Crimea Sucks Funds from Infrastructure Mega-Projects in Russia’s Regions

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – May 14, 2014) Crimea has become a multi-billion dollar sponge soaking up funds slated for crucial infrastructure projects in other regions, as the government scrambles to support its newest territory’s economy. On Tuesday, Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said that the federal budget would have to fork out from 160 billion rubles […]

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Unraveling the Kremlin’s Strategic Paradigm

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 11, Issue 89 – Robert McDermott – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – May 13, 2014) Since the eruption of the Ukraine crisis, Russian and Western commentators have tried to define those elements of Russian actions and policymaking that constitute “new” factors in Moscow’s relations with the West and its neighbors. On May 9, for example, with […]

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RIA Novosti: Lavrov Says Hysterical US Policy Makes Russia Consider Appropriate Response

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW, May 14 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will be obliged to take retaliatory measures if the West continues its sanctions policy, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday. “If the West continues these absolutely non-professional hysterical policies, we would have to think what we can do in return,” Lavrov said during an English-language interview with Bloomberg. The minister, however, emphasized […]

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Kerch Bridge To Crimea May Become Russia’s Link To The East

China Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – May 6, 2014) Russian industry analysts said Monday that possible involvement of Chinese companies in building a bridge from mainland Russia to Crimea was a solid political and business option in solving the key transportation challenge faced by the Kremlin after absorbing the peninsula. State-owned China Railway Construction Corporation, or CRCC, may […]

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Water War With Ukraine to Devastate Crimean Harvest

File Photo of Water Facet with Drop of Water Coming Out

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – April 25, 2014) “The harvest will be partially or fully lost across 120,000 hectares of farmland that should be irrigated [by water from the canal],” Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fyodorov said Thursday, PRIME reported. Russia will compensate farmers for some of these losses, but not all, he said. The North Crimea Canal funnels […]

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Even Lukashenka is Worried about What Putin May Do

Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 22, 2014) It is a measure of just how worried the leaders of countries bordering Russia are about the possibility that Vladimir Putin will build on his Crimean Anschluss by moving against their states that even Alyaksandr Lukashenka feels the need to deny that Mensk is oppressing ethnic Russians and to […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden at a Meeting with Ukrainian Legislators

File Photo of Joe Biden at Podium with U.S. Seal, With Ukrainian and U.S. Flags in Background

The White House April 22, 2014 REMARKS BY VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN AT A MEETING WITH UKRAINIAN LEGISLATORS Rada Kyiv, Ukraine 10:03 A.M. (Local) THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Mr. Ambassador. And I want to thank my colleagues for bringing me back home. For 36 years I sat in our legislature, and I used to actually have this seat in […]

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Putin Hovering on the Brink of a Massive Invasion of Ukraine

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 11, Issue 73 – Pavel Felgenhauer – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – April 17, 2014) The Ukrainian crisis and the “reunification” of Crimea with the rest of Russia dominated President Vladimir Putin’s almost four-hour-long televised national phone-in-an annual PR performance that had been previously dominated by discussion of pensions, utility payments, inflation, wages and other internal “bread […]

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Putin Shows Victor’s Benevolence at Annual Call-In

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – April 17, 2014) Breaking his tradition of publicly tongue-lashing opponents at home and abroad, President Vladimir Putin assumed a non-predatory stance Thursday to diffuse fears of escalation of the ongoing rift with the West over the Ukraine crisis during his annual live call-in show broadcast on national television and online. “I believe […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: What are the options for de-escalation in Ukraine?

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Nikolai Gorshkov, special to RBTH – April 17, 2014) While both Russia and the West are calling for a de-escalation of the situation in eastern Ukraine, there appear to be fundamental differences between each side’s view as to what constitute appropriate measures to achieve this aim. What are the possible options for resolving […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#86 contents with links :: Wednesday 16 April 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 3. Wall Street Journal: First Shots Rile Pro-Russian Crowds in Ukraine.
4. The Guardian: Troops fire as locals in Kramatorsk confront Ukraine general Vasily Krutov.
5. Reuters: Separatists fly Russian flag over Ukrainian armoured vehicles.
6. The Guardian: Ukraine crisis stirs resentment in birthplace of fugitive president. ….

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U.S. sanctions may spur economy reforms in Russia – business ombudsman

Boris Titov file photo

(Interfax – April 15, 2014) New U.S. sanctions against Russia may impact the global economy but may in the end stimulate economic reforms in Russia, businessmen’s rights commissioner Boris Titov said. “Of course, we would like to avoid sanctions. Money loves tranquility that is why the economy can develop only when international relations in the world are aimed at reducing […]

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RIA Novosti: ‘Direct Line with Vladimir Putin’ to Cover Crimea, Sanctions and NATO Buildup

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

MOSCOW, April 15 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin will answer questions from the public Thursday during his twelfth yearly call-in show called “Direct Line with Vladimir Putin.” This year’s “Direct Line” comes as the country is facing accusations of fomenting unrest in Ukraine after the breakaway republic Crimea voted by a landslide to leave Ukraine for Russia last […]

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Book Review: What Can We Learn From the Crimean War?

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – D. Garrison Golubock – April 15, 2014) As President Vladimir Putin mobilizes soldiers on Russia’s Ukrainian border and NATO threatens consequences for any interference in eastern Ukraine, the atmosphere of angry rhetoric and brinkmanship seems frighteningly similar to the imperial squabbles of the 19th century that led to the Crimean War. While often thought of […]

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Fragile Europe Weakens U.S. Push for Russia Sanctions

EU Map

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Sangwon Yoon – April 14, 2014) The U.S. readiness to impose new economic sanctions on Russia over Ukraine is offset by the European Union’s reluctance to introduce stronger measures that could threaten its already fragile economic recovery. While the Obama administration said yesterday that it’s prepared to ramp up sanctions, possibly to target specific sectors of […]

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FACT SHEET: Russian Fiction the Sequel: 10 More False Claims About Ukraine – U.S. State Department

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

US Department of State Russian Fiction the Sequel: 10 More False Claims About Ukraine Fact Sheet Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC April 13, 2014 “No amount of propaganda can make right something that the world knows is wrong.” – President Obama, March 26 Russia continues to spin a false and dangerous narrative to justify its illegal actions in Ukraine. […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2014-#83 contents with links :: Sunday 13 April 2014

St. Basil's file photo

… 26. New York Post: Mark Nuckols, Behind Putin’s Ukraine ‘unrest’ game.
27. The National Interest: F. Stephen Larrabee and Peter A. Wilson, Calling Putin’s Bluff.
28. NATO: Russia’s accusations – setting the record straight. Fact Sheet.
29. Commission on Security & Cooperation in Europe: U.S. Helsinki Commission. Testimony …

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Six More Russian Myths About Crimea

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Michael Bohm – April 11, 2014) Michael Bohm is opinion page editor of The Moscow Times. Russian leaders often look uninformed – or desperate – when they try to justify abuses of power by claiming that the U.S. is guilty of similar infractions. Take, for example, President Vladimir Putin’s comparison of Russia’s selective legal assault […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Ukraine: Confronting Internal Challenges and External Threats

File Photo of U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

Commission on Security & Cooperation in Europe: U.S. Helsinki Commission “Ukraine: Confronting Internal Challenges and External” [hearing transcript] Commission Members Present: Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-MD); Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI); Senator John Boozman (R-AR); Representative Michael Burgess (R-TX) Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN) Speaker: Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, U.S. Department of State The Briefing Was Held From […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with core members of the Russian Popular Front

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

(Kremlin.ru – Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region – April 10, 2014) Vladimir Putin met with core members of the Russian Popular Front national public movement. In particular, the meeting addressed implementing the Russian Popular Front’s anti-corruption project, which includes monitoring purchases for state and municipal needs. Also, Russian Popular Front representatives talked about independent supervision over implementation of the presidential executive orders […]

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Interfax: Western evaluations of events in eastern, southern Ukraine reflect double standards – Chizhov

EU Map

BRUSSELS. April 10 (Interfax) – Russia’s permanent envoy to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov believes the evaluations given by the West to the events taking place in the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine clearly indicate double standards in the approach to the crisis in Ukraine. “We see what is going on in the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine. […]

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RIA Novosti: US, French Warships Have Entered Black Sea – Report

File Photo of U.S. Navy Guided Missile Destroyer USS Donald Cook Firing Harpoon Missile

ANKARA, Turkey, April 11 (RIA Novosti) – The US guided-missile destroyer Donald Cook and French intelligence warship Dupuy de Lôme have entered the Black Sea, the Turkish newspaper Sabah reported Friday. According to the US military command, the dispatch of the Donald Cook destroyer was a move to reassure the country’s NATO allies in the region amid heightened tensions due […]

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Lavrov says U.S. Congressmen’s anti-Russian position aimed at undermining Obama

File Photo of John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov at Separte Podiums, Kerry with a Visible Earpiece; Adapted from Photo at state.gov

(Interfax – April 10, 2014) Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that he believes that US congressmen, who uphold an anti-Russian position, for example over events in Ukraine, are thus trying to undermine US President Barack Obama’s positions, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 10 April. “A huge number of facts point to the idea that those who […]

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Burger King Denies Plans to Expand Into Crimea

Ukraine Map and Flag

  (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 11, 2014) Burger King Worldwide reached out Thursday to quash reports that the fast food chain’s Russian franchise operator would expand to Crimea, which Russia recently annexed from Ukraine. On Wednesday, Burger King Russia CEO Dmitry Medovy told news agency Itar Tass: “We are planning to open in Crimea, but I cannot say […]

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Elections (or war) in Ukraine

Maidan Square file photo

(opendemocracy.net – Valery Kalnysh – April 10, 2014) Valery Kalnysh is editor of the Kommersant Ukraina newspaper Ukraine has never seen such an unusual election campaign; part of it – Crimea – is no longer Ukrainian; there are Russian tanks on its eastern frontiers, and separatism is rampant in the eastern regions In such a complicated situation the number of […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Ukraine: Confronting Internal Challenges and External Threats

Victoria Nuland file photo

(US Department of State – April 9, 2014) Testimony Victoria Nuland Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Statement Before the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission) Washington, DC April 9, 2014 As prepared Thank you, Chairman Cardin and Co-Chairman Smith, for inviting me to testify before you today on the situation in Ukraine. It is […]

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Burger King Expands Into Crimea After McDonald’s Exit

File Photo of Russian McDbnald's Crew with U.S. Diplomat

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – April 10, 2014) U.S. fast food giant Burger King plans to expand its chain into Crimea, filling the vacuum left when McDonald’s pulled out of the peninsula last Friday, citing unspecified supply issues. Burger King currently has no outlets in Crimea, which has been at the center of tensions between Russia and […]

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RIA Novosti: Capital Outflow from Russia Due to Ruble Rate, Not Crimea

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

BERLIN, April 10 (RIA Novosti) – The outflow of capital from Russia is not tied to events in Ukraine, but to fluctuations in the exchange rate of the ruble, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said Thursday. “The outflow of capital is not mainly tied to Crimea, the outflow, of course, is connected with the events that happened in […]

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Russia not to switch energy supplies from west to east over Ukraine – official

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

(RIA Novosti – Beijing, April 0, 2014) Russia does not intend to switch energy exports from the western to the eastern direction because of an escalation of tension over Ukraine, Deputy Prime Minister Arkadiy Dvorkovich said on Wednesday [9 April] after a meeting with the co-chairs of the Russia-China energy cooperation committee . “At the moment we have no intention […]

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In The Wake Of Crimea Annexation, Patriotism Reigns In Russian Classrooms

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Lyubov Chizhova and Farangis Najibullah – MOSCOW – April 09, 2014) It will take some time to revise Russia’s history textbooks to reflect the annexation of Crimea. But that’s not preventing the authorities from moving quickly to assure the country’s school curriculum sticks to a politically — and patriotically — correct line on the issue. In recent weeks, a new […]

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New Sanctions May Freeze South Stream Pipeline

Gas Flame file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – April 9, 2014) As the EU presses on with sanctions against Russia for seizing Crimea, the $50 billion South Stream pipeline, meant to bring Russian gas through the Black Sea to Europe, may be frozen in favor of other projects. The European Union is close to freezing the progress of South Stream […]

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Russia’s Top Diplomatic School in Turmoil Over Crimea Annexation

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – April 9, 2014) Russia’s top university for aspiring diplomats, the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, makes a show of being a worldly place. In the university’s main building, a sprawling gray structure in southwest Moscow, students dressed in suits stroll along hallways named after international streets like New York’s iconic Broadway. […]

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Russia Ready for Ukraine Talks with US, EU – Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW, April 8 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow is prepared to consider multilateral negotiations on the situation in Ukraine involving the US and EU, but a date has not yet been agreed on for the talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday. US Secretary of State John Kerry proposed holding talks on the crisis-hit country within the next 10 days […]

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Gas Replaces Weapons in New Russia-West Standoff

Gas Flame file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – April 8, 2014) As the worst standoff since the Cold War emerges, energy and economic diplomacy are the tools the West applies to contain Russia, expecting them to be more effective than military confrontation. Business executives and energy industry analysts, however, were doubtful that these tools had any commercial value added to […]

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Crimea-Induced Brain Drain Will Hurt Russia More than Sanctions, Gontmakher Says

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 7, 2014) The domestic consequences of Moscow’s Crimean policy combined with Russia’s weakening economic prospects will drive ever more young Russians to seek work and possibly permanent residence abroad, an “exodus” that will hurt the country far more than any of the sanctions announced so far, according to Yevgeny Gontmakher. In […]

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RIA Novosti: Eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk is Different From Crimea – Russian Lawmaker

Federation Council file photo

DONETSK, April 7 (RIA Novosti) – The situation in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk Region requires individual examination and is not identical to the Crimean scenario, the deputy chairman of Russia’s upper house of parliament told RIA Novosti on Monday. “The situation [in Donetsk Region] requires separate consideration due to its historic and political background,” Federation Council member Ilyas Ukhmanov said in […]

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Putin’s Only Option in Ukraine is to Use Force, Illarionov Says

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 7, 2014) The only option Vladimir Putin has if he is to advance his policies in Ukraine is to use force because the majority of Ukrainians in every region of that country do not support him, do not believe what he says, and do not want what he wants, according to […]

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[re: Ukraine, Crimea]; Sergei Roy’s piece

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

Subject: Sergei Roy’s piece Date: Sat, 5 Apr 2014 From: [experienced Western journalist] I spent one month in Kyiv, Crimea and eastern Ukraine and will be back there again soon. I have also been to Ukraine many times before, including Crimea. Sergei Roy’s piece is not insightful, it is inciteful. Below are a few private ruminations on that piece. It […]

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Ukraine and Sergei Roy

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

Subject: Ukraine and Sergei Roy Date: Sun, 06 Apr 2014 From: Stephen D. Shenfield <sshenfield@verizon.net> I would like to thank readers who have sent me appreciative and encouraging responses to my paper “Ukraine:Popular Uprising or Fascist Coup?” (which is now online on my site at http://www.stephenshenfield.net/themes/international-relations/164-ukraine-popular-uprising-or-fascist-coup). I would also like to respond to the long article by Sergei Roy (JRL […]

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Crimea Proving to Be a War Fought With International Law

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Moscow Times – cc – Ingrid Burke – April 7, 2014) International law is the weapon of choice in the Crimea conflict, with adversaries using sections of the United Nations Charter like artillery to bolster their own defenses and target their opponents’ weaknesses. But who will end up on the right side of history? The fact that the international community has […]

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RIA Novosti: Opinion: Council of Europe Parliament Softening Stance on Crimean Reunification

File Photo of Council of Europe Headquarters Building with Flags in Front

MOSCOW, April 4 (RIA Novosti) – The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) seems to be gradually softening its stance toward Crimea’s reunification with Russia, the head of the Russian delegation to the assembly told journalists Friday. “There’s been a certain shift in the attitudes of political groups. Some national delegations feel there’s no need to force Russia […]

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Interfax: Crimean official denies local police involvement in protesters’ deaths in Kiev

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Interfax – April 3, 2014) The first deputy prime minister of Crimea, Rustam Temirgaliyev, has rejected accusations voiced by the chief of the Ukrainian Security Service, Valentyn Nalyvaychenko, that police officers whom the Ukrainian authorities accuse of shooting anti-government protesters in Kiev in February are hiding in Crimea, Russian privately-owned news agency Interfax reported on 3 April. The report quoted […]

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No, Russia Isn’t Going Broke Any Time Soon

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Mark Gimein – April 3, 2014) Mark Gimein is Companies and Markets editor at Bloomberg.com, and lead writer for the Market Now blog and newsletter. Russia finally succeeded in selling government bonds this week, at a fat yield of 8.93 percent. This comes after four failed auctions since the Crimea occupation started. Last week, the government […]

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For Ukrainians and Russians, the political is personal; Immigrants to the U.S. talk about the crisis in Kiev and Crimea.

United States Map

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Xenia Grubstein, special to RBTH – April 2, 2014) For many Ukrainian-Americans and Russian-Americans, the crisis in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea are political but also deeply personal. Russians and Ukrainians in the diaspora and abroad are connected; their lives and those of their friends and families are intimately intertwined. RBTH asked […]

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Interfax: Signals coming in that U.S. plans to suspend dialogue with Russia even in areas where it benefits U.S. itself – Russian diplomat

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

MOSCOW. April 3 (Interfax) – Signals are being received from Washington that the United States intends to put its dialogue with Russia on hold even in areas in which contacts between the two countries benefit the U.S. itself, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said. “In recent days we have been flooded by signals from Washington that in light of […]

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Crimea Annexation Spurs Some Russians to Emigrate

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – April 3, 2014) National polls appear to show widespread support among Russians for the government’s seizure and annexation of the Crimean peninsula last month. But not everyone in the country views the move as positive – and some see it as the last straw. The takeover of Crimea, paired with the Kremlin’s […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE: Johnson’s Russia List contents with links :: 2014-#74 :: Thursday, 3 April 2014

St. Basil's file photo

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: 2014-#74 :: 3 April 2014 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support […]

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RIA Novosti: Moscow Says NATO’s Freeze of Cooperation Reminiscent of Cold War

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

MOSCOW, April 2 (RIA Novosti) – NATO’s decision to suspend cooperation with Russia resembles Cold War-style sword swinging, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Wednesday. The 28-nation NATO bloc announced Tuesday it will suspend all practical contacts with Moscow, in a move to put further pressure on Russia following its reunification with Crimea. “The decision of the NATO Council of […]

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In Sochi and Crimea, Cossacks Seek to Define Role in Society

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – D. Garrison Golubock – April 2, 2014) Dimiter Kenarov, a freelance reporter working in Crimea, was surprised to see a group of uniformed Cossacks hastily carrying cables and video equipment out of an Associated Press television studio. When he and another photographer attempted to document the incident, they found themselves attacked and robbed at gunpoint, […]

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Russia Presses Ukraine on Nationalists Amid NATO Talks

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – James G. Neuger, Gopal Ratnam and Henry Meyer – April 2, 2014) Russia pressed Ukraine to disarm nationalists it says are oppressing its compatriots there as NATO looked to bolster European security as the alliance’s Cold-War foe massed troops on Ukraine’s border. The presence of as many as 40,000 soldiers along Ukraine’s eastern frontier is fueling […]

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