RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#196 :: Thursday 8 October 2015

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Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#196
Thursday – 8 October 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. Moscow Times: Russian Trust in State Institutions Grows Amid Recession, Sanctions and Foreign Conflicts.
2. Russians split over trust in president, army and law enforcers – poll.
3. Interfax: Over 70% of Russians back Russia’s air campaign against ISIL in Syria – poll.
4. Russia Beyond the Headlines: William Brumfield: ‘We see things in Russia we never expected to see.’ What Americans know about Russian architecture is mainly thanks to the work of one man, who has photographed the country since 1970.
5. Russia Direct: 10 must-read books about Vladimir Putin. On the 63rd birthday of Russian President Vladimir Putin, we’ve assembled a list of the ten books that provide the greatest insights into his thoughts, ideas, and worldview.
6. The Unz Review: Anatoly Karlin, Putin’s IQ Is 130.
7. Reuters: ‘Czar Putin’: as secure as he seems?
8. Less than 50 per cent of Russians would vote for ruling party – poll.
9. Moscow Times: Justice Ministry Refuses to Remove Elections Monitor Golos from ‘Foreign Agents’ List.
10. Opposition MPs call for all Russian media to report foreign funding.
11. AP: The Kremlin Cracks Down on Internet in Russia, But Sites Are Finding Loopholes.
12. Russia Direct: Dmitry Dokuchaev, Russia prepares for more economic belt-tightening in 2016. Experts believe that, barring a sudden collapse in oil prices, the 2016 budget will be tough but balanced.
13. Business New Europe: Ben Aris, Sberbank CIB Ivanov consumer confidence tracker shows mood blackens in Russia.
14. Business New Europe: The beginning of a resurrection for Russia’s battered capital markets.
15. Sputnik: Alexander Mercouris, The Syrian Campaign Nails Myths About the Size of Russia’s Economy.
16. Kenneth Rapoza, Russia Turning The Corner On Sanctions.
17. Antony Penaud: How the Economist changed its map of the Syrian conflict to make it look like Russia is bombing moderate rebels rather than al-Nusra.
18. Putin: Russia ready to cooperate with moderate rebels in Syria – if they can be found.
19. ‘Which side are you fighting for?’ Russia blasts US for refusing to share intel on ISIS.
20. Interfax: Russian incursion into Turkish airspace “embarrassing mistake” – Kremlin.
21. AFP: Russia ramps up strikes as Syria army launches offensive.
22. U.S. Kurdish allies welcome Russian airstrikes in Syria.
23. Reuters: Iraq leans toward Russia in war on Islamic State.
24. Gordon Hahn, Let’s Get Syrious.
25. Reuters: Nicolay Kozhanov, Vladimir Putin’s secret weapon for a Syrian end game? Diplomacy.
26. The National Interest: Dave Majumdar, How Russia Could Win the Battle for Syria.
27. Russia Direct: Andrei Krobkov, What Russia and the West miss in the Syrian conflict.By personalizing the Syrian conflict around President Bashar Al-Assad, both Russia and the West have failed to recognize the real and most relevant aspect of the situation – the existential threat posed by ISIS to Syria’s minority groups.
28. Sputnik: Ex-Head of MI6 Calls for Pragmatism and Talks Over Syria. (Sir John Sawers)
29. The National Interest: Robert Rabil, This Is What Russia REALLY Fears in Syria. “Putin has been extremely concerned about the expansion of radical Salafism and Wahhabism into Russian heartland, potentially affecting the ideology of the growing number of Russian Muslims.”
30. Russia Beyond the Headlines: Is Moscow planning ground operations in Syria? The Kremlin has declined to comment on a CNN report on the Russian Federation’s possible preparations for a ground operation in Syria. However, Russian observers interviewed by RBTH assert that Moscow will not want to get involved too deeply in the conflict and will limit itself to air strikes.
31. Moskovskiy Komsomolets: Experts advise Russia against anti-IS operation in Iraq.
32. Carnegie Corporation of New York: Should the U.S. Cooperate with Russia on Syria and ISIS? (multiple contributors)
33. Moscow Times: Mark Galeotti, West Must Play It Cool With Putin.
34. New York Times: Jeremy Shapiro, Putin’s Boldness, Syria’s Misery.
35. Interfax: Russia, U.S. slow down pace of strategic weapons reduction under START Treaty.
36. Russia Insider: Edward Lozansky, Russia and Syria Have Become a Hot Issue in US Presidential Elections. The two upstart front runners favor cooperation with Russia in the Middle East, while the entrenched old guard push for confrontation.
37. Washington Post: Karen DeYoung, Russia’s Syria intervention may force choice on Obama: Act or yield.


38. Russia Beyond the Headlines: Ukraine crisis: Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? De-escalation measures have begun in eastern Ukraine as the sides start to withdraw light weaponry from the frontlines – a move expected to be accompanied by political steps in accordance with the Minsk peace agreements signed in February. But are the parties to the conflict ready for this?
39. Russia Direct: Petr Kopka, The ghost of Syria haunts the Normandy Four talks on Ukraine. The fact that not a single decision made during the Normandy Four talks in Paris was committed to paper allows the parties involved to freely interpret the results and frame their own context.
40. Irrussianality: Paul Robinson, HOLDING KIEV TO ACCOUNT.
41. Russia Beyond the Headlines: Further progress in Ukraine as Donbass agrees to postpone elections. The governments of the self-proclaimed republics in eastern Ukraine have agreed to postpose their local elections, thus fulfilling the wishes expressed by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France Normandy at talks in Paris on Oct. 2.
42. Interfax: Russian foreign ministry says postponement of DPR/LPR elections to make parties find common grounds, draw their positions closer.
43. Moscow Times: Non-Battle Casualties Make Up Third of Ukraine Military Deaths.
44. Top Ukraine official backs idea ‘to help ISIS take revenge on Russian soldiers in Syria.’ (Anton Gerashchenko)
45. Kyiv Post: Experts: Declaring Ukraine in partial default, Fitch ‘just stated a fact’
46. Business New Europe: Ukraine ‘breadbasket’ prepares for its next heyday.
47. Selective blacklisting in Euromaidan Ukraine.
48. Human Rights in Ukraine: Armed Right Sector & Azov fighters are discrediting Crimea Blockade.

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

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