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Why US sanctions could play into Putin’s hand

The new round of US sanctions slapped on Russia over Crimea Thursday may already be taking a toll on Russia’s economy. But how effective the measures will be in curbing Russia’s aggressive policies remains a controversial question. In fact, the Kremlin leadership could have planned for the sanctions in a way that would mute their immediate impact on their intended targets, Russian President […]

It’s time to stop Putin

by Gary Kasparov, Washington Post When Vladi­mir Putin formally annexed Crimea this week, he acted in defiance of the predictions of many pundits, politicians and so-called experts. Perhaps Putin was not impressed by their sound reasoning and elegant discourse on how his invasion and annexation threatened Russia’s interests. But the main problem with the West’s “Putin would […]

Ukrainian Jewish leaders blame Russia for anti-Semitic ‘provocations’

by Sam Sokol An attack on a Ukrainian rabbi over the weekend was a provocation, intended as a “justification for the continuation of Russian aggression” in Crimea, one Ukrainian Jewish leader asserted on Saturday. Such violence serves to “discredit the new government of Ukraine,” Josef Zissels, chairman of the Vaad of Ukraine and a vice president of […]

Ukraine crisis: Moscow rally opposes Crimea intervention

Holding Russian and Ukrainian flags, they shouted: “The occupation of Crimea is Russia’s disgrace.” A smaller pro-Moscow rally was being held elsewhere. Moscow supports the vote, which Ukraine and the West have dismissed as illegal. Kiev says Russian “provocateurs” are behind clashes in eastern Ukraine. Three people have died in pro- and anti-Moscow rallies in […]

RUSSIA: Two fines, two more sentences imminent, court-ordered book destructions

Two readers of Islamic theologian Said Nursi have been fined in Tatarstan for exercising their right to freedom of religion or belief, with sentences on a further two expected on 19 March, Forum 18 News Service has learnt. Although a similar criminal case in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad has been abandoned, a criminal investigation […]

Khodorkovsky tells Russians and Ukrainians to talk

by Vladimir Rozanskij Moscow (AsiaNews) – As a relative calm prevails in Ukraine after the epic revolution in Maidan (Independence) Square and Russia’s clumsy showdown in the Crimea, the most interesting event was undoubtedly the ‘Mikhail Khodorkovsky show,’ as Russian media dubbed it, in Kyiv last week. The former oligarch and oil magnate, now also […]

Anti-Semitism Envoy Blasts Russian Effort To Play Ukraine ‘Jewish Card’

WASHINGTON — He may lack the cachet and recognition of the Anti-Defamation League’s Abraham Foxman, but in the federal government’s sprawling bureaucracy, Ira Forman is the only official tasked with identifying and addressing anti-Semitism worldwide on behalf of the United States. Now, suddenly, with Ukraine in crisis, Forman’s usually low-profile brief is front and center, as […]

The Ukrainian border, where Putin, Europe and the United States risk their demise

by Vladimir Rozanskij Moscow ( AsiaNews) – The Russian word u – kraina, from which the name of the State in turmoil these days is derived, means “on the margins”, the borderline. In fact, as the first two decades of the post-Soviet area draws to a close, Ukraine as an independent nation has never existed […]

Putin’s Phantom Pogroms

Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, and his government have been deft at using the history of Ukrainian anti-Semitism to their advantage. At his first news conference after moving his troops into Crimea, Mr. Putin described right-wing fanatics in Kiev wearing armbands with swastikalike symbols, warning that, in upcoming elections, “like a Jack-in-the-box, some nationalist-type or […]