RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#252 :: Tuesday 29 December 2015

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Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#252
Tuesday 29 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: How to become a ‘confessor of pain.’ Psychiatrist Andrei Gnezdilov works with patients suffering from the last stages of cancer. A quarter of a century ago, in a St. Petersburg suburb, he established the first ever hospice in Russia. Since then he has been writing not only scientific works but also fairytales, and he communicates with his patients using puppets. It is Gnezdov’s belief that a patient can still be helped even when he has no chance to survive.
2. Interfax: Russians recall most important events of 2015.
3. AP: In Russia, Recession Takes a Bite Out of the Holiday Feast.
4. Russia Direct: Ivan Tsvetkov, World Order in 2015 as seen by Putin. A new documentary screened on Russian state TV offers little new in the Kremlin’s approach to foreign policy but leaves Vladimir Putin looking surprisingly sanguine on relations with the West and reveals contradictions in his policy.
5. BBC: Andrew Monaghan, Who runs Russia with Putin?
6. Russia Direct: The Russian media looks back at the dramatic events of 2015. Media Roundup: The most important events of the past week included controversial new currency exchange rules in Russia and the dismissal of a popular opposition politician.
7. AP: Russian investigators to indict 5 men for Nemtsov’s murder.
8. Interfax: Nemtsov murder case suspects to request jury trial – lawyer.
9. ‘No political motive in Nemtsov assassination’ – investigators.
10. Vedomosti: Experts see more risks than positive news for Russia’s economy in 2016.
11. Moscow Times: 8 Shades of Crisis – Russia’s Year of Economic Nightmares.
12. TASS: Russian minister admits high ruble volatility leads to big economic problems
13. Saudi Arabia responsible for oil market destabilization – Russian energy minister.
14. ‘Too early’ for optimism on Russia growth: Analyst. (Chris Weafer)
15. Russia Beyond the Headlines: Press Digest: Is West responsible for Russia’s 2015 economic malaise? RBTH presents a selection of views from leading Russian media on international events, featuring a review of how Russia coped economically in 2015, as well as reports on a New Year concert given for Russian servicemen at the Khmeinim air base in Syria and the introduction of a contactless payment scheme at Moscow’s newest metro station.
16. Kenneth Rapoza, Russia’s Ex-FinMin Says Putin Wrong On Economy. (Kudrin)
18. Interfax: Lavrov reveals the key Russian diplomacy task in 2015.
19. Russia Direct: Pavel Koshkin and Andrei Korobkov, US-Russia-relations in 2015: From confrontation to limited cooperation. As 2015 comes to an end, Russia Direct reviews the 10 most important events influencing U.S.-Russia relations over the past 12 months.
21. Russia Beyond the Headlines/ Vladimir Frolov, Russia’s political achievements in Syria eclipse modest military success. While Russia can say that it has accomplished the primary political goals of its “Syrian gambit,” its military campaign has not brought the desired breakthrough. In trying to achieve a settlement to the situation in Syria, the participating countries will encounter very difficult, practically insurmountable problems.
22. Valdai Discussion Club: Veniamin Popov, MAPPING THE WAY OUT OF THE SYRIAN CRISIS.
23. The Unz Review: The Saker, Week Twelve of the Russian Intervention in Syria: Zag!
24. Gordon Hahn, Putin’s Syria Intervention Decisionmaking in Light of New Revelations.
25. Reuters: U.S. sees bearable costs, key goals met for Russia in Syria so far.
27. Washington Post: Iran ships uranium to Russia, fulfilling a key provision of nuclear deal.
28. Reuters: Russian Officials Get Quirky Holiday Gift: a Book of Putin’s One Liners.
29. Fort Russ/RBC: Kremlin Sends Politicians A Collection Of Quotes From Putin.
30. Russia Beyond the Headlines: 2015 in review: 8 key events in Russian culture. This year brought mixed fortunes for Russian culture, with successes in the realms of literature, art and ballet offset by the growing interference of the Orthodox Church in the cultural sphere. RBTH looks back at 8 important events in Russia’s cultural life in 2015 that had an international impact.
31. Moscow Times: 12 Things to Do on the 12 Days Of Christmas.
32. Danielle Ryan, The Washington Post’s world of good and evil.
33. Washington Post editorial: Russia’s new underwater nuclear drone should raise alarm bells.
34. RFE/RL: 2015: The Year Putin Bounced Back.
35. Paul Goble: Russia May Be Close to a Revolution But Not the One Opposition Hopes For, Sociologist Says.
36. Reuters: John Lloyd, Russia can only use the United States as an excuse for so long.
37. Ukrainian President Poroshenko’s approval rating drops below ousted predecessor’s.

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

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