Interfax: Ukraine’s western partners to decide next steps on Donbas settlement based on Volker’s trip results

File Photo of Kurt Volker and W. Bruce Weinrod, adapted from image at defense.gov with photo credit to Senior Airman Nathan Lipscomb

KYIV. July 24 (Interfax) – United States Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker has told Ukrainian parliamentarians that the results of his trip to Donbas will be reflected in western partners’ decision on further steps towards peaceful settlement. At the start of their meeting Volker, who had just returned from the armed conflict zone in Donbas, shared his impressions […]

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U.S. should be more involved in settlement of crisis in eastern Ukraine – Department of State

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KYIV. July 23 (Interfax) – Washington wants to be more involved in the settlement of a crisis in eastern Ukraine, United States State Department’s Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker said. Volker said at a press conference in Kramatorsk on Sunday that the U.S. saw how this conflict had begun and understood how it had been managed now. He […]

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Navalny Clashes With Ex-Commander Of Russia-Backed Separatists

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

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Carl Schreck, Christopher Miller – July 20, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/navalny-girkin-debate/28629308.html) Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny and a prominent former commander of Russia-backed separatists sparred over patriotism and the war in Ukraine in a debate that stoked widespread discussion and criticism among political players and watchers after it […]

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Interfax: Moscow says Malorossiya idea far from “real politics”

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

(Interfax – July 19, 2017) The Russian Foreign Ministry has said that Ukrainian separatist leader Alexander Zakharchenko’s plan to establish a new state in Ukraine – “Malorossiya” – has nothing to do with real politics. “In my view, these statements do not go in line with the obligations the sides [of the conflict] had taken as part of the Minsk […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Kremlin aide reportedly says Ukraine Malorossiya idea ‘useful'” – RIA Novosti

Vladislav Surkov file photo

(RIA Novosti – July 19, 2017) Vladimir Putin’s aide Vladislav Surkov has offered reserved praise for an idea put forward by a key Russia-backed rebel to set up a new state in Ukraine. According to a pro-Kremlin pundit, Surkov called Alexander Zakharchenko’s proposed country of Malorossiya “imaginary”, but said discussions around it were “useful”. “All this hype over the imaginary […]

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NEWSLINK: “Can Kurt Volker Solve the Ukraine Crisis? Kurt Volker, widely known as a tough-minded and accomplished diplomat, confronts his biggest challenge in working to implement the Minsk agreements.” – The National Interest/ Curt Mills

File Photo of Kurt Volker and W. Bruce Weinrod, adapted from image at defense.gov with photo credit to Senior Airman Nathan Lipscomb

“As Donald Trump spoke with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Hamburg … his State Department announced the appointment of a tough-minded former NATO ambassador to serve as Washington’s new point man on Ukraine. His mandate is to help implement the Minsk agreements. Kurt Volker is widely respected as an accomplished diplomat, but in Ukraine he confronts his greatest challenge yet. […]

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AUDIO NEWSWATCH: “Many In Eastern Ukraine Want To Join Russia” – National Public Radio (NPR)

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

“… Putin insists Russia doesn’t want to annex separatist enclaves in eastern Ukraine, but many residents, who already use the Russian ruble and depend on Russia in many ways, wish he would. … An update now from eastern Ukraine, where, for the last three years, Russia has fueled a separatist war. … Putin insists he wants only to protect ethnic […]

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Disconnected society: how the war in the Donbas has affected Ukraine; People displaced by the war in eastern Ukraine need a community to represent their interests – any community. Why is that proving so difficult?

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(opendemocracy.net – Kateryna Iakovlenko – June 26, 2017) Kateryna Iakovlenko is a journalist and researcher from Rovenky, Luhansk. She researches Ukrainian art of the 1980s-1990s, and is postgraduate student at the New Media Department, Lviv National University. An Italian journalist once asked me why I love my country. He also asked me whether I consider myself Ukrainian. After all, I […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Trump Calls on Russia and Ukraine to Make Peace; Message marks shift in tone from Washington on Ukraine” – Wall Street Journal/ Nathan Hodge, Paul Sonne

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

“… Trump called on Russia and Ukraine to make peace Thursday, presenting himself as something of a neutral peacemaker between the nations, a day after meeting foreign ministers from both countries in Washington. … Trump tweeted two side-by-side photos of himself – one with … Lavrov and another with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin – and said he met with the two […]

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Clarity Press: “New Book: Ukraine In The Crossfire /dePloeg”

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

Subject: New Book: Ukraine In The Crossfire /dePloeg Date: Wed, 03 May 2017 From: Clarity Press, Inc. <clarity@islandnet.com> UKRAINE IN THE CROSSFIRE By Chris Kaspar de Ploeg Chris de Ploeg (1994) is freelance journalist and political analyst. His publications have appeared in De Groene Amsterdammer (NL), Follow the Money (NL), Dissident Voice (US), De Wereld Morgen (BE), De Omslag (NL) […]

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Interfax: “Conflict in Ukraine cannot be settled without direct talks between parties to it – Putin”

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SOCHI. May 2 (Interfax) – It is impossible to settle the conflict in southeastern Ukraine without a direct dialogue between Kyiv and Donbas, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “It’s necessary to finally make representatives of the Kyiv authorities and representatives of these unrecognized republics sit down at the same negotiating table. It’s impossible to achieve the conflict’s settlement without a […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Economic Ramifications of Conflict in Ukraine” – Stratfor

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

The conflict in eastern Ukraine has dealt a particularly heavy blow to its economic relationship with Russia. Much of Ukraine’s industrial production was taken offline …. The country lost a sizable share of its exports … [and]  GDP saw a double-digit contraction. Kiev… [the EU] and [the] United States, slapped Russia with sanctions … [over] Crimea and Donbas; Moscow responded in kind …. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “New Fears in Ukraine’s Coal Country; A factory and its workers face economic hardship from conflict and blockades” – U.S. News/Katherine Jacobsen

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

“… Two years later a blockade in eastern Ukraine now threatens the future of the Avdiivka plant and the health of Ukraine’s already shaky economy. Activists, with the support of some politicians, initiated the blockade in January with the intention of halting trade between businesses in Ukrainian and separatist-held territories. In mid-March the government in Kiev joined in, reversing itself […]

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Hitler’s Anschluss and Putin’s – Similarities and Differences

File Photo of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Riding in Convertible

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 13, 2017) Seventy-nine years ago today, Adolf Hitler issued the law on the unification of Austria and Germany, an event subsequently known as the Anschluss, and one that both resembles and differs from what Vladimir Putin did in the case of Ukraine’s Crimea, according to two Ukrainian experts. Yuri Shapovalov, a […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Kyiv Post Editorial: Russia’s War Against Ukraine: Borders Harden”

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

“After three years of war, the Russians are hardening their stance towards Ukraine. Without a stronger response from the West and Ukraine’s leaders, Ukraine stands to forever lose parts of the eastern Donbas now under Russian-separatist control. … amount[ing] to 2.5 percent of Ukraine’s territory or 15,341 square kilometers. The Russian side has begun a campaign to nationalize Ukrainian businesses […]

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NBU head says Donbas blockade, if prolonged, to result in Ukrainian GDP growth limited to 1.5%

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KYIV. March 2 (Interfax) – The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) predicts that the Donbas blockade, if lifted shortly, will have only a minor negative impact on the country’s gross domestic product and balance of payments, NBU governor Valeriya Hontareva said. However, any continued existence of today’s situation during a long time will lead to a complete collapse in production […]

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Why Everybody Suddenly Has a Ukraine Plan

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – February 27, 2017) Leonid Bershidsky is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru. Andrii Artemenko, a little-known Ukrainian populist lawmaker, became a name in the U.S. after The New York Times reported he’s worked with Donald Trump confidantes on a […]

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Everyone Seems To Have A Peace Plan For Ukraine

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(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Christopher Miller – February 23, 2017) KYIV — It seems that peace plans for Ukraine are everywhere these days. Amid a recent surge in violence in eastern Ukraine and yet another failed cease-fire in the nearly 3-year-old conflict are a wave of new proposals to bring peace to the crisis-stricken nation — and from some unexpected […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russian media release text of Yanukovych’s letter to Trump” – Kyiv Post/Euan MacDonald, Olga Rudenko

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“Editor’s Note: Russian media on Feb. 22 released the text of a letter allegedly sent by the ousted former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to U.S. President Donald Trump. Yanukovych claimed that he had sent letters to Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview published on Feb. 22 by German weekly […]

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NEWSLINK: “Kiev Is Fueling the War in Eastern Ukraine, Too; A muted White House isn’t just emboldening the Kremlin — it’s inciting the politics of war throughout Ukraine.” – Foreign Policy Magazine/ISAAC WEBB

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“… Beginning Jan. 29, rockets rained down on residential and military positions along the front line, killing civilians and soldiers alike. One 60-year-old woman was killed in separatist shelling as she walked from her home to a nearby market; a 24-year-old medic was killed when a shell exploded next to the ambulance she was driving. The fighting decimated local water […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Trump-Putin ties now seen as key to peace in eastern Ukraine” – CNBC/Silvia Amaro

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“Escalating violence in eastern Ukraine … has underlined the importance … Trump now plays in the region … promising to restore peace after a phone call with … Poroshenko. Trump has signaled his intent to have a closer relationship with Russia and … Putin. And with an open line of communication with Poroshenko, Trump could well prove … instrumental. * […]

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NEWSLINK: “Losing everything in Avdiivka; As violence escalates in Eastern Ukraine front, one family copes with losing their livelihood in the shelling.” – Al Jazeera/Christian Borys

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“… Somewhere in that direction is the heavy gun that fired the shell which destroyed everything for which he had worked. The sounds of the intense fighting in that direction are still audible …. ‘That poor old man,’ says his 71-year-old wife …. ‘He worked his whole life for his family, and now it’s all gone.’ …. * * * […]

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NEWSLINK: “TODAY’S FEAR-MONGERING” – Irrussianality/Paul Robinson

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“Doug Saunders of the Globe and Mail newspaper writes some good op-eds. But like a lot of commentators he seems to go completely off the rails when the subject of Russia comes up. His latest piece entitled ‘Is Putin scoring political goals on an empty net?’ had me spluttering over my breakfast cereal this morning, and merits a detailed response.”

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Joint news conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (excerpt re Ukraine)

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(Kremlin.ru – February 2, 2017) Question: I have a question about Ukraine. Mr President, your position on the conflict in Donbass is known. I would like you to clarify the following: why did this flare-up occur at this particular moment? Since we are in Hungary, I would like to ask Mr Orban the following question: What do you think about […]

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Russia has not recognized DPR, LPR passports – Peskov

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MOSCOW. Feb 3 (Interfax) – Russia has not officially recognized the passports of people who live on the territory of the self-proclaimed Donbas republics, there are specific humanitarian actions by the local authorities and companies, Russian presidential press officer Dmitry Peskov said. During a meeting with journalists on Friday, Peskov was asked to comment on a report that the passports […]

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Attacks cut water supply to Donetsk

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MOSCOW. Feb 1 (Interfax) – Water supply has been cut to Donetsk and, partially, to Makiivka as a result of an attack on a water filtering station, the Donetsk news agency said with reference to the Voda Donbasa company. “The hostilities caused a power outage at the Verkhnekalmiusskaya water filtering station at 9:30 a.m. The fourth grid connection (35 kV […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Kiev and Kremlin trade blame over surge in east Ukraine fighting” – Reuters

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

“Ukraine and Russia blamed each other on Tuesday for a surge in fighting in eastern Ukraine … that has led to the highest casualty toll in weeks and cut off power and water to thousands of civilians …. The Ukrainian military and Russian-backed separatists accuse each other of launching offensives in the government-held industrial town of Avdiyivka and firing heavy […]

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Solovey on the Shape of the Emerging Putin-Trump ‘Big Deal’ on Ukraine and Much Else

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 30, 2016) Valery Solovey, one of the best connected and most thoughtful of Moscow’s foreign policy commentators, says that the telephone call between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin was the “first step toward ‘a big deal’” between the two not only over bilateral ties but also over a re-division of the […]

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Ukraine’s Survival Strategy for the Trump Era

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – January 17, 2017) For Ukraine, Jan. 20 is a scarier date than perhaps for any other country: It may be about to lose the U.S. support that has allowed it to stay afloat in the face of #Russian hostility and economic disaster. The Ukrainian elite is divided between two competing strategies in response. […]

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Putin’s New Year

Europe Map

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – January 9, 2017) So 2017 is here. And one thing we can be pretty certain of this year is that Vladimir Putin’s regime will try to push the advantage it gained last year — and intensify its efforts to undermine the liberal world order. And there will be plenty of targets of opportunity. […]

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Lift Russian Sanctions for ‘Positive Developments’ in Ukraine – OSCE Chair

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 9, 2017) Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz has called on European leaders to begin lifting sanctions against Russia in exchange for “any positive development” in the Ukrainian crisis. Kurz, a politician for the Austrian People’s Party, claimed that the change in policy would “send a clear signal to Russia.” “My concept is clear. I […]

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Putin Will Never Agree to Deal Thomas Graham Suggests He Wants, Portnikov Says

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(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 5, 2016) Vladimir Putin has no interest in the deal Thomas Graham suggests he now wants, Vitaly Portnikov says; and consequently, if Washington pursues the course the former US diplomat and current Kissinger associate proposes, it will only embarrass itself but not achieve any of the goals he says the West […]

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EVENT: Reminder: Everyone Loses: The Ukraine Crisis and the Ruinous Contest for Post-Soviet Eurasia | Thursday, January 12th at 9:00am [in Washington D.C.]

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

Subject: Reminder: Everyone Loses: The Ukraine Crisis and the Ruinous Contest for Post-Soviet Eurasia | Thursday, January 12th at 9:00am Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2017 From: Samuel Charap <Charap@iiss.org> The International Institute for Strategic Studies – Americas Everyone Loses: The Ukraine Crisis and the Ruinous Contest for Post-Soviet Eurasia Thursday, January 12, 9:00-10:00am IISS-AMERICAS BOOK LAUNCH 9:00-10:00am Discussion followed by […]

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Interfax: DPR reports nearly 1,700 Ukrainian army attacks in past 24 hours

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DONETSK. Dec 19 (Interfax) – The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) recorded 1,684 attacks by the Ukrainian military, nine houses were damaged in the past 24 hours, senior officer of the DPR Defense Ministry Eduard Basurin said. “At the same time, the adversary fired 54 122mm caliber artillery shells, 310 120mm and 82mm caliber mines, three tank projectiles, as well […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Turchynov hopes Trump’s administration approves lethal weapon provision to Ukraine” – Interfax-Ukraine

“National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov said he hopes that the new U.S. administration will make a decision on granting lethal weapons to Ukraine. ‘I do think that Ukraine has a chance to get lethal weapons. … The position of the Republican Party towards Ukraine is sufficiently clear and consistent. All their votes in the Congress and […]

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Lavrov says no breakthroughs at Normandy Format meeting

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MINSK. Nov 29 (Interfax) – Today’s meeting of the Normandy Quartet foreign ministers has brought no breakthroughs; it is noted that implementation of the Minsk Agreements in the area of security and politics remains stalled as no specific steps have been agreed upon, although the earlier agreements made by leaders of the fours countries are not being questioned, Russian Foreign […]

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Russians Want West to Make Up with Them and Don’t See Why Ukraine Should Be an Obstacle, New Poll Suggests

File Photo of G7 Leaders and other Officials Around Round Table at the Hague, with Flags

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 29, 2016) In presenting the latest Levada Center poll on Russian attitudes toward the West, the center’s Aleksey Grazhdankin says that a majority of Russians think that the initiative for improving East-West ties should come from the West and “do not understand why the actions of their country in Ukraine” have […]

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NEWSLINK AFP: “Obama wants Ukraine deal ‘before term is up'”

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

“US President Barack Obama said he told Vladimir Putin … that he wants to reach a settlement that solves the Ukraine crisis before he leaves office in January. ….”

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NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine turns to Tampa group for help setting up new commando HQ” – Tampa Bay Times

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

Commando forces in … Ukraine were decimated … against pro-Russian insurgents and … “little green men” — masked Russian commandos in unmarked army uniforms. … when it came time to rebuild and adjust … Ukrainian officials turned … to the non-profit Global SOF Foundation, a Tampa-based special operations advocacy group. … credited with helping put Ukraine on the right footing […]

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Breaking Bad: How Russian State Patriotism Destroyed the Far Right; The Kremlin’s intervention in the Ukraine conflict has fragmented Russian nationalist groups

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Kupfer, Bradley Jardine – November 11, 2016) On Friday, Nov. 4, chants rang out through the suburban neighborhood of Lyublino, in southeastern Moscow: “We are Russians! Glory to the Slavic nations! Glory to the white races!” Soon, a crowd appeared on the horizon. Some of the men – for they were mostly men – […]

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Ukraine’s ‘Amazing Idiots’ and ‘Crimes Against Humanity’; Five issues Vladimir Putin addressed when speaking in Yalta on Oct. 26

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 26, 2016) On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to Yalta on the contested Crimean peninsula, where he addressed a forum by the All-Russia People’s Front, a political movement Putin started in 2011 to coexist with the United Russia political party. Hours after Putin’s speech, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry sent Moscow a formal letter […]

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Ukraine’s ministry of internal hatred

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

Ukrainian citizens displaced following the outbreak of conflict in the Donbas are still fighting for their rights – and public officials are using them as scapegoats. (opendemocracy.net – Tetiana Bezruk – October 14, 2016) Tetiana Bezruk researches contemporary Ukrainian nationalism, political violence in the Donbas and cultural memory in post-Soviet Ukraine. A friend who moved to Kyiv from Luhansk showed […]

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Ukrainian Nationalists Stage Torchlight March In Kyiv As New Far-Right Party Is Born

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

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Christopher Miller – KYIV, October 14, 2016) Thousands of nationalists have marched through Kyiv in a torchlight procession to celebrate Ukrainian fighters past and present on a day that saw a fearsome far-right military force formally enter the country’s political fray. As dusk fell on the second annual Day of Defenders on October 14, a holiday […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Dealing with a simmering Ukraine-Russia conflict” – Brookings/Fiona Hill, Steven Pifer

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

A major foreign policy challenge that will confront the new U.S. administration from day one is Ukraine and its conflict with Russia. … Minsk II … that was to end the fighting in … Donbas … has yet to be implemented. There is little sign that Moscow wants a settlement, apparently preferring a ‘simmering’ rather than ‘frozen’ conflict, where it […]

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In Putin’s World, Crime Pays

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – October 3, 2016) By most objective standards, last week’s news should have been an unmitigated disaster for Vladimir Putin’s regime. By most objective standards, the Kremlin should be worried that it risks becoming an international pariah. By most objective standards, September 28 should have been a dark day for Russia. Dutch investigators on […]

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Analysis: ‘Barbarous’ Syria Bombings, MH17 Blame: What Consequences Could Russia Face?

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Steve Gutterman – September 30, 2016) In terms of its reputation, Russia has had one of its worst weeks ever. Incensed that Moscow is pushing ahead with the “barbarous” bombing of Aleppo and angry over an attack on an aid convoy that is widely blamed on Russian and Syrian forces, the United States is threatening to […]

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Russian Officials Dig In On MH17, As Critics Decry ‘Politics Of Denial’

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – September 29, 2016) MOSCOW — A series of denials by Russian officials and state-media allegations of bias and foul play present a view that is starkly discrepant with international criminal investigators’ findings, announced this week, over the downing of a Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine in 2014. The Joint Investigation Team’s (JIT) interim […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia Implicated in Shooting Down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Over Ukraine” – New York Times

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

A Dutch-led investigation has concluded that the powerful surface-to-air missile system … used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine two years ago, killing all 298 on board, was trucked in from Russia at the request of Russian-backed separatists and returned to Russia the same night. … largely confirm[ing] the already widely documented Russian government role not only […]

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What Putin Didn’t Get In Hangzhou

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(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – September 8, 2016) One of the most significant things about the G20 summit was something that didn’t happen. Hangzhou didn’t become Yalta. China didn’t become Munich. But Vladimir Putin sure wanted it to. In fact, Russia’s actions in and around #Ukraine over the past month appear to have been, at least in part, […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Far Right in Ukraine During the ‘Euromaidan’ and the War in Donbas September 2016” – Ivan Katchanovski

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

Abstract This paper analyzes the role of far right in the Ukrainian politics during the ‘Euromaidan’ and the war in Donbas. The issue of the involvement of Ukrainian far right organizations in the “Euromaidan” and the war in Donbas have been politicized and polarized. Russian and separatist politicians and the media often presented the “Euromaidan” as a “fascist coup” and […]

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