NEWSWATCH: “Moldovan Presidental Election Goes to Runoff” – AP

Moldova Map and Flag

Moldova’s presidential election will go to a runoff after a pro-Russian candidate narrowly missed winning a majority … Igor Dodon won 48.26 percent, while pro-European rival Maia Sandu scored 38.42 percent. … Moldovans, angry about high-level corruption, were divided about whether to seek closer integration into Europe or rekindle ties with Moscow. Click here for AP: “Moldovan Presidental Election Goes […]

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NEWSLINK Carnegie Moscow/Fyodor Lukyanov, René Nyberg, Angela Stent: “Three Dimensions: Is the Break Between the Kremlin and the West Permanent?”

File Photo of G7 Leaders and other Officials Around Round Table at the Hague, with Flags

As the U.S. presidential election approaches on November 8, Carnegie.ru asked three experts, one in Russia, one in the United States, and one in Europe, to comment on the question: “Is the break between the Putin administration and the West permanent?”  

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Russians Turning Against Putin Regime Thus Making Revolutionary Change More Likely, Solovey Says

Kremlin and River

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 30, 2016) Deep background sociological research is showing that Russia is at the beginning of “a significant transformation of mass consciousness” that will eliminate much of the loyalty to the regime that the populace now shows in a way that will recall what happened at the end of Soviet times, Valery […]

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Containment 2.0

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – October 31, 2016) And so, I’m back. And while I may not have been visible in this space over the past couple weeks, I have in fact been pretty busy thinking and talking about Russian affairs in various venues in the United States and in Europe. And now is as good a time […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-202 :: Monday, 31 October 2016

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2016-#202 Monday, 31 October 2016 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s renewed might rests on weak economic foundations. Putin bravado does not extend to modernisation of the economy” – Financial Times/Neil Buckley

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

… the gap between the image … Putin portrayed … and the reality was exposed by a sobering assessment of Russia’s economy by another senior official … further emphasised by a draft budget … envisaging a 27 per cent cut in defence spending …. the official … made it clear how Russia’s ambitions clash with its capabilities. … western sanctions […]

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NEWSLINK Washington Post/Daniel Drezner: “Five things I learned about Russia last week. I was in Sochi all last week with a healthy fraction of the Russian foreign policy elite. Here’s what I learned”

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

… 1) Russian-American relations are going to be bad for a good long spell. Regardless of the nationality or ideological predisposition of the participant, everyone attending Valdai thought this to be true…..

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia Welcomes Growing Wave of ‘Red Tourists’ From China. Nostalgia for Communist past as well as capitalist bargain-hunting draw more Chinese visitors.” – Wall Street Journal

Asia Map

Russia’s relations with the West have deteriorated amid the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria and its economy has been battered by punitive sanctions and low oil prices. But the country is welcoming record numbers of Chinese visitors, who are taking advantage of a weak ruble, visa-free group travel, and the opportunity to retrace Communist history. … More than 1.1 million […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH: “Poll: Nearly half of Russians fear World War III over Syria”

Syria Map

According to a survey by the Levada Center polling agency, almost half of Russians (48 percent) are afraid that the breakdown in relations between Russia and the West over Syria could lead to a third world war. Another 31 percent of respondents were not particularly concerned and 11 percent did not fear a possible deterioration of the current situation.

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-201 :: Saturday, 29 October 2016

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2016-#201 Saturday, 29 October 2016 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club (complete text)

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(Kremlin.ru – October 27, 2016) Vladimir Putin took part in the final session of the Valdai International Discussion Club’s 13th annual meeting, which this year took the theme The Future in Progress: Shaping the World of Tomorrow. Over the three-day event, 130 experts and political analysts from 35 countries examined current issues concerning development of international relations, internal political organisation, […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-200 :: Friday, 28 October 2016

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2016-#200 Friday, 28 October 2016 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian oil production reached post-Soviet high. Moody’s says profitability of Russian energy companies will be robust” – UPI

Oil Well file photo

A ratings agency assessing the profitability of Russian energy companies said oil production for September reached a post-Soviet high. … Sanctions and lower crude oil prices put pressure on the Russian economy. Moody’s said … most Russian energy companies were shielded by a look toward the domestic market and state-controlled banks. … Meeting with … Putin this week, … Medvedev […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Most Republicans Believe Russia Is Meddling in U.S. Election: Reuters/Ipsos Poll” – Reuters

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

Most Republicans believe Russia is attempting to influence the U.S. presidential election, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll …. 55 percent of U.S. adults, including 51 percent of Republicans and 65 percent of Democrats, said they thought Russia was trying to tip the scales in the Nov. 8 presidential election …. The U.S. government has accused Russia of … cyber attacks […]

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RUSSIALINK TASS: “TASS: Lavrov discusses Russia’s relations with US, EU with Valdai club experts”

Sergei Lavrov file photo

According to Zlobin, the Russian top diplomat rather thoroughly dwelled on Russia’s relations with the United States “in various aspects, both on direct relations and on contacts in the context of third countries.” Another major topic was relations between Russia and the European Union. “It was stressed that NATO’s eastwards expansion has spoiled the idea of promoting a strong and […]

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RUSSIALINK Russia Today/RT: “Calling Trump Moscow’s favorite is nonsense created by media – Putin”

Donald Trump

… “The image [that Russia supports a candidate in the US presidential election] was created by the media,’ Putin said at the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi on Thursday, adding that it was done deliberately and on purpose. “This idea was planted into the US public consciousness… with only one goal… to protect the interests of the Democratic candidate in […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH/RBC: “Is it necessary to break the law to improve your standard of living?”

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

According to the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), 30 percent of Russians see a link between increasing their standard of living and breaking the law.

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-199 :: Thursday, 27 October 2016

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2016-#199 Thursday, 27 October 2016 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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Ukraine’s ‘Amazing Idiots’ and ‘Crimes Against Humanity’; Five issues Vladimir Putin addressed when speaking in Yalta on Oct. 26

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 26, 2016) On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to Yalta on the contested Crimean peninsula, where he addressed a forum by the All-Russia People’s Front, a political movement Putin started in 2011 to coexist with the United Russia political party. Hours after Putin’s speech, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry sent Moscow a formal letter […]

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New Cold War Chills Annual Kremlin Gathering of Foreign Experts

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Marc Champion – October 26, 2016) The new Cold War is starting to look a lot like the old one, and Russian and U.S. foreign-policy experts at an annual gathering with Kremlin officials this week appear out of ideas on how to even start defusing it. The risk that the world’s two nuclear superpowers might “sleepwalk” […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Russian Popular Front’s interregional forum

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking At All-Russia Popular Front Gathering

(Kremlin.ru – Yalta – October 26, 2016) Vladimir Putin took part in the plenary session of the interregional forum Action Forum. Crimea, organised by the Russian Popular Front (ONF). Main themes on the agenda include the energy sector, gas supplies, developing Crimea’s agriculture sector and tourism potential, improving access to education, quality of service in the housing and utilities sector, […]

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Kasparov Says Confrontation With West Putin’s ‘No. 1 Goal’

Garry Kasparov file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Mikhail Sokolov, Antoine Blua – October 25, 2016) #Kremlin foe Garry Kasparov says President Vladimir Putin is resorting to “external aggression” and increased confrontation with the West to bolster his image as Russia’s leader and maintain a “dictatorship” in the country. Talking to RFE/RL’s Russian Service correspondent Mikhail Sokolov on the sidelines of a forum in […]

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U.S. Stuck With Nobody Left to Sanction in Russia Over Syria

Portion of U.S. Treasury Department Building Facade, North Side, with Sculpture of Alexander Hamilton

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Nick Wadhams – October 26, 2016) The U.S. put sanctions on Russia’s main arms exporter, Kremlin aides and the black leather-loving head of a motorcycle gang nicknamed “The Surgeon” after the 2014 invasion of Ukraine. Now, as Washington seeks ways to punish Moscow for its actions in Syria, it may be running out of options. President […]

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NEWSLINK Council on Foreign Relations: “A Conversation With James Clapper”

DNI Seal and Smaller Seals of Agencies Related to DNI

ROSE: I want to begin with Russia and the U.S. relationship with Russia. The Russian U.N. ambassador said in the last week that relations are as bad as he’s seen them in the last 40 years. Characterize the U.S.-Russian relationship. CLAPPER: Well, it’s not-it’s certainly not at its peak by any stretch. We’ve had a lot of difficult issues, notably […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-198 :: Wednesday, 26 October 2016

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2016-#198 Wednesday, 26 October 2016 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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Leonid Bershidsky: Clinton Should Stop Whining About Russian Hackers

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – October 25, 2016) Leonid Bershidsky is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru. Hillary Clinton and her team hold that “the Russians” were responsible for almost any disruptive or embarrassing hack in the U.S. Many articles about the recent […]

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NEWSLINK The Hill: “Former US ambassador to Russia goes after WikiLeaks in tweetstorm”

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul on Monday slammed WikiLeaks in a series of tweets in which he called for people to stop referring to WikiLeaks as a “news organization.” “They are a foreign agent, supported by Russia, publishing stolen data,” McFaul tweeted on Monday.

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Totalitarian tendencies in post-Maidan Ukraine

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

In Ukraine, the state apparatus, far-right movements and patriotic citizens are working together to shut down debate and silence criticism. (opendemocracy.net – Volodymyr Chemerys – October 26, 2016) Volodymyr Chemerys is a human rights activist. He was a member of the Verkhovna Rada of the second convocation (1994-1998) and one of the leaders of the 1990 “Revolution on granite” and […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH: “Russia seeks to shape global political debates with new award”

Valdai Club Gathering at Long Tables in Large Hall

“Russia seeks to gain more voice in shaping global political debates amidst increasingly partisan rhetoric on international politics with a newly announced award by the Valdai Discussion Club.”

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VIDEO: The State of U.S.-Russia Relations – Council on Foreign Relations Event – Stephen F. Cohen, Fiona Hill, Robert Levgold, Stephen Sestanovich

Russian Jet Buzzing U.S. Navy Destroyer, adapted from U.S. Navy photo

(Council on Foreign Relations event – Oct. 21, 2016) Stephen F. Cohen, Professor Emeritus of Russian Studies and Politics, New York University and Princeton University Fiona Hill, Senior Fellow and Director, Center on the United States and Europe, Brookings Institution Robert Legvold, Marshall D. Shulman Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, Columbia University; Author, Return to Cold War Presider: Stephen […]

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Russia’s Oil Industry Is Making The Most Of A Weak Ruble; Record Oil Production and Capital Spending Supported by Favorable FX Rate

Oil Well file photo

(Oilprice.com – October 21, 2016) While Russian federal revenue from oil and natural gas production has declined significantly in response to low oil prices, oil and natural gas companies have actually increased investments or only seen modest declines, according to the EIA. In ruble terms, the Brent price has actually increased by 40 percent from 2010 levels, while decreasing in […]

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The Russian Paradox: Why the Economic Crisis hasn’t Sparked Political Protest

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 22, 2016) Most countries suffering from an economic situation as dire as that of the Russian Federation would see public support turn massively away from the incumbent administration and major political as well as economic protests as well. But in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, neither has happened. While there has been a […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-196 :: Monday, 24 October 2016

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2016-#196 Monday, 24 October 2016 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russians Conduct Nuclear-Bomb Survival Drills as Cold War Heats Up. Bomb shelters are upgraded, gas masks tested amid strained relations between Putin and U.S.” – Wall Street Journal

Radioactivity Symbol

Russian authorities have stepped up nuclear-war survival measures amid a showdown with Washington, dusting off Soviet-era civil-defense plans and upgrading bomb shelters …. At the Kremlin’s Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Cold War is back. [Russia] recently held its biggest civil defense drills since the collapse of the U.S.S.R., with what officials said were 40 million people rehearsing a response […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The New Poor: How The Ongoing Crisis Has Devoured Russia’s Small Middle Class” – Moscow Times/Boris Grozovsky

Cash, Calculator, Pen

This winter will mark three years since Russia abruptly embarked on a course of political and economic isolation. Lower oil prices and the devaluation of the ruble dealt a serious blow to the population’s economic well-being. By its own evaluation, Russia’s middle class shrank by more than 16 percent, shedding an incredible 14 million people. Click here for Moscow Times/Boris […]

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NEWSLINK RBTH: “Waistline wars: The obesity problem Russia has yet to acknowledge”

File Photo of Feet of Woman on Scale, With Red Toenails and Help on Scale Digital Display Screen

Almost 30 percent of Russia’s population suffers from obesity and 60 percent are technically overweight. The dynamics of the last decades and global experience show that this is by far not the only problem: The additional burden on the economy may be even greater – especially because in Russia this issue is often ignored.

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NEWSLINK New York Review of Books/Jessica Matthews: “On the Election”

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… Topping the list is a toxic relationship with Russia that neither side expects to improve anytime soon. Russian nationalism, stoked by wars in Crimea, eastern Ukraine, and Syria and by pervasive domestic propaganda, continues to strengthen. At the same time, Russians are experiencing the insecurity that comes with a shrinking economy caused by low oil prices and failed economic […]

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Russia Faces 20 Years of Stagnation and Then Disaster, Navalny Says

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 21, 2016) The prediction by the Russian economic development ministry that Russia will not be able to overcome stagnation has sparked predictions that at the end of that period, Russia will face something even worse, with the optimists thinking this possibility will force the regime to change and the pessimists concluding […]

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Russia’s Use of Military Force as a Foreign Policy Tool: Is There a Logic?

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – Samuel Charap – October 19, 2016) Samuel Charap is Senior Fellow for Russia and Eurasia at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. [PONARS Policy Memo; article also appeared at ponarseurasia.org/sites/default/files/policy-memos-pdf/Pepm443_Charap_Oct2016_4.pdf] Russia has used its military beyond its borders with unprecedented frequency in the period since the invasion of Crimea in February 2014. Depending on how […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-195 :: Saturday, 22 October 2016

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2016-#195 Saturday, 22 October 2016 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Statement for the press following visit to Berlin

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Kremlin.ru – October 20, 2016) Following negotiations on a settlement in Ukraine and the situation around Syria, the Russian President made a statement for the press. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good evening, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen. I would like to say a couple of words regarding the agreements reached with my colleagues. First on the Minsk Agreements: all the […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Press Conference of President Obama and Prime Minister Renzi of the Republic of Italy [excerpt re Russia]

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

The White House Office of the Press Secretary October 18, 2016 Press Conference of President Obama and Prime Minister Renzi of the Republic of Italy (excerpt re Russia) PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I’m going to be a little more subdued in my discussions of the Republican nominee in this context than I might be on the campaign trail. But let me […]

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Russia Shifts Focus From Oil To Agriculture

Oil Well file photo

(Oilprice.com – Michael McDonald – October 13, 2016) Michael MaDonald is an assistant professor of finance and a frequent consultant to companies regarding capital structure decisions and investments. Russia’s biggest industry has been oil production historically, but the country appears to be trying to diversify that by putting more emphasis on agriculture. The former soviet state has been relying on […]

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Russia’s Widening Wealth Divide Poses Risks to Central Bank

Hands Opening Envelope Containing Cash

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Andrey Biryukov – October 19, 2016) The Bank of Russia is discovering yet another downside to how little is left of the country’s middle class. The central bank has warned that its ability to steer inflation is at risk from growing wealth inequality and the disappearance of the middle-income households that are the most sensitive to […]

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MEDVEDEV SAYS RUSSIA’S CURRENT SYSTEM OF BUSINESS OVERSIGHT INEFFECTIVE

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev with United Russia Logos Behind Him

Interfax: Daily Headline News for October 19, 2016 [excerpt re Medvedev] Control and oversight activity in Russia in its current form is not effective enough, and is corrupt and unmanageable, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday. “It is clear that control and oversight activity in the form it currently exists causes very much criticism, and is considered to […]

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MEDVEDEV: ADMINISTRATIVE BURDEN ON COMPANIES, INDIVIDUALS MUST BE REDUCED

Artist's Rendition of Pile of Papers Shaped Like Human, Wall of File Cabinets, Flying Pieces of Paper

Interfax: Daily Headline News for October 19, 2016 [excerpt re Medvedev] The administrative burden on companies and individuals arising from regulatory and supervisory actions must be reduced, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said. “The administrative burden on companies, enterprises and citizens must be reduced,” he said at a meeting of the presidential council on strategic development and priority projects. “A responsible […]

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