Today NOV 4: ACEWA EVENT ON CAPITOL HILL – 2pm

The Crisis in US-Russia Relations, from Ukraine to Syria:

Is Congress Overlooking its Causes and Potential Solutions?

               

Hosted by Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Rep. Ted Yoho, Rep. Charles Rangel, Rep. Steve Cohen, Rep. Jim Himes, Rep. Rick Nolan, Rep. Alan Grayson, Rep. Peter Welch, and Rep. Barbara Lee

 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015, 2pm

Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2237

Free & Open to the Public | Light Refreshments will be served

 RSVP on Eventbrite

Expert Panelists

·        Jack F. Matlock, Jr., Ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987-1991 under President Ronald Reagan and President Bush
·        John Pepper, former Chairman and CEO of The Procter & Gamble Company, and former Chairman of Disney and of the Yale Corporation;
·        Ellen Mickiewicz, Professor Emeritus of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University; and
·         Stephen F. Cohen, Professor Emeritus of Russian Studies, History, and Politics at New York University and Princeton University

The Ukrainian crisis represents a low in U.S.-Russian relations not seen since the fall of the Soviet Union—and the recent Russian intervention in the Syrian Civil War is only making things worse. American and Russian jets flying bombing missions in close proximity to one another raises the possibility of a military accident between two nuclear-armed powers.  As the New York Times warns, the complicated and shifting landscape of alliances leaves us “edging closer to an all-out proxy war between the United States and Russia.”

The majority of Americans never lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 or the darkest decades of the Cold War—they have led lives without the looming specter of nuclear war.  But the areas of conflict between our nations are growing—the conflict in Ukraine, the expansion of NATO, Russia’s involvement in Syria, and other lesser issues are driving a new wedge between the U.S. and Russia.

While most would agree that conflict between the United States and Russia benefits no one, the likelihood of such conflict, as well as the serious consequences it could bring, is not being adequately discussed on Capitol Hill.  In the interest of fostering more robust debate on U.S.-Russia relations, Rep. Conyers will convene an informal hearing featuring four eminent American experts on the subject.  All four are members of the Board of the recently re-founded American Committee for East-West Accord (https://usrussiaaccord.com) a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose purpose is to promote public discussion and debate about the state of U.S. and Russian relations.

The Origins of Separatism: Popular Grievances in Donetsk and Luhansk

What were the origins of separatism in the Donbas? When the Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) and the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) were first proclaimed in early April 2014, their provenance was unclear, to put it mildly. Their self-appointed leaders were not well known. The organizations they represented before 2014 could generously be described as politically marginal. And yet, support for separatism in the Donbas began to grow. By the time armed militants began taking over regional government buildings in Donetsk in early April, large crowds accompanied them.

The dangerous work of removing land mines in eastern Ukraine

DONETSK (AFP)–Pro-Russian [sic] rebel Konstantin carefully carried an unexploded shell to a hole in the earth under a tree. Laying a charge of TNT, he then blew it up in cloud of black smoke.

After some 18 months, the fighting in east Ukraine has all but ground to a halt as a ceasefire has largely taken hold over the past six weeks, but for Konstantin dangerous work still lies ahead.

ISLAMIC STATE ON RECRUITMENT SPREE IN RUSSIA

MAKHACHKALA, Russia (AP) — The Russian province of Dagestan, a flashpoint for Islamic violence in the North Caucasus, is feeding hundreds of fighters to the Islamic State in Syria – and now some are coming back home with experience gained from the battlefield.

Robert Parry receives the I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence from Harvard’s Nieman Foundation

On Oct. 22, Consortiumnews Editor Robert Parry received the I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence from Harvard’s Nieman Foundation. Stone was an iconoclastic journalist who published I.F. Stone’s Weekly during the McCarthy era and the Vietnam War, setting a standard for independence that Parry has tried to follow. His remarks are linked here.

Russia declares day of mourning for victims of plane crash in Egypt

Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared Sunday a day of mourning while the authorities have set up an emergency center at the Saint Petersburg airport, where friends and relatives gathered, awaiting news of the victims.

BREAKING: US and Russia agree to work for ‘nationwide ceasefire’ in Syria

America and Russia agreed to work towards a “nationwide ceasefire” between Syria’s regime and opposition groups on Friday when every foreign power with any involvement in the civil war met for the first time.

How Ukraine Is Forgetting Its Most Desperate Citizens

As victims of persecution and war, refugees are an extremely vulnerable population — but at least they fall under an internationally recognized protected category. What about those forcibly displaced people who do not fit under this legal definition? In Ukraine, where armed conflict between the military and pro-Russian separatists in the occupied east continues despite ceasefires, massive displacement is quickly leading to a major humanitarian crisis. What’s more, Ukraine’s displaced people have lost not only their homes but also many of their civil rights (including, most ominously, the right to vote). This is grim news for the country’s fragile democratic transition.

Senators back new financial support for Ukraine

Congress backs administration drive to send taxpayer money to fund the new Ukrainian oligarchy. According to a report in The Hill: “Two bipartisan senators are backing the administration’s decision to move forward with a third $1 billion in loan guarantees to the Ukrainian government.  Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said that he was “pleased” with the administration’s decision, suggesting it could help bolster the U.S.-Ukrainian relationship.”

REMINDER: ACEWA Event on Capitol Hill on Nov 4 at 2pm

The Crisis in US-Russia Relations, from Ukraine to Syria:

Is Congress Overlooking its Causes and Potential Solutions?

               

Hosted by Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Rep. Ted Yoho, Rep. Charles Rangel, Rep. Steve Cohen, Rep. Jim Himes, Rep. Rick Nolan, Rep. Alan Grayson, Rep. Peter Welch, and Rep. Barbara Lee

 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015, 2pm

Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2237

Free & Open to the Public | Light Refreshments will be served

 RSVP on Eventbrite

Expert Panelists

·        Jack F. Matlock, Jr., Ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987-1991 under President Ronald Reagan and President Bush
·        John Pepper, former Chairman and CEO of The Procter & Gamble Company, and former Chairman of Disney and of the Yale Corporation;
·        Ellen Mickiewicz, Professor Emeritus of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University; and
·         Stephen F. Cohen, Professor Emeritus of Russian Studies, History, and Politics at New York University and Princeton University

The Ukrainian crisis represents a low in U.S.-Russian relations not seen since the fall of the Soviet Union—and the recent Russian intervention in the Syrian Civil War is only making things worse. American and Russian jets flying bombing missions in close proximity to one another raises the possibility of a military accident between two nuclear-armed powers.  As the New York Times warns, the complicated and shifting landscape of alliances leaves us “edging closer to an all-out proxy war between the United States and Russia.”

The majority of Americans never lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 or the darkest decades of the Cold War—they have led lives without the looming specter of nuclear war.  But the areas of conflict between our nations are growing—the conflict in Ukraine, the expansion of NATO, Russia’s involvement in Syria, and other lesser issues are driving a new wedge between the U.S. and Russia.

While most would agree that conflict between the United States and Russia benefits no one, the likelihood of such conflict, as well as the serious consequences it could bring, is not being adequately discussed on Capitol Hill.  In the interest of fostering more robust debate on U.S.-Russia relations, Rep. Conyers will convene an informal hearing featuring four eminent American experts on the subject.  All four are members of the Board of the recently re-founded American Committee for East-West Accord (https://usrussiaaccord.com) a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose purpose is to promote public discussion and debate about the state of U.S. and Russian relations.

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