Navalny Clashes With Ex-Commander Of Russia-Backed Separatists

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Carl Schreck, Christopher Miller – July 20, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/navalny-girkin-debate/28629308.html) Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny and a prominent former commander of Russia-backed separatists sparred over patriotism and the war in Ukraine in a debate that stoked widespread discussion and criticism among political players and watchers after it […]

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Interfax: Moscow says Malorossiya idea far from “real politics”

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Interfax – July 19, 2017) The Russian Foreign Ministry has said that Ukrainian separatist leader Alexander Zakharchenko’s plan to establish a new state in Ukraine – “Malorossiya” – has nothing to do with real politics. “In my view, these statements do not go in line with the obligations the sides [of the conflict] had taken as part of the Minsk […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Kremlin aide reportedly says Ukraine Malorossiya idea ‘useful'” – RIA Novosti

Vladislav Surkov file photo

(RIA Novosti – July 19, 2017) Vladimir Putin’s aide Vladislav Surkov has offered reserved praise for an idea put forward by a key Russia-backed rebel to set up a new state in Ukraine. According to a pro-Kremlin pundit, Surkov called Alexander Zakharchenko’s proposed country of Malorossiya “imaginary”, but said discussions around it were “useful”. “All this hype over the imaginary […]

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NEWSLINK: “Can Kurt Volker Solve the Ukraine Crisis? Kurt Volker, widely known as a tough-minded and accomplished diplomat, confronts his biggest challenge in working to implement the Minsk agreements.” – The National Interest/ Curt Mills

File Photo of Kurt Volker and W. Bruce Weinrod, adapted from image at defense.gov with photo credit to Senior Airman Nathan Lipscomb

“As Donald Trump spoke with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Hamburg … his State Department announced the appointment of a tough-minded former NATO ambassador to serve as Washington’s new point man on Ukraine. His mandate is to help implement the Minsk agreements. Kurt Volker is widely respected as an accomplished diplomat, but in Ukraine he confronts his greatest challenge yet. […]

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AUDIO NEWSWATCH: “Many In Eastern Ukraine Want To Join Russia” – National Public Radio (NPR)

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“… Putin insists Russia doesn’t want to annex separatist enclaves in eastern Ukraine, but many residents, who already use the Russian ruble and depend on Russia in many ways, wish he would. … An update now from eastern Ukraine, where, for the last three years, Russia has fueled a separatist war. … Putin insists he wants only to protect ethnic […]

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Disconnected society: how the war in the Donbas has affected Ukraine; People displaced by the war in eastern Ukraine need a community to represent their interests – any community. Why is that proving so difficult?

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(opendemocracy.net – Kateryna Iakovlenko – June 26, 2017) Kateryna Iakovlenko is a journalist and researcher from Rovenky, Luhansk. She researches Ukrainian art of the 1980s-1990s, and is postgraduate student at the New Media Department, Lviv National University. An Italian journalist once asked me why I love my country. He also asked me whether I consider myself Ukrainian. After all, I […]

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NEWSLINK: “Ukraine in Conflict” – E-International Relations/ David Marples

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“Firstly, Ukraine has moved away from the Russian orbit. … Secondly, the quasi-messianic phase of the conflict, the quest for the so-called Russkiy Mir (Russian World), initiated in Moscow has failed. … Thirdly, Ukraine’s response to Euromaidan has been ambivalent and at times questionable. * * * In turn, some Ukrainians refuse to accept any Western critiques of their country. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Trump Calls on Russia and Ukraine to Make Peace; Message marks shift in tone from Washington on Ukraine” – Wall Street Journal/ Nathan Hodge, Paul Sonne

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“… Trump called on Russia and Ukraine to make peace Thursday, presenting himself as something of a neutral peacemaker between the nations, a day after meeting foreign ministers from both countries in Washington. … Trump tweeted two side-by-side photos of himself – one with … Lavrov and another with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin – and said he met with the two […]

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Interfax: “Conflict in Ukraine cannot be settled without direct talks between parties to it – Putin”

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

SOCHI. May 2 (Interfax) – It is impossible to settle the conflict in southeastern Ukraine without a direct dialogue between Kyiv and Donbas, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “It’s necessary to finally make representatives of the Kyiv authorities and representatives of these unrecognized republics sit down at the same negotiating table. It’s impossible to achieve the conflict’s settlement without a […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Economic Ramifications of Conflict in Ukraine” – Stratfor

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

The conflict in eastern Ukraine has dealt a particularly heavy blow to its economic relationship with Russia. Much of Ukraine’s industrial production was taken offline …. The country lost a sizable share of its exports … [and]  GDP saw a double-digit contraction. Kiev… [the EU] and [the] United States, slapped Russia with sanctions … [over] Crimea and Donbas; Moscow responded in kind …. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “New Fears in Ukraine’s Coal Country; A factory and its workers face economic hardship from conflict and blockades” – U.S. News/Katherine Jacobsen

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“… Two years later a blockade in eastern Ukraine now threatens the future of the Avdiivka plant and the health of Ukraine’s already shaky economy. Activists, with the support of some politicians, initiated the blockade in January with the intention of halting trade between businesses in Ukrainian and separatist-held territories. In mid-March the government in Kiev joined in, reversing itself […]

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Hitler’s Anschluss and Putin’s – Similarities and Differences

File Photo of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Riding in Convertible

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 13, 2017) Seventy-nine years ago today, Adolf Hitler issued the law on the unification of Austria and Germany, an event subsequently known as the Anschluss, and one that both resembles and differs from what Vladimir Putin did in the case of Ukraine’s Crimea, according to two Ukrainian experts. Yuri Shapovalov, a […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Kyiv Post Editorial: Russia’s War Against Ukraine: Borders Harden”

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“After three years of war, the Russians are hardening their stance towards Ukraine. Without a stronger response from the West and Ukraine’s leaders, Ukraine stands to forever lose parts of the eastern Donbas now under Russian-separatist control. … amount[ing] to 2.5 percent of Ukraine’s territory or 15,341 square kilometers. The Russian side has begun a campaign to nationalize Ukrainian businesses […]

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NBU head says Donbas blockade, if prolonged, to result in Ukrainian GDP growth limited to 1.5%

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

KYIV. March 2 (Interfax) – The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) predicts that the Donbas blockade, if lifted shortly, will have only a minor negative impact on the country’s gross domestic product and balance of payments, NBU governor Valeriya Hontareva said. However, any continued existence of today’s situation during a long time will lead to a complete collapse in production […]

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A Year After $18 Billion Debt Deal, Ukraine Is Hardly Better Off

International Monetary Fund Logo Over Ukraine Flag

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Natasha Doff – August 29, 2016) [Charts here bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-29/a-year-after-18-billion-debt-deal-ukraine-is-hardly-better-off] A year after Ukraine averted default by reaching an agreement with creditors to restructure $18 billion of debt, the country’s bond market is again beginning to veer off course. After outperforming all of emerging Europe in the first seven months of the year, some of those gains […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Why Ukraine and Russia Need Each Other” – Nicolai Petro/Russian Politics

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Ukraine needs ….  the restoration of those economic ties with Russia that clearly benefit the Ukrainian economy, at least until Ukraine develops stable alternative markets. …. a stop gap measure needed to stop the hemorrhaging of resources, manpower, and capital, and to win Ukraine time and breathing space for economic reform …. Nor do I see it as a matter […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Kudrin and Poroshenko will fail because corruption is the system in Russia, Ukraine” – bne Intellinews/Ben Aris

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

… The irony is that Russia and Ukraine find themselves in exactly the same place: both countries are suffering from an economic miasma and both need deep and far-reaching reforms if they are to prosper. The difference between them is that Russia is half way through the process and will very like actually make some more reforms, whereas Ukraine is at the […]

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NEWSWATCH Reuters: “Russia Grants Ukraine’s Request to Delay Eurobond Case Defense”

International Monetary Fund Logo Over Ukraine Flag

Russia has agreed to allow Ukraine extra time to file its defence with a British court … Russia filed a lawsuit … demanding repayment of the $3 billion Eurobond …. Ukraine insists Russia must accept restructuring terms agreed with other foreign creditors. … Ukraine had until March 19 to file its defence although it was granted an extension until April […]

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Russia will watch for “adverse consequences” of Ukraine-EU deal – Kremlin

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

(Interfax – April 21, 2016) Russia will only be “too happy” if Ukraine’s association agreement with the EU brings it economic stability and prosperity, but will take “balancing measures” if the deal has a negative impact on Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. “This topic rather concerns the EU and Ukraine. As regards the economic aspect, to the extent that […]

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Dutch Voters Snub Kiev, Not Brussels

EU Map

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – April 7, 2016) It’s easy to discount the outcome of Wednesday’s Dutch referendum on Ukraine’s association agreement with the European Union as another sign of minority discontent with the European project. It has far more significance than that though, particularly for Ukraine: The faltering state has failed to gain support among ordinary Europeans, […]

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NEWSWATCH Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP): “UKRAINE: THE PRESIDENT’S OFFSHORE TAX PLAN”

Petro Poroshenko file photo, with additional men in background, adapted from image at state.gov

… actions by his financial advisers and Poroshenko himself … worth an estimated US$ 858 million, make it appear that the candy magnate was more concerned about his own welfare than his country’s – going so far as to arguably violate the law twice, misrepresent information and deprive his country of badly needed tax dollars during a time of war. […]

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Ukraine’s Economy Plummeted By Nearly 10 Percent In 2015

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – March 22, 2016) Ukraine’s battered economy shrank by 9.9 percent in 2015 due to implosions in the financial sector and consumer demand, the state statistics service reported on March 21. The stunning fall last year followed a drop of nearly 7 percent in 2014, the year Russia annexed Crimea and Ukraine’s war with Russia-backed separatists broke […]

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Top U.S. Official: Ukraine Reforms Endangered By Oligarchs Fighting Back

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – WASHINGTON, March 15, 2016) A top U.S. administration official has taken pointed aim at the wealthiest Ukrainian tycoons, known as oligarchs, accusing them of undermining the country’s anticorruption reform efforts. Victoria Nuland, assistant secretary of state for European аnd Eurasian Affairs, warned on March 15 that, if efforts to liberalize the economy and fight endemic graft […]

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Ukraine President Urges Coalition to Decide on Cabinet, Premier

Rada File Photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Daryna Krasnolutska – February 29, 2016) Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ruled out an early national election and urged a majority coalition in parliament to decide on a new cabinet to end the worst political crisis since deadly street protests ousted Kremlin-backed leader Viktor Yanukovych in 2014. “We don’t have the time because it will mean half […]

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Continuation of Western Sanctions on Russia Increasingly Depends on Ukraine, Ogryzko Says

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, February 29, 2016) The maintenance of Western sanctions is contingent upon Ukraine’s willingness to reform itself, according to former Ukrainian foreign minister Vladimir Ogryzko. If Ukraine does not act, the West will ultimately lift the sanctions; and Ukraine will have only itself to blame for its resulting isolation. In a commentary today, […]

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Something’s Rotten in the State of Ukraine; International aid groups grow impatient with the government.

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Ragozin – February 18, 2016) Two years have passed since a popular uprising in Kiev toppled a Russia-backed regime in Ukraine. The glory of that people power moment has faded, and Western supporters are losing patience with the government as corruption hampers efforts to jump-start the economy. The gross domestic product of the war-plagued country […]

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NEWSWATCH: “A Pyrrhic Victory for President Poroshenko” – Atlantic Council/Anders Aslund

Rada File Photo

… February 16, the Ukrainian parliament deemed the performance of its government unsatisfactory with 247 votes, but only 194 parliamentarians voted for a no-confidence measure. The government did not fall … this strange vote may appear a victory for … Poroshenko, but it seems a Pyrrhic victory that may have broken the ruling coalition in parliament and brought Ukraine closer […]

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Ukraine Bond Rout Worsens on Bets Political Tussle to Block Aid

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Natasha Doff – February 8, 2016) Ukrainian bonds slid, sending the yield on the nation’s shortest-dated restructured debt above 11 percent for the first time, as a political shakeup raised the likelihood for further delays to an international bailout that’s keeping the country afloat. The $1.15 billion of bonds maturing in September 2019 dropped 2.22 cents […]

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Ukrainian Bonds Plummet as Government Unity Efforts Stumble

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Natasha Doff, Daryna Krasnolutska – February 5, 2016) Ukrainian government bonds plunged as efforts faltered to shore up the ruling coalition after a key reformer quit and accused presidential party members of corruption. Notes issued in November after a $15 billion restructuring are poised for their worst week in the wake of comments from the parliament […]

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Ukraine’s Graft Fight Shows Little Progress, Transparency Says

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Volodymyr Verbyany – January 27, 2016) Ukraine’s efforts to stamp out corruption last year brought scant progress, according to Transparency International, which said civil society, journalists and whistle-blowers have been more effective than government officials in combating graft. The former Soviet republic’s score rose “only one additional point” in the 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index, the Berlin-based […]

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Sliding Support: It’s been two years since Euromaidan in Ukraine. What does polling and economic data show?

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(RFE/RL – January 24, 2016) [Graphics and links here rferl.org/fullinfographics/infographics/sliding-support-ukraine/27499595.html] Leadership: Waning Optimism Petro Poroshenko’s approval rating at the end of 2015 fell to just 17% — significantly lower than Viktor Yanukovych’s 28% before he was ousted. According to a January 2016 survey from Gallup, this low rating reflects Ukrainians’ growing dissatisfaction with Poroshenko’s leadership. Economy World Bank data suggests […]

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