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 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: “What Drives the Russian State; To understand what makes Putin and his allies act the way they do, you need to look beyond the myths” – New York Times/ Alexander Baunov/ Carnegie Moscow

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“Since … Putin came to power … analysis of Russia … has largely focused on two interpretations …. The first argues that Russia is a mafia state in which the main aim of the ruling elite is to steal money at home to conceal and spend abroad. The second states that Mr. Putin is a hostage of his own popularity […]

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RUSSIALINK: “WTO modernization among key issues at G20 summit – Russian Sherpa” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. Nov 22 (Interfax) – The G20 summit will discuss ways to modernize the World Trade Organization (WTO) as one of the key issues at their summit and, hopefully, find a common approach to the matter, Russia’s G20 Sherpa Svetlana Lukash said. “As for trade, the key question of course is: what is going to happen to the main international […]

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NEWSLINK: “Robert Legvold on Russia: Insights and Recommendations” – Russia Matters

Kremlin and River

“This evolving compilation of observations and policy ideas about Russia by Robert Legvold is part of Russia Matters’ ‘Competing Views’ rubric, where we share prominent American thinkers’ takes on Russia, U.S.-Russian relations and Washington’s policies toward its Cold War-era foe. Robert Legvold is one of America’s most authoritative experts on Russia and the international relations of the post-Soviet states. He […]

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How to think about Russia without Putin; “Russia without Putin” is more than a slogan. It’s an analytical claim.

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(opendemocracy.net – Karine Clement – November 20, 2018) Karine Clément is a sociologist and research associate at CERCEC/EHESS (Paris). [opendemocracy.net/od-russia/karine-clement/how-to-think-about-russia-without-putin] A review of Tony Wood, Russia Without Putin: Money, Power and the Myths of the New Cold War (Verso Books). [Amazon: amazon.com/gp/product/1788731247/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1788731247&linkCode=as2&tag=faitcent-20&linkId=ecd69929f1165153c42f42523c2d050c] [Amazon promo: How the West’s obsession with Vladimir Putin prevents it from understanding Russia It is impossible to […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Answers to Russian journalists’ questions; At the end of his three-day state visit to Singapore, Vladimir Putin answered questions from the Russian media” – KremlinRu

File Image of ASEAN Logo, adapted from image at ustr.gov by Steven C. Welsh :: www.stevencwelsh.info :: www.stevencwelsh.com

(Kremlin.ru – November 15, 2018 – en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/59131) Question: Mr President, you have had many meetings during your three-day visit to Singapore. We noticed that the Prime Minister [of India] greeted you very emotionally at the dinner. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: We are friends. This kind of greeting is normal for those who maintain such relations. Question: Out of the […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin] Interview to Russia Today TV Channel” – KremlinRu

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Kremlin.ru – November 11, 2018) During his visit to France to attend commemorative events marking the centenary of Armistice Day, Vladimir Putin answered questions from a Russia Today journalist. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon. Question: Mr President, have you managed to speak with Donald Trump? Is there any progress in your talks? Vladimir Putin: I have not so […]

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Patriarch Kirill’s ‘Fatal Inability to Compromise’ Costing Russia Influence Abroad, ‘Nezavisimaya Gazeta’ Says

Patriarch Kirill file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 21, 2018) The Moscow Patriarchate’s “categorical” unwillingness to reach any compromise with its opponents may make some Russians happy, the editors of Nezavisimaya gazeta say; but its approach under Patriarch Kirill not only violates Christian principles but undermines the possibility of maintaining Russian influence in churches abroad. Kirill and his church […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT & VIDEO: “Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club (transcript continued)” – KremlinRu

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Kremlin.ru – October 18, 2018 – en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/58848 Includes full video with English translation) Fyodor Lukyanov: To use the wind metaphor – let the east wind blow some more. Let us hear from our colleague from Japan. What do you think he will ask, Mr President? Vladimir Putin: I have no idea. Fyodor Lukyanov: Neither do I. Vladimir Putin: Is it […]

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EVENT: November 1, 2018 – Book Launch – “Understanding Russia: The Challenges of Transformation” at The George Washington University, Elliott School of International Affairs

File Photo of George Washington Bust at George Washington University

Subject: Event – November 1, 2018 – Book Launch – Understanding Russia: The Challenges of Transformation Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2018 From: IERES, GW Elliott School <ieresgwu@gwu.edu> Understanding Russia: The Challenges of Transformation [Amazon: amzn.to/ 2S1KHak] This timely book provides a balanced and comprehensive overview of the geographical, historical, political, cultural, and geostrategic factors that drive Russia today. Russia has […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club [Partial Transcript]” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Valdai Club Gathering at Long Tables in Large Hall

(Kremlin.ru – October 18, 2018) [Video with English translation en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/58848] Vladimir Putin took part in the plenary session of the 15th anniversary meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club. The main topic is The World We Will Live In: Stability and Development in the 21st Century. The plenary session moderator is Fyodor Lukyanov, Research Director of the Foundation for Development […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with RT France, Paris Match and Le Figaro” – Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Sergei Lavrov file photo

“Question: Western countries, the media and various organisations, including the World Anti-Doping Agency and the OPCW, have been constantly accusing Russia of meddling in elections and staging cyberattacks. Just recently, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and the Netherlands simultaneously voiced similar accusations and submitted six-month-old information to the media. What is this? Is this part of a planned […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Second Eurasian Women’s Forum” – KremlinRu

Tauride Palace file photo - adapted from image © A.Savin, Wikimedia Commons

(Kremlin.ru – September 20, 2018 – http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/58598) Vladimir Putin attended the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum and addressed its plenary session. The Second Eurasian Women’s Forum is taking place between September 19 and 21 at major convention centres and cultural venues in the historical centre of St Petersburg. The Tavrichesky Palace and the Parliamentary Centre serve as the main venue for […]

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Moscow has Complex System to Run Agents of Influence Abroad, Khmelnitsky Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 26, 2018) As Moscow’s geopolitical isolation has increased, Dmitry Khmelnitsky says, the role of its agents of influence abroad and the enormously variegated organizations that recruit and direct them has increased far beyond what they were during the Cold War when anti-communism served as a constraint. “The Russian network of agents […]

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Russians Increasingly Disenchanted with Putin’s Foreign Policy, New Poll Suggests

Kremlin and River

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 27, 2018) It has long been an axiom of Western analysis that Russians overwhelmingly support Vladimir Putin’s actions abroad and that actions abroad are thus for him a resource he can always make use of and that any slippage in his standing among his population is a result of unhappiness about […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Most Russians praise country’s foreign policy – poll” – Interfax

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

MOSCOW. Aug 27 (Interfax) – More than half of Russians view Russia’s foreign policy as successful, and about one in five respondents see Moscow’s line on Syria as the main success of this foreign policy, the Public Opinion Foundation found after polling 1,500 respondents aged 18 years and older. As many as 52% of Russians are sure that Moscow’s foreign […]

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Russian Power Under Putin: Up and Down and Flatline

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Andrew Kuchins – August 22, 2018 – russiamatters.org/analysis/russian-power-under-putin-and-down-and-flatline) Andrew Kuchins is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies, Georgetown University. This op-ed is part of a new debate from Russia Matters and is written in response to “Measuring National Power: Is Vladimir Putin’s Russia in Decline?” by Simon Saradzhyan and Nabi Abdullaev. […]

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Most Russians Believe There is a Worldwide Conspiracy against Their Country, VTsIOM Says

Satellite Image of Earth in Style of Mercator Map, adapted from image at nasa.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 20, 2018) Two out of every three Russians (66 percent) say that there exists a group of people abroad and at home who are seeking to rewrite Russian history, replace its traditional values, and undermine its greatness, according to the results of a new VTsIOM survey. Only 26 percent say that […]

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When Does Vladimir Putin’s Russia Send In Troops?

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Simon Saradzhyan – August 7, 2018) Simon Saradzhyan is the founding director of the Russia Matters Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. [Text with links and chart russiamatters.org/analysis/when-does-vladimir-putins-russia-send-troops] This month marks the tenth anniversary of Vladimir Putin’s first military intervention abroad, in Georgia. Since then there have been two […]

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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] 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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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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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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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Meeting of ambassadors and permanent representatives of Russia” – KremlinRu

foreign-ministry-200

(Kremlin.ru – July 19, 2018) Vladimir Putin took part in a meeting of ambassadors and permanent representatives of Russia at international organisations and associations, where he outlined the main goals of Russian diplomacy. Meetings of ambassadors and permanent representatives of Russia are held biannually. Invitations are issued to the leaders of the Government and both houses of the Federal Assembly, […]

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NEWSLINK: “This Is How Vladimir Putin Manufactures Conflict Between Nations” – Observer/John R. Schindler

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

“… The casual manner with which Kremlin spies ruthlessly exploit others for their own ends is not a nice story, given that their methods embrace violence and life-ruining measures as nonchalantly as Westerners order a cup of coffee. The cornerstone of the Chekist worldview is provocation, what the Russians call provokatsiya. It’s not new, indeed it was honed into a […]

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NEWSLINK: “Semi-state Security Actors and Russian Aggression” – Lawfareblog/Kimberly Marten

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

“… missing from much of the discussion is the fact that a variety of semi-state security groups, with a hazy relationship to Moscow’s central authorities, are playing an increasing role in Russian actions both at home and abroad. The United States and other Western states must develop a better understanding of the complex motives and economic interests held by these […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin Says World Cup Has Broken Stereotypes About Russia” – Reuters

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

“… Russia’s host nation status had been met with resistance by some in the West … suggest[ing] the tournament could be unsafe and play into the hands of Putin … accused by Washington of conducting ‘malign activities’ around the world. … the month-long tournament … has so far been without major security incidents. Concerns about racism and hooligan violence … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The real World Cup losers: The Russian people” – Washington Post/Frank A. Guridy, Tinatin Japaridze

Men Sitting Around Long Oval Boardroom Table, File Photo of FIFA Officials Meeting with Vladmir Putin

“… Putin’s bet that the World Cup will produce a win for his government is a big gamble. The global political climate of 2018 is very different than the environment that existed when Russia was awarded the World Cup eight years ago, or even four years ago when Russia invaded Ukraine and annexed the Crimean Peninsula after hosting the 2014 […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Moscow’s Bread and Circus” – Kennan Institute/Maxim Trudolyubov

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

“…. Increasing taxes, raising the retirement age, even starting another war because Russia is doing so well in soccer are the recurring jokes on Moscow’s streets. People compete in creativity in trying to imagine what else the government can do to them while everyone is distracted by the World Cup. One of the jokes is that Putin will now present […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Foreign Minister S.Lavrov’s interview with Channel 4 (UK), Moscow, June 29, 2018” – Russia in Global Affairs

Sergei Lavrov file photo

“… Question: Foreign Minister, the summit is happening in Helsinki. Russian President V.Putin and US President D.Trump together. Is this the post-West world order that you have talked of in the past? Has it now arrived? …”

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The World Cup in Russia: A Boon for Public Diplomacy; As Richard Arnold explains, hosting the FIFA World Cup has been a PR coup for Russia, mostly living up to official expectations (though with some caveats), and, at least so far, a popular success.

File Image of Soccer Ball, Field, Stadium with Lights, adapted from image at fbi.gov

(PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – Richard Arnold – June 26, 2018) Richard Arnold is Associate Professor of Political Science at Muskingum University, where he teaches courses in comparative politics and international relations, including courses on Russian politics and the politics of sport. He is the author of Russian Nationalism and Ethnic Violence: Symbolic Violence, Lynching, Pogrom, and Massacre (2016, Routledge) […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Is Vladimir Putin’s Russia in decline? We figured out how to measure ‘national power.'” – Washington Post/Simon Saradzhyan, Nabi Abdullaev

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

“… Overall, here’s what we found. The claims of Russia’s imminent demise seem unfounded – all but one model showed that Russia’s power vis-a-vis the world as a whole has grown in the 21st century. And all our models showed that Russia’s power has risen vis-a-vis Western nations.  In absolute terms, all four methods showed Russia’s power to be less […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Vladimir Putin answered questions from journalists; After the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit, Vladimir Putin met with Russian journalists” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Putin Sitting at Desk, Looking Down, Writing, During Call-In Show, adapted from screenshot of video at kremlin.ru

(Kremlin.ru – June 10, 2018) President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, welcome everyone. I suggest we immediately get down to your questions without any statements from me because President of China, Mr Xi Jinping has just reported at the news conference on the progress and the results of our work today. So, please, if there are any specific questions […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow prefers G20 to G8, has not asked to return – minister” – Interfax

File Photo of G7 Leaders and other Officials Around Round Table at the Hague, with Flags

(Interfax – June 9, 2018) Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said Russia has never asked to be readmitted to the G8, and considers the G20 group a more promising format for the future, Interfax news agency reported on 9 June. “We’ve never asked to come back,” Lavrov said on Russia’s state-owned Channel One TV, the report said, noting that […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s Success Masks Russian Weakness” – Wall Street Journal/Walter Russell Mead

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

“Despite … Putin’s successes, Russia remains weak, and its leverage over other nations is limited. China can woo its neighbors with multibillion-dollar projects like its ‘One Belt, One Road’ trade initiative. Russia has much less to offer: If China is a tiger, Russia is a pussycat on stilts. … Putin can obstruct Germany’s faltering European project, but he lacks the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian govt proposes barring foreign-agent NGOs from anti-corruption examinations – bill” – Interfax

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. May 29 (Interfax) – The Russian government has proposed a number of measures to bar foreign-agent NGOs and certain categories of Russian citizens from participating in anti-corruption examinations; a relevant bill was submitted to the State Duma on Tuesday. The bill, which has been published in the State Duma’s database, “would prohibit citizens with outstanding or unexpunged convictions or […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “St. Petersburg International Economic Forum plenary session; Vladimir Putin spoke at the plenary session of the 22nd St Petersburg International Economic Forum [Excerpts]” – KremlinRu

File Photo of St. Petersburg Economy Forum Outdoor Banners and Building Facade

(Kremlin.ru – May 25, 2018 – http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/57556) Foreign heads of state and government, heads of major Russian and international companies and banks, leading experts and politicians from around the world were invited to the forum. Honorary SPIEF guests include French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe. The plenary session participants also include IMF Managing Director Christine […]

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RUSSIALINK: “About half of Russians confident Russia has status of great power – poll” – Interfax

Russian Soldiers Marching

MOSCOW. May 21 (Interfax) – About half of Russian citizens are confident that Russia maintains the status of a great power; about a quarter of those polled identified the army as one of the key factors of power, while 17% of respondents named the president’s activities, according to the Russian Public Opinion Research Center’s (VCIOM) poll, the results of which […]

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NEWSLINK: “Vladimir Putin starts new term with call to modernise Russia; President says Moscow will address domestic reforms while upholding global interests” – Financial Times/Kathrin Hille

Kremlin and River

“… Putin said that while Russia would continue to uphold its interests on the international stage, his priority now lay in internal development. …”

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“The World has Stopped Loving or Even Respecting Russia and Putin,” Shevtsova Says

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 3, 2018) Polls show that countries around the world not only have stopped loving or even respecting Russia and Putin but are increasingly ill-disposed to both, Liliya Shevtsova says, a trend that limits Russia’s options however much some in Moscow think they can ignore the attitudes of others or can compel them […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Putin launches another term as Russia’s president. It might even be his last.” – Washington Post/Anton Troianovski, Amie Ferris-Rotman

Putin Descending a Staircase

“… Putin, already the longest serving leader of Russia since Stalin, launched a fourth presidential term on Monday in which he has promised to improve Russian lives at home while showing no sign of backing down in his confrontation with the West ….” Click here for: “Putin launches another term as Russia’s president. It might even be his last.” – […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Measuring National Power: Is Vladimir Putin’s Russia in Decline?” – Russia Matters/Simon Saradzhyan, Nabi Abdullaev

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

“As Vladimir Putin embarks on another six-year term as Russia’s president, Western pundits and policymakers are left wondering whether his reelection means that Moscow’s muscular policies toward America and other Western powers will continue or even escalate. But what is the reality of Russian power in the Putin era? Is Russia a rising, declining or stagnating power? How does its […]

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Notion of a Special Russian Path ‘Irresponsible and Dangerous,’ Liberal Authors Warn in New Book

Kremlin and River

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 29, 2018) Four leading Russian liberals, Aleksandr Obolensky, Dmitry Travin, Gennady Aksyonov, and Viktor Sheynis, warn in a new book that the Kremlin’s promotion of an idea that Russia has “a special path” is an ‘irresponsible and dangerous” dead end that has no basis in reality. The new book, ‘A Special […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Countering a Kleptocratic Kremlin; We must remember that predatory authoritarianism is not stamped into the Russian DNA” – The American Interest/Larry Diamond

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

“With every passing week we have new evidence of the threat that Vladimir Putin’s kleptocracy poses to our democracy, our national security, and the entire liberal world order. Putin’s regime – something akin to an organized crime ring masquerading as a state – has looted the wealth of Russia, subjugated its people, attacked neighboring former republics of the USSR, annexed […]

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NEWSWATCH: “How Russia’s Economic Recession Benefits Moscow Politically in its ‘Near Abroad’ [Excerpt]” – PONARS Eurasia/Mariya Omelicheva

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Mariya Y. Omelicheva is Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Kansas. “Over the short run, Russia’s acrimonious relations with the West are serving the Kremlin’s broader effort of heightening its influence in its ‘near abroad.’ In 2014, Russia was hit by a triple whammy of low oil prices, Western sanctions, and Moscow’s counter-sanctions. During the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “What to Expect From Putin and a Resurgent Russia” – AP

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

“… [Putin’s] domestic opponents are largely resigned to another six years in the shadows. …. Even widespread voting violations are unlikely to dent Putin’s armor. … accusations that he meddled in the U.S. election and sponsored a nerve agent attack in Britain have only bolstered his standing at home. Here’s a look at what to expect … NEW COLD WAR? … SYRIA […]

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