RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-158 :: Thursday, 30 August 2018

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at

[check back for updates, including more links;
links also posted to facebook and twitter]

Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2018-#158
Thursday, 30 August 2018

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. Christian Science Monitor: Fred Weir, Why Russia isn’t flinching at snowballing US sanctions. Sanctions are often seen as an effective tool for encouraging nations to change their behavior. But when it comes to Russia, the United States may soon learn that too many sanctions can have an opposite effect.
2. The Nation: Stephen Cohen, ‘Vital’ US Moles in the Kremlin Go Missing! According to New York Times intel leakers, “informants close to” Putin have “gone silent.” What can it all mean?
3. Ben Aris, The end of the post WWII world order.
4. TASS: Putin suggests raising retirement age to 60 for women, 65 for men.
5. Putin plays the good cop and scales back pension reform (for women).
6. TASS: Pension changes to require $7.3 bln in six years – first deputy PM.
8. Meduza: The details behind Putin’s plan to reform Russia’s pension system.
9. TASS: Vedomosti: Russian women get Putin’s most generous pension gift.
10. RFE/RL: Ladies’ Man: Putin Cites ‘Caring Attitude’ In Pension-Reform Concession.
11. Interfax: Kudrin speaks of state funding theft in Russia, corruption prevention.
12. Interfax: Upcoming gubernatorial election in Russia to be mostly uncompetitive – FoRGO.
13. TASS: Total block on Telegram messenger impossible, says deputy telecom minister.
14. The Unz Review: Anatoly Karlin, Russian Coal Production to Exceed Peak RSFSR Levels in 2018. []
15. Financial Times: Russian oil and gas groups shrug off sanctions. Higher crude prices and weakened rouble bolster producers’ profits.
16. The Economist: A thickening web. America’s escalating Russian sanctions. Despite Donald Trump, Russia is being hit harder and harder.
17. TASS: Media: US launches legal battle against Russia at WTO.
18. Bloomberg: Russia’s Biggest Web Retailer Was Founded by a Language Teacher on Maternity Leave. Wildberries has the most efficient logistics as well as a loyal customer base, but its rivals are close behind.
19. Bloomberg: Mark Whitehouse, Why Putin’s Russia Can’t Grow. He’s spent 18 years undermining what the country needs most: rule of law.
20. The Nation: Nadezhda Azhgikhina, Svetlana Alexievich: ‘Freedom Is Long and Hard Work’. The Nobel Prize laureate in literature believes a new generation in the countries of the former USSR will make the dreams of 1991 a reality.
21. TASS: Macron: Europe needs to team up with Russia to build new security architecture.
22. Pepe Escobar, Back in the (Great) Game: The Revenge of Eurasian Land Powers . What is left roaming our wilderness of mirrors depends on the mood swings of the Goddess of the Market. No wonder an effect of Eurasia integration will be a death blow to Bretton Woods and “democratic” neoliberalism. []
23. Russian International Affairs Council: Andrey Kortunov, Looking at Tiananmen Square through the Brandenburg Gate.
24. Reuters: Peter Apps, Why China and Russia are obsessed with vast new war games.
25. South China Morning Post: Vostok 2018 war games: China’s chance to learn Russia’s military lessons from Syria. China has not been in an armed conflict since its last war with Vietnam in the late 1970s.
26. Asia Times: Operation Sea Shield seen as a Russian power projection. Kremlin claims deployment of warships aims to deter a US or NATO strike on the Assad regime, but critics say it’s a bid to deflect attention from looming offensive and to show off Russia’s growing naval muscle in the eastern Mediterranean.
27. US Pushing The Gambit In Syria: Something Big Is Coming As Officials Ramp Up Threats. Another Syria chemical weapons false flag is being prepared.
28. Leonid Issaev, Will Russia force Iran out of Syria? The US shouldn’t count on Russia to force Iran out of Syria any time soon.
29. Russia largest investor in Ukraine in first half of 2018.
30. TASS: Russian-Ukrainian relations so far gone nothing could spoil them any further, says Kremlin.
31. Bellingcat: Ukrainian Far-Right Fighters, White Supremacists Trained by Major European Security Firm.
32. Facebook: Sean Guillory, McCain and Oleh Tyahnybok.
33. The Independent (UK): Vladislav Inozemtsev, There’ll be no end to the war between Russia and Ukraine while it suits political elites on both sides to keep fighting. These two states, completely privatised by enormously powerful politicians, do not behave with the logic of established, uncorrupted democracies. []
34. Council on Foreign Relations: Alex Grigsby, Russia Wants a Deal with the United States on Cyber Issues. Why Does Washington Keep Saying No?
35. New York Times: Review: ‘Active Measures’ Looks at Links Between Trump and Russia.
36. TASS: Embassy: Incarcerated Russian faces ‘inhumane’ conditions, sleep deprivation. (Maria Butina)
37. Sic Semper Tyrannis: John McCain, Did He Betray Our Democracy or Was it the FBI? by Publius Tacitus. []
38. Wall Street Journal editorial: A Dossier Debunking. His lawyer says the Steele claims about Michael Cohen are false.
39. Andrei Liakov: Short comment on Weir/Galeotti (Re: 2018-#157–Johnson’s Russia List item #1)

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

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

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

Eurasia Map