Moscow expects “sobering” effect from Federation Council decision on Ukraine

Federation Council file photo

MOSCOW. March 3 (Interfax) – Moscow expects the Federation Council’s consent to send Russian army servicemen to Ukraine to have a sobering effect on many forces in that country. “Speaking of the decision the Federation Council made yesterday, we expect this decision to sober up many and to demonstrate the seriousness of intentions of the Russian Federation,” Russian State Secretary […]

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Russia must protect citizens but does not want war with Ukraine – top diplomat

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

(Interfax – March 2, 2014) A senior Russian diplomat has said that Russia does not want war with Ukraine and will support those in favour of stronger relations between the two countries, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 2 March. Another report quoted the diplomat, State Secretary and Deputy Foreign Minister Grigoriy Karasin, saying that Russia has to protect […]

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Russia moves into Ukraine navy HQ in Crimea after naval chief defects

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Sevastopol – March 3, 2014) Russia tightened its grip on Ukraine’s Crimea region on March 3, with Russian forces entering Ukraine’s navy headquarters in Sevastopol with the apparent intention of disarming the base. Despite western demands to withdraw, Russian military forces have secured full control of the peninsula without firing a […]

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Why Obama shouldn’t fall for Putin’s Ukrainian folly

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

(opendemocracy.net – Anatol Lieven – March 3, 2014) Anatol Lieven is a professor in the War Studies Department of King’s College London and a senior fellow of the New America Foundation in Washington DC. A new, updated edition of America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism, was republished in September 2012 by Oxford University Press. Russia and the […]

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“To my Russian friends…” – Michael McFaul facebook post re: Ukraine

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

(Facebook – Michael McFaul – March 2, 2014 – https://www.facebook.com/russialist/posts/10203369527624843) “To my Russian friends especially, if you argued in 2003 that it was a mistake and illegitimate for the U.S. to invade Iraq (as many Americans did as well), then why are you invoking the Iraq war to justify a Russian repetition of such an illegitimate mistake in Ukraine? I […]

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Attempts to isolate Russia doomed, says senior MP

Alexei Pushkov file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, March 2, 2014) In connection with the situation around Ukraine the West cannot succeed in having Russia internationally isolated, the chairman of the Russian State Duma’s Committee on International Affairs, Aleksey Pushkov, has said. “As I see it, talk about Russia’s international isolation does not seem productive to me,” Pushkov told Interfax on Sunday [2 March]. The […]

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Russia Seeks Ukrainian Who Allegedly Sought Warlord’s Help

European Portion of Commonwealth of Independent States

(RIA Novosti – March 3, 2014) A Ukrainian nationalist leader who allegedly called for the help of a Chechen warlord via the social network VKontakte is now being sought in Russia on charges of extremism, Russian investigators said Monday. Dmitry Yarosh, who heads the right-wing group Pravy Sektor, purportedly wrote on Saturday that reputed Chechen warlord Doku Umarov should help […]

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RIA Novosti: Putin Tells Obama Russia Will Act In Case of Ukraine Violence

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

MOSCOW, March 2 (RIA Novosti) – Russian leader Vladimir Putin told US President Barack Obama in a telephone conversation Sunday that Moscow reserved the right to protect its own interests and those of Russian speakers in the event of violence breaking out in eastern Ukraine and Crimea. The Kremlin press service said Putin responded to Obama’s expression of concern over […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE: Johnson’s Russia List contents with links :: 2014-#43 :: Saturday, 1 March 2014

St. Basil's file photo

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: 2014-#43 :: 1 March 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 […]

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Five Reasons to Listen to Russia on Ukraine

Maidan Square file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Marc Champion – February 27, 2014) Marc Champion is a Bloomberg View editorial board member. Russian rhetoric on Ukraine can be infuriating, a continuous rewriting of history to disguise a fundamental disbelief in its neighbor’s right to become a fully independent country. For all that, Western leaders need to listen more carefully, because some of what […]

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Crimean Leader Appeals to Putin, Confirms Russian Troop Presence – RIA Novosti

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

SIMFEROPOL, March 1 (RIA Novosti) – The Crimean Prime Minister said Saturday that Russian troops are operating on the Ukrainian peninsula and made a personal appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin for more assistance. The Kremlin said in a subsequent statement that it would not ignore the request for help. Sergei Aksyonov, who was appointed prime minister after a parliamentary […]

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Parliament Approves Putin Request for Military Action in Ukraine – RIA Novosti

Federation Council file photo

MOSCOW, March 1 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s upper house of parliament on Saturday approved a request from President Vladimir Putin to use armed force in Ukraine. Putin made the request because of what he said was a threat to the lives of Russian citizens and military forces located in naval bases in Crimea. The Federation Council voted unanimously in support […]

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Amid Escalation Fears, Russia Says Kiev Sent Fighters to Crimea – RIA Novosti

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

MOSCOW, March 1 (RIA Novosti) – Armed men dispatched from Kiev to the southern Ukrainian region of Crimea attempted an overnight storm of the local Interior Ministry, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Saturday. “As a result of this perfidious provocation several people were injured,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “This confirms that certain well-known political circles in Kiev […]

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RIA Novosti: US Envoy Candidate Urges Russia-U.S. Cooperation on Ukraine

Steven Pifer File Photo

WASHINGTON, February 28 (RIA Novosti) – A veteran US diplomat linked with a possible ambassadorial posting to Moscow has said the United States and Russia must refrain from adopting confrontational positions on Ukraine and should instead cooperate on assisting the country achieve stability. Steven Pifer, who served as US Ambassador to Ukraine for two years up until 2000, was named […]

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Will Ukraine’s hotheads trigger a new cold war?

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Fyodor Lukyanov, special to RBTH – February 26, 2014) Fyodor Lukyanov is Chairman of the Council for Foreign and Defence Policies and Editor in Chief of the journal Russia in Global Affairs. Like 10 years ago following the “Orange Revolution”, there’s been a dramatic shift in power in Ukraine and a formerly stable […]

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New Ukraine Government Has White House’s Support, U.S. Vice President Says

File Photo of Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in front of U.S. Flag and Russian Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – February 28, 2014) U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has told new Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk in a telephone conversation that the interim government in Kiev has Washington’s full support. The White House said in a statement that Biden congratulated Yatsenyuk on his appointment on Thursday and said that the U.S. will […]

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Russia Criticized in U.S. Human Rights Report

Department of State Signage and Headquarters Building File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 28, 2014) Russia’s anti-gay laws and attempts by the ousted Ukrainian president to quash opposition protests were among the world’s most grievous human rights violations to emerge over the past year, the U.S. State Department said in its annual report. The review of 200 countries and territories around the globe said a chemical attack […]

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IMF’s History With Ukrainian Leaders May Cloud Aid Negotiations

Maidan Square file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Sandrine Rastello and Terry Atlas – February 28, 2014) The International Monetary Fund has extensive experience lending to Ukraine in recent years. It’s not a track record favoring the country as it seeks aid to stave off default. Twice since 2008, the IMF froze loans to the former Soviet republic after governments at the time balked […]

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Interfax: Nearly half of Russians believe riots in Ukraine influenced by West – poll

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Interfax – February 27, 2014) Most Russians are following the events in Ukraine, and nearly half of them are sure that the recent protests in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities have been influenced by the West, as is seen from a public opinion poll of 1,603 people the Levada Center sociological service conducted in 130 populated areas of 45 regions […]

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McFaul Leaves U.S. Ambassador Post Amid Ukraine Turmoil

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – February 27, 2014) Michael McFaul officially relinquished his position as U.S. ambassador to Russia on Wednesday morning, leaving one of the U.S.’ most vital diplomatic posts empty amid political upheaval in neighboring Ukraine. McFaul, known for his active presence on Twitter, wrote goodbyes to Russian users of the microblogging service throughout the […]

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Paper trail leads to massive corruption at heart of Ukraine

Maidan Square file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Kyiv – February 27, 2014) [Graphics here http://www.bne.eu/storyf5807/Paper_trail_leads_to_massive_ corruption_at_heart_of_Ukraine] With former president Viktor Yanukoych and most of his cronies on the run, the full extent to which they have looted Ukraine is now coming to light as activists and journalists sift through documents abandoned in the haste of flight. Document scraps […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Russian military drills “unrelated” to Ukraine events

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – February 27, 2014) The surprise combat inspection of the country’s western and central military command will involve all wings of the Russian armed forces with over 150,000 personnel taking part. Although not connected to the drills, the developments in Crimea are being closely monitored by the Russian Defence Ministry. On Wednesday, February 26 […]

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UKRAINE ONLINE POLL: What would be Ukraine’s best course to follow?

Maidan Square file photo

[poll originally posted in late 2013] We would like to hear your opinion about unfolding events in Ukraine and welcome your participation in the following poll. Visitors can vote for up to three choices, and generally can vote once each day.  There also as an option to “fill in the blank.” After you have made your choice(s) and/or added a […]

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Ukraine Awaits Economic Impact of New Government’s Tension With Russia

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – February 26, 2014) As Russia ally and former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych fled and a new government took over in Kiev this weekend, Russia awoke to unpaid debts and a question: how to deal with its neighbor’s government not only politically, but economically. “The main channel of influence on the Russian economy […]

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Ukraine ready for full-fledged dialogue with Russia after new government is formed – ministry

Maidan Square file photo

KYIV. Feb 26 (Interfax) – Ukraine will be ready to resume a full-fledged bilateral dialogue in the Ukrainian-Russian Interstate Commission’s institutions as soon as the new Ukrainian government is formed, says a report posted on the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry website on Tuesday. “We reaffirm our loyalty to Ukrainian-Russian relations on a brand new, truly equal and neighborly basis, which has […]

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Riot Police in Lviv Beg People’s Forgiveness on Bended Knee

Map of Ukraine and Ukrainian Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – February 26, 2014) [Video here http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/riot-police-in-lviv-beg-peoples-forgiveness-on-bended-knee/495203.html] About 100 riot police officers in Lviv in western Ukraine got down on their knees on stage on Monday and asked the city’s residents to forgive them for their role in the attempts to suppress recent anti-government protests. The riot police, or Berkut, promised to take […]

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US ready to help Ukraine hold fair presidential elections in May – Burns

William Burns file photo adapted from state.gov image

KYIV. Feb 26 (Interfax) – U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns has said the United States is ready to cooperate with Ukraine on the road to holding free and fair presidential elections on May 25, 2014, the press service of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine has reported. He said that the United States looked forward to working with the […]

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All eyes on Russia’s Putin as Crimea tensions simmer

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Harriet Salem in Sevastopol – Feburary 26, 2014) Sixty years ago Sevastopol was part of Russia, and over the last few days this Crimean city perched on the edge of Black Sea has come to epitomise the angry divide between Ukraine’s pro-Europe west and pro-Russia south and east. The Crimean peninsula is the only […]

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Russia Urges Dialogue on Ukraine Amid Military Fears

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov and Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – February 26, 2014) As uncertainty about Ukraine’s future grew on Tuesday and fears of separatism in Crimea increased, President Vladimir Putin remained silent – fueling speculation about what Russia’s next move could be to recoup potential losses from the ouster of Kremlin-backed Viktor Yanukovych. While the European Union and […]

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Russia still views Yanukovych as legitimate Ukrainian president – Duma deputy

Viktor Yanukovych file photo

SIMFEROPOL. Feb 25 (Interfax) – Russia still considers Viktor Yanukovych the legitimate president of Ukraine, says Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the Russian State Duma committee for the CIS affairs, Eurasian integration, and links with compatriots. “We still view Viktor Yanukovych as the legitimate president of Ukraine. He did not sign the 2004 constitution; hence, we don’t have the 2004 […]

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Russia Says It Will Keep Out of Ukrainian Affairs

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

MOSCOW, February 25 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s top diplomat said Tuesday that Moscow will not interfere with affairs in Ukraine as the former Soviet nation scrambles to recover from the outcome of a street-based uprising that culminated in the overthrow of the president. The Kremlin has reacted with barely disguised anger to the ascent to power by political forces that […]

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Russia’s Best Bet in Ukraine? Sitting on the Fence (for Now)

Maidan Square file photo

(RIA Novosti – Nabi Abdullaev – February 26, 2014) Nabi Abdullaev is the head of RIA Novosti’s Foreign-Language News Service. The views expressed in this column are the author’s alone. Since Ukraine exploded last week in a blaze of lethal violence and collapsed leadership, some ominous predictions have been circulating about Russia’s plans for its neighbor’s future. But military intervention […]

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Ukraine: The View From the West

Maidan Square file photo

(opendemocracy.net – David Marples – February 20, 2014) David Marples is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of History and Classics, University of Alberta, Canada. Author of 13 books, he is also President of the North American Association for Belarusian Studies. What is happening in Ukraine has provoked outrage and shock in the west. But do we really understand what […]

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Ukraine Ex-Ruling Party Moves to Opposition

Map of Ukraine and Ukrainian Flag

KIEV, February 24 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s former ruling Party of Regions, which had until recently held an overwhelming majority of seats in parliament, announced Monday that it will take up the role of the opposition. Faction leader Oleksandr Yefremov said at a meeting of party officials in the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, that the erstwhile opposition had enough power […]

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Klitschko, Tyahnibok favor lustration in Ukraine

Maidan Square file photo

KYIV. Feb 24 (Interfax) – Leader of the Udar party Vitaly Klitschko and leader of the Svoboda rightwing radical party Oleh Tyahnibok favor lustration in Ukraine. “The parliament should today solve the issue that Ukrainian people expect them to do: to restore justice and start lustration and reforms,” Klitschko said at a meeting of the conciliatory council in the Ukrainian […]

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Ukraine abolishes law on languages of minorities, including Russian

(Interfax – February 23, 2014) Ukraine’s Verkhovna has abolished the law on the foundations of the state language policy adopted on July 3, 2012, by 232 out of 334 votes. In July 2012 Verkhovna Rada passed the law initiated by the Party of Regions. In August Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed it into law and bound the Cabinet to set […]

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Russia: Don’t Trust Ukraine’s Opposition

Maidan Square file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – February 24, 2014)  Russian officials have warned that the political opposition that has taken power in Ukraine consists of “illegal extremist groups” that do not represent the majority of the Ukrainian people and called on opposition leaders to abide by an earlier reached agreement. In accordance with the European Union-mediated deal reached […]

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Ukraine’s revolution continues apace with interim president named

Maidan Square file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Harriet Salem and Graham Stack in Kyiv – February 24, 2014) Ukraine’s revolution is moving apace, with parliament naming its speaker Oleksandr Turchynov as acting president, following on key appointments with oversight of the interior ministry and other state security organisations, while the formerly governing Party of Regions is crumbling and in disarray. Worryingly, […]

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Interfax: Russian MP denies talk of separatism at congress in southeast Ukraine

Alexei Pushkov file photo

(Interfax – February 22, 2014) The south and east of Ukraine are not seeking to break away but they reject “political diktat” from “extremists” in Kiev, a senior Russian MP warned in reports on 22 February. Aleksey Pushkov, of the ruling One Russia party, chairs the State Duma’s international affairs committee. He was in Kharkiv to observe a congress of […]

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Interfax: Crimean authorities vow to prevent anarchy in autonomous republic

Map of Ukraine and Ukrainian Flag

KYIV. Feb 24 (Interfax) – The Crimean Council of Ministers is closely cooperating with the Ukrainian police, Security Council, and prosecutors in order to take urgent measures to prevent manifestations of extremism and anarchy, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea’s head of government Anatolii Mohyliov said on Sunday. “As the republic’s chief executive, I want to reassure you that the Crimean […]

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Kremlin to tighten screws in wake of Kiev unrest

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – February 24, 2014) A Moscow court sentenced seven people on Monday to prison terms ranging from one to four years for their roles in protest riots on the city’s Bolotnaya Ploshchad in May 2012, in a ruling seen as an indicator of whether government pressure would increase on the opposition in the […]

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Moscow urges crackdown in Ukraine on “extremists” in government

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 24 (Interfax) – Moscow on Monday urged the Ukrainians to bring back the situation in their country into “the legal framework” and “crack down on the extremists who are trying to get established in power.” “We earnestly call upon all those who are involved in the crisis in Ukraine to show the maximum sense of responsibility, to take […]

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Russians Overwhelmingly Oppose Moscow Intervention in Ukraine but Also Say There Won’t be a Maidan in Russia

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 24, 2014) More than seven out of ten Russians say that Moscow should not intervene in Ukraine, but at the same time, a slightly larger number say that events like those which have taken place in Ukraine are impossible in the Russian Federation, according to results of a new VTsIOM poll. […]

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Radicals may push aside Ukrainian moderate opposition – Margelov

Mikhail Margelov file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 24 (Interfax) – The Federation Council believes that the victory in Kyiv and western Ukraine has been won by radicals and militants and the systemic opposition may soon be pushed aside. “As Maidan [people] refuse to leave and to lay down their arms, it seems the winners think they still have tasks to accomplish. The situation is developing […]

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Ukraine Hopes for $35 Billion in Western Aid

Map of Ukraine and Ukrainian Flag

KIEV, February 24 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine said Monday that it has asked Western powers to provide at least $35 billion in urgent financial aid as it struggles to cope with a severe political and economic crisis. Interim finance minister Yuriy Kolobov said in a statement that Kiev has urged the United States and countries in the European Union to […]

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Johnson’s Russia List with links :: 2014-#38 :: Sunday, 23 February 2014

St. Basil's file photo

Johnson’s Russia List :: 2014-#38 :: 23 February 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 Sochi Olympics 1. AFP: Putin’s Games sparkle despite shadows of doubt. 2. […]

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Unless Kremlin Learns Lessons of Ukraine, a Russian Maidan is Inevitable, Nemtsov Says

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 23, 2014) Viktor Yanukovich was “100 percent” responsible for the rise of the popular movement that overthrew him, Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov says, and unless the Kremlin learns the lessons from what has taken place in Ukraine, “a Russian Maidan is inevitable” and it will be the fault of no […]

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As Pace Of Political Change Picks Up In Kyiv, Eastern Ukraine Balks

Maidan Square file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – February 22, 2014) While lawmakers in Kyiv were adopting resolutions and making appointments with breakneck speed, including dismissing President Viktor Yanukovych, a rump group of local officials and lawmakers from the formerly ruling Party of Regions met in the eastern city of Kharkiv for a hastily assembled congress. The officials from all levels […]

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Specter of Money Haunts Ukraine’s Turmoil

Maidan Square file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ben Aris – February 22, 2014) Ben Aris is the editor of Business New Europe. It is critical to understand the economics of the current crisis in Ukraine. Ukrainian hard currency reserves have dwindled from $35 billion to $17 billion – not enough to ensure the stability of the government. Ukraine is bankrupt. Under the […]

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