RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#240 :: Thursday 10 December 2015

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Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#240
Thursday 10 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. Russia Beyond the Headlines: Medvedev: Russia is capable of surviving recession without aid. In his annual interview to five of the country’s leading television channels on Dec. 9, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev tackled topics ranging from the economy to defense, corruption, Crimea, and Ukraine’s $3 billion debt. RBTH presents a selection of highlights from the interview.
2. In Conversation with Dmitry Medvedev: Interview with five television channels. (transcript continued)
3.; Jill Dougherty, Russia’s middle class: We don’t blame Putin.
4. Interfax: Russia prepared to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 70% by 2030.
5. Moscow Times: How to Ignore a Corruption Scandal, Kremlin Style.
6. Rossiya 1 TV: Russian premier grilled on Chayka scandal, refuses to be drawn in.
7. Rossiya 1 TV: Russian premier downplays truckers’ protests, says tolls to help repair roads.
8. Moscow Times: Sergei Alexashenko, Russia’s Economy Slows Amid Investment Woes.
9. Interfax: West unfoundedly accuses Russia of INF breach to deflect similar accusations against itself – Naryshkin.
10. Christian Science Monitor: Fred Weir, Kremlin’s beef with Turkey hits Russians at home – and on holiday. The acrimony between Moscow and Ankara over the downing of a Russian bomber in Syria has cut Russians off from Turkish produce, and reduced their vacation options to boot.
11. Sputnik: Alexander Mercouris, In Syria the West Embraces Sectarianism.
12. Andrew Cockburn, Mountain Ambush. “Looking at the detailed Russian timeline of what happened,” says defense analyst Pierre Sprey, “I’d say the evidence looks pretty strong that the Turks were setting up an ambush.”
13. Russia Direct: Pietro Shakarian, Playing the Kurdish card against Turkey. The long history of Russian ties with the Kurdish community in Syria, Iraq and Turkey might give Moscow leverage in its currently troubled relationship with Ankara. Will the Kremlin use it?
14. Russia Beyond the Headlines: 2015: A mixed bag for Russia’s Asian ‘Pivot.’ Ties with ASEAN and China grow, but relationship with Japan remains frosty.
15. Valdai Discussion Club: Alexey Fenenko, CHINA LOOMS LARGE ABOVE RUSSIAN-ASEAN PARTNERSHIP. China is a powerful factor constraining possible partnership between Russia and ASEAN.
16. Deutsche Welle: Activists or Kremlin agents – who protects Russian-speakers in the Baltics? Moscow has been financing Russian-language NGOs in the Baltic states for years. Security authorities there are suspicious of the organizations, but the NGOs deny there is any cause for concern.
17. The Daily Beast: Anna Nemtsova, Is Putin Thinking About Changing His Ways? Those who want to curtail the pervasive corruption among the Kremlin’s cronies have little faith in the opposition, and are hoping a few ‘liberal’ insiders can help.
18. Paul Goble: Putin’s 86 Percent Approval Rating is True but Doesn’t Mean What Either His Supporters or Opponents Think, Volkov Says.
19. The New Yorker: Masha Gessen, Boris Yeltsin Quietly Challenges Putin.
20. Heritage Foundation: U.S. Comprehensive Strategy Toward Russia.
21. Russia Insider/Famiglia Christiana: It’s a Good Thing Russia Always Lies. Luckily we know with an absolute certainty that Russians are always liars. If we didn’t, we might have think about some really uncomfortable things.
22. AP: Russians Read Tolstoy’s War and Peace in 60-Hour TV Marathon.
23. Russia Beyond the Headlines: Phoebe Taplin, How much do we know about contemporary Russian writers? As December 2015 sees another week of Russian literary events in New York City, RBTH asks Anglophone readers and publishers about their favorites and bestsellers among 21st-century Russian fiction.
24. TASS: Ukrainians disillusioned with national elite, hope for phantom lifeline from US.


Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

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