RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#185 :: Wednesday 23 September 2015

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Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#185
Wednesday – 23 September 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. Relentless lawmaker makes fourth attempt to raise Russia’s legal drinking age.
2. TASS: Russia’s Komi governor, his entourage arrest sends Thou Shalt Not Steal warning to elites.
3. Russia Beyond the Headlines: Russia’s opposition denies waning influence as protests shrink. In the wake of the low turnout to a Sept. 20 protest in Moscow, sources polled by RBTH say that the protest did not appear convincing and conclude that for the time being the opposition does not have very bright prospects.
4. Russian commentary blames opposition party’s campaign for failure at elections. (Aleksey Roshchin)
5. Wall Street Journal: Russians Feel Pain as Sinking Ruble Pushes Up Medical Costs. Vladimir Putin’s efforts to promote domestic industry in wake of Western sanctions drives prices up.
6. New York Times: Putin Opens Moscow’s Most Elaborate Mosque.
7. Deutsche Welle: Islam in Russia: Caught between acceptance and rejection.
8. Moscow’s Cathedral Mosque has reopened after reconstruction.
9. TASS: Inflation in Russia to stand at 6-7% in 2016 – finance minister.
10. Bloomberg: Russian Options Narrow as Putin Looks to Exporters’ Windfall.
11. Meeting on budget planning for 2016.
12. Moscow Times: Russian Imports Plunge 39 Percent as Recession Takes Hold.
13. TASS: Food security in focus of Russia’s expert community.
14. TASS: Russia’s green NGO declared ‘foreign agent’ returns grant back to DiCaprio foundation.
15. The Ecologist: Lucy Woods, Russia – has the world’s biggest country turned against the environment?
16. Moscow Times: Pope Francis Says Russia Is Needed to Solve World Problems.
17. Moscow Times: Richard Galustian and Theodore Karasik, Will Putin Pull Off His Syria Gambit?
18. Robert Parry, Will US Grasp Putin’s Syria Lifeline?
19. Ukraine Today: Russia deploys Ukraine-based militants to Syria – Tymchuk.
20. Moskovskiy Komsomolets: Russian paper interviews pro-government fighter back from Syria.
21. Business New Europe: EU-Russia food fight masks business as usual.
22. Kremlin promises ‘counter-steps’ in reply to US deploying nuclear weapons to Germany.
23. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova’s interview with the German ZDF TV Company regarding the modernisation of US nuclear weapons in Europe, Moscow, September 22, 2015.
24. Russia Direct: Sergey Markedonov, Key takeaways from 25 years of independence for South Ossetia. 25 years after the recognition of the independence of South Ossetia, it is vitally important to determine what policy Russia should adhere to in this region to minimize tensions.


25. New York Times: Documenting Ukraine with a Different Visual Approach.
26. The human cost of explosive violence in Ukraine.
27. Russia Beyond the Headlines: Elections in Donbass: What they mean for the Ukrainian conflict. The decision by the Donetsk and Lugansk “people’s republics” in eastern Ukraine to hold local elections on dates that contravene the Minsk peace agreements is placing the whole future of the region in doubt, with experts saying that holding elections in the southeast could lead to a freezing of the conflict and the extension of sanctions against Russia.
28. Reuters: Ukraine Rebels Say Local Elections Still Set for Oct, Nov.
29. TASS: Donbas chooses February 21 as election day in line with Ukraine’s law – LPR.
30. Interfax-Ukraine: Kyiv critical of DPR, LPR proposal to hold elections on Feb 21.
31. Petro Poroshenko, Why Ukraine Needs to Give Power to Its Regions.
32. Sputnik: Did Yatsenyuk Just Say That Western Ukraine Should Be Given Back to Poland?
33. Around 200 masked men storm Kharkov city hall in Eastern Ukraine.
34. Interfax: Russian Orthodox Church condemns participation by Ukrainian police in conflicts between religious organizations.
35. Fort Russ: Speaking Truth to Power: Ukrainian Human Rights Activist at Warsaw OSCE Meeting.
36. The Independent (UK): Oliver Carroll, Ukraine crisis: Crimean Tatars’ border blockade of their ‘occupied’ peninsula could strangle the economy and invite forceful response from Russia.
37. Joseph Trevithick, The Pentagon Is Far From ‘Entrenched’ in Ukraine.
38. ‘Ukraine in NATO would be declaration of war against Russia’
39. TASS: Russian opposition activist Maria Gaidar to run in Ukraine’s regional election.
41. The American Interest: Olrksandr Turchynov, Ukraine’s Security Challenges and the Crisis of Global Order. Russia’s internal pathologies are creating a zone of instability in its periphery that could easily spread to the rest of the world.


Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia