The Interpreter

The Interpreter

A special project of Institute of Modern Russia

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Andrew Bowen
Andrew Bowen

Responding To Russia’s Threats In The Baltics Is Like Playing ‘Whack-a-Mole’

Not long after an Estonian counter-intelligence (KAPO) officer was kidnapped and paraded before Moscow TV cameras, Sweden is now playing its own version of “whack-a-mole,” with its navy hunting for phantom objects after reports suggest a Russian submarine or mini-sub is stranded in its waters. It is not clear exactly what is happening. Reports have
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Editor
Editor

Ukraine Liveblog Day 247: Ukraine Claims That It Has Evidence Of Use Of Russian Cluster Munitions

Yesterday’s liveblog 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. View Ukraine: April, 2014 in a larger map For
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Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

Russia This Week: Former Lenta Editor Launches Medusa in Riga; TV Rain Evicted in Moscow

Updated Daily. Last week’s issue: - Soldiers’ Mothers Activist Arrested, Had Pressed Cases of Russian Soldiers in Killed in Ukraine - Gorbachev Confirms There Was No NATO ‘Non-Expansion’ Pledge - Poland Arrests Russian Lt. Colonel and Lawyer on Suspicion of ‘Espionage’ - Two American Journalism Professors Detained in St. Petersburg at Workshop - Harassment Continues
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Editor
Editor

Ukraine Liveblog Day 246: Submarines, Gas Deals, And Human Rights

Yesterday’s liveblog 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. View Ukraine: April, 2014 in a larger map For
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Editor
Editor

Ukraine Liveblog Day 245: Huge Explosion In Donetsk

Yesterday’s liveblog 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. View Ukraine: April, 2014 in a larger map For
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Editor
Editor

Ukraine Liveblog Day 244: German Intelligence Claims Russian-Backed Militants Downed MH17

Yesterday’s liveblog 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. View Ukraine: April, 2014 in a larger map For
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Editor
Editor

Ukraine Liveblog Day 243: Shelling Resumes at Donetsk Airport and Suburbs

Yesterday’s liveblog 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. View Ukraine: April, 2014 in a larger map For
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Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

Russia This Week: Gorbachev Confirms There Was No NATO ‘Non-Expansion’ Pledge (October 13-19)

Updated Daily. This week’s issue: - Soldiers’ Mothers Activist Arrested, Had Pressed Cases of Russian Soldiers in Killed in Ukraine - Gorbachev Confirms There Was No NATO ‘Non-Expansion’ Pledge - Poland Arrests Russian Lt. Colonel and Lawyer on Suspicion of ‘Espionage’ - Two American Journalism Professors Detained in St. Petersburg at Workshop - Harassment Continues
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Editor
Editor

Ukraine Liveblog Day 242: Poroshenko And Putin Talk In Milan

Yesterday’s liveblog 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. View Ukraine: April, 2014 in a larger map For
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Editor
Editor

Ukraine Liveblog Day 241: Stand-Offs At Donetsk Airport And Bakhmutka Highway Continue

Yesterday’s liveblog 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. View Ukraine: April, 2014 in a larger map For
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Analysis
Window on Eurasia

Russia’s ‘Era of Freedom’ has Come to an End, Academician Says

Staunton, October 19 – Russia’s 25-year-long era of freedom, which began in 1989 with the Congress of Peoples Deputies, has come to an end and the prospects for the future are extremely bleak, according to Academician Yury Pivovarov. If Russians do not transform themselves, their country risks becoming part of the third world. In an
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Analysis
Window on Eurasia

Moscow Using Refugees from Ukraine to Further Undermine Non-Russian Languages

Staunton, October 19 – Refugees from Ukraine apparently will not have to study non-Russian languages as required by the legislation of the non-Russian republics but instead will be exposed to more intensive Russian language instruction, yet another way in which Moscow is undermining the status of non-Russian tongues. Because of the sensitivity of language issues
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Analysis
Window on Eurasia

Three Serious Cases of Moscow’s Misuse of Law for Political Ends

Staunton, October 18 – Like many dictatorships, the Russian government of Vladimir Putin likes to use “legal” means to oppress its population, because that sleight of hand gives the patina of legality to what it is doing, thus confusing both its own people and even more those abroad who might otherwise condemn it. But three
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Analysis
Window on Eurasia

Ukrainian Fighting Causing Some Russians to Seek to Avoid the Draft

Staunton, October 13 – Despite claims by Russian officials that all is well with the draft in Russia and that in fact fewer young men are seeking to avoid service than in the past, claims often accompanied by pointing to the problems Ukraine is having filling the ranks, the situation in the Russian Federation with
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Analysis
Window on Eurasia

Not by Propaganda Alone – the Birth of a [Russian] Nation

Staunton, October 13 – Most commentaries on Russian attitudes since the Crimean Anschluss have focused on the role of the Kremlin’s propaganda apparatus in creating a new sense of Russian national identity. But Yevgeny Ikhlov argues that what is going on has deeper roots than that. In a commentary October 13, the Moscow commentator says
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Analysis
Window on Eurasia

‘Smolensk and Bryansk are Ours, But Belarus Doesn’t Need Them Now,’ Lukashenka Says

Staunton, October 18 – At his press conference yesterday, Belarusian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka made so many remarkable statements that it is hard to know where to begin. But perhaps the most significant was that “Smolensk and Bryansk,” two oblasts now within the Russian Federation, are “ours, but Belarus doesn’t need them now.” While most people
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Analysis
Window on Eurasia

For the Present, More Russians Believe in Putin than Believe in God

Staunton, October 18 – Polls show that a higher percentage of Russians believe in Vladimir Putin than believe in God, but those figures are less about political support than the desire to find a savior – and, if the experience of other countries including the United States is any guide, almost certainly will dissipate quickly,
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Analysis
Window on Eurasia

Russia Should Be Called Muscovy, Some Ukrainians Say

Staunton, October 17 – Given that Vladimir Putin can barely acknowledge Ukraine as a country and has twisted language about Russia’s role there beyond recognition, some Ukrainians think that it would be well for Ukrainians and others as well to use a different name for the Russian Federation than the one Putin does. That name,
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Analysis
Window on Eurasia

Zhirinovsky Calls for Ending Direct Election of Russian President

Staunton, October 17 – Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the frequently outrageous leader of the wildly misnamed Liberal Democratic Party of Russia who nonetheless often serves as a bellwether of Russian politics, says that Russia should dispense with direct elections for the Russian presidency because “the democratic costume is too tight for Russia.” In remarks to the Second
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Analysis
Window on Eurasia

No Russian State in Occupation of Crimea Can Be Considered Democratic, Portnikov Says

Staunton, October 17 – Now that Aleksey Navalny has said that he won’t return Crimea to Ukraine and Mikhail Khodorkovsky has added that “only a [Russian] dictator” could do so, other “representatives of Russian democratic society have hastened” to assure Russians that they won’t either as they live in “a democracy” in which “all issues
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‘‘
quotable
’’

"Those who do not agree with something... can go and join the expert community."

- Vladimir Putin Russian President
News Highlights
The Times

Telegraph and TV channel criticised over crash reports

A Russian TV channel accused of acting as a mouthpiece for the Kremlin is facing an investigation by Britain’s broadcasting watchdog for its coverage of the destruction of the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet.
The Moscow Times

Exxon Oil Rig Tests Russian Waters and U.S. Sanctions

An ordinary, long-scheduled journey of an oil drilling rig into Arctic waters is turning into a major political exercise, attracting international scrutiny and creating a dilemma for Exxon Mobil Corp.
BBC

Alexander Litvinenko death: Home secretary to announce inquiry

An inquiry will be held into the death of the Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, the Home Secretary Theresa May is expected to announce.
Financial Times

UK urges tougher EU sanctions on Russia

Europe’s foreign ministers will face intense pressure to enforce tougher sanctions against Russia on Tuesday, with a UK-led group of hardliners insisting the downing of MH17 has changed the calculus for the EU’s relationship with the Kremlin.
Russian Legal Information Agency

OSCE urges Russia to release Ukrainian journalist

OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic has called on Russian authorities to immediately release Yevgeny Agarkov, a journalist with the Ukrainian 2+2 television channel, the OSCE said on its website
Reuters

Russia says MH17 probe should be done by ‘international community’, not Ukraine

Russia has called for the investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines MH17 to be led by the “international community” and not Ukraine, its ambassador to Malaysia said on Tuesday.
Russian Legal Information Agency

Accused Russian hacker Roman Seleznev claims he was kidnapped by the US

The defense team of suspected Russian hacker Roman Seleznev who claims that he was seized in the Maldives by US Secret Service agents and whisked away to the US has filed a motion to dismiss the case against Seleznev, according to the legal documents obtained by RAPSI.
Russian Legal Information Agency

Detained Greenpeace icebreaker to leave Murmansk soon

The Greenpeace ship, Arctic Sunrise, will depart Murmansk in northern Russia after spending 10 months at the port, most of that period being held by border officials, Yevgenia Belyakova, the coordinator of Greenpeace Russia’s Arctic program, told RIA Novosti.
The Moscow Times

Russia Backs UN Resolution for Access to Ukraine Plane Crash Site

The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution calling for an international investigation into the Malaysia Airlines plane crash in Ukraine, with Moscow’s envoy urging other countries to avoid jumping to conclusions — and then proceeding to slam Ukraine.
Ria Novosti

Moscow Subway Head Fired Over Deadly Subway Derailment

The head of Moscow Metro Ivan Besedin was fired on Tuesday following the tragic derailment of a train inside a tunnel on July 15, which killed 23 people and wounded more than 160.