JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine Says Will Send Naval Ships Through Kerch Strait Soon” – AP

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

“Ukraine’s defense ministry warned Russia on Friday that it will soon send navy ships through the Kerch Strait where Russia fired on and seized three Ukrainian vessels two weeks ago. The announcement sets up another possible flashpoint in the long-simmering conflict between Russia and Ukraine that erupted in 2014 with Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula … [O]n Nov. 25  […]

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RM Picks: What to Read on the Kerch Strait Crisis

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – RM Staff – November 30, 2018) [Article also appeared, with different images, at russiamatters.org/blog/rm-picks-what-read-kerch-strait-crisis] Looking to make sense of the events between Russia and Ukraine in the Sea of Azov and their implications? RM recommends the following articles: “Why Putin Is Pressuring Ukraine. The United States needs to decide how much of a threat Moscow’s […]

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Trump-Putin G20 Summit: High Stakes and Strained Dialogue

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Matthew Rojansky – November 28, 2018) Matthew Rojansky is the director of the Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute. [russiamatters.org/analysis/trump-putin-g20-summit-high-stakes-and-strained-dialogue] NB: Since this piece was published, U.S. President Donald Trump canceled his previously scheduled Dec. 1 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit, citing the tensions over the Kerch Strait as the reason.  […]

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Nick Magliato: “Re: New book Stephen F. Cohen, War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate”

File Photo of U.S. Embassy Moscow, with Russian Foreign Ministry Building in Distance

From: Nick Magliato <nmagliato@skyhorsepublishing.com> Subject: New book Stephen F. Cohen, War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate Date : November 15, 2018 War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate By Stephen F. Cohen Hot Books paperback, also available as an ebook On Sale: November 27, 2018 / $18.99 ISBN: 9781510745810 Amazon: https://amzn.to/2P4KsZr […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin Will Understand Only One Response: Escalation; Russia’s president cannot be allowed to attack another country to solve his own domestic problems” – Bloomberg/ Eli Lake

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still » Read more

NEWSLINK: “Trump’s weakness begets Russian aggression” – Washington Post/ Jennifer Rubin

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

     

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NEWSLINK: “85 Years Later, Ukraine Marks Famine That Killed Millions” – New York Times/ Iuliia Mendel

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

“His frail hand covering his heart, Mykhailo Matvienko, 92, peered at the yellow flame of a candle on his kitchen table on Saturday and recounted his childhood during the Great Famine. A searing event seen as one of the great atrocities of 20th-century Europe, the Ukrainian famine of 1933 killed more than three million people, by most estimates, and has […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Poroshenko fails to make speech on martial law after several factions block Rada rostrum” – Interfax

Rada File Photo

KYIV. Nov 26 (Interfax) – Several factions in Ukrainian parliament blocked its plenary session on Monday, preventing President Petro Poroshenko from explaining his proposal to impose nationwide martial law, the Petro Poroshenko Bloc faction said. “A number of factions decided to block the rostrum without even allowing the president to reveal what exactly is happening in the Sea of Azov […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia-Ukraine Standoff Intensifies Over Captured Vessels; Kiev has troops on military alert and demands Moscow releases the ships and crew members” – Wall Street Journal/ Thomas Grove, Ann M. Simmons, Emre Peker, Georgi Kantchev

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

“Ukraine’s defense ministry put its troops on military alert … a day after Russian forces fired on and detained three Ukrainian naval vessels near the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, a move that threatened to reignite tensions between Moscow and Kiev.  … Poroshenko has called for martial law – that could last for 60 days after being enacted and give […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Ukrainian Security Council proposes martial law until Jan 25, 2019” – Interfax

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

KYIV. Nov 26 (Interfax) – The Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council proposes in its resolution of November 26 that President Petro Poroshenko declare martial law for 60 days, until January 25, 2019. The Council resolved “to propose that the president of Ukraine declare martial law in Ukraine for 60 days, from 2:00 p.m. November 26, 2018 until 2:00 p.m. […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Losing the Plot – Ukraine’s Opposition Seeks a Strategy; Ukraine’s pro-Russian opposition is targeting next year’s parliamentary elections, not the presidential ones-so is Russia. But they cannot agree among themselves on who their leader should be and what their strategy is” – Carnegie Moscow/ Konstantin Skorkin

Rada File Photo

“Disoriented since the downfall of former president Viktor Yanukovych, the parts of Ukraine’s opposition more sympathetic to Russia have not disappeared. They are regrouping, with an eye mainly to next year’s parliamentary elections, seeing the presidential election as all but lost. But they have yet to find a common leader or unifying idea. …”

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Pre-election poll gives Poroshenko highest ‘anti-rating’ of all presidential candidates” – Kyiv Post/ Daria Shulzhenko

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“… [incumbent President] Petro Poroshenko is facing an uphill battle for re-election ….  Nearly 50 percent of Ukrainians won’t vote for Poroshenko under any circumstances, according to [a] poll … conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, the Razumkov Center, and the Rating Group sociological organization. … giv[ing] Poroshenko the highest ‘anti-ranking’ …. The poll shows presidential candidate Yulia […]

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Azov, Ukraine’s Most Prominent Ultranationalist Group, Sets Its Sights on U.S., Europe

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Christopher Miller – KYIV, Nov. 14, 2018 – article also appeared at rferl.org/a/azov-ukraine-s-most-prominent-ultranationalist-group-sets-its-sights-on-u-s-europe/29600564.html) Robert Rundo, the muscly leader of a California-based white-supremacist group that refers to itself as the “premier MMA (mixed martial arts) club of the Alt-Right,” unleashed a barrage of punches against his opponent. But Rundo, a […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “IMF, World Bank see little progress in fight against corruption in Ukraine” – Interfax-Ukraine

International Monetary Fund Logo Over Ukraine Flag

“… key donors of Ukraine – the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank – note low effectiveness of the Ukrainian authorities in the fight against corruption. ‘We see good and important progress in setting out institutions for tackling investment …. Shortcomings in the judicial system and corruption are some of the key reasons why investment is so low […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Poll: 63% of Ukrainians see Russia as aggressor” – UNIAN (Kyiv)

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

“Almost two-thirds of the citizens of Ukraine, or 63%, consider the Russian Federation to be an aggressor country vis-à-vis Ukraine, according to a nationwide poll conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, the Oleksandr Razumkov Ukrainian Centre for Economic and Political Studies and the Rating sociological group …. ‘We asked … “Is Russia seen as an aggressor country vis-à-vis […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Kremlin treats elections in self-proclaimed Donbas republics ‘with understanding’ – Peskov” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. Nov 12 (Interfax) – The Kremlin treats the elections in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) held on Sunday “with understanding,” as the republics have no choice but to organize themselves due to Ukraine’s rejection of them, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said. “We treat the fact of these elections with understanding. You know […]

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Patriarch Kirill’s ‘Fatal Inability to Compromise’ Costing Russia Influence Abroad, ‘Nezavisimaya Gazeta’ Says

Patriarch Kirill file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 21, 2018) The Moscow Patriarchate’s “categorical” unwillingness to reach any compromise with its opponents may make some Russians happy, the editors of Nezavisimaya gazeta say; but its approach under Patriarch Kirill not only violates Christian principles but undermines the possibility of maintaining Russian influence in churches abroad. Kirill and his church […]

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Russian-Ukrainian Church Turmoil Driven by Political Ambitions

File Photo of Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv, adapted from image at cia.gov by Steven C. Welsh :: www.stevencwelsh.com :: www.stevencwelsh.info

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Nicolai N. Petro – Oct. 19, 2018) Nicolai N. Petro is a professor of political science and the Silvia-Chandley Professor of Peace Studies and Nonviolence at the University of Rhode Island. He writes frequently about church-state relations in Ukraine and Russia. His latest book, “Ukraine in Crisis,” was published by Routledge in 2017. [Text with […]

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David Malaher: “Re: Oct. 16, 2018 #41: IMF ranks Ukraine as Europe’s poorest country”

International Monetary Fund Logo Over Ukraine Flag

Subject: Oct. 16, 2018 #41: IMF ranks Ukraine as Europe’s poorest country Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2018 From: David Malaher <david@malaher.org> To: David Johnson <davidjohnson@starpower.net> I try to follow Ukraine news through the Johnson List, among other sources. I visited Ukraine in June, touring through nine cities from Liviv to Odessa via a combination automobile and boat (on the Dnieper […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘Crimea’s Columbine’: Massacre Draws Comparisons to U.S. Shootings; Death toll from college attack rises to 20, as authorities try to determine the attacker’s motive” – Wall Street Journal/ Ann M. Simmons

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

“… Authorities said 18-year-old student Vladislav Roslyakov detonated explosives and opened fire Wednesday at [Crimea’s] Kerch Polytechnic College before taking his own life. Initially thought to be a terrorist attack, the massacre was later classified by officials as mass murder. … Kerch is a city in the east of Crimea, a Black Sea peninsula … annexed by Russia from Ukraine […]

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RUSSIALINK: “More Ukrainians Hold Positive Views of Russia Than Negative, Poll Says” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 10, 2018) More Ukrainians say they have a positive view of Russia than a year ago despite continuing conflicts between the two countries, according to a joint Russian-Ukrainian poll, while a majority of Russians say they continue to see Ukraine in a negative light. Russian-Ukrainian ties deteriorated after Moscow annexed the Crimean peninsula in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Entrepreneurs of political violence: the varied interests and strategies of the far-right in Ukraine; For Ukraine’s far right, violence has become a source of influence and power [Excerpt]” – OpenDemocracy/ Denys Gorach

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

(opendemocracy.net – Denys Gorach – October 16, 2018) Denys Gorbach is a leftist activist and researcher working on the Ukrainian labour movement. [Full text: opendemocracy.net/od-russia/denys-gorbach/entrepreneurs-of-political-violence-ukraine-far-right] “The recent wave of anti-Roma pogroms in Ukraine has spawned a new series of texts on right-wing violence. However, a significant part of this literature still mostly relies on discourse analysis, which cannot fully explain […]

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Ways to End the Donbas Conflict. Interview with Serhiy Kudelia.

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

(PONARS Eurasia – Maria Lipman, Serhiy Kudelia – Sept. 24, 2018 – ponarseurasia.org/point-counter/ways-to-end-donbas-conflict-interview-serhiy-kudelia) Sergiy Kudelia is Associate Professor of Political Science at Baylor University. His areas of expertise are Ukraine, Institutions, Civil Society, Conflict Resolution, Political Science, Historical Institutionalism, and Post-Socialist Societies. Political scientist Serhiy Kudelia has studied the conflict in Donbas since its very early stages. In a recently […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “In breakaway Ukraine, those who live by the sword are dying by it; Could an anonymous cull of Donbass’ violently charismatic separatists precede a peaceful solution?” – Asia Times/ Giovanni Pigni

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

“Yet another leader in Ukraine’s breakaway Donbass region has met a kinetic end: … leader of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, Aleksandr Zakharchenko … assassinated by … outdoor bomb blast on August 31. Reaction to his death was predictably mixed. Thousands of supporters gathered in [Donetsk] streets … to honor [his] memory …. [while] in Kiev, Ukrainian nationalists celebrated the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s war is transforming Ukraine” – Washington Post/Anne Applebaum

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

“… [I]ntegration of … Donetsk refugees into schools and communities in the central and western parts of the country is … part of a broader story: the integration of the war into the consciousness of Ukrainians. … the Russian-Ukrainian war continues. One of the Russian-backed separatist leaders was killed in a bomb attack in August. Skirmishes take place most days, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Spiritual capital: why Ukraine is breaking from Russia’s Orthodox Church; The Ukrainian government has promised its citizens a new, independent Orthodox Church that will unite Ukrainian believers. But bringing several denominations together is harder than you think. [Excerpt]” – OpenDemocracy/Andrii Fert

File Photo of Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv, adapted from image at cia.gov by Steven C. Welsh :: www.stevencwelsh.com :: www.stevencwelsh.info

(opendemocracy.net – Andrii Fert – September 17, 2018) Andrii Fert researches state-church relations in the late Soviet Union. He is a graduate student at Kyiv Mohyla Academy, and works for DVV International. “Over the last few months, the lexicon of many Ukrainians has been enriched by two new words: ‘Tomos’ and ‘autocephaly.’ These words, whose literal meanings are ‘religious decree’ […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Former Bush adviser has three steps to rebuild U.S.-Russia relationship” – CBS News

File Photo of Stephen Hadley At Table Leaning Forward, with USAID Logo Partially Obscured in Background, adapted from image at usaid.gov by Steven C. Welsh :: www.stevencwelsh.com :: www.stevencwelsh.info

“… according to Stephen Hadley, former national security adviser to … George W. Bush … three crucial factors need to be addressed before rebuilding the [U.S.-Russian] relationship can begin. … [1] ‘One, we get through our election in November and it is clear that the Russians have not tried to manipulate that election in 2018 the way they did in […]

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NEWSLINK: “Grave Robbers, Nazi Collaborators and Official Apathy: How Ukraine Is Erasing the Holocaust” – Haaretz/Shmuel Herzfeld

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

“At Janovska, the Auschwitz of Ukraine, I saw skulls, hypodermic needles and tons of trash. Looters desecrate mass graves of Jews, searching for gold; the sites’ histories are ‘revised’, overwritten by Christian and nationalist symbolism. This is why we should still care”

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RUSSIALINK: “International investigators to study Russia’s new info on MH17 crash – statement” – Interfax

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

BRUSSELS. Sept 17 (Interfax) – The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) in Donbas in 2014 has taken note of the information concerning the crash publicized by the Russian Defense Ministry on Monday. “The JIT has requested the Russian Federation to provide all relevant information” since 2014, the JIT said in a statement […]

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More Lethal Weaponry Possible For Ukraine, U.S. Envoy Tells RFE/RL

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Christopher Miller – KYIV – Sept. 14, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/more-lethal-weaponry-possible-for-ukraine-u-s-envoy-says/29489463.html) The United States is considering sending more lethal weaponry to Kyiv to build up its naval and air defenses, Washington’s special envoy for Ukraine said, as concerns mount that Russia may be stepping up operations in coastal […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia is advancing on Ukraine again – and Ukraine isn’t going quietly; President Petro Poroshenko tells the Post how he wants the war to end” – Washington Post/ Lally Weymouth

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

“When Ukrainians took to the streets in the 2014 Maidan revolution, they ousted President Viktor Yanukovych and selected Petro Poroshenko as his successor to begin a period of reform. Poroshenko is up for reelection next spring, and polls show that Ukrainians are disappointed with him, particularly for what they see as his failure to clean up corruption. In a rare […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Only 12% of Ukrainians are ready to take part in protests, number of those ready to go to Maidan is twice as low – poll” – Interfax

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

KYIV. Sept 14 (Interfax) – More than half of all Ukrainians do not support the idea of holding protests in the country and one-fourth of them support their organization, but are not ready to participate in them, according to a poll conducted jointly by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS), the Razumkov Center and Socis Center. According to the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “New survey from state pollster says Russians’ fears of terrorism are at a record low” – Meduza

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

“… VTsIOM says … about 45 percent of Russians say they believe they or their loved ones could be hurt in a terrorist attack. Another 11 percent of respondents say they are extremely worried about this. … asked to list the top terrorist threats facing Russians, an equal number of respondents (17 percent) named the United States and the terrorist […]

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Is Russia Really “Fascist”? A Comment on Timothy Snyder

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(PONARS Eurasia – PONARS Policy Memo – Marlene Laruelle – September 5, 2018 – ponarseurasia.org/memo/russia-really-fascist-reply-timothy-snyder) Marlene Laruelle is Research Professor, Associate Director of IERES, Director of the Central Asia Program, and Co-Director of PONARS Eurasia at The George Washington University. Over the past decade, and even more overtly since the annexation of Crimea, there has been a growing tendency to […]

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U.S., EU Warn Ukraine Ruling Endangers Press Freedom, Corruption Fight

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – September 5, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/u-s-eu-warn-ukraine-sedletska-ruling-endangers-press-freedom-corruption-fight/29473976.html) The United States, the European Union, and international media watchdogs have expressed concern over a Ukrainian court ruling that gives the authorities access to the cellphone data of an RFE/RL investigative reporter spanning a period of 17 months. The court decision could […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-162 :: Thursday, 6 September 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-#162 Thursday, 6 September 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: Sean Guillory: “WaPo publishes an op-ed about how McCain was a great champion for the ‘human rights community’ and uses a picture with McCain standing next to Oleh Tyahnybok … named … one of the top-ten anti-Semites in the world.”

Historic Washington Post Masthead, adapted from image at nlrb.gov

(Sean Guillory – Facebook – August 29, 2018 McCain and Oleh Tyahnybok) [embedded live feed of facebook post should appear below; core text also recopied further below in case loading delayed] “This is too funny. WaPo publishes an op-ed about how McCain was a great champion for the ‘human rights community’ and uses a picture with McCain standing next to […]

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NEWSLINK: “Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire; Kiev officials are scrambling to make amends with the president-elect after quietly working to boost Clinton” – Politico/Kenneth P. Vogel, David Stern

“… Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation […]

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Sociological Portrait of Ukraine after 27 Years of Independence Extremely Complex, Nikitina Says

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 25, 2018) Since 1992, the Institute of Sociology of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences has conducted an enormous number of surveys and polls which together with the work of various private polling agencies provide a detailed if often ignored portrait of the evolution of Ukrainian society. On the 27th anniversary of […]

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Poroshenko Declares Ukraine ‘Has Cut All Ties With Russian Empire’

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – KYIV, August 24, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/poroshenko-declares-ukraine-has-cut-all-ties-with-russian-empire-/29451039.html) President Petro Poroshenko has marked Ukraine’s Independence Day by announcing at a military parade in Kyiv that his country “has cut all ties with the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union.” Poroshenko also said during the August 24 event that Ukraine […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine marks 1,000 days without Russian gas” – Interfax-Ukraine

Gas Flame file photo

“Naftogaz of Ukraine has not been buying natural gas from Russia’s Gazprom for 1,000 days. Since Nov. 26, 2015, the country has been instead importing gas from the West. …  in December 2017, the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce revised the contract between Naftogaz and Gazprom. … rul[ing] that the price of gas for Naftogaz must be […]

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Who is ordering attacks on activists in Ukraine? In Ukraine, activists are being attacked, and law enforcement is standing idle. The pressure on civil society has become systematic. RU

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

(opendemocracy.net – Tetiana Kozak – August 23, 2018) Tetiana Kozak reports on conflicts connected to the transformation of the former Soviet Union, new conflicts related to the refugee crisis and the rise of nationalism in Europe. [Text with links and photos opendemocracy.net/od-russia/tetiana-kozak/who-is-ordering-attacks-on-activists-in-ukraine] The attack on activist Kateryna Gandzyuk in the southern city of Kherson has become the last straw for […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Poroshenko apologizes to Ukrainians for giving ‘excessive expectations’ in 2014” – Interfax

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

KYIV. Aug 23 (Interfax) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has apologized for mistakenly forecasting a rapid completion of the military operation in eastern Ukraine in 2014. “I said over four years ago that the ATO [anti-terrorist operation] would take hours instead of months. The context of my statement is irrelevant. […] I am sorry for giving excessive expectations. I sincerely […]

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NEWSLINK: “Ukraine should create Mossad-type unit to kidnap Yanukovych from Russia – prosecutor” – UNIAN

Viktor Yanukovych file photo

“Law enforcers should do their utmost to make sure the disgraced president is brought to responsibility if the court convicts him, the official said. Prosecutor of the Main Military Prosecutor’s Office, Ruslan Kravchenko, who represents state prosecution in the treason trial of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, has offered to set up a special unit to kidnap the ex-leader from […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. to impose ‘crushing’ set of sanctions on Russia’s debt and oil” – bne Intellinews/Ben Aris

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

“A proposed ‘crushing’ bipartisan bill introduced by the … Senate … will not be debated until … autumn and many … harsh terms could be considerably watered down, Luis Saenz, … co-head of equities at BCS Global Markets said …. [The] bill … targets Russian debt and energy companies, designed to punish Russia for interfering in the U.S. presidential election, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Four Years After Its Revolution, Ukraine Is Still a Mess; Lingering corruption and a lagging economy contributed to the country’s stalled reforms” – Bloomberg/Leonid Ragozin

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

“… Ukraine has improved its ranking on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index since 2013 … [but] still shares 130th place (out of 180 …) with Sierra Leone and Myanmar. Many other former Soviet republics, including … authoritarian Belarus, are far ahead … Russia is just one point behind. One of the biggest reform efforts was the creation in 2015 of […]

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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: “Russia to play minor role, if any, in Paul Manafort trial” – AP

File Photo of Federal Courthouse in Alexandria, Va., adapted from image at uscourts.gov by Steven C. Welsh, www.stevencwelsh.com :: ww.stevencwelsh.info

“The trial of President Donald Trump’s onetime campaign chairman will open … with tales of lavish spending, secret shell companies and millions of dollars of Ukrainian money flowing through offshore bank accounts and into the political consultant’s pocket. What’s likely to be missing: answers about whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Kremlin during the 2016 presidential election, or really […]

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