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@Fu-kingPutin; The rhetoric of hatred describing the situation in Ukraine misses the point – Ukraine has problems that are not derived from Russia or the Putin presidency

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Seated at Desk

(opendemocracy.net - David Marples - August 22, 2014) David Marples is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of History and Classics, University of Alberta, Canada. For summer 2014 he is Visiting Professor at the Slavic and Eurasian Research Center, Hokkaido University, Japan. [DJ: Just to clarify: One word in this article has been tweaked so that spam

Opposition Must Admit Most Russians Were Deceived about What 1991 Meant, Eidman Says

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 20, 2014) “It is time to acknowledge the responsibility of the successful minority before the 90 percent of [Russian] citizens, whose hopes for a better future were deceived” following the collapse of the Soviet system, and for that minority to make changes “in the interests of

Interfax: Poll: Russians say Aug 1991 events are tragedy, not triumph of democracy

File Photo of Parliament Building Billowing Smoke in 1993

(Interfax – August 19, 2014) A relative majority of Russians (41 percent) see the August 19, 1991, putsch in the former Soviet Union as a tragedy which had harmful implications for the country and its people. The number has grown 14 percent in the past 20 years, from 27 percent in 1994, the Levada Center

RIA Novosti: Russian experts speculate on why prime minister’s Twitter account was hacked

File Photo Dmitry Medvedev at Desk with Laptop Computer

(RIA Novosti – August 14, 2014) Moscow, 14 August: Russian Prime Minister Dmitriy Medvedev’s Twitter account [https://twitter.com/MedvedevRussia], which was hacked on Thursday [14 August], may have been hacked in response to the law that imposes stricter liability on bloggers and the partial ban on anonymous access to the Internet via [public] wi-fi networks, or because

Russian Lawmaker: ‘Thin Line’ Keeps Russia, Ukraine From All-Out War

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 14, 2014) Only a “thin line” separates Russia and Ukraine from going to war, a pro-Kremlin lawmaker said, arguing that Moscow has been careful in its policies to avoid tipping the scale and that Kiev should demonstrate more restraint. The head of the federal parliament’s International Affairs Committee, Alexei

Crimean Boost For Putin’s Ratings Expected to Fade by Year’s End

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – August 14, 2014) As President Vladimir Putin touched down in the Crimean city of Sevastopol on Wednesday, a poll revealed that his support among voters has almost doubled since January, largely due to the Kremlin’s policies in Crimea and Ukraine, analysts said. The turmoil in Ukraine and

Interfax: Russian top MP says Ukraine to harm itself with sanctions against Moscow

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, August 13, 2014) By shelling Russian territory, Ukraine would like to provoke a prolonged conflict with it and Russia’s response should be extremely careful, head of the Russian State Duma International Affairs Committee Aleksey Pushkov (One Russia faction) has said. “Our actions must be extremely level-headed. After all this could entail a

Interfax: Some 82 percent of Russians ready to support Putin in next election – poll

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking At All-Russia Popular Front Gathering

(Interfax – August 13, 2014) The election rating of Vladimir Putin has practically doubled since the beginning of the year and he would have won a convincing victory if the next presidential election were held next Sunday, Levada Center sociologists told Interfax. Some 52 percent of the respondents who intend to cast their ballots mentioned

Interfax: Russians certain Putin assisting in peaceful resolution in Ukraine – poll

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

MOSCOW. Aug 13 (Interfax) – A total of 63% of Russian citizens believe that actions and statements by Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding the situation in Ukraine assist in the peaceful resolution of the conflict, the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) said citing a poll held. This stance is mostly shared by residents of

RIA Novosti: No Grounds for Food Price Hikes in Russia – Deputy Prime Minister

Arkady Dvorkovich file photo

MOSCOW, August 13 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said Wednesday that a possible food shortage and a resulting imbalance in food prices that could occur in the country’s westernmost exclave could easily be compensated by Belarus. “There is a case in particular [of price imbalance] and that’s the Kaliningrad region, which

In Russia, Iron Curtain Falls Not at the End of the Play But Much Earlier, Moscow Sociologist Says

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 12, 2014) Aleksey Levinson, a Levada Center sociologist, says that iron curtains like the one now being erected around Russia are a political strategy that reflects weakness rather than strength and that its appearance is not the end of the story but somewhere much earlier. In

Russia’s Boom Business: Forced Labor In Prisons

File Photo of Pussy Riot Members in Courtroom Enclosure, With Man Showing Papers to One While Female Guard Looks On

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Vladimir Abarinov – August 11, 2014) When Nadezhda Tolokonnikova arrived at penal colony IK-14 in August 2012, a deputy warden proudly announced: “As far as my political convictions go, I am a Stalinist.” Tolokonnikova soon learned what that meant in practice. One year into her sentence for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred,” the Pussy Riot

Kremlin Undergoing Major Renovation to Lure Tourists

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – August 12, 2014) The Kremlin’s historic building complex in the heart of Moscow is undergoing a series of changes to make it more accessible to tourists, and the presidential administration’s unused offices may be torn down to restore the world heritage site’s “historic look.” Most of the

One in Ten Russians Want to Leave Their Country

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 12, 2014) About one in every 10 Russians wants to emigrate from the country, a recent poll has shown, and while few seem to be actively pursuing their wish, the number is significant because it represents mostly young and educated professionals. Among those who said they wanted to leave

Business New Europe: Putin plays peacemaker in South Caucasus

Map of Azerbaijan and South Caucasus Environs Including Portions of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Iran, Caspian Sea

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – August 11, 2014) While the world’s attention is focused on the fighting in Iraq and Ukraine, a threatened resurgence of the long frozen conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh looks to have been averted. Following several small-scale clashes around the separatist republic in recent weeks, the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed

Daching: How to Get Beaten Up in the Russian Countryside

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko – August 11, 2014) Many extreme sports, from snowboarding to air racing, are known health hazards. But only one can lead to indiscriminate beating, allegations of terrorism, jail and even self-imposed exile – and all you need to do is take a stroll through supposedly public land. Dozens

After Putin, Russia Will Be Either Fascist or Federalized, Ukrainian Analyst Says

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 10, 2014) Ever more people around the world want Vladimir Putin to leave the scene but very few have asked themselves what Russia will be like after his departure. One who has, Sergey Klimovsky, suggests that Russia will either be a fascist state even worse than

World War on Russia’s Mind When U.S. Duels Over Ukraine

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas – August 8, 2014) From his perch as Vladimir Putin’s adviser for building ties with fellow former Soviet republics, Sergei Glazyev perceives the world shifting to a war footing. There’s a war waged against Russia with economic sanctions and military conflicts roiling Ukraine to Iraq, according to Glazyev, 53,

Putin has Turned the Clock Back to July 1938, Felshtinsky Says

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 7, 2014) During the Cold War, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists rated the level of danger of a nuclear war in terms of the number of minutes the clock was running before midnight. Now, Russian historian Yury Feltshtinsky has told a Polish newspaper that Vladimir

Putinism Resembles ‘a Fascist Dictatorship,’ Eidman Says

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Seated at Desk

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 8, 2014) Putinism, Igor Eidman says, is “a combination of the practice and ideology of the authoritarian regime of Putin, which operates on a corrupt bureaucratic oligarchy and is in many respects close to a fascist dictatorship,” with its “aggressive annexationist foreign policy, state-monopoly capitalism, force

RIA Novosti: Russia’s Food Embargo ‘Smart’ Response to Western Sanctions – U.S. Economist

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

WASHINGTON, August 7 (RIA Novosti), Lyudmila Chernova – Russia’s food embargo is a smart move on Moscow’s part that is set to show the United States and its allies that Russia is not going to give in to Western pressure, an American economist and co-director of a US-based research center told RIA Novosti Thursday. “It

Putin’s Approval Rating Soars to 87%, Poll Says

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 7, 2014) President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating has reached a record high of 87 percent, according to the results of a survey published Wednesday by the independent Levada Center pollster. In May, Putin enjoyed an approval rating of 83 percent, its highest since 2008, according to major U.S. pollster

RIA Novosti: Russian Lawmaker [Pushkov] Bashes US Media as ‘State Department Spin-Offs’

Alexei Pushkov file photo

MOSCOW, August 6 (RIA Novosti) – Alexei Pushkov, a senior Russian lawmaker and chairman of the State Duma foreign affairs committee, on Wednesday lambasted American media outlets, saying the fifth pillar of US democracy has devolved into a State Department spin-off. “The US media are dead. Now they are just subdivisions of the US State

Interfax: Russian rights ombudsman urges Kiev to set up humanitarian corridor

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Interfax – Moscow, August 5, 2014) Russian human rights ombudsman Ella Pamfilova has recommended to Ukrainian journalists to turn attention to the creation of a humanitarian corridor for Ukrainian servicemen and said she expects Kiev to open corridors to evacuate sick children, who are staying in the zone of the armed conflict in the southeast

Moscow Times: Twitter Users Mock West With #BlamePutin Hashtag

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 4, 2014) With tensions between Russia and many Western countries mounting, some people think that Russian President Vladimir Putin is being unfairly painted in a bad light. In fact, they feel so strongly about this that they have come up with their own Twitter hashtag to make their case.

No Palace Coup in Sight for Russia

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – August 5, 2014) When the U.S. government announced its first round of sanctions against President Vladimir Putin’s friends over the Ukraine conflict in May, it made no bones about their aim: Increase the cost for them of Putin continuing his course and they will influence him to

The collapse of the Soviet Union: What was it — the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century or simply a major disaster?

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

Subject: The collapse of the Soviet Union: What was it — the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century or simply a major disaster? [Adomeit's second note] Date: Sun, 03 Aug 2014 From: Hannes Adomeit (hannes.adomeit@t-online.de) The collapse of the Soviet Union: What was it — the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century or

AW: 2014-#166-Johnson’s Russia List [Adomeit's first note][re: editorial policies, Putin, Soviet collapse, translation]

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

Subject: AW: 2014-#166-Johnson’s Russia List [Adomeit's first note] Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 From: Hannes Adomeit (hannes.adomeit@t-online.de) From a senior German Russia expert: I completely agree with the observation expressed in yesterday’s issue of the senior U.S. official and the senior U.S. academic about JRL’s loss of impartiality. The bias is also amply reflected in

language, again [re: Putin and Soviet collapse, translation]

Vladimir Putin file photo

Subject: language, again Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 From: Harley D. Balzer <balzerh@georgetown.edu> Patrick Armstrong issued a major attack on Aslund’s characterization of Putin’s comment about the destruction of the Soviet Union. He states: So it is now perhaps time to see what it was that Putin actually said. Here it is: first in Russian,

“Krupneyshaya katastrofa” translation

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

Subject: “Krupneyshaya katastrofa” translation Date: Sat, 2 Aug 2014 From: Serge Markov <semar1@comcast.net> On the matter of Putin’s 2005 characterization of the fall of the Soviet Union, any educated native Russian speaker will tell you that krupneyshaya katastrofa can be rendered either as “a major” or as “the greatest catastrophe” depending on context. Methinks the

Debate over Putin quote on the Soviet collapse

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

Subject: Debate over Putin quote on the Soviet collapse Date: Fri, 01 Aug 2014 17:29:30 -0400 From: Steve Shabad <steve.shabad@verizon.net> As a Russian-English translator for my entire adult life (almost half a century), I feel compelled to weigh in on the debate between Anders Aslund and Patrick Armstrong over the famous Putin quote on the

Twelve percent of Russians want to leave Russia but only 4 percent consider it doable – poll

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Interfax – August 4, 2014) Twenty per cent of Russians think that the number of people leaving forever will grow in the coming years, 24 percent are certain it will decrease, and 56 percent failed to respond, the survey showed. When asked why fellow citizens leave Russia, 9 percent said “in search of better life

How Nationalism Came to Dominate Russia’s Political Mainstream

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – August 4, 2014) President Vladimir Putin’s decision to annex Crimea and his treatment of the eastern Ukrainian insurgency have rallied nationalist support and altered Russia’s political landscape, politicians and analysts told The Moscow Times. The ongoing political crisis between Russia and the West over the armed conflict

Law Requiring Bloggers to Register as Mass Media Comes Into Force

File Photo of Little Girl at Computer Next to Globe

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – August 1, 2014) A law requiring popular bloggers to register as mass media took effect Friday, tightening government control over the country’s influential online voices but leaving some uncertainty as to how strict the immediate scrutiny will become. In accordance with the new law, any blog that

[Patrick Armstrong: re: Putin, Soviet Geopolitical Disaster:] DEADLY QUOTATIONS PART 2

Vladimir Putin file photo

From: Patrick Armstrong (gpa@magma.ca) Sent: Fri, 01 Aug 2014 Subject: DEADLY QUOTATIONS PART 2 A number of people have challenged my (and the official Kremlin translators’) choice of “a major” for “krupneyshey” in Putin’s famous sentence “Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century.” I stand by

[Anders Åslund: re: Putin, Soviet Geopolitical Disaster:] RE: 2014-#166-Johnson’s Russia List/Patrick Armstrong

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

Subject: RE: 2014-#166-Johnson’s Russia List/Patrick Armstrong Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 19:31:4 From: Anders Aslund <AAslund@PIIE.COM> Dear David, Absurdly, Patrick Armstrong attacks me (JRL 166 #6) for translating Putin’s words “крушение Советского Союза было крупнейшей геополитической катастрофой века” with the words “the collapse of the Soviet Union was the biggest geopolitical disaster of the century.”

Putin’s ‘Russian Spring’ Idea was Invented by Russian Fascists in 1920s

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, July 30, 2014) Commentators in Moscow and the West ever more frequently draw parallels between Vladimir Putin’s ideas and actions and those of fascist regimes in the first part of the 20th century, but few have focused on the fact that one of the Kremlin leader’s most-cherished

Russian History Provides Five Lessons for Liberals in Illiberal Times, Makarkin Says

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, July 26, 2014) Russian liberals have lived through many periods of illiberal governance in the past, have devised various strategies to cope because the repressive regimes have been so different, but have managed to survive and see their country change course at least for a time in

Ukraine Claims Rebels Wanted Phosphorus Bombs

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 23, 2014) Ukraine’s Interior Ministry on Tuesday accused the pro-Russian insurgency of attempting to procure white phosphorus ammunition, whose use is limited by international agreements. The ministry cited intercepted conversations between the insurgents, who allegedly spoke about obtaining phosphorus missiles for Grad missile launchers at their disposal. The rebels

Interfax: Putin vows to avoid clampdown in fight against radicalism

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Interfax – July 22, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed that the fight against radicalism in Russia will not result in a state clampdown on civil society and said he expects the Russian public to help prevent one, Russian privately-owned news agency Interfax reported on 22 July. Putin made the statements at a meeting

Interfax: Putin says Ukrainian “scenario” won’t happen in Russia

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Interfax – July 22, 2014) The “scenario” that has been used in Ukraine by “external” forces will not happen in Russia, President Vladimir Putin has said. He made these remarks at a meeting with the Russian Security Council, as reported by privately-owned news agency Interfax. Speaking about the so-called “colour revolutions” and in particular Ukraine,

Interfax: Ukrainian Security Service keeps recordings of tower conversations with Malaysian Boeing – source

MOSCOW. July 23 (Interfax) – Recordings of conversations between Ukrainian air traffic controllers and Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 have yet to be transferred to aviation specialists for an objective analysis. An informed source in Kyiv told Interfax last Friday, “Recordings of tower conversations with the Boeing crew have been seized and kept by the Ukrainian

Convinced of His Own Exceptionalism, Putin is Both ‘a Pragmatist and a Fool,’ Milshtein Says

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, July 22, 2014) In a commentary entitled “Forewarned and Armed,” Ilya Milshtein argues that tragically “there are no particular reasons to hope that Putin will change his approach” in Ukraine. Instead, the Moscow analyst says, he will proceed in ways that reflect his beliefs in his own

Stratfor: Can Putin Survive?

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Stratfor.com – George Friedman – July 21, 2014) There is a general view that Vladimir Putin governs the Russian Federation as a dictator, that he has defeated and intimidated his opponents and that he has marshaled a powerful threat to surrounding countries. This is a reasonable view, but perhaps it should be re-evaluated in the

King’s gambit: Can Russia remain a world leader on the chessboard?

Chess Pieces File Photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Svetlana Korneva, special to RBTH – July 20, 2014) July 20 is International Chess Day. Chess is practically the only sport in which Russia has managed to preserve its leadership since the breakup of the Soviet Union. Although public interest in chess has waned in recent years, chess

Interfax: Patrushev says Russian decision-makers must heed opposition

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

MOSCOW. July 22 (Interfax) – The Russian Security Council Secretary, Nikolai Patrushev, has spoken of the need to draw conclusions from what is going on in Ukraine and heed the opinion of the Russian opposition. “The events occurring in Ukraine – their role for us is this: we must draw the right conclusions from them,”

Slobodan’s Ghost

File Photo of Slobodan Milosevic at Table in Profile, Surrounded by Officials and Others

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – July 14, 2014) There’s a specter haunting Vladimir Putin — the specter of Slobodan Milosevic. As the Ukraine crisis has unfolded, it has become fashionable — and even a bit of a fetish — to compare the Kremlin leader to the late Serbian dictator. Writing recently in “The New Republic,” Vera Mironova

Russia Becoming ‘Land of Obscurantism in Age of Smartphones,’ Moscow Psychologist Says

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, July 13, 2014) Despite the trappings of modernity, Russia is rapidly moving toward an obscurantist medievalism much Afghanistan under the Taliban and Iran under the ayatollahs and equally and even more disturbingly much like Germany under the Third Reich, according to Aleksandr Asmolov, a psychologist at Moscow

Russian Blog Post Decrying Government’s Internet Crackdown Goes Viral

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – John Freedman – July 14, 2014) Is this an updated version of Aldous Huxley’s classic antiutopian novel, “Brave New World”? Not exactly. If you live in Russia, this will be your world by September 1, according to a blog, “A Guide Through Your Life: What the Duma Has Banned in

A Kremlin ‘Reset’ – Putin from ‘Defender of the Russian World’ to ‘Peacemaker’

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, July 10, 2014) Russian public opinion “is being prepared for a change in Kremlin policy” toward Ukraine, Moscow commentators say, with central government media now downplaying the need for and utility of force and playing up the ways in which Vladimir Putin can serve as “peacemaker.” But

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