Russia Rises To Second In Global Arms Sales, With U.S. Still At No. 1

File Photo of T-72 Tanks in Bulgaria, adapted from image at defense.gov, with photo credit to Cpl. Immanuel Johnson

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Dec. 10, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-calls-us-senator-mccain-old-world-but-admires-his-patriotism/28537171.html) The United States remains the global leader in arms sales, while Russia has surpassed Britain to take the No. 2 spot as it attempts to modernize its military, a leading research group says. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said on […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “A Cold War Arms Treaty Is Unraveling. But the Problem Is Much Bigger.” – New York Times/David E. Sanger, William J. Broad

Iskander Missile with Launch file photo

“… The United States and Russia no longer have a monopoly on the missiles that … Reagan and … Gorbachev agreed in 1987 to ban with the … I.N.F.[] agreement. … China relies on similar missiles for 95 percent of its ground-based fleet, and Iran, India, Saudi Arabia, North Korea and Taiwan are among the 10 states with similar, fast-growing […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian-Saudi Oil Cooperation Won’t Last; They say they will cut production. But it’s in the interests of both big oil producers to pump as much as they can.” – Bloomberg/Leonid Bershidsky

Oil Well file photo

“There’s a nasty undercurrent to the surprisingly strong Saudi-Russian oil alliance behind the upcoming oil production cuts …. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may high-five … Putin in public, but … expect[s] that Russia will disappear from the oil market …. Eventually … the two big exporters may not be interested in production-cutting deals as they square off for […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Armenia’s prime minister wins sweeping majority in election; Pashinyan set to consolidate strong mandate for revolution that swept him to power” – Financial Times/Max Seddon

Armenia Map

“Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan consolidated a strong mandate for the revolution that swept him to power this year as his party won … early parliamentary elections …. [His] My Step party garnered 70.5 per cent … [T]he majority Republican Party, whose leader he ousted, failed to clear the 5 per cent barrier to win seats. “ Pashinyan is a […]

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An Alekseyeva Lesson Russians Haven’t Learned: Far More has to Be Changed than Just the Leader

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, December 9, 2018) Vladimir Putin casts such a dark shadow on Russia that it is perhaps no surprise that many in the opposition believe, as commentator Aleksandr Rusin puts it today, that finding and installing a new leader is “the chief issue of present-day Russia” and that “everything else is secondary” (publizist.ru/blogs/110401/28399/-). […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Lyudmila Alexeyeva symbol of honesty, uncompromising struggle for human rights – Moskalkova” – Interfax

Lyudmila Alekseyeva file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 8 (Interfax) – Lyudmila Alexeyeva will forever remain a symbol of the uncompromising struggle for human rights and justice, Russian ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova said. “A big misfortune has befallen all of Russia. For all the people who did, do and will value democracy, freedom and human rights, Lyudmila Mikhailovna always was and will remain a symbol of honesty […]

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NEWSLINK: “Jihadists from Ex-Soviet Central Asia: Where Are They? Why Did They Radicalize? What Next?” – Russia Matters/Edward Lemon, Vera Mironova, William Tobey

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

“… This research paper attempts to answer four basic sets of questions adapted from the ones mentioned in the foreword: (1) Is Central Asia becoming a new source of violent extremism that transcends borders, and possibly continents? (2) If so, why? What causes nationals of Central Asia to take up arms and participate in political violence? (3) As IS has […]

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NEWSLINK: “The extraordinary life of Lyudmila Alexeyeva — Meduza remembers a Russian human rights icon” – Meduza

Lyudmila Alekseyeva file photo

“Late on December 8, Russian human rights icon Lyudmila Alexeyeva passed away at the age of 91. Since the mid-1990s, she led the Moscow Helsinki Group, earning the respect of both state officials and the anti-Kremlin opposition. Alexeyeva worked with everyone equally in pursuit of her mission: the protection of people’s rights by all means available. Meduza’s Andrey Kozenko looks […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin] addressed United Russia party congress” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

(Kremlin.ru – December 8, 2018) [http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/59359] Speech at the plenary meeting of the 18th United Russia party congress. Vladimir Putin took part in the plenary meeting of the 18th United Russia party congress. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, chairman of United Russia, also made a speech at the meeting The congress delegates identified the challenges and priorities in the party’s work […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-214 :: Monday, 10 December 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 Support the JRL: russialist.org/funding.php Donate Online: click here for direct link at GWU [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2018-#214 :: Monday, 10 December 2018 A project sponsored through […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine Says Will Send Naval Ships Through Kerch Strait Soon” – AP

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

“Ukraine’s defense ministry warned Russia on Friday that it will soon send navy ships through the Kerch Strait where Russia fired on and seized three Ukrainian vessels two weeks ago. The announcement sets up another possible flashpoint in the long-simmering conflict between Russia and Ukraine that erupted in 2014 with Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula … [O]n Nov. 25  […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Court in Kirov finds ban on Navalny’s international travel unlawful” – Interfax

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

KIROV. Dec 7 (Interfax) – The Oktyabrsky District Court in Kirov has partially granted the claim of opposition activist Alexei Navalny against the Federal Bailiff Service that banned his international travel. “The claim has been partially satisfied,” a court representative told Interfax on Friday. He added that the hearing was held on December 6. Navalny confirmed the partial satisfaction of […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-213 :: Friday, 7 December 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 Support the JRL: russialist.org/funding.php Donate Online: click here for direct link at GWU [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2018-#213 :: Friday, 7 December 2018 A project sponsored through […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Diseases caused by bad nutrition cause 63% of deaths in Russia – Rospotrebnadzor” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. Dec 6 (Interfax) – Over half of all deaths in Russia are associated with eating low-quality food and the wrong nutrition, Rospotrebnadzor said in a report released on Thursday. “The idea of labeling [products] is due to Rospotrebnadzor’s concerns about the high rate of diseases associated with eating among the country’s population. About 63% of all deaths in Russia […]

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Any U.S.-Russia Military Clash ‘Highly Likely’ to Escalate into Nuclear War, Arbatov Says

File Photo of F-22 Fighter and Ground Crew

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, December 4, 2018) Aleksey Arbatov, a foreign policy specialist at the Institute of World Economics and International affairs, says that “any armed clash between Russia and the US with a high degree of probability will escalate into nuclear war,” a warning reflecting an all too real possibility but also one intended to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “All For Nothing: Maidan Protester Deeply Disillusioned Five Years On” – RFE/RL

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Video and caption ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – August 14, 2018 – caption and video also appeared at rferl.org/a/ukraine-maidan-family/29637299.html) “Halyna Trofanyuk joined the mass protests in Kyiv known as the Euromaidan, hoping Ukraine would have a prosperous future and closer ties with the European Union. Five years later, she travels to neighboring Poland for work […]

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World Bank: Russia Can Withstand Oil Price Volatility In 2019

World Bank Building

(Oilprice.com – Julianne Geiger – December 4, 2018) Russia is well-positioned to withstand external shocks, The World Bank said today in its most recent version of Russia Economic Report, cited by TASS. Oil prices are expected to average $71 per barrel over the next three years, the report also said, with the caveat that there is still “considerable uncertainty” to […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Medvedev: Pension Reform Was Hardest Decision of the Past Decade” – Moscow Times

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 6, 2018) Russia’s prime minister on Thursday said that this summer’s decision to raise the retirement age was the hardest the authorities have had to make in the past 10 years. Dmitry Medvedev, who became prime minister in 2012 and served as Russia’s president for a four-year term starting in 2008, announced plans to raise […]

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Sarah Lindemann-Komarova: “Russia’s Happy Ending”

Russia Map

Subject: Russia’s Happy Ending Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2018 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> Russia’s Happy Ending By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova [Founder, Siberian Civic Initiatives Support Center 1995 – 2014. Helped to establish this as the hub for the first civil society development support network in the former Soviet Union.] Link for article with pictures and video medium.com/@ECHOSiberia/russias-happy-ending-c77b332a6eec How much money do […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-212 :: Thursday, 6 December 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 Support the JRL: russialist.org/funding.php Donate Online: click here for direct link at GWU [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2018-#212 :: Thursday, 6 December 2018 A project sponsored through […]

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RM Picks: What to Read on the Kerch Strait Crisis

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – RM Staff – November 30, 2018) [Article also appeared, with different images, at russiamatters.org/blog/rm-picks-what-read-kerch-strait-crisis] Looking to make sense of the events between Russia and Ukraine in the Sea of Azov and their implications? RM recommends the following articles: “Why Putin Is Pressuring Ukraine. The United States needs to decide how much of a threat Moscow’s […]

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Standoff Over INF Treaty Enters New Phase As U.S. Reveals Details Of Russian Missile

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – Dec. 3, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/standoff-over-inf-treaty-enters-new-phase-as-u-s-reveals-details-of-russian-missile/29634906.html) The United States’ top intelligence official has quietly revealed key new details about Russia’s alleged violations of a bedrock Cold War nuclear treaty, an unexpected move that comes as U.S. officials push to build new support from European allies. […]

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Moscow Said Using Polls to Prepare Russians for Giving the Kuriles Back to Japan

Map of Northern Japan, Kurill Islands, Sea of Okhotsk, Portions of Russian Far East

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 30, 2018) Seventeen percent of Russians are now ready to support the handing back to Japan of some of the Kurile Islands, up from only four to eight percent a decade or more above. This trend suggests, Yevgeny Rychkov of Nakanune says, “the powers that be using polls to prepare” Russians […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Decriminalization of Domestic Violence Was a ‘Mistake,’ Russian Official Admits” – Moscow Times

Kremlin and River

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 3, 2018) Russia’s top human rights official has called the country’s 2017 decision to adopt a law that decriminalizes domestic abuse “a mistake.” In 2017, Vladimir Putin signed a law that scrapped prison sentences for first-time abusers whose beatings result in “minor harm,” such as small abrasions, bruises and superficial wounds. Since the law […]

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Political Polls in Russia are Useful but They are Being Misused, Shelin Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, December 1, 2018) The commentariat in Russia and the West have given enormous attention to relatively small changes in the ratings of Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials, without asking some of the fundamental questions about these numbers that are necessary to make the numbers useful, according to Sergey Shelin. The Rosbalt […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Every fifth Russian worker earns less than $250 per month” – bne Intellinews

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“Every fifth Russian worker earns less than RUB15,000 ($250) per month, according to … a study by the RIA Rating agency [cited by] … RIA Novosti …. Over 33% of people living in 22 regions earn less than this amount, according to the survey. [The worst were] Dagestan … (46%) … [and the] Karachay-Cherkess Republic (44%). In six regions, two […]

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RUSSIALINK: “PMI in Russian manufacturing climbs to 52.6 in Nov, highest since July 2017 – IHS Markit” – Interfax

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW. Dec 3 (Interfax) – The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for Russia’s manufacturing sector rose to 52.6 points in November from 51.3 points in October, IHS Markit research shows. The November PMI points to the biggest improvement in the business situation in Russia’s manufacturing sector since July 2017. Index readings above 50.0 points indicate growth in business activity, while those […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin] Answers to media questions; Following the G20 Summit events, the President of Russia answered journalists’ questions” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Country Flags Outside 2017 G20 Meeting in Hamburg, adapted from image at state.gov

(Kremlin.ru – December 1, 2018) [en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/59290] President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen. I’m at your service. Question: Good afternoon, Mr President. With all due respect to Argentina’s G20 Presidency, I still have a question about Russia-US relations. Once again, your meeting with President Trump fell through; he cancelled it at the last moment. Maybe he […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Peskov says Russia not obstructing Ukrainian ships’ passage through Kerch Strait” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. Dec 3 (Interfax) – Russia has not been obstructing the passage of Ukrainian ships through the Kerch Strait, but traffic gets suspended from time to time, mostly for weather reasons, according to presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov. “They [the allegations of Kyiv’s representatives that Russia is hindering the passage of Ukrainian ships through the Kerch Strait] are not true. […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-211 :: Monday, 3 December 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 Support the JRL: russialist.org/funding.php Donate Online: click here for direct link at GWU [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2018-#211 :: Monday, 3 December 2018 A project sponsored through […]

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