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UKRAINE & RUSSIA :: Recent Issues: THURSDAY JRL 4.24.14 :: WEDNESDAY JRL 4.23.14 :: TUESDAY JRL 4.22.14 :: MONDAY JRL 4.21.14 :: SUNDAY JRL 4.20.14

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Language and Culture Not History ‘Main Unifying Factors’ for Russians, Valdai Club Says

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 24, 2014) The Russian language and Russian culture are today “the main unifying factor[s]” for the citizens of the Russian Federation, unlike history which continues to be a source of divisions given that different groups have different understandings of past events, according to the Valdai International

Ukraine’s Unpaid Russian Gas Bills Dwarf U.S. Aid Offer

Russian Gas Facility file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Joe Carroll, Nicole Gaouette and Julianna Goldman – April 23, 2014) Ukraine’s best hope for keeping furnaces and factories running through next winter is to store as much natural gas as it can after a U.S. aid pledge fell far short of the nation’s needs. Energy supplies have given Russian leader

Russian-led security bloc chief says Russia, NATO now in direct standoff

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Interfax – Groznyy, April 23, 2014) Russia and NATO countries have reached a level of direct confrontation, Nikolay Bordyuzha, secretary-general of the CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organization], told journalists on Wednesday [23 April]. “In effect, thanks to the actions of certain NATO states, we have reached a level of direct confrontation,” Bordyuzha told journalists in

RIA Novosti: OSCE Military Observers at Ukraine-Russia Border – Kiev’s Security Service

File Photo of OSCE Banners

KIEV, April 24 (RIA Novosti) – A group of OSCE military observers is present at a Ukrainian checkpoint at the border with Russia that is surrounded by federalization supporters, the press center of the Ukrainian Security Service said Thursday. “An inspection team of OSCE military observers has been working on the site of the Luhansk

RIA Novosti: Russia to Hold Military Drills in Response to Ukraine Crackdown

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

MOSCOW, April 24 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced Thursday that Russia will conduct military drills in response to the developing situation in Ukraine’s southeast, where a special operation has targeted the country’s own citizens. “We are forced to react to such a development in the situation,” Shoigu said. “Starting today, exercises

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#94 contents with links :: Thursday 24 April 2014

St. Basil's file photo

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: 2014-#93 :: 23 April 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 To subscribe to the JRL email version, email David Johnson

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#93 contents with links :: Wednesday 23 April 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 1. Atlantic Council: Intelligence Chief: 100 Russian Officers Are Leading Ukraine’s Uprisings. Ukrainian Security Agency Seeks to Arrest Russian Army Colonel Coordinating Subversion.
2. USAToday.com: Ukraine: Three Russian military intel officers detained.
3. The Daily Telegraph (UK): Russia ‘supported torture of Kiev politician.’ Ukraine’s acting president calls for ‘anti-terrorist operation’ against pro-Moscow separatists after body of a murdered town councillor is found.
4. The Daily Mail (UK): The face of Putin’s Ukrainian thugs: The sinister masked men behind eastern pro-Russian ‘people’s mayors’
5. Reuters: Ukraine’s leaders say have U.S. backing to take on ‘aggressors’ ….

Pro-Russian militia-controlled pockets of southeast Ukraine are descending into violence and thuggery

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Harriet Salem in Donetsk – April 23, 2014) Following an escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine over the past few days despite the four-way Geneva agreement reached between Russia, Ukraine, the US and EU, acting Ukrainian President Oleksander Turchynov said late April 22 that the government will re-launch its

Ukraine’s President Calls For Relaunch Of ‘Antiterrorist’ Operation In East

Olexander Turchynov file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – April 22, 2014) Ukraine’s acting President Oleksandr Turchynov has called for the relaunch of an “antiterrorist” operation against pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, citing the death of a politician from his party in the region. Turchynov said in a statement that two “brutally tortured” bodies were found near the rebel-held city of Slovyansk on April

Putin Stages a Putsch against His Earlier Self, Belkovsky Says

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 23, 2014) The best way to understand the events of the last several months, Stanislav Belkovsky argues, is to view them as a repetition of the August 1991 coup with only this difference: the leader of this coup is Vladimir Putin and the target of his

Little green men; Events in Ukraine may develop with lightning speed, but the fear of war is ever present – a new kind of war.

Ukraine Map and Flag

(opendemocracy.net - Valery Kalnysh - April 21, 2014  Valery Kalnysh is editor of the Kommersant Ukraina newspaper There is a war on in Ukraine – and, moreover, it’s a pilot project for a new kind of war. History books we’ve read or lessons learned in school have given us a fixed image of what war is: the

Even Lukashenka is Worried about What Putin May Do

Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 22, 2014) It is a measure of just how worried the leaders of countries bordering Russia are about the possibility that Vladimir Putin will build on his Crimean Anschluss by moving against their states that even Alyaksandr Lukashenka feels the need to deny that Mensk is

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#92 contents with links :: Tuesday 22 April 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 30. New York Times: Under Russia, Life in Crimea Grows Chaotic.
31. Brookings Institution: Putin Trying to Make a Basket Case out of Ukraine. (interview with Strobe Talbott)
32. Washington Post editorial: President Obama, disregarding his own red line, dithers on Ukraine. …

TRANSCRIPT: Background Press Briefing on Vice President Biden’s Trip to Ukraine

File Photo of Air Force Two on Runway

The White House Office of the Vice President For Immediate Release April 21, 2014 Background Press Briefing on Vice President Biden’s Trip to Ukraine Aboard Air Force Two En Route Kyiv, Ukraine 2:00 P.M. (Local) MR. SPECTOR: Just a reminder at the top this is on background as a senior administration official. He will give

TRANSCRIPT: Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden at a Meeting with Ukrainian Legislators

File Photo of Joe Biden at Podium with U.S. Seal, With Ukrainian and U.S. Flags in Background

The White House April 22, 2014 REMARKS BY VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN AT A MEETING WITH UKRAINIAN LEGISLATORS Rada Kyiv, Ukraine 10:03 A.M. (Local) THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Mr. Ambassador. And I want to thank my colleagues for bringing me back home. For 36 years I sat in our legislature, and I used to

Most Russians Think Their Interests Not High on Putin’s Agenda, Poll Says

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 21, 2014) Only one in eight Russians think that President Vladimir Putin represents the interests of “ordinary people” in the country, a recent poll showed, even though a vast majority have said that they “trust” their leader. The most popular choice in a question that allowed for multiple answers

Physicists Complain of Interference From State-Appointed Officials

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – April 21, 2014) Four physicists have announced their resignation from the academic council of one of Russia’s top research institutes, accusing it of failing to defend a prominent colleague who was fired for “truancy” after attending a workshop at Stony Brook University in the U.S. The dismissal

Ukraine Says Russia Preparing Grounds for Invasion

File Photo of Russian Tanks in Military Parade

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Kateryna Choursina – April 20, 2014) At least three people were killed in a clash in Slovyansk in eastern Ukraine, the nation’s Interior Ministry said, as a top security official accused Russia of exploiting the violence to prepare grounds for an invasion. Three “activists” were shot to death while on duty

LDPR Leader Zhirinovsky Condemned for Tirade Against Pregnant Reporter

Vladimir Zhirinovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 19, 2014) The State Duma’s ethics committee will investigate Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky after the firebrand politician directed a particularly crude and offensive outburst at reporters on Friday. After being asked whether Russia should retaliate against the travel restrictions placed on Russian men by Ukraine, Zhirinovsky went

New Law Requires Knowledge of Russian For Residency

Migrant Workers file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 22, 2014) President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a bill that requires foreigners to prove their ability to speak Russian while also giving his seal of approval to a separate bill that will make it easier to grant citizenship to Russian-speakers in former Soviet states. The new immigration

RIA Novosti: Proportion of ‘Grey Capital’ Outflow from Russia Reached 20%-40% in 2012-2013 – Medvedev

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti) – The proportion of “grey capital” outflow from Russia in 2012-2013 reached 20 percent to 40 percent, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday during his annual report in the country’s lower house of parliament. “One of the forms of outflow comes from those who are looking for more attractive

Russian civil society and the law

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(opendemocracy.net – Louise Hallman – April 22, 2014) Louise Hallman is the Editor at Salzburg Global Seminar, an independent non-profit organization based in Salzburg, Austria with a mission to challenge current and future leaders to solve issues of global concern Russia’s foreign agents law caused a great deal of controversy when it was introduced late

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Why did Russia sell Alaska to the United States?

Alaska Pipeline file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Georgy Manaev, RBTH – April 20, 2014) In 1867, Russia sold the territory of Alaska to the U.S. for $7.2 million. A mere 50 years later, the Americans had earned that amount back 100 times over. How could the imperial officials have given up such a choice parcel?

Building bridges in Russian civil society

File Photo of Russian Volunteer Effort, With Group of People Outdoors with Boxes

(opendemocracy.net – Louise Hallman – April 21, 2014) Louise Hallman is the Editor at Salzburg Global Seminar, an independent non-profit organization based in Salzburg, Austria with a mission to challenge current and future leaders to solve issues of global concern. Direct aid givers, civic activists, and political activists spend as much time arguing amongst themselves

RIA Novosti: Opinion: Ukrainian Crisis Could Jeopardize US, EU

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti) – The continuation of chaos in Ukraine could lead to a negative outcome not only for the country itself, but also for the US and Europe, a former special assistant to President George W. Bush said Monday. “We don’t have a consolidated Ukrainian state and it’s been remarkable how rapidly

Pussy Riot Lands in U.S. for Film Premiere

File Photo of Pussy Riot Members in Courtroom Enclosure, With Man Showing Papers to One While Female Guard Looks On

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ali Sar – HOLLYWOOD, April 22, 2014) An image of young women clad in colorful outfits peeping through ski masks while being detained and clobbered by the police has been a part of evening newscasts in the U.S. for some time, most recently during the Sochi Olympics. Casual viewers have

RIA Novosti: Russia Can Create New Foundation for Self-Sufficient Economy – Medvedev

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti) – The current situation with unstable world markets, Western sanctions against Moscow over Crimea, and the country’s own economic problems is a great opportunity to create a new foundation for an industrial-based economy, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday. “The current situation for our government is not only a challenge,

Interfax: Ukraine tensions, NATO expansion pose threat to Russia – security official

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Interfax – Moscow, April 21, 2014) The situation in Ukraine, the deployment of a missile defence system by the USA and the expansion of NATO are increasing the number of threats to Russia’s security, the secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolay Patrushev, has said. “The scale of challenges and threats is expanding steadily. Today

RIA Novosti: Ukrainian Politician Says Elite Police Offered $200,000 to Return to Duty

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian presidential candidate Oleh Tsarev claims the country’s interim authorities offered members of the disbanded elite Berkut police force up to $200,000 to return to duty, the Moskovskiy Komsomolets newspaper reported Tuesday. “They will not come back,” Tsarev said in an interview published Tuesday. “They were offered big money

RIA Novosti: OSCE Observers, Federalist Leaders to Meet in Ukraine’s Donetsk – Source

File Photo of OSCE Banners

DONETSK, April 22 (RIA Novosti) – The leaders of pro-federalization protesters in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk will meet with representatives from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Tuesday, a source from the federalist camp told RIA Novosti. The meeting is scheduled for 2:00 pm local time (11:00 GMT) in

RIA Novosti: Ukraine Notifies Russia on Implementation of Geneva Accords

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti) – Kiev has sent Moscow a note on the implementation of last week’s Geneva agreement aimed at resolving the crisis in Ukraine, the country’s acting Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia wrote on Twitter Tuesday. “We sent a note to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on measures for the implementation of

RIA Novosti: Witch Hunt for Pro-Russian Activists in Ukraine Initiated by US – Russian Senator

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti) – A senior Russian lawmaker told RIA Novosti Tuesday that a campaign to capture pro-Russian activists by Ukrainian authorities was launched at the behest of the United States. “The same reward was offered in the US in times of McCarthyism, during the ‘witch hunt’ and as the US controls the

Russian civil society is a 25-year-old work in progress

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(opendemocracy.net – Sarah Lindemann-Komarova – April 21, 2014) A summary of the results of the recent Salzburg Global Seminar ‘Russian Civil Society Symposium: Building Bridges to the Future’ is simple: no easy answers, more questions. But that does not mean it was a failure. [Chart here http://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/sarah-lindemannkomarova/russian-civil-society-is-25yearold-work-in-progress] A summary of the results of the recent

Capital Flight From Russia Expected to Reach $70-80B

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW, April 21 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Finance Ministry has forecast this year’s capital outflow from Russia as reaching $70-80 billion, the director of long-term planning at the ministry said Monday. “We are certain that it won’t jump to $100 billion this year. A more reasonable estimate would be around $70-80 billion,” Maxim Oreshkin

Media Reports Say John Tefft Will Be Next U.S. Ambassador to Russia

Stylized Russian and U.S. Flags with Number 200, 1807-2007

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 21, 2014) While the U.S. is yet to officially nominate its next ambassador to Moscow, the Russian media have widely reported that the likely candidate for the job, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine John Tefft, would take up the position. “John Tefft, Ukraine expert, appointed new U.S. ambassador to

Did Putin Declare a Mini Thaw in Culture?

Map of Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – John Freedman – April 21, 2014) Did this actually happen or am I imagining it? It’s no big event or turning point, that is for sure. But it did feel for a moment last week that the temperature of the flames burning around us dipped just a little. In recent

Possible Light at the End of the Tunnel for Dozhd

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – D. Garrison Golubock – April 21, 2014) A favorable comment made by President Vladimir Putin during his annual call-in show on Thursday seems to have triggered a change of fortune for embattled independent television channel Dozhd, which is threatened with closure after being dropped by numerous major television operators. “If

RIA Novosti: Global Responsibilities to Normalize Russia-US Relations Within 7 Years

Stylized Russian and U.S. Flags with Number 200, 1807-2007

MOSCOW, April 21 (RIA Novosti), Daria Chernyshova – Relations between Russia and the US will normalize within the next seven years as the two countries bear significant global responsibilities and must cooperate on numerous international issues, the director general of the Eurasian Communication Center told RIA Novosti. “I believe the situation will normalize in 3-7

RIA Novosti: Confronting Both Russia and China ‘Strategic Mistake’ for US – Russian Lawmaker

Alexei Pushkov file photo

MOSCOW, April 21 (RIA Novosti) – The United States runs the risk of making a huge foreign policy blunder by simultaneously antagonizing two major world powers, Russia and China, a senior Russian lawmaker said Monday. “For the United States, Russia is an enemy and China is a potential enemy. But the confrontation course with both

West has Given Putin a ‘Mandate’ to Take as Much of Ukraine as He Wants, Latynina Says

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 21, 2014) The Geneva accords represent “a complete victory” for Vladimir Putin and “the complete capitulation of Europe and Ukraine,” which when translated out of diplomatic language gives the Kremlin leader “a mandate” to seize as much of Ukraine as he wants, according to Yuliya Latynina.

You’re a Russian reporter – stay out of Ukraine!

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(opendemocracy.net – Roman Osharov – April 14, 2014) Roman Osharov is a Moscow-based freelance journalist. His work has appeared in Voice of America’s Russian Service, The New Times magazine and Slon.ru Ukraine’s border and security officials are applying a restrictive policy on Russians entering the country, particularly male Russians of military age, and reporters In

Ukrainian crisis demonstrates the fallacy of ‘either-or’ choices

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Sergei Markedonov, political scientist – April 21, 2014) The crisis in Ukraine has demonstrated the weakness of post-Soviet states, which should not be forced into making “either-or” choices between one side or another. The only way for these states to forge a productive future is to engage with

Some Multi-National Companies Ignoring Western Sanctions Against Russia

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(Voice of America – Mil Arcega – April 21, 2014) Western sanctions are hurting Russia’s economy. That’s according to the country’s economic minister, who says Russia’s economic output is shrinking as investors take their money elsewhere. But some western companies are bucking that trend – expanding business interests in Russia – even as the U.S.

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#91 contents with links :: Monday 21 April 2014

St. Basil's file photo

Johnson’s Russia List :: 2014-#91 :: 21 April 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 To subscribe to the JRL email version, email David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net 1. New York Times: Photos Link Masked Men in

Russian Internet twitters with talk of Ukraine

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Anna Fefelova, special to RBTH – April 21, 2014) Russian bloggers and politicians use social media to discuss the conflict in the Donbass. While Russian state television is giving one perspective on the events in Eastern Ukraine, politicians and opposition bloggers alike have been expressing different views online.


An-70 aircraft is latest casualty of Russia-Ukraine fallout

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – April 19, 2014) The Russian-Ukrainian military transport aircraft has completed state testing, but series production is impossible in the current political climate. The Russian-Ukrainian Antonov An-70 military transport plane has successfully completed state testing. All the air craft’s systems were tested, as well as its short take-off and

RIA Novosti: Luhansk Protesters in Talks to Make Local Militia Legal

Ukraine Map and Flag

LUHANSK, April 18 (RIA Novosti) – Federalization supporters in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk are engaged in talks with the country’s acting defense minister about turning the region’s militia into a lawful unit, a leading activist said on Friday. The coordinator of local protesters, who identified himself as Oleh, said they have been in

Interfax: Illegal armed formations in Ukraine should be disarmed, buildings returned to owners – Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(Interfax – April 18, 2014) According to the agreements reached at the Geneva meeting, all illegal armed formations in Ukraine should be disarmed and all administrative buildings should be returned to owners, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “The taken buildings should be returned to their owners and occupied streets, squares and other public places

Interfax: Ukraine authorities ask ICC to investigate Kyiv Maidan deaths

Maidan Square file photo

KYIV. April 18 (Interfax) – The International Criminal Court (ICC) has received a request from the Ukrainian government to investigate the events that occurred on Independence Square, widely known as the Maidan, in the center of Kyiv from November 21, 2013 to February 22, 2014. “Today, April 17, 2014, the Registrar of the International Criminal

RIA Novosti: Kiev Says Protest Crackdown in East Switches to ‘Inactive Phase’

Ukraine Map and Flag

KIEV, April 18 (RIA Novosti) – Special operations to crack down on protests in eastern Ukraine are continuing, but have switched to an “inactive phase” following an agreement at four-party talks in Geneva on Thursday, the country’s Security Service said Friday. “In line with the Easter holidays and the Geneva agreements, operations are now in

Interfax: Matviyenko sure Federation Council permission to send troops to Ukraine won’t be used

Valentina Matviyenko file photo

(Interfax – April 18, 2014) Federation Council Chairperson Valentina Matviyenko is confident that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not have to use the Federation Council’s permission to send troops to Ukraine for protecting the civilian population. “I am positive that will not be necessary. The Geneva meeting mapped out ways to resolve the Ukrainian crisis

The Geneva Agreement – On Paper And On the Ground

Maidan Square file photo

(RFE/RL – April 18, 2014) Ukraine, Russia, the United States, and the European Union have reached an agreement in Geneva on a series of steps to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine. We take a look at the key points in the agreement and the steps taken — or not taken — thus far to implement them.

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#89 contents with links :: Saturday 19 April 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 2. Supreme Allied Commander Europe: General Philip Breedlove, Who Are the Men Behind the Masks?
3. Paul Goble: Window on Eurasia: Betrayal of Ukraine in Geneva ‘Worse than Munich,’ Illarionov Says.
4. Carnegie Europe: Judy Dempsey, Europe Looks On as Russia Marches Into Ukraine. …

Betrayal of Ukraine in Geneva ‘Worse than Munich,’ Illarionov Says

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 18, 2014) What the US, the EU and Ukraine itself agreed to in Geneva is “worse than Munich” because Kyiv joined in giving international sanction to actions of the Russian aggressor and opening the way for the transformation of the internal arrangements of Ukraine regardless of

Who Are the Men Behind the Masks?

Philip Breedlove file photo

Supreme Allied Commander Europe http://aco.nato.int/saceur2013/blog/who-are-the-men-behind-the-masks.aspx 17 April 2014 Who Are the Men Behind the Masks? By General Philip Breedlove NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and Commander of U.S. European Command. [DJ: Headline in Military Times : "4-star: Armed attackers in Ukraine are Russian troops in disguise"] It’s hard to fathom that groups of armed

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#88 contents with links :: Thursday PM 17 April 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 11. Financial Times: Kathrin Hille, The Putin Show.
12. Jamestown Foundation Eurasia Daily Monitor: Pavel Felgenhauer, Putin Hovering on the Brink of a Massive Invasion of Ukraine.
13. www.thenation.com: Katrina vanden Heuvel, For Now, Diplomacy Defuses Ukraine Crisis. …

Putin Hovering on the Brink of a Massive Invasion of Ukraine

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 11, Issue 73 - Pavel Felgenhauer – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – April 17, 2014) The Ukrainian crisis and the “reunification” of Crimea with the rest of Russia dominated President Vladimir Putin’s almost four-hour-long televised national phone-in-an annual PR performance that had been previously dominated by discussion of pensions, utility payments, inflation,

Putin Shows Victor’s Benevolence at Annual Call-In

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – April 17, 2014) Breaking his tradition of publicly tongue-lashing opponents at home and abroad, President Vladimir Putin assumed a non-predatory stance Thursday to diffuse fears of escalation of the ongoing rift with the West over the Ukraine crisis during his annual live call-in show broadcast on national

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#87 contents with links :: Thursday AM 17 April 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 11. New York Times: Talks a Chance for Russia to Step Back on Ukraine.
12. Irish Times: Ukraine’s anti-terror operation undone by villagers.
13. Wall Street Journal: Ukrainian Troops Encounter Angry Words, Gifts of Food.
14. The Guardian: Ukrainian troops ‘demoralised’ as civilians face down anti-terror drive. …

NEWSLINK: Is Vladimir Putin Another Adolf Hitler?

File Photo of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Riding in Convertible

["Is Vladimir Putin Another Adolf Hitler?" - Forbes - Paul Johnson - May 5, 2014] Forbes recalls the aggressive expansion of the Third Reich and draws parallels with the ideology and policies of today’s Putin-led Kremlin. … Had the Allies stopped Hitler at the beginning, when he was remilitarizing the Rhineland, he’d have been overthrown and World War II

NEWSLINK: A fearful new world, imperiled by Russia’s subterfuge

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

["A fearful new world, imperiled by Russia's subterfuge" - Anne Applebaum - Washington Post -  April 17, 2014] The Washington Post covers Russia’s reported involvement in Ukraine, including the role of Russia special forces and military intelligence: … So far, the Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine looks nothing like these battles. This war involves not

NEWSLINK: U.S., EU, Russia Talks Working Toward Joint Statement on Ukraine; First Sign That Geneva Discussions are Making Progress

Ukraine Map and Flag

["U.S., EU, Russia Talks Working Toward Joint Statement on Ukraine; First Sign That Geneva Discussions are Making Progress" - Wall Street Journal - Laurence Norman - April 17, 2014] The Wall Street Journal reports on unfolding talks in Geneva between the foreign ministers of Ukraine, Russia, the U.S. and the European Union.  While there reportedly was mention of a

Duma Bill Ending Mayoral Elections Passes First Reading

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Christopher Brennan – April 17, 2014) The State Duma has approved in a first reading a bill that would put an end to direct mayoral elections in some of Russia’s largest cities in what critics said was an attempt to ensure the appointment of mayors loyal to the Kremlin. The

Homegrown Films Beat Hollywood Imports in the Battle for Viewers

Movie Theater file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – April 17, 2014) After a string of domestic blockbusters and the strongest first quarter in recent years, it seems fair to say that the Russian film industry is on the rise – but the story is far from over, a local producer says. “Russian cinema is experiencing

Putin Family Values

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

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 17, 2014) Given the Kremlin’s promotion of traditional family values and Russian interest in all things Putin, a distant relative of the Kremlin leader has put out a second edition of his genealogy of the family, the presentation of which in Moscow this week speaks volumes

RIA Novosti: Kiev’s Claim of Russian Involvement in Ukraine ‘Smells of Paranoia’ – Moscow

Sergei Shoigu file photo

MOSCOW, April 17 (RIA Novosti) – Kiev’s claim that Russian special forces are involved in orchestrating protests in Ukraine “smells of paranoia,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Thursday. Shoigu’s comment followed a statement by Ukrainian security chief Valentin Nalivaichenko, who alleged Russian special forces are participating in ongoing pro-federalization protests in southeastern Ukraine. “These

Russian Anti-Americanism Today Very Different and Much Worse than Soviet-Era Variant, Mirsky Says

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 17, 2014) Some see the rising tide of anti-Americanism and anti-Western attitudes in Russia as a recrudescence of the Cold War, but in fact, the attitudes that the Putin regime is promoting now are very different and much worse than those which his Soviet predecessors sponsored,

RIA Novosti: Opinions: Russia and Ukraine Can Find Common Ground at Geneva Talks

Ukraine Map and Flag

WASHINGTON, April 17 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow and Kiev can find common ground during Thursday’s four-party talks on the crisis in Ukraine in Geneva, former US Ambassador to Ukraine Steven Karl Pifer told RIA Novosti. If Russian Prime Minister Sergei Lavrov comes with a mandate to try to defuse the crisis, “the US, EU, Ukrainian

Will Ukraine be able to find an alternative to Gazprom?

Russian Gas Facility file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – April 15, 2014) After seeing its gas discounts canceled by the Russian gas giant, Kyiv is seeking alternatives to purchasing gas directly from Russia. Ukraine has proposed obtaining more than 50 percent of its gas by reversing gas flows from the EU, but Gazprom

Nervous Kyiv Authorities Post Civil Defense Notices — And Then Take Them Down

Maidan Square file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – KYIV, April 16, 2014) Upon hearing a long, protracted siren, all citizens at home should turn on their radios, learn the location of the nearest bomb shelter, and inform their neighbors. They should then close all their windows, turn off the gas and water supply at the mains, gather up necessities including

RIA Novosti: Kiev Regime Backs Up on Russian Language Ban

Maidan Square file photo

KIEV, April 17 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian authorities are open to discussing granting Russian the status of an official language in the country’s southeastern regions, the acting head of the ruling political party in parliament said Thursday. “We will regulate this issue in a law that will stipulate the right of regions with a large

BNE: Ukraine military operation in east in disarray as forces unprepared, ill-equipped

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Harriet Salem in Slaviansk and Kramatorsk – April 17, 2014) The Ukrainian government’s military operation to disarm the pro-Russian separatists and take back the seized buildings in the east of the country is in chaos, with soldiers surrendering, abandoning materiel and fleeing in the face of a better organised

Russia Beyond the Headlines: What are the options for de-escalation in Ukraine?

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Nikolai Gorshkov, special to RBTH – April 17, 2014) While both Russia and the West are calling for a de-escalation of the situation in eastern Ukraine, there appear to be fundamental differences between each side’s view as to what constitute appropriate measures to achieve this aim. What are

RIA Novosti: Putin Hints Dialogue Possible Between Moscow, Kiev

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

MOSCOW, April 17 (RIA Novosti) – Russia and Ukraine have grounds for dialogue, Russian political scientists said after analyzing President Vladimir Putin’s comments during a live question and answer session with the public on Thursday. “These words give hope that dialogue is still possible,” Alexei Makarkin, an analyst and deputy director at the Center for

Interfax: Putin believes in decency, courage of Obama

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

MOSCOW. April 17 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said U.S. President Barack Obama would save him if he was drowning because he is a decent and courageous person. When asked by six-year-old Albina, whether Obama would save him if he was drowning, Putin said: “I can not say that we have some special personal

Apparatchik Apartments: Behind the facades of the House on the Embankment

Back side of House on Embankment (central part), view from Patriarshy Bridge pedestrian walkway, from Wikimedia Commons, user NVO, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Moscow,_House_on_Embankment_back_side.jpg

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Dmitriy Romendik, RBTH – April 16, 2014) This huge apartment block across the river from the Kremlin is one of the enduring symbols of the Stalin era. In the 1930s the apartments inside were allocated only to senior officials and the Soviet elite, but when many of them

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#86 contents with links :: Wednesday 16 April 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 3. Wall Street Journal: First Shots Rile Pro-Russian Crowds in Ukraine.
4. The Guardian: Troops fire as locals in Kramatorsk confront Ukraine general Vasily Krutov.
5. Reuters: Separatists fly Russian flag over Ukrainian armoured vehicles.
6. The Guardian: Ukraine crisis stirs resentment in birthplace of fugitive president. ….

Putin Pushing World to Something Worse than Cold War, Piontkovsky Says

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 15, 2014) Vladimir Putin, in his effort to save his rule by intervening militarily in Ukraine, is pushing the world not toward a new cold war as many say but rather to something far worse and more dangerous, one in which one or another side may

NEWSLINK: Russia believed to have plans to split Ukraine in three

Maidan Square file photo

["Russia believed to have plans to split Ukraine in three" - Australian Broadcasting Company - April 15, 2014] The Australian Broadcasting Company intereviews Taras Berezovets, Ukrainian political analyst and strategist.  Berezovets also served as an advisor to Yulia Tymoshenka during her second term as Ukraine’s Prime Minister from 2007 to 2010. According to Berezovets, interrogations of captured Russian intelligence

NEWSLINK: United States backs Ukraine military action in east region

Ukraine Map and Flag

["US backs Ukraine military action in east region" - AP - April 15, 2014] AP reports that the Obama administration is giving tacit support to Ukrainian military action against pro-Russia separatists: White House spokesman Jay Carney says such action isn’t the preferred option, but that the Ukrainian government has to respond to what he says is an

NEWSLINK: Separatists fly Russian flag over Ukrainian armoured vehicles

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

[Separatists fly Russian flag over Ukrainian armoured vehicles - Gabriela Baczynska & Thomas Grove - April 16, 2014] Reuters covers emerging events in eastern Ukraine, including separatists hoisting a Russian flag … efforts by the Ukrainian government to reclaim buildings from armed rebels … and upcoming talks between Ukraine, Russia, the United States and the European Union

NEWSLINK: First Shots Rile Pro-Russian Crowds in Ukraine; Ukraine’s ‘Antiterrorist’ Operation Runs Into Strong Passions in Eastern City

Maidan Square file photo

["First Shots Rile Pro-Russian Crowds in Ukraine; Ukraine's 'Antiterrorist' Operation Runs Into Strong Passions in Eastern City" - Wall Street Journal - James Marson - April 16, 2014] The Wall Street Journal covers the Ukrainian government’s military deployment against separatists in eastern Ukraine: Ukraine launched what it called an antiterrorist operation Tuesday, deploying a couple of hundred

Ukraine Takes Action to Quell Russian-Provoked Unrest

Maidan Square file photo

(The Heritage Foundation - heritage.org - Daniel Kochis - April 15, 2014) Today, the Ukrainian military began “anti-terror” operations to wrest control of some eastern police stations and government buildings from pro-Russian militants who had seized these installations during the previous week. These militants, along with suspected Russian Special Forces, have stirred up unrest in cities in eastern

RIA Novosti: NATO to Boost Military Presence in Baltic, Mediterranean

NATO meeting file photo

BRUSSELS, April 16 (RIA Novosti) – NATO will intensify air patrols over Eastern Europe and dispatch extra ships to the Baltic and Mediterranean Seas due to the crisis in Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said after a meeting of alliance ambassadors in Brussels. “We will have more planes in the air, more ships

RIA Novosti: International Community Must Persuade Ukraine to Start Constitutional Reform – Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov file photo

HANOI, April 16 (RIA Novosti) – All parties interested in settling the ongoing crisis in Ukraine must call on the Kiev authorities to move from words to action, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday. “Those who are a sincere friend of Ukraine, the Ukrainian people, are obliged to convince the current authorities to move

RIA Novosti: Moscow Dismisses Russia’s Alleged Threats to Invade Ukraine, Europe as Nonsense

File Photo of Russian Tanks in Military Parade

MOSCOW, April 16 (RIA Novosti) – Statements that Russia allegedly threatens Ukraine and Europe with a military invasion are “nonsense,” Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov told Rossiya24 TV channel Wednesday. “All the horror stories that Russia will take over Ukraine today and tomorrow the Russian troops will reach the English Channel, Bordeaux and the Cote

Ukrainian communists condemn operation in eastern regions, call for decentralization referendum

Ukraine Map and Flag

KYIV. April 16 (Interfax) – Ukrainian Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko has expressed his indignation at the operation in eastern Ukraine and proposed an immediate referendum on the administrative and territorial division of Ukraine and the broadest powers of local communities. “This is the only way to preserve the integrity and unity of the country,”

West should help Ukraine’s economy, not give promises – Russian PM

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, April 15, 2014) Europe and America should stop talking about the need to help Ukraine and finally do something to help its economy, Russian Prime Minister Dmitriy Medvedev has said. “All those who talk about the need to help Ukraine should finally do something for Ukraine. I mean our European partners and

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#85 contents with links :: Tuesday 15 April 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 24. BBC: Jonathan Marcus, Ukraine crisis: What now?
25. Irish Times: Daniel McLaughlin, Ukrainian army rendered lame by Yanukovich’s neglect.
26. Voice of America: Q&A with US Amb. Geoffrey Pyatt: Ukraine Crisis Escalates as War Fears Grow.
27. Business New Europe: Ben Aris, MOSCOW BLOG: Nato refutes Russian claim was promised no expansion.
28. Moscow Times: Alexander Golts, Why NATO Should Erect a Monument to Putin. …

Nabi Abdullaev to Replace Andrew McChesney as Moscow Times Editor

Moscow Times logo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 15, 2014) Nabi Abdullaev, a former deputy editor-in-chief of The Moscow Times, will replace Andrew McChesney at the helm of the newspaper later this week, MT publisher Ekaterina Movsumova said Monday. Abdullaev, who most recently headed RIA Novosti’s foreign-language news service, said he would concentrate on further developing The

Russian schoolchildren no longer fit into their uniforms

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Marina Obrazkova, RBTH – April 15, 2014) According to statistics, children in Russia have grown bigger over the past 10 years, largely due to changes in lifestyle and the quality of food. Experts have expressed concern over the trend and claim it is a symptom of a growing

U.S. sanctions may spur economy reforms in Russia – business ombudsman

Boris Titov file photo

(Interfax – April 15, 2014) New U.S. sanctions against Russia may impact the global economy but may in the end stimulate economic reforms in Russia, businessmen’s rights commissioner Boris Titov said. “Of course, we would like to avoid sanctions. Money loves tranquility that is why the economy can develop only when international relations in the

RIA Novosti: Medvedev Says Russian Financial System Reliable

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

MOSCOW, April 15 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s financial sector is reliable and under control, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said during a meeting with finance officials Tuesday. “We are in a very uneasy situation indeed, that’s why we need to make some allowances … but they are not supposed to be fundamental. On the whole,

Russia’s First Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill Under Consideration by Duma

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Katie Davies – April 15, 2014) Russia’s first anti-sexual harassment law has been submitted to the State Duma, despite concerns among critics that its terms will be used to deport foreign workers unfairly. The changes will protect the honor and dignity of “the more beautiful, but weaker sex,” said Oleg

RIA Novosti: ‘Direct Line with Vladimir Putin’ to Cover Crimea, Sanctions and NATO Buildup

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

MOSCOW, April 15 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin will answer questions from the public Thursday during his twelfth yearly call-in show called “Direct Line with Vladimir Putin.” This year’s “Direct Line” comes as the country is facing accusations of fomenting unrest in Ukraine after the breakaway republic Crimea voted by a landslide to

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