Monthly Archives: May 2020

THE KREMLIN’S INFLUENCE QUARTERLY #1

May 14. 2020 Free Russia : 4freerussia.org Anton Shekhovtsov Senior Fellow, Free Russia Foundation The first issue of Kremlin Influence Quarterly looks at malign influence operations of Vladimir Putin’s Russia in the areas of diplomacy, law, economy, politics, media and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The opening essay, “Russian Malign Influence Operations in Coronavirus-hit Italy” by Dr. Anton Shekhovtsov argues that by

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The fates of Ukrainian runaway officials

VIP runaways from Ukraine receive Russian citizenship, breed buffaloes and disperse rallies The most famous film of an aristocratic Russian imperial emigrant at the end of the 20th century is “General Chernota” who runs in his underwear at night in Paris, looking for compatriots from whom he could get money. A brave cavalryman, who lost thousands of souls in a

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Russia Pushes Google to Block Report on Low Virus Deaths, Probes NYT and FT

Russia’s state communications watchdog has demanded that Google block a Russian news website’s article on a Financial Times report about Russia’s possibly undercounted coronavirus deaths.  Roskomnadzor, the watchdog, said Thursday it was probing reports by FT and The New York Times, which analyzed official mortality data to investigate whether Russia is undercounting its coronavirus deaths, to establish whether they violated

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Yukos case: Russia will appeal the court’s decision, for which it owes $ 57 billion

Russia has filed a cassation appeal with the Supreme Court of the Netherlands, demanding the annulment of the decision of the Hague Court of Appeal, which ordered Russia to pay 57 billion dollars (52 billion euros) at the request of former majority shareholders of Yukos. This was announced on Friday, May 15, the press service of the Russian Ministry of

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Moscow Says No Proof Russian Hackers Spied on Merkel

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday rejected allegations by German Chancellor Angela Merkel that Russian hackers had spied on her. “Five years have passed. Not a single concrete fact has been provided,” Lavrov said in a live interview with Russia’s RBC news website. Speaking in parliament on Wednesday, Merkel voiced frustration that Russia was targeting her in hacking attacks as

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U.S. hands over $25 million of military equipment to Ukraine for use in Donbas

The United States is transferring $25 million worth of defense and medical equipment to Ukraine for use in the war zone in the Donbas, reported the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine on Twitter. “We continue to provide security assistance to Ukraine. This week, the Department of Defense Cooperation received night vision devices, thermal imaging devices, radions and medical equipment worth more than $25 million

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Diamond Sales Plunge 95% at Russia’s Top Producer

Coronavirus wipes out global demand for precious stones. By Ben Aris for bne IntelliNewsone day ago Russian diamond major Alrosa saw its diamond sales plunge 95% year-on-year to $15.6 million in April. “Alrosa virtually stopped selling rough and polished diamonds as governments across the globe were taking active steps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, while Alrosa remained committed to

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Siberian Ambulance Crews Vow Hunger Strike Over Putin’s Unpaid Virus Bonuses

Ambulance workers in western Siberia have threatened to go on hunger strike if they don’t receive President Vladimir Putin’s promised payouts for working with coronavirus patients. Thursday marked Putin’s deadline to hand out April bonuses of up to 80,000 rubles ($1,100) to all medics treating Covid-19 patients. Russia’s prime minister acknowledged this week that regional authorities have only paid out 4.5 billion

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Health Ministry insists on pay rise for healthcare workers from July 1

15.05.2020 11:45 The Health Ministry of Ukraine initiates an increase in salaries for healthcare workers up to 50% from July 1. Health Minister Maksym Stepanov stated this at a briefing on May 15, an Ukrinform correspondent reported. “I am convinced that our healthcare workers should receive a decent salary. Not the one they currently receive. Thus, we have a proposal

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Ukraine plans to open 137 new schools by year-end

15.05.2020 16:55 This year, as part of the Great Construction project, Ukraine plans to construct or overhaul 137 schools, which will begin to work by the end of 2020. Ukrainian Minister for Communities and Territories Development Oleksiy Chernyshov said this at a briefing on May 15, an Ukrinform correspondent reports. “We are currently building, repairing or overhauling 137 schools. Since the

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Kremlin ‘dissatisfied’ that Kyiv is trying to ‘squeeze’ DPR and LPR representative out of Donbas talks

Boris Gryzlov, Russia’s representative at the talks of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) on the settlement of the conflict in the Donbass, said that Ukrainian representatives refuse to negotiate with members of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR),reports TASS. According to Gryzlov, the May 14 video conference of TCG was on the verge of failure because of

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Trump Asking Senate Approve Candidacy Of Dayton To Post Of U.S. Ambassador To Ukraine

President of the United States Donald Trump has requested the Senate to approve the candidacy of Keith Dayton to the post of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. This follows from a statement by the White House, Ukrainian News Agency reports. Dayton, 71, is a retired major general. He had serviced for the armed forces for over 40 years. Besides, he

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Other European Countries Should Follow the Baltic States’ Example

CEPA Amid much talk of the failure of European governments and institutions in the current crisis, the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have continued to lead. In late April the three countries tasked their foreign ministers with devising plans to coordinate their border openings, a partial resumption of movement, intensification of trade, and other measures including meetings of the three

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U.S. court orders White House to release emails on decision to withhold aid from Ukraine

A federal judge in Washington, D.C. has ordered the White House to turn over 20 emails directly relating to President Donald Trump’s decision to withhold congressionally appropriated military aid from Ukraine, U.S. legal news website Law & Crime has reported. “The order, issued by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, stems from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed

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Ukrainian Journalists who were Banned from Entering Crimea by Russia, Applied to EHCR

Ukrainian journalists, whose access to the peninsula was forbidden because they unveiled the pressures of the invading administration in Crimea, applied to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for the illegal actions of the occupying power. Mr. Serhiy Zayets, the lawyer of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Group, reported that Ukrainian journalist Olena Savchuk and photographer Alina Smutko have

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In recording Trump asks how long Ukraine can resist Russians

Action News Jax By: By ZEKE MILLER, COLLEEN LONG, MIKE BALSAMO and LYNN BERRY Updated: May 14, 2020 – 2:47 PM WASHINGTON — (AP) — President Donald Trump inquired how long Ukraine would be able to resist Russian aggression without U.S. assistance during a 2018 meeting with donors that included the indicted associates of his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. “How long

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Ukraine, Not Russia, Will Sue for Peace as Pandemic Pressure RisesHopes that a pandemic-weakened Russia will want to end the war in Ukraine will be disappointed.

Foreign Policy BY JOSEPH HABERMAN | MAY 14, 2020, 3:59 PM There has been rising optimism that the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis that has hit both Russia and Ukraine have shifted strategic priorities in the Kremlin, presenting an opportunity to end the ongoing war in eastern Ukraine, where Russia has propped up separatist forces in the Donbass region since

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