NEWSWATCH: “Putin tries to woo Russian teens with live TV show” – AFP

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“… Putin on Friday took part in a live television show, fielding questions from Russian youngsters in an apparent bid to connect with teenagers who have been flocking to opposition rallies. Putin, his shirt collar unbuttoned, faced his young audience at an educational centre for gifted children from 10 to 17 year of age in the Black Sea city of […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Putin Says Yet to Decide Whether to Run for President Again” – Reuters

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

“… Putin said on Friday he had not yet decided whether to run for re-election in 2018, but promised not to change the constitution to allow him to keep on running for Russia’s top political post indefinitely. … Speaking during a question-and-answer session with school children in the Black Sea resort of Sochi which analysts said was designed to widen […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Trump to nominate Jon Huntsman as ambassador to Russia” – Washington Post/ Abby Phillip, Lisa Rein, Carol Morello

File Photo of John Huntsman, Men in Military Uniforms and Others, adapted from image at army.mil

“Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman will be nominated as the U.S. ambassador to Russia … The White House confirmed in March that it would name [him] … to the Russia post. [b]ut … delayed formally naming Huntsman and sending the nomination to the Senate for confirmation as the United States waited for the Kremlin to approve his selection. … amid what could be […]

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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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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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VIDEO NEWSWATCH: “Why are so many from this Russian republic fighting for ISIS?” – PBS Newshour

Map of Russia Highlighting Dagestan

(PBS Newshour – July 12, 2017 – also appeared at pbs.org/newshour/bb/many-russian-republic-fighting-isis) “In the republic of Dagestan, a brutal separatist insurgency has long fought against the Russian state. Now, as many as 5,000 Dagestanis have left to fight for the Islamic State. Why have so many answered the call? As part of our week-long series Inside Putin’s Russia, special correspondent Nick […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Biggest News about the Trump-Putin Meeting Was That It Happened At All. A relatively normal first meeting between Russian and American leaders is a good thing.” – The National Interest/ Andrew Kuchins

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

“… Trump finally had the opportunity to meet … Putin for more than two hours … at the G-20 summit …. The meeting was newsworthy mainly because it happened …. for a bilateral relationship that had degraded to a more dangerous kind of postmodern Cold War since the Russian seizure of Crimea more than three years ago, and a vicious whirlwind […]

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NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “Pride, patriotism and how Putin helped redefine what it means to be a ‘true Russian'” – PBS Newshour

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

(PBS Newshour (public television) – July 10, 2017 – also appeared at pbs.org/newshour/bb/pride-patriotism-putin-helped-redefine-means-true-russian/) The new Russian identity is a combination of religion, old Russian traditions and rediscovered patriotism. It helps explain how today’s Russians think, how President Putin acts and why he remains popular. As part of our week-long series Inside Putin’s Russia, special correspondent Nick Schifrin and producer Zach […]

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NEWSWATCH: “THE G-20 SUMMIT: AFTERWORD” – Angela Stent/ Valdai

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

“… The main focus inside the United States was the meeting with President Putin, which lasted over two hours, much longer than anticipated. There was great anticipation about what this first meeting might produce …. Resumption of relations has been delayed by the domestic debate in the United States about Russia’s actions during the 2016 election campaign. It turned out to […]

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NEWSWATCH: “No Thaw Likely at Trump-Putin Meeting” – Wall Street Journal/ Nathan Hodge

File Photo of Donald Trump Waving Before Large Crowd with Trump Signs, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“Russian officials are cautious about expectations for a fresh start in relations with Washington despite a planned first meeting between … Putin and … Trump next week. … Lavrov expressed hope that ‘pragmatism will prevail.’ But he added that U.S.-Russian relations ‘have become hostage to the internal politics’ inside Washington. * * * Russia continues to chafe under U.S. and Western […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Intel Report: Kremlin Sees U.S. Urging Regime Change in Russia” – AP

DIA Headquarters file photo, adapted from DIA Public Affairs photo at defense.gov

[DIA report here dia.mil/Portals/27/Documents/News/Military%20Power%20Publications/Russia%20Military%20Power%20Report%202017.pdf] “Kremlin leaders are convinced America is intent on regime change in Russia, a fear that is feeding rising tension and military competition between the former Cold War foes, the Pentagon’s intelligence arm has assessed. The unclassified report by the Defense Intelligence Agency … portrays Russia as increasingly wary of the United States. It cites Moscow’s ‘deep and […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia has not touched its reserves funds this year, but it will. Russia’s gross international reserves have been growing.” – Intellinews/ Ben Aris

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Thanks to higher than expected oil prices Russia has not had to touch its rainy day reserves funds so far this year to prop up budget spending. But the ministry of finance says it will have to dip into them in the second half of this year and expects to at least exhaust the $16.5bn National Reserve Fund. …” Click […]

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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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NEWSWATCH: “Taking the Edge off U.S.-Russia Strategic Relations” – Russia Matters/ Steven Pifer

Rex Tillerson file photo, adapted from image at readyagain.gov

“Secretary of State Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov have agreed in principle to resume strategic stability talks. The United States and Russia should begin the talks expeditiously, and the first agenda items they should tackle include measures to reduce the risk of accident or miscalculation, preservation of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and extension of the 2010 […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Wars of the Future: Russian Defense Ministry’s New Modernization Plan; Upcoming re-armament program will offer clues on how Russia sees the future of war” – Moscow Times/ Michael Kofman

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… Delayed for two years owing to economic and budgetary volatility, the next phase of the State Armament Program (GPV), covering 2018-2025, is due to be finalized and signed by September. … [to] determine not just what Russian armed forces get next year, but the weapons and systems they will fight with into the 2030s. * * * … the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s reelection strategy in a nutshell: 69% of Russians view U.S. as an enemy per Levada poll …” – Andrew S. Weiss/ twitter @andrewsweiss

United States Map, adapted from image at epa.gov

(Andrew S. Weiss, Vice President for Studies (Russia Eurasia Program) Carnegie Endowment for International Peace – @andrewsweiss on Twitter – June 5, 2017) “Putin’s reelection strategy in a nutshell: 69% of Russians view US as an enemy per Levada poll (RUS) https://www.vedomosti.ru/politics/articles/2017/06/05/692946-rossiyan-ukrainu-vragom?utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=692946-rossiyan-ukrainu-vragom&utm_medium=share “ [embedded live feed of tweet also should load below:] Putin’s reelection strategy in a nutshell: 69% of Russians view […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Kremlin Critic Alexei Navalny Vows to Fight On; As legal obstacles to opposition figure’s presidential run multiply, he says in interview ‘Kremlin will have no choice’ than to let his campaign proceed” – Wall Street Journal/ Nathan Hodge

Alexei Navalny file photo

“… Navalny has mobilized thousands of demonstrators across [Russia] to protest corruption under … Putin. Now he says he is pressing ahead with a quixotic effort to run against his country’s powerful leader in elections next year. … despite … serious legal obstacles …. he was found guilty of embezzlement by a court in Kirov … a verdict he said was politically motivated to […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia Says Still Likely to Back Paris Climate Deal Despite U.S. Withdrawal” – Reuters

Arkady Dvorkovich file photo

“… #Russia has signed the Paris climate pact but is the biggest emitter of global greenhouse gases not to have yet ratified it. Russian officials have said they need more time to assess its potential impact on their economy and have spoken of drafting a strategy for low-carbon development, fuelling fears among green campaigners Moscow may not ratify the agreement. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “French Cyber Security Leader: No Trace of Russian Hacking Group in Emmanuel Macron Campaign Leaks” – AP

Eiffel Tower and Tree-Lined Grassy Green, adapted from image at lbl.gov

“[Guillaume Poupard] … head of the French government’s cyber security agency [ANSSI], which investigated leaks from … #Macron’s election campaign, says they found no trace of a notorious #Russian #hacking group …. the Macron campaign hack ‘was so generic and simple that it could have been practically anyone.’ … they found no trace that the Russian hacking group known as #APT28, blamed for other […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Beyond the Recession, More Problems Await Russia” – Strafor

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“As the Russian economy slowly pulls out of recession, low oil prices will keep it stagnant for years to come. Nonetheless, the recovery, and the return of foreign investment, will alleviate some of the Kremlin’s concerns about the economic sanctions against it.  The Russian government, meanwhile, will grow increasingly worried about the people’s economic hardships as gubernatorial and presidential elections approach. […]

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VIDEO NEWSWATCH: “U.S. shale, trade and sanctions worry Russian Finance minister as economy gets back on track” – CNBC/ Geoff Cutmore, Alexandra Gibbs

Anton Siluanov file photo

[Scroll down for embedded video] “… Following last week’s decision by oil producers to extend output cuts by nine months to March 2018, Siluanov told CNBC that OPEC’s decisions would give opportunity [sic] for prices to stay at present levels, but that both producers and the ministry had to be on alert for any market changes. …” ‘On the one […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Snapshot Analysis: Trump, NATO, Russia” – Russia Matters/ Nikolas K. Gvosdev

Globe Highlighting NATO Members

“As predicted … #Trump’s summit with other #NATO leaders … showed a White House focused on meeting its treaty commitments … also determined to see its partners take on primary responsibility for countering threats that affect them, particularly in their own neighborhood. For #Russia, Trump’s public comments sounded like a mixed bag: … the president called Moscow a ‘threat’ and expressed no interest […]

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NEWSWATCH: “New Fighting in Ukraine’s Language War. If Kyiv draws new battle lines in the country’s language war, Moscow is ready to restart its side of this conflict.” – Carnegie Europe/ Thomas de Waal

Rada File Photo

“… Ukraine’s language wars are restarting. A bill requiring 75 percent of national television broadcasts to be in Ukrainian has just been passed by the Rada. It follows a very unpopular move by … Poroshenko to ban Russian-language social media websites …. Next up … is draft legislation that seeks to ensure ‘the functioning and use of Ukrainian as a state language in all spheres of […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Macron meets Russia’s Putin near Paris, promising tough talks” – Reuters/ Michel Rose, Denis Dyomkin

Eiffel Tower and Tree-Lined Grassy Green, adapted from image at lbl.gov

“#French President Emmanuel #Macron met #Russia’s Vladimir #Putin near Paris on Monday, promising some frank talking with the Kremlin leader after an election campaign in which his team accused Russian media of trying to interfere. … * * * While Moscow backs [#Syria’s] … al-Assad, France supports rebel groups trying to overthrow him. France has also taken a tough line on […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia Rallies: 1.3% GDP Growth, $55 Oil, World Bank Says; The Russian ruble is strengthening today on solid economic growth targets from the World Bank” – Barrons/ Dimitra DeFotis

World Bank Building

“Russia’s economy can expand at a 1.3% pace in 2017 and by 1.4% in 2018 and 2019, the World Bank said …. The ruble is strengthening … up 0.7% against the U.S. dollar, and Russian equities are rallying in Moscow. The VanEck Vectors Russia exchange-traded fund (RSX) is higher by 0.5% … as are the U.S.-traded shares of Sberbank Rossia (SBRCY). Moody’s […]

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NEWSWATCH RAND: “Russian Views of the International Order”

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

RAND researchers analyze Russian views of the international order, identifying core Russian foreign policy interests, including defense of the regime, influence in its neighborhood, and status as a great power, tracing how those interests impact Russia’s view of the United States and the West …

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s economy is recovering well” – CNN

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“[Russia] is recovering nicely from a recession and should see economic growth of 1.4% this year, according to [the IMF] … Russia is heavily dependent on oil exports and was hit hard when crude prices started to crash in 2014. Economic sanctions imposed by Western governments as punishment for Russia taking control of Ukraine’s Crimea region dealt the economy another blow. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “As controversy swirls around Trump, Russia watches helplessly; Many in Russia had hoped that the new president could help smooth relations between Moscow and Washington. But as Russia-tied scandals paralyze Trump’s administration, now the Kremlin just want U.S.-Russia diplomacy not to get worse.” – Christian Science Monitor/ Fred Weir

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

When … Putin offered … to provide Congress with a transcript of his foreign minister’s controversial meeting last week with … Trump … it was not warmly received by US politicians. … its greater significance may be as a sign of just how alarmed … Putin and the Kremlin are becoming about what’s happening in Washington. Kremlin watchers say they feel like helpless observers amid the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia Says Key Goal Is to Bring Global Oil Stocks Down to Five-Year Average” – Reuters

Oil Well file photo

“The main goal of [a] proposed extension of [an] oil output cuts deal is to bring the global commercial oil inventories down to 5-year average and stabilise the market, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Tuesday. … Saudi Arabia and Russia, the world’s top two oil producers, agreed on Monday on the need to extend output cuts for a […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Dissent Shakes the Foundation of the Kremlin’s Power” – Stratfor

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

… Most of the dissidence in Russia today does not come in response to a specific incident – such as the electoral fraud that incited mass demonstrations in 2011-12 – but to the country’s political system more generally. With a few exceptions, rather than targeting the president himself, the current protests are aimed at corruption or economic stagnation. … To […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Trump Calls on Russia and Ukraine to Make Peace; Message marks shift in tone from Washington on Ukraine” – Wall Street Journal/ Nathan Hodge, Paul Sonne

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

“… Trump called on Russia and Ukraine to make peace Thursday, presenting himself as something of a neutral peacemaker between the nations, a day after meeting foreign ministers from both countries in Washington. … Trump tweeted two side-by-side photos of himself – one with … Lavrov and another with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin – and said he met with the two […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Putin has paid no price yet for interfering in the domestic affairs of democracies. He wont stop until he does pay.” – Michael McFaul, @McFaul

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

(Michael McFaul – @McFaul – Twitter – May 6, 2017) “Putin has paid no price yet for interfering in the domestic affairs of democracies. He wont stop until he does pay.” [embedded live tweet should load below, or click here: twitter.com/McFaul/status/860684830417182720] Putin has paid no price yet for interfering in the domestic affairs of democracies. He wont stop until he […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Kremlin Critic Navalny Says Russia Stops Him Traveling Abroad” – Reuters

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

“Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said … authorities in Russia were stopping him [from] going abroad to seek urgent medical treatment after an attack that left him mostly blind in one eye.  … authorities … unexpectedly issued … an international passport … [giving] the impression he could fly to a foreign clinic to get treatment …. But he said a senior official from the country’s prison […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Western sanctions and languid Russian economy; Stringent international sanctions imposed on Russia for its role in the Ukraine conflict have sucked the momentum out of the Russian economy over the past couple of years. The nation’s growth prospects remain lethargic.” – Deutsche Welle/ Srinivas Mazumdaru

EU Map

Talks between … #Merkel and … #Putin … focused mainly on geopolitical and security problems, such as … #Ukraine and #Syria. … [they] did not explicitly bring up … #sanctions at the press conference … with the #German chancellor simply saying she hoped some of the sanctions could be lifted if Moscow helped make significant progress in implementing the Minsk peace plan. * * * The sanctions […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Hardliners urge Kremlin crackdown on social media; Russia has introduced increasingly draconian web laws but some are pushing for more” – Financial Times/ Max Seddon

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

“… success in using social media to mobilise youthful anti-corruption protesters has sparked calls for the Kremlin to step up internet censorship. … [A]t a censorship conference … Oscar-winning film director Nikita Mikhalkov … showed a documentary that accused … Navalny of luring children to violent protests against … Putin. ‘… [Young people] don’t know any history and they won’t until they get a rubber […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Have we forgotten the Cold War? Nuclear threat more real than ever” – The Hill/ William Perry

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… relations between the United States and #Russia are as hostile as they were during the #ColdWar. Russia has dropped its long-term policy of ‘No First Use’ of #nuclear weapons and is rebuilding its nuclear arsenal. It is threatening its neighbors with these deadly weapons and indirectly threatening the U.S. Responding to this challenge, the U.S. has begun rebuilding its […]

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NEWSWATCH: “A shortage of women in technology? Not in Russia” – Washington Post/ Gene Marks

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

If you’re part of the #technology industry in the United States, then you’ll no doubt agree it’s a man’s world. TechCrunch reported … on the ‘pipeline problem’ … 18 percent of undergraduate computer science degrees and 26 percent of computing jobs are … held by #women. … [and] five percent of leadership positions in the technology industry …. the share of women in […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Who Really Influences Policy in Moscow? With thousands of Russians being branded as close associates of Vladimir Putin, it is difficult to tell who actually has a voice in the Kremlin.” -The National Interest/ Nikolas Gvosde

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

… whether the institute’s [a Russian think tank, the Institute of Strategic Studies] memos advised the Kremlin to undertake these actions or whether they were simply piggybacking on a course of action already decided, the 2016 elections should have started a much more robust conversation about the vitality and resilience of American institutions. Very few people have wanted to tackle the unpleasant […]

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NEWSWATCH: Transcript of AP interview with Trump (excerpt re: CrowdStrike)

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

[In an interview with AP, dated April 24, 2017, with an indication that it apparently took place Friday, April 21, 2017, President Donald Trump commented on Democratic National Committee cybersecurity problems and computer contractor CrowdStrike.] TRUMP: They [Democratic National Committee] shouldn’t have allowed it to get out. If they had the proper defensive devices on their internet, you know, equipment, they wouldn’t […]

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NEWSWATCH: Re: Attack on Kyiv activist – Jeffrey Burds/ Facebook

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

[Jeffrey Burds reported on Facebook about the stabbing of university student and activist Stas Sergienko in Ukraine. An initial post is embedded below. Further information here: facebook.com/jeffrey.burds?hc_ref=NEWSFEED&fref=nf] “URGENT: I have very sad news to report. This afternoon, 20 April 2017, our friend and outspoken activist in Kyiv, a young university student Stas Sergienko was followed by a ‘Nazi gang’ and stabbed multiple times. Thankfully, Stas survived–after emergency […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Economic Ramifications of Conflict in Ukraine” – Stratfor

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

The conflict in eastern Ukraine has dealt a particularly heavy blow to its economic relationship with Russia. Much of Ukraine’s industrial production was taken offline …. The country lost a sizable share of its exports … [and]  GDP saw a double-digit contraction. Kiev… [the EU] and [the] United States, slapped Russia with sanctions … [over] Crimea and Donbas; Moscow responded in kind …. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Behold the Master Conspirator; Adam Schiff and Carter Page have in common cluelessness and ambition” – Wall Street Journal/Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

“… Schiff and … Page are fitting sharers of the stage in this episode, with a certain indefinable insubstantiality in common. … Page attached himself to Candidate Trump, promoter of better relations with Russia, after apparently spending the past decade – since leaving a junior job with Merrill Lynch in Moscow – seeking to insert himself in energy deals in Russia in hopes, […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Power brokers in the Kremlin jostle to succeed Putin; President’s authoritarianism has barred the rise of any challenger” – Financial Times/ Kathrin Hille, Henry Foy

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

“More than 17 years after … Putin became president, the authoritarian system he built is showing signs of internal corrosion. … Navalny’s ambitions are not expected to undo … Putin’s re-election bid. But the uncertainty over what comes next is stirring ambitions and sparking jostling among power brokers in the Kremlin and across Russia. … Putin remains the supreme arbiter of Russia’s politics. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Is Russia Testing Trump?” – New York Times/ MICHAEL J. MORELL, EVELYN FARKAS

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“This week Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is making his first diplomatic visit to Russia, where he’s likely to press Moscow on its handling of Syria, which he has called ‘incompetent.’ … Tillerson should recognize that Russia’s involvement in Syria is only one example of the increasingly active, and disruptive, role that … Putin has been playing on the world stage … […]

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NEWSWATCH: “In Russia, The World’s Largest Lake Takes On The World Bank and Mongolian Power Build-Up” – Forbes/ Kenneth Rapoza

Lake Baikal and Environs Satellite Photo

“The biggest fresh water lake in the world is under attack … again … this time from Mongolian power companies with help from the World Bank looking to build two hydroelectric dams that draw from an important Russian river. … the World Bank held public hearings in Russia to discuss environmental impact studies around Lake Baikal in Russia, moving two mid-sized […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia Suspends Syrian Air Operations Accord With U.S. After Airstrikes; The decision poses a new complication for Trump administration’s push against Islamic State” – Wall Street Journal/ Thomas Grove, Nour Malas, Maria Abi-Habib, James Marson

U.S. Naval Vessel Firing Tomahawk Cruise Missile at Night

Moscow swiftly suspended an agreement with Washington for military coordination in Syrian skies on Friday following the U.S. missile attack on a Syrian base …. heightening concerns of more unpredictable reactions from … al-Assad’s backers, in particular Iran, to the U.S. strike, conducted in retaliation for a suspected regime chemical attack on a village. It threatens to derail the delicate alliances that […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Syria Strike: Are the United States and Russia On a Collision Course? How Russia sees Donald Trump’s cruise missile strike.” – The National Interest/ Nikolas Gvosdev

Syria Map

“After reviewing the evidence and considering the options available to him … Trump ordered a proportionate strike on the Syrian air base where it is believed that the aircraft responsible for the chemical-weapons attack that occurred earlier this week in Idlib Province was based. According to different sources, the United States used its deconfliction channel with the Russian military to inform […]

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NEWSWATCH: “AS TRUMP FUMBLES, #PUTIN QUIETLY PREPARES TO INVADE HIS NEIGHBORS” – Newsweek/ Atlantic Council/ STEPHEN BLANK

File Photo of Russian Tanks in Military Parade

Recent #Russian actions suggest a new stage of the Russian threat to #Ukraine – and potentially to the #Caucasus, #Belarus or the #Baltic states as well-that could presage a new large-scale #military operation. … in 2016, Russia created 25 division formations and 15 brigades, while raising manpower by only 10,000 men. … Russia may aim to wage protracted large-scale war using the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Did St. Petersburg bombing bring Russia’s Syria intervention back home?” – Christian Science Monitor/ Fred Weir

St. Petersburg

“Though #Russia has been dealing with #terrorism for many years, it has mostly been rooted in domestic conflicts in the Caucasus. But Monday’s deadly bombing of a St. Petersburg metro seems likely linked to Russia’s involvement in Syria’s civil war. … analysts say that the identification of the bomber as Kyrgyz-born Akbarzhon Dzhalilov, from the turbulent central Asian city of […]

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NEWSWATCH: “What Does Obama Think of the Russia Story? The only reasonable conclusion: Not much.” – Wall Street Journal/JAMES FREEMAN

File Photo of Michael McFaul Standing and Barack Hussein Obama Sitting at Desk, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“… Schiff … and Maddow are convinced [of] … more than circumstantial evidence of collusion between the … Trump campaign and the Russian government. But … Obama doesn’t see it that way, judging from … comments before and after leaving the White House. It’s a reasonable guess [Obama] has seen more relevant intelligence on this issue than they have. * * * … the Trump White House […]

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