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RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#94 contents with links :: Thursday 24 April 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 1. www.huffingonpost.com: Stephen Blank, Russia’s Lurch Toward Fascism.
2. Los Angeles Times: Jaak Treiman, Juris Bunkis and Daiva Navarrette, Vladimir Putin’s shopping list: Which country could be next? Plenty of Russia’s neighbors are worried. And Article 61 of Russia’s Constitution leaves him a world of room in which to maneuver.
3. The National Interest: Steven Pifer, John Herbst, and William Taylor, Does Putin Want a War? …

Russia is ready to negotiate on gas issue with Ukraine, EU

Gas Flame file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Concorde Capital – April 24, 2014) The Russian Energy Ministry has offered EU Energy Commissioner GYnther Oettinger to convene negotiations with EU and Ukraine on “natural gas issues” in Moscow on April 28, Interfax reported on April 23 citing a ministry representative. “We are ready to discuss with partners

The Russian language in Ukraine: Cultural bridge or divide

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yulia Kudinova, special to RBTH – April 24, 2014) As Ukraine is tearing itself apart, it is also facing an artificially fuelled competition between Russian and Ukrainian, two languages that are nevertheless linguistically very similar. Benjamin Franklin once wrote: “Tongue double brings trouble”. That saying might have resonated

Russia’s Lavrov blames USA, EU for “colour revolution” in Ukraine

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(Interfax – April 24, 2014) The USA and the EU have tried to carry out a “colour revolution” in Ukraine, Russia Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said, as reported by privately-owned news agency Interfax on 24 April. Speaking at the Moscow State Institute for International Relations, Lavrov sai d: “Let’s call a spade a spade,

RIA Novosti: Lavrov Says West Ignores Moscow’s Opinion

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW, April 24 (RIA Novosti) – The West, first and foremost the United States, is pretending that it can ignore Russia’s opinion in Eu ropean affairs and is harming Moscow’s interests, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday. “Our Western partners, first and foremost the US, have attempted to behave like they were the winners

Interfax: Roadblocks attacked on outskirts of Slovyansk, cell phone services disrupted – Donetsk region self-defense forces

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW. April 24 (Interfax) – The self-defense forces of Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region claim that their roadblocks came under fire on the outskirts of Slovyansk on Thursday. They have also reported disruptions to cell phone services in Slovyansk. “About 40 minutes ago, an armed clash erupted on the outskirts of Slovyansk. Reports of one fatality

Interfax: Putin accuses Kyiv authorities of not disarming radicals but legalizing them

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

ST. PETERSBURG. April 24 (Interfax) – The Kyiv authorities are not disarming radicals but are legalizing them, contrary to the agreements signed recently in Geneva, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “We took part in the meeting in Geneva and signed certain agreements there, which stipulate that people need to be disarmed on both sides, administrative

RIA Novosti: Opinion: US Never Tried to Persuade Kiev to Follow Geneva Roadmap

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW, April 24 (RIA Novosti), Daria Chernyshova – The US has done nothing to persuade Kiev authorities to follow the agreement reached in Geneva last week to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine, Jon Hellevig, co-author of the book “Putin’s New Russia,” told RIA Novosti. “The Americans have not done anything to persuade the Kievan regime

Language and Culture Not History ‘Main Unifying Factors’ for Russians, Valdai Club Says

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

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 24, 2014) The Russian language and Russian culture are today “the main unifying factor[s]” for the citizens of the Russian Federation, unlike history which continues to be a source of divisions given that different groups have different understandings of past events, according to the Valdai International

Ukraine’s Unpaid Russian Gas Bills Dwarf U.S. Aid Offer

Russian Gas Facility file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Joe Carroll, Nicole Gaouette and Julianna Goldman – April 23, 2014) Ukraine’s best hope for keeping furnaces and factories running through next winter is to store as much natural gas as it can after a U.S. aid pledge fell far short of the nation’s needs. Energy supplies have given Russian leader

Russian-led security bloc chief says Russia, NATO now in direct standoff

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Interfax – Groznyy, April 23, 2014) Russia and NATO countries have reached a level of direct confrontation, Nikolay Bordyuzha, secretary-general of the CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organization], told journalists on Wednesday [23 April]. “In effect, thanks to the actions of certain NATO states, we have reached a level of direct confrontation,” Bordyuzha told journalists in

RIA Novosti: OSCE Military Observers at Ukraine-Russia Border – Kiev’s Security Service

File Photo of OSCE Banners

KIEV, April 24 (RIA Novosti) – A group of OSCE military observers is present at a Ukrainian checkpoint at the border with Russia that is surrounded by federalization supporters, the press center of the Ukrainian Security Service said Thursday. “An inspection team of OSCE military observers has been working on the site of the Luhansk

RIA Novosti: Russia to Hold Military Drills in Response to Ukraine Crackdown

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

MOSCOW, April 24 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced Thursday that Russia will conduct military drills in response to the developing situation in Ukraine’s southeast, where a special operation has targeted the country’s own citizens. “We are forced to react to such a development in the situation,” Shoigu said. “Starting today, exercises

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#93 contents with links :: Wednesday 23 April 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 1. Atlantic Council: Intelligence Chief: 100 Russian Officers Are Leading Ukraine’s Uprisings. Ukrainian Security Agency Seeks to Arrest Russian Army Colonel Coordinating Subversion.
2. USAToday.com: Ukraine: Three Russian military intel officers detained.
3. The Daily Telegraph (UK): Russia ‘supported torture of Kiev politician.’ Ukraine’s acting president calls for ‘anti-terrorist operation’ against pro-Moscow separatists after body of a murdered town councillor is found.
4. The Daily Mail (UK): The face of Putin’s Ukrainian thugs: The sinister masked men behind eastern pro-Russian ‘people’s mayors’
5. Reuters: Ukraine’s leaders say have U.S. backing to take on ‘aggressors’ ….

Pro-Russian militia-controlled pockets of southeast Ukraine are descending into violence and thuggery

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Harriet Salem in Donetsk – April 23, 2014) Following an escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine over the past few days despite the four-way Geneva agreement reached between Russia, Ukraine, the US and EU, acting Ukrainian President Oleksander Turchynov said late April 22 that the government will re-launch its

Ukraine’s President Calls For Relaunch Of ‘Antiterrorist’ Operation In East

Olexander Turchynov file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – April 22, 2014) Ukraine’s acting President Oleksandr Turchynov has called for the relaunch of an “antiterrorist” operation against pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, citing the death of a politician from his party in the region. Turchynov said in a statement that two “brutally tortured” bodies were found near the rebel-held city of Slovyansk on April

Putin Stages a Putsch against His Earlier Self, Belkovsky Says

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 23, 2014) The best way to understand the events of the last several months, Stanislav Belkovsky argues, is to view them as a repetition of the August 1991 coup with only this difference: the leader of this coup is Vladimir Putin and the target of his

Little green men; Events in Ukraine may develop with lightning speed, but the fear of war is ever present – a new kind of war.

Ukraine Map and Flag

(opendemocracy.net - Valery Kalnysh - April 21, 2014  Valery Kalnysh is editor of the Kommersant Ukraina newspaper There is a war on in Ukraine – and, moreover, it’s a pilot project for a new kind of war. History books we’ve read or lessons learned in school have given us a fixed image of what war is: the

Even Lukashenka is Worried about What Putin May Do

Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 22, 2014) It is a measure of just how worried the leaders of countries bordering Russia are about the possibility that Vladimir Putin will build on his Crimean Anschluss by moving against their states that even Alyaksandr Lukashenka feels the need to deny that Mensk is

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#92 contents with links :: Tuesday 22 April 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 30. New York Times: Under Russia, Life in Crimea Grows Chaotic.
31. Brookings Institution: Putin Trying to Make a Basket Case out of Ukraine. (interview with Strobe Talbott)
32. Washington Post editorial: President Obama, disregarding his own red line, dithers on Ukraine. …

TRANSCRIPT: Background Press Briefing on Vice President Biden’s Trip to Ukraine

File Photo of Air Force Two on Runway

The White House Office of the Vice President For Immediate Release April 21, 2014 Background Press Briefing on Vice President Biden’s Trip to Ukraine Aboard Air Force Two En Route Kyiv, Ukraine 2:00 P.M. (Local) MR. SPECTOR: Just a reminder at the top this is on background as a senior administration official. He will give

TRANSCRIPT: Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden at a Meeting with Ukrainian Legislators

File Photo of Joe Biden at Podium with U.S. Seal, With Ukrainian and U.S. Flags in Background

The White House April 22, 2014 REMARKS BY VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN AT A MEETING WITH UKRAINIAN LEGISLATORS Rada Kyiv, Ukraine 10:03 A.M. (Local) THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Mr. Ambassador. And I want to thank my colleagues for bringing me back home. For 36 years I sat in our legislature, and I used to

Most Russians Think Their Interests Not High on Putin’s Agenda, Poll Says

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 21, 2014) Only one in eight Russians think that President Vladimir Putin represents the interests of “ordinary people” in the country, a recent poll showed, even though a vast majority have said that they “trust” their leader. The most popular choice in a question that allowed for multiple answers

Physicists Complain of Interference From State-Appointed Officials

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – April 21, 2014) Four physicists have announced their resignation from the academic council of one of Russia’s top research institutes, accusing it of failing to defend a prominent colleague who was fired for “truancy” after attending a workshop at Stony Brook University in the U.S. The dismissal

Ukraine Says Russia Preparing Grounds for Invasion

File Photo of Russian Tanks in Military Parade

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Kateryna Choursina – April 20, 2014) At least three people were killed in a clash in Slovyansk in eastern Ukraine, the nation’s Interior Ministry said, as a top security official accused Russia of exploiting the violence to prepare grounds for an invasion. Three “activists” were shot to death while on duty

LDPR Leader Zhirinovsky Condemned for Tirade Against Pregnant Reporter

Vladimir Zhirinovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 19, 2014) The State Duma’s ethics committee will investigate Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky after the firebrand politician directed a particularly crude and offensive outburst at reporters on Friday. After being asked whether Russia should retaliate against the travel restrictions placed on Russian men by Ukraine, Zhirinovsky went

New Law Requires Knowledge of Russian For Residency

Migrant Workers file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 22, 2014) President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a bill that requires foreigners to prove their ability to speak Russian while also giving his seal of approval to a separate bill that will make it easier to grant citizenship to Russian-speakers in former Soviet states. The new immigration

RIA Novosti: Proportion of ‘Grey Capital’ Outflow from Russia Reached 20%-40% in 2012-2013 – Medvedev

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti) – The proportion of “grey capital” outflow from Russia in 2012-2013 reached 20 percent to 40 percent, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday during his annual report in the country’s lower house of parliament. “One of the forms of outflow comes from those who are looking for more attractive

Russian civil society and the law

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(opendemocracy.net – Louise Hallman – April 22, 2014) Louise Hallman is the Editor at Salzburg Global Seminar, an independent non-profit organization based in Salzburg, Austria with a mission to challenge current and future leaders to solve issues of global concern Russia’s foreign agents law caused a great deal of controversy when it was introduced late

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Why did Russia sell Alaska to the United States?

Alaska Pipeline file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Georgy Manaev, RBTH – April 20, 2014) In 1867, Russia sold the territory of Alaska to the U.S. for $7.2 million. A mere 50 years later, the Americans had earned that amount back 100 times over. How could the imperial officials have given up such a choice parcel?

Building bridges in Russian civil society

File Photo of Russian Volunteer Effort, With Group of People Outdoors with Boxes

(opendemocracy.net – Louise Hallman – April 21, 2014) Louise Hallman is the Editor at Salzburg Global Seminar, an independent non-profit organization based in Salzburg, Austria with a mission to challenge current and future leaders to solve issues of global concern. Direct aid givers, civic activists, and political activists spend as much time arguing amongst themselves

RIA Novosti: Opinion: Ukrainian Crisis Could Jeopardize US, EU

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti) – The continuation of chaos in Ukraine could lead to a negative outcome not only for the country itself, but also for the US and Europe, a former special assistant to President George W. Bush said Monday. “We don’t have a consolidated Ukrainian state and it’s been remarkable how rapidly

Pussy Riot Lands in U.S. for Film Premiere

File Photo of Pussy Riot Members in Courtroom Enclosure, With Man Showing Papers to One While Female Guard Looks On

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ali Sar – HOLLYWOOD, April 22, 2014) An image of young women clad in colorful outfits peeping through ski masks while being detained and clobbered by the police has been a part of evening newscasts in the U.S. for some time, most recently during the Sochi Olympics. Casual viewers have

RIA Novosti: Russia Can Create New Foundation for Self-Sufficient Economy – Medvedev

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti) – The current situation with unstable world markets, Western sanctions against Moscow over Crimea, and the country’s own economic problems is a great opportunity to create a new foundation for an industrial-based economy, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday. “The current situation for our government is not only a challenge,

Interfax: Ukraine tensions, NATO expansion pose threat to Russia – security official

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Interfax – Moscow, April 21, 2014) The situation in Ukraine, the deployment of a missile defence system by the USA and the expansion of NATO are increasing the number of threats to Russia’s security, the secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolay Patrushev, has said. “The scale of challenges and threats is expanding steadily. Today

RIA Novosti: Ukrainian Politician Says Elite Police Offered $200,000 to Return to Duty

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian presidential candidate Oleh Tsarev claims the country’s interim authorities offered members of the disbanded elite Berkut police force up to $200,000 to return to duty, the Moskovskiy Komsomolets newspaper reported Tuesday. “They will not come back,” Tsarev said in an interview published Tuesday. “They were offered big money

RIA Novosti: OSCE Observers, Federalist Leaders to Meet in Ukraine’s Donetsk – Source

File Photo of OSCE Banners

DONETSK, April 22 (RIA Novosti) – The leaders of pro-federalization protesters in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk will meet with representatives from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Tuesday, a source from the federalist camp told RIA Novosti. The meeting is scheduled for 2:00 pm local time (11:00 GMT) in

RIA Novosti: Ukraine Notifies Russia on Implementation of Geneva Accords

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti) – Kiev has sent Moscow a note on the implementation of last week’s Geneva agreement aimed at resolving the crisis in Ukraine, the country’s acting Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia wrote on Twitter Tuesday. “We sent a note to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on measures for the implementation of

RIA Novosti: Witch Hunt for Pro-Russian Activists in Ukraine Initiated by US – Russian Senator

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti) – A senior Russian lawmaker told RIA Novosti Tuesday that a campaign to capture pro-Russian activists by Ukrainian authorities was launched at the behest of the United States. “The same reward was offered in the US in times of McCarthyism, during the ‘witch hunt’ and as the US controls the

Russian civil society is a 25-year-old work in progress

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

(opendemocracy.net – Sarah Lindemann-Komarova – April 21, 2014) A summary of the results of the recent Salzburg Global Seminar ‘Russian Civil Society Symposium: Building Bridges to the Future’ is simple: no easy answers, more questions. But that does not mean it was a failure. [Chart here http://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/sarah-lindemannkomarova/russian-civil-society-is-25yearold-work-in-progress] A summary of the results of the recent

Capital Flight From Russia Expected to Reach $70-80B

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW, April 21 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Finance Ministry has forecast this year’s capital outflow from Russia as reaching $70-80 billion, the director of long-term planning at the ministry said Monday. “We are certain that it won’t jump to $100 billion this year. A more reasonable estimate would be around $70-80 billion,” Maxim Oreshkin

Media Reports Say John Tefft Will Be Next U.S. Ambassador to Russia

Stylized Russian and U.S. Flags with Number 200, 1807-2007

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 21, 2014) While the U.S. is yet to officially nominate its next ambassador to Moscow, the Russian media have widely reported that the likely candidate for the job, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine John Tefft, would take up the position. “John Tefft, Ukraine expert, appointed new U.S. ambassador to

Did Putin Declare a Mini Thaw in Culture?

Map of Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – John Freedman – April 21, 2014) Did this actually happen or am I imagining it? It’s no big event or turning point, that is for sure. But it did feel for a moment last week that the temperature of the flames burning around us dipped just a little. In recent

Possible Light at the End of the Tunnel for Dozhd

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – D. Garrison Golubock – April 21, 2014) A favorable comment made by President Vladimir Putin during his annual call-in show on Thursday seems to have triggered a change of fortune for embattled independent television channel Dozhd, which is threatened with closure after being dropped by numerous major television operators. “If

RIA Novosti: Global Responsibilities to Normalize Russia-US Relations Within 7 Years

Stylized Russian and U.S. Flags with Number 200, 1807-2007

MOSCOW, April 21 (RIA Novosti), Daria Chernyshova – Relations between Russia and the US will normalize within the next seven years as the two countries bear significant global responsibilities and must cooperate on numerous international issues, the director general of the Eurasian Communication Center told RIA Novosti. “I believe the situation will normalize in 3-7

RIA Novosti: Confronting Both Russia and China ‘Strategic Mistake’ for US – Russian Lawmaker

Alexei Pushkov file photo

MOSCOW, April 21 (RIA Novosti) – The United States runs the risk of making a huge foreign policy blunder by simultaneously antagonizing two major world powers, Russia and China, a senior Russian lawmaker said Monday. “For the United States, Russia is an enemy and China is a potential enemy. But the confrontation course with both

West has Given Putin a ‘Mandate’ to Take as Much of Ukraine as He Wants, Latynina Says

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 21, 2014) The Geneva accords represent “a complete victory” for Vladimir Putin and “the complete capitulation of Europe and Ukraine,” which when translated out of diplomatic language gives the Kremlin leader “a mandate” to seize as much of Ukraine as he wants, according to Yuliya Latynina.

You’re a Russian reporter – stay out of Ukraine!

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(opendemocracy.net – Roman Osharov – April 14, 2014) Roman Osharov is a Moscow-based freelance journalist. His work has appeared in Voice of America’s Russian Service, The New Times magazine and Slon.ru Ukraine’s border and security officials are applying a restrictive policy on Russians entering the country, particularly male Russians of military age, and reporters In

Ukrainian crisis demonstrates the fallacy of ‘either-or’ choices

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Sergei Markedonov, political scientist – April 21, 2014) The crisis in Ukraine has demonstrated the weakness of post-Soviet states, which should not be forced into making “either-or” choices between one side or another. The only way for these states to forge a productive future is to engage with

Some Multi-National Companies Ignoring Western Sanctions Against Russia

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(Voice of America – Mil Arcega – April 21, 2014) Western sanctions are hurting Russia’s economy. That’s according to the country’s economic minister, who says Russia’s economic output is shrinking as investors take their money elsewhere. But some western companies are bucking that trend – expanding business interests in Russia – even as the U.S.

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