RUSSIALINK: “Live Longer, Work Longer, Says Russian Government; But the plan to raise the pension age won’t go down well with most Russians” – Moscow Times

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 18, 2018) A long-shelved plan to raise the pension age risks coming up against a wall of protest, as Russians of all ages cling to their Soviet-era social privileges. Compared to many Western countries, Russians retire early: men at 60 and women at 55. Those who operate heavy machinery or work in difficult conditions […]

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NEWSLINK: “After forging new ties with North Korea, Trump administration turns to Russia” – Washington Post/John Hudson, Greg Jaffe, Seung Min Kim, Josh Dawsey

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“Days after a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the Trump administration is forging ahead with new engagements with another longtime adversary: Russia. … Trump is expected to meet with … Putin next month while he is in Europe for a NATO summit, according to a senior administration official and two diplomats familiar with his schedule. In […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin builds a Presidential Administration fit for stagnation” – bne Intellinews/Mark Galeotti of the Institute of International Relations Prague

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

“[Judging from Presidential Administration personnel decisions, Putin] considers [that] … no change in direction is needed. The Presidential Administration is undoubtedly the most powerful institution in Russia. … [A]s Putin continued … ripping away … autonomy and authority of any bodies which could challenge his hyper-presidential power, he soon was forced to come to terms with the basic reality of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “In World Cup’s Shadow, Layoffs and Anger at Russian Factory” – AP/New York Times

Large Mother Russia Statue Near Volgograd

“[At] Volgograd’s … Red October steelworks … many … were temporarily laid off because of the World Cup. … aggravat[ing] troubles at the struggling factory, prompting angry workers to plan a protest timed for the … World Cup …. Authorities are apparently trying to head off trouble through pressure and promises of cash. Welcome to the daily realities of … […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony; Vladimir Putin took part in the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony at Luzhniki Stadium” – KremlinRu

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

(Kremlin.ru – June 14, 2018) The ceremony was also attended by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, heads of state and government of Abkhazia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Moldova, Panama, Paraguay, Rwanda, South Ossetia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, and Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Bullying the Big Cities: The Kremlin’s New Approach” – Carnegie Moscow/Andrey Pertsev

Russia Regions Map

“The regional unification of record-high presidential election results has closed the Kremlin bureaucrats’ eyes to the diversity of different parts of the country, their elites, and the preferences of their electorates. In this model, regional masters of balance and public politics are extraneous. But the expulsion of old regional barons is risky: the banner of public pushback and local patriotism […]

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Russians Getting Older, Reducing Pressure for and Likelihood of Change, Pryanikov Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 11, 2018) The average age of Russians today is much higher than in the past and will continue to rise in the coming decades, Pavel Pryanikov says; and as a result, the usual source of pressure for change, from members of younger generations, is going to fall, reducing still further the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “No major changes for the presidential administration” – Bear Market Brief E-Mail Newsletter

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

“… seven advisers and aides … lost their roles … leaving Putin’s team … largely intact. … [REMAINING:] Anton Vaino … [as] chief of staff, Sergei Kirienko and Alexei Gromov … [as] first deputies, Magomedsalam Magomedov and Vladimir Ostrovenko … [as] deputies … Dmitry Peskov … [as] press secretary. [CHANGES:] German Klimenko … internet czar, has been relieved of his […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Ministry: Gulag Prison Records Digitized, Not Destroyed” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Soviet Gulag at Manzanar, adapted from image at nps.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 14, 2018) Russia’s Interior Ministry has denied reports that records of Soviet-era gulag labor camp survivors are being destroyed, saying instead that the files are being digitized. The Gulag Museum in Moscow alleged last week that cards with the personal information of former inmates and their release dates were being permanently destroyed under secret […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Authorities begin process of raising retirement age” – Bear Market Brief E-Mail Newsletter

File Photo of Elders Walking in Russia

“… the [Russian] government may submit a draft bill to the Duma to raise the retirement age. … suggest[ing] the strictest variant: 65 years for men, 63 years for women. … likely follow[ing] MinFin’s proposal of increasing the retirement age by one year annually. …  Several key decisions … What to do with those who qualify for early retirement … […]

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Russia’s Oil Sector Is Facing A Massive Tax Overhaul

Oil Well file photo

(Oilprice.com – Irina Slav – June 11, 2018) A major tax overhaul in Russia’s oil industry is about to start pressuring the earnings of major oil companies. Refiners will be hit hardest as the overhaul will increase the tax burden on downstream operations while the upstream sector will see taxes shift from production-based to profit-based. Last week, the Finance and […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin Reappoints Administration, Retaining Kremlin’s Core” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 13, 2018) President Vladimir Putin has reappointed virtually his entire administration in a salvo of decrees, including Chief of Staff Anton Vaino, spokesman Dmitry Peskov and the Kremlin’s one-time “gray cardinal” Vladislav Surkov. Putin was re-elected to his fourth overall term in March on the promise of a broad political “breakthrough,” and Russia’s elevation […]

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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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NEWSLINK: “The World Cup Is Coming To Russia, Which Means Stray Dogs Are Being Slaughtered” – Deadspin/Karim Zidan

File Photo of Dog at Animal Shelter Jumping Up on Person in Winter Clothing, With Beseeching Look

“… The culling of stray animals has even caused a schism within the Russian population. 1.8 million people signed a petition against the killing of stray animals, while protests are being held in several cities. Even notable Russian actors have spoken out against the campaigns. However, while the brutal slaughter of stray animals has been met with significant domestic and […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Russia Day reception” – KremlinRu

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

(Kremlin.ru – June 12, 2018) Following the National Awards ceremony, a reception was held on the Kremlin’s Ivanovskaya Square for the national holiday, Russia Day. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, Greetings on Russia Day! Today we honour our country and we are united in our brightest and warmest feelings for Russia, in our pride in […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin] Video address on the occasion of the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony”

Russia Map

(Kremlin.ru – June 8, 2018) [Russian video: kremlin.ru/events/president/news/57706] President of Russia Vladimir Putin: To all football fans and the greatest football teams on the planet – welcome! Welcome to all who have already arrived in Russia, and to those who are planning to take part in this landmark international event – the FIFA World Cup. It is with immense joy […]

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Russians have Three Serious Misconceptions about 1993 Constitution and Its Implications, Shelin Says

File Photo of Parliament Building Billowing Smoke in 1993

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 6, 2018) Twenty-five years ago this week, Boris Yeltsin convened a constitutional convention in Moscow which produced a draft that was then ratified by referendum after “a small civil war” took place in which Yeltsin crushed “the Khasbulatov parliament,” Sergey Shelin says. Because of that congeries of events, the Rosbalt commentator […]

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No Fireworks As Putin, Officials Read From Same (Dull) Script During Call-In Show

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – June 7, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/no-fireworks-as-putin-officials-read-from-same-(dull)-script-during-call-in-show/29278720.html) The big innovation in this year’s rendition of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Direct Line question-and-answer program turned out to be a dud. In the run-up to the June 7 show, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced that, in contrast to […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Power Vertical: Governors Scramble to Fulfill Putin’s Televised Promises” – Moscow Times

Russia Regions Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 8, 2018) President Vladimir Putin hosted the 16th annual Direct Line call-in show Thursday, taking questions from citizens across the country by phone and video link. This year, the president’s phone-in, which lasted for 4 hours and 20 minutes, no longer featured a live audience and allowed the president to redirect citizens’ questions to […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Direct Line with Vladimir Putin [Transcript Continued]” – 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 7, 2018) [Complete text in Russian and video: kremlin.ru/events/president/news/57692] Andrei Kondrashov: Let’s move to Moscow City now. There are people there who wrote a day or two before Direct Line that they are popular bloggers who have a huge audience of tens of millions of people and that they were collecting questions from their subscribers and could […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Direct Line with Vladimir Putin” – 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 7, 2018) [Complete text in Russian and video: kremlin.ru/events/president/news/57692] The annual special Direct Line with Vladimir Putin was broadcast live by Channel One, Rossiya 1, Rossiya 24 and Public Television of Russia TV channels, and Mayak, Vesti FM and Radio Rossii radio stations. Andrei Kondrashov: Good afternoon. This is Direct Line with Vladimir Putin, a live broadcast […]

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NEWSLINK: “Tomorrow Putin answers Russians’ questions on live TV. Here’s what his performance will tell us” – Washington Post/Christine E. Evans/Susanne Wengle

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

“… Many observers describe these shows as entirely fake, and ‘Direct Line’ is indeed a highly staged and controlled event: Journalists have reported on this year’s preparations and the elaborate rehearsals that those selected to appear undergo. If we look closely at the interactions between Putin and citizens and compare this show with previous ones – this will be the […]

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Three Prospective Reforms Likely to Hurt Putin with His Political Base in the Population

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 3, 2018) Vladimir Putin has the coercive resources and elite support to remain in office regardless of whether the population supports or deserts him, but at least some of his power depends on his ability to mobilize his base which consists of government employees, industrial workers, and especially pensioners. At present, […]

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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: “All RAS institutes to be subordinated to Science Ministry – Golikova” – Interfax

File Photo of Test Tubes with Algae Displaying Different Colors, Part of U.S. Energy-Related Research; from nrel.gov

MOSCOW. June 5 (Interfax) – All institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) formerly subordinated to the Federal Agency for Scientific Organizations (FASO) will now fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said at a meeting of the Academy Presidium on Tuesday. “I’d like to assure you that […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin] Interview with Austrian ORF television channel” – KremlinRu

Vladimir Putin File Photo, Cropped Screenshot from Video at kremlin.ru

(Kremlin.ru – June 4, 2018) [Video of interview in Russian kremlin.ru/events/president/news/57675] Ahead of his visit to Austria, the President of Russia answered questions from Austria’s ORF news presenter Armin Wolf. Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) news presenter Armin Wolf: Mr President, your first foreign visit takes you to Austria. Is this is a kind of incentive for a benevolent policy towards […]

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Reporter’s Notebook: After A ‘Death’ And ‘Resurrection’ In Kyiv, Confusion And A Desire For Answers

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Christopher Miller – KYIV, June 1, 2018 – article also appeared at rferl.org/a/reporters-notebook-after-death-and-resurrection-in-kyiv-confusion-and-desire-for-answers/29266391.html) The news arrived with a soft ping that hit like a ton of bricks: “Arkady was just killed.” Dozens of members of a Facebook Messenger group for journalists in Ukraine and Russia understood at once it […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin] Meeting with Accounts Chamber Chairman Alexei Kudrin; The President met with the new Chairman of the Accounts Chamber Alexei Kudrin” – KremlinRu

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – June 4, 2018) Alexei Kudrin was appointed Chairman of the Accounts Chamber on May 22. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Kudrin, have you started? Chairman of the Accounts Chamber Alexei Kudrin: Yes, I started my duties a week ago. The first week was very busy. We are finishing the audits across the ministries and agencies regarding their […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “[‘Let’s talk about Russia’s next top model – for economic growth …’]” – Bear Market Brief/Weekly Tea with Aaron Schwartzbaum (@aaron_schwa)

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

“Let’s talk about Russia’s next top model … for economic growth …. Two camps have come to the forefront … statists and liberals. … [with] a clearer picture of the government, the question is which camp, if either, won. At first glance, it would look like the liberals at least did comparatively better. Glazyev may leave, Siluanov, a product of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Whatever It Was, We Didn’t Do It” – New York Times Editorial

Kremlin and River

“… Russia’s reaction to all accusations of foul play [has been consistent], whether … [to] well-documented charges by the Netherlands, Australia and other nations that [Russia] was responsible for downing a Malaysian jetliner over Ukraine in 2014, killing 298 … the British accusation that Russia was most likely behind the poisoning of a double agent and his daughter in England […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow City Court upholds Navalny spokesman Yarmysh’s sentence” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. May 31 (Interfax) – The Moscow City Court on Thursday upheld the sentence of Kira Yarmysh, the press secretary of opposition activist Alexei Navalny, to 25 days in jail for violating the rules governing the organization of a protest in central Moscow on May 5, an Interfax correspondent has reported. “The appeal is declined. The decision made by the […]

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NEWSLINK: “How Putin’s Russia Became Mafia Heaven; Inside the long, strange story of organized crime taking over the former Soviet Union-and how Russia tamed it only to unleash it on the West. [re: Mark Galeotti]” – ViceCom/Seth Ferranti

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

“…  Putin is engaged in this kind of political war with the West—he’s effectively trying to weaponize Russian organized crime against the west. We have seen Russian-based organized crime groups being used to kill enemies of his, to gather intelligence, to move spies across boarders, and raise money for Putin by supporting particular groups or media outlets that he likes […]

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Kudrin isn’t Quite the Independent-Minded Liberal Many Think, Pavlova Says

Alexei Kudrin file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 24, 2018) Many have welcomed the appointment of former finance minister Aleksey Kudrin to head the Audit Chamber as the welcome addition to the Russian cabinet of a liberal reformer, but Irina Pavlova argues that this image, one cultivated by the Putin regime itself, does not fully correspond to reality. On […]

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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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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Meet the Ministry of Enlightenment; Reformists and traditionalists are at war over Russian schools; Is teaching a ‘divine calling’ to support the state, or is about preparing students for the future?” – The Economist

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

“… Russia has a strong crop of teachers … [and] a talented and well-educated population. Over 55% of working-age adults have degrees. Student performance in international tests has been rising steadily; Russia now scores around the average for OECD countries. Yet years of under-financing-the government spends just 3.6% of GDP on education – and an archaic curriculum have left the […]

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‘This Is Only The Beginning’: What’s Next For Russia’s Brash (Former) Mayor Of Yekaterinburg?

Yekaterinburg file photo

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Carl Schreck – May 22, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/this-is-only-the-beginning-what-s-next-for-russia-s-brash-(former)-mayor-of-yekaterinburg-/29243624.html) In a political system tightly controlled by the Kremlin, Yevgeny Roizman was an outlier: a brash, independent mayor of a major Russian city who openly criticized President Vladimir Putin and offered support for opposition leader Aleksei Navalny. Now, Roizman […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Political Dispersion: Russia’s New Cabinet” – Carnegie Moscow/Tatyana Stanovaya

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

“The political and administrative dispersion of governance is under way in Russia: regulatory functions are being scattered among government and near-government players, which will inevitably result in the formation of first moderate and then increasingly pronounced polycentricity within the state. Initiative will eventually stop being punishable. …”

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Military: More Bark Than Bite; Russia remains a long way from possessing the ability to overwhelm larger, better equipped peer competitors” – The National Interest/Richard Connolly, Mathieu Boulegue

File Photo of Close-Up of Line of Russian Soldiers in Dress Uniforms for Parade, adapted from image at georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov with credit to Eric Draper

“… on the one hand, senior Russian officials, including the president, are publicly declaring the existence of a range of advanced new weapons systems, while on the other hand, spending plans suggest that the defense burden should decline into the early 2020s. … While official rhetoric in relation to military modernization – and in particular to the development of new […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s finance minister promises no new taxes, but hints at ‘adjustments'” – Meduza

Anton Siluanov file photo

“… Siluanov says Russia has no plans to change its tax system in the next six years, but there will be ‘adjustments.’ … the government is once again considering measures to simplify the tax code, in order to encourage more businesspeople to stop working in the economy’s ‘gray sector’ …. Russian media has repeatedly said the government is discussing major […]

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‘New’ Medvedev Cabinet Shows Russia Becoming an Obscurantist Autocracy, Golts Says

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

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, May 21, 2018) The “new” Medvedev cabinet Vladimir Putin has approved both by its large number of holdovers and by a smaller number of new people represents a significant move toward the establishment of an obscurantist autocracy with few chances of any technological breakthrough, according to Aleksandr Golts. The first “signal” the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian government gets a new programme and people” – bne Intellinews/Ben Aris

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

“… Russia’s petro-driven economic model was already clearly broken in 2013 when GDP growth dropped to zero at a time when oil prices were still over $100 per barrel. … the geopolitical showdown over first the fate of Ukraine and then the tussle in Syria meant that Putin postponed more prosperity as he redirected every spare penny into modernising Russia’s […]

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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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Russians Don’t Want Leaders Who Resemble Intellectuals, Sociologist Says

Kremlin and River

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 20, 2018) Vladimir Putin’s driving a truck across the Kerch Bridge, Aleksey Roshchin says, highlighted both the secret of the Kremlin leader’s popularity and the failure of his opponents to understand that reality, a failure that precludes their ability to cut into his support let alone challenge his leadership. “For the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin Favors Status Quo With New Government Lineup” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 18, 2018) Russian President Vladimir Putin endorsed a new government line-up on Friday at the start of his new term in office, sticking in most cases with the incumbents but elevating two newcomers with ties to the intelligence services. Dmitry Medvedev, whom Putin had already reappointed as prime minister, proposed the new cabinet at […]

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Putin vs. Pensions: Will His Reelection Finally Free Him To Tackle Looming Crisis?

File Photo of Elders Walking in Russia

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – May 16, 2018 – article also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-vs-pensions-will-his-reelection-finally-free-him-to-tackle-looming-crisis-/29229857.html) It’s been the third rail of Russian politics for years, if not decades, but now an increasingly fragile economy appears to have forced the Kremlin to finally reckon with the country’s pension crisis. Russia’s pension system — […]

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Behind the wire: pride and paranoia in one of Russia’s closed towns; Thousands of Russian citizens live in “closed towns.” I visited one of them, Lesnoye, to find out how people live today.

Montage of Radioactivity Symbol and Russian Map with Russian Flag, adapted from images at .gov sites

(opendemocracy.net – Ivan Chesnokov – May 16, 2018) Ivan Chesnokov is a Russian freelance journalist specialising in social issues and conflicts. His work has appeared in Takie Dela, the Moscow Times, RBTH, and other publications, and he is engaged in several multimedia journalism projects. [opendemocracy.net/od-russia/ivan-chesnokov/behind-the-wire] A shabbily dressed older man in a cap with ear flaps, looking like a character […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian Kudrin sets goals following his appointment as head of the Audit Chamber” – Intellinews/Vadim Dumes

Alexei Kudrin file photo

“… Kudrin set out … four main goals following his appointment as … new head of Russia’s Audit Chamber, a state agency …. Russian watchers have been disappointed by Kudrin’s appointment to the … relatively toothless body …. there is a chance that the intention is to beef up the Chamber’s role …. [but the appointment o]n balance … is […]

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