JRL NEWSWATCH: “Fred Weir on New York Times’ ‘Operation Infection'” – facebook.com/fred.weir

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

(Fred Weir (Christian Science Monitor) – Facebook – facebook.com/fred.weir – November 13, 2018) “This is pretty lurid stuff, very much a prime specimen of the information genre it is denouncing. Odd to find it in the New York Times; even during the Cold War it was left to less reputable platforms to hawk this kind of hyperventilating, conspiracy-laden polemic. For […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. midterms make Putin’s rocky road to Trump even rockier” – Christian Science Monitor/Fred Weir

“Americans weren’t the only ones closely watching U.S. midterm results. Much of the world was too, including Russia. A Democratic House will complicate Vladimir Putin’s efforts to cut deals with President Trump.” “A lot has changed since [Trump and Putin] last met in Helsinki in July – and not in Russia’s favor, according to much of Russia’s foreign policy community. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia clashes with Western oil buyers over new deals as sanctions loom” – Reuters

Oil Well file photo

“Russian energy majors are putting pressure on Western oil buyers to use euros instead of dollars for payments and introducing penalty clauses in contracts as Moscow seeks protection against possible new U.S. sanctions. … Western oil majors and trading houses have clashed with Russia’s third and fourth biggest producers, Gazprom Neft and Surgutneftegaz, over 2019 oil sales contract terms during […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Challenges U.S. in Hosting Taliban at Afghan Talks” – Bloomberg/Henry Meyer, Eltaf Najafizada

File Photo of U.S. NATO Troops Atop Ridge in Afghanistan

“Russia is challenging the U.S. by hosting the Taliban at a Moscow peace conference in the latest source of friction …. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who pressed Russia to cancel a similar meeting in September, sent four senior members of his nation’s High Peace Council … * * * Russia, which backs Taliban demands for a pullout of American forces, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The tenth city: Rostov-on-Don; We move to Russia in our series on Europe’s second-tier cities; Ancient trading traditions have survived Bolshevism and war” – The Economist

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“… [Rostov-on-Don has] roots as a trading hub …. Russia’s gdp growth is slow at around 1.5% … [yet] the Rostov region is … at twice that … powered by booming farming, retooled manufacturing and an active citizenry. … [G]eography, tradition and mild weather make[] Rostov among Russia’s most entrepreneurial cities. … [where] 44% of the workforce is employed in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Reaches Out to Afghan Leaders for Taliban Talks, Angering Kabul” – Reuters

Afghanistan Map of Ethnicities

“Russia has quietly invited a group of senior Afghan politicians to talks with the Taliban in Moscow, bypassing President Ashraf Ghani’s government in a move that has angered officials in Kabul who say it could muddle the U.S.-backed peace process. … confirmed … by six of the eight leaders, who include former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, or their aides, and […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. overtakes Russia to become the world’s biggest oil producer” – bne Intellinews

Offshore Oil Rig file photo

“The U.S. overtook Russia to become the world’s biggest producer of oil in August …. Russia has been the biggest single producer of oil in terms of barrels produced a day for several years, but the shale oil revolution in the U.S. has seen production there skyrocket …. As average oil prices rose to over $65 in the first quarter […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Trump’s plans to scrap a nuclear pact with Russia could heighten tensions in Asia” – CNBC/Nyshka Chandran

File Photo of Nuclear Weapon, B61 Gravity Bomb

“If the U.S. exits the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia, Washington will be free to develop and install weapons on its military bases around Asia. That’s unlikely to sit well with China, who may look to compete with the U.S. Any reaction from China to U.S. provocation, however, could spill over into India and Pakistan.” “Washington’s plans to withdraw […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “NATO Dusts Off a Cold War Skill: Moving Troops; Alliance is holding its biggest military exercise in decades, testing its ability to transport soldiers and equipment by road, rail and water” – Wall Street Journal/ Daniel Michaels

U.S. Army Tanks in Transport Arriving in Germany, adapted from army.mil

“… NATO’s largest exercise since the Cold War. … [involves] 50,000 troops …. [m]oving forces from 30 countries to Norway for … Trident Juncture …. [T]en thousand vehicles, 250 aircraft and 65 ships were dispatched …. * * * NATO and the [EU] … [have] agreed to deepen cooperation … including [with] mobility. The EU … spends billions … annually […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘Crimea’s Columbine’: Massacre Draws Comparisons to U.S. Shootings; Death toll from college attack rises to 20, as authorities try to determine the attacker’s motive” – Wall Street Journal/ Ann M. Simmons

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“… Authorities said 18-year-old student Vladislav Roslyakov detonated explosives and opened fire Wednesday at [Crimea’s] Kerch Polytechnic College before taking his own life. Initially thought to be a terrorist attack, the massacre was later classified by officials as mass murder. … Kerch is a city in the east of Crimea, a Black Sea peninsula … annexed by Russia from Ukraine […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Inflation Stalking Russia Adds to ‘Hopelessness’ Among Consumers” – Bloomberg/ Anna Andrianova, Evgenia Pismennaya, Zoya Shilova

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“The mood among Russian consumers is souring just as inflation increasingly eats into their purchasing power. Faster price growth and an unsteady ruble are hurting household finances, contributing last quarter to the biggest plunge in consumer confidence since 2015. … mirror[ing] a broader loss of momentum in the economy … slow to rebound despite higher oil prices. … Fed up […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Entrepreneurs of political violence: the varied interests and strategies of the far-right in Ukraine; For Ukraine’s far right, violence has become a source of influence and power [Excerpt]” – OpenDemocracy/ Denys Gorach

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(opendemocracy.net – Denys Gorach – October 16, 2018) Denys Gorbach is a leftist activist and researcher working on the Ukrainian labour movement. [Full text: opendemocracy.net/od-russia/denys-gorbach/entrepreneurs-of-political-violence-ukraine-far-right] “The recent wave of anti-Roma pogroms in Ukraine has spawned a new series of texts on right-wing violence. However, a significant part of this literature still mostly relies on discourse analysis, which cannot fully explain […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Sanctions Unlikely to Pass Congress Before November” – Bloomberg/ Arit John, Anna Edgerton, Natasha Doff (Sept. 27, 2018)

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

“… Congress is unlikely to pass any new sanctions on Russia, including proposals that would affect its sovereign debt and energy projects, until after … November elections. The House is likely to go on recess … and not return until after Nov. 6 balloting, according to a Republican aide and a lawmaker. No bills on sanctions against Russia are scheduled […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Regional Elections Rundown” – Bear Market Brief (Sept. 28, 2018)

Russia Regions Map

“Moscow’s political control over regional governments is slipping, opening the door for local elites to gain greater control …. [including] greater de facto control over natural resources, creating opportunities for external investment but … increasing corruption risks …. [T]rend[s] [are] rooted in a sustained decline in living standards … also prompt[ing] unprecedented protest activity and a more confrontational … ‘systemic’ […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S., Russia Clash at U.N. as Lavrov Calls for Easing of North Korea Sanctions” – Wall Street Journal/ Jessica Donati (Sept. 28, 2018)

File Photo of UN Building with Flags

“The Trump administration worked to move ahead on its top diplomatic priority – the denuclearization of North Korea – but ran head-on into opposition to its plans from Russia, which called for the easing of United Nations sanctions against Pyongyang. The proposal by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the U.N. Security Council ran directly counter to the U.S. demand […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s pension reform still seen as unjust, but less willing to protest” – bne Intellinews [Sept. 27, 2018]

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“The number of Russians willing to protest … unpopular pension reform and the hiking of the retirement age has dropped … from 53% in September to 35% in August, according to [the] Levada Center …. confirm[ing] previous reports that … Putin scaling back the reform managed to calm the masses. … [But] downplaying and squeezing the reform, despite popular discontent, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Is Putinism the Russian Norm or an Aberration?” – Current History/ Michael McFaul

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

“Policies chosen by Putin, not innate forces of history, culture, or tradition, pushed Russia in a more autocratic direction  . . .” “… Putin has ruled Russia for so long that it’s hard to imagine Russia without him. He has been Russia’s central decision maker as president or prime minister for nearly two decades, with six more years left in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Via arms and trade, Russia plots long-term Syrian future” – AP

Syria Map

“… A longtime client of Russian weapons manufacturers since well before the war, Syria also was a reliable trading partner. And Moscow is furthering that relationship by rebuilding roads, pipes and skyscrapers wiped out by seven years of war – including destruction wrought by Russia’s own weapons. … Russian companies are seeking a diverse trade base, with food, farming and […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “In breakaway Ukraine, those who live by the sword are dying by it; Could an anonymous cull of Donbass’ violently charismatic separatists precede a peaceful solution?” – Asia Times/ Giovanni Pigni

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“Yet another leader in Ukraine’s breakaway Donbass region has met a kinetic end: … leader of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, Aleksandr Zakharchenko … assassinated by … outdoor bomb blast on August 31. Reaction to his death was predictably mixed. Thousands of supporters gathered in [Donetsk] streets … to honor [his] memory …. [while] in Kiev, Ukrainian nationalists celebrated the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia to Supply Syria With Air-Defense System, Raising Tensions With Israel; The delivery of the S-300 raises the risks of escalation with Israel in a complex ground-and-air conflict involving multiple countries” – Wall Street Journal/James Marson/ Felicia Schwartz

Syria Map

“… [Russia] plans to send a powerful air-defense system to Syria, escalating tensions with Israel following the downing of a Russian war plane last week that the Kremlin has blamed on Israeli forces.  Syrian air defense systems shot down the Russian reconnaissance plane, killing 15 service members on board, as they defended against Israeli military jets that were attacking Iranian […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s war is transforming Ukraine” – Washington Post/Anne Applebaum

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“… [I]ntegration of … Donetsk refugees into schools and communities in the central and western parts of the country is … part of a broader story: the integration of the war into the consciousness of Ukrainians. … the Russian-Ukrainian war continues. One of the Russian-backed separatist leaders was killed in a bomb attack in August. Skirmishes take place most days, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Oil Production Jumps to a New Post-Soviet Record” – Bloomberg/Elena Mazneva

Oil Well file photo

“Russia’s crude production has jumped to a new post-Soviet record, boosting … budget revenue as it prepares for talks with OPEC+ on further cooperation, according to a [Russian] government official. … currently fluctuating between 1.54 million and 1.55 million tons a day — driven mainly … Rosneft … 11.29 million to 11.36 million barrels a day, beating the previous record […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia is throwing out suspicious gubernatorial election results in Primorsky Krai” – Meduza

Russia Regions Map

“Russia’s Central Election Commission is urging regional election officials in the Primorsky Krai to invalidate the results of last Sunday’s runoff gubernatorial election. Commissioner Ella Pamfilova justified the recommendation on the grounds that it is impossible to determine the race’s outcome reliably because of significant violations at multiple polling stations. … the commission’s ‘recommendation’ is more like a direct order, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Air Has Seeped Out of the Russia/Collusion Balloon” – Washington Examiner/Michael Barone

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“‘I did not, and of course I looked for it, looked for it hard.’ That was Bob Woodward … replying to … Hugh Hewitt’s question, ‘Did you, Bob Woodward, hear anything in your research, in your interviews, that sounded like espionage or collusion?’…. [And] none of Mueller’s indictments and guilty pleas point toward confirmation …. [I]t appears that, beyond a […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “World Anti-Doping Agency Reinstates Russia” – AP

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

“[WADA] reinstated Russia on Thursday despite a wave of protests, ending the nearly three-year suspension of the country’s drug-testing program because of a state-sponsored doping scheme. WADA’s decision after a vote of its 12-member executive committee was called ‘the greatest treachery against clean athletes in Olympic history’ by the lawyer of the whistleblower who helped uncover Russia’s cheating. WADA decided […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Former Bush adviser has three steps to rebuild U.S.-Russia relationship” – CBS News

File Photo of Stephen Hadley At Table Leaning Forward, with USAID Logo Partially Obscured in Background, adapted from image at usaid.gov by Steven C. Welsh :: www.stevencwelsh.com :: www.stevencwelsh.info

“… according to Stephen Hadley, former national security adviser to … George W. Bush … three crucial factors need to be addressed before rebuilding the [U.S.-Russian] relationship can begin. … [1] ‘One, we get through our election in November and it is clear that the Russians have not tried to manipulate that election in 2018 the way they did in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Blames Israel for Loss of Plane Shot Down by Syria Air Defenses; Moscow said it reserved the right to ‘respond adequately’ to the loss” – Wall Street Journal/Thomas Grove and Felicia Schwartz

Syria Map

“… the Russian Defense Ministry said [a] Soviet-designed Ilyushin-20 was brought down by Syria’s S-200 air defense systems as Damascus tried to defend against strikes by four Israeli F-16s on government targets. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu spoke to his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman after the plane was downed and warned that Moscow ‘reserved the right to take steps to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia-China trade turnover up 25.7% in January-August 2018” – bne Intellinews

Asia Map

“… The two countries set a target to hit $100bn of trade turnover a few years ago …. if trade continues to expand at the same pace as over the first eight months of this year trade turnover should top $100bn by the end of this year. … The EU remains Russia’s biggest trading partner with a turnover of €231bn […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Woodward: No Evidence Of Trump-Russia Collusion, I Searched For Two Years” -RealClearPolitics/ Ian Schwartz

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… Bob Woodward said that in his two years of investigating for his new book, ‘Fear,’ he found no evidence of collusion or espionage between Trump and Russia. Woodward said he looked for it ‘hard’ and yet turned up nothing. ‘…. Did you, Bob Woodward, hear anything in your research in your interviews that sounded like espionage or collusion?’ Hugh […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Communists Say Election Stolen by Pro-Putin Candidate” – Reuters

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

“… With 95 percent of votes counted on Sunday night, Kremlin-backed United Russia incumbent Andrei Tarasenko was trailing his Communist rival by around 5 percent. But on Monday, the local election commission said Tarasenko had won by just over 1 percent, an unlikely turnaround that the Communists said was evidence of rigging. The scandal is awkward for Putin, who met […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “IMF Executive Board Concludes 2018 Article IV Consultation with the Russian Federation”

File Photo of IMF Acronym on Wall Below Row of Circular Lights, adapted from image at state.gov by Steven C. Welsh :: www.stevencwelsh.com :: www.stevencwelsh.info

(International Monetary Fund (IMF) – Sept. 12, 2018) IMF Executive Board Concludes 2018 Article IV Consultation with the Russian Federation [Full staff report: imf.org/en/Publications/CR/Issues/2018/09/12/Russian-Federation-2018-Article-IV-Consultation-Press-Release-Staff-Report-46226] [Vedomosti: IMF supports Russia’s pension reforms. МВФ поддержал повышение пенсионного возраста в России vedomosti.ru/economics/news/2018/09/13/780763-mvf ] “… parametric pension reform, including raising the statutory retirement age and limiting early retirement, remains critical for intergenerational equity …. While […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘Serious’ rivalry still drives China-Russia relations despite improving ties” – CNBC/Nyshka Chandran

Asia Map

“The strategic partnership between China and Russia, long marred by mutual suspicion, has risen to new heights with recent news of joint projects of more than $100 billion and large-scale army drills. But such cooperation belies the rivalry that defines the relationship between Chinese President Xi Jinping and … Putin …. Beijing’s economic and commercial activities in Moscow’s backyard – […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Once again, Putin gives us a lesson on the usefulness of the blatant lie” – Washington Post/Anne Applebaum

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“They were, they declared, just tourists. Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov – identified … as … Russian intelligence agents who poisoned four people in … Salisbury – were simply on vacation …. This type of tactic has a history. … [During] the invasion of Crimea … Putin insisted … Russian troops marching across the peninsula were locals who … picked […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: [Re: Maria Butina] – Fred Weir via facebook

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia file photo, adapted from image at dc.uscourts.gov

(Fred Weir [Christian Science Monitor] – Facebook – September 10, 2018) [Re: Maria Butina] [embedded live feed of tweet should load below; text also repasted further down, in case loading is delayed] OK, let’s leave the now-discredited sex thing aside, and just ponder this point. Suppose a foreigner — let’s say it’s me? — gets arrested in Russia and accused […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Fury Over Pension Changes Hurts Putin Allies in Russian Regional Elections” – Reuters

Russia Regions Map

“Russia’s ruling United Russia Party suffered a rare setback in regional elections despite winning most of the seats, a reversal its leaders and election chiefs blamed on unpopular plans to raise the pension age. … [R]esults in weekend voting for heads of about one third of Russia’s regions were the worst for United Russia … since elections for regional leaders […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Levada poll: Russians’ worries close to home” – Bear Market Brief/BMD Russia

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“… [poll numbers indicate that] Russians are concerned about rising prices (72%), poverty (52%), and unemployment (48%). … the highest August figures since 2013. … a Bank of Russia survey finds … ordinary Russians are expecting higher inflation …. lean years have rendered adventures abroad relatively less important to Russians. … inflationary expectations raise the specter of a key rate […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “A Spy Story: Sergei Skripal Was a Little Fish. He Had a Big Enemy” – New York Times/Michael Schwirtz, Ellen Barry

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

“Sergei V. Skripal was a little fish. … But … Skripal was significant [to] … Putin, an intelligence officer of the same age and training. … When [the intelligence war between the USSR and the West] was suspended, both struggled to adapt. … While … Skripal was trying to reinvent himself, … Putin and his allies, former intelligence officers, were […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Fury Over Pension Age Hike Clouds Moscow Mayoral Election” – Reuters

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

“Polls show … [that Sergei Sobyanin] will comfortably be re-elected Moscow’s mayor on Sunday, but public anger over planned increases to the nationwide pension age means many voters may stay away, tarnishing his win. … [in] the first test at the ballot box for the authorities since Putin, whose popularity has tumbled by around 15 percent due to anger over […]

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Senate Testimony of Ambassador Michael McFaul;Outside Perspectives on Russian Sanctions: Current Effectiveness and Potential for Next Steps [Excerpt]

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

Testimony of Ambassador Michael McFaul [Excerpt] Director, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Professor of Political Science, and Hoover Institution Senior Fellow at Stanford University U.S. Senate Committee on Banking Outside Perspectives on Russian Sanctions: Current Effectiveness and Potential for Next Steps September 6, 2018 [PDF Full text here: https://www.banking.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/McFaul%20Testimony%209-6-18.pdf] In the last several years, the Russian government has taken […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Wages in Russia’s regions are well behind the national average” – bne Intellinews/Ben Aris

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“Wages are starting to grow again …. However … the recovery is clearly very mixed.  … mega-cities … Moscow and St Petersburg … had incomes … 51% and 117% more than the average national wage of RUB42,640 ($625) per month … according to Rosstat … [but] two-thirds of Russian regions have incomes well below that level. In general the poorest […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Offers a Carrot to Embattled Syrian Rebels; Moscow is trying to wind down a war that has cost it billions, promising some groups an end to violence in exchange for loyalty to Assad” – Wall Street Journal/Thomas Grove

Syria Map

“More than 2,000 rebels who had been fighting the Syrian army abandoned their positions … and surrendered … heavy weaponry to Russian officers in July … as [Russia] tries to wind down a brutal military campaign that has cost Russia billions and [Russia] courts donors to help reconstruct[ion]. … Russia’s bombing raids turned … the war in favor of … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “At Asia’s heart, Lake Baikal stirs Russians to protect nature” – Christian Science Monitor/Fred Weir

Lake Baikal and Environs Satellite Photo

“… [Lake Baikal] is the only natural feature in Russia … [with] its own law … which bans many types of industry, including mining, and chemical-based farming in a buffer zone around the lake that includes most of Buryatia. … that makes Baikal a double-edged sword for the economically stagnant republic. The region’s beauty and largely untapped resources give it […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “What Bruce Ohr Told Congress; He warned the FBI that Steele had credibility problems. The bureau forged ahead anyhow.” – Wall Street Journal/Kimberley A. Strassel

Department of Justice Headquarters Building file photo, adapted from image at justice.gov

“… Justice Department lawyer Bruce Ohr … [on] Tuesday confirm[ed] for Congress its worst suspicions about … [FBI] abuse of its surveillance and sourcing rules. … Over the past year, congressional investigators found out that … Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS, the opposition-research firm that gave its infamous dossier, funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign, to the FBI. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why China and Russia are obsessed with vast new war games” – Reuters/Peter Apps

Asia Map

“… Chinese troops will join their Russian counterparts for Moscow’s largest military exercises in more than three decades. … six months after Beijing’s biggest ever offshore naval drills, the joint war games are another reminder of how central military posturing now is to the world’s two most powerful authoritarian states. … neither likely desires or expects war with the United […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “A thickening web; America’s escalating Russian sanctions; Despite Donald Trump, Russia is being hit harder and harder” – The Economist

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

“… In August alone, America has slapped penalties on Russian shipping firms accused of trading oil with North Korea; imposed restrictions on the arms trade in connection with the poisoning of … Skripal …; and begun congressional hearings on … legislation designed to punish Russia for its interference in elections. Further Skripal-linked measures may follow in three months’ …. Markets […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian oil and gas groups shrug off sanctions; Higher crude prices and weakened rouble bolster producers’ profits” Financial Times/Henry Foy

Gas Facility file photo

“Higher energy prices and a weakened rouble saw second-quarter profits soar at three of Russia’s largest oil and gas groups … the country’s energy industry … has weathered international sanctions to reap strong earnings. Gazprom, the world’s largest gas producer, said … second-quarter profits had risen an annual 440 per cent … both exports to Europe and average prices jumped. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s approval rating is rising again” – Meduza

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

“… Putin’s approval rating is rising again, according to a study conducted by the independent Levada Center in late August. The president’s score rose to 70 percent … after dipping to 67 percent in July. (In May, Putin’s job approval rating was 79 percent.) … the president’s August 29 national address about pension reform had a minimal effect … only […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: Sean Guillory: “WaPo publishes an op-ed about how McCain was a great champion for the ‘human rights community’ and uses a picture with McCain standing next to Oleh Tyahnybok … named … one of the top-ten anti-Semites in the world.”

Historic Washington Post Masthead, adapted from image at nlrb.gov

(Sean Guillory – Facebook – August 29, 2018 McCain and Oleh Tyahnybok) [embedded live feed of facebook post should appear below; core text also recopied further below in case loading delayed] “This is too funny. WaPo publishes an op-ed about how McCain was a great champion for the ‘human rights community’ and uses a picture with McCain standing next to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin Dials Back Pension Plan After Backlash” – Wall Street Journal/Ann M. Simmons

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

“… Putin softened a plan to raise pension ages to bolster state finances, a rare backtrack following a public outcry that cut his approval ratings to the lowest level in more than four years. … Putin proposed that the pension age for women be increased from 55 to 60 instead of the 63 years proposed by parliament. He didn’t propose […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Extreme prejudice: how the Kremlin is cracking down on discontent” – The Times (UK)/Tom Parfitt

Montage of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook Logos, adapted from image at nps.gov

“… Incitement to commit a crime by undercover officers is illegal under Russian law. Critics say the defendants have been set up as hardened plotters intent on a nationwide revolt, when in fact they were simply a small group of disgruntled, naive, young people led on by a provocateur. The trial has a wider significance. … the most prominent of […]

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