RUSSIAN FOREIGN POLICY IN THE MIDDLE EAST 2015-2016: PUSHING ON AN OPEN DOOR

Middle East Map

(Robert O. Freedman, Johns Hopkins University – 31 October 2016) There is no question but that Russia has been very active in the Middle East over the last year, especially in Syria. There is a question however as to whether Moscow has been able to transform this activity into actual influence in the region. I would argue that the answer […]

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Russians Find New Holiday Spots After Egypt, Turkey Bans

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Joanna Kozlowska – December 4, 2015) Russian tour operators have seen increasing demand for tours to India, Thailand, and the UAE following restrictions on travel to Egypt and Turkey – Russians’ two preferred destinations in the first half of 2015, Russian media reported on Friday. At the same time, officials’ attempts to revive interest in […]

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NEWSWATCH Wall Street Journal: “Russians Seeking Winter Retreat Are Stopped Cold. Moscow’s travel bans to Egypt, Turkey amid diplomatic crises force tens of thousands to adjust or cancel vacations”

The Wall Street Journal covers disruptions to Russian travel plans, amidst travel bans imposed by the Kremlin following Turkey’s shoot-down of a Russian military jet and a suspected terrorist downing of a Russian airliner in Egypt. Turkey and Egypt were popular destinations, offering hotels and services far better than Russian equivalents at a reasonable price. Six million Russians visited Turkey […]

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NEWSWATCH Reuters: “Russian parliament gives blessing to security overhaul after plane bombing”

Russian State Duma Building file photo

Reuters covers the Russian government’s reaction to the Russian air crash in Egypt. Russia’s parliament backed a sweeping overhaul of national security, including possibly expanding the powers of the country’s intelligence services, after the Kremlin concluded a bomb downed a Russian passenger plane over Egypt last month. There also is talk of using the death penalty for terrorism. Sergei Mironov, […]

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After the Crash: What Are Russia’s Options in Syria?

Syria Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – November 12, 2015) If the ongoing investigation into the downing of a Russian civilian airliner over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Oct. 31 concludes that a bomb destroyed the plane, the Kremlin will have to react – but its options are constrained by logistical and political realities on the ground. So far, it […]

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Poll: 43% of Russians explain A321 crash with terror attack

Map of Egypt and Environs`

(Interfax – November 12, 2015) The Kogalymavia flight crash in Egypt on October 31 has triggered a broad public response. Ninety-seven percent of respondents polled by the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) are aware of it. Knowledgeable respondents differed in their opinions on the causes of the crash: 43 percent are prone to believe in the terror attack theory, […]

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When In Doubt, Blame The West

Middle East Map

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – November 9, 2015) So Russia went there after all. The crash of Metrojet Flight 9268 in Egypt on October 31, which killed all 224 people on board, was more than the worst aviation disaster in the country’s history. Once it became clear that the cause of the crash was probably terrorism, it also […]

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Russia’s Way of Managing Responsibility or Why the Kremlin Will Have To Escalate in Syria

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

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Maxim Trudolyubov- November 9, 2015) Maxim Trudolyubov is a Senior Fellow at the Kennan Institute and the Editor-at-Large of Vedomosti, an independent Russian daily. The cause of the most terrible plane crash in Russian history has not yet been named. Officially, there is still a possibility that the crash of the Russian passenger plane that […]

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Russia Fears Islamic Terror Blowback Over Syria After Sinai

Middle East Map

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Arkhipov – November 9, 2015) As evidence grows that a bomb may have downed a Russian passenger jet over Egypt, the Kremlin is focused on countering the threat of terrorism at home from sympathizers of Islamic State. Officials insist they were prepared for the risk of terrorist reprisals after President Vladimir Putin ordered air strikes […]

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Putin’s Dilemma: How To Respond If A Bomb Caused Sinai Air Crash

Map of Egypt and Environs`

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Steve Gutterman – November 5, 2015) Mounting evidence that an onboard bomb brought down the Russian jet that crashed on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, killing 224 people, poses a tough new dilemma for President Vladimir Putin: how to respond. If the theory of a terrorist attack is borne out, it will look like exactly what Islamic State […]

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A-321 crash – Comment on HMG decision

Middle East Map

Subject: A-321 crash – Comment on HMG decision. Date: Thu, 5 Nov 2015 From: Andrei Liakhov <gaffriloff@yahoo.co.uk> A-321 crash – Comment on HMG decision. My money is on a technical defect. It is either a computer glitch which the crew tried to correct and swang the aircraft into critical G or the tail was weakened in a previous incident and […]

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The crash of the Russian airliner in Egypt: Theories abound

Map of Egypt and Environs`

The investigating authorities have not yet released an official explanation of what caused Oct. 31 plane crash in Egypt, which killed all 224 people onboard. However, experts have come up with three different possible explanations of what happened. They share one common thread: the plane broke into pieces while still in the air at a high altitude due to an […]

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Putin Builds North Korea Rail to Circumvent Suez Canal

North Korea Map and Flag

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ekaterina Shatalova and Nicholas Brautlecht – October 15, 2013) Vladimir Putin is inching closer to his goal of turning Russia into a major transit route for trade between eastern Asia and Europe by prying open North Korea, a nuclear-capable dictatorship isolated for half a century. Russia last month completed the first land link that North Korea’s […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Vladimir Putin’s news conference following the G20 Summit

File Photo of Russia-Hosted G20 Banners Outdoors Before Yellow and White Facade of Historic-Looking Building

(Kremlin.ru – St Petersburg, September 6, 2013) Vladimir Putin summed up the results of the G20 Summit and answered journalists’ questions. PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Ladies and gentlemen, friends! To start with, I’d like to say that in the five years of its existence the G20 has really become an effective mechanism for elaborating and coordinating common approaches to […]

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Of Russian Tourists, Egyptian Violence, and Fate

Map of Egypt and Environs`

(RIA Novosti – Natalia Antonova, Acting Editor-in-Chief, The Moscow News – August 19, 2013) The news of violence coming out of Egypt is horrifying, and it must be said, unfortunately, that we haven’t seen the end of the horror. So why are Russians continuing to flock to the country for vacation this month? The short answer is economics. Vacation packages […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian Pundits Warn Of Disintegration Of Egypt, Civil War

Map of Egypt and Environs`

(Moscow, August 19, 2013) Egypt is facing the threat of a civil war breaking out and only the Egyptian Army could prevent this from happening, experts think. The disintegration of the country is also likely, experts interviewed by RIA Novosti suggested. (Passage omitted: events of past week) Commenting on the current situation, a doctor of philosophy and a specialist on […]

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From Russia, lessons for Egypt

Map of Egypt and Environs`

(opendemocracy.net – Sam Greene – July 23, 2013) Samuel A. Greene is Senior Lecturer in Russian Politics and Director of the King’s Russia Institute at King’s College London. Can manipulating the democratic process ever play out in the interest of progressive politics? Samuel A. Greene suggests not: we’ve been in this situation before, in post-Soviet Russia, with largely calamitous results. […]

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Confusion and Irritation Reign in Global Politics

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(RIA Novosti – Fyodor Lukyanov, Editor-in-Chief of the Russia in Global Affairs journal, authoritative source of expertise on Russian foreign policy and global developments – July 11, 2013) The events in Egypt have come to represent a colorful culmination of yet another fall-summer season in world politics, the keynotes of which are: on the one hand, the general inability to […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Morsi’s ouster won’t solve Egypt’s problems

Map of Egypt and Environs`

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Grigory Kosach, special to RBTH – July 7, 2013 – Grigory Kosach is a professor at the Russian State University for the Humanities) Russia must play an active role in helping to restore stability in the country. The question of whether Mohamed Morsi’s overthrow will become a blessing or a curse for Egypt […]

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Russia’s opportunity in Egypt

Map of Egypt and Environs`

From: IRASTRAUS@aol.com (Ira Straus) Date: Thu, 4 Jul 2013 12:42:04 -0400 (EDT) Subject: Russia’s opportunity in Egypt Now is the time for Russia to say it was right all along about Egypt. And to play a role in helping consolidate the latest corrective, which brings back a prospect for a moderate regime in that pivotal country. The U.S. has lost […]

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Russian experts predict prolonged military rule for Egypt

Map of Egypt and Environs`

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Oleg Fomichev, special to RBTH – July 4, 2013) Pundits welcome army interference in the stand-off between Morsi and the opposition. Against the background of the political showdown in Egypt and its President Mohamed Morsi’s resignation, RBTH offers a selection of expert opinions from Russian observers on the future of the largest country […]

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Arab Spring has led to chaos rather than democracy – Russian Duma deputy

Alexei Pushkov file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 4, 2013) The ongoing events in Egypt confirm that the so-called Arab Spring has led not to democratic renewal but to chaos, says Russian State Duma international affairs committee head Alexei Pushkov. “The events in Egypt show that there can’t be a quick and gentle transition from an authoritarian regime to political democracy. There can’t be […]

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After Egypt Revolt, Russia Says Justified in Arab Spring Skepticism

Middle East Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – July 5, 2013) As turmoil once again grips Egypt, with the overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi following days of mass protests in Cairo, one high-ranking Russian official has responded smugly: We told you this would happen. “The Arab Spring has only led to chaos in Egypt and a bloody foreign-backed drama […]

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