Is Russia About To Abandon The OPEC Deal?

Oil Well file photo

(Oilprice.com – Irina Slav – May 17, 2018) OPEC and Russia are meeting in a little more than a month to discuss the progress of their oil production deal and what’s next. On the face of things, there will be no surprises: every country taking part in the deal is still committed to the cuts until the end of the […]

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Edward Lozansky: “Trump-Putin Petition”

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

Subject: Trump-Putin petition Date: Thu, 17 May 2018 14:20:17 -0400 From: Edward Lozansky <lozansky@gmail.com> A group of activists will post a petition on the White House website to call for the urgent Trump – Putin summit “to find the way out of the most dangerous security crisis facing both nations and the world.” Petition urges President Trump to follow in […]

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RUSSIALINK: “U.S. launches Ukrainian-made Antares rocket with cargo resupply ship to ISS” – Interfax

International Space Station file photo

KYIV. May 21 (Interfax) – A medium-size Antares rocket developed and built in Ukraine has been successfully launched to the International Space Station (ISS) from a space center in the United States under a NASA contract. “The Orbital ATK Antares rocket with Cygnus spacecraft lifted off Monday, May 21, at 4:44 a.m. EDT on a contracted cargo resupply mission to […]

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Russians Don’t Want Leaders Who Resemble Intellectuals, Sociologist Says

Kremlin and River

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 20, 2018) Vladimir Putin’s driving a truck across the Kerch Bridge, Aleksey Roshchin says, highlighted both the secret of the Kremlin leader’s popularity and the failure of his opponents to understand that reality, a failure that precludes their ability to cut into his support let alone challenge his leadership. “For the […]

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Ira Straus: “Richard Pipes RIP”

Lit Candle with Reflection and Dark Background

Subject: Richard Pipes RIP Date: Fri, 18 May 2018 From: Ira Straus <irastraus@aol.com> Richard Pipes, who passed Thursday May 17, was a great scholar and thinker who served America well. He was a prophet whom we should honor today, the more so as he was not honored for it when it counted by the America he served. In his two […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-91 :: Monday, 21 May 2018

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 2018-#90 :: Friday, 18 May 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington […]

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Despite Appearances, Russian Society is Neither Patriarchal nor Traditional, Savvin Says

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 17, 2018) Many assert that Russian society is both patriarchal and traditional as if this is something self-evident, Dimitry Savvin says; but in fact, Russian society is neither. Rather, it is something that, while externally similar to traditional and patriarchal society, in fact is the direct opposite. That is because, the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin Favors Status Quo With New Government Lineup” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 18, 2018) Russian President Vladimir Putin endorsed a new government line-up on Friday at the start of his new term in office, sticking in most cases with the incumbents but elevating two newcomers with ties to the intelligence services. Dmitry Medvedev, whom Putin had already reappointed as prime minister, proposed the new cabinet at […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Definitive Story Of How Trump’s Team Worked The Trump Moscow Deal During The Campaign” – Buzzfeed

Donald Trump

“… Talks to construct the 100-story building continued …. The tower — a sheer, glass-encased obelisk situated on a river — would have soared above every other building in Moscow …. the sharply angled skyscraper would have climaxed in a diamond-shaped pinnacle emblazoned with the word “Trump,” putting his name atop the continent’s tallest structure. …”    

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NEWSLINK: “Approval of Russia investigation slips as Trump’s ramped-up attacks solidify his base against it” – Los Angeles Times/Chris Megerian, Noah Bierman

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“One year into the Russia investigation … Mueller … works away, mostly silent. … Trump and his allies have been anything but, and they’ve had some success in undermining public confidence in the sprawling inquiry. Though the investigation has reached deeper into his inner circle, Trump’s approval ratings lately have ticked slightly higher, despite remaining at historic lows for a […]

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NEWSLINK 2007: “David Johnson in the Moscow News [11 years ago]” – Sean’s Russia Blog/Sean Guillory/Moscow News

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

“Since the merits of David Johnson and his, in my opinion, indispensable Johnson’s Russia List is such a hot topic of debate, I point readers to his interview in the Moscow News. It is rare that we actually hear what the man behind JRL actually thinks about Russia. Most of the time critics infer his views from the copious numbers […]

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NEWSLINK: “Richard Pipes, Historian of Russia and Reagan Aide, Dies at 94” – New York Times/William Grimes

Lit Candle with Reflection and Dark Background

“Richard Pipes, the author of a monumental, sharply polemical series of historical works on Russia, the Russian Revolution and the Bolshevik regime, and a top adviser to the Reagan administration on Soviet and Eastern European policy, died on Thursday at a nursing home near his home in Cambridge, Mass. He was 94. …”

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian-U.S. dialogue on Syria still intensive – Ryabkov” – Interfax

Syria Map

MOSCOW. May 17 (Interfax) – Russia is not phasing out a dialogue on Syria, and it is still quite intensive, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said. While talking to journalists on Thursday, Ryabkov was asked whether there were any concerns about Russian-U.S. dialogue on Syria in light of the absence of a U.S. delegation at the last round of […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-90 :: Friday, 18 May 2018

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 2018-#90 :: Friday, 18 May 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington […]

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Russian Duma Amends One Antisanctions Bill, Postpones Vote On Another

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – May 17, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-duma-amends-one-antisanctions-bill-postpones-vote-on-another/29232439.html) The lower chamber of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, has amended and approved in its second reading a bill that provides for countermeasures against the United States and other countries that imposed sanctions against Russia. A third and final reading is […]

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Sean Guillory: “Comment on Keith Gessen’s ‘The Quiet Americans Behind the U.S.-Russia Imbroglio'”

Stylized Russian and U.S. Flags, 200, 1807-2007

Subject: Comment on Keith Gessen’s “The Quiet Americans Behind the U.S.-Russia Imbroglio” Date: Wed, 16 May 2018 From: Sean Guillory <seansrussiablog@gmail.com> Sean Guillory, host of the SRB Podcast (http://seansrussiablog.org/), a weekly podcast on Eurasian politics, culture and history and Digital Scholarship Curator at the Center for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. I read Keith Gessen’s […]

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Putin vs. Pensions: Will His Reelection Finally Free Him To Tackle Looming Crisis?

File Photo of Elders Walking in Russia

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – May 16, 2018 – article also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-vs-pensions-will-his-reelection-finally-free-him-to-tackle-looming-crisis-/29229857.html) It’s been the third rail of Russian politics for years, if not decades, but now an increasingly fragile economy appears to have forced the Kremlin to finally reckon with the country’s pension crisis. Russia’s pension system — […]

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RUSSIALINK: “UN Predicts Falling Population, Rising Urbanization in Russia Through 2050” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Crowd in Russia Including Person Waving Russian Flag with Eagle

[Link to UN Report: https://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/] (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 17, 2018) Russia’s population will shrink by 11 million people by 2050 and will increasingly be concentrated in cities, according to the latest United Nations estimates. Russia has been in the midst of a generational demographic crisis, which newly inaugurated President Vladimir Putin said he would seek to reverse […]

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NEWSLINK: “Never-ending Russia probe could fuel GOP’s midterm message” – Fox News/Alex Pappas

Robert Mueller file photo, adapted from image at fbi.gov

“As … Mueller’s probe hits the one-year mark … Republicans in midterm elections have started to see an opportunity to use the Trump controversy to their advantage … appealing to voters tired of the never-ending investigation.  Candidates in some GOP primaries this year already have worked to woo Trump supporters by arguing it’s time to end the Russia probe. Other […]

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NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “John B. Hurford Memorial Lecture With Michael McFaul” – Council on Foreign Relations/Michael McFaul/David Remnick

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

“Michael McFaul provides an insider’s perspective on Russia during his time as U.S. ambassador, including his analysis of Russia’s foreign policy from the end of the cold war to the presidency of Vladimir Putin and the future of U.S.-Russia relations. * * * MCFAUL: … people who just look at Russia, they think everything in Russia is sui generis and […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine should blow up Putin’s Crimea bridge” – Washington Examiner/Tom Rogan

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

“… Ukraine should now destroy elements of the bridge. While that course of action would be an escalation against Putin and … almost certainly spark Russian retaliation, this bridge is an outrageous affront to Ukraine’s very credibility as a nation. … from Putin’s perspective that’s the whole point. The bridge cost Russia’s near-bankrupt government billions of dollars, but it offers […]

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Behind the wire: pride and paranoia in one of Russia’s closed towns; Thousands of Russian citizens live in “closed towns.” I visited one of them, Lesnoye, to find out how people live today.

Montage of Radioactivity Symbol and Russian Map with Russian Flag, adapted from images at .gov sites

(opendemocracy.net – Ivan Chesnokov – May 16, 2018) Ivan Chesnokov is a Russian freelance journalist specialising in social issues and conflicts. His work has appeared in Takie Dela, the Moscow Times, RBTH, and other publications, and he is engaged in several multimedia journalism projects. [opendemocracy.net/od-russia/ivan-chesnokov/behind-the-wire] A shabbily dressed older man in a cap with ear flaps, looking like a character […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian Kudrin sets goals following his appointment as head of the Audit Chamber” – Intellinews/Vadim Dumes

Alexei Kudrin file photo

“… Kudrin set out … four main goals following his appointment as … new head of Russia’s Audit Chamber, a state agency …. Russian watchers have been disappointed by Kudrin’s appointment to the … relatively toothless body …. there is a chance that the intention is to beef up the Chamber’s role …. [but the appointment o]n balance … is […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Medvedev at] The 8th St Petersburg International Legal Forum” – GovernmentRu

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – May 16, 2018) Dmitry Medvedev attended a plenary session titled Future of the Legal Profession. The St Petersburg International Legal Forum was launched in 2011 and is a major platform for dialogue between politicians, lawyers, economists and researchers representing all the main economic and legal systems. The forum seeks to promote ways to modernise the law in the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “U.S. magazine’s call for bombing of Crimean Bridge reflects opinion of part of U.S. political elite – Aksyonov” – Interfax

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

SIMFEROPOL. May 17 (Interfax) – The article published in a U.S. weekly calling for the bombing of the Crimean Bridge is a reflection of the opinion of the U.S. political elite, Sergei Aksyonov, the head of Crimea, said. “Essentially, the U.S. media outlet is disseminating calls for terrorist activities under the guise of freedom of speech. Unfortunately, it is not […]

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NEWSLINK: “Who Is Responsible for the New US-Russian Cold War? A discussion of the Stephen F. Cohen-Michael McFaul debate.” – The Nation/Stephen F. Cohen

Stylized Russian and U.S. Flags, 200, 1807-2007

“On May 9, at a public event jointly sponsored by Columbia University’s Harriman Institute and NYU’s Jordan Center for Advanced Russian Studies, Cohen and McFaul – a Stanford University professor and previously President Obama’s top Russia adviser in the White House and then his ambassador to Moscow – debated a crucial historical but also urgent contemporary subject:’ The New US-Russian […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-89 :: Thursday, 17 May 2018

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 2018-#89 :: Thursday, 17 May 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Kara-Murza Jr. to face criminal liability if Duma adopts law on punishment for sanctions – Isayev” – Interfax

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

MOSCOW. May 16 (Interfax) – Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr., deputy chairman of the movement Open Russia, may fall under the bill criminalizing actions leading to the introduction of foreign sanctions against Russia if the bill is adopted, Andrei Isayev, first deputy chairman of the United Russia faction, said. “Among the people I know who are doing it is Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr., […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Ambassador Huntsman views strengthening of business ties as basis for improvement of Russian-U.S. relations” – Interfax

File Photo of John Huntsman, Men in Military Uniforms and Others, adapted from image at army.mil

MOSCOW. May 15 (Interfax) – Business ties between Russia and the United States should serve as the foundation for the improvement of bilateral relations, U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman said. “There of course remain profound disagreements between our governments on a number of policy issues, thankfully relations between our people, and that includes business relationships, remain strong. It is […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Differing approaches to Korea crisis may jeopardize N. Korea-U.S. summit – Kosachyov” – Interfax

North Korea Map and Flag, adapted from .gov image

MOSCOW. May 16 (Interfax) – The differing approaches of Washington and Pyongyang to the settlement process on the Korean Peninsula and the bilateral summit may jeopardize the very fact of the summit and its outcome, Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachyov said on Facebook. “The problems that emerged shortly before the pivotal meeting between the U.S. and North […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin Signs Order to Restructure Government Ministries” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin with Heads Bowed Over Microphone

President Vladimir Putin has signed an executive order to restructure several government ministries after meeting with Prime Minister-designate Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday. Among other shifts, the order created a Ministry of Science and Higher Education separate from the Education Ministry and added digital development to the portfolio of the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media, while adding a tenth deputy […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Opening of Crimean Bridge motorway section” – KremlinRu

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

(Kremlin.ru – May 15, 2018) Vladimir Putin took part in the opening ceremony of the Crimean Bridge motorway section and drove the lead vehicle of the construction equipment convoy. Vladimir Putin visited the Consolidated Traffic Management Centre and heard reports on the readiness of utility teams to operate the transport route across the Kerch Strait. The head of state also […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Working meeting with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin with Heads Bowed Over Microphone

(Kremlin.ru – May 15, 2018) Vladimir Putin held a working meeting with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who presented the new government structure. Dmitry Medvedev also reported that proposals on the cabinet makeup would be presented on May 18. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Go ahead. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President, under Article 112 of the Constitution, the Prime Minister […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-88 :: Wednesday, 16 May 2018

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 2018-#88 :: Wednesday, 16 May 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington […]

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‘Not Their Business To Bomb Voronezh’: Russian Lawmakers Gut Sanctions Bill Targeting U.S.

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Carl Schreck – May 11, 2018 – article also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-sanctions-bill-gutted-bomb-voronezh/29221812.html) The phrase “bomb Voronezh” has become a staple of the Russian political lexicon, a reference to what Kremlin critics call Russia’s penchant for responding to Western sanctions with punitive measures that end up harming its own citizens. […]

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‘Thank You, Donald’ for Sending Oil Prices Up, Russian Commentator Says

Oil Wells File Photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 13, 2018) As a result of rising petroleum prices and projections that they will go even higher as result of instability in the Middle East, the Russian Federation is projected to earn five times as much from the sale of oil and gas this year than last and have a budget […]

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Expert Analysis: What’s Next For Russian Oil

Oil Well file photo

(Oilprice.com – Viktor Katona – May 14, 2018) [Text with links oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Expert-Analysis-Whats-Next-For-Russian-Oil.html] In the wake of Putin’s May 7 inauguration, the corridors of power in Moscow have been replete with speculation regarding the composition of the next government. Alexander Novak, the Energy Minister, is one of the lucky few whose performance President Putin was genuinely satisfied with, hence the lack […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Kremlin has big plans for the next five years, and it might need to raise Russia’s retirement age to pay for everything” – Meduza

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“… a leaked copy of … Medvedev’s next five-year budget plan … [anticipates] 25 trillion rubles ($403.8 billion) on 13 ‘national projects.’ … repeat[ing] many of the priorities of Medvedev’s … presidency and … Putin[] … executive orders. [kommersant.ru/doc/3628758] … new roads … demography … infrastructure … cancer and ‘the digital economy’ … broadband Internet connections [for] public sector facilities. […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Over 400 companies, about 200 individuals in Russia fall under U.S. sanctions – Volodin” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. May 15 (Interfax) – The United States’ sanctions now apply to more than 400 Russian companies and about 200 individuals, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin told reporters on Tuesday. “The U.S.’ sanctions are absolutely unfriendly. They’ve been applied to more than 400 legal entities and about 200 citizens of our country, and we should do everything we can to […]

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NEWSLINK: “See Which Facebook Ads Russians Targeted to People Like You” – New York Times/Keith Collins

Montage of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook Logos, adapted from image at nps.gov

“Congress last week released thousands of Facebook ads linked to Russia that ran through the 2016 presidential election, the most comprehensive look to date at the misinformation campaign mounted on the social network. Choose from the options below to see which ads were targeted to people like you or those you know, down to age, location and interests. …”

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RUSSIALINK: “China plans to double trade with Russia to $200 billion by 2020” – Interfax

Asia Map

BEIJING. May 15 (Interfax) – China plans to double its trade with Russia to $200 billion by 2020, Deputy Director of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce’s Central Asia and Eastern Europe Department Liu Xuesun told Russian reporters in Beijing. “The trade turnover between China and Russia is due to reach $100 billion this year, which is quite an achievement,” Liu […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-87 :: Tuesday, 15 May 2018

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 2018-#87 :: Tuesday, 15 May 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington […]

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‘Even in Soviet Times, Nobody Believed Promises Like Putin is Making,’ Gontmakher Says

Couple in Hospital with Newborn

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 9, 2018) Vladimir Putin’s new May decrees are no more realistic or realizable than the 2012 ones that even he has acknowledged have remained largely unfulfilled, Yevgeny Gontmakher says. Instead, they are slogans about the future like those the Soviet government trotted out on holidays and that no one in the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia to Soften Plan for Retaliation Against U.S. Sanctions” – Bloomberg/Stepan Kravchenko

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

“… Russia’s parliament plans to adopt a bill on counter-measures to U.S. and European Union sanctions this month after softening the initial draft to remove language that had targeted specific sectors and products ranging from medication to aerospace. * * * … the Kremlin put the brakes on the plan, hoping to prevent another round of escalation in tensions with […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia hosts World Cup in heat of battle with West” – AFP

Men Sitting Around Long Oval Boardroom Table, File Photo of FIFA Officials Meeting with Vladmir Putin

  “… Russia was a controversial choice when it was handed the rights to the world’s most watched event in a 2010 vote now tainted by bribery charges. … The years since have seen Moscow clash with the West over everything from Syria and Ukraine to the poisoning of a former Russian double agent in England. Russia was even banned […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia’s ‘Brain Drain’ and the Prospects for Regime Transformation” – Russian and Eurasian Politics/Gordon M. Hahn

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

“The U.S. government … is claiming a sharp spike in asylum claims from Russian citizens, hitting a 24-year high in 2017 …. One of the main drivers of revolutionary forms of democratic regime transformation, according to contemporary social science, is the lack of sufficient social mobility for middle class youth that often emerges in authoritarian countries with high or rising […]

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Putin 4.0: Five Issues Facing Russia’s President In The Next Six Years

Kremlin and River

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – May 11, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-4-0-five-issues-facing-putin-in-the-next-six-years/29221585.html) Robert Coalson is a senior correspondent for RFE/RL With President Vladimir Putin’s inauguration for a fourth presidential term in the books, Russians are looking ahead to the next six years. But many of the judo-loving, ex-KGB officer’s past political […]

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Richard Sakwa: RE: Keith Gessen’s article [“The Quiet Americans Behind the U.S.-Russia Imbroglio”]

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

Subject: RE: Keith Gessen’s article Date: Mon, 14 May 2018 From: Richard Sakwa <R.Sakwa@kent.ac.uk> [Richard Sakwa is a Professor of Russian and European Politics at the University of Kent and Associate Fellow of Chatham House] Keith Gessen’s fascinating account of the inner workings of the US foreign policy establishment provides real insight into how policy is formulated and implemented. Of […]

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NEWSWATCH: “New Armenian PM Tells Putin He Wants Closer Ties With Russia” – Reuters

Armenia Map and Flag

“Armenia’s new Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who came to power last week after a peaceful revolution, told … Putin … he favored closer political and military ties with Russia. …. Armenia won independence from Moscow in 1991, but has been hampered by its conflict with Azerbaijan over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh and has looked to Russia to guarantee its security. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Putin isn’t as all-powerful as he looks; In local elections, which are harder to rig, the opposition is rising.” – Washington Post/Jackson Diehl

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

“… If opposition leaders … start to look dangerous … bad things happen …. Yevgeny Urlashov, a charismatic opposition leader who in 2012 won election as mayor of Yaroslavl … is now serving a 12-year prison sentence on trumped-up charges. Boris Nemtsov … was murdered on a bridge outside the Kremlin …. Alexei Navalny … has been banned from elections […]

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