Category Archives: United States, U.S.-Russian Relations

Interfax: Russia licenses CNN broadcaster

CNN Screenshot With News About Ukraine and Russia and Air Disaster

MOSCOW. March 24 (Interfax) – Russia has issued a universal broadcast license to CNN, press secretary of the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor) Vadim Ampelonsky told Interfax. “An order to issue a universal broadcast license to CNN has been signed,” he noted. The newspaper Izvestia said earlier that CNN International […]

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NEWSWATCH Foreign Policy Magazine: Is Russian Literature Dead? How the land of Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy became a book lover’s afterthought

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

[“Is Russian Literature Dead? How the land of Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy became a book lover’s afterthought” – Foreign Policy Magazine – Owen Matthews – March 24, 2015] Writing in Foreign Policy Magazine Owen Matthews addresses the lack of attention and celebrity for Russian literature created in recent decades, at least among American readers. The last Russian novel to become a genuine […]

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Two of Russia’s Greatest Misfortunes – Roads and Fools – Once Again Come Together

Map of North Polar Region with Real or Hypothetical Rail Lines Across Eurasia, Bering Strait, North America

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 24, 2015) Even though the Russian government currently repairs less than one percent of its horrific roads in many regions, Moscow has announced plans to build a superhighway and rail line extending across the Russian north to the Bering Straits and a tunnel to Alaska, a project in which enormous sums will […]

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Interfax: Moscow will not stay indifferent to U.S. decision on lethal arms supplies to Kiev

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

(Interfax – March 24, 2015) Russia will not stay indifferent to Washington’s possible decision to begin supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine, Alexei Pushkov, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee in the State Duma, the lower chamber of Russia’s parliament, has said. “The Congress is urging the president of the United States to begin delivering weapons to the country which has […]

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NEWSWATCH National Interest: Debunked: Why There Won’t Be Another Cold War. The new generation doesn’t believe in a “New Cold War.”

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

[“Debunked: Why There Won’t Be Another Cold War. The new generation doesn’t believe in a ‘New Cold War.’” – National Interest – Matthew Rojansky, Rachel S. Salzman – March 20, 2015] Writing for The National Interest, Matthew Rojansky and Rachel S. Salzman address the status of U.S.-Russian relations and whether they could be deemed a new Cold War or turn into one. They also consider […]

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NEWSWATCH Reuters: U.S. faces meager options for further Russia energy sanctions

Oil Wells File Photo

[“U.S. faces meager options for further Russia energy sanctions” – Reuters – Timothy Gardner – March 23, 2015] Reuters examines Western sanctions on Russia, including some of the remaining options for energy-related sanctions. Energy is the economic lifeblood of Russia, which vies with the United States and Saudi Arabia to be the world’s top oil producer …the sector is the main target of […]

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NEWSWATCH Georgetown Journal of International Affairs: Inequality: The Ukraine Invasion and Public Opinion

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

[“The Ukraine Invasion and Public Opinion” – Georgetown Journal of International Affairs –  Harley Balzer – March 20, 2015]  Writing in the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Professor Harley Balzer examines various aspects of Russian involvement in the Ukraine conflict, such as Ukrainian and Russian public opinion, foreign policy considerations and the relevance of Russian public opinion to Russian policymaking. […]

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NEWSWATCH: How the Ukrainian Diaspora Sees the Homeland

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

[“Ukrainian Politics Abroad: How the Ukrainian Diaspora Sees the Homeland” – Foreign Affairs – foreignaffairs.com – Olena Lennon – March 17, 2015] Professor Olena Lennon, from the University of New Haven, writes on the experiences and attitudes of those of Ukrainian origin or heritage in the United States. Points of interest include perspectives on history, Russia, Europe, and the Russian and Ukrainian languages. The diaspora is distinctive in several […]

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Rethinking Eurasia’s future

Eurasia Map

While an economic and political union between Russia and Europe is unlikely, it could serve the interests of both sides in an increasingly hostile world. (opendemocracy.net – Nicholas Ross Smith and Zbigniew Dumienski – March 17, 2015) Nicholas Ross Smith is a researcher at the University of Auckland, New Zealand in the field of international relations. He has published extensively […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: U.S. Delays Ukraine Military Training, General Says; Washington wary of giving Moscow excuse to scrap truce

Gen. Ben Hodges, USA file photo

The Pentagon is delaying a training program for Ukrainian soldiers so as to avoid giving the Kremlin an excuse to scrap the tenuous peace deal struck last month between Kiev and Moscow-backed separatists, a top U.S. general said Tuesday. Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, commander of U.S. Army in Europe, said U.S. officials wanted to make sure such training—which would involve […]

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Pushkov does not expect improvement of Russia-U.S. relations

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

MOSCOW. March 16 (Interfax) – Chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee Alexei Pushkov is not expecting any improvement in Russia-U.S. relations in the foreseeable future. “Such hopes are expressed here from time to time: they are claiming that we will be good with America again when the crisis passes. No, we won’t be good with America, and this […]

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NEWSLINK PR Week: Ketchum calls it quits on Russia work. Ketchum has ended its high-profile and controversial media relations work for the Kremlin

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

March 11, 2015 … Ketchum has ended the bulk of its work for the Russian Federation in the US and Europe amid continuing tensions between the country and Western governments. The Omnicom Group firm represented the Kremlin through its hosting of the Winter Olympics in Sochi last year but also as its relationship with the West strained over the country’s […]

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NEWSLINK: Federal Judge Orders Browder to Comply with Subpoena in Money-Laundering Case

U.S. Courthouse for Southern District of New York in Manhattan

Wall Street Journal: A Manhattan federal judge has ordered London-based hedge fund manager William Browder to comply with a subpoena that could force him to reveal the sources of information he gave to federal prosecutors in a high-profile money-laundering case. …

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TRANSCRIPT: Victoria Nuland Testimony on Ukraine Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

File Photo of Victoria Nuland Testifying

US Department of State TESTIMONY ON UKRAINE BEFORE THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE Testimony Victoria Nuland Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Statement Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Washington, DC March 10, 2015 As prepared Chairman Corker, Ranking Member Menendez and members of this committee-thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today on the situation […]

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Interfax: Russian defence officials deny US claims of Russian soldiers in Ukraine

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Interfax – March 5, 2015) Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoliy Antonov has criticized statements by American officials that thousands of Russian military personnel are operating in Ukraine. “Then what about the statement of the chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ General Staff, Gen [Viktor] Muzhenko, that there are no armed forces of the Russian Federation in Ukraine?” Antonov said at […]

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NEWSLINK Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs: The United States, Russia, and Ukraine: Report from Moscow; Interview with Dmitri Trenin

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

We spoke a few months ago, Dmitri. At that time you said something that was very striking, and that is that we would look back on the period of 1992 to 2014, barely more than 20 years, as the inter-Cold War period. I would assume that not much has happened in the intervening weeks and months to change that analysis. […]

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NEWSLINK: One Year Later, Obama Administration Still ‘Reviewing’ Lethal Aid to Ukraine.

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

For roughly a year, Obama officials have been weighing lethal aid to Ukraine. Some 6,000 Ukrainians have been killed since, but they’re no closer to a decision. …

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NEWSLINK: Obama Said to Resist Growing Pressure From All Sides to Arm Ukraine

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

As American intelligence agencies have detected new Russian tanks and artillery crossing the border into Ukraine in recent days, President Obama is coming under increasing pressure from both parties and more officials inside his own government to send arms to the country. But he remains unconvinced that they would help. …

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NEWSLINK: Putin: Russia’s Last Remaining Pragmatist? Dimitri K. Simes explains why Washington must pursue tough yet enlightened policies towards Moscow

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

Russian-American relations are at their frostiest levels since the cold war. Can the two sides reach an accommodation? Or are relations doomed to continue their downward spiral? …

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TRANSCRIPT: A Military Assessment of the Russian War in Ukraine

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

A Military Assessment of the Russian War in Ukraine Stephen Blank Senior Fellow American Foreign Policy Council February 2015 Testimony Presented to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, March 4, 2015 Ukraine needs military help from abroad in terms of weapons, training, and finances to help sustain its government and economy in the face […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Russian aggression against Ukraine and the West’s policy response. Steven Pifer Testimony to Senate Foreign Relations Committee

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation Statement for the Record Russian Aggression against Ukraine and the West’s Policy Response Steven Pifer Senior Fellow, Center on the United States and Europe The Brookings Institution March 4, 2015 [Also appeared at foreign.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/030415_Pifer_Testimony.pdf] Russian Aggression against Ukraine and the West’s Policy Response Introduction Mr. Chairman, Senator Shaheen, distinguished […]

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Obama Administration Increasingly Divided Over Arms to Ukraine

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Patrick Donahue, David J Lynch – March 5, 2015) As the U.S. State Department’s No. 2 official warned against a military response to the Ukraine crisis, President Barack Obama is facing growing pressure from other top advisers to start arming Ukrainian government forces battling Russian-backed insurgents. “Anything we did as countries in terms of military support […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Victoria Nuland Testimony on Ukraine Before the House Foreign Affairs Committee

File Photo of Victoria Nuland Testifying

US Department of State Testimony on Ukraine Before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Testimony Victoria Nuland Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Statement Before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Washington, DC March 4, 2015 As prepared Chairman Royce, Ranking Member Engel and members of this committee – thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today on […]

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WHITE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE: Notice – Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Ukraine

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

The White House Office of the Press Secretary For Immediate Release March 03, 2015 Notice — Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Ukraine On March 6, 2014, by Executive Order 13660, I declared a national emergency pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706) to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national […]

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Moscow Times: Obama Extends Sanctions Against Russia, Citing Threat to ‘National Security’

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 4, 2015) U.S. President Barack Obama has issued an order to extend by one year a series of sanctions against Russia over its role in the Ukraine crisis, the White House said Tuesday. In a statement published on the White House website, Obama said he was extending U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia last March […]

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Sergei Roy: “Americans and Russians, Person-to-Person, with a Sidelight on Ukraine”

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

Subject: Americans and Russians, Person-to-Person, with a Sidelight on Ukraine Date: Sun, 1 Mar 2015 From: Sergei Roy <sergeiroy@yandex.ru> Attached is my latest piece on “Americans and Russians, Person-to-Person.” Incidentally, it is a real letter to a real American friend. Americans and Russians, Person-to-Person, with a Sidelight on Ukraine (A letter to an American friend) By Sergei Roy [Former Editor-in-Chief, […]

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U.S. State Department bans government bodies from cooperating with Russia on climate issues

Globe Graphic Simulating Climate Shifts

(Interfax – February 25, 2015) The U.S. State Department has banned the cooperation of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with Russian counterparts in climate studies, head of Roshydromet environmental monitoring authority Alexander Frolov has announced. “There are difficulties in relations with our partners, primarily the United States. The State Department officially banned climate-related cooperation to state bodies, such […]

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U.S. Poll Finds More Americans Support Arming Ukraine Government

File Photo of U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 24, 2015) U.S. public support for arming Ukraine has grown from 30 percent to 41 percent over the past 10 months, though the majority of Americans still oppose sending lethal military aid to Kiev, a poll has shown. Fifty-three percent of Americans oppose supplying the Ukrainian government with weapons to battle pro-Russian separatists in […]

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TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO: Remarks by Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs: “Unity in Challenging Times: Building on Transatlantic Resolve”

Victoria Nuland file photo

State Department transcript [of prepared remarks – click here for PDF of uncorrected transcript including Q&A]  Remarks by Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs: “Unity in Challenging Times: Building on Transatlantic Resolve” Brookings Institution Washington, DC January 27, 2015 As prepared View more details on Brookings.edu Thanks, Fiona, for that introduction and thanks to Brookings for […]

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Russia Dumps $22 Billion in U.S. Bonds to Slow Economy’s Slide

Portion U.S. Treasury Department Building Facade, North Side, with Sculpture of Alexander Hamilton

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – February 20, 2015) Moscow sold a total of $45 billion of U.S. treasury bonds in 2014 as relations with Western governments reached a post-Soviet nadir over the Ukraine crisis. Russia jettisoned $22 billion worth of U.S. treasury bonds in December as the Kremlin scrambled for cash to battle a plunging ruble and […]

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CNN Applies for Russian Broadcast License Month After Quitting Country

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 18, 2015) U.S. cable news channel CNN has applied for a broadcast license from Russia’s state media watchdog, just one month after leaving the country following the introduction of a restrictive media advertising law. State media regulator Roskomnadzor received the application Tuesday and now has 30 days to consider it, news agency Interfax reported […]

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Moscow Times: Putin Says Russian Intelligence Shows U.S. Is Already Arming Ukraine

Column in Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Feb. 18, 2015) Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed the U.S. is supplying Kiev with lethal weapons, telling reporters that the conflict in Ukraine will not be resolved through military escalation. “According to our intelligence, [U.S.] weapons are already being delivered,” Putin was shown on state television Channel One as telling a press conference on […]

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The American credibility trap

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

(opendemocracy.net – James Kovpak – February 16, 2015) James Kovpak is a journalist and amateur historian based in Moscow. He is the founder of the blog, Russia without BS. You can follow him on twitter at @RussiawithoutBS American politicians’ attempts to look ‘credible’ when talking about Russia are hypocritical, self-serving and self-defeating. If they really want Russia to change its […]

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Russia Is Americans’ Enemy Number One, Poll Shows

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – February 17, 2015) In the eyes of Americans, Russia has surpassed North Korea as the main enemy of the United States, a new Gallup poll reveals. Respondents were asked the open-ended question, “What one country anywhere in the world do you consider to be the United States’ greatest enemy today?” Russia led […]

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TRANSCRIPT: State Department Background Briefing on Ukraine

State Department Building and U.S. Flag

US Department of State February 12, 2015 BACKGROUND BRIEFING ON UKRAINE Special Briefing Senior Administration Officials Via Teleconference Washington, DC MODERATOR: All right. Thank you very much, Operator, and thanks to all the participants in the call today. We have a background call on Ukraine with two senior Administration officials. This call will be on background, so no names or […]

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VIDEO: Will the Ukraine-Russia deal stick? – PBS, McFaul, Hill

Ukraine Map and Flag

(PBS Newshour – Gwen Ifill, Michael McFaul, Fiona Hill – February 12, 2015)  Click here for full transcript. GWEN IFILL: Following the Ukraine cease-fire agreement announcement, many are asking today if this deal can actually stick. We explore the chances of success with former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul. He’s now a professor at Stanford University. And Fiona Hill, director […]

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Would a Ukraine Peace Deal in Minsk Save the Russian Economy?

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – February 12, 2015) U.S. President Barack Obama has claimed the Kremlin’s role in the Ukraine crisis brought the Russian economy to its knees. So, if a peace accord is reached in Minsk on Wednesday will it reboot the Russian economy? Hopes are high that a gathering of Russian, French, German and Ukrainian […]

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Moscow Times: Why the Ukraine Crisis Hinges On the U.S. Election

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – February 10, 2015) The outcome of the Ukraine crisis talks in Minsk on Wednesday depends on whether the United States is prepared to exert enough influence on the divergent power elites in Kiev to accept the deal, analysts told The Moscow Times. Whether Washington will opt to pressure the diverse political forces […]

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Moscow Times: Five Cases of the U.S. Arming Foreign Fighters, And What They Led To

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated with Flags Behind

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Richard Ensor – February 10, 2015) With violence escalating in eastern Ukraine, the United States is considering sending lethal arms to Kiev to counter separatist forces that Washington claims are backed by Russia. The United States has a record of giving weapons to its allies around the world, but the strategy has not always been […]

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Russia Would See U.S. Moves to Arm Ukraine as Declaration of War

Maidan Square file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – February 10, 2015) U.S. provision of military aid to Ukraine would be seen by Moscow as a declaration of war and spark a global escalation of Ukraine’s separatist conflict, Russian defense analysts said. With Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine seizing new territory from the Ukrainian army, voices in Washington are demanding that […]

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Kerry Tells Lawmakers He’s for Arming Ukraine

John Kerry file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Josh Rogin – February 9, 2015) Secretary of State John Kerry told lawmakers during a private reception in Germany that he personally supports sending lethal aid to the Ukrainian military, even though President Barack Obama has yet to make a decision on whether to say yes to Ukraine’s arms request. Kerry is the latest top U.S. […]

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Anti-American Sentiment Reaches 25-Year High in Russia

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Spinella – February 9, 2015) Russians are more anti-American than they have been at any point in the past 25 years, according to a recent opinion poll. More than 80 percent of Russians view the United States negatively, the exact inverse of how the public felt in 1992, respected independent pollster the Levada Center […]

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Moscow Times: How the U.S. Struggles to Crack the Putin Code

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Pilot in Hang Glider Airborne Next to Flying Cranes

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – February 9, 2015) “Who is Mr. Putin?” The ongoing Ukraine conflict has breathed new life into a question that has long stumped Western policymakers and analysts. Efforts to grasp President Vladimir Putin’s logic have all but reduced Western leaders to soothsaying and studying tea leaves, with hundreds of thousands of U.S. taxpayer […]

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PONARS Perspectives: U.S. Military Assistance to Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

(PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – February 5, 2015) PONARS Eurasia is a network of over 100 academics, mainly from North America and post-Soviet Eurasia, who advance new policy approaches to research and security in Russia and Eurasia. Eight former senior military and diplomatic officials have called for the United States to provide $1 billion a year in military assistance to Ukraine over […]

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NEWSWATCH: Pentagon 2008 study claims Putin has Asperger’s syndrome

Vladimir Putin

[“Pentagon 2008 study claims Putin has Asperger’s syndrome” – USA Today – Ray Locker – February 4, 2015] USA Today reports on a U.S. Department of Defense study from 2008, obtained through a Freedom of Information request, theorizing that Russian President Vladimir Putin is autistic, having the neurological condition Asperger’s Syndrome. A study from a Pentagon think tank theorizes … Putin has Asperger’s […]

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NEWSWATCH: On Military Aid to Ukraine, the Administration Zig-Zags

White House

[“On Military Aid to Ukraine, the Administration Zig-Zags” – David J. Kramer – Wall Street Journal – February 4, 2015] David J. Kramer comments on the Obama administration’s shifting public postures regarding its Ukraine policy. … Wednesday, Ash Carter, the administration’s nominee for defense secretary, said that he is ‘very much inclined’ to send arms to Ukraine. One hopes that this is […]

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NEWSWATCH: Obama’s Pentagon nominee suggests support for arming Ukraine

Ashton Carter File Photo

[“Obama’s Pentagon nominee suggests support for arming Ukraine” – Reuters – Phil Stewart, Andrea Shalal- February 4, 2015] Reuters reports on remarks by U.S. Secretary of Defense nominee Ashton Carter regarding U.S. policy towards Ukraine and Russia, such as arms for Ukraine and continued economic pressure on Russia. President Barack Obama’s pick to become defense secretary told Congress on Wednesday he […]

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NEWSWATCH: Ukraine needs America’s help

Ukraine Map and Flag

[“Ukraine needs America’s help” – Washington Post – Steven Pifer, Strobe Talbott – January 29, 2015] Steven Pifer and Strobe Talbott, in a Washington Post op-ed, address the unfolding conflict in Ukraine and U.S. options. The new year has brought more misery …. Separatist fighters, supported by Russian troops, have launched attacks in Donetsk and Luhansk. Diplomatic efforts have made no progress toward […]

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Interfax: Gorbachev says USA draws Russia into “new cold war”

File Photo of Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan at Table Signing Documents

(Interfax – Moscow, January 29, 2015) The USA has already draw Russia into a “cold war”, one cannot rule out that they may “take the risk” of taking further steps towards a real war, former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev has said. “Now one keeps hearing about sanctions against Russia from America and the European Union. Have they really completely lost […]

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Russians Say They Fear Hunger, Unemployment and Nuclear War

Nuclear Mushroom Cloud

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – January 30, 2015) A recent state poll asking Russians about their fears has laid bare a telling change in attitudes: more than double the number of respondents said they feared a nuclear war compared to two years ago. Russia’s deteriorating relations with the West and the economic turmoil that followed sanctions imposed […]

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