UkraineAlert

Ukraine's current economic crisis was years in the making. Former President Viktor Yanukovych grossly mismanaged and looted the country. And it may take years for the country to fully recover. But there are signs that the economy has reached the lowest point and its prospects are brighter than commonly portrayed in the press.

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"Russia and America: Stumbling to War," a recent National Interest article by Graham Allison and Dimitri Simes, commands attention because of the gravity of the issue and the stature of its authors. Allison is a leading authority on great power relations, and Dimitri Simes is a scholar with deep connections to the elites running Russia.

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On May 18, 1944, Joseph Stalin deported more than 180,000 Crimean Tatars to Uzbekistan. Once again this community faces major challenges. Today, 230,000 Crimean Tatars, who are mainly Sunni Muslims, represent about 12 percent of Crimea's population. Virtually all of Crimea's Tatars opposed Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and refused to vote in the bogus referendum rubberstamping it.

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Hackers have consistently used low-level cyber warfare tactics to advance Russian goals in Ukraine.

A dedicated group of hackers successfully infected the e-mail systems of the Ukrainian military, counterintelligence, border patrol, and local police. The hackers use a spear-phishing attack in which malware is hidden in an attachment that appears to be an official Ukrainian government email. For the most part, the technologies are not advanced but the attacks have been persistent. Lookingglass, a cybersecurity firm, suspects the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) is the culprit behind the virus dubbed Operation Armageddon.

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Activist Urges US Government to Step Up Efforts in Crimea

Russia has banned Taras Berezovets from visiting his family in Crimea. His crime: launching Free Crimea, a nongovernmental organization focused on disseminating impartial information about Crimea, in December 2014. Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) considers it an extremist organization.

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Russia's invasion of Ukraine has multiple dimensions, and the energy dimension is one that has been underestimated. Russia has sought to make Ukraine dependent on its abundant energy since 2006. The reason is simple: Russia wants economic and political control over Ukraine and it wants to enmesh Ukraine's government and elites in a web of energy-based state-sponsored corruption that will only perpetuate its dependence. Russian oil and gas—perhaps the most critical day-to-day weapon in Russia's foreign policy arsenal—passes through Ukraine to Southern, Eastern, and Central Europe, which ties both sides into an unhappy yet hitherto inescapable marriage.

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Kremlin Targets Sleepy Corner of Europe with Hybrid Tactics

No part of Europe is too obscure for the Kremlin's machinations. On April 6 in Odessa, a group claiming to represent ethnic minorities in southwestern Ukraine founded the National Council of Bessarabia (NRB). Released on a Russian-registered website, the NRB's manifesto decrying "discrimination" and calling for greater autonomy was eerily similar to demands made in Donetsk and Luhansk before those regions sought independence last year.

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NATO’s top military commander says Russia set on ‘strategic competition’ with West

A "revanchist Russia" would use violence to alter international norms, boundaries, and institutions and poses a threat to the United States' transatlantic allies and partners, NATO's top military commander US Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove said April 30.

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Russia's track record in the long-simmering conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is consistent with Russian efforts in Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine, and Russian President Vladimir Putin's calls for a Novorossiya: No war, no peace—but always a place at the table for Russia.

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Ukraine's economy is in crisis. Experts warn that the country's gross domestic product could shrink by 6 to 12 percent and inflation could exceed 40 percent in 2015, although one prominent economist put that figure in triple digits already. The war in eastern Ukraine has throttled the country's industrial capacity. To prevent the country from default, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stepped in with a $40 billion international rescue package in March.

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