JRL NEWSWATCH: “Hacked Emails Appear To Reveal Russia Is Backing Comedian Likely To Be Ukraine’s Next President” – Newsweek/ Cristina Maza

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

“… hacked emails suggest … Zelenskiy may have a powerful patron of his own: the Kremlin. … Ukraine’s security services … are investigating whether Zelenskiy’s campaign received financing from members of the Russian security service … supporting the leadership of the Donetsk People’s Republic … self-proclaimed, pro-Russian separatist proto-state in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region. … [A] Ukrainian hacking group associated […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Maybe We’ll Be Better Off With a Clown as President; Ukraine’s absurd election may turn out well for its people” – New York Times/ Alisa Sopova

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“Branding himself ‘Ze,’ he campaigned mostly via social media postings and … touring the country with his comedy shows. Instead of substantive messages, he offered banter and mockery. … accused of being a clown instead of a serious candidate … Zelensky proudly agreed, posting a video selfie … with a round red nose …. asked to share his plans for […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Militaristic and anti-democratic, Ukraine’s far-right bides its time.” – Christian Science Monitor/ Fred Weir

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

There are few countries in Europe that don’t have a problem with the far-right. But for Ukraine, where political stability is tenuous, the defiance and impunity of ultra-nationalist groups pose an acute concern. “… few in number … far-right groups operate with a high degree of impunity in Ukrainian society, allowing them to harass and attack minorities and human rights […]

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Could a Zelensky Presidency Prove a Breakthrough for Conflict Resolution in the Donbas?

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

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Serhiy Kudelia – April 11, 2019 – wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/could-zelensky-presidency-prove-breakthrough-for-conflict-resolution-the-donbas) Serhiy Kudelia is an associate professor of political science at Baylor University, where he teaches courses on ethnopolitical conflicts, terrorism, political regimes, and post-Soviet politics. Five years since the start of the armed conflict in Donbas, its resolution remains the top concern of most Ukrainian voters, with […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Is Russia Safe? U.S. Adds to New Kidnapping Threat List Along With Iran, Venezuela and These Other Countries” – Newsweek/ Tom O’Connor

“The United States has named Russia in a list of nearly three dozen countries where it warned its citizens risk being kidnapped …. State Department’s travel advisories for 35 nations featured a ‘K’ that signifies ‘the risks of kidnapping and hostage taking by criminal and terrorist actors …’ The department said that the use of a new indicator … was […]

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Will Ukraine’s Fractured Electorate Create Another Power Turnover?

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

(PONARS Eurasia – Sergiy Kudelia, Associate Professor of Political Science, Baylor University – April 8, 2019) [Text with charts ponarseurasia.org/article/will-ukraines-fractured-electorate-create-another-power-turnover] (PONARS Eurasia) The first round of the presidential election in Ukraine on March 31 produced two frontrunners who will face each other in the run-off on April 21: challenger Volodymyr Zelensky (30.24 percent) and incumbent Petro Poroshenko (15.95 percent). Only […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Will a Comic Actor Become Ukraine’s Next President? Why Volodymyr Zelenskiy Won the First Round of Elections” – Foreign Affairs/ Melinda Haring

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

“… Front-runner Volodymyr Zelenskiy, an inexperienced 41-year-old comic television actor, came out on top, with even higher numbers than predicted. … 30 percent …. Incumbent … Poroshenko came in second with just under 16 percent. … fac[ing] off in a second-round runoff on April 21. … Poroshenko gets solid marks as a wartime president, but the economy is barely growing. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine’s TV President Is Dangerously Pro-Russian; Volodymyr Zelensky could become the country’s next real-life leader. If his show is any guide, Ukrainians should be worried.” – Foreign Policy/ Alexander J. Motyl

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“… Unforgivable is the absence from [Zelensky’s television] show of Russia or … Putin. In its alternate universe, Crimea and Donbass are not occupied. There is no war. … no deaths. … no mention of Russian attempts to quash Ukrainian independence …. suggest[ing] either … Zelensky, who serves as the show’s executive producer, has no idea how to deal with […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “5 ways that Poroshenko can still win” – Kyiv Post/ Brian Bonner

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

“… Most Ukrainian voters, however, see … [Poroshenko] as someone who squandered the clear mantle of leadership handed to him with a resounding 54 percent of the vote in 2014, securing a first-round knockout victory over ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, whose third presidential bid ended in failure on March 31. Voters say they see him as no better than all […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Ukrainian voters tired of atmosphere of hatred in country – Center for Current Politics director on outcome of first round of election” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. April 1 (Interfax) – The outcome of the first round of the presidential election in Ukraine shows that voters are tired of the atmosphere of hatred and have a demand for a solution to vital internal problems, Alexei Chesnakov, Director of the Center for Current Politics, said. “The results received are a call on the political elite to stop […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine election turns ugly as president and comic reach run-off” – Financial Times/ Roman Olearchyk, Ben Hall

Column in Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“Poroshenko expected to launch onslaught on Zelensky in bid to make up ground” “… exit polls indicated [that Volodymyr Zelensky] … convincingly won the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election …. The 41-year-old actor and comic[‘s] political experience is limited to playing an honest teacher elected president in a popular TV series …. [T]here was already anxiety … that the […]

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Russian State Media Highlights The Negative In Ukrainian Presidential Vote

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“As Ukrainians voted for a new president, Russians keeping track of the election on state TV were bombarded with coverage of Ukraine’s failures as an independent state and reports of alleged electoral fraud. … Incumbent President Petro Poroshenko, who has consistently played on the threat from Russia to rally his supporters, was not a popular choice in Moscow. …”

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RUSSIALINK: “War in Donbas will end ‘when last piece of Ukrainian land is liberated'” – Interfax

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

KYIV. March 30 (Interfax) – Peace in Donbas will come after “the last piece of Ukrainian land and the last prisoner-of-war” are liberated, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Ukraine television on Friday. “Write down and remember: the war will be over the day the last piece of Ukrainian land is liberated, the day the last prisoner-of-war is freed,” Poroshenko […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Revolution That Wasn’t: Disillusioned Ukrainians Head to Polls” – Wall Street Journal/ Georgi Kantchev

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“Frustrated with graft, their inability to join NATO and the EU and a conflict with Russia, voters make a politically inexperienced comedian their top candidate” “Five years ago, Ukrainians staged a revolution that sought to throw off a Russia-backed government and sweep away a corrupt ruling class. Europe and the West would pull the country into their orbit, reviving a […]

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How To Watch (And Understand) Ukraine’s Presidential Election

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

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Christopher Miller – KYIV – March 29, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/how-to-watch-(and-understand)-ukraine-presidential-election/29849578.html) The choice is stark. Stay the slow and not-quite-steady course with a deeply unpopular but seasoned leader who knows the ropes and has taken Ukraine westward despite foot-dragging on reforms and a failure […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine’s leading presidential candidate Zelenskiy denies dependence on oligarch Kolomoisky” – bne Intellinews/ Sergei Kuznetsov

“Ukrainian comic and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy has denied any dependence on controversial oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky. … some experts and journalists in Kyiv are speculating that Zelenskiy is ready to de-nationalise … PrivatBank, co-owned by Kolomoisky …. Zelenskiy has strengthened his lead in the presidential elections, and now has nearly double the ratings of his rivals, according to the latest […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “What’s at Stake in Ukraine’s Presidential Election” – AP

File photo of statue of St. Volodymyr in Kyiv overlooking the Dnieper River, adapted from image at cia.gov

“Awash in corruption, plagued by a war with Russia-backed separatists, reliant on international institutions for billions of dollars in aid, Ukraine presents stern challenges for its next president. Sunday’s election, which will require a second round if none of the 39 candidates wins an absolute majority, comes five years after mass protests drove the pro-Russia president to flee the country. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Kharkiv’s pro-Russian protesters still mistrustful of Kiev; Some in Kharkiv see Ukrainian government as ‘illegitimate’ and will not vote in Sunday’s presidential elections” – Aljazeera/ Tamila Varshalomidze

Kharkiv at Sunset, file photo adapted from image at ua.usembassy.gov

“… Pro-European demonstrations born in 2013 on Kiev’s Independence Square – known as the Maidan protests – were copied in the country’s second-largest city, but … crowds were never more than about 300 people. … [A] sprawling pro-Russian protest camp occupied the central square in 2014 with Russian flags on display. … The differences that led to the split in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine votes: The incumbent, the populist, or the comedian?” – Christian Science Monitor/ Fred Weir

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“Ukraine’s Maidan Revolution brought hope and enthusiasm to Kiev, but now much of that energy has sapped away. Sunday’s presidential election has a chance to reinvigorate Ukrainian reform.” “Ukraine’s presidential election, set for this Sunday, looks to almost everyone like a chaotic 39-way horse race. … featur[ing] … allegations of skulduggery, including fraud, bribery and … Russian meddling. … [T]he […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Enjoys the Show in Tight Ukrainian Election; As Ukrainians head to the polls this weekend, the Kremlin is paying close attention” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich – March 29, 2019 – themoscowtimes.com/2019/03/29/russia-enjoys-the-show-in-tight-ukrainian-election-a65015) A chocolate baron, a comedian who plays a president on television and a former prime minister hoping third time’s the charm. These are the leading candidates for the Ukrainian presidency as voters head to the polls on Sunday for the second time since the 2014 Maidan Revolution […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Orthodox Church expects Ukrainian authorities not to force believers to join new church following elections” – Interfax

File Photo of Russian Orthodox Cathedral with Man in Religious Garb in Foreground

MOSCOW. March 26 (Interfax) – The Russian Orthodox Church has called on the Ukrainian authorities to change its attitude toward members of the canonical Orthodox Church in Ukraine and not force them to join the newly-established religious organization. “We expect the Ukrainian authorities to deliver on their promises, which have been voiced repeatedly, that believers of all religious denominations will […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘Dirtiest’ Race Ever Drags Ukraine Election Into Perilous Waters” – Bloomberg/ Kateryna Choursina, Yulia Surkova

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“… the first of two spots in an almost certain runoff next month looks wrapped up[;] a battle for the other is raging between incumbent Petro Poroshenko and ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Accusations are flying — everything from voter payoffs to wiretaps and shady donors. There’s even a decoy candidate …. Dirty tricks aren’t unique to Ukraine. They’re a common […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine’s 2019 Election: the End of Ideology and the Last Comedian [Excerpt]” – PONARS Eurasia/ Sergiy Kudelia

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

Sergiy Kudelia is Associate Professor of Political Science at Baylor University and a member of PONARS Eurasia. [Full text with charts: ponarseurasia.org/point-counter/article/kudelia-ukraine-2019-election?fbclid=IwAR3I3Y-JM4qgHgQ_guQPMZ5FHV4TPxbH-E1n3KqcgJiDAV5cypW3McQAHEs] The frontrunner in the Ukrainian presidential campaign is someone who has never held a government position and has no record of political or civic activism. Rather, Volodymyr Zelenskiy has risen to prominence by ridiculing on stage the very […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Zelensky projected to beat any opponent in 2nd round of Ukrainian presidential election” – Interfax

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

KYIV. March 20 (Interfax) – Ukrainian entertainer and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to win in a second round of presidential elections no matter which of the other candidates he faces, as is evident from a poll the Social Monitoring public opinion survey service and the Oleksandr Yaremenko Ukrainian Institute of Social Studies conducted on March 11 to 18. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Top Ukrainian justice official says U.S. ambassador gave him a do not prosecute list” – The Hill

“Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko told Hill.TV[] … that U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch gave him a do not prosecute list during their first meeting. ‘Unfortunately, from the first meeting with the U.S. ambassador in Kiev, [Yovanovitch] gave me a list of people whom we should not prosecute,’ Lutsenko … told Hill.TV …. The State Department called Lutsenko’s claim […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting with Government members [Re: Crimea]” – KremlinRu

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – March 20, 2019 – en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/60116) The President held a regular meeting with Government members. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues. I have something to tell you before we begin. We are aware of the political events that are unfolding in a neighboring country, which is our closest ally. They are about changes in the political leadership. […]

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Russia’s Missed Opportunity: Five Years Since Crimea’s Annexation

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

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Maxim Trudolyubov – March 18, 2019 – wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/russias-missed-opportunity-five-years-crimeas-annexation) Maxim Trudolyubov is a Senior Fellow at the Kennan Institute and the Editor-at-Large of Vedomosti, an independent Russian daily. The logic of Russian politicians who made an unexpected decision five years ago to annex the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea was not economic or political. It was a […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russians Conflicted Over Crimea Annexation’s Value” – Moscow TimesTimes

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 15, 2019) Despite still approving of their country’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, fewer Russians view it as beneficial on the fifth anniversary of the annexation, a state-run survey has found. Independent polls have shown a yearly uptick in the percentage of Russians who believe that their country benefited from “the return of […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Ukraine expecting 700 observers, 800 journalists to arrive for presidential election – State Border Service” – Interfax

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

KYIV. March 14 (Interfax) – Ukraine is expecting about 700 foreign observers and 800 foreign journalists to arrive for its presidential election of March 31, Ukrainian State Border Service spokesman Oleh Slobodyan said at a press briefing in Kyiv on Thursday. “Emphasis will be put on the arrivals of international observers and accredited media representatives. As of now, about 700 […]

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Deputized As Election Monitors, Ukrainian Ultranationalists ‘Ready To Punch’ Violators

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Christopher Miller – KYIV, March 7, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/deputized-as-election-monitors-ukrainian-ultranationalists-ready-to-punch-violators/29809207.html) [DJ: See also: https://www.stalkerzone.org/ukrainian-nazi-election-observers-reserve-the-right-to-use-force-at-polling-precincts/] They patrol the streets of the Ukrainian capital in matching urban camouflage and march in lockstep through Kyiv with torches. They attack minority groups, including Roma and LGBT people. And […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Considering New Lethal Aid to Ukraine to Deter Russia; New maritime weaponry would help prevent another Kerch Strait crisis, says Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti” – U.S. News/ Paul D. Shinkman

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

“[Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, commander of the U.S. European Command and the top officer for NATO,] said … the U.S. is considering providing additional lethal aid to Ukraine to deter future Russian naval aggression akin to the recent crisis in the Kerch Strait. … during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing about the current disposition of U.S. forces in Europe. … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine Candidate Urges Talks to End Conflict in East” – AP

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

“A comedian leading Ukraine’s presidential race says the country needs to negotiate with Russia to put an end to fighting in the east. Volodymyr Zelenskiy … plays the nation’s president in a popular TV series [and] has surged ahead of … Poroshenko and … Tymoshenko [in a poll] …. He said he would encourage the United States and Britain to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Poroshenko’s team hit by defence industry corruption scandal, Tymoshenko starts impeachment process” – bne Intellinews

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

“… Poroshenko rivals in the upcoming presidential election are accusing him of ‘profiting from blood’ after an investigation revealed that the son of the president’s close business partner has been selling arms to separatist rebels in the breakaway eastern region of Donbas … [according to] a report broadcast on Ukrainian TV …. Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who leads the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Tymoshenko out of Ukraine top-two presidential candidates, new poll says” – bne Intellinews

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

“… Tymoshenko is losing public support ahead of the March presidential elections and after taking an early lead has now fallen out of the top two, according to the … Kyiv-based Razumkov Center …. [indicating] 17.5% [of] all respondents plan to vote for Ukrainian comic … Volodymyr Zelenskiy and [that] of those that said they will definitely vote in the […]

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U.S. Senators To Try Again With Tougher Russia Sanctions Bill

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

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – February 14, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/us-senators-press-new-tough-russia-sanctions-bill/29769099.html) A bipartisan group of U.S. senators has introduced a bill that would impose drastic new sanctions on Russia over its meddling in U.S. elections and aggression against Ukraine. The bill, the latest congressional effort to push President Donald Trump […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia and Ukraine: A Lethal Codependency” – Carnegie Moscow/ Gleb Pavolvsky

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

“The Russia-Ukraine conflict has moved from cozy mutual exploitation to lethal hostility. Neither side is prepared to admit its deep dependence on the other. Five years after the Ukraine crisis began, and as the presidential campaign gets under way in that country, it is conventional to see Russia’s intervention there and Ukraine’s response as a modern example of interstate power […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Some 70% of Ukrainians approve possible compromises with Russia, DPR, LPR for sake of peace – poll” – Interfax

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

KYIV. Feb 13 (Interfax) – Seventy-two percent of Ukrainians believe that there is a war between Ukraine and Russia, while 15% disagree, according to a nationwide opinion poll conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation and the Razumkov Center and a regional survey conducted in the districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions controlled by Kyiv. Thirty-nine percent of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine’s Civil War: Would Accepting This Terminology Help Resolve the Conflict? [Excerpt]” – PONARS Eurasia

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

(PONARS Eurasia – Jesse Driscoll – February 2019) Associate Professor, Political Science; Chair, Global Leadership Institute, University of California San Diego [Full text: ponarseurasia.org/memo/ukraines-civil-war-would-accepting-terminology-help-resolve-conflict] (PONARS Policy Memo) Since Ukraine is the site of both an invasion (Crimea) and a civil war (in the Donbas), there is no academic consensus on what to call the crisis in Ukraine. Russians usually call […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2019-#18 :: Thursday, 7 February 2019

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 Support the JRL: russialist.org/funding.php Donate Online: click here for direct link at GWU [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2019-#18 :: Thursday, 7 February 2019 A project sponsored through […]

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Desperately Seeking A Postwar President In Ukraine

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

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Christopher Miller – KYIV, Jan. 25, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/desperately-seeking-a-postwar-president-in-ukraine/29730680.html) Ukrainians say the biggest problem facing their country ahead of a crucial presidential election in March is the same one that ushered in the current head of state in the first place: war. It’s been […]

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NEWSLINK: “25 years after Ukraine denuclearized, Russian aggression continues to rise” – Brookings/ Strobe Talbott, Maggie Tennis

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“Twenty-five years ago this week, the United States, Russia, and Ukraine signed the Trilateral Statement and Annex, in which Ukraine agreed to transfer its nuclear stockpile to Russia. In exchange, Ukraine received compensation for the value of the highly enriched uranium in the nuclear warheads, assistance in eliminating the strategic delivery systems on its territory, and security assurances from the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “State Duma refuses to resume cooperation with PACE, increasing chances that Russia could leave the Council of Europe ” – Meduza

Russian State Duma Building file photo

“Federal lawmakers in Russia say they are opposed to sending a delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) …. a plenary session of the State Duma … endorsed an announcement refusing to resume cooperation with PACE until Russia’s voting rights are restored …. According to the Duma[] … more than half the judges now working in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Ukrainian Harvard team” – Kyiv Post/ Nataliya Katser-Buchkovska

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“… After the 100-day EuroMaidan Revolution forced Kremlin-backed President Viktor Yanukovych into Russian exile in 2014, Ukraine demanded a new kind of leadership. The revolution played its role in history and brought about significant change in government, politics and civil society. However, now the time has come for Ukraine to step again on the path of steady evolutionary growth and […]

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NEWSLINK: “Ukraine Wants to Be a Part of the West; But it’s strategy is yielding mixed results” – The National Interest/ Nikolas K. Gvosdev

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

“Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko has staked his country’s future and his own chances at re-election to a second term on three gambles. He hopes that these gambles will permanently rupture Ukraine’s connections to Russia and ensure that Ukraine becomes a full member of the Western community of nations. So far, however, the scorecard is showing mixed results. …”

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting on establishing cultural and educational centres in Russian regions” – KremlinRu

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Kremlin.ru – January 8, 2019) Vladimir Putin held a meeting on the creation of cultural, educational and museum centres in Vladivostok, Kaliningrad, Kemerovo and Sevastopol. The President set the goal to create theatre, concert, museum and educational centres in the Russian regions in his Address to the Federal Assembly in 2018, with details codified in the Presidential Executive Order On […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “How to Hit Russia Where It Hurts; A Long-Term Strategy to Ramp Up Economic Pressure” – Foreign Affairs Magazine/ Peter Harrell

“… [S]anctions have done little to change Moscow’s ways. … Any economic pressure … has to starve the country’s military-industrial complex. The United States and Europe know this: they adopted export controls against Russian defense industries … and … Congress passed a law sanctioning foreign companies and governments … [for] ‘significant transactions’ with the Russian defense sector. These sanctions threaten […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Is Russia about to invade Ukraine again? That may depend on Trump” – Washington Post Editorial

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

“It has been five weeks since Russia assaulted Ukrainian Navy ships … passing through international waters near the occupied Crimean Peninsula. … Russian forces … are massed near Crimea’s border with eastern Ukraine, prompting warnings from the Ukrainian government as well as independent observers that the [Putin] regime … may be planning a new attack …. the Trump administration should […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Orthodox Church accuses Patriarch Bartholomew of fulfilling U.S. order in Ukraine” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. Dec 27 (Interfax) – Patriarch Bartholomew by his actions is fulfilling a U.S. order in Ukraine, Metropolitan Hilarion, the head of the external church relations department of the Moscow Patriarchate, said. “Patriarch Bartholomew is part of a big geopolitical project, a project aimed at further weakening Russia, at driving a wedge between the peoples of Russia and Ukraine. And […]

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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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