President Putin’s Fiction: 10 False Claims about Ukraine – U.S. State Department

Maidan Square file photo

(US Department of State – state.gov – Fact Sheet – Office of the Spokesperson – Washington, DC – March 5, 2014) As Russia spins a false narrative to justify its illegal actions in Ukraine, the world has not seen such startling Russian fiction since Dostoyevsky wrote, “The formula ‘two plus two equals five’ is not without its attractions.” Below are […]

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Kiev Barricades Brace for Putin Guns Amid Crimea Standoff

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Kateryna Choursina, Eduard Gismatullin and James M. Gomez – March 6, 2014) Near a display of confiscated weapons from elite police who fired on Ukrainian protesters during Kiev’s uprising, Mykola stands guard duty in a shack beside a barricade of tires, wire and park benches. The hated riot police gone, activists in camouflage mingle with tourists […]

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Ukraine Uncertainty Depressing Growth and Investment

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – March 6, 2014) As world leaders increase or trash their political clout depending on their audience and the statements they make about the situation in the Ukraine, some analysts were revising Russian GDP growth estimates to as low as 1.1 percent for the year. Wednesday was a calmer day on the stock […]

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Russia Wags The Dog With Ukraine Disinformation Campaign

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – March 5, 2014) Getting the real story of what is going on in Ukraine is hard enough. And the Russian media seems intent on making it even harder. With Russian forces controlling Crimea and with Moscow contemplating further military action in Ukraine, Russian media and leading political figures have been shrill in their […]

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Russia Preparing Response to U.S. and EU Sanctions

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – March 6, 2014) The Federation Council is drawing up a bill that would allow the government to confiscate the property of U.S. and European companies in the event of Western sanctions, though political analysts dismiss both actions as intimidating rhetoric unlikely turn into action. Further decreasing the possibility of asset confiscation is […]

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Lavrov, Kerry Agree That Ukraine Should Uphold Peace Accord – RIA Novosti

File Photo of John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov at Separte Podiums, Kerry with a Visible Earpiece; Adapted from Photo at state.gov

MOSCOW, March 5 (RIA Novosti) – The top diplomats of Russia and the United States agreed at their meeting on Wednesday that they should help Ukraine to implement the EU-brokered reconciliation deal. “We have agreed that Ukrainians need assistance to implement the February 21 accord,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. He met with US Secretary of State John Kerry […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Vladimir Putin answered journalists’ questions on the situation in Ukraine (full transcript)

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Kremlin.ru – March 4, 2014) Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region The President of Russia met with media representatives to answer a number of their questions, in particular with regard to the situation in Ukraine. PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, colleagues, How shall we do this? This is what I’d like to suggest: let’s have a conversation, rather than an interview. […]

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Heads of Russian TV stations reaffirm importance of unbiased coverage of Ukraine events

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(Interfax – March 4, 2014) The heads of Russian leading television stations have responded to their Ukrainian colleagues’ call for unbiased coverage of the ongoing events in Ukraine. The general directors of Channel One, the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK) and NTV, Konstantin Ernst, Oleg Dborodeyev and Vladimir Kulistikov, said in an official statement, posted on the […]

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Russia and Ukraine Have Bigger Problems Than Each Other

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Matthew C. Klein – March 3, 2014) Matthew C. Klein is a writer for Bloomberg View You may have missed it amid the ongoing drama in Ukraine, but Russia’s central bank raised its main interest rate today to 7 percent from 5.5 percent — the single biggest increase in Russian benchmark rates since the country desperately […]

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Crimea splits Russian society in two

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Darya Lyubinskaya, special to RBTH – March 3, 2014) Russians hold rallies in support of and in protest against sending troops to Ukraine. Rallies in support of and against a possible military operation in Ukraine were held in several Russian cities yesterday. Rallies of those who oppose a military intervention in Crimea ended […]

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EU sanctions against Russia unlikely absent significant escalation

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Teneo Intelligence – March 3, 2014) Despite the ratcheting-up of rhetoric by European countries regarding the events in Ukraine, it remains unlikely for now that the European Union (EU) will impose sanctions on Russia. Not only would a high degree of consensus among EU member states be required in order to approve them; what […]

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Putin Adviser Urges Dumping US Bonds In Reaction to Sanctions

U.S. Treasury HH Series Savings Bond file photo

MOSCOW, March 4 (RIA Novosti) – An adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that authorities would issue general advice to dump US government bonds in the event of Russian companies and individuals being targeted by sanctions over events in Ukraine. Sergei Glazyev said the United States would be the first to suffer in the event of any sanctions […]

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Referendum in Crimea may be held before March 30 – head of Crimean government

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

SIMFEROPOL. March 4 (Interfax) – Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov said a referendum may be held in Crimea before March 30. “I think the referendum will be held even before March 30. We will make this decision in a working group [on the organization of the referendum] and we will try to fully learn what the people of Crimea want […]

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Markets plunge over Ukrainian crisis

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Tatyana Lisina, special to RBTH – March 4, 2014) The tensions in Crimea have already had serious economic consequences for Russia. The country’s stock market fell dramatically on Monday and the ruble continued its slide. Many experts compare the current developments to the events of August 2008, when Russia began a military operation […]

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Ukraine Crisis Nets Billions of Dollars for Kremlin

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – March 5, 2014) A cheaper ruble and more expensive oil could actually go a long way in improving Russia’s economy, possibly offsetting other potential aftershocks of the Ukraine crisis. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in interviews on Sunday identified the ruble’s slide as among Russia’s economic challenges that could get worse […]

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Gazprom to Cancel Gas Discount for Ukraine

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

GORKI, March 4 (RIA Novosti) – The head of Russia’s state energy giant Gazprom said Tuesday that it will annul its discount on natural gas sales to Ukraine from April, a move that will further stretch Kiev’s teetering finances. Alexei Miller, who made the announcement while meeting with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev outside Moscow, motivated the decision by pointing out […]

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[re: Ukraine] JRL 2014-#44/Matlock

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

Subject: JRL 2014-#44/ Matlock Date: Mon, 03 Mar 2014 From: Reuben F. Johnson – Warszawa, Rzeczpospolita Polska reuben.johnson@sambadoaviao.org I have the honour to refer to Item 1 of this issue of JRL.  I have enjoyed reading JRL for years and almost never make any comments on the pieces that are published.  We all have too much to read the way […]

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EU, U.S. want to cancel February 21 accord in Ukraine – Lavrov

Maidan Square file photo

TUNIS. March 4 (Interfax) – Russia thinks that the European Union and the United States want to cancel agreements reached between Ukraine’s authorities and opposition on February 21. “They are trying to annul the February 21 agreement on settling the crisis in Ukraine that was signed by Ukraine’s president and opposition,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference […]

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Putin suggests Western states criticizing Russia assess legitimacy of their own moves

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

NOVO-OGARYOVO. March 4 (Interfax) – Far from all moves of Western countries are legitimate, Russian President Vladimir Putin responded to the Western criticism of Russia. “We are often accused of taking illegitimate actions. And when I ask if they think [their actions] are totally legitimate, they say yes. They have to be reminded about the U.S. actions in Afghanistan, Iraq […]

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Putin Sees No Political Future for Yanukovych

Viktor Yanukovych file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Christopher Brennan – March 4, 2014) President Vladimir Putin spoke publicly about the political turmoil in Ukraine on Tuesday for the first time since ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych fled Kiev amid violence between police and anti-government protesters. Putin echoed comments made by Yanukovych at a news conference in Rostov-on-Don last week, saying that the […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Vladimir Putin replied to questions from journalists [partial transcript]

European Portion of Commonwealth of Independent States

(Kremlin.ru – March 4, 2014) Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region [Complete English translation will be here http://eng.kremlin.ru/news/6763] The President of Russia met with media representatives to answer a number of their questions, in particular with regard to the situation in Ukraine. PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, colleagues, How shall we do this? This is what I’d like to suggest: let’s […]

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The Battle of Legitimacy

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(The Ukraine List (UKL) #468 – Dominique Arel – 2 March 2014) Chair of Ukrainian Studies, University of Ottawa – ukrainianstudies.uottawa.ca The unimaginable is now before us: the Higher Chamber of the Russian parliament has authorized Russia to send troops “on the territory of Ukraine,” leaving open the possibility that the Russian army, currently occupying Crimea, may be dispatched elsewhere on […]

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Ukrainian parliament plans to form group for negotiations with Russia

Maidan Square file photo

KYIV. March 3 (Interfax) – The Ukrainian parliament plans to create a group of Ukrainian parliamentarians for negotiations with their Russian colleagues on Tuesday, Oleh Tyagnibok, leader of the Svoboda (Freedom) faction of the parliament, said. “At the conciliatory council, we decided to create a group of Ukrainian parliamentarians for negotiations with Russian parliamentarians. Obviously, such a group will be […]

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Foreign Ministry: Russia does not want war with Ukraine

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

MOSCOW. March 3 (Interfax) – Russia does not want a war with Ukraine and is prepared to support all forces in that country that advocate stronger relations between Moscow and Kyiv, Russian State Secretary – Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said. “Russia does not want a war with Ukraine,” he said on Vladimir Solovyov’s Voskresny Vecher program aired by Rossiya […]

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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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