Publications By Category

Publications By Type


In-House Bulletins


Policy Papers


Russia Reform Monitor - No. 2100

Russian rubles spur Ukrainian separatism;
Militarizing Kaliningrad

Edited by Amanda Azinheira
November 4, 2016

October 5: 

In a recent statement, Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev named government procurement as the most corrupt area of Russia's economy. Kolokoltsev specifically pointed to state procurement of goods, labor, and services as the "most vulnerable to criminal encroachment." 
As The Moscow Times reports, Russian President Vladimir Putin has praised anti-corruption laws that led to the prosecution of over 8,800 state officials in 2015. Yet the timing of this new clampdown on corruption appears political in nature, coming as it does as the Kremlin tries to divert public attention from the growing vulnerability of the Russian economy and declining standards of living. 

A former senior official from Eastern Ukraine has admitted that Russia is directly financing pensions and public sector salaries in both Donetsk and Luhansk, despite Moscow's claims to the contrary. "Without outside help, it's impossible to sustain the territory," Alexander Khodakovsky, the former State Security Minister of the so-called Donetsk People's Republic, 
has told Reuters. His statement contradicts the Kremlin's repeated claims that it has no influence over separatist forces still active in eastern Ukraine, and cannot compel them to make peace with Kyiv. 

October 6:

A recent report by Russia's Committee of Civil Initiatives has found the number of Russians emigrating abroad is actually four times higher than outlined in official statistics, suggesting that the country's "brain drain" is far more acute than commonly acknowledged. Moreover, 
according to The Moscow Times, those seeking to leave the Russian Federation are what could be called the country's best and brightest. Thus, while just 14 percent of migrants entering Russia in 2014 were university graduates, 38 percent of Russian emigrants to the U.S., and 42 percent of emigrants to Canada, had college degrees. The statistics, observers say, are a sign of the times. Educated elites in Russia simply "see no opportunities to change their situation for the better" under current conditions, journalist Sonia Grossman notes. 

October 7:

The Estonian government has claimed that Russia is moving nuclear-capable missiles into the Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad. The Iskander-M missiles have a range of 500 kilometers (about 300 miles), and are designed for precision targeting of enemy forces. 
According to London's Guardian newspaper, the move represents a breach of the intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) treaty signed by Moscow in 1987. 

October 8:

According to CNN, Russia has vetoed a UN resolution that would halt airstrikes on the Syrian city of Aleppo and allow for humanitarian forces to access the war-torn area. The veto follows the collapse last month of a tenuous ceasefire brokered by Russia and the U.S. - an arrangement which quickly fell apart in the face of ongoing Russian military operations. The most recent UN resolution hoped to cease airstrikes by Russia and the Syrian government, which have continuously hit hospitals and civilian targets, to afford an opportunity for humanitarian resupply and evacuation.

Related Categories: Russia; Russia and Eurasia Program

Downloadable Files: N/A