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RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#242 table of contents with links :: Friday 21 November 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-#242 :: Friday 21 November 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 me JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  Ukraine 1. CNN.com: Starving, seething and scared:

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#241 table of contents with links :: Thursday 20 November 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-#241 :: Thursday 20 November 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 me JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  Ukraine 1. New York Times editorial: Ukraine’s

Faces Of The Maidan: Where Are They Now?

Maidan Square file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Iryna Stelmakh, Tom Balmforth – November 20, 2014) Kyiv’s Euromaidan protests began a year ago on November 21 and continued for months, through the cold winter of 2013-14. During the long, tense days of waiting and of celebrating genuine people power on Kyiv’s Independence Square, the world had the chance to

Don’t speak, memory: Voice against Stalin’s crimes may soon be silenced

File Photo of Prison in Russia with Wall, Barbed Wire, Guard Tower

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Oleg Yegorov, special to RBTH – November 21, 2014) Russia’s supreme court is preparing to examine the lawsuit filed by the Ministry of Justice requesting to liquidate Memorial, Russia’s first organization dedicated to preserving the memory of Stalin’s repressions and victims. RBTH reports on who else is telling

Interfax: Kudrin suggests five steps towards effective Russian economy amid sanctions

Alexei Kudrin file photo

(Interfax – November 21, 2014) Russia may see a growth and develop every sphere of public life even under the sanctions, said Committee of Civil Initiatives Chairman Alexei Kudrin. “There is always a wish to have a simple recipe: five steps that can make a great change. I have to admit there is no such

Interfax: Putin says calling for overthrow of Russia’s system of government “extremism”

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Seated at Desk

(Interfax – Moscow, November 20, 2014) Calls to overthrow the existing system [of government in Russia] are a manifestation of extremism and anti-popular thinking, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. “In standing up for freedom of elections, assembly, marches, rallies, you should not forget responsibility for your words and actions. You must know and understand

Hermitage’s Head Defends Contemporary Art Show

Hermitage Museum

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Kit Rees – November 21, 2014) He’s the head of one of the seemingly most conservative art institutes – St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum – but Mikhail Piotrovsky has been in the middle of a dispute about contemporary art this year as the museum hosted the 10th biennial Manifesta art festival.

TRANSCRIPT: Text of Ambassador Pyatt’s Panel Comments at the Kyiv Post Tiger Conference WEF Panel

Geoffrey R. Pyatt file photo

(US Embassy Ukraine – November 19, 2014) I think with government servants like Hanna Hopko and Dmytro (Shymkiv), you get a sense of Ukraine’s direction. I think the greatest single risk factor is business as usual. It’s the assumption in some circles that Ukraine can keep doing as it had been doing in the past.

New Ukraine Coalition Agreed; Sets NATO As Priority

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(RFE/RL – November 21, 2014) Ukraine’s newly agreed five-party ruling coalition has reportedly set the country’s membership of NATO as its major goal. The coalition comprises the Petro Poroshenko Bloc, the Popular Front, Samopomich (Self-Rule), the Radical Party, and Batkivshchyna (Fatherland). The five pro-Western parties that passed the 5 percent threshold in last month’s parliamentary

The Tale of Two Crises (re The Economist)

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

Subject: The tale of two crises (re The Economist) Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 From: Ben Aris <baris@bne.eu> I would like to comment on two sets of pieces you ran from the Economist on eastern European woes on JRL#241. I know I keep taking pops at the Economist and I try not to as I

Moscow Times: Putin Warns of Color Revolutions and Uncontrolled Migration in Extremism Speech

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 21, 2014) President Vladimir Putin called on law enforcement agencies, religious leaders, institutions of civil society and Russia’s education system to join together to prevent the rise of extremism. Describing the threat of extremism, Putin pointed to color revolutions. “In the modern world extremism is often used as a

Russia’s Igor Strelkov: I Am Responsible for War in Eastern Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – November 21, 2014) Russian national Igor Strelkov, a former commander of pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine, has claimed “personal responsibility” for unleashing the conflict across the border, in which 4,300 people have been killed since April. “I was the one who pulled the firing trigger of this

Interfax: Russians say Crimea situation legal, Western opinion doesn’t bother them – poll

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Interfax – November 21, 2014) Most Russians approve of the Crimean affiliation to Russia and the negative attitude of Ukraine and the West does not bother them, the Levada Center told Interfax. Eighty-four percent of 1,600 respondents polled in 134 populated localities on November 14-17 supported the Crimean accession to Russia, 11 percent opposed the act

Interfax: DPR militia report strikes against Donetsk

Ukraine Map and Flag

DONETSK. Nov 21 (Interfax) – Six residential buildings were damaged as a result of artillery strikes carried out by the Ukrainian army against the city on November 20, a spokesman for the Emergency Situations Ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) told Interfax on Friday. “Five houses in the Kuibyshevsky district and one in

One year after Maidan

Maidan Square file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – November 21, 2014) On November 20 – almost one year to the day since the start of the Maidan protests that brought down President Viktor Yanukovych – a broad coalition deal was finally signed in Ukraine between the leading pro-European parties. Ukraine’s People’s Front,

Moscow Times: Gorbachev on Russia and Ukraine: ‘We Are One People’

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – November 21, 2014) [Video interview here http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/mikhail-gorbachev-nobody-will-shut-my-mouth-video/511564.html] Many people who send letters to the first and last president of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, still write on the envelope: “To the Secretary General of the Communist Party, Kremlin.” The Russian postal service is used to this and

Interfax: Russian Justice Ministry withdraws claims against embattled NGOs

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Interfax – Moscow, November 19, 2014) The Russian Justice Ministry has withdrawn claims against two foreign agent non-commercial organizations over their reports on foreign financing; only the non-commercial organization Soldiers’ Mothers of St Petersburg will be held responsible for not presenting its report, the ministry’s press service has reported. “The Russian Ministry of Justice had

Interfax: FSKN: Drug mortality rate in Russia 20 times higher than in Japan

Russian Drug Den File Photo

MOSCOW. Nov 20 (Interfax) – Russia has the world highest mortality rate amongst drug addicts, Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN) chief Viktor Ivanov said. “The use of narcotic drugs causes an unprecedentedly high mortality rate in the age group from 15 through 34, at least 50,000-60,000 people die each year from internal organ pathologies,” Ivanov

Protecting the Motherland: Russia’s Counter-Color Revolution Military Doctrine

File Photo of Russian Military Conscripts Boarding Train with Gear

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 11, Issue 206 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Roger McDermott – November 18, 2014) President Vladimir Putin’s order to revise Russia’s 2010 Military Doctrine by the end of this year prompted speculation in the Russian media and raised varying opinions about the revision process’s possible motives and its timing. It

Russian independent radio board chairman says not aiming to destroy station

Russian Gas Facility file photo

(Interfax – November 18, 2014) Mikhail Lesin, chairman of the board of directors of Gazprom-Media, which owns the Russian editorially independent radio station Ekho Moskvy, met the station’s members of staff on 18 November, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on the same day. They met to discuss the ongoing dispute between Lesin and Aleksey

Gazprom Media to consider proposal on selling stake in Echo of Moscow to minority shareholders – editor

File Photo of Interview on Ekho Moskvy Radio

(Interfax – November 19, 2014) Gazprom Media Board Chairman Mikhail Lesin is ready to consider a proposal from the Echo of Moscow radio minority shareholders on selling them a controlling stake belonging to Gazprom Media, Echo of Moscow Editor-in-Chief Alexei Venediktov said. “Mikhail Lesin said at a meeting with the editorial board [on Tuesday] that,

Magazine Pays Homage to Embattled Russian Activists With Global Thinkers List

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber- November 19, 2014) Two Russian rights advocates have been included on Foreign Policy magazine’s list of the top 100 leading global thinkers for their roles in raising contentious issues surrounding this year’s Sochi Olympic Games. LGBT rights defender Yelena Klimova and environmental activist Yevgeny Vitishko were included in

Russia Sees Recession Next Year If Oil Price Falls to $60

Oil Well file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas – November 18, 2014) Russia’s economy will sink into a recession next year if the price of oil slumps to $60 a barrel and the U.S. and its allies tighten sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said. The economy of the world’s largest energy exporter

Statement by U.S. Ambassador John F. Tefft; Ambassador Tefft Presents Credentials to President Putin

John Tefft file photo

(US Embassy Moscow – November 19, 2014) It was a privilege to present my credentials today to President Putin as the new U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation. I joined 14 other ambassadors in the Kremlin’s beautiful Alexander Hall. As a U.S. diplomat for more than four decades, I am committed to maintaining open and

Kremlin Divided Only on When to Begin Full-Scale War with Ukraine, Sheremet Says

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 19, 2014) There are “no influential forces in the Kremlin now” calling for peace in Ukraine or with Russia’s other neighbors, independent Belarusian journalist Pavel Sheremet says. There are only various groups calling for war and differing only on when, where and how to carry out

STATEMENT BY SENATORS JOHN MCCAIN AND LINDSEY GRAHAM ON NEED TO SUPPORT UKRAINE IN FACE OF RENEWED RUSSIAN AGGRESSION

File Photo of U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

(mccain.senate.gov – Washington, D.C., November 18, 2014) U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) today released the following statement urging the Obama Administration and the European Union to provide the support Ukrainian leaders have long sought in the face of renewed Russian aggression: “President Putin’s renewed aggression in Ukraine demands more than additional

Calls for Latinization of Ukrainian Alphabet on ‘Civilizational Grounds’ Anger Russians

Maidan Square file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 14, 2014) Renewed calls by some Ukrainians to shift the alphabet of their national language from one based on Cyrillic characters to a Latin-based script in order to escape from the influence of Moscow and be closer to the West has infuriated Russian nationalists, who say

Moscow Times: Russia’s Demand of NATO Unlikely to Defuse Ukraine Conflict

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – November 20, 2014) President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman on Tuesday voiced what Russia wants from the West over Ukraine: guarantees that the former Soviet republic will not join NATO, an outcome that political analysts agree was already unlikely in the year-long conflict that has already claimed 4,000 lives.

RIA Novosti: Ukraine’s non-aligned status very important, good for Kiev – Russia’s Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, November 19, 2014) Ukraine’s non-aligned status is important for ensuring Euro-Atlantic security and is in the interests of the Ukrainians themselves, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said at a [joint] news conference with his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto. “There is no doubt that the non-aligned status (of Ukraine – RIA Novosti)

FMS: Number of Ukrainians staying in Russia 1 million up year-on-year

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

MOSCOW. Nov 20 (Interfax) – Approximately 2.6 million Ukrainian nationals are staying in Russia at the moment, which is one million more than a year ago, Federal Migration Service (FMS) chief Konstantin Romodanovsky said at the Thursday meeting of the Council of Legislators dedicated to migration policy issues. “About 2.6 million Ukrainian citizens are currently

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#240 table of contents with links :: Wednesday 19 November 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-#240 :: Wednesday 19 November 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 me JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  Ukraine 1. Interfax-Ukraine: Ukraine says Russian-trained

VIDEO: Is Putin intentionally provoking the West?

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

PBS News Hour interviews Russia scholar Kimberly Marten about Russia’s unfolding relations with the West. [click here for transcript] Said Marten: I think part of what’s going on is that Putin is trying to take attention off of the problems that the Russian economy is facing.  The sanctions are working much better than … predicted … they’re having real impact

Interfax: Lavrov says Kerry told him to ignore Obama’s words on Russia threat

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(Interfax – November 19, 2014) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had suggested to him that he should pay no attention to U.S. President Barack Obama’s remarks in which he called Russia a principal threat to the world. “The first time I took note of the listing of threats

McDonald’s Moscow Restaurant Reopens After 3-Month Shutdown

File Photo of Russian McDbnald's Crew with U.S. Diplomat

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leslie Patton, Ilya Khrennikov – November 19, 2014) McDonald’s Corp.’s (MCD) largest restaurant in Russia reopened after local officials shuttered the location for three months, an optimistic sign for a company trying to return to business as usual in the country. The outlet, situated in Moscow’s Pushkin Square, resumed business today,

Sanctions Affect Half Of Russia’s Banking Sector, Report Says

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 19, 2014) Russian banks are the most vulnerable among the world’s large emerging market economies due to Western sanctions and near zero levels of economic growth, a Standard & Poor’s report released Wednesday said. Sanctions directly affect more than 50 percent of Russia’s banking sector, which is dominated by

Interfax: Russian central banker says economy can withstand lower oil price, sanctions

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

(Interfax – November 18, 2014) The head of the Russian Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, has said that the economy would retain stability if things go less than well, i.e. if oil prices averages 80 dollars per barrel and sanctions continue until the end of 2017. Speaking in the State Duma on 18 November, she added

Russia moves to free-sinking currency

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – November 19, 2014) After controlling the ruble-dollar exchange rate for more than two decades to ease the pain of the transition to a free market, on October 9 the Russia’s central bank finally let the ruble go. The Russian currency is now a fully

Business New Europe: Number of Russians who think corruption got worse in past 15 years went down 20%

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

(Business New Europe – bne/IntelliNews – bne.eu – November 19, 2014) According to a poll conducted by the independent Levada centre, 39% of Russians think that corruption in the country got worse in last 15 years. That is 20% less than in July 2010, when 60% of respondents said the situation worsened. Traffic police are

Interfax: Gorbachev: West has probably accepted fact that Crimea is Russia

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Interfax – November 19, 2014) Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev believes that Russia and the West should find a compromise on the Ukrainian crisis or they will lose. “It [a compromise] has not been found yet, but it is quite possible. I think Russia and the entire Europe will lose if that doesn’t happen. The

Russia Denies Ukraine Blame After Germans Push for Talks

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Volodymyr Verbyany, Anton Doroshev – November 19, 2014) Russia’s foreign minister blamed the conflict in Ukraine on other countries’ efforts to increase their security since the collapse of the Soviet Union. A day after Russia and Ukraine clashed over how to move toward a new cease-fire agreement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei

Interfax: Russian diplomat says Kiev needs to negotiate with rebels, not Moscow

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Interfax – Moscow, November 18, 2014) Kiev should conduct negotiations on the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis not with Moscow, but with the militia from southeast Ukraine, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigoriy Karasin has said. “The Kiev government should conduct negotiations not with Moscow, but with representatives of southeast Ukraine,” he told Interfax. This was

Interfax: Ukraine insists on efficiency of Geneva negotiating format – Yatsenyuk

Ukraine Map and Flag

KYIV. Nov 19 (Interfax) – The Ukrainian leadership believes the Geneva format of negotiations with Russia is the optimal one, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said. “This is a common position of the Ukrainian head of state and head of government: the Geneva format, with the U.S.’, the EU’s, Russia’s, and Ukraine’s involvement, is the

Ten Kremlin Moves That Hurt Russia’s Economy

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko – November 19, 2014) As the Russian economy ambles toward recession, the government grapples with how to explain the downturn – no easy feat after 15 years of slowly mounting prosperity and President Vladimir Putin’s campaign promises of lavish social spending. So far, the authorities have been inclined

Putin Said to Stun Advisers by Backing Corruption Crackdown

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Evgenia Pismennaya, Irina Reznik- November 19, 2014) Vladimir Putin sat motionless as the minister, seizing on the Russian leader’s first major meeting with his economic team in months, itemized the challenges. A recession is imminent, inflation is getting out of hand and the ruble and oil are in freefall, Economy Minister

Proper Response to Kremlin is to Make Ukraine a NATO Member Now

NATO meeting file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 19, 2014) Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, says that Russian wants to receive “a 100 percent guarantee” that “no one will think about Ukraine entering NATO.” The only proper response to that outrageous example of imperial overreach is to offer NATO full membership in the

Pro-Moscow Separatists Face Health Crisis

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Voice of America – Jamie Dettmer – November 19, 2014) Ukraine’s government is threatening to stop funding hospitals and medical services in areas in the east of the country controlled by Moscow-backed separatists. This is leaving the insurgents scrambling to make up for the shortfall amid signs that some locals want a return to normal.

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#239 table of contents with links :: Tuesday 18 November 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 28. Business New Europe: Chris Weafer, 2015 looks likely to be Russian economy’s “Annus Horribilis”
29. Wall Street Journal: Russian Agency Looks to Meet With Twitter, Facebook on New Laws.
30. Moscow Times/Reuters: More Than 1 Million People in Russia Live as Slaves, Study Finds. …

RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#238 table of contents with links :: Monday 17 November 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-#238 :: Monday 17 November 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 me JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php  Ukraine 1. Reuters: Heavy shelling rocks rebel-held

The problems of environmental activism in Russia; Climate change is still of little interest to Russians. But why?

Polar Bear on Ice

(opendemocracy.net – Angelina Davydova – November 17, 2014) Angelina Davydova is an independant environmental journalist based in St Petersburg. This autumn, in cities worldwide there were climate-themed marches to tie in with the Ban Ki-Moon UN summit, the most of important of which was a 400-thousand-strong demonstration in New York; and Russia too passed a

Russia May Be Planning National Space Station to Replace ISS

International Space Station file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – November 18, 2014) Russia may be planning to build a new, independent national space station rather than prolong its participation in the $150 billion International Space Station (ISS) program beyond its current 2020 end date, the Kommersant newspaper reported Monday. The U.S. space agency NASA proposed last

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