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Tag Archive for Russia

Russian Media Downplay Extent of Ruble Crisis

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos, Ivan Nechepurenko – December 17, 2014) While the ruble pinballed erratically between 58 and 80 per U.S. dollar on Tuesday, making headlines around the world, Russia’s state-run media have attempted to take a soft and conciliatory stance on the home currency’s woes. A news bullet by state-owned Channel

What awaits Russia’s economy in 2015 after ruble collapse?

Oil Well file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Konstantin Korishchenko, special to RBTH – December 17, 2014) Konstantin Korishchenko is head of the stock market and financial engineering department at the Finance and Banking Faculty of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, and a former deputy chairman of the Russian Central Bank.

Medvedev says ruble ‘undervalued’ as slide slows

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev with United Russia Logos Behind Him

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – December 17, 2014) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called the ruble undervalued at a meeting on December 17 with the top officials of the government, the central bank and heads of Russia’s largest exporters. He said that regulation of the currency market would remain based on

Picking through the ruble

Russian Central Bank file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MOSCOW BLOG: Ben Aris in Moscow – December 16, 2014) The Russian ruble crashed again on December 15, in the biggest fall since the last big crisis in 1998. The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) belatedly stepped in with a huge interest rate hike overnight, but it has been

Russia Beyond the Headlines: A war of words in U.S.-Russia relations

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated Before Russian and U.S. Flags

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Pavel Koshkin – December 17, 2014) The press has hyped poll numbers showing an increase in anti-Americanism in Russia, but experts argue that the numbers need context. A popular T-shirt sold in central Moscow features a man in a martial arts costume resembling Russian president and known judo

STRATFOR: Viewing Russia From the Inside

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Stratfor.com – George Friedman – December 16, 2014) Last week I flew into Moscow, arriving at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 8. It gets dark in Moscow around that time, and the sun doesn’t rise until about 10 a.m. at this time of the year – the so-called Black Days versus White Nights. For anyone used

Fears of Capital Controls Grow as Russia’s Economy Goes Haywire

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – December 17, 2014) The possible implementation of capital controls in Russia came a step closer Tuesday as the authorities appeared to be running out of options to stem the country’s dramatic currency collapse. The ruble defied an emergency interest rate rise of 6.5 percentage points announced overnight,

All love for Russia lost in Ukraine

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – December 16, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin may have won the battles in East Ukraine but he has definitely lost the war for hearts and minds in Ukraine, which suggests that he will also fail to achieve his long-term goals to keep Ukraine out

Moscow Times: Ukraine Ranked 3rd Deadliest Country for Journalists

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 17, 2014) War-torn Ukraine was one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists this year, international press rights group Reporters Without Borders said in a report released Tuesday. Ukraine ranked third among the world’s deadliest locales for media professionals, with six such casualties this year, trailing

Business New Europe: What price European values when economic collapse is imminent?

EU Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – KYIV BLOG: Ben Aris in Moscow – December 15, 2014) Ukraine needs about $15bn now or it will collapse, possibly in the next few weeks. Ukraine’s prime minister, Arseniy Yatseniuk, called on Western donors to come up with a $15bn rescue package to stave off collapse on December 11

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#258 table of contents with links :: Wednesday 17 December 2014

St. Basil's file photo

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List JRL 2014-#258 :: Wednesday 17 December 2014 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George  Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist  JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  Ukraine 1. Sputnik: Medvedev: ‘Russia Has Experienced

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#257 table of contents with links :: Sunday 14 December 2014

St. Basil's file photo

1. RFE/RL: The Kremlin’s Top 75 Lies About The Ukraine Crisis.
2. BBC: Ukraine underplays role of far right in conflict.
3. AFP: Russia threatens response if US sets new sanctions over Ukraine. …

The Kremlin’s Top 75 Lies About The Ukraine Crisis [with video]

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – December 12, 2014) The folks at StopFake.org are committed to uncovering untrue or misleading information being disseminated by Russian media about the crisis in Ukraine. And now StopFake has published a video (below) that runs down the Top 75 lies and untruths of 2014. “Obviously, when you see these, you’ll see there’s

Russian NGOs need to rethink their strategy

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(opendemocracy.net – Andrei Jvirblis – December 10, 2014) Russia’s voluntary sector, faced with growing government interference, needs to be more open about its aims and operations if it wants more public support. Opinion polls show a long-term decline in public trust in the Russian voluntary sector, which has become less open about its operations, in

Yavlinsky calls for returning Kudrin to government

Alexei Kudrin file photo

(Interfax – December 13, 2014) Grigory Yavlinsky, a founder of the Yabloko party, calls for replacing the Russian government and appointing former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin a new prime minister or first deputy prime minister with a special mandate. “We believe the government needs to be changed – whether it’s going to be the entire

Is Moscow Setting the Stage for Using Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Ukraine?

Iskander Missile with Launch file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, December 14, 2014) One of the most accurate leading indicators of what Moscow is planning to do in Ukraine are the charges it makes that the West is about to do the same thing there. That pattern, well-established over the last year, makes the latest such suggestion

Russia Celebrates Constitution, But Few Russians Know What It Says

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 12, 2014) Russia celebrates Constitution Day on Friday, a poll shows a vast majority of citizens have no knowledge of what their country’s Constitution actually says, but four in ten still believe it protects their rights, a recent poll indicated. A total of 41 percent of respondents said they

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St. Basil's file photo

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Russia’s Cities Becoming Less Moscow- and Russia-Centric, New Studies Find

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

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, December 13, 2014) Two studies about how residents of Russia’s cities feel about where they live and identify themselves suggest that the residents of Russian cities away from the core of the country are ever less focused on Moscow as the center of their lives and identify

Business New Europe: “Better late than never?”

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MOSCOW BLOG: Ben Aris in Moscow – December 12, 2014) There is an obvious solution to help deal with Russia’s economic slowdown that is being exacerbated by the tumbling oil prices: do those reforms that should have been done ten years ago. It’s kind of obvious. But also just

Business New Europe: Flippant claim that ‘Russia is Spain’ is wide of the mark

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Business New Europe – Henry Kirby in London – December 11, 2014) After months of downward pressure, the ruble went into near free-fall during the first week of December. From 36 to the dollar in early August, the Russian currency fell rapidly from 47 to 53 to the greenback in just a few days, amid

Business New Europe: Russia is running out of money – not…

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MOSCOW BLOG: Ben Aris in Moscow – December 11, 2014) There has been a spate of articles recently suggesting that Russia is on the edge of a complete economic meltdown. There was an article in the UK’s The Daily Telegraph suggesting that its economy has lost a third of

Ukraine’s battle against corruption faces politicization and tiny salaries

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Kyiv – December 11, 2014) Ukraine has declared war on corruption, but the politicisation of the anti-corruption campaign and tiny salaries could lead to collateral damage. On paper at least, anti-corruption in Ukraine is not afraid of big-ticket arrests: on December 10, Serhiy Kostyuk, head of

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#256 table of contents with links :: Thursday 11 December 2014

St. Basil's file photo

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List JRL 2014-#256 :: Thursday 11 December 2014 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George  Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist  JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  Ukraine 1. Financial Times: IMF warns

Growing pessimism over Russia-U.S. relations creates fears of Cold War 2.0

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated Before Russian and U.S. Flags

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Andrei Ilyashenko, special to RBTH – December 11, 2014) Twenty-five years ago, at a meeting in Malta, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and his American counterpart George Bush, Sr. proclaimed the end of the Cold War. Now, a quarter century later, Russian politicians and experts are raising the alarm

Teaching orthodoxy in Russian schools

Russian-Orthodox-Cathedral-Moscow

(opendemocracy.net – Natalya Yakovleva – December 4, 2014) Natalya Yakovleva is a journalist in Novosibirsk. She writes for the Literary Gazette and the Teachers’ Gazette. Orthodox ideology is being rushed into the Russian school curriculum – in the interests of nationalism. It all happened very fast. In the middle of 2009 Dmitry Medvedev, the then

Moscow Times: Life After Putin: Teaching Future Russia

Skolkovo File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko – December 11, 2014) The professional future is bright in Russia, where space geologists and airship constructors will be among the most in-demand professionals by the 2020s, according to an atlas of Russia’s future job market recently published by Skolkovo’s Moscow School of Management. But whether Russia will

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Medvedev urges Russia to address dependence on world oil prices

Oil Worker file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – December 11, 2014) In an address broadcast on Russia’s main TV channels, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said the country needs to wean itself off its dependence on oil prices. In order to accomplish this, Russia needs to develop innovative projects and use the

Moscow Times: Medvedev: In 2014, Crimean Annexation, Sochi Olympics Outshone Grim Economic Situation

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – December 11, 2014) Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev struck an optimistic note throughout a 1 1/2-hour news conference Wednesday, drawing attention to what he viewed as Russia’s crowning achievements of this year: the Sochi Olympic victory and the annexation of Crimea. Medvedev spoke about a wide array of

Interfax: Majority of Russians deem incorporation of Crimea shortly after referendum right

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Interfax – December 10, 2014) Over half of Russians (52 percent) are confident that the Crimean independence referendum was an exclusive initiative of the Crimean administration, Levada Center told Interfax. A third (34 percent) suspect that “Russian authorities might have been behind the referendum.” Fourteen percent of 1,600 respondents polled in 130 populated localities on

RIA Novosti: Moscow open to dialogue with USA, but won’t give up interests – Russia’s Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(RIA Novosti – December 9, 2014) Russia is open to dialogue with Washington, but it will not give up its interests under any circumstances, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said in an interview with RIA Novosti (part of the state-owned International News Agency Rossiya Segodnya). “For our part, we are always open to a

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#255 table of contents with links :: Wednesday 10 December 2014

St. Basil's file photo

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List JRL 2014-#255 :: Wednesday 10 December 2014 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George  Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist  JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  1. AFP: Truce holds in Ukraine

Russian Ruble’s 800-Year History Haunts Current Plunge

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – December 11, 2014) Sergei Sorokoumov has devoted the last quarter of a century to an attempt to raise Russian’s pride in the ruble, the country’s national currency since the 13th century. Recently Sorokoumov’s efforts seem to have become a thankless task. The Russian currency has lost over

Ruble Collapses, Russians Yawn

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – thebloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – December 9, 2014) With the ruble down 40 percent against the dollar so far this year, and down more than 14 percent in the last 30 days, one might have expected widespread economic panic among Russians. But there’s been nothing of the kind. It’s been business as usual

Justice Ministry Adds Moscow School to List of ‘Foreign Agents’

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 11, 2014) Russia’s Justice Ministry has added a Moscow school to the federal register of “foreign agents,” a move that the school’s founders decried as “baseless,” and vowed to fight in court. The Moscow School of Civic Education has become the 18th nongovernmental organization to wind up on the

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#254 table of contents with links :: Tuesday 9 December 2014

St. Basil's file photo

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List JRL 2014-#254 :: Tuesday 9 December 2014 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George  Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist  JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  Ukraine 1. Russia Insider: Patrick Armstrong, Report

Interfax: Updated Russian military doctrine has no preemptive nuclear strike provision – source

Russia ICBM on Mobile Launcher

(Interfax – December 10, 2014) A new edition of the Russian military doctrine does not contain a preemptive nuclear strike provision but it clearly defines circumstances under which strategic nuclear forces can be used, a source involved in the drafting of the document told Interfax-AVN on Wednesday. “The updated version of the military doctrine will

Reporting on Russian Television

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(openedemocracy.net – December 8, 2014 – Elisabeth Schimpfossl) Dr Elisabeth Schimpfossl is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies, University College London. Her research focuses on elites, transformation and media in post-Soviet Russia. The idea of censorship on Russian television misses the point. When it comes to reporting,

Russia to study Navalnyy NGO’s anti-graft proposal after 100,000 sign petition

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, December 9, 2014) One hundred thousand Russians have supported the idea of criminal liability to be introduced for the illegal enrichment of officials obliged to submit the details of their incomes and expenditures, which will lead to a federal expert group examining whether the law needs to be amended. A proposal to

RIA Novosti: Russia says separatist republics ready to restore common space with Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

(RIA Novosti – December 9, 2014) Russia says separatist republics ready to restore common space with Ukraine Statements by leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics are an evidence of their readiness to restore the common economic, humanitarian and political space with Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said, as quoted by

Interfax: Medvedev: Russia is part of Europe but also eyeing Asia

Eurasia Map

MOSCOW. Dec 10 (Interfax) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has disagreed with the opinion that Russia is not part of European civilization. “There is no doubt that Russia is part of Europe and European civilization and there is nothing to add here. I have always said so and Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has said so

Interfax: DPR blames Kyiv for disrupting talks

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW. Dec 10 (Interfax) – The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has accused Kyiv of disrupting a video conference and the next round of talks of the Contact Group in Minsk. “The Contact Group was due to hold a video Skype conference today to discuss and agree upon the matters (relating to) the next round

Almost half of Russians feel international isolation – poll

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Interfax – December 8, 2014) Russians differ on whether Russia is currently in international isolation: 47 percent of the respondents surveyed by the Levada Center said they believe Russia is now in international isolation and 45 percent believe it is not. The poll, which surveys 1,600 respondents, was conducted in 134 populated areas of Russia

Interfax: Militia will stick to truce deal as long as Ukraine army observes it – Purgin

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW/KYIV. Dec 9 (Interfax) – Militiamen of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic will not open fire on Ukrainian government forces as long as the Ukrainian army observes the ceasefire, DPR People’s Council Speaker Andrei Purgin told Interfax on Friday. “No shelling can be heard at the moment. Obviously, the truce is holding. Our forces have

Interfax: Ukrainian General Staff Chief: Donbas truce to last indefinitely

Ukraine Map and Flag

KYIV. Dec 9 (Interfax) – The ceasefire regime declared in the army operation zone on December 9 will last indefinitely, Ukrainian General Staff Chief – Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Viktor Muzhenko said. “Seeking to implement the peace plan we are introducing a ceasefire regime, the so-called regime of silence, at 10 a.m. on

Interfax: EU membership Ukrainian government ultimate goal – PM

EU Map

KYIV. Dec 9 (Interfax) – Ukraine’s membership in the European Union is the Ukrainian government’s final goal, said Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. “Our ultimate goal is membership in the European Union. If it is to be attained Ukraine will have to go through serious trials, implement radical reforms, change Ukraine and make it a European

Putin’s New Deal Spells End to 15 Years of Wage Gains

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Agnes Lovasz, Evgenia Pismennaya – December 8, 2014) Vladimir Putin’s confrontation with the U.S. and Europe augurs a new deal for his 144 million subjects. Instead of the rising living standards he’s delivered the past 15 years in exchange for the public’s acquiescence, the Russian president now holds out

Kremlin to sell off 19.5% stake in Rosneft in bid to raise funds

File Photo Rosneft and Russian Flags Next to Rosneft Banner

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH- December 9, 2014) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed an order to sell off 19.5 percent of the shares in Russia’s largest oil company, Rosneft. According to experts, this might help the government generate extra cash amid falling oil prices and Western sanctions. However,

Interfax: Russian Investigative Committee opens over 21,000 anti-corruption inquiries in 2014

Hands Opening Envelope Containing Cash

(Interfax – December 9, 2014) The damage done to Russia by corrupt practices nears 15 billion rubles ($281 million) a year and about half of that sum is compensated for, Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said. “The damage done to the budget and aggrieved parties in [corruption] cases referred to court this year exceeds

Interfax: Kremlin chief of staff “acknowledges” corruption problem

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Interfax – December 8, 2014) President Vladimir Putin’s chief of staff has spoken about corruption in Russia. In his remarks, reported by Russian Interfax and TASS news agencies on 8 December, Sergey Ivanov said the Russian government “acknowledged” the problem and had been taking “consistent” steps to deal with it. He dismissed a Transparency International

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