Russia’s New Law Against Foreign Media ‘Won’t Even Work’; New amendments targeting U.S. media could implicate news organizations from other countries too

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich – November 15, 2017) After the Kremlin-backed RT news outlet begrudgingly registered as a foreign agent on Monday, Russia promised to retaliate. Earlier on Wednesday, its lawmakers did just that. New legislation, which will allow authorities to brand any international media organization a “foreign agent,” passed swiftly through three readings in the State […]

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NEWSLINK: “‘You can always expect retaliatory measures from Moscow’ Deputy Duma Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy explains Russia’s new legislation against ‘foreign agents’ in the news media” – Meduza

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

“On November 15, lawmakers in the lower house of Russia’s parliament unanimously passed all three readings of amendments to federal laws on the mass media. If adopted by the Federation Council and President Putin, the reforms will empower the Justice Ministry to add certain media outlets to Russia’s registry of foreign agents. State Duma deputies say the legislation is being […]

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Russian Duma Approves Restrictions On Foreign Media

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – November 15, 2017- also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-amnesty-foreign-media-bill-repressive/28854885.html) The lower house of Russia’s parliament has unanimously approved legislation that would authorize the government to designate media outlets receiving funding from abroad as “foreign agents.” The State Duma approved the amendments — which Amnesty International said would deal a “serious blow” to […]

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Interfax: Russian Justice Ministry to recognize media outlets as foreign agents – Tolstoy

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 14 (Interfax) – The Justice Ministry will recognize media outlets as foreign agents consistent with proposed legislative amendments, State Duma Vice-Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy, who supervises the working group preparing countermeasures against the U.S. restrictions on the activity of Russia media outlets, told reporters on Tuesday. “An executive agency will recognize [a media outlet as a foreign agent]. Of […]

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Kremlin to Target All Foreign Media Amid U.S. ‘Foreign Agent’ Spat

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 13, 2017) All international media outlets in Russia could be hit with new restrictions as part of an escalating media tit-for-tat between Moscow and the United States. The Kremlin’s RT news network agreed to register as a foreign agent in the U.S. by Monday following U.S. allegations it interfered in the 2016 presidential election. […]

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Interfax: Mirroring measures against international media meddling in Russia’s internal affairs may be applied to specific social media – State Duma Deputy Speaker Tolstoy

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

MOSCOW. Nov 12 (Interfax) – Russia’s ‘mirroring’ measures against international mass media interfering with internal Russian affairs may also be applied to some social networking websites, State Duma Deputy Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy (United Russia) said. “Apart from formal participation in the capital – that is, equity holding – or in the functioning of a media in Russian territory, there is […]

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Interfax: Don’t forget saddest lessons of Russian history – Volodin in connection with day memorializing victims of repression

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 30 (Interfax) – Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said that the events associated with political repression in the 20th century should be remembered so that the past can unite society, not divide it. “The Day of Remembrance of Victims of Political Repressions is one of the hardest memorial dates in our country’s calendar. In the year of […]

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NEWSWATCH: “European University at St Petersburg faces research-only future. With latest application for teaching licence rejected in long-running battle with authorities, time is running out to start the new academic year” – Times Higher Education (UK)

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

“Russia’s ‘European’ university is contemplating a future as a research-only institution …. The European University at St Petersburg, a private postgraduate institution, has been wrangling with the government since last year, when it endured a series of snap inspections by authorities and had its teaching licence suspended. Officials claimed that EUSP, which has just 250 students and offers courses in the […]

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Interfax: Russia shouldn’t sever relations with U.S. even if Washington pushes for it – Slutsky

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 10 (Interfax) – The way the United States has treated Russia’s diplomatic facilities looks like Russia is being pushed to break up bilateral diplomatic relations, State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Leonid Slutsky said in an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda published on the newspaper’s website on Tuesday. “We will not yield to provocations,” Slutsky said. Komsomolskaya Pravda cited […]

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Yabloko submits bill limiting president’s right to use military abroad to 3 regional legislatures

Russia Regions Map

MOSCOW. Sept 19 (Interfax) – The Yabloko party has submitted a draft federal bill restricting the president’s right to use the armed forces abroad to three regional legislatures for consideration, the party’s press service reported. “Party Chairperson Emilia Slabunova has submitted the bill to Karelia’s Legislative Assembly, and Mikhail Amosov and Lev Shlosberg of the party’s federal political committee submitted […]

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How Western Election Monitors Help Putin

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

(The Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Fedor Krasheninnikov – September 7, 2017) Fedor Krasheninnikov is a well-known Russian journalist and political analyst. He has been a contributing opinion writer with the business newspaper Vedomosti and the independent online publication Snob.ru. Krasheninnikov also serves as political commentator for the radio station Echo of Moscow. He has organised environmental and political campaigns […]

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Russian Language on the Decline Thanks to English, Says Official

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 29, 2017) The number of Russian speakers has decreased by about 50 million since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the chairman of the State Duma Committee for Education and Science was cited as saying by the Interfax news agency on Monday. Vyacheslav Nikonov called for an expansion of the Eurasian Union […]

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CSTO Rift Grows Between Moscow And Astana

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Samuel Ramani – Aug. 6, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/qishloq-ovozi-csto-kazakhstan-russia-nazarbaev/28661553.html) Samuel Ramani is a DPhil candidate in International Relations at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, specializing in post-1991 Russian foreign policy. He is also a journalist who contributes regularly to The Washington Post, the Huffington Post, and Diplomat […]

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Moscow Hears Political Saber Rattling in Fresh U.S. Sanctions Vote; The vote sparked harsh rhetoric not heard since Trump has come to office

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Lena Smirnova – July 26, 2017) Top Russian officials on Wednesday slammed a U.S. House of Representatives vote in favor of fresh sanctions, with one official warning it could trigger “a new Cold War.” “Washington is a source of danger,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the state-run TASS news agency. “This is a blatant, […]

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On Trump’s New Man in Russia, Jon Huntsman, Moscow Says ‘Wait and See’; The former China envoy is facing a tough crowd

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 19, 2017) The appointment of reported ‘hardliner’ Jon Huntsman as the United States’ new Ambassador to Russia met with mixed reactions in Moscow on Wednesday. “It’s too early for labels,” Speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko was cited as saying by the state-run TASS news agency. “[We have to] judge him by his […]

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State Duma committee approves text of Russia’s naturalization oath

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. July 4 (Interfax) – The State Duma Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building has approved the text of the naturalization oath of allegiance to Russia. This is an amendment to the draft law, which deprives convicted terrorists of Russian citizenship. It will be considered by the State Duma on Wednesday, on July 12. The oath is as follows, […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Kremlin.ru – June 28, 2017) Vladimir Putin met with leader of the Russian Federation Communist Party (KPRF) faction in the State Duma Gennady Zyuganov. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Zyuganov, we are meeting for one of our regular sessions to discuss your activities. As you know, I recently met with State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and with [A Just […]

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Not Just A Putin Problem

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – June 21, 2017) [Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – also appeared at rferl.org/a/daily-vertical-not-just-a-putin-problem/28570823.html] “Krym Nash” was just the beginning. Crimea is not the only place and Ukraine is not the only neighbor where Russia has territorial ambitions. And this is not just a fixation of Vladimir #Putin and his cronies, but […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Volodin vs. Kiriyenko: The Battle for Influence in Russia’s Power Vertical” – Carnegie Moscow/ Andrey Pertsev

Russian State Duma Building file photo

“… #Putin’s power vertical has always been an extremely simple construct: the presidential administration deals with everything—all party, parliamentary, and personnel issues—no questions asked. Because a second source of authority would undermine its top-down system, the Kremlin works hard to suppress attempts to create alternate centers of power. … however, a power struggle has emerged between #Duma Speaker Vyacheslav #Volodin, the […]

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Russian Protests Don’t Threaten Kremlin Because There’s No Opposition in the Duma, Portnikov Says

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 12, 2017) Both the Kremlin and the Russian people are afraid of a Maidan, but they needn’t be because for a Maidan to take place in Russia there would have to be something that does not now exist, a genuine opposition in the Duma ready and willing to serve as a […]

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Interfax: Russians have started smoking less, dying of alcohol poisoning less – government report

MOSCOW. April 20 (Interfax) – Russians have become less prone to bad habits. According to the materials prepared for the annual government report in the State Duma, thirty-one percent of the country’s adults said they smoked in 2016, against 41% in 2010. The data was provided citing the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center. Alcohol consumption has decreased from 14.3 liters […]

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Interfax: State Duma sees no need to enquire with authorities about compliance by Voice of America, Radio Liberty, CNN with Russian laws

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. April 18 (Interfax) – The State Duma committee for information policy, information technologies and communications will not be asking federal authorities to provide information on whether the Russian offices of the Voice of America, Radio Liberty and CNN comply with the Russian elections laws, the Committee has decided to confine itself to a discussion of this issue at an […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Working meeting with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

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

Mr Medvedev briefed Vladimir Putin on the key points of the report on the Government’s work in 2016, which will be presented to the State Duma on April 19. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Medvedev, on April 19 you will present to the State Duma the Government’s report on its work last year. What will you be presenting? What […]

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Interfax: SBU cannot yet confirm ex-Duma deputy Voronenkov’s killer was FSB agent

FSB Building file photo

KYIV. March 30 (Interfax) – The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) is continuing to investigate whether Pavlo Parshov, who killed former Russian State Duma deputy Denis Voronenkov, was an agent of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). “This has not yet been proven in the case of Parshov. We are now working [to establish] whether he really was an FSB […]

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Is #Navalny a ‘Young and Sober’ #Yeltsin or ‘the #Putin of Tomorrow’?

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 28, 2017) Aleksey #Navalny’s new prominence and his success in attracting young people – which some see reflected in the fact that he now has more “likes” than Moscow TV (politsovet.ru/54872-navalnyy-obognal-po-chislu-podpischikov-pervyy-kanal-rt-i-rossiyu-24.html) – #Putin loyalists are attacking him and others asking what kind of a leader he may be. Putin’s press spokesman […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Valentina Tereshkova

File Photo of Valentina Tereshkova in Space Suit with Helmet Open, adapted from image at starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov

(Kremlin.ru – March 6, 2017) Vladimir Putin extended his birthday greetings to Valentina Tereshkova, pilot cosmonaut, the first woman in space, Hero of the Soviet Union, and State Duma deputy. The President issued an executive order awarding the Order For Services to the Fatherland I Degree to Ms Tereshkova, deputy chairperson of the State Duma Committee for Federal Organisation and […]

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Defeat of Russian Civic Nation Law Shows Putin Isn’t All-Powerful, Krasheninnikov Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 7, 2017) “The most interesting aspect” of Moscow’s retreat from its efforts to promote a civic Russian nation is not that it shows “society isn’t very prepared” for that as Valery Tishkov says (kommersant.ru/doc/3235995), but rather the way in which it represents “a personal defeat for Vladimir Putin,” according to Fyodor […]

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Moscow Counting on Russians Passively Accepting Raising Pension Age beyond Male Life Expectancy

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, February 2, 2016) The Russian government doesn’t have to worry about widespread protests over its reported plans to raise the pension age of Russian males in 2018 to one older than their average life expectancy, a Russian scholar in Yakutsk says. The opposition will complain, but it doesn’t have the votes in […]

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De-dollarization of economy, banking system proceeding at full speed, to continue – Central Bank

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW. Jan 24 (Interfax) – De-dollarization of the #Russian economy and #banking system is proceeding at full speed given the preferences of the public and companies and this process will continue, the head of the Central Bank of #Russia’s research and forecasting department Alexander #Morozov said at a roundtable in the State #Duma. “De-dollarization in the economy is proceeding at […]

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State Duma speaker deems CoE pressure over family violence decriminalization by Russia to be inadmissible

File Photo of Council of Europe Headquarters Building with Flags in Front

MOSCOW. Jan 18 (Interfax) – State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin deems the pressure of Council of Europe (CoE) Secretary-General Thorbjorn Jagland on Russia in connection with the law decriminalizing family violence to be inadmissible. “This is pressure, and it is inadmissible,” Volodin told the press on Wednesday. The State Duma adopted the amendments in first reading in January, and the […]

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Russia may take asymmetric measures against U.S. in response to ‘Magnitsky list’ expansion – Russian MP Slutsky

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

MOSCOW. Jan 10 (Interfax) – Moscow may asymmetrically react to Washington’s decision to expand the ‘Magnitsky list’ – similarly to Russia’s response to the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the United States, Russian State Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Leonid Slutsky said. “I would like to remind you that Russia has a law on measures of response to the Magnitsky […]

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RUSSIALINK Russia Today/RT: “MPs propose urgent steps to restore Russia-US relations after Trump elected”

Russian State Duma Building file photo

“A member of the State Duma Foreign Relations Committee has a proposal to launch a special group for restoring normal relations between Russia and the US, while other MPs seek to launch a week of Russian-US friendship to mend broken ties. Vitaly Milonov wrote that the principles of mutual respect and peaceful coexistence are the basis of global security, and […]

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NEWSLINK Russia Direct: “Russia’s domestic policy architect is now managing the Duma. Vyacheslav Volodin, now that he has won Kremlin support to become the next speaker of the State Duma, has emerged as a potential Putin successor in 2018.”

Russian State Duma Building file photo

… Russian President Vladimir Putin recommended all four Duma parties to support the candidacy of the first deputy chief of staff of the Presidential Administration, Vyacheslav Volodin. As usual, the parliamentary parties did not oppose the president and expressed their approval. …

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United Russia will not adopt unpopular decisions – Medvedev

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev with United Russia Logos Behind Him

MOSCOW. Sept 24 (Interfax) – The United Russia party, which has won a constitutional majority in the new State Duma, will not adopt unpopular decisions, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who is the party’s chairman, said. “Some people think that the constitutional majority in the Duma and solid representation at the regional level gives the party a right to adopt […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with leaders of parties that gained State Duma seats following elections

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Kremlin.ru – September 23, 2016) Vladimir Putin met with leaders of political parties that gained seats in the State Duma based on election results. The President congratulated meeting participants on winning the State Duma elections. Mr Putin also asked the 7th State Duma deputies to support Vyacheslav Volodin as a candidate for State Duma Speaker. Yesterday State Duma Speaker Sergei […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian politics. The hollow election. The lowest-ever turnout for Duma elections suggests Vladimir Putin is losing touch with his political base.

Russia Regions Map

The Economist reports on low participation in Russia’s 2016 Duma elections. … The Kremlin made every effort to ensure the elections were as sterile and low-profile as possible. It banned and harassed genuine opposition parties and their leaders. … it persuaded many that nothing depended on voters. The official turnout was 48% – the lowest ever in the history of […]

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The Russian Opposition Should Do Its Homework

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Vladislav L. Inozemtsev – September 22, 2016) Vladislav Inozemtsev is a Russian economist and Director of the Center for Post-Industrial Studies in Moscow. A landslide United Russia victory and a remarkably poor showing of the opposition forces in Russia’s parliamentary elections earlier this week shouldn’t be attributed entirely to rigged electoral rules or fraud. There […]

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Pamfilova to stay in charge of Central Election Commission until last election complaint processed

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

MOSCOW. Sept 23 (Interfax) – Russian Central Election Commission Chairperson Ella Pamfilova said she would not leave her post until the last complaint regarding the State Duma elections was processed. “Not a single complaint will be disregarded. No one leaves until this Central Election Commission processes the last claim against this election campaign,” she said. “I have been urged to […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with leaders of parties that gained State Duma seats following elections

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Kremlin.ru – September 23, 2016) Vladimir Putin met with leaders of political parties that gained seats in the State Duma based on election results. The President congratulated meeting participants on winning the State Duma elections. Mr Putin also asked the 7th State Duma deputies to support Vyacheslav Volodin as a candidate for State Duma Speaker. Yesterday State Duma Speaker Sergei […]

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Will Russia’s Opposition Draw the Right Lessons From Electoral Defeat?

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Eva Hartog – September 20, 2016) The Russian opposition on Monday awoke to an electoral hangover – in some cases quite literally – after suffering a crushing defeat in the polls that has relegated it to the fringes of political life. “The opposition has lost again. Who’s to blame?” the cover of the opposition-minded New […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Why the Kremlin’s big win in Russian elections may not be a victory” – Christian Science Monitor/Fred Weir

Russian State Duma Building file photo

… United Russia … may have won a crushing victory in Sunday’s parliamentary elections … undoubtedly … a huge boost for … Putin. But the most common remark about the now-concluded election campaign is that it was “very boring.” … an odd moment for Russia …. buffeted by two years of economic recession and still-escalating political tensions with the West. […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Medvedev and Putin] Visiting United Russia party’s campaign headquarters

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Kremlin.ru – September 18, 2016) After the polling stations closed, Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visited the election campaign headquarters of the United Russia party. The United Russia party candidates who took part in the election in Moscow and the Moscow Region, along with volunteers and United Russia party activists took part in the meeting. Prime Minister Dmitry […]

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Duma Vote Shows Changes Won’t Come in Russia via Elections, Commentators Say

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 19, 2016) The most important feature of the Duma Elections was unprecedentedly low level of participation, a reflection of the Russian population’s symmetrical response to the Kremlin’s contempt for its views and an indication that change in Russia “will not come via elections but as a result of some sort of […]

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Russian Opposition Just as Moscow-Centric as Russian Regime, Shtepa Says

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 13, 2016) Russian opposition figures who took part in recent discussions in Tallinn and Vilnius said many “just words” about how totally predictable the upcoming elections in Russia will be, Vadim Shtepa says. But they were also totally predictable in focusing “almost exclusively” on Moscow and how Muscovites will react. Participants […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Post-Election Economy: Down, But Not Out. Parliamentary elections are rapidly approaching, but this time politicians aren’t making any pie-in-the-sky promises.” – Moscow Times/Boris Grozovsky

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

By any measure, the Russian economy is deep in a classic recession: GDP has dropped for the sixth consecutive quarter. If Russia had political competition, these elections would pose a challenge for both the ruling party and the opposition. But without real competition, politicians are under little pressure to lift the economy out of the current crisis. … * * […]

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Any Vote Is A Vote For Putinism

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Garry Kasparov – September 9, 2016) Garry Kasparov is a Russian politician, a former world chess champion, and head of the Human Rights Foundation international NGO. The views expressed in this commentary, which he wrote for RFE/RL’s Russian Service, do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL. Translated from the Russian by Robert Coalson There are […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian pollster sees same parties in Duma after election

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(RIA Novosti – September 8, 2016) The head of Russia’s main state-owned pollster has said that the chances of parties that were not represented in the last State Duma winning seats in the lower house in the parliamentary election on 18 September are minimal. Little chance “Now we don’t see chances of overcoming the 5-per-cent barrier,” Valery Fyodorov, head of […]

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Down, Down, Down: Why Russia’s Ruling Political Party Keeps Losing Support

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev with United Russia Logos Behind Him

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Eva Hartog – September 2, 2016) With little over two weeks left until Russia stages a parliamentary vote, ruling party United Russia is struggling to reverse a downward trend. A survey published Thursday by the independent Levada Center pollster showed support for United Russia had dropped from 57 percent to 50 percent in August compared […]

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NEWSLINK The Nation/Sarah Lindemann-Komarova: “How A Siberian Mom Took on Politics as Usual in Russia and Won.”

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

In Siberia, Natalia Pinus is taking on established political forces and challenging the idea that Russian democracy is no more than a puppet show

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Putin’s Election Grip Is So Tight Even His Nemesis Can Take Part

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Irina Reznik – August 24, 2016) The last time Vladimir Putin’s political party won national elections, ballot-stuffing allegations sparked the biggest protests of his rule. Five years on, Putin appears to be so confident in his hold on power that even his most dogged adversary is welcome to challenge United Russia in next month’s […]

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