Jury Deliberating For Second Day In Case Of Accused Nemtsov Killers

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

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – June 28, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-chechnya-nemtsov-murder-trial/28583189.html) The jury in the trial of five men who are charged in connection with the 2015 killing of opposition politician and former Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov is continuing deliberations for a second day in Moscow. The jury on June […]

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Microsoft, Analysts See Hack Origin at Ukrainian Software Firm

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Giles Turner – June 28, 2017) Microsoft Corp., cybersecurity analysts, and Ukrainian police say the global hack that has disrupted companies across the globe can be traced to a Ukrainian accounting software producer called M.E.Doc. The cybercrime unit of the Ukrainian police said late Tuesday that a software upgrade from M.E.Doc unwittingly contained the virus. Microsoft […]

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Putin’s Next Spectacle

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

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – June 28, 2017 – also appeared at https://www.rferl.org/a/daily-vertical-transcript-putins-next-spectacle/28583415.html) The Kremlin needs a new distraction. Russia’s rulers need a new story to tell. Vladimir Putin needs a new bright shiny object to wave in front of the Russian people. And if recent experience is any guide, Putin’s next spectacle, the Kremlin’s […]

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Bondholder’s Dream Beckons as ‘Japanification’ Sweeps Russia

Central Bank of Russia file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – June 28, 2017 – Anna Andrianova) From the bondholder’s perspective, Russia has a lot in common with Japan and Italy. That’s a good thing, mostly. An aging population more prone to saving, combined with a “strongly conservative” economy, offer the best mix for fixed-income investors, according to Renaissance Capital. While poor demographics will haunt Russia’s growth […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting of the bureau of the Russian Engineering Union and the League for Assisting Defence Enterprises of Russia

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Kremlin.ru – June 27, 2017) Vladimir Putin took part in a meeting of the bureau of the Russian Engineering Union and the League for Assisting Defence Enterprises of Russia. During a meeting on the development of machine building and the military industrial complex at the Kalashnikov Concern. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon. It is a pleasure to welcome […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-121 :: Wednesday, 28 June 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-#121 Wednesday, 28 June 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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Ukraine Says There’s No Evidence of Illicit Payments to Manafort

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Volodymyr Verbyany – June 27, 2017) Ukrainian prosecutors said they’d found no proof of illicit payments to U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager from his work for the party of the nation’s ousted leader. Anti-corruption investigators in the ex-Soviet republic said last year that they’d found ledgers showing $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments between […]

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Kennan Cable No.24: Russian Foreign Policy in the Arctic: Balancing Cooperation and Competition

Arctic Map

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Stacy R. Closson, Assistant Professor, Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, University of Kentucky – June 26, 2017) Introduction The Arctic region presents a particularly interesting case study of Russian foreign policy. In a time when Russia is showing renewed aggression on three fronts – the Baltic Sea region, Syria, and Ukraine – and meddling in […]

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Moscow Media Report that West Wants to Dismember Russia Dismissed by Russian Experts

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 26, 2017) On Saturday, a Russian television program featured a claim by an unnamed Russian intelligence officer that NATO viewed the destruction of the USSR as “only the first step” and then planned “to create a Middle Volga Republic” in order to reduce “all of Russia to the size and power […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko. [excerpt re: NGOs]

Valentina Matviyenko file photo

(Kremlin.ru – June 26, 2017) Vladimir Putin held a working meeting with Speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko. Valentina Matviyenko: Mr President, we also organised public hearings on a subject that was long ripe for discussion. We simply gave this discussion a formal framework through these hearings on the inadmissibility of interference in Russia’s internal affairs. We know how […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-120 :: Tuesday, 27 June 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-#120 Tuesday, 27 June 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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AUDIO NEWSWATCH: “Many In Eastern Ukraine Want To Join Russia” – National Public Radio (NPR)

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

“… Putin insists Russia doesn’t want to annex separatist enclaves in eastern Ukraine, but many residents, who already use the Russian ruble and depend on Russia in many ways, wish he would. … An update now from eastern Ukraine, where, for the last three years, Russia has fueled a separatist war. … Putin insists he wants only to protect ethnic […]

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NEWSLINK: “How Putin Seduced Oliver Stone – and Trump” – New York Times/ Masha Gessen

File Photo of Screenshot of Vladimir Putin in Twitter Video of Trailer of Oliver Stone TV Film Regarding Russia

“Watching four hours of Oliver Stone interviewing President Vladimir Putin of Russia is not a lesson in journalism. Mr. Stone is an inept interviewer, and he does not get Mr. Putin to say anything the world hasn’t heard from him before. Watching the interviews for entertainment is a questionable proposition, too: The four-part series contains many dull exchanges and even […]

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Kremlin Aide Lists Moscow’s Five Biggest Concerns in North Caucasus

Caucasus Map of Chechnya and Caucasus Environs

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 23, 2017) Magomedsalam Magomedov, the former head of Daghestan who is now deputy head of the Russian Presidential Administration, told the leaders of the republics in the North Caucasus that Moscow currently has five major concerns about developments in their region that they must address. In remarks to the annual conference […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-119 :: Monday, 26 June 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-#119 Monday, 26 June 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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Disconnected society: how the war in the Donbas has affected Ukraine; People displaced by the war in eastern Ukraine need a community to represent their interests – any community. Why is that proving so difficult?

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

(opendemocracy.net – Kateryna Iakovlenko – June 26, 2017) Kateryna Iakovlenko is a journalist and researcher from Rovenky, Luhansk. She researches Ukrainian art of the 1980s-1990s, and is postgraduate student at the New Media Department, Lviv National University. An Italian journalist once asked me why I love my country. He also asked me whether I consider myself Ukrainian. After all, I […]

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Summer 2017 reading on Russia: 5 must-read books for those who seek to understand the country’s past and its present

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

By Pavel Koshkin (pkoshkin.russia.direct@gmail.com). Pavel Koshkin is a contributor for Forbes-Russia magazine and the deputy editor of International Desk at RBC Daily, a Russian independent newspaper. He is the former editor-in-chief of Russia Direct, an English-language analytical media outlet that suspended its activity due to various challenges. With Russia celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Revolution, here are five […]

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Behind Brave Face on Sanctions, Russia Is Already Adjusting

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas – June 23, 2017) They are only discussed. They may not even be implemented. But the new sanctions under consideration in the U.S. Congress have already become a factor the Bank of Russia can’t ignore. While Governor Elvira Nabiullina dismissed sanctions as having little impact on Russia, the looming threat of wider measures was […]

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Russian Youth aren’t the Revolutionaries the Kremlin Fears or the Opposition Hopes For, Olshansky Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 22, 2017) Given the large number of young people taking part in the March 26 and June 12 demonstrations, many in the Kremlin have expressed concern and many in the opposition have expressed hope that young people now constitute a revolutionary force. But those fears and hopes are misplaced, Dmitry Olshansky […]

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Unemployment ranges from 1.5% in Moscow to 27.2% in Ingushetia – Rosstat

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

MOSCOW. June 23 (Interfax) – Russian unemployment in May continued to vary widely by federal district, when the highest rate 3.4 times greater than the lowest, and by region, where the highest was 18 times greater than the lowest, Rosstat reported. Unemployment declined to 5.2% in May from 5.3% in April, 5.4% in March and 5.6% in February and January. […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-120 :: Monday, 26 June 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-#119 Monday, 26 June 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: “An inside listen into Obama’s struggle to punish Russia for Putin’s election assault” – Washington Post/ Allison Michaels

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

The story raises “Can He Do That?” questions for both the Obama and Trump administrations. Can a president fail to sufficiently punish a country that interferes in our democratic elections? Can an incoming president deny that such interference occurred? And what happens when the two leaders transition power?

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Natural Born Liar

File Photo of Screenshot of Vladimir Putin in Twitter Video of Trailer of Oliver Stone TV Film Regarding Russia

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore- June 22, 2017) [Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, also appeared at rferl.org/a/daily-vertical-transcript-natural-born-liar/28572901.html] What is the point of lying when what you are saying is obviously, demonstrably, and often ridiculously false? It’s a question worth asking in the aftermath of U.S. filmmaker Oliver Stone’s recent interview series with Vladimir Putin. During the […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Government members

Russia Map

(Kremlin.ru – June 22, 2017) Vladimir Putin held a meeting with Government members on measures to protect the rights of people involved in shared-equity construction projects and on defining the legal status of self-employed individuals. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon colleagues. Today, we are here to discuss several issues. I would like to start with several matters that […]

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Putin says stopped learning physics, chemistry to become intelligence officer

Putin at Desk

MOSCOW. June 22 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said he decided to become an intelligence officer back in his school years and even visited the KGB to ask for advice. “I was a student of the Institute of Technology’s chemistry school but developed a different inclination and decided to join the security services. I came to a KGB reception […]

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Putin, Depersonalized: What Does Oliver Stone’s Film Reveal About Russia’s Leader? In “Putin Interview”, the ordinary and casual moments are the most compelling

File Photo of Screenshot of Vladimir Putin in Twitter Video of Trailer of Oliver Stone TV Film Regarding Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Mikhail Fishman – June 21, 2017) American filmmaker Oliver Stone has faced intense criticism since the release of his 4-hour “Putin Interviews” earlier this month. Critics have assailed Stone for giving a platform to the Russian president and asking softball questions. But the controversial film, currently being broadcast on Russian state television, has its intriguing […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-117 :: Thursday, 22 June 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-#117 Thursday, 22 June 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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Russians Aren’t Blowing Bigger Wages in Boon to Central Bank

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas – June 21, 2017) There’s less than meets the eye to Russia’s consumer recovery. While real wages grew at the same pace of 3.7 percent in April and May, the most in over three years, retail sales only crawled just above zero after a record 27 months of contraction. The Bank of Russia expects […]

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Not Just A Putin Problem

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – June 21, 2017) [Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – also appeared at rferl.org/a/daily-vertical-not-just-a-putin-problem/28570823.html] “Krym Nash” was just the beginning. Crimea is not the only place and Ukraine is not the only neighbor where Russia has territorial ambitions. And this is not just a fixation of Vladimir #Putin and his cronies, but […]

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Thirty Percent of Russians Now Identify as Muslims, New Survey Finds

Russian Mosque file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 20, 2017) Thirty percent of Russians now identify as Muslims, according to a new survey by the ZoomMarket marketing agency, just 12 percent fewer than the 42 percent who say they are Orthodox Christians. Some 18 percent say they are atheists, with all other denominations in the single digits. Thus, three […]

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Rosatom: Climate’s new best friend; As Russia’s economic crisis continues to hit budgets, the country’s state nuclear corporation is going green to raise funds on the international level.

Russian Nuclear Power Plant

(opendemocracy.net – Vladimir Slivyak – June 21, 2017) Vladimir Slivyak is the co-chair of the Russian environmental NGO Ecodefense and has been taking part in UN climate change talks since 1995. The recent St Petersburg International Economic Forum was widely covered by the Russian media, partly because of the eye-catching debates in which president Vladimir Putin himself took part. In […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Civic Chamber members

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

(Kremlin.ru – June 20, 2017) Vladimir Putin met in the Kremlin with members of the 6th Civic Chamber. The Civic Chamber’s new membership was established in a three-stage process. Forty members were approved by the Presidential Executive Order of March 20, 84 were delegated by regional civic chambers, and 43 were selected in a vote from among 403 candidates put […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russians Remain Confident in Putin’s Global Leadership; Majority says Russia has improved its international standing, but views of the economy are mixed and corruption is a concern” – Pew Research Center/ MARGARET VICE

Kremlin and River

“President Vladimir Putin’s handling of foreign affairs gets high ratings from most Russians, in contrast to more tempered views of his economic policies and anti-corruption efforts at home. … Today, however, Putin earns lower marks (63%) than he did two years ago (83%) for his handling of relations with Ukraine. Support for the Russian president has also declined when it […]

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Why Putin Isn’t Laughing at Russia’s Foul-Mouthed YouTube Craze

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Jake Rudnitsky, Ilya Arkhipov, Henry Meyer – June 19, 2017) Nikolai Sobolev’s acute sense of what’s on the minds of his young audience has made his expletive-laced video blog one of Russia’s hottest. But after a steady diet of topics like teen angst, the 23-year-old found an unexpected new issue was taking off this spring: opposition […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-116 :: Wednesday, 21 June 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-#116 Wednesday, 21 June 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: “The Trump Administration Has A New Plan For Dealing With Russia. A classified document by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson lays out a new path for Russia and the US. But does the president, weighed down by scandal and investigation, support it?” – Buzzfeed/ John Hudson

Rex Tillerson file photo, adapted from image at state.gov

“… The former Texas oilman, who worked extensively with Kremlin officials as CEO of Exxon Mobil, has crafted a three-point framework for future US-Russia relations that takes a narrow view of what can be achieved between the former Cold War adversaries, but seeks a constructive working relationship with Putin on a limited set of issues. …”

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Are Russia And The Saudis Planning A Natural Gas Cartel?

Gas Flame file photo

(Oilprice.com – Cyril Widdershoven – June 18, 2017) The fledgling production cut strategy of OPEC (Saudi Arabia) and non-OPEC (Russia and the FSU) shows that a new strategy is needed to counter the ongoing doubts in the markets. At the same time, Russia and Saudi continue to give indications of a possible OPEC 2.0 scenario, in which a possible Russian […]

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Russian youths are taking to the streets, but let’s not over-hype the revolt of the “Putin generation” just yet; If we’re going to understand how young people in Russia are becoming more political, we need to ask the right questions before applying our own labels.

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(opendemocracy.net – Tom Junes – June 20, 2017) [Text with links opendemocracy.net/od-russia/tom-junes/russian-youths-are-taking-to-streets-but-lets-not-over-hype-revolt-of-putin-gene] Tom Junes is a historian and post-doctoral researcher focusing on protest movements in eastern Europe. He is a member of the Human and Social Studies Foundation Sofia and currently a visiting fellow at European University Institute in Florence, Italy. He is the author of Student Politics in Communist […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-115 :: Tuesday, 20 June 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-#115 Tuesday, 20 June 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: “How Do America and Russia Avoid a War over Syria? The United States needs to think soberly about its next steps-and not stumble into a clash with Russia that it neither foresees nor desires.” – The National Interest/ Nikolas Gvosdev

Syria Map

“That it has taken so long since the Russian intervention in Syria began in earnest, a year and a half ago, for an incident to occur that might directly pit Russian and American forces against each other has been nothing short of miraculous. That luck ran out this week, with the downing of a Syrian government warplane accused of carrying […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting on economic issues

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – June 19, 2017) Vladimir Putin held a meeting on economic issues at the Kremlin. Various aspects of national demographic policy were the main items on the agenda. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues, Today, we will have a comprehensive discussion of demographic policy. As you know, for the subject came up during the Direct Line too, […]

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VIDEOS & LINKS: Watch All Four Parts of Oliver Stone’s “The Putin Interviews” [on/from] Vimeo

File Photo of Screenshot of Vladimir Putin in Twitter Video of Trailer of Oliver Stone TV Film Regarding Russia

VIDEOS & LINKS: Watch all four parts of Oliver Stone’s “The Putin Interviews” on Vimeo [links and embedded video below] Transcript: skyhorsepublishing.com/titles/13188-9781510733428-putin-interviews Showtime series site: sho.com/the-putin-interviews#/closed Part One https://vimeo.com/222012543 THE PUTIN INTERVIEWS / OLIVER STONE PART ONE from patrice greanville on Vimeo. Part Two https://vimeo.com/221567261 The Putin Interviews | Part 2 | Oliver Stone & Vladimir Putin from vbulahtin on […]

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Cold War Deja Vu Deepens as New Russia Sanctions Anger Europe

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Marc Champion – June 18, 2017) Russia on Sunday accused the U.S. of returning to “almost forgotten Cold War rhetoric,” after President Donald Trump’s decision to reinstate some sanctions on Cuba. It could have dropped “forgotten.” There’s been a lively debate among historians and diplomats for years over whether the souring of relations between the U.S. […]

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Putin chooses systemic solutions to questions highlighted at Q&A session – Peskov

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

MOSCOW. June 16 (Interfax) – The issues highlighted at the Q&A session with Russian President Vladimir Putin are later discussed at meetings with heads of the presidential administration and government members; they are not handled manually, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said. “As a rule, questions asked at the Q&A session are processed one way or another at such meetings […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-114 :: Monday, 19 June 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-#114 Monday, 19 June 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: “In Final Oliver Stone Interview, Putin Predicts When Russia-US Crisis Ends” – Forbes/ Kenneth Rapoza

File Photo of Screenshot of Vladimir Putin in Twitter Video of Trailer of Oliver Stone TV Film Regarding Russia

“… Stone takes Putin to task at times, saying he looks like a “fox in a hen house” when he imagines out loud that there might already be a secret battle between the U.S. and Russia in cyberspace. “I believe cyber warfare can lead to a hot war,” says Stone. Is Russia doing something about it? Come on, Mr. President, lay […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin the Balancer: Containing and Balancing Russia’s Multifarious Forces through Soft Authoritarianism” – Russian and Eurasian Politics/ Gordon M. Hahn

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

“… This suggests that to some extent, not just its policies but the regime itself may be malleable to change depending on the tenor or face (as well as potential threat) it presents to representatives of the ‘sistema’. Remember most observers assume Putin was really the man in charge during Medvedev’s thaw. Liberals, in particular the rather rabid liberal intelligentsia, […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia has not touched its reserves funds this year, but it will. Russia’s gross international reserves have been growing.” – Intellinews/ Ben Aris

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Thanks to higher than expected oil prices Russia has not had to touch its rainy day reserves funds so far this year to prop up budget spending. But the ministry of finance says it will have to dip into them in the second half of this year and expects to at least exhaust the $16.5bn National Reserve Fund. …” Click […]

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