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Past Issue
July, 2014

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

USRCCNE Welcome!
From Josh Wilson, General Editor, USRCCNE

Join our friends at WorldBoston July 16th for a discussion of civil society in modern Russia! The event will feature speakers from United Way Russia and the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. USRCCNE members get in at WorldBoston Member rates. See below for details.

 

This month's newsletter focuses on issues of Russian infrastructure and travel. Russia is finishing a new rail line to Yakutsk, deep inside Siberia, and is planning on restarting the Soviet-era BAM project to further increase rail access in Siberia. This is in addition to ongoing transport projects throughout European Russia in connection with the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which should see massive numbers of tourists to several Russian cities that currently lack the infrastructure to handle them. You'll also find articles on the man who will likely be the next US ambassador to Russia, on Russian culture, and on Gazprom's pricing of Russian gas shipped to Europe.

 

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

NGOs in Today's Russia: Service, Civil Society, and the International Context
(July 16, 2014 - Boston, MA) In a climate inevitably influenced by Russia's changing domestic policies and international activity, Russian nongovernmental organizations are navigating a shifting environment while continuing to deliver critical services. Active in Russia since 1990, United Way has a unique history and perspective on the country's civil society sector.  Join us for this very unusual opportunity to hear from an active Russian nonprofit professional and a Russia scholar and former finance executive in Moscow, both of whom have extensive experience in Russia's civil, commercial, and public sectors. This roundtable session is designed to encourage discussion about this vital, and often overlooked, aspect of today's Russia.

Film: The Return of the Icon
(July 17, 19, 2014 - Clinton, MA) The Return of the Icon explains the history of the Tikhvin icon of the Mother of God, one of the most revered icons of the Russian Orthodox Church. The film tells the story of the icon's extraordinary journey into exile from war-torn Russia, its journey through Eastern Europe to safety in the United States, and its triumphant return in the summer of 2004 to the newly restored monastery in Tikhvin.

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

Personal Request for Assistance to Youkraine.org
A brief letter from Roman Rubchenko, a Ukrainian who has recently started a non-profit to drive civil society in Ukraine.

Cathy Campbell Publishes in Science Magazine on US-Russian Science Diplomacy
President and CEO of CRDF Global Cathy Campbell recently discussed the importance of continued scientific collaborations between US and Russia.

Auriga Founder Spoke at the Russia Day Conference in Sochi
From June 12–15, Sochi, Russia hosted the 24th international Russia Day Conference organized by the International Computer Club. Alexis Sukharev, Auriga’s President, discussed the challenges of building world-class competencies in the areas of outsourcing and engineering.

Travel and Transport

Historic BAM Railroad to be Expanded in Siberia
Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing to spend billions of dollars on a bizarre trip into the Soviet past, restarting construction on the storied and ill-starred Baikal-Amur Mainline railroad. Sadly, Putin's nostalgia will come at great cost to the country's future.

Introducing the Great New Siberian Railway
Travel for the first time by train to Russia's diamond capital, the coldest city in the world!

Russia, North Korea in Closer Cooperation in Railway Industry
It is expected that North Korea will expand its cooperation with China and Russia in the railroad industry.

Russia Builds Infrastructure for FIFA World Cup 2018
The final list of the 2018 World Cup host cities includes Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

Russia’s Three Challenges for Hosting the World Cup
With the 2014 edition of the tournament drawing to a close, in Russia attention is already beginning to turn to 2018, when the country will play host to its first World Cup.
 

Aeroflot Named World's Most Punctual Airline
Russia's flagship carrier, Aeroflot, was the world's most punctual major international airline last month, tracking agency FlightStats declared Wednesday.

Putin Pledges to Increase Visa-free Zone for Latin America
Russia is set to broaden the visa-free zone for South and Latin American countries, President Vladimir Putin said.

Sheremetyevo Airport Secures a Successful Liftoff for Dobrolet Airlines
Sheremetyevo International Airport has secured the successful liftoff of flight operations by Dobrolet (a 100% subsidiary of Aeroflot). The low-cost air-carrier operated its first commercial flight from Terminal B of Sheremetyevo Airport on the Moscow-Simferopol route. 148 adult passengers and 34 children checked in for the inaugural flight. 

Dobrolyot Shelves Low-Cost Flights to St. Petersburg Amid Pricing Dispute
Russia's new low-cost airline, Dobrolyot, has delayed the start of flights to St. Petersburg after failing to coax a low enough servicing charge from the city's airport, Pulkovo, a news report said Tuesday. 

Not All Passports Are Created Equal
In this infographic map, countries are color-coded based on the "power" of their passports. 

Russia Pulls In More Than $500K in Fines From Rebel Smokers
Since January, more than half a million dollars (17.4 million rubles) in fines have been collected from smokers evading Russia's crackdown on cigarettes, the Federal Consumer Protection Service announced on Sunday. 

Never Too Many Books!
 
Women in Contemporary Ukraine
The Fight for Influence: Russia in Central Asia Trotsky and His Critics (Revolutionary History)
Mapping_Difference The_Fight_For_Influence Trotsky_His_Critics
     
Russian Folk Belief  Fairy Tales of the Russians and Other Slavs Russian Magic:
Living Folk Traditions of an Enchanted Landscape
Russian_Folk_Belief Fairy_Tales_Russians_Other_Slavs Russian_Magic

Post-Soviet-Conflict-Banner 
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Articles

No Putin Yes-Man on Policy as Nabiullina Stalks Inflation
A year into the job, Russia’s central bank chairman is proving to be anything but a yes-man for President Vladimir Putin.

Russian Gas: How Much Is That?
One price does not fit all for Russia's European gas consumers.

Russia's Workforce Is Shrinking
Although most of the news about Russian demography over the past few years has been extremely positive, the country clearly still has some very serious issues.

Russia’s Skolkovo Project Back On Track
Despite its recalcitrant political front, there is a revolution in entrepreneurship taking place in Russia.

Putin's New (Old) Deal
The initiatives outlined by President Vladimir Putin may lay the groundwork for radical changes in economic policy.

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.

Russian Microprocessor to Challenge Intel and AMD
Russian private microchip manufacturer MCST has announced the launch of the production of Russian eight-core microprocessors, which, the manufacturers hope, will replace Intel and AMD processors on the domestic market. However, some experts are skeptical about the market prospects of Russian microprocessors.

US Sanctions May Aid Russian Reform
Russia could use the U.S.-led sanctions to begin its long-delayed re-industrialization and to start building a modern economy.

Islamic Finance Budding Slowly in Russia
Islamic finance is a fast-growing field worldwide, and proponents say it offers both ethical and practical benefits to the faithful and non-Muslims alike. Russia, however, lags behind in the industry, analysts and Russian Islamic financiers interviewed by The Moscow Times agreed.

Russia Is World's No. 1 Employer of Women Managers, Report Says
Russia has a higher proportion of women in senior management positions than any other country in the world, according to professional services firm Grant Thornton.

Obama Names Tefft New US Ambassador to Russia
President Barack Obama said that he is returning to service a career diplomat deeply experienced in eastern Europe to be the next US ambassador to Russia.

What Should we Expect from the New US Ambassador to Russia?
We asked Russian and US experts to share their views on the appointment of John Tefft, a career diplomat with extensive – and sometimes controversial – ties to Russia and the former Soviet Union, as the next US Ambassador to Russia.

White House Wants $1 Billion War Funding to Help "Friends" Like Ukraine
The White House has submitted to Congress a 2015 military funding request that includes $1 billion to support NATO allies in Europe in response to Russia's interference in Ukraine.

66% of Russians want Putin as President after 2018
People feel far more confident about their future, calm and security, they hope that Russia will restore its status of “great power”.

Language Connections
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50% of Russians Think TV is Most Reliable Source of Information
Half of all Russians consider television to be the most reliable source of information for domestic and international news coverage, a recent study of the Russian media environment has shown.

Innovative Pinion Gearbox from Siberia
The Tomsk company won a sizable innovation project competition at Russia’s Skolkovo earlier this month and is now expecting some grant funding from the Skolkovo Foundation. Technology Market is currently seeking customers across all sectors that want to take advantage of its new efficient technology. Subscribe to Marchmont News Service

Culture and Language:

Bird's Milk Cake
The cake’s fantastical name, connoting rare and wonderful luxury, is fitting: Bird's Milk Cake, developed under the USSR, attained popularity of mythical proportions among Soviet consumers despite being relatively hard to purchase.

10 Obscure Videos of Soviet Moscow
The organization British Pathé, a creator of newsreels of historical events, digitized their archive of 82,000 documentary videos and released it on YouTube. Here you can find 10 of the most interesting videos that capture Moscow during the Soviet years.

Multilinguals Have Multiple Personalities
Over a thousand bilinguals were asked whether they “feel like a different person" when they speak different langauges. Nearly two-thirds said they did.

Does "Going Native" Pay?
SRAS Graduate Sarah Beckham has written an insightful piece on what it means to be a literary Russian>English translator.

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. Subscribe to the Alinga Market Update

Just for Fun: Ivan Kupala Day - Äåíü Èâàíà Êóïàëà
Äåíü Èâàíà Êóïàëà (Ivan Kupala Day) or Èâàíîâ äåíü (Ivan’s Day) is a íàðîäíûé ïðàçäíèê ÿçû÷åñêîãî ïðîèñõîæäåíèÿ (folk holiday with pagan origins) celebrated in connection with ëåòíåå ñîëíöåñòîÿíèå (the summer solstice), although not necessarily on the same day. Subscribe to the SRAS Newsletter


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