Russia Tightens Tax Screws on Super Wealthy

The Kremlin … secured major changes to Russia’s double-tax treaty with Cyprus, where last year oligarchs and Russian corporations deposited $25 billion in the island’s banks, avoiding higher taxes in Russia […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Covid-19 mass vaccination in Russia may start in Dec.-Jan. – Gamaleya Center director” – Interfax

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

A Covid-19 mass vaccination campaign may start in Russia in December-January, Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Health Ministry, said […]

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RUSSIA NEWS & INFORMATION – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents & links :: JRL 2020-#146 :: Friday, 14 August 2020

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 2020-#146 :: Friday, 14 August 2020 A project sponsored through […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Does Lukashenko have enough forces to oppress the entire country?” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

Map of Belarus and Environs, adapted from images at cia.gov

“Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko normally relies on some 10,000 security forces to enforce his control, but with 100,000s of people on the street that number is woefully inadequate now.” “… Pictures … show[] detainees sitting on … school gym[] [floors] … hands crossed over their heads … [with] jails … overflowing. The strongman of the last 26 years can’t arrest […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Economy Shrank 8.5% in Second Quarter – Official Data; Fall in GDP is less severe than government and Central Bank feared” – AFP

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Russia’s economy contracted … 8.5% year-on-year in the second quarter, the state statistics agency [Rosstat] said … in its first assessment of the impact of … coronavirus and an oil crisis. GDP fell in ‘all areas of the economy except agriculture’ … Rosstat … said …, with passenger transport down 79% and the services industry down 37.2% The sharp drop […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin is reckless because we allow him to be” – Washington Post/ David Ignatius

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

“… Putin keeps defying the norms of international behavior. … Intelligence agencies have … evidence … Russian military intelligence officers, from … shadowy Unit 29155 of the GRU, paid … Taliban … whose bombing killed three U.S. Marines in … 2019. … [S]ources … [claim] forensic links between the [Afghan operation] GRU officers … and GRU colleagues who carried out […]

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RUSSIALINK: “FSIN reports another record drop in Russian prison population” – Interfax

Russia Map

MOSCOW. Aug 13 (Interfax) – The Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) has reported another drop in the population of Russian penitentiaries and pretrial detention facilities. “The number of imprisoned convicts, suspects and defendants is at all-time low,” the FSIN press bureau said in a statement seen by Interfax on Thursday. The number of incarcerated persons has reduced to less than 500,000 […]

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RUSSIA NEWS & INFORMATION – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents & links :: JRL 2020-#145 :: Thursday, 13 August 2020

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 2020-#145 :: Thursday, 13 August 2020 A project sponsored through […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Registers World’s First Covid-19 Vaccine Despite Safety Concerns” – Wall Street Journal/ Thomas Grove

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

“Officials in Russia and the West express alarm at the speed the vaccine was developed.” “[With Putin’s blessing,] Russia registered the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine … amid [anticipation, skepticism and ] safety concerns …. Moscow’s [state-run] Gamaleya Institute for Epidemiology and Microbiology developed the vaccine … [with] military testing, accelerated clinical evaluations and shortened trial times …. Russia [plans] … […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Six Months into the Coronavirus Outbreak, Russia’s Statistics Still Provide More Questions than Answers” – Moscow Times

Russia Regions Map

Analysis of excess fatalities show regions may be underreporting deaths from Covid-19 […]

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RUSSIALINK: “‘World’s First’ Coronavirus Vaccine: What We Know So Far About Russian Injection” – Moscow Times

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

Russia has become the first country to approve a vaccine against the coronavirus … Putin said … despite widespread concerns about its safety. Russia … has the world’s fourth-highest coronavirus caseload […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “With Belarus in Turmoil, Russia Sees Chance to Expand Its Influence” – Wall Street Journal/ Ann M. Simmons

Map of Belarus and Environs, adapted from images at cia.gov

“Moscow offers to strengthen Russian integration with Minsk in attempt to shore up Lukashenko after unprecedented protests.” “[Independent online pollsters … reported exit polls giving opposition presidential candidate Svetlana  Tikhanovskaya up to 86% of the recent vote in Belarus.] … Russia moved swiftly to congratulate … Lukashenko for his [officially reported] electoral win and press for stronger ties …. Russia […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian MP Konstantin Zatulin and head of the Duma’s foreign relations committee calls Belarus’ election results a hoax” – bne Intellinews

Russian State Duma Building file photo

“… Putin was amongst the first of a handful of foreign leaders to call and congratulate … Lukashenko on his ‘victory’ in last weekend’s presidential election [in Belarus], but MPs in the Russian Duma said the results were faked and the official numbers are a hoax,] [t]he … elections … held in an ‘atmosphere of total falsification, so [that] their […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Vladimir Putin Is No Mastermind, But He Has Played Russia’s Cards Well; It verges on impossible to forecast what Moscow will do tactically. What it will do strategically, however, is more intelligible and thus more predictable.” – The National Interest/ James Holmes

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“…. The Russian armed forces … have to live within their means. Russia depends heavily on exporting oil and natural gas … [L]ow energy prices constrict … national income and … ability to afford pricey armaments. Prices …  have run off a cliff amid coronavirus lockdowns. … [F]or instance … the Severnoye Design Bureau, a division of the United Shipbuilding […]

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Hot of [off?] the Press, Colder in Scope: Russia’s Nuclear Deterrence Fundamentals 2020

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

(PONARS Eurasia Commentary – Polina Sinovets, Associate Professor, Mechnikov National University, Odessa – Aug. 7, 2020) In a surprise move this past June, Moscow published its first-ever “Basic Principles of State Policy of the Russian Federation on Nuclear Deterrence.” The content core of these fundamental principles looks like excerpts from other Russian documents pertaining to the conditions and “red lines” […]

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RUSSIA NEWS & INFORMATION – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents & links :: JRL 2020-#144 :: Tuesday, 11 August 2020

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 2020-#144 :: Tuesday, 11 August 2020 A project sponsored through […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Industry Body Calls Russian Covid-19 Vaccine a Pandora’s Box” – Bloomberg/ Ilya Arkhipov, Jake Rudnitsky

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

“Russia’s race to allow civilian use of a … coronavirus vaccine before clinical trials are complete could put people at risk, according to a local association of multinational pharmaceutical companies[, the Association of Clinical Trials Organizations (ACTO) … represent[ing] … multinational companies with clinical trials in Russia, including Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Novartis AG]. The government plans to give a vaccine […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The contest after the vote; Eight major takeaways from the immediate aftermath of the Belarusian presidential election” – Meduza

Map of Belarus and Environs, adapted from images at cia.gov

“… Belarusian election officials published … preliminary results … [indicating that] Lukashenko … won more than 80 percent …. radically contradict[ing] [opposition] reports … say[ing] [Svetlana] Tikhanovskaya won 70 percent. … Tikhanovskaya’s campaign refuses to recognize the election’s results … [S]he called on ‘those who believe their vote was stolen’ ‘not to remain silent.’ … [R]eporting suggests … tens of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Unwanted Truths: Inside Trump’s Battles With U.S. Intelligence Agencies” – New York Times Magazine/ Robert Draper

DNI Seal and Smaller Seals of Agencies Related to DNI

“Last year, intelligence officials gathered to write a classified report on Russia’s interest in the 2020 election. An investigation from the magazine uncovered what happened next.” “… the O.D.N.I. at last acknowledged publicly that Russia ‘is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate … Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia “establishment.”‘ … also assert[ing] for the first […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents & links :: JRL 2020-#143 :: Monday, 10 August 2020

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 2020-#143 :: Monday, 10 August 2020 A project sponsored through […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Chat Group Becomes Target of Moscow’s Wrath as Security Crackdown Widens” – New York Times/ Andrew Higgins

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

“The group started out as an online discussion of hobbies, schoolwork and sometimes politics. But then it was infiltrated by an informer for Russia’s all-powerful security services.” “… [T]he chat group … was joined by a new member who promoted unusually strident views … and pushed to turn the online chatter into a political movement …. [He] gave his name […]

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Separatism Doesn’t Threaten Russia But Will If Kremlin Fails to Listen to Regions, Yarulin Says

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 30, 2020) The most important lesson of the Khabarovsk protests is that separatism doesn’t threaten Russia now but could if the central government continues to try to make all the decisions, consolidate all the power and wealth, and ignore the aspirations of Russians in the regions, Ildus Yarulin says. The director […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Warns It Will See Any Incoming Missile as Nuclear” – AP

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“Russia will perceive any ballistic missile launched at its territory as a nuclear attack that warrants a nuclear retaliation, the military warned …. in … official military newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) … [a warning] directed at the United States, which has worked to develop long-range non-nuclear weapons. [I]n June [Russia published its] … nuclear deterrent policy … envisag[ing] … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The U.S. Is Close to Killing Russia’s Nord Stream 2 Pipeline; But it’s a race between slow construction and slower sanctions” – Foreign Policy/ Amy Mackinnon

Gas Flame file photo

“Russia’s controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is close to the finish line – but might be closer to finished as a viable project, after one of the companies involved in laying the pipe on the Baltic seafloor said … it would withdraw …. For years, the United States has tried to kill off Russia’s latest effort to strengthen its […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s race for virus vaccine raises concerns in the West” – AP/ Daria Litvinova

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

“Russia boasts … it’s about to become the first country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine, with mass vaccinations planned as early as October using shots … yet to complete clinical trials … [S]cientists worldwide are sounding the alarm …. Moscow sees a Sputnik-like propaganda victory …. But  … there’s no published scientific evidence … backing Russia’s late entry to the […]

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RUSSIALINK: Moscow Times: “U.S. Spams Russians With Texts Offering Rewards for Election Meddling Info”

File Image of Artist's Rendition of Cellphones, adapted from image at nih.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Aug. 7, 2020) Russians are receiving spam text messages offering huge rewards in exchange for information about their country’s efforts to interfere in the United States’ presidential election. News of the SMS messages came after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the $10 million reward in an attempt to prevent foreign interference in the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “NPT dismantlement to increase number of nuclear threshold states – Russian General Staff” – Interfax

File Photo of U.S.-Russian Senior Military Meeting, adapted from image at defense.gov with photo credit to Dominique A. Pineiro

MOSCOW. Aug 7 (Interfax) – The U.S. policy aimed at withdrawing from the agreements limiting nuclear weapons may have negative implications for the entire world, representatives of the Russian General Staff said in an article published by the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper on Friday. “The future of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is a big […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Share of Russians who never use home PCs drops from 53% to 25% over decade – poll” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. Aug 6 (Interfax) – Over half of Russians (58%) use their home PCs at least several times a week, as against 43% in 2010, the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) said in a statement seen by Interfax on Thursday. The survey indicates that number of Russians who have several PCs, including laptops, at home, has grown over eight […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents & links :: JRL 2020-#142 :: Friday, 7 August 2020

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 2020-#142 :: Friday, 7 August 2020 A project sponsored through […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “There Is No Russian Plot Against America; The Kremlin’s Electoral Interference Is All Madness and No Method” – Foreign Affairs/ Anna Arutunyan

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

“… Researchers and investigators have revealed … activities of [Kremlin-connected] Russian actors … during the 2016 election. … [yet with] comparatively little information about the real impact[,] … still less about … precise objectives. … Russian officials say and write a great deal about the United States …. What emerges is not a cunning, systematic scheme to corrode American democracy […]

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In a Confrontation Between Putin and the West, Belarus May Get Caught in the Middle

Map of Belarus and Environs, adapted from images at cia.gov

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Igor Zevelev – Aug. 5, 2020) Former Professor at George Marshall European Center for Security Studies; Former Director, MacArthur Foundation, Moscow Office Starting with the coup against Gorbachev in August 1991, the last month of the summer has become a time when the eyes of the world perforce turn to Russia. Financial crises (1998), the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Climate Change in Russia and the Weaponization of Wheat” – The Center for Climate and Security/ Leah Emanuel

Arctic Map

“As temperatures in the Russian Arctic rapidly increase and permafrost continues to melt, Russian land feasible for wheat production is beginning to grow. … While wheat makes up only 2.3% of Russia’s total exports, this small percentage constitutes a major portion of the global wheat export market. … Relying on wheat production in these newly farmable lands, however, will not […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents & links :: JRL 2020-#141 :: Thursday, 6 August 2020

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 2020-#141 :: Thursday, 6 August 2020 A project sponsored through […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Lukashenko rhetoric shows fallout between Minsk and Moscow”- Financial Times/ Max Seddon, James Shotter

Map of Belarus and Environs, adapted from images at cia.gov

“Arrest of 33 Russians comes as Belarusian president’s strategy of playing Russia and the west off each other founders.” “… Belarus authorities arrested the [Russian] men [checking into a sanatorium outside Minsk as would-be tourists] and another Russian, claiming they were mercenaries plotting to ‘destabilise the situation’ ahead of Sunday’s [historically contentious] elections [in Belarus] …. [The arrests and surrounding […]

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Anti-Centralism Now Embraced by Both Russian and Non-Russian Radical Oppositions, Sidorov Says

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 3, 2020) Russian nationalists have always been more divided than most analysts have suggested, with some committed imperialists, others devoted to a small Russia, and still others believing that their best course forward is in the elaboration of a civic national identity that would allow them to retain the loyalty of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s electoral testing ground; Welcome to Novosibirsk, where multiple opposition parties are battling for real power and setting the stage for Russia’s nationwide elections” – Meduza

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

“In … Novosibirsk[,] … not one but two opposition groups are building … a serious challenge to the ruling party. … [T]he Communist Party (KPRF) … part of … the systemic opposition … recognized by the Russian government and permitted to hold elected seats across the country. … currently controls Novosibirsk City Hall[;] Communist Mayor Anatoly Lokot … push[ing] for […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Medvedev: Moscow-Minsk relations bargaining chip in election campaign” – Interfax

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev with United Russia Logos Behind Him

MOSCOW. Aug 5 (Interfax) – Russian-Belarusian relations have become a “small bargaining chip” during the election campaign in Belarus, Russian Security Council Deputy Head and United Russia Party Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said. “Of course, we cannot fail to see that today, Russian-Belarusian relations, I’ll go even further, the Union State and integration, have become a small bargaining chip during the […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents & links :: JRL 2020-#140 :: Wednesday, 5 August 2020

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 2020-#140 :: Wednesday, 5 August 2020 A project sponsored through […]

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Clinical Trials Over, New Russian Vaccine to Be Given to Doctors and Teachers Soon, Population by October, for Free, Murashko Says

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

… Another question, given polls showing that many Russians do not want to risk getting the vaccine at least initially, is how rapidly Moscow will ramp up what promises to be a massive propaganda campaign […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Lawmakers Offer Bill to Boost Aid for Ukraine Military” – Reuters

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

“… [S]enators [from both parties] introduced legislation to back Ukraine with $300 million of annual military financing …. The bill also authorizes up to $4 million to train Ukrainian military officers, requires a [DOD] … and State Department report on the requirements of Ukraine’s armed forces and a plan to supply security assistance and requires the appointment of a special […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “What just happened and what’s next in Belarus?” – Meduza

Map of Belarus and Environs, adapted from images at cia.gov

“A rundown of the contentious presidential race, Lukashenko’s surprising struggles, and the likely post-election scenario.” “… August 9, Belarus will conclude its most contentious, openly dirtiest, and toughest presidential campaign …. [O]ne candidate has been imprisoned (as well as two campaign chiefs of staff) … another fled the country …. [P]olitical prisoners in Belarus spiked from one to 24 … […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Which Countries Are Open to Russians – and Vice Versa?” – Moscow Times

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

… Russia also closed its borders to most foreign citizens, with exceptions for diplomats, relatives of deceased people, high-demand workers and other categories […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Sets Mass Vaccination for October After Shortened Trial” – New York Times/ Andrew E. Kramer

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

“The announcement raised concerns that Russia would begin inoculations and declare victory in the race for a coronavirus vaccine without fully testing its product.” “Russia plans to launch a … vaccination campaign in October … [for] coronavirus … yet to complete clinical trials, raising international concern about the methods the country is using to compete in the global race to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Moscow’s Watcom shopping index almost back to normal as shoppers return to Moscow’s malls” – bne Intellinews

File Photo of Cash Register with Drawer Open and Hands of Cashier

“Moscow’s Watcom shopping index has regained almost all the ground lost from a lockdown on the capital earlier this year” “[The] Watcom shopping index [tracking foot traffic at Moscow’s leading malls] has recovered almost all … ground lost during the [spring] lockdown …. [Moscow’s] infection rate … has fallen …. [T]he epidemic is far from over in Russia …. A […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Lukashenko cancels state of the nation speech as health fails” – bne Intellinews

Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo

“… Lukashenko cancelled his annual state of the nation speech … admitt[ing] … having the [COVID-19] coronavirus. … ‘Today you are meeting a man who managed to survive the coronavirus on his feet. … Asymptomatic. … No-one will die from coronavirus in our country[,] … my firm conviction judging by analysis not only of previous years. … Almost 97% of […]

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