the introduction of Western sanctions, but at the same time the economic situation has not yet compelled Russians to massively change their spending behaviour, according to research conducted in October by Russia’s National Agency

Putin’s Nevsky-Stolypin tandem

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Desk

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Chris Weafer – October 24, 2014) Chris Weafer is Senior Partner at Macro-Advisory, which offers bespoke Russia-CIS consulting. Many of the headlines about Russia in recent months have quite rightly focused on the geopolitical risks and the sanctions impact on the economy. To that has recently been added the

Moscow Times: Russia Beats U.S. and Japan as Best Place to Live for Expats, Survey Shows

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 24, 2014) Russia has ranked 17th on HSBC Bank’s annual list of the of the world’s best countries for expats, beating other destinations like Japan, France and the United Kingdom. Expats in 34 countries were asked in the HSBC Expat poll published Wednesday to judge their experiences on living

RIA Novosti: Donetsk People’s Republic Hopes to Free Part of Donbas by End of November: Prime Minister

Ukraine Map and Flag

DONETSK, October 23 (RIA Novosti) – TheDonetsk militias will free from the Ukrainian government forces the outskirts of the village of Yelenovka in Donetsk’s Volnovakha region by the end of November, Donetsk People’s Republic’s (DPR) Prime Minister Aleksander Zakharchenko said Thursday. “This is our land, our city. It’s not likely we will enter there in

Russian Intellectuals Ask State-Run TV to Admit Falsehoods in Ukraine Reports

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – October 24, 2014) A congress of Russian intellectuals has appealed to the head of state-run Channel One television to acknowledge “falsifications” in its reporting on Ukraine, holding the network accountable for the deaths of young Russians who were moved to go and fight there. The congress told

With Ukraine Revitalizing NATO, Russia Dusts Off its Own Security Alliance

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – October 24, 2014) While top Russian officials and pro-Kremlin politicians continue to paint NATO as an existential threat to Russia and even an instigator of the Ukraine crisis, Moscow has been working to strengthen the legitimacy of its own security organization: the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

Ukraine Crisis Fosters New Political Breed

Rada File Photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Volodymyr Verbyany – October 23, 2014) Andriy Teteruk had just returned from fighting as a volunteer battalion leader in eastern Ukraine when he received an invitation from Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk to run for parliament on his People’s Front ballot. “I also got proposals from the Petro Poroshenko Bloc and Oleh

Ukraine’s parliamentary elections could pave way for new constitution

Rada File Photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Kyiv – October 24, 2014) Ukraine is to go to the polls on October 26 in early elections likely to give forces supporting President Petro Poroshenko a strong majority in the parliament, paving the way for sweeping constitutional reform. “This should be a constitutional majority,” said

Despite Swedes’ Sub Panic, Russia’s Baltic Fleet Is Far From Fearsome

Russian Nuclear Submarine file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – October 22, 2014) As Sweden’s navy goes on its sixth day of hunting a suspected Russian submarine, Swedish defense officials announced on Tuesday that they intend to force the mystery vessel, if found, to surface “with armed force, if necessary,” the English-language Swedish newspaper The Local reported.

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#220 table of contents with links :: Wednesday 22 October 2014

St. Basil's file photo

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List JRL 2014-#220 :: Wednesday 22 October 2014 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George  Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist  JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  Ukraine 1. The National Interest: Nicolai Petro,

Mud and Loathing on Russia-Ukraine Border

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Stepan Kravchenko – October 21, 2014) Tamara Nekrasova never really hated Ukrainians, not even when a shell fired from Ukrainian territory struck her house just a short walk from the Russia-Ukraine border, sending her to the hospital and killing a neighbor. It wasn’t until later, after months of relentless anti-Ukraine reports

Russia’s Liberal Ekho Moskvy Braces for Inspection After Running Interview With Putin-Critic Navalny

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 22, 2014) The Emergency Situations Ministry has announced an unscheduled inspection of the offices of Ekho Mosvky two days after a journalist at the opposition-friendly radio station said it had been threatened with “problems” for running an interview with opposition leader Alexei Navalny. News website Slon.ru cited the station’s

List of ‘foreign agents’ grows thanks to Justice Ministry

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Galiya Ibragimova, RBTH – October 21, 2014) Since Russia’s Justice Ministry received the right to declare organizations “foreign agents” without their consent, the number of NGOs on the list has grown substantially In the two years since the passage of Russia’s controversial law on NGOs in July 2012,

Moscow Times: Russians More Afraid of U.S. Than Islamic Terrorism, Survey Shows

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated Before Russian and U.S. Flags

(Moscow Times – moscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – October 22, 2014) Nearly a quarter of Russians believe that the United States poses a bigger terrorist threat to their country than radical Islamists, a survey published Tuesday showed. Twenty-two percent of respondents to the poll by the state-run All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM), titled “Terrorist

Ukraine, the Euromaidan and the EU-A Net Assessment of Kyiv’s Course Toward Europe Since the Start of 2014

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 11, Issue 185 – Vladimir Socor – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – October 20, 2014) Western powers lost control and, to some extent, lost comprehension of the situation in Ukraine during the Euromaidan mass protest movement and its aftermath. They then trailed behind the events throughout Russia’s war against Ukraine to date.

Playing its own game: Belarus as a peacemaker between Russia and the West

Belarus Map

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexander Iskandaryan, special to RBTH – October 20, 2014) Alexander Iskandaryan is a political scientist and director of the Caucasus Institute in Yerevan, Armenia. The leadership in Minsk seems to be taking advantage of the crisis in Ukraine to improve its image Relations between the West and Belarus

Russian agricultural production soars after food sanctions

Grain file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 21, 2014) When Russian President Vladimir Putin cut off European Union imports of agricultural products earlier this year, one of the rationales was to give a boost to the badly underdeveloped domestic sector – and it seems to working. September’s retail and investment numbers were down but agricultural

NEW BOOK: The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia’s North Caucasus and Beyond

Caucasus Mountains Satellite Image

Subject: Book announcement Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2014 From: GORDON HAHN <gordon-hahn@sbcglobal.net> My most recent book – The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia’s North Caucasus and Beyond – has been published by McFarland Publishers. It is available for purchase from the publisher and Amazon. The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia’s North

Interfax: Western sanctions only united Russian society – Naryshkin

Russian Duma Building

CHERKESSK. Oct 21 (Interfax) – The sanctions imposed by Western countries against Russia have united Russians, said State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin. Speaking at a meeting with members of the Karachay-Cherkessia People’s Assembly on Tuesday, he said that Western partners have been putting pressure on Russia, in particular, by introducing a number of sanctions, including

Putin’s import substitution policy is working

Grain file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 21, 2014) When Russian President Vladimir Putin cut off European Union imports of agricultural products earlier this year, one of the rationales was to give a boost to the badly underdeveloped domestic sector – and it seems to working. September’s retail and investment numbers were down but agricultural

Russia and Ukraine jockey for position before another round of gas talks

Gas Flame file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 21, 2014) Russia and Ukraine are meeting on October 21 to hammer out a new agreement over Ukraine’s debts to Russia and future pricing for Russian gas, as winter approaches and Ukraine desperately needs Russian supplies to be restarted. Russia’s president Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian opposite number

RIA Novosti: EU Has Misconceptions About the Origin of Ukrainian Conflict

Ukraine Map and Flag

(RIA Novosti – Alexander Mercouris – LONDON, October 21, 2014) Alexander Mercouris is a London-based lawyer The ASEM summit in Milan cruelly exposed the illusions EU leaders hold about the Ukrainian conflict, and not for the first time Ever since the February coup in Ukraine, the EU’s leaders have held to two assumptions: First, that

RIA Novosti: Swedish Forces Admit Failure, Issuing False Information on Alleged Foreign Submarine Location

Russian Nuclear Submarine file photo

STOCKHOLM, October 21 (RIA Novosti) – The Swedish Armed Forces admitted Monday evening that they have failed to maintain transparency and issued false information about the whereabouts of the alleged foreign submarine in the Stockholm archipelago. “The Armed Forces are conducting an intelligence operation in the Stockholm archipelago. . . We are supposed to do

RIA Novosti: Obama Compares Russia’s Policy With Ebola Threat, Islamic State

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated Before Russian and U.S. Flags

MOSCOW, October 21 (RIA Novosti) – US President Barack Obama said Russian policy is one of the three main reasons Americans should worry about, along with the Ebola virus and the Islamic State terrorist group. “But people are still anxious. And they’re anxious for three reasons: one, internationally, we’re seeing a tumultuous time in the

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#219 table of contents with links :: Tuesday 21 October 2014

St. Basil's file photo

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List JRL 2014-#219 :: Tuesday 21 October 2014 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George  Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist  JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  1. Paul Goble: Window on Eurasia: Another

ASN 2015 World Convention (Proposal Deadline Reminder: 29 October 2014)

Columbia University Campus with Main Building

Subject: To Post: ASN 2015 World Convention (Proposal Deadline Reminder: 29 October 2014) Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2014 From: Dominique Arel <darel@uottawa.ca> Dear David: could you post this Deadline Reminder on JRL? Thanks, Dominique Call for Papers 20th Annual World Convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN) International Affairs Building, Columbia University,

Ukraine’s Euromaidan Reforms Reveal Deep Divisions

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Voice of America – voanews.com – Mark Snowiss – October 20, 2014) With eastern Ukraine crippled by conflict between government forces and pro-Russia separatists, many democratic activists in Kyiv paint the struggle as having given birth to a new unified state. They identify the call to resist what is widely perceived to be Russia’s aggression

Success of Russia-Ukraine Gas Deal Depends on EU’s Willingness to Pay

Gas Flame file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – October 21, 2014) As the Russian and Ukrainian Energy Ministers sit down with European Commission chaperones to resolve their intractable natural gas dispute on Tuesday, the ball will be in the EU’s court, which is expected to finance both Ukraine’s and its own energy security. With the

Russian Rhetoric Doesn’t Point to Reconciliation With West

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – October 21, 2014) The prospect of assuaging the rift in U.S.-Russia relations appeared dimmer Monday after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov predicted that the dire state of bilateral ties would persist for a long time. Lavrov’s bleak forecast follows last week’s multilateral talks about the situation in

Interfax: Gunfire again audible in Donetsk, shells damage gas mains, disrupt power supply – city government

Ukraine Map and Flag

KYIV. Oct 21 (Interfax) – The fighting subsided in Donetsk overnight but heavy gunfire was again reported from the Kirovsky and Kyivsky districts on Tuesday morning, says a report posted on the City Council website. The Kyivsky district was shelled from 5 p.m. through 10:30 p.m. local time on Monday. A residential building was damaged

Another Indication a New Russian Attack in Ukraine May Be Imminent

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 21, 2014) Many in both Ukraine and the Russian Federation have suggested in recent days that a new and large-scale Russian military attack in Ukraine may be imminent, but perhaps the clearest evidence for that has been provided by an unexpected source: Ella Panfilova, the Russian

Does Russian Liberalism Still ‘End at Ukraine’?

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 14, 2014) Since at least the time of the Russian Civil War, it has been common ground among many observers in Moscow and the West that Russian liberalism “ends at Ukraine,” a notion for which Aleksey Navalny’s statement that Russia will retain Crimea whatever happens appears

Russian Rights Ombudswoman Slams EU Over Ukraine Silence

Ukraine Map and Flag

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – October 20, 2014) Russia’s human rights ombudswoman has accused the European Union of “ignoring human suffering” in eastern Ukraine, in an interview published in the state-run bulletin “Rossiiskaya gazeta.” Ella Pamfilova said that although Europe is “an icon in the style of human rights, democracy, and freedom of speech,” it “openly

RIA Novosti: Time Running out for Election Monitors, Registering Ahead of Ukrainian Parliament Polls

Rada File Photo

MOSCOW, October 20 (RIA Novosti) – Monday will be the final day for those, going to monitor the upcoming parliamentary election in Ukraineto register with the country’s Central Election Commission. More than 1,800 observers have been registered so far, with 1,589 representing non-government organizations and 238 dispatched by foreign governments. A snap election to the

Masked men again attack Akhmetov’s Zaporizhstal steel plant

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 20, 2014) Over 100 masked men wearing nationalist insignia laid siege to Zaporizhstal, one of Ukraine’s largest steel plants, and owned by Ukraine’s richest man Rinat Akhmetov, newswires report. “The northern and southern entrances to the Zaporizhstal metallurgy plant are blocked by about 10 passenger vans carrying unidentified

RIA Novosti: Ukrainian president “recognized by everyone” – Russian foreign minister

File photo of Barack Obama and Petro Poroshenko facing one another, with Obama gesturing

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, October 19, 2014) Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that he would not dramatize Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s public statements ahead of the elections to the Supreme Council [parliament], although some of them are “hitting below the belt”. “As regards public statements (by Poroshenko), the election campaign is under way

RIA Novosti: Lavrov: Western Sanctions’ Goal is to Change Russia, Not to Settle Ukrainian Crisis

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW, October 19 (RIA Novosti) – The goal of Western sanctions is to force to change the position of the Russian Federation on the key and fundamental issues, and not to resolve the crisis in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “Our partners, who actually imposed the sanctions, do not hide the fact that

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#218 table of contents with links :: Monday 20 October 2014

St. Basil's file photo

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List JRL 2014-#218 :: Monday 18 October 2014 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George  Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist  JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  Ukraine 1. www.thedailybeast.com: Anna Nemtsova, Why

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