RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-55 :: Monday, 21 March 2016

St. Basil's Domes

Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2016-#55
Monday, 21 March 2016

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.
JRL homepage: – JRL on Facebook: – JRL on Twitter: @JohnsonRussiaLi
Support for JRL is provided in part by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York to the George Washington University and by voluntary contributions from readers.

Support JRL: Online: direct link

1. Financial Times: Russia is following a clear strategy in Syria. Few in Moscow believe that the Assad regime will last long without changes, writes Fyodor Lukyanov.
2. Russia Direct: Dmitry Dokuchaev, The Russian ruble rollercoaster. With rising prices for oil, the Russian ruble is on the rebound. But how much more can the ruble really strengthen given the underlying weakness of the Russian economy?
3. Mark Adomanis, Russian Industrial Production Rebounded Modestly In February.
4. Russian reserves increase by $2.1bn in a week.
5. Russia Insider: Gilbert Doctorow, Much to Washington’s Disappointment, Russians Are Still Not Starving. Even in the current period of stagnant economy or mild recession, the Russian consumer is not being asked to make great sacrifices.
6. TASS: Russia’s ex-finance minister predicts 1.5-2% GDP decline in 2016. (Kudrin)
7. BBC: Opposition leader, veteran TV presenter disagree on censorship on Russian TV. (Aleksey Navalnyy and Vladimir Pozner)
8. Reuters: Risk of nuclear war in Europe growing, warns Russian ex-minister. (Igor Ivanov)
9. Tony Brenton, Don’t wait for Russia to take the first step. The continent risks backsliding into a Cold War unless the West opens its eyes to the failure of its sanctions program.
10. Russia Insider: Alexander Mercouris, Western Pundit Scared and Confused After Lavrov Writes Thoughtful Essay Calling for Dialogue. Prominent Western commentator misrepresents essay by Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov calling for dialogue to make it look threatening.
11. Russia Direct: Moscow gets an inside look at the EU’s new Russia policy. At a meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club in Moscow, two high-profile EU politicians highlight the core principles of the EU’s new foreign policy in the post-Soviet space.
12. The Nation: Matthew Dal Santo, Russia, Europe’s Scapegoat for All Seasons. Unlike the US and EU, Russia does not seek to remake the world in its image. That doesn’t stop the EU from blaming Russia for its own problems.
13. editorial: NATO’s Media Domination Tour, 2016.
14. Interfax: Russia submits proposals to U.S. on monitoring truce in Syria.
15. TASS: Russian military to stay in Syria to protect Hmeimim, Tartus bases – Kremlin.
16. Is the Russian Withdrawal a Message to Assad? The Independent’s Patrick Cockburn says you can’t have negotiations to end the war when the largest armed opposition groups, al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State, are absent.
17. Vladimir Putin just did the US a huge favor. (George Friedman)
18. The National Interest: Blake Franko, Lessons from Russia in Avoiding a Quagmire. Washington can learn from Moscow’s clear-cut Syrian intervention.
19. Rethinking Russia: Nikolay Pakhomov, Preliminary Results of Russia’s Military Campaign in Syria.
20. The Unz Review The Saker, Week Twenty-two of the Russian Military Intervention in Syria: Putin Announces a New Strategy.
21. Valdai Discussion Club: Paul Saunders, SYRIA: U.S.-RUSSIAN TEPID WAR. Syria appears unlikely to serve as a vehicle to improve the wider U.S.-Russia relationship in any sustainable way. A U.S.-Russian Tepid War can still lead to plenty of collateral damage.
22. Moskovskiy Komsomolets: Mikhail Rostovskiy, Consequences of the Withdrawal of Troops From Syria: What Awaits Russia. Why Putin Commanded ‘Army, Home!’
23. Catherine Shakdam, Putin’s Syrian strategy: Not following playbook of American exceptionalism.
24. Kyiv Post editorial: Survey: Ukrainians among the world’s saddest people.
25. The Guardian: LGBT festival in Ukraine abandoned after far-right protest. Rightwing groups surrounded hotel in Lviv where about 70 participants in the equality festival had gathered.
26. Mark Adomanis, There Isn’t Going to be a ‘Marshal Plan’ for Ukraine.
27. The Unz Review: Anatoly Karlin, From Lenin’s Rubble to Russian Kiev.
28. Ukrainian pilot Savchenko guilty of Russian journalists’ murder, illegal border crossing – court.
29. Meeting on construction of Kerch Strait Bridge and Crimea and Sevastopol’s socioeconomic development.
30. Russia Insider: Dmitry Mechnikov, An Eyewitness Recounts the Crimean Referendum Two Years Ago (Part 3). Until the moment of Putin’s speech in Moscow on March 18, Crimeans feared Russia would not accept them.
31. Sputnik: Ukraine is on the Way to Recognize Crimea’s Reunion With Russia.
32. Washington Post editorial: Crimea’s ‘new normal’ of repression.
33. Ray McGovern, Behind the Crimea/Russia Reunion
35. The Blog Mire: Rob Slane, Is Putin Weaponising Stupidity?
36. Anna Nemtsova, Mikhail Khodorkovsky Is Putin’s Most Powerful Enemy (in Exile). Russia may not be ready for the ex-billionaire to return, but his arguments are gaining ground.
37. Washington Post: Nelli Babayan, How long will Putin stay in power?
38. Michael Weiss, The Baltic Elves Taking on Pro-Russian Trolls. What at first looked like as a social media grudge match could be a precursor to invasion, war, and resistance in the Baltics.
40. Moskovskiy Komsomolets: Former Russian embassy staffer interviewed on work as adviser to Syrian defence. Interview with Arkadiy Vinogradov, former staffer at Russian Embassy in Damascus and adviser to three Syrian defence ministers.

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

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