JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Orthodox Church a ‘national security threat’ to Ukraine, says president; Petro Poroshenko said the Russian church was separated from the state ‘only on paper.'” – PoliticoEU/KAIT BOLONGARO

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

“… At a ceremony marking [Ukraine’s] conversion to Christianity 1,030 years ago … [Poroshenko] said that the Russian [Orthodox] [C]hurch’s sway among Ukrainian believers is a ‘direct threat to the national security of Ukraine.’ … ‘this obliges us to act.’ There are two branches of the Orthodox Church active in Ukraine: the Russian church and its Ukrainian cousin. The former, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Don’t forget Ukraine’s rural Donbas; War has taken its toll on rural areas under Ukrainian government control in Luhansk region. There’s little sign of relief or policy.” [Excerpt] – OpenDemocracy.net/Brian Milakovsky

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

“The armed conflict in Ukraine’s Donbas has divided the region into government- and separatist-controlled areas. In Luhansk Oblast, the frontline for most of its length is the Siversky Donets River, which is also a historical dividing line. To the south is the coal-rich Donets Upland, the ‘true Donbas’ that was largely unsettled before industrial development in the 19th century. Today […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin Tells Diplomats He Made Trump a New Offer on Ukraine at Their Summit” – Bloomberg/Ilya Arkhipov

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

“… Putin told Russian diplomats that he made a proposal to … Trump at their summit … to hold a referendum to help resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine …. White House officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. … Leaders of so-called people’s republics in Donetsk and Luhansk held referendums in May 2014 that declared independence. The votes […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Almost half of Ukrainians against land, pension reforms, privatization of state-owned firms – poll” – Interfax

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

KYIV. July 10 (Interfax) – Almost every second (49%) Ukrainian respondent is opposed to the land reform, or rather the cancellation of the existing moratorium on the sales of rural land, and does not support the privatization of public enterprises (47%) and the pension reform (46%), a poll conducted by GfK Ukraine and Qand Q Research suggests. According to the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine’s army advances slowly at Russian front” – Kyiv Post/Illia Ponomarenko, Volodymyr Petrov

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

“For the Ukrainian military, this heavy strike by Russian-led forces, who hold ground just three kilometers to the south, came as no surprise. Despite dozens of cease-fires having been agreed at the negotiating table in Minsk (the latest one was supposed to start on July 1), the relentless stalemated warfare in the Donbas still drags on, with exchanges of fire […]

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Ukraine’s ‘Creeping Advances’: A Win-Win Tactic? For more than two years Ukraine has been quietly “de-occupying” a grey zone between its troops and Russian-backed separatists. No matter how Russia and the West respond, Ukraine’s leadership stands to benefit.

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Huseyn Aliyev – July 5, 2018 – https://www.russiamatters.org/blog/ukraines-creeping-advances-win-win-tactic) Soon after the start of Russia’s official military involvement in Syria, another army, hundreds of miles away, ramped up its activity: Ukraine’s armed forces became emboldened in their war with separatists in the east. Under the radar, they have been retaking control of a narrow strip of contested, […]

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NEWSLINK: “Savchenko kept in individual cell, has ceased hunger strike” – UNIAN (Kyiv)

Nadiya Savchenko file photo, adapted from image at osce.usmission.gov

“Tetiana Protorchenko, the press secretary of Ukrainian Member of Parliament Nadiia Savchenko, who has been arrested on charges of plotting a coup, has said the lawmaker is kept in a single confinement cell of a detention center. ‘Nadiia is in an individual cell, she takes a shower once a week. She ceased her hunger strike two weeks ago for taking […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine president looses public support, poll says” – bne Intellinews

“[With Ukraine scheduling a presidential election for March 2019,] … Poroshenko … popularity [is declining], according to … [a] Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) [poll]. … Yulia Tymoshenko … [has] 22.8% support among decided voters. … followed by former defence minister Anatoliy Grytsenko (16%), populist Oleh Lyashko (13.2%), pro-Russian opposition leader Yuriy Boyko (10.6%) and Petro Poroshenko (10.5%). * […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Cessation of hostilities in Donbas Ukrainians’ biggest expectation from next president – poll” – Interfax

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

KYIV. June 26 (Interfax) – A cessation of fighting in eastern Ukraine is the prevailing requirement of the country’s citizens for the next president of Ukraine, being backed by 63% of respondents in a poll conducted by the Rating sociological group on June 14-24. Forty-nine per cent are expecting more efforts to fight corruption, 40% want a revival of manufacturing, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “An outrageous penalty; As the World Cup begins, Russia should free Oleg Sentsov; A film-maker locked up for protesting against the annexation of Crimea is on hunger strike” – The Economist Editorial

Oleg Sentsov file photo, adapated from image at csce.gov

“… Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian film director serving a 20-year sentence … in Siberia. … was jailed for protesting against … Putin’s illegal annexation of Crimea and the war Russia’s president unleashed in eastern Ukraine …. Sentsov started a hunger strike demanding the release of all 64 Ukrainian political prisoners from Russian jails. The … World Cup … June 14th […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin says he’s making Russia great again. In reality, it’s crumbling; The country has been bolstered by European disunity but that obscures a multitude of ills” – The Spectator (UK)/Owen Matthews

Kremlin and River

“[Despite the World Cup and] … patriotic hype over grand multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects like a new bridge to Crimea and shiny stadiums, Russia is crumbling. … [Russia’s own statistics indicate] 68,100 schools in 2000; 41,100 now. … 10,700 hospitals [when Putin took power, now reduced to] 5,400. … living space declared unfit for habitation has more than doubled … […]

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NEWSLINK: “A political prisoner in Russia is starving. The world should take notice” – Washington Post Editorial

Oleg Sentsov file photo, adapated from image at csce.gov

“Four years after Russia invaded and illegally annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine … a courageous activist and filmmaker named Oleg Sentsov … imprisoned in a Siberian penal colony above the Arctic Circle, embarked on a hunger strike to demand the release of 64 Ukrainian political prisoners held by Russia … his health has seriously deteriorated … he has lost […]

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Reporter’s Notebook: After A ‘Death’ And ‘Resurrection’ In Kyiv, Confusion And A Desire For Answers

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Christopher Miller – KYIV, June 1, 2018 – article also appeared at rferl.org/a/reporters-notebook-after-death-and-resurrection-in-kyiv-confusion-and-desire-for-answers/29266391.html) The news arrived with a soft ping that hit like a ton of bricks: “Arkady was just killed.” Dozens of members of a Facebook Messenger group for journalists in Ukraine and Russia understood at once it […]

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NEWSLINK: “Who Killed the Kiev Protesters? A 3-D Model Holds the Clues. A team of civilian investigators used cellphone videos, autopsy reports and surveillance footage to reconstruct a virtual crime scene.” – New York Times Magazine/Mattathias Schwartz

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“… Most of the deaths occurred within half an hour along a few hundred feet of streetscape. The scene unfolded before dozens of cameramen, smartphones and security cameras. But these recorded fragments from the day were overshadowed by a fight over what they really showed: The claims of grief-stricken activists, who blamed the Ukrainian paramilitary for shooting the protesters, collided […]

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NEWSLINK: “Babchenko’s Death and Russia’s Dark Power; Russia has adopted a policy of blessing freelance murders carried out in its name” – Moscow Times/Mark Galeotti

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“Editor’s note: Since the publication of this article, Arkady Babchenko has appeared at a press conference in Kiev, and said his ‘murder’ was part of a sting operation. … Another dead critic of the Kremlin. Another round of knee-jerk accusations and denials. Another funeral.  Does the Putin regime murder its enemies as a matter of policy, does it simply create […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Nationalist Radicalization Trends in Post-Euromaidan Ukraine [Excerpt]” – PONARS Eurasia/Volodymyr Ishchenko

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

Volodymyr Ishchenko is a lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. (PONARS Policy Memo) Ukraine today faces a vicious circle of nationalist radicalization involving mutual reinforcement between far-right groups and the dominant oligarchic pyramids. This has significantly contributed to a post-Euromaidan domestic politics that is not unifying the country but creating divisiveness and damaging Ukrainian relations […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine should blow up Putin’s Crimea bridge” – Washington Examiner/Tom Rogan

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

“… Ukraine should now destroy elements of the bridge. While that course of action would be an escalation against Putin and … almost certainly spark Russian retaliation, this bridge is an outrageous affront to Ukraine’s very credibility as a nation. … from Putin’s perspective that’s the whole point. The bridge cost Russia’s near-bankrupt government billions of dollars, but it offers […]

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RUSSIALINK: “U.S. magazine’s call for bombing of Crimean Bridge reflects opinion of part of U.S. political elite – Aksyonov” – Interfax

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

SIMFEROPOL. May 17 (Interfax) – The article published in a U.S. weekly calling for the bombing of the Crimean Bridge is a reflection of the opinion of the U.S. political elite, Sergei Aksyonov, the head of Crimea, said. “Essentially, the U.S. media outlet is disseminating calls for terrorist activities under the guise of freedom of speech. Unfortunately, it is not […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Opening of Crimean Bridge motorway section” – KremlinRu

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

(Kremlin.ru – May 15, 2018) Vladimir Putin took part in the opening ceremony of the Crimean Bridge motorway section and drove the lead vehicle of the construction equipment convoy. Vladimir Putin visited the Consolidated Traffic Management Centre and heard reports on the readiness of utility teams to operate the transport route across the Kerch Strait. The head of state also […]

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NEWSLINK: “U.S. trains troops for front line in ‘hybrid war’ with Russia” – CBS

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

“… The U.S. is supporting its ally Ukraine in a war against Russian-backed militants. The rebels have seized swathes of territory in eastern Ukraine since 2014, in a conflict that’s killed 10,000 people by some counts. … Ukraine says thousands of Russians are fighting in the east, alongside the rebels. Moscow has repeatedly denied it’s involved in the conflict ….”

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A frontline factory, an embattled oligarch and Ukraine’s industrial drift; For the future of this chemical plant in eastern Ukraine, trade policy with Russia looms large.

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

(opendemocracy.net – Brian Milakovsky – May 2, 2018) Brian Milakovsky lives in eastern Ukraine where he works on post-conflict economic recovery. He has worked on ecological and humanitarian issues in Ukraine and Russia since 2009. [Text with links opendemocracy.net/od-russia/brian-milakovsky/a-frontline-factory] The enormous Azot chemical plant looms on the outskirts of Severodonetsk, a factory town of 110,000 in eastern Ukraine. Severodonetsk became […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Defying Russia, Trump provides Javelin anti-tank busters to Ukraine” – Financial Times/Roman Olearchyk

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

“The U.S. has delivered …Javelin anti-tank busters to Ukraine … the first provision of lethal weaponry to Kiev despite warnings from Moscow …. [T]he handheld fire-and-forget precision Javelin systems stand to help Ukraine’s army repel future attacks by Russian-backed militants who seized control over Far Eastern breakaway regions in 2014 after Moscow occupied Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. U.S. and Ukrainian officials […]

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A Military Coup Against Putin Although Unlikely Cannot Now be Excluded, Felgengauer Says

Russian Soldiers Marching

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 28, 2018) Tensions within the Russian political elite are now higher than at any point in years, Pavel Felgengauer says; and as a result, he “does not exclude even a military coup in Russia. This perhaps is an extremely low probability scenario, but one must not exclude it completely.” Felgengauer, one […]

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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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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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