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UKRAINE & RUSSIA :: Recent Issues: FRIDAY JRL 10.24.14 :: WEDNESDAY JRL 10.22.14 :: TUESDAY JRL 10.21.14 :: MONDAY JRL 10.20.14 :: more ...

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

St. Basil's file photo

… 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

Interfax: Ukraine rebels reject German reports blaming them for downing flight MH17

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(Interfax – Moscow, October 19, 2014) First deputy prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s republic Andriy Purhin [Russian: Andrey Purgin] rejects German intelligence allegations of militia members’ involvement in the crash of the Malaysian Boeing, suggesting that Ukrainian troops may have shot down the airliner in error, mistaking it for a reconnaissance aircraft. “These

Ukraine and Russia move close to gas agreement, want IMF to pay bill

Gas Flame file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 20, 2014) Russia and Ukraine have moved a step closer to an agreement on gas supplies and pricing, but have called for the international community to help Ukraine pay its gas bill. “[We] reached an agreement,” Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko said on Ukrainian TV on October 17, immediately

Specter of ’98 Default Haunts Russians as Ruble Weakens

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – October 18, 2014) As the Russian ruble plunges to repeated record lows and the Central Bank ramps up market interventions to defend it, few want to mention Aug. 17, 1998. On that day, amid budgetary chaos and dwindling foreign currency reserves, Russia abandoned its support of the

Russia’s ‘Era of Freedom’ has Come to an End, Academician Says

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 19, 2014) Russia’s 25-year-long era of freedom, which began in 1989 with the Congress of Peoples Deputies, has come to an end and the prospects for the future are extremely bleak, according to Academician Yury Pivovarov. If Russians do not transform themselves, their country risks becoming


NEW BOOK: Brothers Armed: Military Aspects of the Crisis in Ukraine

Maidan Square file photo

Subject: New book: Brothers Armed: Military Aspects of the Crisis in Ukraine Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2014 From: Ruslan Pukhov <director@cast.ru> Brothers Armed: Military Aspects of the Crisis in Ukraine Edited by Colby Howard and Ruslan Pukhov, Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies Published by East View Press, 2014 ISBN 978-1-879944-22-0 paperback, 252 pages

For the Russian elite, loyalty is all: Life has changed for Russia’s elite – and not just their holiday destinations…

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(opendemocracy.net – Yelizaveta Surnacheva – October 16, 2014) Yelizaveta Surnacheva is a journalist at Kommersant. In the last six months, Russian officials, oligarchs, CEOs of state-owned businesses, parliamentary deputies, and regional governors have found themselves in a new world, with new missions, new economic circumstances, and new mechanisms for decision-making. Not many are comfortable with

Putin’s Class Of 2014

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – October 17, 2014) The iPhone-toting hipsters hanging out in their trendy downtown Moscow office are just the high-profile part of the Kremlin’s new youth strategy. Founded in November 2013, the youth group Set — which means “Network” in Russian — has organized patriotic fashion shows and film festivals,

Life in Russia with $80 oil

Oil Well file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Chris Weafer – October 17, 2014) Chris Weafer is Senior Partner at Macro-Advisory, which offers bespoke Russia-CIS consulting. From late 2010 until the middle of August this year, the price of Brent crude has traded within a relatively narrow range and averaged close to $110 per barrel. Over the

Interfax: “Novak: oil price drop no ‘tragedy'”

Oil Well file photo

(Interfax – October 17, 2014) The current decline in oil prices is no tragedy, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said, adding that the average annual price of oil needs to be considered. “The price reached $120 per barrel at the beginning of the year, and averaged $100 per barrel in the three preceding years. If

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Ruble devaluation compensates for loss of oil revenue

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Maria Karnaukh, special to RBTH – October 17, 2014) Falling oil prices – and the falling ruble – have different consequences for the budget and consumers Oil prices – and the Russian ruble – continue to sink. As of Oct. 16, the price of a barrel of Brent

Interfax: Russians feel no effect from Western sanctions, think Russian economy may benefit – poll

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(Interfax – October 17, 2014) Most Russians claim they have felt no effect from Western sanctions and expect that the sanctions will be good for the national economy, sociologists have told Interfax. A relative majority (41 percent) of 1,630 respondents polled by Levada Center in 134 populated localities in 46 regions in September said the

Russia to crack down on tax evasion

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 17, 2014) Russian authorities are moving ahead with a campaign to plug external and internal tax loopholes, with the government preparing a new law on ‘de-offshorisation’ and the central bank closing down banks complicit in grey capital outflows. The de-offshorisation campaign is intended to repatriate Russian business from

Navalny Wouldn’t Return Crimea, Considers Immigration Bigger Issue Than Ukraine

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – October 17, 2014) Prominent Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said in an interview this week that he would not return the Crimean Peninsula to Ukraine if he had the power to do so, and that the issue of illegal immigration was more important for Russia than anything

Putin’s Glamour Deemed Threat to National Security

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – October 17, 2014) In 2009, during his stint as prime minister, President Vladimir Putin flirted with being a columnist at literary magazine Russky Pioner, famous for its ostentatious parties. A vehicle for the literary ambition of the Russian elite, its contributors have also included presidential aide Vladislav

Interfax: West Africa Ebola sooner or later to be contained, virus not to reach Russia – Virology Research Institute

Ebola Virus, adapted from image at nih.gov with credit NAID

MOSCOW. Oct 17 (Interfax) – Experts from the Ivanovsky Virology Research Institute of the Russian Health Ministry believe the situation with Ebola in the world is unlikely to reach a level when Russia will have to restrict border entry. “I believe the situation will develop according to a favorable scenario and the outbreak can be

Interfax: Expert says drug abuse rates in Russia not catastrophic, alcoholism much worse

Russian Drug Den File Photo

MOSCOW. Oct 17 (Interfax) – The official drug abuse figure in Russia stands at 650,000 people. Their number is down 9% for the first time ever, the Russian Health Ministry’s chief substance abuse specialist Yevgeny Bryun said. “I cannot call drug abuse rates catastrophic. The alcoholism problem is much worse here. About 650,000 drug addicts

Muscovites in for a Harsh Winter as Temperatures Set to Plunge

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 17, 2014) After several years of relatively mild winters, Russia is gearing up for what meteorologists say will be a truly “Russian winter,” with its traditional frosts and ample snowfall. “Our estimations show that this year’s winter will be closer to our long-term average,” Alexander Frolov, head of the

RIA Novosti: Kiev’s Ultranationalism Behind Conflict With Eastern Ukraine: Russian Envoy

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

MOSCOW, October 17 (RIA Novosti) -The reason behind the tragedy in Eastern Ukraine is that the local population rejected the ultranationalist stand of the new Ukrainian government, which responded with a punitive operation against its own citizens, the Russian envoy to the United Nations said at a security conference in Switzerland. “The reason behind the

Interfax: DPR won’t hold Ukrainian elections – Purgin

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW. Oct 17 (Interfax) – The administration of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic is calm about the statement made by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, who said the elections in the DPR are to be conducted in accordance with Ukrainian legislation. “Our position remains unchanged. We will not allow any Ukrainian elections on our

Thirty-nine government heads roll after lustration law takes effect

Maidan Square file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 17, 2014) Ukrainian PM Arseny Yatsenyuk has said that 39 top government officials have lost their jobs on the basis of a lustration law that entered into force on October 14, purging officials who served under former president Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted in February. “In accordance with

Interfax: Russian defence chief “seriously concerned” by US counterpart’s statement

Sergei Shoigu file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, October 16, 2014) US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel’s statement on the necessity of preparing the American army for “dealing with the Russian armed forces” is evidence that military scenarios near the borders of the Russian Federation are being worked on, Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu has told journalists. “Chuck Hagel’s point

Preparing for War Against the US on All Fronts – A Net Assessment of Russia’s Defense and Foreign Policy Since the Start of 2014

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

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 11, Issue 183 – Pavel Felgenhauer – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – October 16, 2014) In a series of recently published interviews, President Vladimir Putin (kremlin.ru, October 15), Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (Interfax, October 15) and national security council secretary Nikolai Patrushev (Rossiyskaya Gazeta, October 15) have outlined Moscow’s strategic vision

Hagel: U.S. Army Must Be Ready to Face ‘Revisionist’ Russia

Chuck Hegel gesturing, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 16, 2014) U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has issued a warning to his country’s armed forces, saying they should be prepared for the security threat posed by a revitalized Russia. “The demands on the [U.S.] Army will only grow more diverse and complicated going forward,” Hagel told the

Interfax: FMS: Over 3.5 million Ukrainian nationals move to Russia in 2014

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

MOSCOW. Oct 16 (Interfax) – More than 3.5 million Ukrainian nationals moved to Russia this year, Lilia Arestova, deputy head of the Federal Migration Service (FMS) naturalization department, said at a meeting of the committee for public support to residents of south-eastern Ukraine. “The FMS is keeping a daily record of arrivals. A total of

RIA Novosti: Putin: No Energy Crisis in Europe on Russia’s Behalf

Gas Flame file photo

BELGRADE, October 16 (RIA Novosti) – President Vladimir Putin on Thursday reassured European partners that Russia would do everything possible to prevent any interruption of Russian natural gas deliveries to Europe. “We would’t want any crisis to occur during the winter period,” Putin told reporters following talks with Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade. “Russia

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Kerry and Lavrov take a practical approach

File Photo of John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov at Separte Podiums, Kerry with a Visible Earpiece; Adapted from Photo at state.gov

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Nikolai Litovkin, RBTH – October 16, 2014) During a three-hour meeting in Paris on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry discussed cooperation against ISIS in Iraq and Syria as well as the political crisis in Ukraine. After the talks, Lavrov said

RIA Novosti: Ukraine Demands Gas Transit Contract With Europe, Refuses to Guarantee Safe Transit

Gas Flame file photo

KIEV, October 16 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine will not guarantee uninterrupted transit of Russian gas to Europe via its territory unless it signs a gas transit contract with EU partners, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Thursday. “Ukraine declares that we are a state that guarantees uninterrupted transit of natural gas, but in order to guarantee

Back-of-envelope estimate of cost to Russia of Ukraine crisis is $100 billion in 2014

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Timothy Ash of Standard Bank – October 15, 2014) Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, this week estimated that the crisis in Ukraine would likely cost the German economy €40bn this year, and a further €50bn in 2015 – presumably through lost exports, and a broader disruption to the German

Kremlin-Run Generational Change in Regime Reproducing Soviet-Era Nomenklatura, Pastukhov Says

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 14, 2014) A revolution is taking place in Russia, but it is not in the streets but in the halls of government where the Putin regime is bringing into positions of power a new generation of officials who are more like the Soviet-era nomenklatura than like

TRANSCRIPT: Kerry Remarks at a Solo Press Availability

John Kerry file photo

(US Department of State – John Kerry, Secretary of State – October 14, 2014) Paris, France SECRETARY KERRY: Well, good evening, everybody. Thanks for your patience. This has been a very productive couple of days, and I’m glad to have an opportunity to be able to catch up on the discussions that we’ve had, both

Seven parties enter parliament, Poroshenko Bloc gets third of votes – survey

Rada File Photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Tim Ash, Standard Bank – October 15, 2014) Interesting poll reported by Interfax. Predictably President Poroshenko’s For Petro Poroshenko Bloc is still riding high in the polls with 33.5% – and emerging as the new party of power. Next up up is Liashko’s Radical Party with 12.8%, and seemingly

RIA Novosti: Ukrainian Teens Tweet Nazi Propaganda, Boast of Burning Russians

Twitter Logo and Faint World Map

[Graphics and tweets here en.ria.ru/society/20141012/193990648/ Ukrainian-Teens-Tweet-Nazi-Propaganda-Boast-of-Burning-Russians.html] MOSCOW, October 12 (RIA Novosti), Ekaterina Blinova – Since the Euromaidan turmoil and events triggered by the Ukrainian coup of February 2014, Ukrainian youth has been used as the main propaganda force of the Ukrainian nationalist movement. Ukrainian right-wing nationalists attract young people by romanticized the image of OUN-UPA

Moscow Times: Majority of Russians Endorse Internet Censorship

File Photo Dmitry Medvedev at Desk with Laptop Computer

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 15, 2014) The majority of the Russian population supports a curb on Internet freedoms in theory, a new study showed Tuesday. Fifty-four percent of the respondents in a new poll by the independent Levada Center said the World Wide Web had enough dangerous websites to mandate censorship. Another 31

RIA Novosti: Putin Limits Foreign Capital’s Participation in Russian Media: Government

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW, October 15 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law reducing the possible share of foreign stockholders in the Russian media to 20 percent, says the corresponding document published on the Russian government’s official legal information web portal Wednesday. “Unless otherwise stipulated by an international treaty … a Russian legal entity

Interfax: Russia remains open to free trade zone with EU, Lavrov says

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, October 14, 2014) There is no alternative to improving relations between Russia and the EU and Russia is ready to discuss the creation of a free trade zone with the EU, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. “I believe that no clear-headed person in Europe will argue with the fact that

RIA Novosti: Putin prepared to be held responsible for all happening in Russia

Putin Descending a Staircase file photo

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, October 14, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin does not agree with a widespread opinion that everything in Russia depends on him only; he believes that many simply want to find a person with whom the buck stops, and he does not resist this role. “This widespread belief that everything depends on

Interfax: Medvedev believes unitary state in Ukraine has no future but choice is up to Ukrainians

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 15 (Interfax) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev believes that a unitary state in Ukraine has no future but says a decision must come from the Ukrainians themselves. “Ukraine is an independent country and Ukrainians should decide for themselves where to live,” he said in an interview with the channel CNBC, answering a

RIA Novosti: Medvedev: Russian Troops Movements Not Signal to Anyone

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

MOSCOW, October 15 (RIA Novosti) – The return of Russian troops, who took part in summer exercises in southern Russia, to their permanent bases is part of Russia’s domestic policy and not a signal to anyone, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday. “All sorts of decisions that Russia takes, including decisions on our armed

Interfax: Russia interested in reviving cooperation with Ukraine – Putin

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

MOSCOW. Oct 16 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that mutually beneficial relations may still be restored with Ukraine and that it is possible to end the armed conflict in Ukraine’s southeastern regions. “Despite the current complicated period in Russian-Ukrainian relations, we are interested in having consistent, equal and mutually beneficial cooperation with our

Poroshenko Seeks Merkel’s Support as Russia Bristles

Maidan Square file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Tony Czuczka, Kateryna Choursina- October 16, 2014) German Chancellor Angela Merkel blamed the Kremlin for continuing to stoke the Ukraine conflict as Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that he won’t be blackmailed over the crisis. “Russia must make the decisive contribution to de-escalation,” Merkel told parliament in Berlin today. “The situation

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#216 table of contents with links :: Thursday 16 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-#216 :: Thursday 16 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. Wall Street Journal: Putin

Russian Defense Budget to Hit Record $81 Billion in 2015

Russian Nuclear Submarine file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 16, 2014) Russia’s national defense budget for 2015 will reach a record 3.3 trillion rubles ($81 billion), or 4.2 percent of its national GDP, the head of the State Duma’s defense committee, Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov, was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency on Thursday. The 2015 budget

Russians Lose Faith in Banks as Ruble Falls and Sanctions Bite

VTB Bank Facade file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – October 16, 2014) Consumer confidence in Russia’s financial system is falling, with half of Russians saying they don’t trust banks and are using such services less, in a troubling signal for a system under pressure from Western sanctions and more sensitive than ever to outflows of depositors,

Experts Divided Over Whether Sanctions Against Russia Are Working

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Voice of America – Andre de Nesnera – October 15, 2014) After several rounds of international sanctions against Russia for its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in March and support of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, experts are divided over whether they are working. “It depends on what your understanding of the purpose of sanctions

Interfax: Ukraine lustration law may help legitimatize political persecution – Russian diplomat

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Interfax – October 16, 2014) Ukraine’s new lustration law may lead to political persecution in the country, but Europe has approved of this document, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s human rights commissioner, Konstantin Dolgov, has said. “I totally agree with remarks concerning the lustration problem. Indeed, the West prefers not to comment on this law. Effectively,

Putin Immune to Economic Decline – So Far

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – October 16, 2014) Most of Russia’s indicators of economic health have plummeted this year. Inflation last month was at its highest level in three years, capital outflow this year is expected to exceed $100 billion, the ruble has lost almost 20 percent of its value since January,

RIA Novosti: HRW Calls on Russia to Guarantee Freedom of Expression

Collage of Russian Newspapers

MOSCOW, October 16 (RIA Novosti) – Russia should make every effort to guarantee freedom of expression, support media pluralism, a Human Rights Watch (HRW) researcher told RIA Novosti, regarding the new law, which has reduced the possible share of foreign stockholders in Russian media. “An essential feature of freedom of expression in a democratic society

RIA Novosti: Moscow Says Has Every Right to Introduce Sanctions Against US, But Chooses Not to

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated with Flags Behind

VIENNA, October 16 (RIA Novosti) – Amid numerous US sanctions against Russia, Moscow has every right to begin introducing sanctions against the United States, but chooses not to follow this path, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister told RIA Novosti. “This is a reflexive, instincts-based reaction of Washington on what does not fit into the American idea

Most Russians Think Western Sanctions Will Boost Nation’s Economy

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – October 16, 2014) Despite an economic slump and rising inflation, the majority of Russians believe that Western sanctions and Russia’s retaliatory ban on food imports will actually help the economy, a poll published Thursday showed. Only 25 percent of respondents expect sanctions to damage the Russian economy,

Russian central bank plays it cool as ruble falls to historic low

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 16, 2014) The ruble dropped to another historic low on October 15, passing the RUB41 per dollar mark in morning trading, but analysts said Russia’s central bank is not panicking because ruble weakness is bolstering manufacturing growth and budget revenues. “The CBR is not panicking either in terms

Interfax: Chief of staff says businessman’s arrest damaging Russia’s investment climate

File Photo of Sergei Ivanov, adapted from defense.gov image

(Interfax – October 15, 2014) Kremlin chief of staff Sergey Ivanov has said that the house arrest of billionaire businessman Vladimir Yevtushenkov is damaging Russia’s investment climate. In an interview with popular pro-Kremlin tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda, which was quoted by Interfax news agency, Ivanov said that “I agree, this [the arrest of Yevtushenkov] is having

Fewer Russian Bureaucrats But Salaries Increased 30%, Study Shows

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 16, 2014) The number of Russian officials has decreased slightly from 2009, but their collective earnings have grown 31 percent to 682 billion rubles ($16 billion), a new study showed Wednesday. Russia had 1.45 million officials in 2013, compared with 1.5 million five years ago, the study conducted by

Moscow Times: Ex-Soviet President Gorbachev Says ‘Disunity’ With Russia Weakens Europe

File Photo of Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan at Table Signing Documents

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 16, 2014) Former Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev has called on Russia and the West to put an end to their war of words and retaliatory sanctions over Ukraine and discuss a practical solution to the crisis. “How can you conduct a dialogue if you ‘punish’ the people in power

Russia Can’t Be Blackmailed Over Ukraine, Putin Says

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – October 15, 2014) It’s futile for the U.S. and its allies to “blackmail” Russia over the Ukraine crisis, President Vladimir Putin said in a newspaper interview. Russia’s partners should remember the risks involved in disputes between nuclear powers, Putin said. He accused Barack Obama of adopting a “hostile” approach in naming

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