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Past Issue
June, 2014

The USRCCNE Monthly Newsletter
For those with interests bridging the US and Russia

USRCCNE Welcome!
From Josh Wilson, General Editor, USRCCNE

Thanks to everyone from both USRCCNE and the Harvard Club who attended our last event. Your participation and questions helped make it fascinating, educational, and useful. Thanks especially to Roman Rubchenko from Youkraine.org, and Sergei Konoplyov, Director of the Harvard Black Sea Security Program and U.S.-Russia Security Program, who gave the initial presentation and facilitated the discussion afterwards. We hope we will see Mr. Rubchenko, Mr. Konoplyov, and all of you back again soon!


This month, as always, the USRCCNE newsletter has lots of news on transport and travel in Russia, as well as many articles on Ukraine, business in Russia, international relations, and culture. As always, we try to include interesting articles that you may have missed or which provide unique viewpoints.


We hope that you will continue to follow our newsletter and events. Please let us know if you have any comments, questions, or requests! 

Don't Miss This Month!

As always, this newsletter is dependent on you. If you have an announcement or a news item to be included in our newsletter, or if you would like to subscribe to this free publication, please contact us.

Upcoming Events

Kharmful Charms of Daniil Kharms
(June 12-29, 2014 - Los Angeles, CA) This evening of not-so-innocent pranks and antics, vignettes and dreamlike incidents is where the St. Petersburg eccentric Daniil Kharms meets a unique brand of clownpunk. This is a Russian absurdist comedy at its most illogical, violent, sad and hilarious.

Prosopon School of Iconology
(July 28 - Aug 2, 2014 - Clinton, MA) The Museum of Russian Icons has the honor of hosting the renowned Prosopon School of Iconology for an intensive six-day course on icon writing. Under the guidance of Vladislav Andrejev, students will study the techniques of painting icons, including transferring the image, applying gold leaf, mixing pigments, using the “floating” egg tempera technique, and lettering in the traditional style.

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USRCCNE and Member News

Spend Late Summer in Beautiful Georgia
Learn Russian and see beautiful and delicious Georgia this summer! The beaches and subtropical climate draw tourists from many parts of the former-USSR, making Russian a lingua franca for the city, especially during the summer tourist season. This summer you can also enjoy the Batumi International Music Festival and the Black Sea Jazz Festival. And last, but by far not least, enjoy an entire summer of Georgian cuisine! 

Alinga Founds St. Petersburg Office
Alinga Consulting Group is proud to announce the opening of a new office in Saint Petersburg. We are excited to be providing our range of outsourced business services in this growing Russian economic and cultural center, which hosts Russia's largest concentration of small and medium sized businesses. 

Alinga Sponsors Internations Gathering in St. Petersburg
Alinga sponsored the May Internations gathering in St Petersburg, Russia. The event was well attended with over 150 attendees of which about half were expats.

Auriga Attends MD&M East 2014
Auriga’s experienced designers and engineers have been providing software engineering services for medical devices for over ten years. For seven years in a row, Auriga has been recognized as one of the best providers for the healthcare industry, according to the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) Global Outsourcing 100 rating.

Travel and Transport

Over 60% of Russians Want to Holiday in Crimea
Over a quarter of Russians believe that spending a holiday in the Crimea is cheaper than abroad but even with the same level of prices half of the respondents would rather go to the Crimea instead of an overseas holiday resort.

Low-Cost Airline Launched in Russia
Russia's new budget carrier is now selling tickets for its maiden voyage. For now, its only route is Moscow-Crimea.

Moscow Goes Smoke-Free
With the new package of anti-smoking measures coming into force on June 1, Russia's 44 million-strong army of smokers will be forced to adapt to a new, more marginal status in places where they can be seen in public.

First RZD Talgo Train on Test in Russia
The Sapsan high-speed trains currently running on the route to be transferred to the Moscow – St Petersburg line where a regular-interval service will be introduced.

Major Banks Support Moscow Bicycle Rental System
Sberbank and Bank of Moscow will allocate $17 million to create a bike rental network in Moscow along the lines of similar initiatives in London and New York.

How Far Does $90 Million Get You in Vladimir Putin’s Russia?
The answer: about 1.2 miles. That's according to a government tender for the reconstruction of a country road that has angered anti-corruption activists.

5 Ways To Experience Buryat Culture in Irkutsk
Today there are approximately 500,000 people that identify with the largest indigenous group living in Siberia, the Buryats.

Russian Railways Paid Billions to Secretive Private Companies
In the world’s biggest country, railways are still a route to riches. With nearly 1 billion passengers a year and $42-billion in annual sales, the state company Russian Railways is a giant commercial opportunity. 

Never Too Many Books!
Blockbuster History in the New Russia: Movies, Memory, and Patriotism Pride and Panic: Russian Imagination of the West in Post-Soviet Film The Patriotism of Despair: Nation, War, and Loss in Russia
Blockbuster_History Pride_Panic Patriotism of Despair
Reagan at Reykjavik
Ukraine and the Invention of a Russian Nation The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union
Reagan_Reykjavik Children of Rus The Last Empire

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Articles - Ukraine

USRCCNE thanks Roman Rubchenko for his recent presentation and insight given at a breakfast seminar at the Downtown Harvard Club. We got fantastic feedback from both our Chamber members and the Harvard Club members! Information on his organization, which seeks to build civil society in Ukraine, can be found in the link above.

Ukraine – Investment and Business Opportunities after the Crisis
Alinga principals have been living and working in the CIS market since 1994, and with our clients, have lived through more than one crisis experienced by the business community. We have accumulated extensive experience in ever-changing circumstances. We offer our clients – both those who are already working in the market and those who are only contemplating a presence – analysis on current changes and prospects that are opening up.

Why Everything You've Read About Ukraine Is Wrong
The mainstream American media has taken a nearsighted view of the Ukrainian crisis by following a script laid out by the State Department. Most reports have either ignored the truth or spun it in a way that paints only a partial picture. Here are seven things you should know about Ukraine.

Return to Crimea
The region is grappling with the queues, cost and bureaucracy of transition after Russia annexed the peninsula on the Black Sea. Are Crimeans still happy to have rejoined the motherland?

Poroshenko Versus the Oligarchs
To the surprise of many Ukraine managed to hold a presidential election that was, according to all respected international observers, free and fair. Poroshenko’s margin was so commanding that it’s impossible to see how anyone else could have won even in the absence of unrest.

Stop Forcing Ukraine into a Narrative of Moscow versus Washington
We are told that this is a geopolitical battle instead of an attempt by ordinary Ukrainians to take back control from the oligarchs.

Ukraine to Sue Russia for $90 bln over Crimea
Acting Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk said at the Verkhovna Rada on Tuesday that Ukraine would sue Russia for 1 trillion hryvnias (about $90 billion) in profit shortfall due to the loss of Crimea.

Ukraine Crisis Drives a Quiet Lobbying Boom in U.S.
Turmoil in Ukraine has sparked a boomlet of lobbying in Washington, with an almost five-fold increase in the number of companies and organizations weighing in with lawmakers and officials.



China and Russia to Establish Joint Rating Agency
No more Fitch, Moody’s, or Standard & Poor’s for Russia and China, as they have agreed to establish a rating agency on joint projects, and later, international services, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Tuesday.

Factbox: Details of Russia-China Gas Deal
China and Russia signed a $400 billion gas supply deal on Wednesday, securing the world's top energy user a major source of fuel and opening up a new market for Moscow as it risks losing European customers over the Ukraine crisis.

Visa, MasterCard to Create Russian Operator
Visa and MasterCard in a meeting with top officials Friday offered to create a Russian payment system operator to take over their Russian operations, sidestepping punitive legislation that had threatened to force them off the market.

E-Learning In Russia: Proceed with Caution
As Massive Open On-line Courses become commonplace among leading universities and companies, experts weigh the risks and opportunities of e-learning and the implications for the future of education in Russia.

Russia's No. 2 Bank VTB to Stop Servicing Russia-Based US Clients
VTB, Russian's second-largest banking group, will cease service to Russia-based US clients to avoid falling foul of FATCA, a US tax avoidance law that comes into force on July 1.

Russia's Economy May Have Avoided The Worst Fallout From Ukraine
Russia's economy is expected to avoid the worst case scenario following its incursion into Ukraine, according to a new report from Morgan Stanley.

Language Connections
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How to Get a B.A. in International Relations in 5 Minutes
Skip the seminars and the student debt: Here's everything you'd actually remember after four years.

The Slow Death of Russian and Eurasian Studies
Considering the recent crisis in Ukraine, now is not the time to let American expertise slip in this vital area.

Fervent Advisors: Who in Washington ‘Gets’ Russia
The crisis in Russian-American relations is not only a result of conflicting interests in Ukraine, but also of a misunderstanding of the logic and intentions of the other side.  Vlast has investigated how America’s decision-making system regarding Russia is organized, and which expert resources influences Washington.

6 Factors that will Determine the Future of Russia-US Relations
At an event hosted by Russia Direct at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, a roundtable group of speakers analyzed the important factors that are driving the future of the U.S.-Russian relationship.

Russia Quits Cooperation with "Russophobic" Council of Europe Assembly
Russia has suspended cooperation with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in a tit-for-tat move, accusing the council of making "xenophobic statements" and staging a "parade of Russophobia."

Changing Attitudes To Change Lives
Denise Roza has spent the past 20 years working to improve the lives of Russians with disabilities. She spoke with RBTH US editor Elena Bobrova about her background, the changes she has seen and the challenges still ahead.

Justice Ministry Adds 5 More Russian NGOs to 'Foreign Agent' List
Russia's Justice Ministry has added five nongovernmental organizations to its list of "foreign agents" just days after President Vladimir Putin signed a law allowing organizations to labeled as such without their consent.

Russia’s Suburbs Lack Charm, are Creative Hotspots
How exactly did the faceless tower block become the inspiration for contemporary Russian visual culture?

A University Perspective on Cultivating Business Mindset
The Bortnik Fund, one of the earliest post-Soviet government programs put together 20 years ago to back small innovation business, has for years been pushing its U.M.N.I.K. competition (the Russian abbreviation for “Participant of Youth Science and Innovation Contest” which reads for Russians as “smart guy”). This is an initiative that participants themselves believe offers them “a serious start” and “invaluable experience” in building strategies to take their future products to markets. Subscribe to Marchmont News Service

June Festivals Around the World
Still deciding on a summer trip? If you are thinking about going somewhere in the month of June, then consider one of the following places where you will have the opportunity to also experience something special. Subscribe to the LanguageConnections Newsletter

Russian Corner: Alinga Co-hosts Seminar on Transfer Pricing & Deoffshorization
On May 27, 2014, Alinga Consulting and the Law offices of Podolsky & Klein jointly organized a seminar to discuss two issues of current significance to Russian business: deoffshorization and transfer pricing. Related Powerpoints used by our presenters available for free download (in Russian) on our site. Subscribe to the Alinga Market Update

Just for Fun: 7 Ways Study Abroad is a Second Childhood
For better or for worse, abroad-childhood is even more fleeting than childhood was the first time around. Subscribe to the SRAS Newsletter

If you have views or material you would like to contribute to the newsletter, please contact us.
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Members of the USRCCNE become a part of a vibrant network of individuals and firms dedicated to furthering business opportunities between the U.S. and Russia. We work with business organizations in the US, (specializing in the New England region) and in Russia to bring exposure to the USRCCNE, and ultimately, to our members. Join today!

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