RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#237 :: Tuesday 8 December 2015

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Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#237
Tuesday 8 December 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. Interfax: Two-thirds of Russians feel free – poll.
2. Russia Direct: Putin’s address, a new corruption scandal and protests by truckers. Weekly media roundup: The most important topics of last week, through the eyes of Russian journalists.
3. The Economist: Vladimir Putin’s presidential address. As Russia’s economy shrinks, Vladimir Putin softens his tone. A popular president muffles his anti-Western rhetoric.
4. Russia Insider: Alexander Mercouris, Putin Just Gave His Super Important State of the Nation Address – Here’s What He Said. Not that you heard about it from the western mainstream – Russia president signaled a new economic course emphasizing tech and agriculture.
5. Carnegie Moscow Center: Andrei Kolesnikov, Putin’s Theater: Signs and Slogans for the Russian Elite.
6. editorial: ‘This Is Not What We Agreed Upon.’ Why President’s Message to Elites Turned Into Collection of Good Wishes.
7. The Kremlin Stooge: Mark Chapman, Turn On Your Receiver. (re Putin)
8. Can Russia stave off social unrest?
9. Reuters: Protesting Russian truckers focus anger at Putin’s friends.
10. Moscow Times: Ruble Sinks to New Lows As Oil Prices Plummet.
11. Kenneth Rapoza, Russians Actually Think Oil Prices Will Hit $50 By Summer 2016.
12. TASS: OPEC keeps oil output quotas unchanged to beat rivals.
13. Reuters: Bond investors eager for return of Russian companies to scarcity-plagued market.
14. Russia Beyond the Headlines: How Russian women succeed in business management. Leading businesswomen tell RBTH that the keys to success for female managers in Russia are being client-oriented, persistent and experienced.
15. Interfax: Russia’s Supreme Court overturns ruling to fine “foreign agent” NGO.
16. Khodorkovsky faces new charges within 1998 assassination case – report.
17. Russia Insider: Jacob Dreizin, No, Virginia, Russia Won’t Dethrone King Dollar. Despite years of harebrained conjectures, Russia-alone or in tandem with China-has neither the strength nor the interest to challenge U.S. financial hegemony.
18. Financial Times: Katherine Hille, Russia and radicalization: Homegrown problem. Moscow seeks to prevent the war in Syria from fueling its Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus.
19. Kate Brannen, Russians Are Joining ISIS in Droves. Jihadists from Russia and Central Asia are pouring into the caliphate, four times more than a year ago.
20. Washington Post: Walter Pincus, Stakes in Syria much higher for Putin than Obama.
21. Russia Direct: In the fight against ISIS, perception trumps reality. In an interview with Russia Direct, prominent Middle East expert Georgi Mirsky explains how Russia’s involvement in Syria complicated the situation in the region, why ISIS is so hard to defeat and why political settlement of the conflict is impossible.
22. Joshua Frank, Putin Adopts Netanyahu’s Twisted Logic.
23. Washington Post: What life looks like in the dying villages of the remote Russian Urals (photos)
24. Moscow Times: Is Russia Ready for Modern Dance? Ask Diana Vishneva.
25. Transitions Online: Georgia Strips Saakashvili of Citizenship.
26. The Guardian: Richard Norton-Taylor, Security chiefs block release of report on 1983 Soviet nuclear scare. US has released several documents relating to Able Archer crisis but Cabinet Office has released just the title page of joint intelligence committee report.
27. Russia Beyond the Headlines: Will hybrid warfare doctrine draw NATO and Russia further apart? NATO has adopted a new doctrine aimed at conducting a swift response to any attempts to use hybrid warfare against its member states, including the possible use of “little green men” to effect a change of power. Where does this leave relations with Russia, which is clearly perceived by the alliance as a potential instigator of such activity?
28. Why the Suwalki Gap Keeps Top U.S. General in Europe Up at Night. (“It’s called the “Suwalki Gap” and should Vladimir Putin decide to invade…”)
29. Russia In Your Face: Savushkina troll factory trains ‘Self-parody Suicide Squad’
30. Foreign Affairs: The Best of 2015: Putin, the Myth and the Politician. Featuring Interviews with Stephen Kotkin, Gregory Feifer, and Nussaibah Younis.
31. Institute of Current World Affairs: ‘Russia: Adversary or Ally’ – a Debate between Marvin Kalb and Gregory Feifer. December 10 in Washington.


32. Desperate farm families in eastern Ukraine forced into ‘difficult choices’ to survive – UN agency.
33. New York Times: Joe Biden Urges Lawmakers in Ukraine to Fulfill Promise of Uprising.
34. Wall Street Journal: Ukrainians See Conflict in Biden’s Anticorruption Message. Vice president’s son serves on board of closely held Ukrainian oil firm.
35. Wall Street Journal: Stephen Sestanovich, Joe Biden’s Mission in Ukraine.
36. Fort Russ: Confirmed: Joe Biden extensively “counsels” Poroshenko; his visits mean Donbass escalation.
37. Facebook: Ivan Katchanovski, Biden.
38. Interfax: U.S. to never recognize ‘annexation’ of Crimea – Biden.
39. AFP: Kremlin warns no more debt deal offers for Ukraine.
40. Kyiv Post: Ukrainian journalists object to Poroshenko’s transfer of Mezhyhirya residence.
41. TASS: Consumers in Crimea get full power supply – Russian Energy Ministry.
42. TASS: Activists of energy blockade of Crimea split.
43. Kyiv Post: Boozing takes soldiers’ lives in war zone.
44. Atlantic Council: Anders Aslund and John Herbst, Take It to the Next Level: Create a Biden-Poroshenko Commission.


Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

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