RUSSIA & UKRAINE: Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#110 :: Thursday 4 June 2015

Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#110
Thursday 4 June 2015

A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs
The contents do not necessarily represent the views of IERES or the George Washington University.
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1. Sputnik: Ten Things Americans Might Find Odd About the Way Russians Live.
2. RIA Novosti: Russian economy in “full-blown crisis” – ex-finance minister. (Kudrin)
3. Russia Beyond the Headlines: More and more Russians slipping below poverty line as recession bites. As sanctions continue to take their toll on Russia’s faltering economy and salaries shrink in real terms, an increasing number of Russians are finding themselves unable to make ends meet. Data published by Russia’s state statistics bureau Rosstat indicates that 11 percent of Russians were living below the poverty line in 2014, but experts have called the veracity of these figures into question.
4. Ruble slides on looming OPEC output decision, Donbass fighting.
5. Business New Europe: Russians against Kremlin spending money on Crimea or World Cup.
6. Reuters: Economy weighs on Russia World Cup plans amid FIFA scandal.
7. Carnegie Moscow Center: Tatiana Stanovaya, 2016 Elections and the Future of the Russian Liberal Project.
8. TASS: Russia’s pro-Kremlin movement fears future polls may be used as triggers for protest.
9. Russia Beyond the Headlines: Russian Muslims urged to respect the law and state. The ruling body for Muslims in Russia, the Council of Mutfis of Russia, is urging its followers to be loyal to the state. A new social doctrine adopted by Russia’s top Islamic clerics defines the place and role of Muslims in the country’s life within both religious and secular laws. Patriotism and loyalty are at the heart of the new doctrine.
10. Washington Times: L. Todd Wood, Thoughts of jihad, Chechen war keep Russia up all night.
11. Sputnik: Berlin: G7 Format Cannot Last Long, Russia Can Renew Membership.
12. Reuters: Russia Not an Immediate Threat to NATO States, Stoltenberg Says.
13. Reuters: U.S. oil exports will not wean allies from Russian crude -memo.
14. Russia Direct: Pivotal questions about Russia’s China pivot. While the continued upswing in Russian-Chinese relations testifies to a higher quality of bilateral interaction, it also raises questions about the potential challenges Russia might face in developing the partnership. (experts’ comments)
15. Russia Direct: Raymond Taras, Why the TPP free trade pact does not make sense for Russia. Free trade agreements like Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) seem designed to marginalize or isolate Russia in the global economy. But there is another key reason why Russia will distance itself from TPP.
16. Wall Street Journal: U.S. Business Consultant Jailed in Russia. Scott Blacklin has been held in Nizhny Novgorod since May 20, for alleged visa violation.
17. New York Times: Pentagon Seeks Easing of Ban on Russian Rockets for U.S. Space Missions.
18. Mark Adomanis, The Easy Quiz to Find out What You Think about Russia.
19. Novom Svete: Leonid Goldin, Stephen Cohen: A lone media warrior in the cause of Russian-American rapprochement.


20. Ukraine Today: Full-scale Russian invasion real threat to Ukraine: Poroshenko.
21. Ukraine Today: US Marines prepare Ukrainian soldiers for front line deployment.
22. Interfax-Ukraine: Ukrainian citizens in occupied Donbas have been taken prisoner by aggressors – Poroshenko.
23. TASS: Right Sector extremists in Ukraine are advised to be ready for mobilization.
24. Kremlin: Timing of Kiev-provoked Donbass tensions linked with looming EU summit.
25. ‘Plumes of smoke everywhere’: RT crew witnesses Donetsk shelling aftermath (DRONE VIDEO)
26. Russia Insider: Alexander Mercouris, On Eve of EU Vote to Extend Sanctions War Returns to Ukraine. Resumption of fighting on eve of EU vote on extending sanctions against Russia is a predictable action given the nature of the Ukrainian regime and the multiple crises it faces.
27. Interfax: OSCE SMM publishes special report on Wednesday fighting near Maryinka.
28. US ignores OSCE data, blames ‘majority’ of Ukraine truce violations on rebels.
29. Kyiv Post: Poroshenko warns of ‘full-scale’ war, prods to speed up reforms.
30. Interfax-Ukraine: Referendum to make final decision on Ukrainian membership in NATO – Poroshenko.
31. Reuters: Russia says Ukraine agrees to fill gas storage for transit flow.
32. The National Interest: John Cloud, Ukraine’s Next Big Battleground. “Ukraine cannot succeed unless its economy succeeds.”
33. TASS: Russian experts condemn as blackmail Ukraine’s threats to seize Russian property abroad.
34. Interfax: Russian investigators view presence of Ukrainian warplane in Donbass sky as primary theory behind MH17 crash – source.
35. Sputnik: Russia Urges US to Reveal Satellite Data on MH17 Crash.
36. ROGER ANNIS and HALYNA MOKRUSHYNA, Interview With a Member of the Parliament of Novorossiya. ‘Ukraine Was a Totally Oligarchic State’
37. Sputnik: Kiev’s Blockade of Transnistria Fraught With New War.
38. Russia Insider/Odnoko: Rostislav Ishchenko, Who Unleashed the Civil War in Ukraine? Ex-Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych intended to wait out Maidan, but the people in his circle had other ideas.
39. Harvard Business Review: Christos Tsolkas, What It Was Like to Be a Manager in Ukraine.
40. Vitaly Leybin, Reformatting Ukraine is on the agenda.
41. Eurasian Geopolitics: Edward Walker, Why the West should be pushing for a buffer zone between Russia and NATO.
42. The International New York Times: Roger Cohen, Western Defeat in Ukraine.
43. The National Interest: Nikolas Gvosdev, Russia’s Ukraine Game: Will Putin Go All In? “Ukraine may be out of the headlines for now-but it is still very much in play.”
44. Carnegie Europe: Judy Asks: Does Putin Have to Escalate to Survive? (experts’ comments)
45. Michael Weiss, Can Anyone Stop Putin’s New Blitz?
46. Moon of Alabama: Media’s Beloved “Expert” Eliot Higgins – Wrong Again And Again And Again. (Bellingcat)
47. Life in the Lanzone: Alexander Gehret, An analysis of the analysis. (Belliingcat)


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