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Past Issue
August, 2014

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

USRCCNE Welcome!
From Josh Wilson, General Editor, USRCCNE

The big news this month is, of course, sanctions: the effect they are having on Russia, the EU, and the US and how they are likely to develop in the future. We've provided a wide range of articles covering various sectors which may be looking to gain to lose from the current situation.


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!

  • Upcoming Events (Russian, Soviet Culture in the Boston Area)
  • Member News (Alinga is Hiring; SRAS is on TV; Auriga in Europe)
  • Travel News (Infrasturcture Development; Effects of Sanctions)
  • Sanctions (Special Section on the current Sanctions War)
  • Articles (Economy; Technology; Politics; Culture)

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

Darker Shades of Red: Soviet Propaganda Posters from the Cold War Era
(On view through August 30, 2014 - Clinton, MA) The new exhibition, Darker Shades of Red offers visitors a rare opportunity to revisit and analyze the Cold War period through the exploration of the Soviet Union’s official brand. Strikingly graphic and explicit in its socialist message, the collection reveals the economic, social and political ideology of the Soviet Union from the mid-1940s to 1990.

Film: The Return of the Icon
(August 21, 23, 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.

Siberia Imagined and Reimagined - Photography Exibit
(September 13, 2014 - January 10, 2015 - Clinton, MA) Siberia Imagined and Reimagined brings photographs of Siberia by Russian photographers to the American public for the first time. Countless images of Siberia by non-Russian photographers have been published and those depictions have shaped perceptions around the world. Siberia Imagined and Reimagined offers an insider’s view.

Ukraine Tech Gem
(September 18, 2014 - San Francisco, CA) U.T.Gem is a vibrant, international technology conference where US business giants and tech luminaries come to meet their Ukraine’s peers. With a full day of dynamic keynotes, investor opportunities, company expos & pitches, cutting-edge tech solutions, U.T.Gem is a must-attend event this autumn!  Speakers represent such companies as HP, Google, PayPal, 500Startups, TechStars, Mohr Davidow Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and many more.

The New Economic Reality of Today's Russia
(October 14-15, 2014 - NY, NY) The 2014 U.S.-Russia Business Council Annual Meeting will start with the Gala Dinner at Gotham Hall on October 14. Business sessions will take place the following day on October 15 at the Grand Hyatt New York. Alexei Kudrin is schedualed as the keynote speaker.

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USRCCNE and Member News

Alinga Seeking Sales Manager in St.Petersburg, Russia
Alinga Consulting Group is seeking a sales manager to play a key strategic role in the establishment of Alinga Consulting in the St. Petersburg professional services market.

Auriga is All Set Up for SECR 2014
For the seventh year in a row, Auriga’s employees plan to participate in the key annual software event in Central and Eastern Europe – the Software Engineering Conference in Russia. In 2014, the conference will take place October 23–25 in Moscow.

St. Petersburg: SRAS Students on Local TV
SRAS students in St. Pete took a trip to a local artist's home to see how the artist works - and lives. A film crew from a local TV station joined in to film the event. The video of the segment (in Russian) is available online in the link above.

Alinga Alumni Pages Now on Social Media
To support its former colleagues, Alinga has created Alumni pages in various social networks including Linkedin and Facebook and will post professional articles, monthly tax and legal updates as well as the bi-monthly Alinga Market Update to these pages.

Travel and Transport

Kremlin Undergoing Major Renovation to Lure Tourists
The Kremlin's historic building complex in the heart of Moscow is undergoing a series of changes to make it more accessible to tourists, and the presidential administration's unused offices may be torn down to restore the world heritage site's "historic look."

Intern Abroad
in Russia!


Vladimir Putin Demands Action to Develop Regional Air Routes
Transport minister Maxim Sokolov said there had been a marked rise in domestic flights within Russia, but Putin indicated more should be done for residents in the east of the country.

Thousands of Russians Stranded Abroad after Tour Operator Fails
Russia is striving to bring back nearly 16,000 tourists stranded abroad after the latest in a string of travel companies failed amid strains over the crisis in Ukraine, tourism officials said Monday.

No Passports Required to Use Public Wi-Fi, Moscow City Hall Says
According to the text of the decree published on the government's online information portal, in order to use "collective access points," Internet users will have to provide Wi-Fi operators with their passport details. But Moscow City Hall soon clarified that the law would only apply to certain "collective access points:" primarily post offices.

Russia Moves to Deport Wife of an Activist
Russia’s Federal Migration Service moved to deport the American wife of a high-profile human rights lawyer living in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, labeling her “a threat to national security.”

About 1 Million Foreigners Banned from Entering Russia
The Federal Migration Service (FMS) has already prohibited more than 900,000 foreigners from entering Russia for various violations, the FMS head Konstantin Romodanovsky told journalists on Tuesday.

Dobrolet Makes 16-Plane Deal with Boeing
Russian flag carrier Aeroflot's low-cost arm Dobrolet has signed a contract with America’s Boeing to deliver 16 new planes, despite suspending flights due to Western sanctions.

Dobrolet Flights Suspension Not to Affect Access to Crimea
The suspension of flights by Russia’s Dobrolet airline is not expected to affect transport accessibility of the Black Sea Peninsula, Russia’s Ministry of Transport said on Sunday.

Russia’s Aeroflot, Transaero Must Get Approval to Fly over Ukraine
Ukraine’s State Aviation Administration is requiring Russian airlines, Aeroflot and Transaero, to get permission for each flight over Ukraine. Both carriers pass over the country’s territory while flying from Russia to Bulgaria, Israel, Turkey, Egypt and Greece.

Never Too Many Books!
The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union Cinema, State Socialism and Society Poor but Sexy
The Last Empire Cinema State Socialism Culture clashes
Putin as Celebrity and Cultural Icon Rockets and Revolution: A Cultural History of Early Spaceflight Mayakovsky:
A Biography
Putin as Celebrity Rockets and Revolution Mayakovsky


Russia to Introduce Term ‘Aggressor State’ to Legislation
According to Izvestia’s sources, an “aggressor country” will be defined as “a state introducing sanctions against the Russian Federation, Russian citizens and Russian legal entities.”

Economic Meltdown Scenario Piles Pressure on Russia and the West
Policymakers dread slump in Russia – from further sanctions by the west – would trigger another global economic meltdown.

Russian Farmers Will Need Years to Fill Gaps Left by Food Ban
Russian politicians have declared the recent bans on Western imports a golden opportunity for Russian agriculture — but farmers and economists warn that upping production is a question of years, not months, and closing the market will not be enough to solve its problems.

What Does Russia’s Food Ban Mean For US Meat and Poultry?
The ban won’t affect US cattle producers directly, as Russia banned US beef last year. However, US poultry will be hit particularly hard, because 7% of US poultry exports is currently going to Russia.

Import Ban Exposes Russia's Fake "European" Food Brands
When Russia banned whole categories of food imports from Western countries last week in retaliation to their sanctions, many feared that consumer choice would be destroyed as hundreds of products disappeared from supermarket shelves. But these fears may be misplaced.

Moscow Plans Raids to Look for "Sanctioned" Foods
(article in Russian) The Moscow City Government has stated that the raids could begin in a month's time.

Russian Propaganda About The Ban On EU Food Imports
One of the Russian propaganda outlets is insisting that Russia’s ban on food imports from the European Union is an event of such magnitude that it’s going to cause financial chaos and mass bankruptcies of farmers and those who lend to them.

Russia Mulls Food Price Controls to Combat Inflation Risk
Russia may negotiate a price control agreement with domestic food producers to prevent speculative price hikes that would affect inflation after it banned half its agricultural imports from the West, the agriculture ministry said.

How Sanctions Against Russia Have Affected European Companies
Below are recent comments and decisions showing the impact on European companies of the Western sanctions and Russia's retaliatory measures.

Minister: Finland Eligible for Millions in Sanctions Compensation
Finland is set to be the EU country second-hardest hit by anti-Russian sanctions, says Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Petteri Orpo. He says that entitles Finland to tens of millions of euros in compensation from the European Union.

Finland will Impose no New Sanctions on Russia
Finland will impose no additional sanctions on Russia in response to Moscow’s ban of food imports from some EU countries, said Finnish Prime Minister before the presidents of the two countries are set to meet on Friday in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Small European Farmers Bear Brunt of Russia's Sanctions
European dairy firms halted production of cheese and butter destined for Russia and Norwegian salmon prices fell as a wide array of small fresh food producers felt the first impact from Moscow's tit-for-tat ban on their goods.

EU Sanctions to Squeeze Russian Banks, Consumers
In the absence of European capital, state companies will have to fork out $43 billion to pay off their debt by the end of this year and drum up another $48 billion in 2015, according to the report. State-owned banks are on the hook for about half of these massive sums.

Which Russian Companies could Benefit from Sanctions?
Investment in Russian stocks brings additional risk because of the sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union, according to research analysts at Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank. However, they say that the new sanctions against Russian state-owned companies will give private players on the Russian market – primarily participants on the consumer goods and IT markets - a chance to attract investors.

US Sanctions Set to Slow Rosneft's Dollar Debt, not Oil Deals
President Barack Obama aimed a direct blow at Russia's economic heart on Wednesday with sanctions on Rosneft, the flagship oil giant that generates more than 4 percent of the world's crude and over 8 percent of the country's GDP.


Language Connections
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Will Putinism Triumph?
The success of Putinism ultimately will depend a great deal on the success of Putin and Russia under him.

Putin’s Approval Rating Rises to 80%
Only 18 percent of respondents did not approve of Putin's performance as president.

Russia Offers Huge Opportunities for These Companies
The massive nation of Russia is one that few of the world's largest oil companies are ignoring, and for good reason.

Tax Authorities Will Receive Online Access To Information About Purchases
(article in Russian) Dmitry Medvedev signed into effect a law allowing federal tax authorities temporary online access to data from stores about purchases.

A Rival to the World Bank?
The leaders of all the BRICS nations – that is Vladimir Putin, Narendra Modi, Dilma Rousseff, Xi Jinping and Jacob Zuma – all gathered in Fortaleza, Brazil. And on Tuesday they sent a shot across the bow by announcing a $50 billion bank meant to rival the World Bank, and a $100 billion crisis fund to replace the IMF.

10 Contemporary Russian Painters Worth a Look
Levitan, Shishkin, and Aivazovsky are names known to every well-educated person in Russia and abroad. Today, too, there is no shortage of talented Russian artists. Their names are just not yet so widely known.

Laws Signed by President Vladimir Putin
President Vladimir Putin signed a flurry of new legislation on Tuesday, July 22.

Wendy’s Pulls Out of Russia After Franchisee Change
Wendy’s Co., the third-biggest U.S. fast-food hamburger chain, is leaving the Russian market after three years, after a change in the local franchisee’s management.

Russian Employers Obliged to Cut Working Hours If Heat Above 30.5 C
For those sweating away in sweltering Moscow offices without air conditioning this summer, the Russian labor service has some cool news: Employers must slash work days to a breezy four hours if indoor temperatures rise to 30.5 degrees Celsius, a news report said.

Putin to Introduce Consumer Tax to Help Stuttering Economy, Sources Say
President Vladimir Putin has decided to introduce a sales tax on Russian consumers, two sources acquainted with the issue said on Thursday, raising the tax burden earlier than expected as Western sanctions deepen the country's financial woes.

VIDEO: Russian Innovation and the Russia-West Confrontation
Amid predictions by some experts that Western-led sanctions may push Russia to modernize its economy, Russia Direct is conducting a round table on “Russian innovation and the Russia-West confrontation” in an attempt to understand to what extent such predictions are really viable.

A Peek Into Life in ‘Silicon Forest,’ Russia’s Hot New Startup Scene
The town of Akademgorodok, nestled among birch and conifers 3,400 kilometers east of Moscow, is becoming a hub for 21st century Russian innovation and entrepreneurship. You’ve heard of Silicon Valley. This is Silicon Forest.

Million-Man Army of Programmers Won't Free Russia From Western Software
The lack of qualified specialists is "the main impediment" to the development of Russia's IT industry, according to Nikolai Komlev, executive director of the Association of Computer and Information Technologies.

Breaking the Language Barrier: 21st Century Language Learning
Learning a new language is a challenging, but very possible, goal to undertake, no matter your age or experience. Since it can sometimes feel scary and overwhelming, it is best to have a plan before you begin. Luckily, we have a large selection of 21st century tools, ranging from software to apps that can make your learning more efficient, comprehensive and fun. Subscribe to the LanguageConnections Newsletter

Russian R&D Efforts Aim to Smarten up Oil Production and Petrochemical Industry
As the global hydrocarbon reserves are getting increasingly hard to reach and recover, and conventional crude faces ever-growing rivalry not only from natural gas but also from shale hydrocarbons, Russian innovation companies step up their efforts in a bid to blaze a trail with their high-tech alternative solutions. Subscribe to Marchmont News Service

Kendrick White: “Proof-of-Concept Centers should be Added to Tech Transfer Programs across all Universities”
Earlier this year the Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod (UNN) in the mid-Volga area became a founding member of a new—and potentially fast-growing—international association that aims to aid university researchers in entering national and global markets. Kendrick D. White, the UNN Vice Rector for Innovation, talks about the prospects that are opening up for the university as a result of this new interesting development, and what efforts preceded the success. Subscribe to Marchmont News Service

Changes In Accreditation Procedures For Branch and Rep Offices
Federal Law #106-ÔÇ from May 5, 2014 “On Introduction of Changes to Certain Legislative Acts of Russian Federation” amended the procedures for the accreditation of branch offices and representations of foreign legal entities in Russia. Subscribe to the Alinga Market Update

Russian Corner: Alinga Market Update #83
In this month's Market Update, you'll find information on certifying your businesses' working conditions with the state as well as many other articles to explain recent developments in taxation, audit, legal, and accounting in Russia. Subscribe to the Alinga Market Update

Just for Fun: Cheburek - ×åáóðåê
The ÷åáóðåê is a juicy, fried, savory pastry. Many of our students fell in love with them while abroad — so here's how you can make them (easily!) at home. Subscribe to the SRAS Newsletter

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