Putin notes big drop in number of “foreign agent” NGOs

Kremlin and River

(Interfax – October 30, 2017) The number of Russian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) registered as foreign agents has nearly halved over the past year, President Vladimir Putin has said. “Currently the number of such organisations in the register of foreign agents has almost halved. Their number dropped from 165 to 89. This is only 0.39 per cent of the total number […]

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Putin Calls Ekho Moskvy Journalist’s Attacker a ‘Sick Person’

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 30, 2017) The man who stabbed a radio editor in Moscow last week was a “sick person” without political motives, President Vladimir Putin said Monday. Tatyana Felgenhauer, a deputy editor at the liberal-learning Ekho Moskvy radio station, was stabbed last week by a Russian-Israeli man believed to have mental health issues. Two state television […]

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NEWSLINK: “U.S. Special-Operations Forces Have Quietly Moved Onto the Russian Border; The percentage of special operators deployed to Europe quadrupled last year” – The Nation/ Nick Turse

Globe Highlighting NATO Members

“… Since 9/11, U.S. Special Operations forces (SOF) have grown in every conceivable way from funding to manpower, the pace of operations to geographic sweep. On any given day, about 8,000 special operators – from a command numbering roughly 70,000 in total – are deployed in around 80 countries. Over the course of a year, they operate in about 70 […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Manafort Indictment; Mueller’s charges relate to money-laundering cash from Ukraine” – Wall Street Journal Editorial

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia file photo, adapted from image at dc.uscourts.gov

“… Mueller indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort for tax fraud …. [accusing] Manafort (and business partner Richard Gates) of funneling money from a pro-Russia party in Ukraine into offshore shell companies and bank accounts. They … allegedly used these accounts to fund their spending habits, neglecting to declare the money to the IRS. The indictment also accuses … Manafort of […]

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Putin approves of initiative on Foreign Ministry commission monitoring compatriots’ rights abroad

foreign-ministry-200

MOSCOW. Oct 30 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has supported human rights defenders’ proposal on setting up a special commission in the Russian Foreign Ministry in order to monitor the situation with Russians citizens’ rights abroad and provide them with legal assistance, if necessary. “I believe, it’s a good idea. It can be even more efficient than just the […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Opening of Wall of Sorrow memorial to victims of political repression” – KremlinRu

Russia Map

(Kremlin.ru – October 30, 2017) Following the meeting of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, Vladimir Putin and the Council members attended the opening of the Wall of Sorrow memorial to victims of political repression on Akademika Sakharova Prospekt. The opening was also attended by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin. President […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Vladimir Putin and Mikhail Fedotov at] Meeting of Council for Civil Society and Human Rights” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Kremlin.ru – October 30, 2017) Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights at the Kremlin. The focus of the meeting was on measures to implement the State Policy Concept on immortalising the memory of victims of political repression. The agenda also included issues related to the Council’s activities on ensuring citizens’ environmental rights, […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-206 :: Tuesday, 31 October 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-#206 Tuesday, 31 October 2017 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott […]

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Less Than Half of Russians Surveyed Back Kremlin Support for Ukraine Separatists

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 30, 2017) Forty-one percent of surveyed Russians believe Moscow should support separatists in Ukraine’s Donbass region, according to a new poll published by the independent Levada Center. Moscow has been accused of supporting pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine since then-president Viktor Yanukovych was toppled in February 2014. The ensuing conflict between Kiev and separatists […]

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Russian Liberals Attack Current Regime but Defend Foundation of Regime as Such, Birna Says

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 27, 2017) One of the fundamental weaknesses of liberal Russian thought and behavior, Irina Birna says, is Russian liberals are always ready to criticize the current regime but defend the basis of that regime as such, refusing to see the links between the two and thus manifesting “a latent imperialism.” They […]

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Crimea should hold new referendum – Sobchak

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

YEKATERINBURG. Oct 28 (Interfax) – The Russian television presenter Ksenia Sobchak, who has decided to run for presidency in 2018, says that Crimea must hold a new independent referendum. “Russia violated its international obligations, that’s the main starting point. There are Russian people living in Crimea, many of them. (…) We cannot treat them as subjects of geopolitics. That policy […]

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Interfax: Don’t forget saddest lessons of Russian history – Volodin in connection with day memorializing victims of repression

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 30 (Interfax) – Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said that the events associated with political repression in the 20th century should be remembered so that the past can unite society, not divide it. “The Day of Remembrance of Victims of Political Repressions is one of the hardest memorial dates in our country’s calendar. In the year of […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia Uses Its Oil Giant, Rosneft, as a Foreign Policy Tool” – New York Times/ Clifford Krauss

File Photo of Rosneft and Russian Flags Next to Rosneft Banner

“Russia is increasingly wielding oil as a geopolitical tool, spreading … influence … and challenging the interests of the United States. … Moscow risks running into trouble … lend[ing] money and mak[ing] deals in turbulent economies and shaky political climates. The strategy faces a crucial test this week in Venezuela, a Russian ally that must come up with a billion dollars to avert […]

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NEWSWATCH: “What Does Putin Want? To Maintain His Power No Matter What; A big win for Putin in the March election would be a victory for the Russian autocratic state.” – NBC/ William Pomeranz

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium Gesturing

“In Russia … [elections] are acts of confirmation: The only real suspense … is whether … Putin will receive 70 percent or 80 percent …. Putin … surely understands that reform is the moment of greatest vulnerability for a Russian leader (just ask … Gorbachev). … Putin’s intent is always to maintain control, as recent prosecutions attest. * * * … At the top of […]

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Russia to increase salmon aquaculture

Spawning Salmon File Image, adapted from image at fws.gov

(The Fish Site – thefishsite.com – Jaroslaw Adamowski – October 30, 2017) Russia’s largest farmed fish producer, Russian Aquaculture, is developing its farm network across the country at a time when the country’s authorities are making increased efforts to develop the sector and reduce their dependency on fish imports. Russian Aquaculture currently owns cultivation rights for 30 salmon and trout sites […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Nuclear Dangers from North Korea: Managing the Risks to the U.S. and Russia” – RussiaMatters/ Joshua H. Pollack

North Korea Map and Flag, adapted from .gov image

“Among the most disturbing aspects of the North Korean nuclear problem today is the lack of a common perspective between Washington and Moscow. More than any other government, Russian authorities have been reluctant to acknowledge the emergence of a genuine nuclear and missile threat from North Korea to the United States. This perceptual gap is more than a mere irritant. […]

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Russia To Unveil Monument To Victims Of Political Repression

File Photo of Soviet Gulag at Manzanar, adapted from image at nps.gov

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – October 30, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-stalin-putin-soviet-repression-remembrance-day-moscow/28823208.html) Amid controversy over his own methods of maintaining control over Russia, President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to appear at the unveiling of a memorial dedicated to victims of state repression during the Soviet era. The Wall Of Sorrow will be unveiled on […]

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RUSSIALINK: “What Does the Decline of Clans in the North Caucasus Mean for Moscow?” – Carnegie Moscow/ Konstantin Kazenin

Caucasus Map of Chechnya and Caucasus Environs

“Recent speculation that Russia wants to topple the ‘traditional’ clan system in the North Caucasus misses the point: the clan system is in no way traditional, and it is collapsing on its own. The real question is whether the federal center will find other allies in the region when it falls. …”  

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Russian Journalist Yekaterina Gordon Announces She’ll Run for President in March 2018

Kremlin and River

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 30, 2017) Yekaterina Gordon, a 37-year-old journalist and singer-songwriter with her own law firm, on Monday announced she would be putting herself forward as a candidate for presidential elections in March 2018. The announcement comes less than two weeks after celebrity Ksenia Sobchak placed her presidential bid, in a controversial move which critics say […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-205 :: Monday, 30 October 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-#205 Monday, 30 October 2017 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s economic recovery not enough for higher rating: Moody’s” – Reuters/ Andrey Ostroukh

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Economic recovery in Russia is not strong enough to convince Moody’s rating agency to upgrade its sovereign credit rating as the country still lacks sufficient structural reform …. Moody’s downgraded Russia’s rating to below investment grade in early 2015 as Russia’s economy slipped into recession amid a rapid drop in oil prices and Western sanctions … over [Russia’s] role in the Ukrainian […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Michael @McFaul: I applaud @Twitter for making this decision ….”

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

(Michael McFaul – Twitter – @McFaul – October 27, 2017) “I applaud @Twitter for making this decision. [re: ban on RT and Sputnik advertising]” [embedded live feed of tweet should load below; or click here to jump directly to tweet] I applaud @twitter for this decision: Announcement: RT and Sputnik Advertising https://t.co/QnCHBEckD8 — Michael McFaul (@McFaul) October 27, 2017

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Ksenia Sobchak, Russia’s Star Presidential Candidate, Will Be Heard; Loud and divisive, Ksenia Sobchak knows how to put on a show

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich – October 26, 2017) The jeers and whistles rang out with venom. But that wasn’t going to stop Ksenia Sobchak: She was the one on stage, and she was the one holding the mic. Standing in front of a crowd riled up by the previous three weeks of protests against President Vladimir Putin, […]

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Moscow Times/ Levada Center: Majority of Russians Ready to Hand Putin Fourth Term

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 27, 2017) More than 50 percent of Russians surveyed in a recent independent poll are ready to give President Vladimir Putin a fourth term in office. Asked who they’d vote for if the elections were held this Sunday, 53 percent named Putin. One in five couldn’t name who they’d vote for, while one in […]

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NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “THE PUTIN FILES – Putin’s Revenge – Michael McFaul Inteview” – PBS Frontline

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

“Michael McFaul served for five years in the Obama administration, first as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council (2009-2012), and then as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation (2012-2014). …” [Full text/transcript, video here http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/interview/michael-mcfaul/]  

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NEWSLINK: “Former Clinton, DNC aides largely silent on funding of Trump-Russia dossier” – Washington Post/ Tom Hamburger, Rosalind S. Helderman, Adam Entous, Devlin Barrett, Matt Zapotosky

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“Hillary Clinton and top officials of her presidential campaign were largely silent Wednesday in response to the revelation that the campaign and the Democratic National Committee had paid for research that resulted in a dossier alleging Russian interference on behalf of Donald Trump in the 2016 election. Neither Clinton nor her campaign manager, Robby Mook, responded …. Campaign chair John […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-204 :: Friday, 27 October 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-#204 Friday, 27 October 2017 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott […]

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Twitter Bans Ads From Two Russian Media Companies

Twitter Logo and Faint World Map

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Oct. 26, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/twitter-bans-rt-sputnik-russia-us-election-meddling/28817851.html) Twitter has banned advertisements from the accounts of state-owned Russian media outlets Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik, citing assertions by U.S. intelligence agencies that these networks interfered with last year’s U.S. presidential election. The San Francisco-based social network said in an unsigned […]

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NEWSLINK: “Sobchak and the presidential reality show; Why does the Kremlin allow socialite Ksenia Sobchak to take part in the presidential elections? Distraction? Theatricality? According to security expert Mark Galeotti it reflects the limitations of Putin’s hyper-presidential system. ‘Vote against all’ is a way out for the population” -RaamopRuslandNL/ Mark Galeotti

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

“The news that Ksenia Sobchak, part-time opposition gadfly, erstwhile reality TV host, and full-time celebrity, plans to stand in the 2018 presidential elections has – rightly – been interpreted as a Kremlin bid to ‘sex up’ what otherwise seemed unbearably tedious elections and also to split Alexei Navalny’s opposition camp. That Sobchak presented herself as the ‘against everyone’ candidate, simply […]

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NEWSLINK: “THE FRONTLINE INTERVIEWS: THE PUTIN FILES” – PBS/ Frontline

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

56 video interviews and transcripts; Interviews include Yevgenia Albats, Masha Gessen, Julia Ioffe, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Michael McFaul, Molly McKew, Victoria Nuland; Transcript of interview with Thomas Graham #27 ….

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-203 :: Thursday, 26 October 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-#203 Thursday, 26 October 2017 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier” – Washington Post/ Adam Entous, Devlin Barrett, Rosalind S. Helderman, Julie Tate

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“The … Clinton campaign and … Democratic National Committee helped fund research … result[ing] … in a now-famous dossier … alleg[ing] … Trump[] connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin …. [T]he Clinton campaign and the DNC[] retained Fusion GPS [with the help of law firm Perkins Coie] … to conduct the research. … [Fusions GPS] hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British […]

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‘Rejection of Revolution Not a Mandate for Stagnation,’ Nezavisimaya Gazeta Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 24, 2017) Vladimir Putin twice last week spoke of evolution as “a positive alternative to revolution,” the editors of Nezavisimaya Gazeta say; but in fact, he has taken the rejection of revolution as an alternative to be de facto a mandate for stagnation in Russia rather than a call for gradual […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin Disappoints Investors With Quick Exit From Moscow Forum” – Bloomberg/ Ksenia Galouchko, Jake Rudnitsky, Andrey Biryukov, Anna Baraulina

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

“… Putin left some guests at Moscow’s main investment forum surprised and disappointed after he broke with his tradition of taking questions from the audience and left after a brief speech. After comments that lasted about 12 minutes at a panel at the VTB Capital Forum on Tuesday, Putin left the stage, leaving behind the sanctioned lender’s Chief Executive Officer Andrey […]

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Ellen Mickiewicz: Re: “New York Times on RT and YouTube”

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

Subject: New York Times on RT and YouTube Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2017 From: Ellen Mickiewicz <ellen.mickiewicz@duke.edu> New York Times on RT and YouTube Ellen Mickiewicz James R. Shepley Professor of Public Policy and Political Science Duke University In the New York Times of October 24, 2017, a front-page story repeats some of the errors about the U.S. audience for […]

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Sobchak Campaign Teams Up With Igor Malashenko, Who Once Helped Yeltsin

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 24, 2017) In her first press conference since announcing her bid for the presidency, Ksenia Sobchak on Tuesday said Igor Malashenko, who once helped Boris Yeltsin to the presidency, would be joining her campaign team. Sobchak unexpectedly announced last week she would run in presidential elections in March next year. Although President Vladimir Putin […]

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“Against all” option may reappear in Russian elections soon – Matviyenko

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

MOSCOW. Oct 25 (Interfax) – The “against all” option is necessary and may reappear on Russian election ballots in the medium-term future, Federation Council Chairperson Valentina Matviyenko said. “As for this option, I still think it is necessary and I am sure it will reappear in the medium-term future,” Matviyenko told reporters on Wednesday. The “against all” option is still […]

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Udaltsov calls for consolidation of left-wing forces in Russia

File Photo of Sergei Udaltsov Speaking Outdoors, Holding Microphone and Gesturing

ST. PETERSBURG. Oct 25 (Interfax) – The Left Front movement will resume its activity before the Russian presidential election, movement coordinator Sergei Udaltsov told reporters in St. Petersburg on Wednesday. “We’d like to declare that the left-wing movement in Russia is not just looking back but is also mindful of the future,” Udaltsov said, adding that it was not accidental […]

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Interfax: Kremlin had no plans for Russian Revolution centenary celebrations in first place – Peskov

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

MOSCOW. Oct 25 (Interfax) – The Kremlin did not plan to celebrate the Russian Revolution’s centenary in the first place, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday. “The Kremlin is not planning any events on this occasion,” Peskov said. “No one is cancelling anything,” he said. The media said that the Kremlin had planned no events celebrating the […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-202 :: Wednesday, 25 October 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-#202 Wednesday, 25 October 2017 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott […]

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NEWSWATCH: “I’m ‘sick and tired’ of how U.S. views Russia, says CEO of Russia’s second-largest bank” –  CNBC/ Silvia Amaro

VTB Bank File Photo

“… The tense issue of Russian meddling in the election has dragged on. Putin warned last week that U.S. media companies could be restricted when operating in Russia after calls from American lawmakers to limit Russian outlets, namely RT and Sputnik, for their involvement in the 2016 presidential election. … Click here for: “I’m ‘sick and tired’ of how U.S. […]

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EVENT: “Russian Perception of America in Turmoil: A Russia-Eurasia Forum with Dr. Fyodor Lukyanov [Wednesday Oct. 25 in Washington, D.C.]” – Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)

File Photo of Banner with SAIS Logos in Washington, D.C., Near Gray Wall, adapted from image at ustr.gov

“The European and Eurasian Studies Program invites you to a Russia-Eurasia Forum with Dr. Fyodor Lukyanov, editor of Russia in Global Affairs, on ‘Russian perceptions of American in Turmoil.’ Moderated by Professor Charles Gati. Light Lunch provided. RSVP required. Fyodor Lukyanov is Chairman of Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, the oldest Russian NGO providing expertise in foreign policy field, […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Russia Calling! Investment Forum” – KremlinRu

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

(kremlin.ru – Oct. 24, 2017) Vladimir Putin spoke at the annual Russia Calling! Investment Forum organized by VTB Capital. This year’s event is being held under the slogan Manage the Difficulties, Control the Risks. The forum is the leading event in attracting portfolio and strategic investment in the Russian economy and promotes effective cooperation between Russian businesses and international investors. […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-201 :: Tuesday, 24 October 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-#201 Tuesday, 24 October 2017 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott […]

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Many Russians Back Existing System but Fear Putin’s Policies are Too Risky, Morozov Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 22, 2017) Most commentators accept that Vladimir Putin will easily win re-election as president but suggest that both the level of participation and the number of votes cast for him and his opponent will reflect a division between those who support the Kremlin leader and his system and those who oppose […]

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