NEWS RELEASE/TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Lyudmila Alexeyeva

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

(Kremlin.ru – July 20, 2017) [Photos here http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/55105] Vladimir Putin congratulated human rights champion and public activist and Chairwoman of the Moscow Helsinki Group Lyudmila Alexeyeva on her 90th birthday. Before leaving for a trip to Yoshkar-Ola, the President visited Ms Alexeyeva at her home and presented her with a bouquet of flowers and an engraving depicting a view of […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with Government members

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

(Kremlin.ru – July 19, 2017) Vladimir Putin held a meeting with Government members. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon colleagues. Today, we will discuss an issue of great importance for practically every Russian family – how we can use information technology to improve access to medical care and medicines. But first, I would like to ask Mr Manturov to […]

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VIDEO NEWSWATCH: “Is Vladimir Putin’s big collapse coming soon? Author Richard Lourie talks about how Putin’s failure to wean Russia off oil will destroy the nation’s economy” – Salon/ Richard Lourie / Carrie Sheffield

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

(Salon – July 18, 2017 – from: salon.com/2017/07/18/watch-is-vladimir-putins-big-collapse-coming-soon/) “Salon Talks sat down with Richard Lourie to discuss his book, “Putin: His Downfall and Russia’s Coming Crash.” Lourie argues that Vladimir Putin’s Russia will collapse, just as Imperial Russia did in 1917 and the Soviet Union did in 1991. He cites the Russian president’s failure to move the nation’s economy from […]

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Kremlin Still Unable to Come Up with Future for Putin to Run On, Vedomosti Says

Putin at Desk

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 17, 2017) An article in today’s Vedomosti suggesting that the Kremlin has not been able to come up with “an image of the future” which Vladimir Putin can use in the upcoming presidential elections has sparked widespread comment in the Internet that perhaps this means that “Putin doesn’t have a future” […]

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Russia Leading ‘Assault’ on Freedom of Expression – HRW

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 18, 2017) Russian authorities have clamped down on Internet freedoms and introduced “invasive” surveillance” online, under the pretext of fighting extremism, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report published today. The report criticizes Russia for unjustly imprisoning dozens based on their activity online and for introducing new laws that give the government tools […]

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VIDEO NEWSWATCH: “In Russia, opposition grows as fear of the state fades” – PBS Newshour

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

(PBS Newshour – July 15, 2017 – transcript at: pbs.org/newshour/bb/putin-faces-growing-opposition-lead-4th-term/) “While Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to seek a fourth term next year, the country’s largest anti-government movement in recent history continues to grow. For the final installment of NewsHour’s six-part series “Inside Putin’s Russia,” special correspondent Nick Shifrin reports on the movement and one of its main leaders.”

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Visit to Lebedinsky GOK. (excerpts)

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium Gesturing

(Kremlin.ru – July 14, 2017) [Complete transcript here http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/55052] On the eve of Steelworker Day, Vladimir Putin visited the Lebedinsky GOK ore dressing plant that is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and watched the launch of the third sponge iron production shop. The President visited the viewing platform of Lebedinsky GOK, learned about the production process and observed the launch of […]

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Interfax: Distortion of history always used as anti-Russian weapon – Putin

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

GUBKIN, Belgorod region. July 14 (Interfax) – The distortion of history as a way of fighting Russia has been used always, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “As for the distortion of our history – that, as you know, has existed almost always. Throughout our whole history,” Putin said at a meeting with workers at the Lebedinsky GOK iron ore mining […]

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Putin Offers Revisionist Spin on Ivan the Terrible

File Image of Ivan the Terrible Etching, adapted from image at loc.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 17, 2017) Russian President Vladimir Putin voiced support for an alternative version of the history of Ivan the Terrible, last week, in which the first Russian tsar did not kill his son. At a meeting with workers of the Lebedinsky Mining and Processing Company, Putin said the version in which first Russian tsar killed […]

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VIDEO NEWSWATCH: “The deadly risk of standing up to Putin” – PBS Newshour

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

(PBS Newshour – July 13, 2017 – also appeared at pbs.org/newshour/bb/deadly-risk-standing-putin/) “What can happen to you if you oppose the Kremlin? There is a high mortality rate among prominent critics of the Russian government, which some say is emblematic of how President Vladimir Putin runs the country. As part of our week-long series Inside Putin’s Russia, special correspondent Nick Schifrin […]

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Yavlinsky on Nemtsov’s murder trial: we never learned mastermind’s name

Boris Nemtsov file photo

MOSCOW. July 13 (Interfax) – The trial of the killers of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov has left too many questions to say that their punishment is proportionate, Chairman of the Yabloko party’s Federal Political Committee Grigory Yavlinsky said. “There is no trust in either the trial over Boris Nemtsov’s murder or the judgment. Too many doubts and questions remain. […]

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Any Successor of Putin Likely to Be a Dictator Unless Society Gets Organized, Pastukhov Says

Kremlin and River

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 12, 2017) The current attacks on Aleksey Navalny that suggest he will become a dictator if he manages somehow to defeat Vladimir Putin reflect the utopianism of the Russian intelligentsia and its failure to understand that anyone who succeeds the current Kremlin leader is likely to be one as long as […]

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Could Putin Be Ousted the Way Khrushchev Was – and for the Same Reason?

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 11, 2017) Most Russians today associate Nikita Khrushchev with the thaw, de-Stalinization, and the opening of more comfortable five-story apartment blocks; but they did to forget that he was removed from power by his colleagues because he ran the country in a hands on way, intervening in some of the smallest […]

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Why Russian Officials Want to Control the Social Sciences; In authoritarian regimes, the social sciences are the most vulnerable to state interventions

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

(Moscow Times/Kennan Institute – themoscowtimes.com –  wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Irina Olimpieva – July 11, 2017) Irina Olimpieva is a senior researcher at St. Petersburg Center for Independent Social Research On June 23, the Board of Trustees of the European University in St. Petersburg accepted the resignation of the rector, Oleg Kharkhordin. The EUSP is a private Russian university operating as a […]

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VIDEO NEWSWATCH: “Inside Russia’s propaganda machine” – PBS Newshour

Kremlin and River

(PBS Newshour – July 11, 2017 – also appeared at pbs.org/newshour/bb/inside-russias-propaganda-machine/) “For years, the Kremlin and the media it controls have waged a multifaceted information (and disinformation) campaign inside Russia and pointed at its perceived adversaries, including the U.S. As part of our week-long series Inside Putin’s Russia, special correspondent Nick Schifrin and producer Zach Fannin report on the information […]

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NEWSLINK: “EDELSTEIN IN MOSCOW” – Jerusalem Post

Russian State Duma Building file photo

“… Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein made history in Moscow yesterday. For one of the former USSR’s most famous refuseniks – Prisoners of Zion – to address Russia’s parliament 30 years after his release from the Siberian gulag is nothing less than another Russian Revolution vis-a-vis world Jewry. …”

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Russia Caught Between Economic Decline and Potentially Explosive Demographic Change

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 5, 2017) Russia’s economic development ministry says that the country’s GDP growth will be approximately half of one percent lower each year because of projected declines in the number of workers in Russia in the coming decades, a decline that the ministry says must be fought by increasing immigration. But any […]

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Issue of Putin’s nomination as candidate in 2018 presidential elections not yet on Kremlin agenda – Peskov

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

MOSCOW. July 6 (Interfax) – The issue of Vladimir Putin’s nomination as a candidate for the 2018 presidential elections is currently not on the Kremlin agenda, presidential press officer Dmitry Peskov said. “This issue is not on the Kremlin agenda. It just doesn’t exist yet,” Peskov told reporters on Thursday, responding to a question as to whether Putin will run […]

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Putin Likely to Run as Independent in 2018 Election

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 6, 2017) President Vladimir Putin will likely run as an independent candidate in presidential elections next year to capitalize on his widespread public support, news outlet RBC reported, citing three sources close to the Kremlin. Running as an independent would allow Putin to position himself as a candidate for all Russians, taking advantage of […]

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Russian government extends counter-sanctions till end of 2018

EU Map

MOSCOW. July 5 (Interfax) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a resolution extending the ban on imports of certain types of agricultural products, raw materials and food, the governmental website said in a report on Wednesday. “The ban on imports of certain types of agricultural products, raw materials and food originating from the United States, EU member countries, […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin made a lot of promises to Russians on his call-in TV show. Now, he’s delivering.” – Washington Post/David Filipov, Natalya Abbakumova

“… The event, called ‘Direct Line,’ is carefully staged to show that Russia’s head of state, who probably will  seek a new six-year term next March, understands his people — and can solve their problems — better than ­anyone. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Will Russia’s Only Opposition Leader Become the Next Putin?” – New York Times/ Oleg Kashin

File Photo of Oleg Kashin Outdoors with Boat and Water in Background

“In the wake of the impressive street protests in Russian cities on June 12, you may wonder what can be expected next from the Russian opposition. This is one of those rare cases where a political prediction can be guaranteed: There will be no news from the opposition before mid-July. On June 12, Russian authorities sentenced the opposition leader, Aleksei […]

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Kremlin’s Claims about Economic Growth Rest on Three Weak Reeds, Russian Experts Say

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 29, 2017) Independent Russian economists say that claims by Moscow officials concerning the supposed growth in Russia’s GDP do not correspond to reality, Russian experts say. Instead, they reflect some statistical sleight of hand, the low base from which any change is calculated, and even the anomalously cold weather of recent […]

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Russia Sticks to Conservative $40 Oil Forecast for 2018 Budget

Oil Well file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas – June 29, 2017) The Russian government is sticking to its conservative assumptions for oil prices as it drafts the budget for the next three years, relying mainly on domestic borrowing to finance the deficit in order to preserve its rainy-day funds. Oil prices are running above the government’s $40-a-barrel forecast, but growing supply […]

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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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TRANSCRIPT: The President congratulated Foreign Intelligence Service staff and veterans on the 95th anniversary of Russian illegal intelligence

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

(Kremlin.ru – June 28, 2017) Vladimir Putin visited the headquarters of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) to attend a gala event devoted to the 95th anniversary of Russian illegal intelligence. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrade officers, colleagues, I would like to congratulate all current staff and veterans of the Foreign Intelligence Service on the 95th anniversary of Russian illegal […]

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Putin’s Next Spectacle

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

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – June 28, 2017 – also appeared at https://www.rferl.org/a/daily-vertical-transcript-putins-next-spectacle/28583415.html) The Kremlin needs a new distraction. Russia’s rulers need a new story to tell. Vladimir Putin needs a new bright shiny object to wave in front of the Russian people. And if recent experience is any guide, Putin’s next spectacle, the Kremlin’s […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting of the bureau of the Russian Engineering Union and the League for Assisting Defence Enterprises of Russia

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

(Kremlin.ru – June 27, 2017) Vladimir Putin took part in a meeting of the bureau of the Russian Engineering Union and the League for Assisting Defence Enterprises of Russia. During a meeting on the development of machine building and the military industrial complex at the Kalashnikov Concern. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon. It is a pleasure to welcome […]

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Moscow Media Report that West Wants to Dismember Russia Dismissed by Russian Experts

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 26, 2017) On Saturday, a Russian television program featured a claim by an unnamed Russian intelligence officer that NATO viewed the destruction of the USSR as “only the first step” and then planned “to create a Middle Volga Republic” in order to reduce “all of Russia to the size and power […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko. [excerpt re: NGOs]

Valentina Matviyenko file photo

(Kremlin.ru – June 26, 2017) Vladimir Putin held a working meeting with Speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko. Valentina Matviyenko: Mr President, we also organised public hearings on a subject that was long ripe for discussion. We simply gave this discussion a formal framework through these hearings on the inadmissibility of interference in Russia’s internal affairs. We know how […]

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NEWSLINK: “How Putin Seduced Oliver Stone – and Trump” – New York Times/ Masha Gessen

File Photo of Screenshot of Vladimir Putin in Twitter Video of Trailer of Oliver Stone TV Film Regarding Russia

“Watching four hours of Oliver Stone interviewing President Vladimir Putin of Russia is not a lesson in journalism. Mr. Stone is an inept interviewer, and he does not get Mr. Putin to say anything the world hasn’t heard from him before. Watching the interviews for entertainment is a questionable proposition, too: The four-part series contains many dull exchanges and even […]

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Summer 2017 reading on Russia: 5 must-read books for those who seek to understand the country’s past and its present

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

By Pavel Koshkin (pkoshkin.russia.direct@gmail.com). Pavel Koshkin is a contributor for Forbes-Russia magazine and the deputy editor of International Desk at RBC Daily, a Russian independent newspaper. He is the former editor-in-chief of Russia Direct, an English-language analytical media outlet that suspended its activity due to various challenges. With Russia celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Revolution, here are five […]

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Russian Youth aren’t the Revolutionaries the Kremlin Fears or the Opposition Hopes For, Olshansky Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 22, 2017) Given the large number of young people taking part in the March 26 and June 12 demonstrations, many in the Kremlin have expressed concern and many in the opposition have expressed hope that young people now constitute a revolutionary force. But those fears and hopes are misplaced, Dmitry Olshansky […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Government members

Russia Map

(Kremlin.ru – June 22, 2017) Vladimir Putin held a meeting with Government members on measures to protect the rights of people involved in shared-equity construction projects and on defining the legal status of self-employed individuals. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon colleagues. Today, we are here to discuss several issues. I would like to start with several matters that […]

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Putin says stopped learning physics, chemistry to become intelligence officer

Putin at Desk

MOSCOW. June 22 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said he decided to become an intelligence officer back in his school years and even visited the KGB to ask for advice. “I was a student of the Institute of Technology’s chemistry school but developed a different inclination and decided to join the security services. I came to a KGB reception […]

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Putin, Depersonalized: What Does Oliver Stone’s Film Reveal About Russia’s Leader? In “Putin Interview”, the ordinary and casual moments are the most compelling

File Photo of Screenshot of Vladimir Putin in Twitter Video of Trailer of Oliver Stone TV Film Regarding Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Mikhail Fishman – June 21, 2017) American filmmaker Oliver Stone has faced intense criticism since the release of his 4-hour “Putin Interviews” earlier this month. Critics have assailed Stone for giving a platform to the Russian president and asking softball questions. But the controversial film, currently being broadcast on Russian state television, has its intriguing […]

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Rosatom: Climate’s new best friend; As Russia’s economic crisis continues to hit budgets, the country’s state nuclear corporation is going green to raise funds on the international level.

Russian Nuclear Power Plant

(opendemocracy.net – Vladimir Slivyak – June 21, 2017) Vladimir Slivyak is the co-chair of the Russian environmental NGO Ecodefense and has been taking part in UN climate change talks since 1995. The recent St Petersburg International Economic Forum was widely covered by the Russian media, partly because of the eye-catching debates in which president Vladimir Putin himself took part. In […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Civic Chamber members

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

(Kremlin.ru – June 20, 2017) Vladimir Putin met in the Kremlin with members of the 6th Civic Chamber. The Civic Chamber’s new membership was established in a three-stage process. Forty members were approved by the Presidential Executive Order of March 20, 84 were delegated by regional civic chambers, and 43 were selected in a vote from among 403 candidates put […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russians Remain Confident in Putin’s Global Leadership; Majority says Russia has improved its international standing, but views of the economy are mixed and corruption is a concern” – Pew Research Center/ MARGARET VICE

Kremlin and River

“President Vladimir Putin’s handling of foreign affairs gets high ratings from most Russians, in contrast to more tempered views of his economic policies and anti-corruption efforts at home. … Today, however, Putin earns lower marks (63%) than he did two years ago (83%) for his handling of relations with Ukraine. Support for the Russian president has also declined when it […]

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Why Putin Isn’t Laughing at Russia’s Foul-Mouthed YouTube Craze

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Jake Rudnitsky, Ilya Arkhipov, Henry Meyer – June 19, 2017) Nikolai Sobolev’s acute sense of what’s on the minds of his young audience has made his expletive-laced video blog one of Russia’s hottest. But after a steady diet of topics like teen angst, the 23-year-old found an unexpected new issue was taking off this spring: opposition […]

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Russian youths are taking to the streets, but let’s not over-hype the revolt of the “Putin generation” just yet; If we’re going to understand how young people in Russia are becoming more political, we need to ask the right questions before applying our own labels.

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

(opendemocracy.net – Tom Junes – June 20, 2017) [Text with links opendemocracy.net/od-russia/tom-junes/russian-youths-are-taking-to-streets-but-lets-not-over-hype-revolt-of-putin-gene] Tom Junes is a historian and post-doctoral researcher focusing on protest movements in eastern Europe. He is a member of the Human and Social Studies Foundation Sofia and currently a visiting fellow at European University Institute in Florence, Italy. He is the author of Student Politics in Communist […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting on economic issues

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – June 19, 2017) Vladimir Putin held a meeting on economic issues at the Kremlin. Various aspects of national demographic policy were the main items on the agenda. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues, Today, we will have a comprehensive discussion of demographic policy. As you know, for the subject came up during the Direct Line too, […]

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VIDEOS & LINKS: Watch All Four Parts of Oliver Stone’s “The Putin Interviews” [on/from] Vimeo

File Photo of Screenshot of Vladimir Putin in Twitter Video of Trailer of Oliver Stone TV Film Regarding Russia

VIDEOS & LINKS: Watch all four parts of Oliver Stone’s “The Putin Interviews” on Vimeo [links and embedded video below] Transcript: skyhorsepublishing.com/titles/13188-9781510733428-putin-interviews Showtime series site: sho.com/the-putin-interviews#/closed Part One https://vimeo.com/222012543 THE PUTIN INTERVIEWS / OLIVER STONE PART ONE from patrice greanville on Vimeo. Part Two https://vimeo.com/221567261 The Putin Interviews | Part 2 | Oliver Stone & Vladimir Putin from vbulahtin on […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin the Balancer: Containing and Balancing Russia’s Multifarious Forces through Soft Authoritarianism” – Russian and Eurasian Politics/ Gordon M. Hahn

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

“… This suggests that to some extent, not just its policies but the regime itself may be malleable to change depending on the tenor or face (as well as potential threat) it presents to representatives of the ‘sistema’. Remember most observers assume Putin was really the man in charge during Medvedev’s thaw. Liberals, in particular the rather rabid liberal intelligentsia, […]

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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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TRANSCRIPT & VIDEO: Direct Line with Vladimir Putin

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

(Kremlin.ru – June 15, 2017) [Complete video in Russian also at kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54790] The annual special Direct Line with Vladimir Putin was broadcast live by Channel One, Rossiya 1, Rossiya 24 and Russia Today TV channels, and Mayak, Vesti FM and Radio Rossii radio stations. Tatyana Remezova: Good afternoon, we are live. This is Direct Line with Vladimir Putin, a joint […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Answers to journalists’ questions following Direct Line

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

(Kremlin.ru – June 15, 2017) Vladimir Putin answered media questions after Direct Line. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Let us start with our Chinese friends. Question: This past May the heads of state and government of thirty countries adopted a joint communiqué at the first Belt and Road International Economic Forum, which includes a commitment to step up cooperation. Mr […]

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VIDEOS & ARTICLE: After Moscow Protest Crackdown, Kremlin Critics Question Navalny’s Tactics

Alexei Navalny file photo

(©2017 RFE/RL, Inc. Article from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Carl Schreck – June 13, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/navalny-moscow-protest-crackdown-critics-tactics/28546806.html) Russia’s liberal opposition has long been plagued by infighting. And fresh fissures have emerged over chief Kremlin foe Aleksei Navalny’s decision to move an anticorruption protest in Moscow to the city center, where hundreds were detained by police […]

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