The Interpreter

A special project of Institute of Modern Russia

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Liveblog Team
Liveblog Team

Russia Update: May 29, 2015

Vladimir Kara-Murza, Jr., the opposition journalist and coordinator for Open Russia, Khodorkovsky’s movement, is in serious but stable condition in a Moscow hospital, his father said. Friends and colleagues are concerned he could have been poisoned. Welcome to our column, Russia Update, where we will be closely following day-to-day developments in Russia, including the Russian
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Liveblog Team
Liveblog Team

Ukraine Live Day 466: Russia Considers Captured Spetsnaz Men ‘Mercenaries’

Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here. An archive of our liveblogs can be found here. For an overview and analysis of this developing story see our latest podcast. Please help The Interpreter to continue providing this valuable information service by making a donation towards our costs. For links to individual
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Liveblog Team
Liveblog Team

Russia Update: Condition of Opposition Journalist Kara-Murza Remains ‘Critical’

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has now joined Sen. John McCain and others in calling for FIFA president Sepp Blatter to resign amid the corruption investigation of 9 sports officials. A new leadership could put in jeopardy Russia’s hosting of the World Cup in 2018. Welcome to our column, Russia Update, where we will be
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Liveblog Team
Liveblog Team

Ukraine Live Day 465: One Killed, One Injured After Explosion In Kiev

Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here. An archive of our liveblogs can be found here. For an overview and analysis of this developing story see our latest podcast. Please help The Interpreter to continue providing this valuable information service by making a donation towards our costs. For links to individual
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Liveblog Team
Liveblog Team

Ukraine Live Day 464: At Least 4 Civilians And 1 Ukrainian Soldier Killed During Intense Fighting

Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here. An archive of our liveblogs can be found here. For an overview and analysis of this developing story see our latest podcast. Please help The Interpreter to continue providing this valuable information service by making a donation towards our costs. For links to individual
...Read more
Liveblog Team
Liveblog Team

Russia Update: Vladimir Kara-Murza Hospitalised In Moscow; ‘Poisoning Suspected’

Vladimir Kara-Murza, an opposition activist and journalist, has fallen severely ill in Moscow. Welcome to our column, Russia Update, where we will be closely following day-to-day developments in Russia, including the Russian government’s foreign and domestic policies. The previous issue is here. UPDATES BELOW Russia This Week: - Is ‘Novorossiya’ Really Dead? - From Medal
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Stephen Blank
Stephen Blank

I, Putin

Marx famously observed that when history repeats itself it comes first as tragedy and then as farce. Likewise, Adam Ulam, one of the founding giants of Russian studies in the US, wrote, “Russian history is tragic and glorious, but also preposterous.” Vladimir Putin’s cult of personality long since transcended the farcical to become utterly preposterous.
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Liveblog Team
Liveblog Team

Russia Update: Le Pen Visits Moscow

French actor Gerard Depardieu, now a Russian citizen, will give a concert in Donetsk, the self-proclaimed “People’s Republic of Donetsk” cultural official announced. Two concerts are also planned by Russian performer Iosif Kobzon, also a Russian-backed separatist reporter. Welcome to our column, Russia Update, where we will be closely following day-to-day developments in Russia, including
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Liveblog Team
Liveblog Team

Ukraine Live Day 463: Intense Fighting In Lugansk Region And East Of Volnovakha

Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here. An archive of our liveblogs can be found here. For an overview and analysis of this developing story see our latest podcast. Please help The Interpreter to continue providing this valuable information service by making a donation towards our costs. For links to individual
...Read more
Liveblog Team
Liveblog Team

Russia Update: The Family: A Film by Open Russia about Ramzan Kadyrov, Putin’s ‘Vassal’

Today Open Russia, the civic movement founded by businessman and former political prisoner Mikhail Khodorkovsky, is releasing The Family, a film about Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. Welcome to our column, Russia Update, where we will be closely following day-to-day developments in Russia, including the Russian government’s foreign and domestic policies. The previous issue is here.
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Analysis

Assessing ‘Putin.War’ — A Look At the Last Investigation By Boris Nemtsov and His Colleagues

Today the English-language edition of Putin.War, which The Interpreter‘s Catherine A. Fitzpatrick translated, is being released in Washington, DC at the Atlantic Council. As we reported when the original report was released in Moscow May 12, it is intended primarily to educate a Russian audience on the realities of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Nemtsov’s colleague
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Analysis
The XX Committee

I Told You So

I can’t help but take some pleasure in seeing the mainstream media, however belatedly, explain that the NSA defector Edward Snowden is a very useful tool for Vladimir Putin and his intelligence services in what I term their Special War against the West. I’ve been pointing this out, since it’s obvious to anybody actually acquainted
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Analysis
Window on Eurasia

Repression in Russia Intensifying Outside of Moscow

Staunton, May 26 – As it has done so often, the Russian government is increasing repression outside the capital and thus outside the field of view of Western journalists and diplomats at a rapid pace, something it may be able to do even more effectively if Moscow media outlets follow the advice of some not
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Analysis
Window on Eurasia

Putin’s Party Suffers Big Loss in Small Kaliningrad City

Staunton, May 26 – Vladimir Putin’s party of power, United Russia, failed to win a single seat in elections to the 15-member city council of Baltiysk in Kaliningrad, an indication of just how soft support for his party and possibly for him is — and of what steps Russian opposition groups may be able to
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Analysis
Window on Eurasia

‘In the Donbass, There is a War, But in Crimea, There is Terror,’ Residents Say

Staunton, May 26 – Many believe that the situation in Russian-occupied Crimea is “not so terrible” because there is no war going on there, Abmezhit Suleymanov says. But in many ways, the situation in Crimea is even worse: in the Donbass, “you know who your enemy is;” in Crimea, there are enemies “all around you”
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Analysis
Window on Eurasia

Russia Now in ‘a State of War for Survival with the US,’ Russia Today Commentator Says

Staunton, May 23 – Rostislav Ishchenko, a commentator for Russia Today who gained notoriety for arguing that Moscow should “preventively occupy” the Baltic countries, says that Russia today “is in a state of war with the United States and that each of its citizens is on the front lines regardless of whether he is fighting
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Analysis
Window on Eurasia

West Caving on Crimea But Kyiv Can Ultimately Get It Back, Piontkovsky Says

Staunton, May 23 – The West appears to have accepted the deal Vladimir Putin has been offering the last month, agreeing not to challenge Russia’s annexation of Crimea de facto in exchange for the Kremlin leader’s declaration that he will recognize the territorial integrity of the rest of Ukraine and not expand his campaign against
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Analysis
Window on Eurasia

Which of Many Russian Languages Defines Putin’s Russia World?

Staunton, May 24 – Vladimir Putin insists that the unity of the Russian nation and the basis of what he calls “the Russian world” depends on the Russian language, but there are “various Russian languages,” Oleg Panfilov points out, thus prompting the question: which of these can Putin in fact use to define his nation
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Analysis
Window on Eurasia

Ukrainian Conflict is between ‘Heirs of Kievan Rus’ and ‘Heirs of Golden Horde,’ Piontkovsky Says

Staunton, May 25 — “The Ukrainian-Russian conflict is to a significant degree a conflict between the heirs of Kievan Rus [Ukraine] and the heirs of the Golden Horde” [Moscow], according to Andrey Piontkovsky, and one of its key results will be “an intensification of the swallowing of Russia by China.” In the course of a
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Analysis
Window on Eurasia

Moscow Can’t Maintain Current Levels of Military Spending for Much Longer, Guriyev Says

Staunton, May 24 — The Russian government cannot afford to maintain its current levels of military spending for long because its shift of resources to the military sector is threatening the rest of the Russian economy and because its reserve fund will be insufficient to pay for this spending for more than another year or
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‘‘
quotable
’’

“For the moment I’d say the delivery of the Mistrals, in the context we all know, isn’t possible.”

- François Hollande President of France
News Highlights

Opposition Writer Kara-Murza Diagnosed with ‘Severe Kidney Failure’

Vladimir Kara-Murza, Jr., federal coordinator for the Open Russia movement, has been diagnosed with “severe kidney malfunction,” his father, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Sr. told RBK.ru (translation by The Interpreter):

Vladimir Kara-Murza Reportedly Out Of Coma, Still In Serious Condition

The Interpreter’s Editor-in-Chief, Michael Weiss, who is also a senior fellow at the Institute of Modern Russia, has spoken to sources close to opposition figure Vladimir Kara-Murza. According to the latest news, Kara-Murza was in a coma but has now regained consciousness.

Major Fire At Sulfuric Acid Plant In Chelyabinsk Region

A fire has broken out at the Karabashmed copper-smelting plant in Karabash, around 80 kilometres north-west of Chelyabinsk.

Captured Russian Soldier Aleksandrov Will Not Appeal Detention In Kiev

TSN reports that Konstantin Kravchuk, a Ukrainian lawyer for Aleksandr Aleksandrov, a Russian GRU Spetsnaz soldier captured outside Schastye on May 17, has told the television channel that his client will not appeal the decision of a Kiev court to place him under arrest.

Civilian Pentagon Employee Detained on Charges of Violation of Visa Regulations in St. Petersburg

A civilian employee of the Pentagon has been detained by Russian officials and brought before a court in St. Petersburg on charges of violating visa regulations.

Veteran Russian Rights Activist Alexeyeva Returns to Putin’s Human Rights Council

Ludmila Alexeyeva, the veteran human rights advocate and chair of the Moscow Helsinki Group, the oldest Russian human rights organization, has decided to return to the Presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights, Moscow Times and other Russia media have reported.

Will FIFA Scandal Jeopardize Russia’s Awarding of the World Cup?

Huge news has rocked the world of football (soccer) this morning, as seven people have been arrested and a total of 14 FIFA officials and others associated with them have been indicted on a wide range of charges. The Washington Post reports:

25-Year-Old Combat Medic Survives Despite Losing Both Legs In Avdeyevka Yesterday

Yesterday we reported on a claim from Ukrainian soldier Aleksandr Pogrebiskiy, that a servicewoman had been killed by shelling in Avdeyevka.

Friends of Kara-Murza Say He Felt Fine After Organizing Open Russia Lecture in Kazan on Saturday

Moskovsky Komsomolets has published an article on Vladimir Kara-Murza, Jr., an opposition writer who is now in serious condition in the hospital after suspected poisoning.

At Least Four Civilians And One Ukrainian Soldier Killed During Intense Fighting Across Front

Oleksandr Motuzyanik, a spokesman for the Presidential Administration on the military operation in the south-east, has told reporters at a briefing today that one Ukrainian soldier has been killed and eight wounded over the last 24 hours.