The war in Donetsk – end of a post-Soviet taboo?

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

(opendemocracy.net – By Oleg Kashin – September 1, 2015) The devastation of eastern Ukraine has woken Russians up to the reality of war for the first time since 1945. Sergei Loiko is an Russian-American journalist who has spent the last year covering the war in Ukraine. He’s also a friend, and has now written Airport, a novel about the battle […]

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Russians More Concerned About Economy Than Ukraine – Poll

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 2, 2015) Economic crisis and the resulting poverty, inflation and growing inequality are more important to Russians than the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, a poll conducted by the independent Levada Center revealed on Monday. While the civil strife in eastern Ukraine still features on the list of Russians’ top 10 concerns, it was […]

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Handing Over Crimea and Donbas to Russia No Solution for Ukraine or the World

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 2, 2015) Many people, horrified by the actions of pro-Moscow forces in Crimea and the Donbas or unwilling to continue to resist Russian aggression, have concluded that the rest of Ukraine would be better off without those two regions and could move forward by sacrificing them to Vladimir Putin. “If only […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#173 :: Wednesday 2 September 2015

St. Basil's Domes

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#173 Wednesday – 2 September 2015 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: russialist.org JRL […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#172 :: Tuesday 1 September 2015

St. Basil's Domes

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#172 Tuesday – 1 September 2015 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: russialist.org JRL […]

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NEWSWLINK Christian Science Monitor: Amid violence in Kiev, Ukraine tries to find a ‘decentralized’ peace

Rada File Photo

Ukraine’s parliament took a first step toward granting powers to rebel regions. But deadly clashes in the capital show the depth of resistance to such changes.

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RE: 2015-#171-Johnson’s Russia List/Demography

Stylized EEG Image Showing Heartbeat Pulse

Subject: RE: 2015-#171-Johnson’s Russia List/Demography Date: Tue, 1 Sep 2015 From: Josh Wilson <jwilson@sras.org> In response to 29. Moscow Times: Why Is Russia’s Growth in Life Expectancy Slowing? From 2015-#171-Johnson’s Russia List. Response originally posted here: https://www.facebook.com/SRASFB The main thing to point out is that these aren’t really “objective numbers.” The period of comparison between Russia’s performance on life expectancy […]

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Foreign investors may get access to major deposits in Russia

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

If a foreign company in Russia repeats the recent success of Italian energy company in Egypt and discovers a strategic deposit on Russian territory, it will be able to develop that deposit. Experts expect the relevant amendments to the Russian legislation to attract investment in exploration. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Anna Kuchma, RBTH – September 1, 2015) […]

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Interfax: Eighty-Eight NGOs registered as ‘foreign agents’ in two years, seven of them did it voluntarily – Justice Ministry

St. Basil's Domes

(Interfax – September 1, 2015) Less than 10 percent of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) recognized as ‘foreign agents’ submitted by themselves an application regarding their status during the two years that the respective law has been in force, according to Dmitry Yermak, the acting director of the NGO department at the Russian Ministry of Justice. “Altogether, 88 organizations have been included […]

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Why Is Russia’s Growth in Life Expectancy Slowing?

Stylized EEG Image Showing Heartbeat Pulse

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Daria Litvinova – August 31, 2015) Life expectancy in Russia has been growing several times slower than in the rest of the world for the past 20 years, according to a research by the U.S.-based Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation released last week. During the period of 1990-2013 it only grew by 1.8 years […]

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Preparing a Child for a School Year Gets Too Expensive For Russian Parents

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anastasia Bazenkova – August 31, 2015) As Russian children get ready to start a new school year this week, their parents have to cough up a record amount of money to equip them with everything they need, according to the latest study by a state-run pollster. An average Russian family will spend almost 20,000 rubles […]

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The Radical Menace to Ukraine

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – August 31, 2015) A police officer was killed during a protest in Kiev on Monday. It was the first such fatality since Ukraine’s “Revolution of Dignity” last year. Radical nationalists, some with weapons, gathered to protest a constitutional amendment proposed by President Petro Poroshenko that would make it possible to reintegrate separatist areas […]

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Damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – KYIV BLOG: Ben Aris in Moscow – August 31, 2015) A grenade thrown by nationalists at police outside Ukraine’s parliament may only be the beginning of troubles for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who is facing a stark choice between enraging violent nationalists or condemning his country to further military destabilisation by Russia. The grenade […]

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RIA Novosti: Ukraine draft law a potential “interim” step to constitutional reform – Pushylin

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

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, August 31, 2015) Denis Pushilin [Ukrainian: Denys Pushylin], plenipotentiary representative of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic [DPR/DNR], considers the first reading of draft constitutional amendments passed by the Supreme Council to be Ukraine’s internal affair which has little to do with the Minsk Agreement but which could be an interim step towards constitutional reform harmonized with […]

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Moscow Won’t Succeed in Using Ukrainian Radicals to Destabilize Kyiv, Portnikov Says

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 1, 2015) Having failed to find the number of backers for the Russian world in Ukraine it expected, Moscow in the opinion of many in Kyiv is seeking to use Ukrainian radicals in the pursuit of its goal of destabilizing Kyiv to the point that Ukraine will fall back into Russia’s […]

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Russian Schoolchildren to Learn Two Foreign Languages

Russian Children File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 1, 2015) All Russian students will be required to learn two foreign languages before graduation, Education Minister Dmitry Livanov was cited as saying by the government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta Tuesday. The new mandatory education program came into effect in all Russian schools at the start of the new school year on Tuesday. “Starting on […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#171 :: Monday 31 August 2015

St. Basil's Domes

Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#171 Monday – 31 August 2015 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: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php Support for JRL is provided in part […]

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Kirk Bennett: “On Treating Ukraine Like Georgia – A Reply to Paul Saunders”

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Subject: ON TREATING UKRAINE LIKE GEORGIA – A REPLY TO PAUL SAUNDERS Date: Sun, 30 Aug 201 From: Kirk Bennett <kirkbennett7@yahoo.com> ON TREATING UKRAINE LIKE GEORGIA – A REPLY TO PAUL SAUNDERS By Kirk Bennett Kirk Bennett was the Senior Georgia Desk Officer at the State Department from 2007-09. Kudos to Paul Saunders for his spot-on exposition of U.S. policy […]

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Russian nationalist says followers fight on in Ukraine despite internal disputes

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

(Interfax – August 29, 2015) Russian nationalist politician Eduard Limonov, leader of the banned National Bolshevik party (whose members make up most of the Other Russia party), says his members are continuing to fight with the separatist militias in southeast Ukraine, despite not being allowed to lead units or engage in political activity there, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported […]

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Odds grow for Ukrainian default on $3 billion Russia debt

International Monetary Fund Logo Over Ukraine Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – August 28, 2015) Despite an initial surge of optimism about Ukraine’s financial health after it appeared to clinch a crucial restructuring deal with private creditors, the country is increasingly expected to default on a $3bn Russian-held Eurobond due for redemption in December 2015. The likelihood of the scenario grew after the […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#170 :: Friday 28 August 2015

St. Basil's Domes

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#170 Friday – 28 August 2015 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: russialist.org JRL […]

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Ukraine not out of the woods yet

International Monetary Fund Logo Over Ukraine Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – KYIV BLOG: Ben Aris in Moscow – August 28, 2015) The $3.6bn debt deal announced on August 27 by Ukraine’s Ministry of Finance, where private bondholders agreed to take a 20% writedown on the face value of $18bn in government debt, is very good news. Yet it’s not a done deal and the final […]

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Running for Office in Siberia: Part IV: History, Perspective and the Components of a Modern Campaign

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

Subject: Running for Office in Siberia: Part IV: History, Perspective and the Components of a Modern Campaign Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2015 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> Running for Office in Siberia A series on the District #35 Election for Novosibirsk City Council By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova [Founder, Siberian Civic Initiatives Support Center 1995 – 2014. Helped to establish this as the […]

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Russians Consider Marrying, Giving Birth and Education Most Important Things

Couple in Hospital with Newborn

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Daria Litvinova – August 28, 2015) When asked what the most important things to do before turning 30 are, most Russians chose getting married, giving birth and receiving an education, while things like starting a business or traveling the world were at the bottom of the list, a poll released Wednesday by an independent Russian […]

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Interfax: DPR claims Ukraine holding approx. 450 prisoners of war

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

DONETSK. Aug 27 (Interfax) – The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic allows for the possibility of carrying out a new prisoner swap with Ukraine next week. “According to the official data, 450-460 prisoners of war are being held by the other side in addition to civilians. These are those who have been reported,” Viktor Anosov, a representative of the DPR military […]

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Sept. 1 ceasefire in Donbass agreed at meeting in Minsk

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

A meeting of the Contact Group in Minsk with representatives from the Donetsk and Lugansk “people’s republics” has ended with the parties agreeing to a ceasefire effective from Sept. 1. However, experts are not convinced this a breakthrough on the path to peace. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Eekaterina Sinelschikova, RBTH – August 27, 2015) The participants of […]

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Report With Tally Of ‘Russian War Casualties’ Causes Stir

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – August 26, 2015) A Russian-language website has caused a stir with a report asserting that more than 2,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Delovaya Zhizn, which translates as Business Life, published the information online in March, as part of a larger story of how the Russian federal […]

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[Nataliya Vasilyeva (AP Moscow correspondent) tweets re: reports on Russian casualties in Ukraine]

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

[DJ: Nataliya Vasilyeva (AP Moscow correspondent) tweets: 2 day of Western officials retweeting a Forbes report quoting a Ukrainian web-site quoting a non-existent Russia news web-site re Ukraine. The main problem here is, of course, where was the Forbes online editor when the story was published, why nobody bothered to check sources? The ease of spreading rumors in the digital […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#169 :: Thursday 27 August 2015

St. Basil's Domes

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#169 Thursday – 27 August 2015 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: russialist.org JRL […]

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Khodorkovsky Calls for Civil Disobedience against Unjust Laws and Putin’s Unjust System

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 27, 2015) Mikhail Khodorkovsky says that Russian citizens are fully entitled not to observe unjust laws imposed not to promote justice but to protect the power of Vladimir Putin, a potentially dramatic development in the relationship between the Russian opposition, the Russian people, and the Kremlin. In a blog post on […]

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RBTH: “Kiev under pressure from EU over Minsk accords, insist Russian experts”

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Recent talks between the Ukrainian, French and German leaders on the implementation of the Minsk peace agreements in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass region saw Paris and Berlin express their continued support for Kiev, but Russian analysts say Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is under pressure to make compromises. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Gevorg Mirzayan, special to RBTH – August […]

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Adoption in Russia: Families Helping Families

Russian Orphanage file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexandra Tyan – August 27, 2015) It would be hard to find a better advocate for adoption in Russia than Ulia Khashem. With her pink curls, big eyes and handmade jewelry, it’s easy to see why people on social media call her a fairy godmother. Her job is to organize a summer camp for seriously […]

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All You Need to Know About Ukraine’s $18 Billion Debt Agreement

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Natasha Doff – August 27, 2015) Ukraine reached a bond-restructuring agreement with about half of its private-sector creditors on Thursday after five months of negotiations. Below are the details of the terms of the agreement and what happens next. Which bonds are included? The deal covers $18 billion of Ukraine’s foreign debt, including 11 government Eurobonds […]

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Interfax: “Diplomat: Rise in NATO activity in Europe near Russian borders is provocative”

foreign-ministry-200

(Interfax – August 26, 2015) Moscow has branded provocative the rise in NATO military activity in the areas bordering Russia but does not see a threat of a direct military confrontation, Russian Foreign Ministry European Cooperation Department Director Ivan Soltanovsky told Interfax in an interview on August 26. “We have a negative attitude to the mounting military activity of NATO […]

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A Winter Of Discontent For Russia

Snowy Night on Red Square with Old St. Basil's Lit Up

(Oilprice.com – Colin Chilcoat – August 25, 2015) Winters are the stuff of legend in Russia and – despite a fair bit of warming – winter 2015/16 is shaping up to be one of the harshest, and most formative, in recent memory. After a brief period of respite – and muted acceptance of the “new normal” – to start the […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#168 :: Wednesday 26 August 2015

St. Basil's Domes

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2015-#168 Wednesday – 26 August 2015 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: russialist.org JRL […]

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Russian ombudsman slams ex-Defence Ministry official’s parole as “elite” justice

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Interfax – August 25, 2015) Russian human rights ombudsman Ella Pamfilova has strongly condemned a court decision to release on parole Yevgeniya Vasilyeva, a key figure in the Oboronservis case, suggesting the move amounted to “elite” justice, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 25 August. Earlier on 25 August, a court in Vladimir Region granted Vasilyeva parole after she […]

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Russians More Optimistic about Ethnic Problems at Home But Have Little Reason to Be, Experts Say

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 26, 2015) The shares of Russians who say that ethnic conflicts in their country are “likely” or “more likely than not” have declined from 17 and 45 percent respectively in October 2013 to five and 20 percent now, according to the findings of a new Levada Center poll. But Mikhail Remizov […]

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Dom Knigi: Quotes from a bookshop, what people read, what people believe, and the Guardian

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

Subject: Dom Knigi: Quotes from a bookshop, what people read, what people believe, and the Guardian Date: Tue, 25 Aug 2015 20:24:33 +0100 From: Antony Penaud <antonypenaud@yahoo.fr> Quotes from a bookshop, what people read, what people believe, and the Guardian Antony Penaud received his DPhil (University of Oxford) in 2000. He is French and lives in London. A friendly pdf […]

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Russia Faces Reality With Prediction of Deeper Economic Slump

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anna Andrianova, Olga Tanas – August 25, 2015) Russia’s government is starting to face reality. While insisting the worst of its recession was over, it cut its economic forecasts for this year and next amid the renewed plunge in energy prices and persistent sanctions over Ukraine. Economists said the revisions fell short of their estimates predicting […]

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By Blocking Wikipedia, Russian Government Shows its Power Over Web

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – August 26, 2015) After blocking a Wikipedia article for less than than 18 hours, the Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor removed it from a list of banned webpages on Tuesday in a move that reflects the power the Russian state wields over the Internet, pundits told The Moscow Times. At the end of […]

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Russian poll on nationalism and xenophobia produces worrying results

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Henry Kirby in London – August 25, 2015) More Russians than ever (41%) believe that illegal immigrants from neighbouring countries should be granted legal status in Russia and given the chance to assimilate, although 43% still want them to be expelled from the country. According to a survey published by independent polling company Levada […]

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‘Black Monday’ inflicts further damage on Russian markets

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

Amid turmoil on global financial markets, the Russian ruble fell to a historic low against the U.S. dollar on Aug. 24, while the key stock market index, the RTS, dropped 6 percent. Russian analysts say that there is little room for optimism while oil prices remain low. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan – August 25, 2015) […]

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Russia Won’t Suffer the Soviet Union’s Fate

dont-talk-soviet-poster

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – August 25, 2015) If you believe low oil prices killed the Soviet Union, it seems reasonable to wonder whether the current commodities bust will topple President Vladimir Putin or even break up Russia. Cheap oil, however, didn’t destroy the Soviet empire: Communism did. Putin’s Russia is more oil-dependent than its predecessor, but it […]

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Interfax: Putin’s job approval rating exceeds 80% – poll

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

MOSCOW. Aug 26 (Interfax) – The job approval rating of Russian President Vladimir Putin stands at 83% in August, Levada Center sociologists told Interfax on Wednesday following this month’s survey. Seventeen percent of respondents of the center’s latest poll were dissatisfied with Putin’s work as Russian president. In June the approval rate was 89%, in April-May – 86% and in […]

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Falsification, cover-up and political exploitation of killings of the Maidan protesters from the Volyn Region during the Maidan Massacre

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Ivan Katchanovski – Facebook – August 23, 2015) Ivan Katchanovski teaches at the School of Political Studies and the department of Communication at the University of Ottawa. He is the author of “Cleft Countries: Regional Political Divisions and Cultures in Post-Soviet Ukraine and Moldova” and the co-author of “Historical Dictionary of Ukraine, Second Edition. [Wait for embedded feed of original […]

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