NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Senate approves $500 million military aid, lethal weapons for Ukraine”

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

“The … Senate passed … the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, authorizing the provision to Ukraine of $500 million worth of military aid, including lethal defensive weapons. … approved 89 to 8 votes, [the bill] will now go to the president’s desk … [it passed] the House … on July 14. * * * The executive summary … [says] that half of the $500 million … will be withheld until […]

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At Forum, Experts Slam Russian ‘Disinformation’ Campaigns Aimed at West

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

(Voice of America – voanews.com – Cindy Saine – WASHINGTON – September 15, 2017) The German Marshall Fund says it has documented Russian interference in the elections or political affairs of at least 27 countries since 2004, ranging from disinformation campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and other social media to cyber attacks. The Helsinki Commission held a hearing Thursday on Capitol […]

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Siluanov names three structural areas for state budget spending in 2018-2020

Anton Siluanov file photo

MOSCOW. Sept 18 (Interfax) – The social sphere, defense and support for the national economy are the main areas of Russian federal budget spending in 2018-2020, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said. “The bulk of spending is stipulated for allocation to the social sphere – this is 36.4% – and defense – 29%. We are fulfilling the plan for arms and […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-176 :: Wednesday, 13 September 2017

St. Basil's Domes

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 2017-#176 Wednesday, 13 September 2017 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School […]

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How to Resist Russian Propaganda on a Tight Budget; Expensive U.S. and EU efforts are no match for a few simple techniques.

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – September 13, 2017) The awkwardly named European External Action Service East Stratcom Task Force provides the latest exercise in futility. The agency, which is part of the European Union bureaucratic machinery, has gathered several thousand examples of disinformation in the first searchable database of its size, a culmination of its work since 2015. […]

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NEWSLINK: “RT, Sputnik and Russia’s New Theory of War; How the Kremlin built one of the most powerful information weapons of the 21st century – and why it may be impossible to stop” – New York Times Magazine/ JIM RUTENBERG

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

“… Military officials in America and Europe have come to refer to this idea alternatively as the ‘Gerasimov doctrine’ and ‘hybrid war,’ which they accuse Russia of engaging in now. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Russia’s Hand Is Visible Everywhere in the Middle East; Moscow has used its new-found influence in the Middle East to thwart the U.S. effort to use Saudi Arabia as a pressure point against the Russian economy.” – The National Interest/ Nikolas K. Gvosdev

Middle East Map

“… During the Cold War, the Soviet Union attempted to compete frontally against the United States-and found itself outclassed. Today, Russia is engaged in a more subtle strategy. So far, it appears to be paying dividends.”

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NEWSWATCH: “A Problem Much Bigger Than Putin” – New York Times/ Mikhail Khodorkovsky

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

“More than 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the attempt to build a democracy in its place, Russia has once again become an authoritarian state. The same inability to build democratic institutions plagued the leaders of the February Revolution of 1917, which led to the Bolsheviks gaining power later that year. … Still burdened by a ‘besieged […]

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Russia’s Local and Gubernatorial Elections, the Reactions

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 11, 2017) On Sunday, 82 Russian regions held elections for different levels of government. The elections traditionally attract little interest. But this year the vote was widely seen as a bell-weather for mayoral elections in Moscow and presidential elections next year. In the sixteen regions which held gubernatorial elections, United Russia won every seat. […]

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How a Former Governor Invaded Ukraine; The failure of President Petro Poroshenko to keep a political rival out of the country speaks volumes.

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – September 11, 2017) 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. On Sunday night, supporters of Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Georgian president, broke through a police and border guard cordon on the Ukrainian border to let their […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-175 :: Tuesday, 12 September 2017

St. Basil's Domes

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 2017-#175 Tuesday, 12 September 2017 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia’s CBR gets tough on banks, demands they reveal owners’ identities” – bne Intellinews

Central Bank of Russia file photo

“The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) will demand that all of Russia’s banks fully disclose the identities of their owners from the start of 2018, Kommersant daily reported on September 11 citing the draft order prepared by the regulator. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Greasing the public’s hands: how oil and gas taxes financed the Kremlin’s social contract” – Bear Market Blog/ Miranda Lupion

Gas Flame file photo

“This past month, Russian news outlet RBC published a detailed report breaking down the revenue sources that funded the Kremlin’s 2016 federal budget. While the headline, “50 Companies Furnished Half of the Russian Budget’s Tax Revenue,” may come as no surprise to those familiar with the country’s business landscape, the fine print is worth a double take. In 2016, revenue […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russian President Vladimir Putin expected to be nominated as a presidential candidate in November” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

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

“Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to be nominated as a presidential candidate in November. The procedure for nominating the current president as a candidate for a new term will be held in two stages, Kommersant reports, citing sources in the Kremlin where closed meetings on the upcoming presidential elections in 2018 have been held. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Russian life expectancy reaches a record 72.5 years” – bne Intellinews/

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

“The average life expectancy of Russians reached 72.5 years for the first time in history … according to Rosstat … men’s life expectancy increased by a year from 66.5 to 67.5 years and for women it was 77.4 years. During the worst of the economic crisis that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, male life expectancy fell to […]

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NEWSWATCH AUDIO: “An Interview with Jack F. Matlock, Jr.” – Reconsidering Russia Podcast/ Pietro A. Shakarian Interviewer

Jack Matlock file photo, adapted from image at usembassy.gov

“In this wide-ranging interview, Ambassador Matlock discusses his life and career. It encompasses discussions of his interest in Russia, his first meeting with his wife Rebecca, his first assignment in Moscow in 1961, his diplomatic work in Africa, his time as Director of Soviet Affairs in the State Department in the 1970s, his work for Presidents Reagan and Bush, Sr. […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russian Art Fair Cosmoscow Celebrates Its Fifth Edition” – Forbes/ Ann Binlot

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

“… Cosmoscow began in 2010 with just 28 galleries, and it was put on hiatus until 2014. From September 7 to 10, the only contemporary art fair in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States celebrated its fifth edition at Gostiny Dvor. Cosmoscow 2017 featured 54 galleries, 20 of them international, including Osnova Gallery, Pechersky Gallery, Sandy Brown from Berlin […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting with Government members” – KremlinRu

Putin Descending a Staircase

(Kremlin.ru – September 11, 2017) Vladimir Putin held a meeting with Government members, to discuss current economic situation in the country, prospects for banking sector development, ways to increase the minimum wage, and other pressing issues. Particular attention was paid to improving the quality and transparency of housing and utility services rendered to citizens. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Medvedev at] Moscow Financial Forum” – Government.ru

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – September 8, 2017) Dmitry Medvedev addressed a plenary session of the Moscow Financial Forum titled Financial System of the 21st Century Competitive Economy: Challenges and Solutions. The Moscow Financial Forum is a platform for professional discussions aimed to build up effective solutions in the sphere of financial policy and enhance the competitiveness of the Russian economy. MFF 2017 […]

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Russia to deprive U.S. diplomats of most privileges

File Photo of U.S. Embassy Moscow, with Russian Foreign Ministry Building in Distance

(Pravda.ru – September 11, 2017) Russia will have to reduce the number of US diplomats by another 155 people to achieve full parity, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. However, according to diplomatic sources, other options are being considered as well. For example, Russia may restrict the number of points, through which US diplomats will be able to enter the […]

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NEWSLINK: “Why Gorbachev likes Putin more than you might expect; When democratic reforms faltered, Russians – including Gorbachev – hungered for authoritarians” – Washington Post/ William Taubman

File Photo of Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan at Table Signing Documents

“Mikhail Gorbachev and Vladimir Putin would seem to be polar opposites. … rejecting Gorbachev’s legacy has provided Putin with the main planks of his political platform. ….”

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-174 :: Monday, 11 September 2017

St. Basil's Domes

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 2017-#174 Monday, 11 September 2017 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School […]

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Know Your Enemy: Russian War Games Expected To Yield Valuable Insight For Western Watchers

Map of Baltics and Environs, Including Kaliningrad

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – September 10, 2017 – also appeared at https://www.rferl.org/a/zapad-war-games-valuable-insight-western-observers-russia-belarus/28727052.html) When thousands of Russian troops wheeled and maneuvered through the steppes of southern Siberia two years ago, as part of massive military exercises known as Tsentr, Western experts spotted something unusual. Amid Defense Ministry orders for tank brigades, paratrooper battalions, motorized rifle […]

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PONARS Eurasia releases 5 policy e-books to mark 20th Anniversary

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – September 7, 2017) PONARS Eurasia is pleased to make available five thematic policy memo volumes to mark the program’s 20th Anniversary! Europe’s Eurasian Challenge http://www.ponarseurasia.org/perspectives/europes-eurasian-challenge-ebook2017 Navigating Turbulent Regional Waters: Politics in Southern Eurasia http://www.ponarseurasia.org/perspectives/navigating-turbulent-regional-waters-ebook2017 Russian Foreign Policy after Crimea: How to Understand and Address It http://www.ponarseurasia.org/perspectives/russian-foreign-policy-after-crimea-ebook2017 Russia’s New Domestic Scene: Economy, Nationalism, Power, Opposition http://www.ponarseurasia.org/perspectives/russias-new-domestic-scene-ebook2017 […]

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United Democrats win over 260 seats in Moscow municipal assemblies – Gudkov

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

MOSCOW. Sept 11 (Interfax) – Over 260 members of the United Democrats team, which comprised members of the Yabloko, Parnas parties, the Communist Party of Russia and independent candidates, were elected municipal deputies in Moscow according to the results of the September 10 election, the organizer of the coalition, opposition politician Dmitry Gudkov said. “According to the latest data, we […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Celebrations of Moscow’s 870th anniversary” – KremlinRu

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Kremlin.ru – September 9, 2017) Vladimir Putin congratulated Moscow residents on the city’s 870th anniversary. The President attended a concert in Red Square and congratulated Moscow residents and guests on the 870th anniversary of the city’s founding. Speech at gala concert in Red Square marking Moscow’s 870th anniversary. Russian President Vladimir Putin: Muscovites, visitors to the city, Mr Prime Minister, […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: Vladimir Putin cast his vote during municipal elections in Moscow – KremlinRu

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Kremlin.ru – September 10, 2017) The President visited polling station No. 2151 in Moscow’s Gagarinsky District and cast his vote in elections for deputies of local self-government bodies. On the unified voting day, elections of various levels take place in 82 regions of Russia. People are voting for top officials in a number of Russian Federation’s constituent entities, regional parliament […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-173 :: Friday, 8 September 2017

St. Basil's Domes

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 2017-#173 Friday, 8 September 2017 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School […]

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Business community expects economic reforms in Russia after presidential vote – Gref

Sberbank File Photo

MOSCOW. Sept 7 (Interfax) – The business community expects that Russia may begin extensive economic reforms after next year’s presidential elections and the preparatory stage is now underway, Sberbank of Russia (MOEX: SBER) CEO Herman Gref said in an interview on NTV television. “The expectations of business and, in general, the entire country is that such an extensive reform process, […]

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How Western Election Monitors Help Putin

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(The Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Fedor Krasheninnikov – September 7, 2017) Fedor Krasheninnikov is a well-known Russian journalist and political analyst. He has been a contributing opinion writer with the business newspaper Vedomosti and the independent online publication Snob.ru. Krasheninnikov also serves as political commentator for the radio station Echo of Moscow. He has organised environmental and political campaigns […]

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Moscow’s Upcoming Municipal Elections Attract Young Candidates

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 8, 2017) The number of young candidate nominees in the upcoming Moscow municipal election has hit a record high, news outlet RBC reported Friday. Of the 8,330 candidates reportedly seeking nomination, 3,073 (36.89 percent) are under the age of 35, according to RBC, whose calculations are based upon registered candidate data published on the […]

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The Kremlin’s Global Campaign Of Chaos

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

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – September 8, 2017 –  also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-calls-us-senator-mccain-old-world-but-admires-his-patriotism/28537171.html) They’ve done it from the Baltics to the Caucasus. They’ve done it from the Balkans to North America. They’ve done it from Belarus to Scandinavia. According to a new report by the Alliance for Securing Democracy of the German […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-172 :: Thursday, 7 September 2017

St. Basil's Domes

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 2017-#172 Thursday, 7 September 2017 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-170-171 :: Wednesday, 6 September 2017

St. Basil's Domes

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 2017-#170-171 Wednesday, 6 September 2017 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School […]

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NEWSLINK: “Quiz: what kind of Kremlinologist are you? They come in all shapes and sizes.” – OpenDemocracy

File Photo of Kremlin Aerial View, adapted from .gov source

“Do you want to get paid for pontificating on Putin? Kremlinology might be for you! While it is usually described as the study of Russian politics and policy, Kremlinology has most recently made a comeback as a means of commenting on the Russian president, not to mention the conspiracies he may or may not be involved in. Sounds exciting, doesn’t […]

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Central Bank analysts lower Russian GDP growth forecast in Q3-Q4 on weak industrial production data

Central Bank of Russia file photo

MOSCOW. Sept 6 (Interfax) – Central Bank analysts have lowered their forecast for Russian GDP growth in Q3 from 0.6% to 0.4%-0.5% on a quarterly basis excluding seasonality, the Central Bank’s Research and Forecasting Department said in its bulletin Talking Trends. The estimate for October-December 2017 was also lowered from 0.6% to 0.4%. “The main sources of the downward revision […]

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Putin sure there will be other candidates in addition to Ksenia Sobchak in Russian presidential election

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

XIAMEN. Sept 5 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin was unaware of television personality Ksenia Sobchak’s plans to run for president before the press conference in Xiamen on Tuesday. “This is the first time I’ve heard of her intention to run for president. I am sure there will be other candidates too,” Putin told reporters after the BRICS summit. As […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Vladimir Putin’s news conference following BRICS Summit”- KremlinRu

File Photo of Flags of BRICS Nations and BRICS Logo from Past Summit

(Kremlin.ru – September 5, 2017) Vladimir Putin answered Russian journalists’ questions following his visit to China to take part in the BRICS Summit. Vladimir Putin summed up the results of the BRICS Summit and his talks with foreign leaders on the Summit’s sidelines, and shared his perspective on pressing international issues. Transcript of the news conference for Russian journalists President […]

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Interfax: Putin warns U.S. against supplying Ukraine with lethal weapons, which would exacerbate Donbas situation

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

XIAMEN. Sept 5 (Interfax) – The possible delivery of U.S. lethal weapons to Ukraine cannot drastically change the Donbas situation but may increase casualties and trigger the use of military force in other territories, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a press conference on Tuesday, after the BRICS summit in Xiamen. “This [the supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine] is a […]

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Russians have Sex but Don’t have Sex Education – and the Results are Disturbing

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 2, 2017) In Soviet times, it was sometimes said, there was no sex; but there was at least in many periods sex education in the schools. But in post-Soviet times, there appears to be even more sex, although there is no sex education in the schools as a result of enormous […]

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Russia Is an Emerging Superpower in Global Food Supply; Climate change is working against other regions but in favor of the Eurasian Grain Belt.

File Image, Map of Russian Wheat Production by Region, adapted from image at usda.gov

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – September 4, 2017) 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. Russia is often seen as a country that produces little that the world wants except energy commodities. The oil export dependence looks like a major time […]

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Interfax: Conditions already exist for UN peacekeepers’ introduction in Donbas – Gryzlov

File Photo of UN Building with Flags

MOSCOW. Sept 5 (Interfax) – Donbas already has the conditions allowing, with Kyiv’s good will, for an introduction of UN peacekeepers there, Boris Gryzlov, Russia’s representative in the Contact Group on Ukraine, said on Tuesday. “For a possible introduction of the UN contingent to support and maintain the security of the OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe] mission […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting of BRICS leaders with delegation heads from invited states”

File Photo of Flags of BRICS Nations and BRICS Logo from Past Summit

(Kremlin.ru – September 5, 2017) Vladimir Putin attended a meeting of BRICS leaders with delegation heads from invited states, including the heads of state and government of Egypt, Tajikistan, Mexico, Guinea and Thailand. The meeting participants discussed the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and prospects for further developing their partner relations. Before the meeting, the BRICS leaders […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-169 :: Monday, 4 September 2017

St. Basil's Domes

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 2017-#169 Monday, 4 September 2017 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School […]

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Russian Intelligentsia, Loyal Experts, Putin’s Court [excerpt]

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Institute of Modern Russia – Russian media roundup, August 26 – September 1, 2017) [imrussia.org/en/the-rundown/media-must-reads/2841-russian-intelligentsia,-loyal-experts,-putin%E2%80%99s-court] In this week’s roundup, Sergei Medvedev discusses the shortcomings in the Russian intelligentsia; Konstantin Gaaze juxtaposes Putin’s “court” and the country’s “Politburo 2.0” system; Lilia Shevtsova classifies Russian experts and intellectuals who support the current regime; Vasily Zharkov explains the public support for Russia’s aggressive […]

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Serebrennikov says has no way of hiding abroad

Kirill Serebrennikov file photo, adapted from image at osce.usmission.gov

MOSCOW. Sept 4 (Interfax) – Theater producer Kirill Serebrennikov, who is charged with stealing 68 million rubles provided from the budget for the Platforma project, has said he has no way of hiding from investigators. “I have no way of running away or hiding, let alone [doing] anything else at this moment,” Serebrennikov said in the Moscow City Court on […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] BRICS Summit” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Flags of BRICS Nations and BRICS Logo from Past Summit

(Kremlin.ru – Sept. 4, 2017) Vladimir Putin took part in a meeting of the BRICS leaders that was held within the framework of the two-day BRICS summit in Xiamen, China. President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of China Xi Jinping, President of Brazil Michel Temer, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and President of South Africa Jacob Zuma met in […]

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Travel Barriers Are the Worst of the New Cold War; Why is the U.S. squandering its soft-power advantage on petty tit-for-tat?

File Photo of U.S. Embassy Moscow, with Russian Foreign Ministry Building in Distance

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – September 1, 2017) 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. The latest loop in the escalation of U.S.-Russia hostilities is probably the dumbest and the most damaging: The two countries are introducing de facto travel restrictions […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] National open lesson Russia Focused on the Future” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium Gesturing

(kremlin.ru – September 1, 2017) As Russia celebrates the start of the school year and the Day of Knowledge, Vladimir Putin held the national open lesson Russia Focused on the Future. The event took place during a working trip to the Yaroslavl Region. More than 1 million schoolchildren around the country were expected to watch the open lesson online. All […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Cold War’s Tragic Hero; A definitive biography shows a Soviet leader changing his mind. Max Boot reviews ‘Gorbachev’ by William Taubman.”

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

“… Perhaps Russia’s dire straits, with an imploding economy overseen by a corrupt oligarchy, could have been avoided if Mr. Gorbachev had engineered a smoother transition from dictatorship to democracy, from communism to capitalism. But the dissolution of every great empire has been a messy, bloody business. …”

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