Mixed Government-Business Clans Still Dominate Regional Regimes, Isayev Says

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 27, 2018) Vladimir Putin has succeeded in putting his own people, often outsiders, in as heads of the federal subjects; but neither he nor they have ended the dominance of clans, typically consisting of a mix of government officials and businessmen, at the next level down. Indeed, their dominance in many […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Summer Folk Head Out to the Dacha” – Moscow Times/Michele A. Berdy

Siberian River, Forest, Mountain

“Дача: country cottage … Visitors to Moscow and other large Russian cities will notice two curious things in the summer: enormous traffic jams leading out of the cities on Thursday and Friday evenings, and empty cities on the weekends – with the exception of die-hard football fans, that is. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the Grand Dacha Exodus. …”

» Read more

NEWSLINK: “In Meeting With Putin, Experts Fear Trump Will Give More Than He Gets” – New York Times/Mark Landler

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

“… Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other officials insist that the Trump administration has been tougher toward Russia than the Obama administration was. They cite American sanctions, arming of Ukrainian troops, expulsion of diplomats and vocal public shaming of Russia for its cyberattacks. …”

» Read more

RUSSIALINK: “Trump-Putin meeting will benefit both countries, strengthen global security – John Bolton” – Interfax

File Photo of John Bolton Raising Hand at United Nations, with United States Nameplate on Desktop in Front, adapted from image at state.gov

(Interfax – June 27, 2018) U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton visited Moscow on June 27 to lay the groundwork for the first full-fledged meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump. While in Moscow, Bolton was received by Putin and held meetings with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Security Council First Deputy Secretary Yury Averyanov. […]

» Read more

RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-119 :: Friday, 29 June 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-#119:: Friday, 29 June 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Trump to Meet Russia’s Putin in Finland on July 16; Summit will be U.S. president’s first with the Russian leader, and the two will discuss national security and outlook for developing Russian-American relations” – Wall Street Journal/Rebecca Ballhaus, Anatoly Kurmanaev

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

“… Trump is set to hold the first [formal] summit of his presidency with … Putin on July 16 in Helsinki … White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the leaders would meet to discuss relations between their two nations and a ‘range of national security issues.’ The Kremlin … announced the details of the meeting at the same time […]

» Read more

The World Cup in Russia: A Boon for Public Diplomacy; As Richard Arnold explains, hosting the FIFA World Cup has been a PR coup for Russia, mostly living up to official expectations (though with some caveats), and, at least so far, a popular success.

File Image of Soccer Ball, Field, Stadium with Lights, adapted from image at fbi.gov

(PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – Richard Arnold – June 26, 2018) Richard Arnold is Associate Professor of Political Science at Muskingum University, where he teaches courses in comparative politics and international relations, including courses on Russian politics and the politics of sport. He is the author of Russian Nationalism and Ethnic Violence: Symbolic Violence, Lynching, Pogrom, and Massacre (2016, Routledge) […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK: “Putin shares with Bolton some ideas intended solely for Trump – Ushakov” – Interfax

Kremlin and River

MOSCOW. June 27 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has shared with United States President’s National Security Advisor John Bolton some of the ideas that he had intended for the U.S. leader personally, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said after Putin and Bolton met at the Kremlin on Wednesday. Today’s meeting focused on the priority issues to be discussed at […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin] Meeting with US National Security Adviser John Bolton” – Kremlin.ru

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

(Kremlin.ru – June 27, 2018) Vladimir Putin received John Bolton, national security adviser to the President of the United States of America, in the Kremlin. Russian participants at the meeting included Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. The discussion focused on the prospects for developing Russian-US relations, disarmament, the Syria and Ukraine crises, […]

» Read more

NEWSLINK: “Trump catches World Cup fever…but will he watch final with Putin?” – Washington Time/S.A. Miller

Donald Trump

“… The White House is planning a Trump-Putin meeting in Moscow that likely would occur around the same time as the World Cup final July 15. …”

» Read more

NEWSLINK: “Aggression Is a Choice; A conversation with Michael McFaul on Putin, Russia, and what the president should read” – The Weekly Standard/Adam Rubenstein

File Photo of Michael McFaul Standing and Barack Hussein Obama Sitting at Desk, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“… Putin is not the only decision-maker regarding Russian foreign policy. Internally, there are bureaucratic politics, interest groups, and even economic actors who lobby the Kremlin. After 15 years in the Kremlin, however, Putin has become increasingly isolated from other foreign policy advisors and more confident in his individual talents to conduct Russian foreign policy. …”  

» Read more

NEWSLINK: “Tech didn’t spot Russian interference during the last election. Now it’s asking law enforcement for help.” – Washington Post

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“Silicon Valley companies and law enforcement are starting to talk about how to ward off meddling by malicious actors including Russia on social media in the November midterms, an attempt at dialogue and information-sharing that was absent during the 2016 presidential elections. …”

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why are Russians so stingy with their smiles?” – The Conversation/Samuel Putnam

File Photo of Russian Crowd, with Russian Flag Being Waved

“… In our psychology research, we’ve noticed a striking difference in how often people smile in the United States when compared to Russia. To Americans, it might be easy to assume that this says something about Russians – that they’re an unfriendly, callous people.  … that’s not the case ….  there are two likely explanations …. Different cultures have different […]

» Read more

RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-118 :: Thursday, 28 June 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-#118:: Thursday, 28 June 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

» Read more

Putin Says Bolton Visit Gives Hope For Steps To ‘Restore Full-Scale Relations’

File Photo of John Bolton Raising Hand at United Nations, with United States Nameplate on Desktop in Front, adapted from image at state.gov

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – June 27, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-us-trump-putin-summit-on-agenda-as-bolton-heads-to-moscow/29322852.html) Russian President Vladimir Putin has told U.S. national security adviser John Bolton that his visit “instills hope” that steps can be taken to improve badly strained relations between the countries. Putin and Bolton, who was in Moscow to discuss U.S.-Russian ties and […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “How bad are things for Russia’s oldest liberal democratic political party? Well, it’s currently suing itself in Moscow” – Meduza

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

“The federal bureau of the ‘Yabloko’ political party is being sued for refusing to nominate Moscow branch leader Sergey Mitrokhin as the party’s candidate in this September’s Moscow mayoral election. The party held primaries … but the winner withdrew his candidacy in favor of Mitrokhin …. Yabloko’s federal bureau [then] refused to nominate Mitrokhin, though the party’s Moscow branch submitted […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Unions want to negotiate with the Duma on pension reform” – Bear Market Brief E-Mail Newsletter

Russian State Duma Building file photo

“The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia announced yesterday that they want an increase in the pension age to be part of a ‘package’ of labor market reforms … [such as] raising wages and reinforcing the social safety net …. FITUR is, according to Kommersant’s sources, an entrenched part of the All-Russian People’s Front, a coalition led by United […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine president looses public support, poll says” – bne Intellinews

“[With Ukraine scheduling a presidential election for March 2019,] … Poroshenko … popularity [is declining], according to … [a] Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) [poll]. … Yulia Tymoshenko … [has] 22.8% support among decided voters. … followed by former defence minister Anatoliy Grytsenko (16%), populist Oleh Lyashko (13.2%), pro-Russian opposition leader Yuriy Boyko (10.6%) and Petro Poroshenko (10.5%). * […]

» Read more

NEWSLINK: “In Eastern Europe, Militaries Gird Against Russian Might and Manipulation” – New York Times/Eric Schmitt

Map of Baltics and Environs, Including Kaliningrad

“… The bloggers had borrowed a page from the playbook of Russia’s so-called hybrid warfare, which American and Lithuania officials say has increasingly combined the ability to manipulate events using a mix of subterfuge, cyberattacks and information warfare with conventional military might. The 12-day military exercise, which involved 18,000 American and allied troops spread across four countries formerly part of […]

» Read more

NEWSLINK: “How Russia’s Military Is Becoming Even Deadlier [with comment]” – The National Interest/Dave Majumdar

Syria Map

“… From the Russian perspective, Moscow’s campaign in Syria affords the Kremlin invaluable combat experience that is helping it to refine the capabilities of its military forces. … In the Kremlin’s view, one of the most important reasons for Russia to continue its campaign in Syria is to further refine its newly developed precision-guided strike capability. ‘Syria is not a […]

» Read more

RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-117 :: Wednesday, 27 June 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-#117:: Wednesday, 27 June 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK: “Cessation of hostilities in Donbas Ukrainians’ biggest expectation from next president – poll” – Interfax

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

KYIV. June 26 (Interfax) – A cessation of fighting in eastern Ukraine is the prevailing requirement of the country’s citizens for the next president of Ukraine, being backed by 63% of respondents in a poll conducted by the Rating sociological group on June 14-24. Forty-nine per cent are expecting more efforts to fight corruption, 40% want a revival of manufacturing, […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK: “U.S. Requests Doping Tests of Russian World Cup Team” – Moscow Times

File Image of Soccer Ball, Field, Stadium with Lights, adapted from image at fbi.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 22, 2018) The United States reportedly requested results from Russian footballers’ doping tests following a sudden improvement in performance during the World Cup. FIFA vowed rigorous doping tests at the tournament following allegations that Russia ran a state-run doping program in past competitions, a charge Moscow has denied. The World Cup host country started […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK: “Union-Led Protests Against Pension Reform Approved in 30 Cities” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Moscow Winter Protest

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 26, 2018) Authorities have approved union-led protests against the Russian government’s proposed retirement age hike in 30 cities, including one to be held in a World Cup host city, a major labor union said. The Russian government’s announcement on the eve of the World Cup that it would raise the retirement age has been […]

» Read more

Trump Not a Cause but a Symptom of Brave New World and as Such Quite Predictable, Lukyanov Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 25, 2018) Fedor Lukyanov, president of Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, argues that US President Donald Trump is not the cause by a symptom of fundamental changes in the world and as such is quite predictable, something other governments including Russia’s must take into account. In today’s Ogonyek, the […]

» Read more

RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-116 :: Tuesday, 26 June 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-#116 :: Tuesday, 26 June 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington […]

» Read more

World Cup May Have Helped Russia But It hasn’t Boosted Putin

File Photo of Putin Sitting at Desk, Looking Down, Writing, During Call-In Show, adapted from screenshot of video at kremlin.ru

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 24, 2018) Many commentators in both Russia and the West have suggested that the World Cup has helped Russia to overcome much of the opprobrium it has suffered as a result of its invasion of Ukraine, its meddling in elections in Western countries and in general its disruptive behavior. And it […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Mueller’s Fruit of the Poisonous Tree; It makes no difference how honorable he is. His investigation is tainted by the bias that attended its origin in 2016” – Wall Street Journal/David B. Rivkin Jr., Elizabeth Price Foley

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“Special counsel … Mueller’s investigation may face a serious legal obstacle …. antecedent political bias. … the Justice Department’s inspector general[] unearthed a pattern of anti-Trump bias by high-ranking [FBI] officials …. their communications … were ‘… indicative of a biased state of mind … imply a willingness to take action to impact a presidential candidate’s electoral prospects.’ Although … […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin] Address to Russian school leavers” – Kremlin.ru

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Kremlin.ru – June 23, 2018) President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Dear friends, I am happy to greet you all and sincerely congratulate all Russian school leavers on the completion of their studies. Today is one of the most remarkable and memorable days in your lives – a good, touching, exciting and also a sad day because you are parting with […]

» Read more

RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-115 :: Saturday-Monday, 23-25 June 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-#115 :: Saturday-Monday, 23-25 June 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington […]

» Read more

Putin Advisers Question Legality Of Prosecution Of Jehovah’s Witnesses

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – June 21, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-calls-us-senator-mccain-old-world-but-admires-his-patriotism/28537171.html) Advisers to Russian President Vladimir Putin have questioned the legality of criminal cases opened against members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, saying law enforcement is misinterpreting a ruling last year by jailing people for collective bible reading and praying. “It cannot but be […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “As OPEC watches nervously, Russia and Saudi Arabia create a new axis – of oil; Russia is trying to be friends with everyone at once, and wielding growing influence” – Christian Scicence Monitor/Fred Weir

Middle East Map

“… Russia and Saudi Arabia ha[ve] agreed to ‘institutionalize’ their two-year old bilateral arrangement to coordinate oil production targets in order to smooth out global price fluctuations. Being two of the world’s three biggest oil producers – the third is the United States – their combined weight can be decisive. In 2016, Moscow and Riyadh agreed to slash production, and […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia-Saudi Plans for Super-OPEC Could Reshape Global Oil Order” – Bloomberg/Will Kennedy, Elena Mazneva, Wael Mahdi

File Photo of King Salman of Saudi Arabia Seated Next to Saudi Flag and Gesturing, adapted from image at defense.gov

“… the group overseeing the so-called OPEC+ deal met last night [with] proceedings … dominated by … Saudi Arabia and Russia. … probably a snapshot of the oil market’s future.  Beyond … this week’s diplomatic efforts to agree to an increase in oil production, the more significant longer-term development may be moves to make Russia’s role in managing global supply […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “5 ways the football World Cup has transformed Moscow – for now” – Deutsche Welle

File Image of Soccer Ball, Field, Stadium with Lights, adapted from image at fbi.gov

“‘This is a Moscow I don’t know’ has become the rallying cry of the Russian capital’s residents since the World Cup started. The tournament has seemingly pressed pause on laws – and has changed the city’s public space. …. In some of Russia’s host cities … reports of banners being hung and large fences being built to cover crumbling buildings. […]

» Read more

RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-114 :: Friday, 22 June 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-#114 :: Friday, 22 June 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington […]

» Read more

NEWSLINK: “The World Cup Is Fun. Except for the Russians Being Tortured.” – New York Times/Alexey Kovalev

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

“… Putin has given the Russian security services free rein in the lead-up to the World Cup.  …”

» Read more

As World Watches Russia, Opposition Seeks To Score With Pension Protests

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Carl Schreck – June 20, 2018) – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-world-cup-russia-opposition-pension-protests/29306847.html) As World Cup fever mounts in Russia, opponents of a government plan to raise the retirement age find themselves jostling for political position, with a handful of protests announced against the proposed measure set to coincide with soccer’s centerpiece […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Amid growing tensions with Russia, a push for meaningful dialogue” – Christian Science Monitor/Linda Feldmann

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

“… U.S.-Russian relations have only sunk into deeper distress … more sanctions, more diplomatic expulsions, more military clashes in Syria, and a growing sense that the entire U.S.-Russian arms-control regime is at risk.  * *  * For … Russian and American delegates here – [such as] retired diplomats, politicians, academics, clergy, doctors, and media, including this reporter – the prospect […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “What does it mean to be a man in Putin’s Russia?”- The Daily Telegraph (UK)/Guy Kelly, Jon Jones

“… Putin in your mind’s eye …. Most likely … a thick-set, waxy figure waddling about in a dark suit and chilly frown, doing … what he wants on the world stage, regardless of the ramifications. Or perhaps it’s Sporty Putin, wearing a judo gi … black belt prominent, putting some poor serf in a choke-hold. Or is it the […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Is Vladimir Putin’s Russia in decline? We figured out how to measure ‘national power.'” – Washington Post/Simon Saradzhyan, Nabi Abdullaev

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

“… Overall, here’s what we found. The claims of Russia’s imminent demise seem unfounded – all but one model showed that Russia’s power vis-a-vis the world as a whole has grown in the 21st century. And all our models showed that Russia’s power has risen vis-a-vis Western nations.  In absolute terms, all four methods showed Russia’s power to be less […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK: “A Butterfly on the Football Field” – Moscow Times/Michele A. Berdy

File Image of Soccer Ball, Field, Stadium with Lights, adapted from image at fbi.gov

“In honor of World Cup 2018, I thought I ought to offer the basics of football slang. Here the key word is ‘basics.’ Decades of living next to a stadium – the roar of the crowd, the traffic, the mounted police, the rowdy fans, the loud celebrations, and the tendency to use any courtyard as a public toilet – have […]

» Read more

NEWSLINK: “Russiagate’s ‘Core Narrative’ Has Always Lacked Actual Evidence; The unprecedented allegation that the Kremlin ‘attacked America’ and ‘colluded’ with its president in order to elect him is based on two documents devoid of facts or logic” – The Nation/Stephen F. Cohen

Multilingual Polling Place Sign from U.S. Election Polling Place

“… Cohen reminds listeners that the Russiagate scandal, which first leaked into the media in mid-2016, has already done immense political damage during these two years. …”

» Read more

RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-113 :: Thursday, 21 June 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-#113 :: Thursday, 21 June 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington […]

» Read more

State Patriotism the New Official Ideology of Putin’s Russia, Lev Gudkov Says

Kremlin and River

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 17, 2018) Lev Gudkov, the director of the Levada Center, says he was wrong to suggest several years ago that the lack of a state ideology sets Russia apart from the Soviet Union because “with time, the ideology of Russia has become state patriotism,” an ideology that is promoted by and […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK: “Vacancies from Russian diplomats’ expulsion from U.S. to be filled gradually – Russian Foreign Ministry” – Interfax

File Photo of Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., Adapted From Image at loc.gov

SAMARA. June 20 (Interfax) – Based on the statements coming from Washington, Moscow believes that the United States will not prevent it from filling the vacancies that resulted from the expulsion of Russian diplomats, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday. “As for the filling of the vacancies that appeared at Russian foreign outposts in March through the U.S.’ […]

» Read more

RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-112 :: Wednesday, 20 June 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-#112 :: Wednesday, 20 June 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington […]

» Read more

NEW BOOK NEWSLINK: “The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age” – Wilson Center

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“Please join us for an exclusive look at The Perfect Weapon … In 2015, Russian hackers tunneled deep into the computer systems of the Democratic National Committee …    

» Read more
1 2 3