Ukraine Accuses Russia of Invasion, Russia Denies It

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Ukraine accused Russia of invading the country's east on Thursday, a claim which Moscow categorically denies. According to Kiev, NATO, and countless news agencies, Russian forces have been moving into Eastern Ukraine over the last several days. Lines of tanks and other armored vehicles were also spotted moving into the east. With this new aggression Western governments have began to threaten another round of sanctions on Moscow.

Article Source: Reuters

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Russia Refutes Kiev's Claim about the Cut-off of Gas to the E.U. in Winter

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Ukrainian Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, claimed that Russia is planning to cut off gas to the European Union via Ukraine this winter. He has advised countries of the E.U. to stockpile gas, just as Ukraine has been doing. Russia has completely denied this claim and has said that there is no planned cut-off of gas.

Article Source: Reuters

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Poroshenko identifies way to stop bloodshed in Ukraine

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During negotiations in Minske among representatives of the EU and heads of states within the Customs Union, Petro Poroshenko identified the course of action that he believes will end fighting in Ukraine. This includes reinforcement of the Russo-Ukrainian border and cutting off weapons supply to the militia.

Article Source: top.rbc.ru

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Yakunin Will Continue to Lead Russian Railways

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On August 25, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced that Vladimir Yakunin, the current president of Russia's state railway company, would be re-named President of the company (RZhD, Russian Railways). Until today, there were rumors that Yakunin's resignation was imminante due to the company's connection to recent episodes of corruption (ex. contracts for the Sochi Olympics). Russian Railways is one of the largest transport companies in world, and Vladimir Yakunin is known to be one of the most powerful men in Russia. He is considered an insider to Putin's inner circle and has been added to the list of Russians sanctioned by the United States.

Article Source: RIA

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Russian Central Bank Will Not Change Inflation Goal in 2014

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Picture published by itar-tass.com

Picture published by itar-tass.com

According to the Russian Central Bank's current version of monetary policy, the target levels of inflation for 2014 comprise 5%. However, while the actual levels may be higher than the estimates, they will not be revealed until mid-September.

Article Source: itar-tass.com

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State of the Pro-Russian Rebels & Conflict in the Donbass Regions

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Former People's Deputy of Ukraine from the Party of Regions, Oleg Tsarev, gave an interview to Lenta.ru on Wednesday about the state of the pro-Russian rebels and conflict in the Donbass regions. In the interview, Tsarev claims that the leadership of the Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic, most of whom are now "missing," are simply on holiday. He is unsure of the exact whereabouts of some of the men, and highlights the fact that the rebels are still strong and are in a good position to make advances on the Ukrainian Army.

Article Source: lenta.ru

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The EU May Appeal Russia's Trade Embargo at the WTO

Article Brief

Poland is asking the E.U. to appeal to the W.T.O. about the legality of the recent sanctions barring the import of fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, and dairy products from E.U. member-states to Russia. Poland is expecting to lose an estimated 500 million euros because of the embargo. Russia has announced they will also seek the lifting of the sanctions by appealing to the W.T.O.

Article Source: BBC Russia

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Putin Will Meet with Poroshenko on August 26

Article Brief

On August 19, sources confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on August 26 in Minsk, Belarus. In addition to the two heads of state, representatives from the European Union and the Eurasian Union (Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan) will be present. The agenda for the talks will include the humanitarian situation and ceasefire negotiations in the Donbass region, Ukraine's Association Agreement with the E.U., and energy issues.

Article Source: BBC Russian

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Five Hours of Tough Negotiations

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The Foreign Ministers of Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France met in Berlin on Tuesday to hold talks over an agreement for a ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine. According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the four sides have reached an agreement on Russian humanitarian aid to the people of Eastern Ukraine. However, no agreements have been reached with respect to a permanent ceasefire between the rebels and Kiev.

Article Source: Svboda

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The Authorities Lost in the Case of "Pussy Riot"

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Despite main members of the opposition group "Pussy Riot" spending significant time in jail in Russia, human rights activist Valery Borshchev thinks that the government has lost in the fight against Pussy Riot. He believes that human rights activists like Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina have deep support from many members of society, both in Russia and abroad, and that is one of the reasons that the pair continues to be inspired and do their work.

Article Source: Svoboda

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The Taste of Sanctions

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Dmitry Potapenko, the founder of "Pyatyorochka," recently gave an interview to Radio Svoboda about the effects of the sanctions between Russia and the West. According to Potapenko, Russia will start to import western products via Belarus, with Belarus acting as a transit state for E.U. goods. In addition, he goes on to detail his thoughts about Russia's decision to impose sanctions on the West.

Article Source: svboda

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Zhirinovsky's Threats Worry Poland and Latvia

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On August 13, BBC Russian reported that Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the vice-Chairman of State Duma and leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), threatened Poland and the Baltic States on Wednesday with "bloody bombings" and "annihilation." Zhirinovsky is known for aggressive comments about countries of the post-Soviet space and Russia's "rightful" sphere of influence. The Russian government distanced itself from Zhirinovsky's comments by saying that the Baltic States' sovereignty is inviolable.

Article Source: BBC Russian

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Egyptian President El Sisi Visits Russia

Article Brief

On August 12, RIA reported that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi made Russia his first visit outside of the Arab world. The resulting agreements between Putin and el-Sisi concluded that Egypt will supply Russia with fruits and vegetables. The meeting is also symbolic of future plans regarding energy and military contracts, specifically Russia's strategy to provide military arms to Egypt in place of the United States.

Article Source: RIA

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Fruit and Vegetables Will be Imported from the East

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A new customs zone with expedited inspection procedures for the import of food stuff is set to open in Dongning, China. The district is located just north-west of Vladivostok, Russia. The zone will contain a wholesale market 70 thousand square-meters in area with a 30 thousand square-foot warehouse. Countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States as well as Russia's trade partners in Asia, North Africa, and Latin American will also replace products from the countries "counter-sanctioned" by Russia.

Article Source: Kommersant

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Greek Opposition Party Criticizes Government's Support of Russian Sanctions

Article Brief

Russia has countered sanctions imposed by the West with an embargo on imported agricultural products. Greek farmers and manufacturers will feel the effects of such an embargo. Deputies from the Greek opposition party SYRIZA, a coalition of the radical left, spoke out against the Greek government's support of Western sanctions and in a letter to the Russian government implored them not to implement the embargo.

Article Source: itar-tass.com

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Russia Responds to Sanctions by Banning the Import of Food Products

Article Brief

On August 6, Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered a ban on the import of specific foodstuffs from those countries which have imposed sanctions on Russia. The list with specific banned products has yet to be released, but it is said to mainly include agricultural goods, such as apples from Poland, raw materials and feed, and dairy products. This ban will target not only the United States and members of the European Union, but also countries such as Japan, Canada, and Australia.

Article Source: BBC Russian

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Timchenko Ready to Build Bridge to Crimea within Three Years

Article Brief

Gennady Timchenko, one of Russia's richest businessmen and longtime friend of Vladimir Putin, gave an interview on Friday to ITAR-TASS and spoke about his current business and personal life. In addition to mentioning some of his thoughts about the recent sanctions on Russia, he made clear his commitment to help build a bridge or tunnel to Crimea within the next three years. Timchenko also assured the interviewer that he and Vladimir Putin are friends, but not as close as the press believes, and they do not talk about politics.

Article Source: BBC Russian

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Russia Offers Humanitarian Aid to Ukraine via the Red Cross

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Picture published by ИТАР-ТАСС/ EPA/ ANDREW GOMBERT

Picture published by ИТАР-ТАСС/ EPA/ ANDREW GOMBERT

Russia's permanent representative to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, announced at an emergency session of the Security Council that Moscow is prepared to offer humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian cities of Donetsk and Lugansk under the auspices of the Red Cross. He noted that some 4 million people are living in the conflict zones. The Russian convoy would be supplying medical supplies and equipment, food, electric generators, and water sanitation devices.

Article Source: itar-tass.com

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Russia Enacts Social Networking Regulation

Article Brief

Picture published  by Kommersant

Picture published  by Kommersant

On August 1, a package of anti-terrorist amendments to the legislation "On Information" went into effect. The law regulates the exchange of information on social networks and personal websites such as blogs. Any site with more than 3,000 visitors per 24 hour period must register with the Federal Supervision Agency for Information Technologies and Communications. Registration of the site does not have to be carried out by the cite's administrator. Anyone can submit the site for registration.

Article Source: Kommersant

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Putin Takes Issue with Federal Anti-Monopoly Service of Russia Legislation Package

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Picture published by Kommersant

Picture published by Kommersant

On August 4, Kommersant reported that Russian President Putin's administration has taken issue with the fourth legislation package from the Federal Anti-monopoly Service of Russia. The project of amendments to the law "On competition" has not been fully approved by the legal division of the President's administration, which is demanding further elaboration. The wording in the legislation appears unclear and open to interpretation.

Article Source: Kommersant

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