JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s war is transforming Ukraine” – Washington Post/Anne Applebaum

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

“… [I]ntegration of … Donetsk refugees into schools and communities in the central and western parts of the country is … part of a broader story: the integration of the war into the consciousness of Ukrainians. … the Russian-Ukrainian war continues. One of the Russian-backed separatist leaders was killed in a bomb attack in August. Skirmishes take place most days, […]

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More Lethal Weaponry Possible For Ukraine, U.S. Envoy Tells RFE/RL

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Christopher Miller – KYIV – Sept. 14, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/more-lethal-weaponry-possible-for-ukraine-u-s-envoy-says/29489463.html) The United States is considering sending more lethal weaponry to Kyiv to build up its naval and air defenses, Washington’s special envoy for Ukraine said, as concerns mount that Russia may be stepping up operations in coastal […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia is advancing on Ukraine again – and Ukraine isn’t going quietly; President Petro Poroshenko tells the Post how he wants the war to end” – Washington Post/ Lally Weymouth

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

“When Ukrainians took to the streets in the 2014 Maidan revolution, they ousted President Viktor Yanukovych and selected Petro Poroshenko as his successor to begin a period of reform. Poroshenko is up for reelection next spring, and polls show that Ukrainians are disappointed with him, particularly for what they see as his failure to clean up corruption. In a rare […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Levada poll: Russians’ worries close to home” – Bear Market Brief/BMD Russia

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“… [poll numbers indicate that] Russians are concerned about rising prices (72%), poverty (52%), and unemployment (48%). … the highest August figures since 2013. … a Bank of Russia survey finds … ordinary Russians are expecting higher inflation …. lean years have rendered adventures abroad relatively less important to Russians. … inflationary expectations raise the specter of a key rate […]

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Is Russia Really “Fascist”? A Comment on Timothy Snyder

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(PONARS Eurasia – PONARS Policy Memo – Marlene Laruelle – September 5, 2018 – ponarseurasia.org/memo/russia-really-fascist-reply-timothy-snyder) Marlene Laruelle is Research Professor, Associate Director of IERES, Director of the Central Asia Program, and Co-Director of PONARS Eurasia at The George Washington University. Over the past decade, and even more overtly since the annexation of Crimea, there has been a growing tendency to […]

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Poroshenko Declares Ukraine ‘Has Cut All Ties With Russian Empire’

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – KYIV, August 24, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/poroshenko-declares-ukraine-has-cut-all-ties-with-russian-empire-/29451039.html) President Petro Poroshenko has marked Ukraine’s Independence Day by announcing at a military parade in Kyiv that his country “has cut all ties with the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union.” Poroshenko also said during the August 24 event that Ukraine […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin Tells Diplomats He Made Trump a New Offer on Ukraine at Their Summit” – Bloomberg/Ilya Arkhipov

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

“… Putin told Russian diplomats that he made a proposal to … Trump at their summit … to hold a referendum to help resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine …. White House officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. … Leaders of so-called people’s republics in Donetsk and Luhansk held referendums in May 2014 that declared independence. The votes […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “National Security Adviser John Bolton on ‘Face the Nation,’ July 1, 2018” – CBS

File Photo of John Bolton Raising Hand at United Nations, with United States Nameplate on Desktop in Front, adapted from image at state.gov

“… There are possibilities for … a larger negotiation on … get[ting] Iranian forces out  [of Syria] …. * * * [T]he Russians are always saying to us they want to cooperate on international terrorism …. * * * I had meetings … with … Putin and his foreign minister … defense minister and … diplomatic adviser … the [U.S.] […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “An outrageous penalty; As the World Cup begins, Russia should free Oleg Sentsov; A film-maker locked up for protesting against the annexation of Crimea is on hunger strike” – The Economist Editorial

Oleg Sentsov file photo, adapated from image at csce.gov

“… Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian film director serving a 20-year sentence … in Siberia. … was jailed for protesting against … Putin’s illegal annexation of Crimea and the war Russia’s president unleashed in eastern Ukraine …. Sentsov started a hunger strike demanding the release of all 64 Ukrainian political prisoners from Russian jails. The … World Cup … June 14th […]

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NEWSLINK: “World Cup dream is ‘sportswashing’ Russia’s appalling record” – Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

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

“In 2010 when this tournament was awarded, no one thought Russia would suddenly become a bastion of human and civil rights, though it’s worth reflecting on all that’s happened since then. There’s not just the annexation of Crimea, the war in Ukraine and the concerns about US election meddling. Or just the controversy surrounding the nerve agent attack on the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin says he’s making Russia great again. In reality, it’s crumbling; The country has been bolstered by European disunity but that obscures a multitude of ills” – The Spectator (UK)/Owen Matthews

Kremlin and River

“[Despite the World Cup and] … patriotic hype over grand multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects like a new bridge to Crimea and shiny stadiums, Russia is crumbling. … [Russia’s own statistics indicate] 68,100 schools in 2000; 41,100 now. … 10,700 hospitals [when Putin took power, now reduced to] 5,400. … living space declared unfit for habitation has more than doubled … […]

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NEWSLINK: “A political prisoner in Russia is starving. The world should take notice” – Washington Post Editorial

Oleg Sentsov file photo, adapated from image at csce.gov

“Four years after Russia invaded and illegally annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine … a courageous activist and filmmaker named Oleg Sentsov … imprisoned in a Siberian penal colony above the Arctic Circle, embarked on a hunger strike to demand the release of 64 Ukrainian political prisoners held by Russia … his health has seriously deteriorated … he has lost […]

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NEWSLINK: “Don’t Be Fooled – Ukraine Is Not a Frozen Conflict. There are signs of escalation in the simmering conflict.” – The National Interest/Lyle Goldstein

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

“With the North Korea and Iran pots both simultaneously coming to a boil, it’s naturally hard for national security specialists to take on any more complex and dangerous issues. Yet Syria and Yemen demand major attention as human rights catastrophes. … U.S. troops are still somehow mired in Afghanistan – ‘the forever war’ …. there is the seeming possibility of […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine should blow up Putin’s Crimea bridge” – Washington Examiner/Tom Rogan

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

“… Ukraine should now destroy elements of the bridge. While that course of action would be an escalation against Putin and … almost certainly spark Russian retaliation, this bridge is an outrageous affront to Ukraine’s very credibility as a nation. … from Putin’s perspective that’s the whole point. The bridge cost Russia’s near-bankrupt government billions of dollars, but it offers […]

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RUSSIALINK: “U.S. magazine’s call for bombing of Crimean Bridge reflects opinion of part of U.S. political elite – Aksyonov” – Interfax

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

SIMFEROPOL. May 17 (Interfax) – The article published in a U.S. weekly calling for the bombing of the Crimean Bridge is a reflection of the opinion of the U.S. political elite, Sergei Aksyonov, the head of Crimea, said. “Essentially, the U.S. media outlet is disseminating calls for terrorist activities under the guise of freedom of speech. Unfortunately, it is not […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Opening of Crimean Bridge motorway section” – KremlinRu

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

(Kremlin.ru – May 15, 2018) Vladimir Putin took part in the opening ceremony of the Crimean Bridge motorway section and drove the lead vehicle of the construction equipment convoy. Vladimir Putin visited the Consolidated Traffic Management Centre and heard reports on the readiness of utility teams to operate the transport route across the Kerch Strait. The head of state also […]

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Putin Hits Out At U.S. In Red Square Parade Speech

Russia Map

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – May 9, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-marks-end-of-world-war-ii-with-military-parade-on-red-square/29216745.html) Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued veiled criticism of the United States in a speech before a Red Square parade marking the anniversary of Germany’s defeat in World War II, listing “pretentions to exceptionalism” as a factor that drove Nazi aggression and […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Defying Russia, Trump provides Javelin anti-tank busters to Ukraine” – Financial Times/Roman Olearchyk

File Photo of Soldier Firing Javelin Shoulder-Mounted Anti-Tank Missile

“The U.S. has delivered …Javelin anti-tank busters to Ukraine … the first provision of lethal weaponry to Kiev despite warnings from Moscow …. [T]he handheld fire-and-forget precision Javelin systems stand to help Ukraine’s army repel future attacks by Russian-backed militants who seized control over Far Eastern breakaway regions in 2014 after Moscow occupied Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. U.S. and Ukrainian officials […]

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NEWSLINK: “Q&A: Ukraine’s Got Javelins Now. So What?” – Atlantic Council/Melinda Haring

File Photo of Soldier Firing Javelin Shoulder-Mounted Anti-Tank Missile

“On April 30, the U.S. Department of State confirmed … the delivery of Javelin antitank missile systems to Ukraine. This issue has been long-standing: the Obama administration refused to send the weapons to Kyiv, while President Donald Trump changed course. Some experts warn that giving Ukraine lethal defensive weapons will only enrage the Russians and escalate the war, while others, […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Frustrated at visa holdup, Russians give up on American vacations” – Washington Post/Amie Ferris-Rotman

File Photo of Airplane Approaching Runway About to Land

“… Escalating tensions between Moscow and Washington are putting a damper on Russians’ vacation plans, catching ordinary people in a diplomatic crossfire …. A year ago, obtaining a U.S. tourist visa could take less than a week. Now, it comes with an eight-month delay. * * * The Kremlin may be delighted that fewer of its citizens are being exposed to […]

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Sobchak says planned to go to Crimea on humanitarian mission, not to campaign

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

YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK. March 13 (Interfax) – Russian presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak said that she has no plans to campaign in Crimea and was going to travel there on a humanitarian mission. “I am not going to campaign there and have never planned to do so. But thousands of petitions are coming to me from Crimean Tatars, from people who have lost […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine four years after the Maidan” – Brookings/Steven Pifer

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

“… February 2014, following three months of demonstrations on Kyiv’s Maidan … (Independence Square) … Yanukovych fled … ultimately … to Russia. … February 22, 2014, Ukraine’s parliament appointed an acting president and acting prime minister … announc[ing] … intention[s] to press reforms and bring Ukraine closer to Europe. Four years later, Ukraine [is] in a low-intensity but still very […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine’s Top Spy Is Pleased With Trump; The president’s Putin-friendly noises don’t drown out the sounds of military aid and intelligence cooperation” – Bloomberg/Eli Lake

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

“… Trump reversed Obama[] … approving … sniper rifles [to Ukraine] [and] … Javelin anti-tank missiles. … part of the reason [Vasyl] Hrystak gives Trump high marks. … [Additionally] the Central Intelligence Agency and Hrystak’s service have been cooperating more closely than [under] Obama … [who] was reluctant to get directly involved in Russia’s proxy war with the Ukrainians. … […]

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NEWSLINK TRANSCRIPT: “Telephonic Press Briefing with Ambassador Volker, Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations” – U.S. Department of State

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

“Special Briefing, Brussels, Belgium, January 29, 2018 … Today we are pleased to be joined from New York by Ambassador Kurt Volker, the U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations. Ambassador Volker has recently returned from a trip to Ukraine and Dubai which included talks with his Russian counterpart Vladislav Surkov, so this is a very timely discussion. We thank you, Ambassador […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The U.S. will send antitank weaponry to Ukraine. Here are 4 big questions” – Washington Post/Andrew S. Bowen

File Photo of Soldier Firing Javelin Shoulder-Mounted Anti-Tank Missile

“The Trump administration last week announced updated sanctions on Russian individuals and companies …. Since 2015, the conflict in eastern Ukraine has continued to simmer, with no apparent political solution on the horizon. The seizure of territory has largely ended, leaving both sides vexed at their failure to achieve their objectives. The U.S. decision in late 2017 to provide the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia and Ukraine: More similar than either wants to admit” – bne Intellinews/Anders Åslund

“… Russians see themselves as economically superior while Ukrainians cherish their freedom. Yet … economically the similarities are greater than the differences. Their current fundamental problem is their absence of real property rights. … Russia experienced an attempt at serious market economic reform from 1991-94 … avoid[ing] Ukraine’s … hyperinflation in 1993. While Russia’s situation was bad, Ukraine’s was far […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-18 :: Thursday, 25 January 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 davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2018-#18 Thursday, 25 January 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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NEWSLINK: “From Siberia to Crimea: The Revenge of History in U.S.-Russian Relations; One is tempted to conclude that the Washington foreign-policy establishment has learned little over the past century” – The National Interest/ Lyle J. Goldstein

Balaklava harbour, the cattle pier, Crimea, Ukraine, 1855; adapted from image at loc.gov; Fenton, Roger, 1819-1869, photographer;

“… What were more than 7,000 ‘doughboys’ doing in Siberia at the end of the First World War? To make a long and complex story-explored in detail by such luminaries as George Kennan-a bit shorter, the intervention by a large group of allied powers was not simply anti-Bolshevik, but was premised at the outset as a wartime operation to prevent […]

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A Question Of War: Ukrainian Journalist Gears Up (Again) For Putin’s Big Presser

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

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, December 13, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-annual-press-conference-ukrainian-journalist-war-questions/28914154.html) In a sea of more than a thousand journalists jostling for attention, Roman Tsymbalyuk will be holding a black-and-white “Ukraine” placard. His aim is to catch Vladimir Putin’s eye during the Russian president’s marathon annual press conference on […]

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NEWSLINK: “The reality of neo-Nazis in Ukraine is far from Kremlin propaganda” – The Hill/ Lev Golinkin

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

“… The most infamous neo-Nazi group in Ukraine is the 3,000-strong Azov Battalion, founded in 2014. Prior to creating Azov, its commander, Andriy Biletsky, headed the neo-Nazi group Patriot of Ukraine, members of which went on to form the core of Azov. Biletsky had stated that the mission of Ukraine is to ‘lead the White Races of the world in […]

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Crimea should hold new referendum – Sobchak

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

YEKATERINBURG. Oct 28 (Interfax) – The Russian television presenter Ksenia Sobchak, who has decided to run for presidency in 2018, says that Crimea must hold a new independent referendum. “Russia violated its international obligations, that’s the main starting point. There are Russian people living in Crimea, many of them. (…) We cannot treat them as subjects of geopolitics. That policy […]

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New York Times Covers Russia [Headlines & Links]

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

October 3, 2017 ‘Look Up! Sputnik!’ 60 Years Later By MICHAEL KHODARKOVSKY https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/03/opinion/sputnik-cold-war-space-race.html [“America’s response in 1957 was a huge investment in space technologies; within 12 years, it had put the first men on the moon. Today, too, a major investment in cybersecurity by a much wealthier and more innovative West might remind Moscow that it cannot afford or win […]

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NEWSLINK: “From free info exchange to Kremlin tool; Russia’s homegrown Web; The Soviet Union had a working Internet surprisingly early, and its isolation and highly educated users have kept it separate even in a well-connected world.” – Le Monde Diplomatique/ Kevin Limonier

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“The Ukrainian government blocked access to a number of Russian online services this May, including search engine Yandex and Facebook equivalent VKontakte. Kiev accuses these services, widely used in Ukraine, of sharing data with Russian intelligence, especially the personal data of soldiers fighting separatists in the Donbass region. This measure stopped millions from accessing their favourite sites, and showed the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Senate approves $500 million military aid, lethal weapons for Ukraine”

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

“The … Senate passed … the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, authorizing the provision to Ukraine of $500 million worth of military aid, including lethal defensive weapons. … approved 89 to 8 votes, [the bill] will now go to the president’s desk … [it passed] the House … on July 14. * * * The executive summary … [says] that half of the $500 million … will be withheld until […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Vladimir Putin’s news conference following BRICS Summit”- KremlinRu

File Photo of Flags of BRICS Nations and BRICS Logo from Past Summit

(Kremlin.ru – September 5, 2017) Vladimir Putin answered Russian journalists’ questions following his visit to China to take part in the BRICS Summit. Vladimir Putin summed up the results of the BRICS Summit and his talks with foreign leaders on the Summit’s sidelines, and shared his perspective on pressing international issues. Transcript of the news conference for Russian journalists President […]

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Interfax: Putin warns U.S. against supplying Ukraine with lethal weapons, which would exacerbate Donbas situation

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

XIAMEN. Sept 5 (Interfax) – The possible delivery of U.S. lethal weapons to Ukraine cannot drastically change the Donbas situation but may increase casualties and trigger the use of military force in other territories, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a press conference on Tuesday, after the BRICS summit in Xiamen. “This [the supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine] is a […]

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Russian Ports and Railways Start to Feel Strain of Giant Harvest

Black Sea Satellite Photo file image

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anatoly Medetsky – August 30, 2017) Russia’s massive grains harvest is starting to put a strain on the country’s ability to ship out and store crops. Grains output is set to surpass a Soviet-era record and exports in the season that began in July may be the biggest since the USSR collapsed a quarter of a […]

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NEWSLINK: “Ukrainian crisis: Is there a way out?” – Washington Times/ Edward Lozansky

Aerial Photo of Pentagon and Environs

“Are we preparing for the war with Russia over Ukraine? That’s how it looks if you saw in the news how U.S. Marines regularly do simulated battles with Russian-speaking insurgents.  This is taking place in North Carolina and Germany, but the assumed country is Ukraine, where some American troops have established a combat training center staffed by Ukrainians and reportedly […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Despite New U.S. Sanctions, Russian Oil Traders Say It’s Business as Usual” – Reuters

Oil Well file photo

“Russian oil companies will quickly find ways to work around tighter restrictions imposed this month by the United States on the foreign finance they can use, multiple Russian oil industry sources told Reuters. … new restrictions cut the period that U.S.-based entities can provide finance to Russian energy firms from 90 to 60 days … part of a fresh package of U.S. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Marking time” – Kyiv Post Editorial [re: Ukraine]

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

“… Ukraine celebrates the 26th year of its independence …. in the Donbas, Russia’s war on Ukraine is a deadly stalemate …. in Minsk, peace talks to end the Kremlin’s military intervention and restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity are going round in circles …. In Kyiv, it’s politics as usual … with a powerful president lording over … an oligarchical system. The reform […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Tavrida National Youth Educational Forum – KremlinRu

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

(Kremlin.ru – August 21, 2017) During his working trip to the Republic of Crimea, Vladimir Putin attended the Tavrida National Youth Educational Forum. The President was introduced to thematic exhibitions of various creative teams, photo artists, architects and urban designers. The President spoke in an informal setting with both organisers and participants of the annual forum. The Tavrida National Youth […]

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U.S. Religious Freedom Report Names Russia ‘Country of Concern’

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 16, 2017) A U.S. report on religious freedoms puts Russia on a par with countries like North Korea and Sudan in its treatment of religious minorities. The annual report produced by the state United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said Russian authorities’ policy towards minorities ranged from “administrative harassment to arbitrary imprisonment […]

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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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Not Just A Putin Problem

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – June 21, 2017) [Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – also appeared at rferl.org/a/daily-vertical-not-just-a-putin-problem/28570823.html] “Krym Nash” was just the beginning. Crimea is not the only place and Ukraine is not the only neighbor where Russia has territorial ambitions. And this is not just a fixation of Vladimir #Putin and his cronies, but […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s economy is recovering well” – CNN

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“[Russia] is recovering nicely from a recession and should see economic growth of 1.4% this year, according to [the IMF] … Russia is heavily dependent on oil exports and was hit hard when crude prices started to crash in 2014. Economic sanctions imposed by Western governments as punishment for Russia taking control of Ukraine’s Crimea region dealt the economy another blow. […]

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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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