JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia dumped 84% of its American debt. What that means” – CNN/Matt Egan

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

“… Between March and May, Russia’s holdings of US Treasury bonds plummeted by $81 billion, representing 84% of its total US debt holdings. … Maybe Russia just wanted to diversify its portfolio, as the central bank stated. Or perhaps Russia was seeking revenge for Washington’s crippling sanctions on aluminum maker Rusal. …. Even at Russia’s recent peak of $105.7 billion in […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Almost 80% of Belarusians don’t have negative attitude towards EU – poll” – Interfax

Belarus Map

MINSK. July 30 (Interfax) – Belarusian citizens have a positive or neutral attitude in general towards the European Union, according to a poll conducted by the project EU Neighbors East. Thus, 34% of polled Belarusian citizens described their attitude toward the EU as “positive”, 43% “neutral” and 18% “negative.” Respondents’ positive associations with the EU are human rights (67%), freedom […]

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Optics, Then Disappointment: Trump Can’t Deliver Much to Putin

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Anna Arutunyan – July 30, 2018) Anna Arutunyan is a Senior Analyst for Russia at International Crisis Group. A former Kennan Institute fellow and a former journalist, her work has appeared in USA Today, ECFR, Foreign Policy, and The Moscow News. She has authored several books on Russia, including The Putin Mystique. [Text with links […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Venediktov quit Ekho board of directors to avoid conflict of interest over radio station’s budget” – Interfax

File Photo of Interview on Ekho Moskvy Radio

MOSCOW. July 30 (Interfax) – Ekho Moskvy editor-in-chief Alexei Venediktov said he quit the radio station’s board of directors over a conflict of interest; the decision to replace him with his deputy Yekaterina Godlina was made and approved by shareholders back in late June. “The decision was due to the fact that a majority of the board of directors supported […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-140 :: Tuesday, 31 July 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-#140 Tuesday, 31 July 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “No, it wasn’t some hacker on a bed someplace; The Russia case opens a window on state-driven cyberconflict” – Washington Post Editorial

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“… Mueller’s charges against 12 officers of … Russian military intelligence … the GRU … identify[] the two units – No. 26165 … at 20 Komsomolsky Prospekt, Moscow, and No. 74455 … at 22 Kirova St., in Khimki, outside of Moscow – that carried out the attacks …. a dozen officers working to penetrate and disrupt the Democrats … emptying […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Amazon Getting Ready to Launch ‘The Romanoffs’; The series breaks usual practices, formats, and genres” – Moscow Times

Romanov Family Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – HOLLYWOOD – July 30, 2018) Amazon Studios’ much-anticipated original anthology series “The Romanoffs” will hit the world stage on Oct. 12, initially available in 200 countries simultaneously. Departing from the traditional television format, “The Romanoffs” will be presented in the Amazon Prime platform both in English and foreign languages, announced Matthew Weiner, its creator, writer, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Orthodox Church a ‘national security threat’ to Ukraine, says president; Petro Poroshenko said the Russian church was separated from the state ‘only on paper.'” – PoliticoEU/KAIT BOLONGARO

Petro Poroshenko file photo, with additional men in background, adapted from image at state.gov

“… At a ceremony marking [Ukraine’s] conversion to Christianity 1,030 years ago … [Poroshenko] said that the Russian [Orthodox] [C]hurch’s sway among Ukrainian believers is a ‘direct threat to the national security of Ukraine.’ … ‘this obliges us to act.’ There are two branches of the Orthodox Church active in Ukraine: the Russian church and its Ukrainian cousin. The former, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia to play minor role, if any, in Paul Manafort trial” – AP

File Photo of Federal Courthouse in Alexandria, Va., adapted from image at uscourts.gov by Steven C. Welsh, www.stevencwelsh.com :: ww.stevencwelsh.info

“The trial of President Donald Trump’s onetime campaign chairman will open … with tales of lavish spending, secret shell companies and millions of dollars of Ukrainian money flowing through offshore bank accounts and into the political consultant’s pocket. What’s likely to be missing: answers about whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Kremlin during the 2016 presidential election, or really […]

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RUSSLIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin] News conference following BRICS summit” – KremlinRu

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

(Kremlin.ru – July 27, 2018 – en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/58119) Vladimir Putin made a statement for the press and answered questions from Russian media following a two-day BRICS summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon. I would like to brief you on what we did during these two days and on the results of our work. First of […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] 1030th anniversary of Baptism of Rus celebrations” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Russian Orthodox Cathedral with Man in Religious Garb in Foreground

(Kremlin.ru – July 28, 2018) Vladimir Putin attended events to mark the 1030th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus. A Patriarchal Liturgy was held for the first time in the open air on the Kremlin’s Cathedral Square. As the service was coming to a close, the President joined the religious procession and walked with the believers to the monument to […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-139 :: Monday, 30 July 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-#139 Monday, 30 July 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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There is No “Reform” in Russia’s Recent “Pension Reform” Bill | Interview with Evgeny Gontmakher

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(PONARS Eurasia – Maria Lipman, Evgeny Gontmakher – July 26, 2018) [Text of interview here ponarseurasia.org/article/there-no-reform-russias-recent-pension-reform-bill-interview-evgeny-gontmakher] Maria Lipman speaks with Evgeny Gontmacher about the political and socioeconomic implications of raising the retirement age. Gontmacher is the deputy director responsible for social policy projects and recommendations at Aleksei Kudrin’s Committee of Civil Initiatives. Over 1992-2003, he held positions as Head of […]

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Trump Bump and Trump Filter Bubble: How the media’s obsession with Trump may encourage the Russian propaganda machine

Satellite Dishes

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Andrey Miroshnichenko, Sergei Samoilenko – July 27, 2018) Andrey Miroshnichenko, is a Ph.D. student in communication and culture at York University, Toronto. Sergei Samoilenko is professor in the Communication department at George Mason University. [Text with links: kennan-russiafile.org/2018/07/27/trump-bump-and-trump-filter-bubble-how-the-medias-obsession-with-trump-may-encourage-the-russian-propaganda-machine/] The recent Helsinki summit put U.S.- Russia relations back in the headlines. The critical coverage of the […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Elite Fixation With Russiagate; Does a broader public share this sense of crisis?” – The Nation/Aaron Maté

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… But does the American public at large share the prevailing elite assessment [of Trump and U.S.-Russian relations and the Helsinki Summit]? Save for a White House vigil led by two longtime Hillary Clinton staffers and a few scattered rallies-and in stark contrast to mass protests over Trump’s misogyny, Muslim ban, and zero-tolerance immigration policy-Americans have not poured into the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “7 Key Bills of the Russian Duma’s Spring Session” – Moscow Times

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 27, 2018) Friday marks the last day of the Russian State Duma’s spring session, in which lawmakers in the lower house of parliament considered a total of 900 bills, of which 343 bills were passed. Here is a list of the most resonant bills that lawmakers approved in the spring session. Counter-sanctions The Kremlin […]

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NEWSLINK: “Henry Kissinger Pushed Trump to Work With Russia to Box In China; The former secretary of state pushed one president to use China to isolate the Soviet Union. These days, he’s counseling almost the reverse-and officials are listening” – Daily Beast/ASAWIN SUEBSAENG, ANDREW DESIDERIO, SAM STEIN, BETHANY ALLEN-EBRAHIMIAN

Asia Map

“Henry Kissinger suggested to President Donald Trump that the United States should work with Russia to contain a rising China. The former secretary of state – who famously engineered the tactic of establishing diplomatic relations with China in order to isolate the Soviet Union – pitched almost the inverse of that idea to Trump during a series of private meetings […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin wanted to interrogate me. Trump called it ‘an incredible offer.’ Why? When foreign affairs are, literally, personal.” – Washington Post/Michael McFaul

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

“I thought I was done worrying about Vladimir Putin. … his proxies falsely argued that I had been sent by President Barack Obama to fund the opposition and foment revolution; that I hoped Putin would end up like Serbian autocrat Slobodan Milosevic, dislodged and imprisoned; and that I was a pedophile. …. But this month, at the Helsinki summit between […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin] Remarks at an expanded BRICS Summit meeting” – KremlinRu

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

(Kremlin.ru – July 26, 2018) President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President Ramaphosa, Friends, President Xi Jinping, President Temer, Prime Minister Modi, Colleagues, Meeting in a narrow format, we have just noted – and I would like to recall this now again at the beginning – that during these days we are jointly marking the 100th birth anniversary of South […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-138 :: Friday, 27 July 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-#138 Friday, 27 July 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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Elisabeth Schimpfossl: “New book: Rich Russians (OUP 2018)”

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

Subject: New book: Rich Russians (OUP 2018) Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2018 From: Schimpfossl, Elisabeth <e.schimpfossl@aston.ac.uk> Would there be a chance to announce the UK launch of my book (26 July) on your mailing list? Rich Russians: From Oligarchs to Bourgeoisie (published by Oxford University Press) The first book to examine the legitimacy, social lives, lifestyles, ideologies, and families of […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-137 :: Thursday, 26 July 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-#137 Thursday, 26 July 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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Angus Roxburgh: “The real facts about the Putin-Trump press conference”

Subject: The real facts about the Putin-Trump press conference Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2018 From: Angus Roxburgh <angus.roxburgh@gmail.com> There has been much discussion, rightly, of Rachel Maddow’s sensational allegation that the White House intentionally doctored both the transcript and the video of the Putin-Trump press conference. Philip Bump in the Washington Post washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/07/25/no-the-white-house-didnt-intentionally-edit-a-question-to-putin-out-of-a-video/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.2e9618f92cac tries to dissect what happened. But neither […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Western Sanctions on Russia’s Oil and Gas Sector: a Damage Assessment” – Carnegie Moscow/Tatiana Mitrova

Oil Well file photo

“Don’t be misled by Western sanctions’ limited impact on Russia. In reality, they operate with an accumulating effect: the more time passes, the greater the potential technological backlog, financing gap, and negative consequences will be. In the long run, sanctions may jeopardize Russia’s oil and gas production volumes and the development of pipeline infrastructure, gradually squeezing the country out of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Don’t forget Ukraine’s rural Donbas; War has taken its toll on rural areas under Ukrainian government control in Luhansk region. There’s little sign of relief or policy.” [Excerpt] – OpenDemocracy.net/Brian Milakovsky

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

“The armed conflict in Ukraine’s Donbas has divided the region into government- and separatist-controlled areas. In Luhansk Oblast, the frontline for most of its length is the Siversky Donets River, which is also a historical dividing line. To the south is the coal-rich Donets Upland, the ‘true Donbas’ that was largely unsettled before industrial development in the 19th century. Today […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Novichok Was in a Perfume Bottle, U.K. Victim Says” – New York Times/Michael Schwirtz, Eric Schmitt

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

“… The latest poisoning raised the prospect that in their haste to flee the area, the would-be assassins simply tossed aside a top secret, Soviet-designed weapon that the British authorities, despite a cleanup operation that lasted weeks, failed to discover. …” Click here for: “Novichok Was in a Perfume Bottle, U.K. Victim Says” – New York Times/Michael Schwirtz, Eric Schmitt […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin’s Russia becomes Trump’s America” – Brookings/Elaine Kamarck

Stylized Artist's Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

“I was nearing the end of Timothy Snyder’s new book, ‘Road to Unfreedom,’ when the headline came across my iPhone announcing that someone named Maria Butina had been arrested for being a Russian spy. I had to go back to page 250 and check the spelling. Sure enough, it was the same Maria Butina who appears in Snyder’s book in […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia doesn’t pose threat to U.S., Russia is America’s rival, but not enemy – Kosachyov” – Interfax

Federation Council file photo

MOSCOW. July 25 (Interfax) – Russia and the United States will not be friends, they are rivals in the world, but Russia does not pose a threat to America, Konstantin Kosachyov, the head of the Federation council’s international affairs committee, said. “Nikki Haley has recently stated what is apparently an official position of the United States that Russia will never […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting with Healthcare Minister Veronika Skvortsova” – KremlinRu

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

(Kremlin.ru – July 23, 2018 – en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/58086) Vladimir Putin had a working meeting with Healthcare Minister Veronika Skvortsova, who briefed him on the implementation of new promising programmes aimed at preventing various diseases and providing quality medical services. The President and the Minister also discussed the development of exports of medical services and the treatment of oncological diseases. President of […]

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NEWSLINK: “A majority thinks Russia has dirt on Trump, a new poll shows” – CNBC/John W. Schoen

File Photo of Donald Trump Waving Before Large Crowd with Trump Signs, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“- By a 51-to-35 percent margin, U.S. voters are convinced the Russian government has dirt on Trump, according to a Quinnipiac University National Poll. – His overall approval rating now sits at 38 percent, compared with 58 percent disapproval, according to the poll. – The Real Clear Politics average of polls shows that Trump’s rating is underwater by nearly 10 […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-136 :: Wednesday, 25 July 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-#136 Wednesday, 25 July 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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Demography Being Abused in Russian Pension Age Debate, Vishnevsky Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 22, 2018) Both supporters and opponents of the Russian government’s plan to raise retirement ages frequently invoke demographic statistics; but all too often, Anatoly Vishnevsky of Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, they use these figures incorrectly and thus make it more difficult for Russia to solve some of its problems. In […]

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RUSSIALINK: “BRICS leaders to discuss expansion at summit in S. Africa – Kremlin aide” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. July 24 (Interfax) – The leaders of the BRICS member states will discuss the prospects of this association’s expansion but will not make a decision on the matter at the upcoming summit in South Africa, Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov said. “The BRICS leaders will meet on July 27 to consider the association’s development and address strategic partnership priorities,” Ushakov […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Large Russian Companies Are Turning Inward; The mobile operator Megafon’s plan to delist in London is the latest sign that the West is becoming inhospitable” – Leonid Bershidsky/Bloomberg

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

“The planned delisting of Megafon PJSC, Russia’s second-biggest mobile operator, from the London Stock Exchange is no ordinary event. The company is one of the most liquid Russian stocks trading overseas, and its exit is further evidence that the country’s businesses are turning inward as exposure to the West becomes increasingly problematic. In 2011, almost 70 Russian companies’ depositary receipts […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Communists push for a national referendum against raising the retirement age” – Meduza

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

“Russia’s Central Election Commission has received a notice from the Communist Party about possibly holding a national referendum on raising the country’s retirement age …. [asking] ‘Do you agree that the age in the Russian Federation at which citizens are entitled to old-age social insurance should not increase?’ … the State Duma [has] passed the first reading of draft legislation […]

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NEWSLINK: “How Roads Could Win or Lose a War With Russia; Amid cries to increase NATO defense spending, many see investments in heavy vehicles and good roads as ways to deter Russia” – Popular Mechanics

U.S. Military Convoy Headed to Ukraine, On Highway Near Mountains or Cliffs

“As Russia rises in Eastern Europe, the best deterrence against Vladimir Putin’s geopolitical ambitions may not be more tanks and missiles, but new roads that can carry heavy civilian transport vehicles. That could solve NATO’s big problem, which is the inability to get vehicles and supplies where they’re needed fast. Roads Win Wars: The strategic challenge for NATO is easy […]

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NEWSLINK: “Democrats Will Regret Becoming the Anti-Russia Party; Riling up the public against Moscow is good for Democrats in the short term-and bad for America” – Micah Zenko/Foreign Policy Magazine

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

“… When a political party increases its animus toward a foreign country – believing that this will enhance its own popularity-it introduces second-order effects that can manifest themselves years later. It creates a voting bloc of Americans who become socialized to hate a foreign government and, by extension, its citizens. It reduces the motivations and complexities of that government to […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-135 :: Tuesday, 24 July 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-#135 Tuesday, 24 July 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Surprise, Maryland – your election contractor has ties to Russia” – Washington Post Editorial

Baltimore Inner Harbor and Skline file photo, adapted from image at epa.gov by Steven C. Welsh, www.stevencwelsh.com :: www.stevencwelsh.info

“… an Internet technology company with which [Maryland] contracts to hold electronic voting information is connected to a Russian oligarch … ‘very close’ to … Putin. Maryland leaders did not know about the connection until the FBI told them. Maryland[] … chose a company to keep electronic information on voter registration, election results and other … data. … [a] company […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Kremlin is spearheading a new ‘social-media monitoring system’ to hold local officials more accountable” – Meduza

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

“The Kremlin is reportedly spearheading a new social-media monitoring system called ‘Incident Management’ … follow[ing] social networks in real time …. being tested in two regions [one of which is] Moscow.  … monitor[ing] … Vkontakte, Odnoklassniki, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram[], creating an ‘incident’ whenever related disgruntled posts … appear[] on multiple networks. Local officials are … supposed to respond … […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russians Pessimistic About U.S. Ties After Helsinki Summit, Survey Says” – Moscow Times

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 23, 2018) Almost half of surveyed Russians say the recent U.S-Russia summit in Helsinki will do little to help the strained relationship between the two countries, according to a state-run poll released Monday. Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump met in Helsinki last week for their first joint summit, after which the U.S. leader […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin] Conversation with 2018 FIFA World Cup volunteers. [Excerpt re: Pension Reform]; During his visit to the Kaliningrad Stadium, Vladimir Putin met with 2018 FIFA World Cup volunteers” – KremlinRu

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Kremlin.ru – July 20, 2018) * * * Question: Mr President, can I ask you a question not related to sports? Yesterday the State Duma adopted amendments to pension legislation in the first reading. Of course, you monitor the Government’s proposals. It is very important for us to know your opinion on this issue. Remark: Galina, I do not think […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-134 :: Monday, 23 July 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-#134 Monday, 23 July 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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Can Putin or Anyone Else Govern Russia Where No One Revolts but Everyone Hates the Regime? Sociologists Ask

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 19, 2018) Three sociologists concluded in May that Russia does not now face any risk of a color revolution; but in doing so, they came up with a question to which so far no one has an answer: Can Putin govern the country in which no one revolts but in which […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Helsinki Summit: A Good Idea Turns Bad; Mitigating the dangers of a U.S.-Russian escalatory spiral will be difficult” – The National Interest/George Beebe

“George Beebe is director of the Center for the National Interest’s intelligence program. He formerly served as chief of Russia analysis at the CIA, and as special advisor to Vice President Cheney on Russia and the former Soviet Union.” “… the United States and Russia … managed to sail their listing bilateral ship directly into the rocks of the Russian […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin Tells Diplomats He Made Trump a New Offer on Ukraine at Their Summit” – Bloomberg/Ilya Arkhipov

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

“… Putin told Russian diplomats that he made a proposal to … Trump at their summit … to hold a referendum to help resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine …. White House officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. … Leaders of so-called people’s republics in Donetsk and Luhansk held referendums in May 2014 that declared independence. The votes […]

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Back To Business As Usual: Russian Analysts See Helsinki Meeting As Opening To Normalization

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – July 17, 2018 – also appeared at https://www.rferl.org/a/russian-analysts-see-helsinki-meeting-as-opening-to-normalization/29372517.html) Much of the immediate U.S. reaction to the July 16 Helsinki summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin has been characterized by some strident adjectives — “disgraceful,” “treasonous,” “imbecilic,” “appeasing,” and the like. So observers […]

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NEWSLINK: “What’s Russia’s average pension? How much money will the government save by raising the retirement age? The surprising numbers behind Russian pension reform” – Meduza

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“… $209 is Russia’s average monthly pension, according to the Pension Fund’s January 2018 records … 31.4% of Russians are pensioners. That’s 46 million people ….”  

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NEWSWATCH: “Pension reform” – BMB Russia/Aaron Schwartzbaum

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

“… Russian authorities have been dithering on the pension system literally for year. … [R]egardless of the character of a loss of benefits, pension reform is exactly that: a loss of benefits. … [T[here is another center-periphery dynamic at play …. The average life expectancy has … increased on average … predominantly [for] … middle-class or wealthy urban dwellers. The […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Achilles heel: Putin still falling short on master plan for aging oil economy” CNBC/Ashleigh Garrison, Kelly Song

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

Russian President Vladimir Putin has displayed geopolitical intelligence and military strength, but he falls short when it comes to mastering the Russian economy. The Russian market is still largely dependent on rising oil prices and the lack of innovation is a major economic weakness. GDP is growing, but slowly, and critical foreign investment remains low due to Putin’s provocations and […]

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