Moscow, Kiev Grapple With Historic Ties to Prince Vladimir

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – July 29, 2015) Tuesday marked the passage of a millennium since the death of Vladimir the Great. As both Kiev and Moscow honored the occasion with high-profile celebrations, leaders of each took advantage of the opportunity to emphasize the strength of their own countries’ ties to the medieval ruler. Prince Vladimir is […]

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Putin Hurts a Think Tank by Not Banning It

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – July 28, 2015) Russian President Vladimir Putin is nothing if not cunning when it comes to dealing with his adversaries. When he signed a law allowing the government to ban any nongovernmental organization deemed “undesirable,” it was clear some foreign NGOs would suffer. What was less obvious — though, in hindsight, inevitable — […]

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To Escape Putinism, Russia Must Expunge Muscovy as Germany Did Prussia, Sklyarov Says

Moscow Night Lights Satellite Image

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 29, 2105) Many commentators suggest that the way to move beyond the Putin regime involves economic growth, de-militarization, and re-entering the international community, but “these are all second-order tasks” that pale in comparison with what is the most important one, according to Andrey Sklyarov. The historian says that the central task […]

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Crimea Is Now Putin’s Problem Child; Russian security services are cracking down on alleged corruption in the newly annexed peninsula

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Carol Matlack – July 24, 2015) President Vladimir Putin likened Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea to a family welcoming home a long-lost relative. Now the family is showing signs of strain. Russia’s federal security service, the FSB, has opened criminal investigations of three high-ranking Crimean government officials, accusing them of graft and other misdeeds. Four regional […]

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Interfax : Russian patriarch appeals to Putin, Poroshenko over Ukraine conflict

Patriarch Kirill file photo

(Interfax – July 27, 2015) Patriarch of Moscow and All-Russia Kirill has written letters to the presidents of Russia and Ukraine expressing deep concern over events in eastern Ukraine, privately-owned Interfax news agency reported on 27 July. “Reaching the peace agreements in Minsk put the escalation of the conflict on hold and inspired hope for a full ceasefire between the […]

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Interfax: Putin hopes Russia will be able to promote dialogue with Europe and U.S. on Ukraine issue

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

(Interfax – July 28, 2015) Russian President Vladimir Putin is hopeful that his country will be able to further promote dialogue with Europe and the United States concerning the fight against radical Islamism and other problems, including the Ukrainian issue. “I see today that the situation has changed. Europe and the U.S. have realized the real threat coming from the […]

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Putin Scheduled to Address UN General Assembly

UN Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – July 28, 2015) Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend this year’s United Nations General Assembly in September, according to a provisional list of speakers released by the UN. Putin plans to address the gathering of the world’s heads of states and governments on its opening day, Sept. 28, according to the list […]

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NEWSWATCH The Independent (UK): Vladimir Putin wants to ‘eliminate Ukraine – I have no doubt’, claims Ukrainian PM

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

The Independent covers comments by Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk about the Russo-Ukrainian War and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s policies towards Ukraine. The Prime Minister of Ukraine has claimed that Vladimir Putin is trying to ‘eliminate Ukraine’ as conflict continues between government troops and rebels.   Russia has persistently denied supporting separatist fighters … but Arseniy Yatsenyuk said there was irrefutable evidence of […]

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OBITUARY: Gennady Seleznyov, night rider of Russia’s rowdy parliament

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Nick Allen in Berlin – July 23, 2015) With President Vladimir Putin’s executive fist dominating the ‘vertical of power’, while parliament toes the Kremlin line, it’s easy to forget Russia’s heyday of real rough-and-tumble oppositional party politics in the first years after the Soviet collapse. So defiant from the outset was the legislature, still […]

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Putin frees small business from inspections for three years

cash-register

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 14, 2015) Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law giving small companies a three-year holiday from regular inspections, a measure lawmakers hope will spur the development of small business in the country, according to a document published Tuesday [14 July] on the government’s legal information website. Small business is relatively underdeveloped in Russia, […]

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Ukrainians Suspect Obama-Putin Cooperation

File Photo of Victoria Nuland Testifying

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – July 20, 2015) It’s rare that official representatives of the U.S. visit foreign parliaments to persuade lawmakers to vote a certain way on some piece of legislation. Yet last week, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland traveled to Kiev and did just that, as the Ukrainian parliament prepared to vote on amendments to […]

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The Public’s Top Picks for the Pedestal on Lubyanka Square

FSB Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Maria Naum – July 17, 2015) On Aug. 22, 1991 at the peak of euphoria over the failure of the coup against Mikhail Gorbachev, the statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Soviet secret police, was pulled from its pedestal on Lubyanka Square. Since then, the square has remained empty as the public and authorities […]

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The Day Putin Became A Pariah

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

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – July 16, 2015) It was the day Moscow’s dreams of empire cost European lives. It was the day the Kremlin lost its last vestiges of credibility. It was the day when it became impossible to continue even pretending that Vladimir Putin’s regime was anything close to respectable. It was the day the mask […]

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Interfax: Peaceful settlement in Ukraine stalling over Kiev’s unwillingness to hold dialogue with Donbass – Putin

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

(Interfax – July 10, 2015) The process of peaceful settlement in Ukraine is having difficulties because Kyiv has no wish to hold talks with Donbas, but chances of success are higher than chances of failure, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a news conference in Ufa on July 10. “It does seem to me that to a certain extent the […]

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Putin calls for BRICS to assert financial independence from West

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

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – July 10, 2015) With a total GDP of $32 trillion and uniting 43% of the world’s population, the BRICS grouping of emerging powers took an assertive global stance at its annual summit in the Russian city of Ufa, as it unrolled plans to rival Western-dominated financial institutions. Marking the organisation’s seventh […]

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Interfax: Putin says Eurasia’s not a chessboard, it’s our home

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Interfax – July 9, 2015) Russia and its neighbours in the Eurasian landmass should not be treated as a “chessboard” or a “geopolitical playing field”, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on 9 July in remarks reported by privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax. “For us, this isn’t a chessboard, it’s not a geopolitical playing field – this is our home, and […]

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Russia Can No Longer Afford to Be the Militarist and Expansionist Power It has Always Been, Shevtsova Says

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Paul Goble – Staunton, July 8, 2015) After a brief attempt to escape from its past in the 1990s, Russia under Vladimir Putin is “again returning to militarism … the model of existence in which Russia had existed for centuries” in order to prepare for war. No other such civilization exists in the world now, but Russia “cannot militarize as […]

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Russia Searches for Post-G8 Footing at BRICS Summit

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – July 8, 2015) The leaders of the world’s biggest emerging economies will meet in Russia on Thursday for a powwow that Moscow hopes will demonstrate the futility of Western efforts to isolate the country. The summit of the BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – that opens Wednesday […]

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Interfax: Putin says Russia can overcome difficulties in international politics, economy by pooling efforts with China

Map of China and Environs, adapted from archived cia.gov image

UFA. July 8 (Interfax) – Russia is aware of the difficulties it has been encountering in international politics and the economy but is confident it can overcome them by pooling efforts with China, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. “We are perfectly aware of the difficulties we have to face in the economy and international politics but, by joint efforts, […]

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Even the Kremlin Doesn’t Believe Its Own Poll Numbers, ‘Nezavisimaya gazeta’ Says

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

(Paul Goble – Staunton, July 7, 2015) The Kremlin it appears “does not believe the ratings” it routinely distributes about the support the Russian people are showing for Vladimir Putin and his regime if one judges by the Russian government’s new effort to give the FSB expanded powers to fight mass protests, according to the editors of “Nezavisimaya gazeta.” The […]

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Jews Are Fleeing Russia Because Of Putin

Torah Scrolls

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Roman Super, Claire Bigg – July 3, 2015) Just a year ago, Russian journalist Vladimir Yakovlev was one of Moscow’s most influential media figures. Today, he lives a quiet life in Tel Aviv and has swapped his Russian passport for an Israeli one. Yakovlev, the founder of the respected Kommersant publishing house and the Snob magazine, […]

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NEWSLINK Euromaidan Press: Putin regime can’t be reformed, only replaced, like its Soviet predecessor, Yakovenko says

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

“Having unleashed the imperial self-consciousness of the population, Yakovenko continues, ‘Putin not only does not want but cannot stop this insanity. He already lacks the powers to stop the war he began in Ukraine, even if he wanted to. He lacks the power to stop the hysteria of hatred in the media.’

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Nothing on Horizon Now Could Cut Into Putin’s High Poll Ratings, Gudkov Says

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Paul Goble – Staunton, July 1, 2015) Many Russians “genuinely support the actions and lies of Putin” because as Moscow’s propaganda machine suggests, he is a guy willing to use force to stand up to America and defend the national interests of the country, according to Lev Gudkov, the head of the Levada Center. They recognize only “very poorly” that […]

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Putin’s Peace Offensive on Ukraine Means Situation is ‘Really Dangerous,’ Piontkovsky Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 29, 2015) Vladimir Putin’s “peace offensive,” marked by his call to US President Barack Obama, means that the situation is becoming “really dangerous,” Andrey Piontkovsky says, because the Kremlin leader has not changed his goal of destroying Ukraine as a state but only the means he is prepared to use to […]

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Russian policy of supporting Syrian authorities remains unchanged – Putin

Syria Map

MOSCOW. June 29 (Interfax) – Russia’s policy of supporting the Syrian authorities and people remains unchanged, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “We see how complicated situation[al] development in Syria is, firstly the one related to international terrorism aggression. We understand that amid such situations success always corresponds with certain issues, and military failures could occur. But we are certain that […]

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Primakov was Putinism’s ‘Godfather,’ Russian Analysts Say

Yevgeny Primakov file photo, with William Cohen in partial profile

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 28, 2015) Many Western obituaries and appreciations of the late Yevgeny Primakov portray him as an alternative to Vladimir Putin and someone who would have led Russia in an entirely different direction than the current Kremlin leader. But two Russian analysts argue that in fact Primakov laid much of the groundwork […]

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Interfax: Extension of Russian countersanctions for one year meets interests of national economic development – Peskov

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

MOSCOW. June 24 (Interfax) – The extension of Russian countersanctions for a year meets the interests of the country’s economic development, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov has said. “Our interests, I mean the interests of the Russian Federation from the viewpoint of the economic development of the country,” he said to journalists answering the question in relation to what Russia […]

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Kremlin chief-of-staff against moving Russian presidential election

File Photo of Sergei Ivanov, adapted from defense.gov image

(Interfax – June 20, 2015) It doesn’t make sense to move the 2018 presidential election to an earlier date, head of the Russian presidential administration Sergey Ivanov has said. “If you ask my opinion, I see absolutely no sense in this,” Ivanov said in an interview in the Vesti v Subbotu with Sergey Brilev programme on state-owned official Rossiya 1 […]

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Consumer-Rights Advocate Calls Putin ‘Paranoid’ After ‘Foreign-Agent’ Slur

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, June 24, 2015) A Russian consumer-protection group lambasted by President Vladimir Putin as a “foreign agent” after giving cautionary advice to Russians traveling to annexed Crimea has accused Putin of “paranoia” and called him “badly informed.” Mikhail Anshakov, chairman of the Moscow-based Society for the Protection of Consumer Rights (OZPP), said his […]

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NEWSLINK Financial Times: Senior Putin aide warns over Russia-US relations

File Photo of Sergei Ivanov, adapted from defense.gov image

One of Vladimir Putin’s most senior officials has warned the US against a plan to store heavy weapons in eastern Europe as Nato draws up contingency plans for conflict in Europe for the first time since the cold war. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a7c7557e-17f0-11e5-a130-2e7db721f996.html

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Putin Offers Little Change at Russia’s Top Economic Forum

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko and Peter Hobson – ST. PETERSBURG, June 22, 2015) More than a year into an economic firestorm that is pushing Russia into its first recession in six years, Russia’s flagship economic forum in St. Petersburg was titled “Time to Act.” With Western sanctions over Ukraine and fallen oil prices battering the economy, thousands […]

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NEWSLINK Reuters: After midnight in the library, Putin sets out his world view

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

It was two minutes before midnight when Russian President Vladimir Putin finally entered the meeting room in the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library, more than three hours late, to be interviewed by a dozen exhausted journalists. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/20/us-russia-putin-idUSKBN0P00JG20150620

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Early Election Would Benefit Putin, Not Russia

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – June 18, 2015) Russia’s former finance minister, Alexei Kudrin, came up with an interesting idea for turning Russia’s recent economic woes to the country’s advantage: moving up the scheduled 2017 presidential election. The problem with this suggestion — which may have been floated as a trial balloon with the Kremlin’s approval — is […]

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Russian Economic Path Is in Eye of Beholder for Putin Allies

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas, Paul Abelsky – June 19, 2015) The Russian economy is sailing along — in the eye of the storm or toward calmer waters, depending on who’s looking. Gauging the health of the economy during the first two days of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum were President Vladimir Putin’s confidantes, past and present. Things […]

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Interfax: Russia basically contented with hydrocarbon prices, says Putin

Oil Wells File Photo

(Interfax – June 18, 2015) Current prices on the hydrocarbon market could stay at this level for the next one or two years; this affects the ruble exchange rate against the U.S. dollar and the euro, and the Russian government is contented with this, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “It’s roughly clear how the hydrocarbon market is going to develop, […]

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NEWSLINK Kyiv Post editorial: New arms race; The last time that the West got into an arms race with the Kremlin, the Soviet Union collapsed

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

So when we hear threats from Russian President Vladimir Putin that he will respond to the West’s improved NATO defenses on Russia’s border, our response is: Bring it on, peewee Stalin!

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: Russia’s Struggling Economy Clouds St. Petersburg Economic Forum. Corporate executives head to President Vladimir’s Putin hometown for annual event

St. Petersburg

Corporate executives head to President Vladimir’s Putin hometown for annual event.

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Putin’s unrealizable dream vs. his all too-real nightmare

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – June 15, 2015) That Vladimir Putin lives in a different reality than do other world leaders is now more or less common ground. Now, two commentators have described respectively what the Kremlin leader dreams about and what his worst nightmare might turn out to be. In a commentary of Kyiv’s “Novoye vremya,” Yury […]

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‘Almost No One in Russia Wanted Real Democracy with Division of Powers,’ Gudkov Says

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 14, 2015) Vladimir Putin and his regime are a logical reflection of the fact that “almost no one [in Russia] wanted a real democracy with division of power and a vital civil society,” according to Levada Center head Lev Gudkov. Consequently, it is possible to say that “Russians have received what […]

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‘Putin is not Auric Goldfinger.’ Is sentiment towards Russia turning?

File Photo of John Kerry Shaking Hands with Vladimir Putin as Ambassador Looks On

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – June 11, 2015) Is sentiment on the Ukraine-Russia conflict turning amongst Western politicians and journalists? A series of events in the past month suggests so, and in just the last week a string of articles attempted to inject a note of pragmatic realism into the debate, where shrill warmongering […]

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Banned if they do, banned if they don’t; Unable to change things in their own country, Russians are quietly leaving for good – but they will still check out Crimea

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Julia Reed in Moscow – June 11, 2015) Each week in Russia some obscure Duma deputy no one has ever heard of before proposes a new law. Usually, the proposal gets instant and almost unanimous approval of the legislative body and within days becomes law, signed by the head of state. Usually it’s a […]

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Putin Is No James Bond Villain

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – June 9, 2015) Despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars on foreign-language propaganda, all that President Vladimir Putin has achieved outside Russia is the status of a Bond movie villain. He may enjoy it, especially since there’s no 007 in sight to tackle him, but his variety of pop stardom is growing into […]

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The uses and abuses of history

Berlin Wall, Fencing, Barbed Wire, Women

(opendemocracy.net – Rodric Braithwaite – June 8, 2015) Rodric Braithwaite is a British diplomat and author. From 1988 to 1992, Braithwaite served as British ambassador in Moscow, and is the author of Across the Moscow River: The World Turned Upside Down, Moscow 1941: A City and Its People at War and Afgantsy. History is nowadays not only written by the […]

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Putin: Russia has no relations with G7 but ready to cooperate with its members bilaterally

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

(Interfax – June 10, 2015) Russia currently does not maintain any relationship with the G7, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “We have no relations with the G7, what relations could there be?” Putin told journalists following negotiations with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on June 10. At the same time, “if our partners want it, we will be developing active […]

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Regarding Ukraine, Putin’s Actions Undercut Putin’s Arguments, ‘Nezavisimaya Gazeta’ Says

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 9, 2015) Russian actions in Crimea and the Donbas “have weakened Russian arguments about the change of power in Kyiv” at the time of the Maidan and thus cost Moscow support in European and other Western capitals, according to a lead article in “Nezavisimaya gazeta” today. In his interview with “Corriere […]

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