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RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#200 table of contents with links :: Sunday 21 September 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 21. The Economist: Win some, lose more. For all the celebrations in Kiev over ratifying the trade deal with Europe, it is the Russians who got most of what they wanted.
22. Euromaidan Press: Lilia Shevtsova: Putin “is looking for new ways to strangle Ukraine.”
23. Paul Goble: Window on Eurasia: If Putin Isn’t Stopped in Ukraine, He Will Move against Baltic Countries, Piontkovsky Says. …

WHITE HOUSE TRANSCRIPT: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and U.S. President Barack Obama in the Oval Office on Sept. 18

White House

(White House – September 18, 2014) PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, it is a great pleasure to welcome President Poroshenko to the Oval Office. He and I have been working together a lot over the last several months. And as I told him personally, and I want to repeat publicly, I think his leadership has been absolutely

If Putin Isn’t Stopped in Ukraine, He Will Move against Baltic Countries, Piontkovsky Says

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, September 20, 2014) If the West does not stop Vladimir Putin’s campaign to subordinate Ukraine to Moscow, then the Kremlin leader will move against the Baltic countries even though that carries with it the direct threat of a military conflict with NATO, according to Andrey Piontkovsky. But

RIA Novosti: Parties at Minsk Talks Agree on Memorandum Regulating Ukrainian Ceasefire Implementation

Ukraine Map and Flag

MINSK, September 20 (RIA Novosti) – Kiev authorities and pro-independence fighters in southeastern Ukraine have agreed on complete ceasefire, establishment of the buffer zone, withdrawal of heavy weapons away from the contact line on both sides, and deployment of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) monitoring mission. Early Saturday morning parties at

HIATUS: JRL E-Mail Newsletter Vacation: Sept. 11-28

St. Basil's file photo

Note from David Johnson, from JRL 2014-199: DJ: [JRL 2014-199] This is the last issue of JRL before the September 11-28 vacation. Let’s hope for positive news. …        

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#199 table of contents with links :: Wednesday 10 September 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-#199 :: Wednesday 10 September 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 4 DJ: This is the last issue

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#198 table of contents with links :: Tuesday 9 September 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-#198 :: Tuesday 9 September 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. Russia Beyond the Headlines: Fyodor

Moscow Times: Ukraine Crisis Halves Number of U.S. and EU Tourists Visiting Russia

File Photo of Airplane Approaching Runway About to Land

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 10, 2014) Russian travel agencies say 40 to 60 percent fewer European and U.S. holiday makers came to Russia in the first half of this year than in the same period of 2013, while three times fewer Russian tourists went abroad, a trend they attribute to bad blood between

Interfax: Sanctions against Russia already affecting production of tight reserves, could impact shelf

Oil Worker file photo

KHANTY-MANSIISK. Sept 10 (Interfax) – The sanctions imposed by the EU and U.S. against Russia are already affecting the production of tight reserves, Russian Natural Resources Minister Sergei Donskoi said at a briefing in Khanty-Mansiisk. “The sanctions, first due to technology, have not yet impacted [the country's economy], but are already affecting the production of

Business New Europe: MH17 report – The how, but not the who

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

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Nikolai Holmov, OdessaTalk – September 10, 2014) Today saw the release of the preliminary findings of the downing of the MH17 flight over eastern Ukraine. To be blunt, these preliminary findings confirming very much what everybody suspected – no crew error, no mechanical failure, no flying in unauthorised airspace

Interfax: Russia calls for thinking about consequences of weapons supplies to Kyiv

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW. Sept 10 (Interfax) – Russia knows about the agreements reached by Ukraine and some NATO countries on direct supplies of weapons to Kyiv and suggests thinking about the consequences of the implementation of such decisions. “We believe that all questions on this matter, including relating to the responsibility for the consequences of such a

Business New Europe: Russia demands sweeping changes to Ukraine’s association agreement with EU

EU Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – September 10, 2014) Moscow wants amendments to five vectors of Ukraine’s association agreement with the European Union, according to liberal Ukrainian paper Zerkalo Nedeli. The amendment would see as much as 20% of goods excluded from free trade between EU and Ukraine. This would require renegotiation of the agreement

Arming Ukraine: Arming Ukraine will lead to a widening of the conflict, more death and destruction, and a far more aggressive Russian policy.

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(opendemocracy.net – Daniel Kennedy – September 5, 2014) Daniel Kennedy is an Associate Editor at oDR. He is an Associate at Global Partners Digital, a social purpose company working to protect and promote human rights values online. As Ukraine struggles to combat domestic insurgents and what appears to be a Russian invasion in all but

Interfax: Amnesty International urges human rights violations in eastern Ukraine probed

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW. Sept 10 (Interfax) – Amnesty International (AI) human rights organization said it demanded human rights violations, committed by both conflict parties in Ukraine, be investigated comprehensively. AI calls for immediate investigations of all reports on human rights violations and war crimes, AI Secretary General Salil Shetty said during a news conference in the central

RIA Novosti: Russian Prime Minister Calls for Balanced Approach to Ukrainian Crisis

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

MOSCOW, September 10 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday called on the global community to assume a balanced approach to the situation in Ukraine. “The truce in Ukraine is still fragile. Kiev must hear all arguments, seek contacts with representatives of southeastern regions because it is an internal Ukrainian conflict, which

Russia’s Golos Has ‘Foreign Agent’ Status Removed

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – September 08, 2014) The head of the independent Russian electoral rights group Golos (Voice) says a Moscow city court has overturned a decision that the organization had to be registered as a “foreign agent” with authorities. Grigori Melkonyants said the court accepted the appeal of Russian Human Rights Commissioner Ella Pamfilova, who asked

Gazprom’s Grip on Russian Gas Exports Weakens as Novatek Gets Export License

Gas Flame file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – September 9, 2014) Novatek, Russia’s largest independent gas producer, has been granted a license to export liquefied natural gas, or LNG, marking the next step on Russia’s gradual liberalization of a market dominated by state-owned giant Gazprom. Deputy Energy Minister Kirill Molodtsov told the TASS news agency

Interfax: State obligation is to defend business from illegitimate actions of foreign countries, companies – Medvedev

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev Before Gold Flag with Elaborate Design

GORKI. Sept 9 (Interfax) – The state will continue to provide support to Russian business amid the Western sanctions, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said during a meeting with NOVATEK (MOEX: NVTK) CEO Leonid Mikhelson. “You can have no doubt that in the face of such unfair actions the state has always supported and will

Consumers Stay Away From Moscow’s Malls as Sanctions Deepen Russia’s Slump

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 9, 2014) Nearly 25 percent fewer people visited Moscow’s malls in the week leading up the start of the school year than in the same period of 2013, a survey said, indicating that Western sanctions and an economic slowdown are hitting Russian consumer demand. A report by consumer market

Interfax: Russia dramatically reduces imports of sanctioned products from non-CIS in August

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

MOSCOW. Sept 9 (Interfax) – Russia dramatically reduced imports of products that are under the food embargo in August compared with July. The food embargo was imposed on August 7, 2014. According to the Federal Customs Service (FCS), vegetable, dairy, poultry and pork supplies declined the most dramatically. So, in August the cost of imports

Business New Europe: Last minutes of MH17 flight not recorded by Nato Awacs spy planes

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

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – September 9, 2014) The last minutes of the MH17 flight downed over East Ukraine July 17 were not recorded by NATO Awacs “eye in the sky” planes, according to Germany’s Der Spiegel. As a result, the German government has no “certain knowledge” that the plane was shot down by

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#197 table of contents with links :: Monday 8 September 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-#197 :: Monday 8 September 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: Mark Adomanis, The

Interfax: Over 100,000 Ukrainians granted refugee status in Russia – deputy PM

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Interfax – September 8, 2014) Gorki, 8 September: Some 105,000 Ukrainian citizens have been granted the refugee status, some 500 people apply every day for participation in the programme for voluntary resettlement of compatriots from abroad, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitriy Kozak has said. “I would like to remind you that the (refugee – Interfax) status

Business New Europe: Borders of Donbas “special status” territory in dispute

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – September 9, 2014) The borders of the territory in Donbas receiving a “special status” under the terms of a ceasefire between Russian-backed rebels and Kyiv are under dispute, according to conflicting statements made by Yury Lutsenko, advisor to Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, and self-proclaimed first deputy prime minister of

Business New Europe: Amnesty International report: Ukraine voluntary battalions guilty of war crimes

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – September 9, 2014) Rights watchdog Amnesty International released a report on September 8 entitles (Ukraine: abuses and war crimes by the Aidar Volunteer Battalion in the north Luhansk region,” which claims militias fighting together with the official Ukrainian army are guilty of abuses including possible executions. “Members of the

Interfax: Moscow fears Kyiv may be forming attack force in southeast

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

MOSCOW. Sept 9 (Interfax) – Russia is concerned about the amassing of heavy weaponry by the Ukrainian army in the Debaltseve area, which may be a sign of the formation of an attack force, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “We know that the militia and we, as a party which has attested to the

Interfax: Donbas reports renewed shelling in Avdiivka, Debaltseve

Ukraine Map and Flag

DONETSK. Sept 9 (Interfax) – Residents of the Ukrainian town of Avdiivka claim that the explosion of a shell launched from Ukrainian army positions destroyed a stretch of railway on Tuesday. “The Ukrainian troops ruined a stretch of railway. There was a commuter train going from our station, from Avdiidka to Krasnoarmeisk. Now there is

One Year After Leader’s Death, North Caucasus Insurgency Soldiers On

Doku Umarov file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Liz Fuller – September 7, 2014) September 7 marks the first anniversary of the death from poisoning of Doku Umarov, the Chechen field commander who abandoned the cause of an independent Chechen Republic Ichkeria in 2007 and instead proclaimed a Caucasus Emirate (IK) encompassing the entire North Caucasus. While Umarov’s death has had

Interfax: Rosstat affirms 0.8% Q2 Russian GDP growth estimate

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW. Sept 8 (Interfax) – The Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) has affirmed its preliminary estimate of 0.8% year-on-year GDP growth for the second quarter of 2014, the agency said. GDP was 17.697 trillion rubles in current prices in Q2. Rosstat published its preliminary estimate for Q2 in the middle of August. The Russian Economic

Interfax: Russian economy to grow 0.5 percent this year, possibly more, says Medvedev

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Interfax – September 8, 2014) The Russian economy is projected to grow 0.5 percent this year, and while this is not a very good figure, the situation in other countries does not differ much from Russia, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with Russian newspaper Vedomosti. “We have focused on significantly higher

Poroshenko’s party holds lead in parliamentary election polls

Petro Poroschenko file photo, with additional men in background, adapted from image at state.gov

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Kyiv – September 8, 2014) The party of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko leads the latest opinion polls, but voters are focusing on charismatic individuals and the party landscape is still in a state of flux ahead of the early parliamentary elections on October 26. Fresh opinion

RIA Novosti: German Defense Ministry Opposes NATO’s Request to Increase Military Spending

NATO meeting file photo

MOSCOW, September 8 (RIA Novosti) – Berlin will neither increase its military spending at the request of NATO on account of the crises in Ukraine and Iraq, nor decrease it, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said in an interview with ARD. “Currently, the Bundeswehr is well equipped and is fully prepared for participation

Baseball: The great Russian pastime?

Rotating Baseball

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Anna Boiko, special to RBTH – September 7, 2014) Baseball has struggled in Russia, but is showing signs of life among the nation’s youth. The all-American sport of baseball has few fans among the Russians, who have long favored soccer or hockey. Yet the game has its own

Re: South shore of the Kola peninsula

Map of Russia

Subject: South shore of the Kola peninsual Date: Sat, 6 Sep 2014 14:09:31 -0500 From: William Brumfield <william.brumfield@gmail.com> David, below is announcement for the latest in my RBTH series. A stunning part of northwest Russia. Regards, William —— My current article for Russia beyond the Headlines is devoted to the south shore of the Kola

Moscow Times: Russia Hardens Military Thinking as NATO Fizzes Over Ukraine

NATO meeting file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – September 8, 2014) As West’s Cold-War-era military alliance cranks its belligerence levels up to 11, NATO’s historic enemy, Russia, is rejigging its own military thinking in response. In response to the harder stance confirmed at NATO’s summit last week in Wales, Russian officials are revisiting the country’s

RIA Novosti: Prime Minister Yatsenyuk: Ukraine to Become Independent From Russian Gas in Five Years

Arseniy Yatsenyuk file photo

MOSCOW, September 8 (RIA Novosti) – Kiev will stop being dependent on Russian gas in five years, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said in an interview to Ukraine’s 1+1 television channel. The “victory” is achieved when Ukraine will not buy Russian gas at all, which could be accomplished in a five-year period, Yatsenyuk said in

Gas war seen as next phase of Russia-Ukraine conflict

Gas Flame file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – September 8, 2014) [Charts here http://www.bne.eu/content/story/gas-war-seen-next-phase-russia-ukraine-conflict] Even if a lasting ceasefire in eastern Ukraine can be secured, the cessation of military hostilities will only mark the beginning of a new fight. The battle between Russia and Ukraine over gas supplies is about to restart

RIA Novosti: Political Analyst: US Backs Kiev Regime As Only Anti-Russian Force in Ukraine

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

MOSCOW, September 8 (RIA Novosti) – The United States supports Nazi-like Kiev regime as it is the only anti-Russian force that exists in Ukraine, director of the Moscow-based Institute of Globalization Studies said Monday. “The US supports them out of need, simply because they are the only existing anti-Russian,Russophobic force that exists in Ukraine. It’s

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Why linguistic nuance is often the first casualty of media reporting

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Desk

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Sergei Tseytlin, special to RBTH – September 8, 2014) Sergei Tseytlin is a freelance translator who also works for RBTH. Sergei Tseitlin was born in Moscow and grew up in New York. He has been living in Italy for last 16 years – first in Milan, then in

RIA Novosti: Medvedev: Russia to Stick to Current Development Course Despite External Disturbances

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

MOSCOW, September 7 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is not planning to change its development course, despite being subject to external disturbances, according to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. “The conditions for economic development, for the development of the country and people’s lives are certainly not simple. Speaking bluntly, as a member of the country’s leadership,

Interfax: War did massive damage to Donetsk – city mayor

Ukraine Map and Flag

KYIV. Sept 8 (Interfax) – Donetsk Mayor Oleksandr Lukyanchenko says the military action has done “massive” damage to the city. “It’s in the billions [hryvni]. If we take the industrial sector, residential; buildings, social infrastructure, energy facilities, and railway, it will be a colossal amount of damage. It will take the city’s economy a lot

VIDEO: Will the cease-fire between Ukraine and Russian separatists last?

Maidan Square file photo

From PBS, Jeffrey Brown interviews Michael McFaul, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Nicholas Burns, former U.S. Ambassador to NATO, about unfolding events in Ukraine and the Western response. Click here for transcript: pbs.org/newshour/bb/will-cease-fire-ukraine-russian-separatists-last/    

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#196 table of contents with links :: Saturday 6 September 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-#196 :: Saturday 6 September 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. Reuters: Putin is under Satan’s

NATO’s Eastern Countries Fractured Over Response To Russia

NATO meeting file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – September 6, 2014) Czech President Milos Zeman sparked a testy exchange with Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt this week at the NATO summit in Wales, declaring that Prague had not yet seen “clear proof” of Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. “President Zeman should ask his own people,” Bildt retorted. “I don’t

How Must Ukraine Use the Ceasefire?

Maidan Square file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, September 7, 2014) Even though there is every indication that the ceasefire has already been broken and that Vladimir Putin had no intention of living up to its promise of a move toward peace, Ukrainians are confronted with the challenge of considering how best to use the


Interfax: National Guard commander mentions minor violations of truce on militia’s part

Ukraine Map and Flag

KHARKIV. Sept 6 (Interfax) – Minor violations of the truce in Ukraine on the part of the militia were recorded until 6:45 p.m. Kyiv time on September 5, Ukrainian National Guard Commander Stepan Poltorak said. “The National Guard is stationed virtually along the entire perimeter of the combat activities. There were minor violations in the

RIA Novosti: Official: Ukraine’s NATO Membership Not Discussed at Meeting in UK

NATO Meeting file photo

NEWPORT, September 5 (RIA Novosti) – NATO and Ukraine did not discuss the possibility of the Eastern European country’s membership in the military alliance, a NATO official said Friday. “In regard to membership, no, that question wasn’t raided and wasn’t discussed,” the official said on conditions of anonymity. On Wednesday, the Ukrainian government approved legislation

Moscow Times: Mrs. America Defies Politics and Brings Beauty Pageant to Crimea

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 5, 2014) While NATO on Thursday called on Russia to “end its illegal annexation of Crimea,” the organizers of a U.S. beauty pageant seem unfazed about the peninsula’s political status, and are planning to ship the country’s most beautiful married women to Sevastopol. Organizers of the Mrs. America beauty

Moscow Times: U.S.-Russia Split Over Ukraine Gives Islamic State Upper Hand

mideast-200

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – September 5, 2014) As the NATO summit gets under way in Wales and world leaders put on a united front against the growing threat posed by radical terrorist organization the Islamic State, continued bickering between Russia and the West over events in Ukraine threatens to give the

Interfax: Parties led by Poroshenko, Lyashko, Tymoshenko may garner comparable number of votes in Ukrainian parliamentary elections – poll

Ukraine Map and Flag

KYIV. Sept 4 (Interfax) – The Solidarity party led by Petro Poroshenko, the Radical Party led by Oleh Lyashko, and the Batkivshchyna all-Ukrainian association have roughly equal electoral ratings in the run-up to early parliamentary elections scheduled in Ukraine for October 26, 2014, as is seen from a poll conducted by GfK Ukraine. In particular,

Moscow Times: New EU Sanctions to Inflict Long-Term Pain

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – September 5, 2014) The Russian business world is braced for the European Union’s unfurling of a fresh round of economic sanctions on Friday, with analysts predicting that Russia’s $2 trillion economy will be squeezed even tighter while its companies face isolation from international markets. A peace plan

Interfax: Gen. Baluyevsky: New Russian military doctrine to have no provisions on preventive nuke strike, potential enemy

Russia ICBM on Mobile Launcher

MOSCOW. Sept 5 (Interfax) – The updated Russian military doctrine will not designate a potential enemy and conditions of a preventive nuclear strike against it; such information is available in classified directives, former Russian General Staff Chief Gen. of the Army Yuri Baluyevsky, who co-authored the 2010 military doctrine of Russia, told Interfax-AVN on Friday.

Interfax: Stepashin: U.S., its allies are looking to get Putin out of power, isolate Russia

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

MOSCOW. Sept 5 (Interfax) – Sergei Stepashin, chairman of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society and former prime minister of Russia, believes the purpose of the sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies on Russia is to get Vladimir Putin out of power and isolate Russia on the international scene. In his letter to U.S.

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Ukrainian conflict: What exactly is Russia trying to achieve in the east?

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Gevorg Mirzayan, special to RBTH – September 4, 2014) Moscow has a vital interest in maintaining a unified Ukraine in which the pro-Russian south-eastern regions will have a distinct voice. The main goal of Russia’s support for the militants in the Donbass region is to ultimately prevent Ukraine’s

Interfax: OSCE mission in Ukraine may be increased to 500 observers – Russian envoy to OSCE

File Photo of OSCE Banners

MOSCOW. Sept 5 (Interfax) – The OSCE intends to increase the number of its observers in Ukraine to 500, which may be enough for monitoring a ceasefire observance in eastern Ukraine, in the nearest future, Russian permanent envoy to the OSCE Andrei Kelin said. “We will begin recruiting in the nearest future. We may increase

What the FSB is doing in Russian universities

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

(opendemocracy.net – ALEKSANDR CHORNYKH – September 2, 2014) Aleksandr Chornykh writes for the Russian newspaper Kommersant. He specialises on education in Russia, and is one of the leading experts in his field. In Soviet times, the KGB kept a close watch on intellectuals – they might turn out to be dissidents. Today, the FSB still skulks on

Justice Ministry Adds Nuclear Research Center to ‘Foreign Agents’ List

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 4, 2014) Russia’s Justice Ministry added a Moscow-based think tank that specializes in nuclear arms research to its controversial list of “foreign agents” on Wednesday. The designation means that the PIR Center, founded in 1994, has been found to receive funding from abroad and to conduct political activities, thus

The Troubled Rebirth of Political Opposition in Russia

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – Vladimir Gelman – September 2014) Distinguished Professor, Political Sciences and Sociology; Aleksanteri Institute at the Finnish Centre for Russian and Eastern European Studies In the 2000s, most experts considered the role of political opposition in Russia as peripheral at best. But with the protest wave of 2011-12, opposition actors and movements reentered

The Poroshenko Phenomenon: Elections and Challenges Ahead

Petro Poroschenko file photo, with additional men in background, adapted from image at state.gov

(PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – Olexiy Haran and Petro Burkovsky – August 2014) Petro Burkovskyi is deputy chief of the Analytical and Information Division in the National Institute for Strategic Studies (NISS), on civil service since 2005. Olexiy Haran is professor of Comparative Politics and Founding Director at the School for Policy Analysis, Kyiv Mohyla University. Back in

Fewer Russians Blame Authorities for Deaths in Beslan Attack

Map of Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 2, 2014) On the 10th anniversary of the Beslan terrorist attack in which more than 330 people died, a poll revealed Monday that fewer Russians think authorities mishandled the crisis than in 2004. The poll, conducted by the independent Levada Center from Aug. 22 to 25, showed a less

Decade After Beslan, Questions Remain Unanswered

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – September 1, 2014) The children who set off for their first day of school 10 years ago in the small Caucasus town of Beslan, North Ossetia, will graduate from high school this coming academic year – at least, those who survived will. On Sept. 1, 2004, a

Lyubimovka Marks Real Start of Theater Season

Mayakovsky Theater at Night, file photo; adapted from image from Creative Commons/wikimedia/Shuvaev

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – John Freedman – September 4, 2014) It’s not quite true that the Lyubimovka play festival is the first real event of each theater season in Moscow. This year, for example, some 10 top venues, including the Moscow Art Theater, the Mayakovsky and the Gogol Center, are already up and running.

Russian Human Rights Council Attempts to Scrap Fines for ‘Foreign Agent’ NGOs

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 3, 2014) The Presidential Human Rights Council has prepared amendments to a controversial law that would stop nongovernmental organizations being fined for failing to register as “foreign agents,” Kommersant reported Tuesday. A law introduced by the government in 2012 requires NGOs that receive funding from abroad and are engaged

Moscow Times: Study Finds Russian Women Spend Most Time in Front of Mirror

Two Babushkas file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 4, 2014) Russian women place first in the world in terms of how much time they spend in front of a mirror, a study conducted by U.S. company Harris Interactive revealed. Fifty-seven percent of Russian women between the ages of 18 and 49 spend at least 45 minutes getting

Russian Economic Ministry downgrades forecast for 2014

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH -September 1, 2014) The Russian Economic Development Ministry has considerably revised its forecast for economic development parameters for 2015-2017 for the worse. These include a drop in oil and gas production and lower oil prices. Experts predict that the forecast may be further revised, either

New Confrontation between Russia and the West Will Last a Long Time, Karaganov Warns

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

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, September 4, 2014) On the same day that President Barack Obama used the most “forceful language against Russia” of any US leader since Ronald Reagan and made “the ultimate commitment” to defend NATO allies in Eastern Europe, Sergey Karaganov said that the confrontation between Russia and the

RIA Novosti: Donetsk, Luhansk Leaders Say Ready to Order Ceasefire Friday If Peace Plan Agreed

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW, September 4 (RIA Novosti) – The leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics in eastern Ukraine said in a joint statement Thursday they were ready to order ceasefire on Friday afternoon if a peace plan is signed during negotiations in Minsk. “We are ready to order ceasefire at 3:00 p.m. Moscow time

Ceasefire called in Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – September 4, 2014) Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko called for a “permanent ceasefire” on September 3, following a call to Russian President Vladimir Putin, raising hopes that peace was around the corner in Ukraine. Those hopes were dented later the same day when the Ukrainian presidential website where the announcement

RIA Novosti: Lavrov: Russia Ready to Explain Provisions of Putin’s Plan on Ukraine in Details

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW, September 4 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow is ready to explain and clarify the provisions of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s seven-point plan on Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday. “We, as a country that in cooperation with OSCE officials has been trying to launch a substantive and meaningful dialogue between Kiev and southeastern

Poll: Most Russians Would Sacrifice Booze and Cigarettes to Hurt West

Cigarette Being Lit

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 4, 2014) More than 70 percent of Russians would ban imports of booze and cigarettes from Western countries in retaliation for sanctions, but few would give up foreign cars or pay an additional tax on vacations abroad, a recent poll indicated. Other popular measures included blacklisting foreign hotels (supported

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#195 table of contents with links :: Friday 5 September 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-#195 :: Friday 5 September 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. The Times (UK): Neo-Nazis give Kiev

Interfax: “Putin plan” on Ukraine only a proposal on priority measures – spokesman

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Interfax – September 3, 2014) Putin’s plan to settle the situation in Ukraine is only a proposal on priority measures, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitriy Peskov has said, Russian privately-owned Interfax news agency reported on 3 September. “This is not an exhaustive plan. It is a proposal on priority measures and everything else is an issue

Poll: More Russians View Ukrainians Negatively

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 4, 2014) A new survey released by the independent Levada Center on Wednesday revealed a tendency among Russians to characterize Ukrainians by negative personality traits, and their Russians compatriots by favorable ones. Forty-seven percent of respondents to the poll, which was conducted between Aug. 22 and 25, said Russians

Majority of Russia’s Urban Population Is Breathing Highly Polluted Air

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 4, 2014) The majority of Russia’s urban population is breathing highly polluted air, including at least 14 million people in 38 cities where pollutant concentrations are 10 times above acceptable levels, according to a recent report by the national weather and environment service. Moscow was among cities that rated

Ukraine Looks To Stalin Era To Root Out Spies

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

(RFE/RL – rferl.org –  Luke Johnson – September 03, 2014) Kyiv appears to have taken a page from Stalin’s book in a bid to root out pro-Russian spies looking to weaken Ukraine’s defenses from within. Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Heletey has announced the creation of a Special Service, similar to a counterintelligence organization that existed during Josef Stalin’s

Islamic State to Putin: We Are on Our Way to Russia

Syria Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – September 4, 2014) Members of the Islamic State, a violent group of extremists presently terrorizing Iraq and Syria, have released a video threatening President Vladimir Putin and vowing to wage war in Russia’s restive North Caucasus. Message to Putin A video released by Al Arabiya and reportedly filmed

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#194 table of contents with links :: Thursday 4 September 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-#194 :: Thursday 4 September 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 & Russia 1. Moscow Times: Poll:

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#193 table of contents with links :: Wednesday 3 September 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 31. Wall Street Journal editorial: Deterring a European War. Putin wants to break NATO, and his next move may be against the Baltic states. 32. New York Times editorial: NATO’s Urgent Challenges. 33. NATO: NATO and Russia: a new strategic reality. Remarks by NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow at the conference on “NATO after the Wales Summit” ….

Interfax: Kremlin may not renew contract with its Western image makers – Putin spokesman

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Interfax – Moscow, September 2, 2014) The Russian president’s press secretary, Dmitriy Peskov, has said that at the end of its contract with American company Ketchum, the Kremlin will have to decide on the future of their cooperation. “Communication services are largely useless now,” the Russian president’s press secretary said in an interview with [Russian-language]

Russian Orthodox Church Risks Schism Over Conflict in Ukraine

Church Domes with Crosses file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko – September 3, 2014) On the last day of summer, a Russian Orthodox priest imposed against his parishioners who had fought in Ukraine’s “fratricidal war” a 20-year ban on receiving communion. Those deemed to have only promoted the conflict raging in Ukraine’s east, either verbally or in writing,

TRANSCRIPT [Vershbow]: NATO and Russia: a new strategic reality

Alexander Vershbow file photo

(NATO – nato.int – September 2, 2014) “NATO and Russia: a new strategic reality” Remarks by NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow at the conference on “NATO after the Wales Summit”, Cardiff University Thank you, Sir Emyr Jones Parry, for that kind introduction. I’m grateful for the invitation to be here on the eve of the

Russian Cultural Figures Targeted as New Opposition

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – September 2, 2014) With Russia’s political opposition either sidelined or splintered over Russian policy in Ukraine, dissenting cultural figures have become the new focus of pro-Kremlin witch hunts, with state media treating them as a political force and accusing them of treachery. The practice has echoes of

Interfax: Eastern Ukrainian militia mistrust Poroshenko ceasefire declaration

Ukraine Map and Flag

DONETSK. Sept 3 (Interfax) – Oleh Tsaryov, the chairman of the common legislature of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), is skeptical about the Ukrainian presidential press service’s declaration on reaching agreements on a ceasefire in Donbas. “This is not the first time that the Ukrainian authorities declare halting of

Business New Europe: Ukraine’s Poroshenko orders “permanent ceasefire” in Ukraine following Putin conversation

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – September 3, 2014) Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko permanent ceasefire in eastern Ukraine firing a conversation this morning with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Poroshenko made the announcement on Twitter account. “Mutual understanding was achieved concerning the steps which will enable the establishment of peace,” a statement said after Poroshenko and

Business New Europe/RIA Novosti: European Commission to level new sanctions on Friday

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(Business New Europe – bne.eu/RIA Novosti – September 3, 2014) The European Commission suggests limiting Russian state-owned companies’ access to European capital markets, as it prepares to possibly impose new tougher sanctions on Russia at a meeting on Friday, September 5. According to agency statements, the new economic sanctions against Russia, proposed by the European

Interfax: Reporter Stenin dies in Ukrainian attack on refugee convoy, says Investigative Committee

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Interfax – September 3, 2014) Rossiya Segodnya news agency photographer Andrei Stenin died on the Snizhne-Dmytrivka road in southeastern Ukraine in the Ukrainian army’s attack on a refugee convoy, Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told Interfax. “Detectives have discovered circumstances of the journalist’s death : A. Stenin was on a field trip to Snizhne,

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Hot rhetoric, chilly war? Politicians and analysts on the future of U.S.-Russia relations

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

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – David Miller, RBTH – September 3, 2014) Relations between the U.S. and Russia deteriorated in 2014 at a rate few would have predicted, as divisions over civil unrest in Ukraine escalated into tit-for-tat rounds of economic sanctions. But is it a new Cold War? Political observers – and

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Tough NATO response over Ukraine may lead to greater divisions with Russia

NATO Meeting file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Gevorg Mirzayan, special to RBTH – September 3, 2014) NATO will hold its first summit since the start of the conflict in Ukraine on September 4-5. According to information leaked to the media, the alliance is planning to adopt several measures aimed at deterring Russia from military action against European

RIA Novosti: Russian pundits, officials agree with need for new military doctrine

File Photo of Russian Tanks in Military Parade

(RIA Novosti – September 2, 2014) Russian politicians and pundits have expressed support for the announcement that Russia will update its military doctrine. The deputy secretary of the Russian Security Council, Mikhail Popov, said today in an interview with RIA Novosti news agency that Russia will make changes to its current military doctrine before the

RIA Novosti: “John Tefft Sworn In as New US Ambassador to Russia”

John Tefft file photo

WASHINGTON, September 3 (RIA Novosti) – The new US Ambassador to Russia John Tefft has been sworn into office in Washington, the US Embassy in Moscow reported on Twitter. “Congratulations! Today John Kerry has sworn new US Ambassador to Russia John Tefft into office,” the Tweet on Tuesday said. The date of the diplomat’s arrival

RIA Novosti: Ukraine Plans to Build Wall on Border With Russia in 6 Months

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW, September 3 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine plans to build a wall along its border with Russia in six months, the Kiev government said in its National Renewal plan released Wednesday. “The Wall Project to build and equip a reinforced barrier between Ukraine and Russia [should be completed] within six months,” the plan says. Earlier

Interfax: “Russian veterans: Volunteers fighting for just cause in Ukraine”

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

MOSCOW. Sept 3 (Interfax) – Russian volunteers fighting in Ukraine have gone there by the call of their heart to help their brothers and to defend people’s right to a decent life, Russian veterans’ organizations stated. “Russian volunteers are fighting for a just cause, they are defending their friends, the ideals of justice and freedom,

Interfax: Ukraine should withdraw subdivisions from settlements to stop bloodshed – Putin

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Desk

ULAN-BATOR. Sept 3 (Interfax) – Both conflict parties should agree and carry out a set of actions in order to stop the bloodshed and stabilize the situation in south-eastern Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “The first thing is to stop active offensive operations by the armed forces and armed formations of militia of south-eastern

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#192 table of contents with links :: Tuesday 2 September 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-#192 ::Tuesday 2 September 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 Grenier: A Remarkable Interview: Ukraine

Re: The Ukraine, the West and Russia

Ukraine Map and Flag

Subject: The Ukraine, the West and Russia Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2014 From: “Dr. Christian Wipperfürth” <cwipperfuerth@email.de> (Associate Fellow, German Council on Foreign Relations, dgap.org/en/user/16515/christian-wipperfuerth) The Ukraine, the West and Russia The “United Nations” have announced that far more than 2000 people have been killed in the east Ukraine between April and mid August 2014.

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