NEWSLINK: “Regaining by force or abandoning Donbas: Experts name four scenarios for east Ukraine developments” – UNIAN (Kyiv)

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

“According to experts, the current situation being preserved until 2020 would be the most sustainable scenario. Neither war nor peace; return by peaceful means; return by force; and the abandonment of the occupied territories – these are the key options for Donbas developments for the coming years. Experts of the Ukrainian Institute for the Future (UIF) have been studying the […]

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Unsustainable Status Quo or a Costly Stability? The Increasing Risks of the Unresolved Conflict in Donbas.

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

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Tetyana Malyarenko, Stefan Wolff – April 3, 2018) Dr. Tetyana Malyarenko is a Professor of International Security and Jean Monnet Professor of European Security at the National University Odesa Law Academy, Ukraine, and Non-resident Fellow at the Uppsala Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Sweden. Stefan Wolff is professor of International Security at the University […]

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NEWSLINK: “Lutsenko says Savchenko planned mass murder in the Verkhovna Rada” – Kyiv Post/Veronika Melkozerova

Rada File Photo

“… Lutsenko made his sensational claim the same day Savchenko returned to Ukraine from Strasbourg to give testimony to the Security Service of Ukraine as a witness in a case against Volodymyr Ruban, a Donbas war mediator accused of attempting to assassinate Ukrainian leaders and smuggling weapons. …”

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NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine’s Regime Is Less Stable than It Was Under Yanukovych: A Third Year Comparison [Excerpt]” – PONARS Eurasia/Yuriy Matsiyevsky

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

Yuriy Matsiyevsky is Associate professor at the National University of Ostroh Academy, Ukraine. [Full text: ponarseurasia.org/memo/ukraine-regime-less-stable-than-under-yanukovych-third-year-comparison] (PONARS Policy Memo) Unfinished reforms, growing social discontent, and ongoing war with Russia deeply destabilize Ukraine. Under such strained conditions, what are the chances of Ukraine’s current government, and specifically the presidency of Petro Poroshenko, to survive until the end of their elected terms? […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Poroshenko is afraid” – Kyiv Post Editorial

File photo of Barack Obama and Petro Poroshenko facing one another, with Obama gesturing

“… Poroshenko keeps inventing ruses to prevent the creation of an independent anti-corruption court with respected judges who would, at long last, start delivering justice to this long-suffering nation. His latest line of attack  … is that Western donors cannot dictate the composition of the court because that would be an unconstitutional infringement on Ukrainian sovereignty. Easy problem to solve: […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine four years after the Maidan” – Brookings/Steven Pifer

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

“… February 2014, following three months of demonstrations on Kyiv’s Maidan … (Independence Square) … Yanukovych fled … ultimately … to Russia. … February 22, 2014, Ukraine’s parliament appointed an acting president and acting prime minister … announc[ing] … intention[s] to press reforms and bring Ukraine closer to Europe. Four years later, Ukraine [is] in a low-intensity but still very […]

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Interfax: Situation in Donbas deteriorating – LPR

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

LUHANSK. Feb 14 (Interfax) – The Ukrainian Armed Forces fired almost 80 mortars and grenades at the territory of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) over the past 24 hours, Andrei Marochko, the spokesman for the LPR militia, said. “The situation in the zone of responsibility of the LPR militia has drastically deteriorated. The enemy attacked positions of our units […]

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Ukraine’s blacklists in defence of democracy and national security are doing it no favours; Fresh bans on Russian and Ukrainian cultural production are signs that Ukraine could be losing its hard-won freedom.

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

(opendemocracy.net – Kateryna Botanova – February 9, 2018) Kateryna Botanova is a critic and curator. She is founder and chief editor (2010-2015) of korydor, an online journal about contemporary culture, and cultural editor for Ukrainska pravda (2015-2016). She is the co-curator of CULTURESCAPES festival, Switzerland [Text with links opendemocracy.net/od-russia/kateryna-botanova/ukraines-blacklists-in-defence-of-democracy] In recent months, the wave of bans and blacklists in Ukraine’s […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine’s Top Spy Is Pleased With Trump; The president’s Putin-friendly noises don’t drown out the sounds of military aid and intelligence cooperation” – Bloomberg/Eli Lake

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

“… Trump reversed Obama[] … approving … sniper rifles [to Ukraine] [and] … Javelin anti-tank missiles. … part of the reason [Vasyl] Hrystak gives Trump high marks. … [Additionally] the Central Intelligence Agency and Hrystak’s service have been cooperating more closely than [under] Obama … [who] was reluctant to get directly involved in Russia’s proxy war with the Ukrainians. … […]

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NEWSLINK TRANSCRIPT: “Telephonic Press Briefing with Ambassador Volker, Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations” – U.S. Department of State

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

“Special Briefing, Brussels, Belgium, January 29, 2018 … Today we are pleased to be joined from New York by Ambassador Kurt Volker, the U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations. Ambassador Volker has recently returned from a trip to Ukraine and Dubai which included talks with his Russian counterpart Vladislav Surkov, so this is a very timely discussion. We thank you, Ambassador […]

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In Ukraine, Ultranationalist Militia Strikes Fear In Some Quarters

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Christopher Miller – KYIV, January 30, 2018) [Text with links https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-azov-right-wing-militia-to-patrol-kyiv/29008036.html] The gathering was large and formidable, with hundreds of mostly young men in fatigues keeping tight ranks on Kyiv’s central Independence Square before marching in formation to a torch-lit fortress on a hillside in the Ukrainian capital. There, […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The U.S. will send antitank weaponry to Ukraine. Here are 4 big questions” – Washington Post/Andrew S. Bowen

File Photo of Soldier Firing Javelin Shoulder-Mounted Anti-Tank Missile

“The Trump administration last week announced updated sanctions on Russian individuals and companies …. Since 2015, the conflict in eastern Ukraine has continued to simmer, with no apparent political solution on the horizon. The seizure of territory has largely ended, leaving both sides vexed at their failure to achieve their objectives. The U.S. decision in late 2017 to provide the […]

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NEWSWATCH: Kennan Cable No. 30: Democracy in Ukraine: Are We There Yet? [Excerpt]

Column in Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Matthew Rojansky, Mikhail Minakov – January 30, 2018) Rojansky is director of the Kennan Institute. Mikhail (Mykhailo) Minakov is the editor-in-chief of Focus Ukraine, [the] Kennan Institute’s Ukraine-focused blog. [Full text: wilsoncenter.org/publication/kennan-cable-no-30-democracy-ukraine-are-we-there-yet] Introduction More than a quarter century ago, the Ukrainian people made a historic choice in favor of independence, democracy, and the free market. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia and Ukraine: More similar than either wants to admit” – bne Intellinews/Anders Åslund

“… Russians see themselves as economically superior while Ukrainians cherish their freedom. Yet … economically the similarities are greater than the differences. Their current fundamental problem is their absence of real property rights. … Russia experienced an attempt at serious market economic reform from 1991-94 … avoid[ing] Ukraine’s … hyperinflation in 1993. While Russia’s situation was bad, Ukraine’s was far […]

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U.S. Envoy: Lack Of Political Will In Moscow Thwarting Ukraine Peace

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – KYIV, January 24, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/ukraine-volker-russia-willingness-end-conflict/28994196.html) The U.S. special envoy for Ukraine said the country’s new law on reintegrating its conflict-torn regions has “regularized” the country’s military operation against Russia-backed separatists, but doesn’t change anything on the ground. In an interview on January 24 with RFE/RL’s Ukrainian […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-18 :: Thursday, 25 January 2018

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2018-#18 Thursday, 25 January 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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Interfax: OSCE concerned by rise in Donbas shelling after New Year lull

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

DONETSK. Jan 23 (Interfax) – The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has recorded an increase in ceasefire violations in Donbas after some lull over the New Year holiday period, Alexander Hug, Alexander Hug, first deputy head of the OSCe Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (OSCE SMM), said. During the holiday period, the OSCE registered a minor decrease […]

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Kyiv Rebrands Its War In The East

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Christopher Miller – KYIV, January 19, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/ukraine-russia-fighting-donbas-rebranding-ato-/28985423.html) Ukraine’s “antiterrorist operation” is officially over. But since the fight against Russia-backed separatists that most Ukrainians know as the “ATO” grinds on, what is still up for debate is: under what name? With the passage of a contentious […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine passes bill to get occupied regions back from Russia” – AP

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

“Ukraine’s parliament … passed a bill to reintegrate the country’s eastern territories … currently controlled by Russia-backed separatists … supporting taking them back by military force if necessary.  The bill describes the areas in Ukraine’s … Donetsk and Luhansk regions as ‘temporarily occupied’ by ‘aggressor country’ Russia. … Poroshenko welcomed the new bill, saying it would help restore control of […]

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Interfax: Ukrainian bill on Donbas reintegration puts an end to Minsk Agreements – Kosachyov

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

MOSCOW. Jan 18 (Interfax) – The Ukrainian bill on the reintegration of Donbas puts an end to the Minsk Agreements, and Germany and France should evaluate the act accordingly, Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee head Konstantin Kosachyov said on Thursday. “By adopting the odious bill on Donbas reintegration, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada essentially put an end to the Minsk Agreements [the […]

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NEWSLINK: “From Siberia to Crimea: The Revenge of History in U.S.-Russian Relations; One is tempted to conclude that the Washington foreign-policy establishment has learned little over the past century” – The National Interest/ Lyle J. Goldstein

Balaklava harbour, the cattle pier, Crimea, Ukraine, 1855; adapted from image at loc.gov; Fenton, Roger, 1819-1869, photographer;

“… What were more than 7,000 ‘doughboys’ doing in Siberia at the end of the First World War? To make a long and complex story-explored in detail by such luminaries as George Kennan-a bit shorter, the intervention by a large group of allied powers was not simply anti-Bolshevik, but was premised at the outset as a wartime operation to prevent […]

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Cut Off: What Does the Economic Blockade of the Separatist Territories Mean for Ukraine?

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

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Brian Milakovsky – January 9, 2018) Brian Milakovsky works on economic recovery issues at a humanitarian organization in Luhanska Oblast, Ukraine . He has been in Ukraine or Russia since 2009, working in both the ecological and humanitarian sectors [Text with links kennan-focusukraine.org/cut-off-what-does-the-economic-blockade-of-the-separatist-territories-mean-for-ukraine/] Ten months have passed since Ukraine imposed a full economic blockade of […]

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A Question Of War: Ukrainian Journalist Gears Up (Again) For Putin’s Big Presser

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

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, December 13, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-annual-press-conference-ukrainian-journalist-war-questions/28914154.html) In a sea of more than a thousand journalists jostling for attention, Roman Tsymbalyuk will be holding a black-and-white “Ukraine” placard. His aim is to catch Vladimir Putin’s eye during the Russian president’s marathon annual press conference on […]

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Saakashvili Tells Protesters In Kyiv He Is Ready To Become Ukraine’s Prime Minister

Mikheil Saakashvili file photo

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – November 20, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/saakashvili-ukraine-russia-georgia-kyiv-poroshenko-georgia/28863506.html) Mikheil Saakashvili, the former governor of Ukraine’s Odesa region, told a protest rally in Kyiv that he is ready to “create a new government of Ukraine” and to become the country’s prime minister. “Ukraine needs an urgent formation of a new government,” […]

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Putin Speaks Directly To Separatist Leaders, Presses Prisoner Swap

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

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – November 15, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-ukraine-prisoner-swap-medvedchuk-separatists/28856131.html) Russian President Vladimir Putin has told leaders of Moscow-backed separatists in Ukraine’s eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk that he favors a plan for a prisoner swap with Kyiv, in a rare acknowledgement of direct contact with the separatist forces. Russian state-run […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Vladimir Putin supported Viktor Medvedchuk’s proposed prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Donetsk and Lugansk republics” – KremlinRu

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

(Kremlin.ru – November 15, 2017) During Vladimir Putin’s visit to the Voskresensky New Jerusalem Monastery, Viktor Medvedchuk, the leader of the Ukrainian Choice – People’s Right movement, sought the Russian President’s support for his proposed prisoner exchange between Ukraine and the Donetsk and Lugansk republics. Leader of the Ukrainian Choice – People’s Right movement Viktor Medvedchuk: Mr President, may I […]

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U.S., Russia Envoys Differ On Peace And Peacekeepers In Eastern Ukraine

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

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – November 14, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/volker-surkov-meeting-ukraine-u-s-russia/28853193.html) After talks on the conflict in eastern Ukraine, U.S. and Russian envoys say their countries have “different concepts for how to make peace” but will continue to work to achieve that goal. “Both sides agreed to reflect on the discussions … and […]

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NEWSWATCH: “U.S. to Seek Russian Approval for Peacekeepers in Eastern Ukraine; U.S., Western officials hope Putin is seeking a way out of separatist conflict” – Wall Street Journal/ Laurence Norman, Julian E. Barnes

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

“U.S. officials are preparing to test Moscow’s willingness to end the Ukraine conflict by seeking Russia’s approval for 20,000 peacekeepers across Ukraine’s embattled east, U.S. and Western officials said. … driven by hopes in some Western capitals, including Paris and Berlin, that … Putin is seeking a way out of Moscow’s military support to Ukrainian separatists. * * * … U.S. officials […]

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NEWSLINK: “The reality of neo-Nazis in Ukraine is far from Kremlin propaganda” – The Hill/ Lev Golinkin

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

“… The most infamous neo-Nazi group in Ukraine is the 3,000-strong Azov Battalion, founded in 2014. Prior to creating Azov, its commander, Andriy Biletsky, headed the neo-Nazi group Patriot of Ukraine, members of which went on to form the core of Azov. Biletsky had stated that the mission of Ukraine is to ‘lead the White Races of the world in […]

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Less Than Half of Russians Surveyed Back Kremlin Support for Ukraine Separatists

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 30, 2017) Forty-one percent of surveyed Russians believe Moscow should support separatists in Ukraine’s Donbass region, according to a new poll published by the independent Levada Center. Moscow has been accused of supporting pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine since then-president Viktor Yanukovych was toppled in February 2014. The ensuing conflict between Kiev and separatists […]

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NEWSLINK: “A tale of two revolutions, or ‘decommunisation’, Ukrainian-style; Ukrainian politicians see their country’s Soviet heritage as a major obstacle on the way to abrave new world. It’s a shame they’re using the same revolutionary methods as the communists to deal with it.” – OpenDemocracy/ Sergey Rumyantsev

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NEWSLINK: “From free info exchange to Kremlin tool; Russia’s homegrown Web; The Soviet Union had a working Internet surprisingly early, and its isolation and highly educated users have kept it separate even in a well-connected world.” – Le Monde Diplomatique/ Kevin Limonier

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“The Ukrainian government blocked access to a number of Russian online services this May, including search engine Yandex and Facebook equivalent VKontakte. Kiev accuses these services, widely used in Ukraine, of sharing data with Russian intelligence, especially the personal data of soldiers fighting separatists in the Donbass region. This measure stopped millions from accessing their favourite sites, and showed the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Senate approves $500 million military aid, lethal weapons for Ukraine”

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

“The … Senate passed … the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, authorizing the provision to Ukraine of $500 million worth of military aid, including lethal defensive weapons. … approved 89 to 8 votes, [the bill] will now go to the president’s desk … [it passed] the House … on July 14. * * * The executive summary … [says] that half of the $500 million … will be withheld until […]

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How a Former Governor Invaded Ukraine; The failure of President Petro Poroshenko to keep a political rival out of the country speaks volumes.

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – September 11, 2017) Leonid Bershidsky is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru. On Sunday night, supporters of Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Georgian president, broke through a police and border guard cordon on the Ukrainian border to let their […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Vladimir Putin’s news conference following BRICS Summit”- KremlinRu

File Photo of Flags of BRICS Nations and BRICS Logo from Past Summit

(Kremlin.ru – September 5, 2017) Vladimir Putin answered Russian journalists’ questions following his visit to China to take part in the BRICS Summit. Vladimir Putin summed up the results of the BRICS Summit and his talks with foreign leaders on the Summit’s sidelines, and shared his perspective on pressing international issues. Transcript of the news conference for Russian journalists President […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Marking time” – Kyiv Post Editorial [re: Ukraine]

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

“… Ukraine celebrates the 26th year of its independence …. in the Donbas, Russia’s war on Ukraine is a deadly stalemate …. in Minsk, peace talks to end the Kremlin’s military intervention and restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity are going round in circles …. In Kyiv, it’s politics as usual … with a powerful president lording over … an oligarchical system. The reform […]

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NEWSLINK: “The 10 worst cities to live in the world in 2017” – Business Insider/ Rosie Fitzmaurice

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“… 10. Kiev, Ukraine – 47.8/100 points. The capital of Kiev saw the biggest decline in terms of liveability – 21.4 points – of all 140 cities surveyed. It is the also the only European city in the 12 that scored below 50 points. The city is still in a recovery that remains under threat from unrest, economic instability, and […]

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Interfax: Contact Group to support ‘school truce’ in eastern Ukraine on occasion of new school year’s beginning – Gryzlov

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

MINSK. Aug 23 (Interfax) – The Trilateral Contact Group may declare a truce in eastern Ukraine at its meeting on Wednesday so that a new school year could begin without incident, Russian representative to the group Boris Gryzlov said. “A school truce should be put into place at today’s meeting of the Contact Group for the sake of security of […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Tavrida National Youth Educational Forum – KremlinRu

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

(Kremlin.ru – August 21, 2017) During his working trip to the Republic of Crimea, Vladimir Putin attended the Tavrida National Youth Educational Forum. The President was introduced to thematic exhibitions of various creative teams, photo artists, architects and urban designers. The President spoke in an informal setting with both organisers and participants of the annual forum. The Tavrida National Youth […]

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Interfax: Donbas conflict sides trade truce breach accusations

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

LUHANSK/KYIV. Aug 11 (Interfax) – The Ukrainian armed forces have launched seven shelling attacks on the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) in the past 24 hours, the LPR militia told Interfax. “The Ukrainian armed forces have violated the truce seven times in the past 24 hours, using 120mm and 82mm mortars, infantry fighting vehicles, anti-tank grenade launchers, automatic grenade launchers, […]

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Growing up apolitical in Ukraine’s war zone; War, propaganda and misunderstanding – teenagers in Ukraine’s frontline towns are growing up under incredible stress.

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

(opendemocracy.net – Isobel Koshiw, Anastasia Vlasova – July 31, 2017) Isobel Koshiw is a freelance journalist based in Ukraine covering the war, politics and business. Anastasia Vlasova is a Ukrainian photojournalist based in Kyiv. She covers different aspects of Russia’s war in eastern Ukraine. Her story Homeland in Exile is part of the Magnum Foundation’s group project What Works and […]

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Interfax: Ukraine’s western partners to decide next steps on Donbas settlement based on Volker’s trip results

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

KYIV. July 24 (Interfax) – United States Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker has told Ukrainian parliamentarians that the results of his trip to Donbas will be reflected in western partners’ decision on further steps towards peaceful settlement. At the start of their meeting Volker, who had just returned from the armed conflict zone in Donbas, shared his impressions […]

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U.S. should be more involved in settlement of crisis in eastern Ukraine – Department of State

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

KYIV. July 23 (Interfax) – Washington wants to be more involved in the settlement of a crisis in eastern Ukraine, United States State Department’s Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker said. Volker said at a press conference in Kramatorsk on Sunday that the U.S. saw how this conflict had begun and understood how it had been managed now. He […]

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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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