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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NEWSLINK: “World Cup dream is ‘sportswashing’ Russia’s appalling record” – Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

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

“In 2010 when this tournament was awarded, no one thought Russia would suddenly become a bastion of human and civil rights, though it’s worth reflecting on all that’s happened since then. There’s not just the annexation of Crimea, the war in Ukraine and the concerns about US election meddling. Or just the controversy surrounding the nerve agent attack on the […]

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RUSSIALINK: Dmitri Trenin: “Russia and Germany: From Estranged Partners to Good Neighbors”

Map of Germany

Subject: Russia and Germany: From Estranged Partners to Good Neighbors Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2018 From: Dmitri Trenin <info@carnegie.ru> Dmitri Trenin Director Carnegie Moscow Center Article: carnegie.ru/2018/06/06/russia-and-germany-from-estranged-partners-to-good-neighbors-pub-76540 After the end of the Cold War, Russia and Germany entered a period of progressive rapprochement. This was based on the goal of Russian integration into Europe and the wider West. Over the […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Vladimir Putin answered questions from journalists; After the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit, Vladimir Putin met with Russian journalists” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Putin Sitting at Desk, Looking Down, Writing, During Call-In Show, adapted from screenshot of video at kremlin.ru

(Kremlin.ru – June 10, 2018) President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, welcome everyone. I suggest we immediately get down to your questions without any statements from me because President of China, Mr Xi Jinping has just reported at the news conference on the progress and the results of our work today. So, please, if there are any specific questions […]

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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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RUSSIALIST: “Journalist Who Faked Own Death in Kiev Demands $50,000 for Interview” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 5, 2018) Arkady Babchenko, the exiled Russian journalist who faked his own death in Ukraine to evade what he says was a Russian assassination plot, has set a $50,000 price for an exclusive interview. Ukrainian security officials said they staged Babchenko’s apparent murder last week to thwart and expose a Russian plot to assassinate […]

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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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RUSSIALINK: “Ukrainian president reacts to criticism of Babchenko’s staged murder, praises security operation” – Interfax

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

KYIV. May 31 (Interfax) – Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has responded to critics of the Ukrainian security services’ special operation that involved staging a murder of the Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko in Kyiv. “You should be accusing Russia, not the Ukrainians. The Ukrainians are doing everything possible to keep themselves together and to defend themselves. I can assure you it […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘Assassins were trying kill Babchenko. He has every right to do anything to survive. (As someone who also has had death threats lodged against me, I find lectures about how hunted people are supposed to act to be insensitive.)'” – Michael McFaul/Twitter

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

(Michael McFaul – @McFaul – Twitter – May 31, 2018) “‘Assassins were trying kill Babchenko. He has every right to do anything to survive. (As someone who also has had death threats lodged against me, I find lectures about how hunted people are supposed to act to be insensitive.)’” [embedded live feed of tweet also should load below] Assassins were […]

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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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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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RUSSIALINK: “U.S. launches Ukrainian-made Antares rocket with cargo resupply ship to ISS” – Interfax

International Space Station file photo

KYIV. May 21 (Interfax) – A medium-size Antares rocket developed and built in Ukraine has been successfully launched to the International Space Station (ISS) from a space center in the United States under a NASA contract. “The Orbital ATK Antares rocket with Cygnus spacecraft lifted off Monday, May 21, at 4:44 a.m. EDT on a contracted cargo resupply mission to […]

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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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NEWSLINK: “Q&A: Ukraine’s Got Javelins Now. So What?” – Atlantic Council/Melinda Haring

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

“On April 30, the U.S. Department of State confirmed … the delivery of Javelin antitank missile systems to Ukraine. This issue has been long-standing: the Obama administration refused to send the weapons to Kyiv, while President Donald Trump changed course. Some experts warn that giving Ukraine lethal defensive weapons will only enrage the Russians and escalate the war, while others, […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-76 :: Monday, 30 April 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-#76 Monday, 30 April 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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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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NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “Putin’s Next Act” – Brookings/ Julia Ioffe, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Angela Stent, Strobe Talbott, Alina Polyakova

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

(Brookings event – April 4, 2018) “… Putin’s third term as Russia’s president was defined by a return to aggressive foreign policy … military interventions in Ukraine and Syria, interference in elections in the United States and Europe … a crackdown on domestic dissent. … as Russia’s economic model and political system seem[] increasingly stagnant …. What might Putin’s fourth […]

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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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NEWSWATCH: “How Russia’s Economic Recession Benefits Moscow Politically in its ‘Near Abroad’ [Excerpt]” – PONARS Eurasia/Mariya Omelicheva

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Mariya Y. Omelicheva is Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Kansas. “Over the short run, Russia’s acrimonious relations with the West are serving the Kremlin’s broader effort of heightening its influence in its ‘near abroad.’ In 2014, Russia was hit by a triple whammy of low oil prices, Western sanctions, and Moscow’s counter-sanctions. During the […]

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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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NEWSLINK: “Does Putin’s Russia reject the West?” – BBC/Sarah Rainsford

File Photo of British Parliament Building Including Saint Stephen's Tower Containing Big Ben

“Amid the furor over a nerve agent spy attack in the UK, Russia is holding a presidential election. … Putin is expected to win yet another term in office. Do ordinary Russians share his outlook? …”  

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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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Sobchak says planned to go to Crimea on humanitarian mission, not to campaign

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

YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK. March 13 (Interfax) – Russian presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak said that she has no plans to campaign in Crimea and was going to travel there on a humanitarian mission. “I am not going to campaign there and have never planned to do so. But thousands of petitions are coming to me from Crimean Tatars, from people who have lost […]

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What does the flight of a controversial news editor tell us about press freedom in Ukraine? After the editor-in-chief of a controversial (and anonymously funded) website flees for Vienna, there are questions to answer – both for Ukraine’s authorities and the editor.

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

(opendemocracy.net – Brian Milakovsky – March 8, 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. Kyiv is abuzz with the news that the editor-in-chief of several popular and controversial media outlets has fled Ukraine and asked for political asylum in […]

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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 maintains gas transit to Europe despite new gas war with Russia” – Intellinews/Ben Aris

Gas Flame file photo

“Fears that Russia would stop sending transit gas to its European customers via Ukraine were not borne out over the weekend despite Russian state own gas monopolist Gazprom’s announcement that it was going to break its contracts with its Ukrainian counter party Naftogaz on March 2. Naftogaz immediately announced emergency measures, calling on Ukrainians to turn down the thermostat, switching […]

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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: Ryabkov predicts countermeasures in response to new U.S. sanctions on Russia

Sergei Ryabkov file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 15 (Interfax) – Russia will respond to new sanctions from the United Sates if they are imposed, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said. “If the threats are followed by real actions, we will act as before, staying calm and reserved – that is, ensure alternative forms and ways of achieving the tasks faced by our economic operators, […]

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Interfax: Medvedev: U.S. seeks to oust Russian companies from European market by putting them on different lists

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

SOCHI. Feb 15 (Interfax) – The United States is seeking to oust Russian companies from European market by including them in different lists, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said. “Why are they doing so? For purely pragmatic reasons, this is because they want to promote their companies to European market, but, saying it straightforwardly, Europe and the U.S. are now […]

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NEWSLINK: “Expansion, Sanctions, and Opposition-Promotion: the West’s Failed Russian Transformation Strategy” – Russian and Eurasian Politics/ Gordon M. Hahn

File Photo of Kremlin Aerial View, adapted from .gov source

“… The West’s post-Ukraine crisis sanction meanwhile are intended to undermine the regime from above. The hope in Washington and Brussels is that by pressuring state and private oligarchs close to Putin or the Kremlin, some may withdraw their support and seek either to remove Putin in a coup or join the opposition and remove him in a revolution or […]

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Ukrainians Abroad: The Economics and Politics of Labor Migration

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

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Brian Milakovsky – February 7, 2018) [Text with links kennan-focusukraine.org/ukrainians-abroad-the-economics-and-politics-of-labor-migration/] 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. In December, Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan made a statement that raised […]

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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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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: “Why Did the Trump Administration Pass the Buck on Sanctioning Russia?” [excerpt] – Russia Matters/David Szakonyi

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

David Szakonyi is an assistant professor of political science at George Washington University This week’s highly anticipated news on additional Russia sanctions landed with a thud. For weeks, both Moscow and Washington had been astir about the impending steps the Trump administration would take against Russia based on legislation reluctantly signed by the president nearly six months ago” and overwhelmingly […]

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

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

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

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Kyiv Rebrands Its War In The East

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

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

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

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

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

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

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

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

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Who’s On The List? Russia’s Elite Nervous About New U.S. Sanctions

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – WASHINGTON – January 15, 2018 – also appeared at https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-sanctions-list-putin-circle-elite-nervous/28976991.html) There’s a chill settling in over Moscow, and it’s not just the arctic temperatures that typically smother the Russian capital in January. As U.S. officials put the finishing touches on new financial and travel sanctions against Russia, […]

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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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Ukrainian Security Service questions Saakashvili for 4 hours

Mikheil Saakashvili file photo

KYIV. Jan 10 (Interfax) – The leader of the Ukrainian opposition party Movement of New Forces and former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has walked out of the Ukrainian Security Service building in Kyiv after being questioned for four hours. “All of the questions concerned exclusively political actions,” Saakashvili told journalists after being questioned on Thursday. Saakashvili said he intends to […]

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