JRL NEWSWATCH: “Trust in Putin slides to 13-year low of 33.4% in January” – bne Intellinews

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

“Trust in … Putin fell to a 13 year low in the first poll of 2019 by the state owned pollster, the Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VTsIOM), slipping from 36.5% on December 29 to 33.4% on January 13. … Putin’s lowest popularity … since … 2006. Even during the mass protests of December 2011 following a rigged Duma election […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Accuses Facebook, Twitter of Failing to Comply With Data Laws; Social-media giants’ servers for storing Russian’s personal data must be located in Russia, says watchdog” – Wall Street Journal/Ann M. Simmons

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

“Russia launched administrative action against Facebook … and Twitter … for failing to comply with its data laws … just days after Facebook removed … accounts of what it said were two misinformation campaigns based in the country. … Roskomnadzor, the federal executive body responsible for censorship in media and telecommunications, said the social-media networks hadn’t submitted … formal and […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Behind Russia’s cyberwarfare lies a serious case of cyber-phobia” – Washington Post/ Lincoln Pigman

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

“… Russia grapples with its own deep cyber insecurity. Notwithstanding their bold moves in cyberspace, Russia’s leaders have spent much of the last decade panicking about cyber tools and the prospect of falling victim to their use by foreign adversaries. To be sure, the Kremlin isn’t worried that U.S. spies are hacking its voter systems. Rather, as my new study […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Facebook Shuts Hundreds of Russia-Linked Pages, Accounts” – AP

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

“Facebook … removed hundreds of Russia-linked pages, groups and accounts that it says were part of two big disinformation operations …. after finding two networks ‘that engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior’ on … Facebook and Instagram …. Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, said … that one network operated … in Central and Eastern Europe, the Baltics, Central Asia […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Trump Outlines Broader Missile-Defense Strategy; Plan’s vision includes space-based sensors to detect hostile or accidental launches” – Wall Street Journal/ Gordon Lubold, Courtney McBride

Mssile Defense Control Room

“… Trump called … for … expanded and more sophisticated missile-defense … and said America’s allies must share in future costs …. The missile-defense plan, put forth by … Trump … at the Pentagon, is laid out in a review ordered early in the Trump administration and issued Thursday, the first such review in nine years. … call[ing] for new, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russians are ashamed of the ‘eternal poverty’ of their country” – bne Intellinews

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

“… The collapse of the Soviet Union and the loss of superpower status was … humiliating … Putin has played on [that] with actions like the annexation of Crimea and the war in Syria, to restore some sense of national pride. However, a … Levada Center [poll] this month found that Russians continue to be ashamed of their ‘eternal poverty’ […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia faces sharp outflow of private investment; More than $67bn shifted out of the country’s economy last year” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“More private money left Russia in 2018 than … since the Crimean crisis and oil market rout of 2014 …. Over $67bn … according to the … central bank …. some … attributed to fears over … U.S. sanctions and threats of more actions from Washington …. [ING’s] Dmitry Dolgin … [indicated that when] Russia’s central bank suspended foreign exchange […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Russia Sanctions Test in the U.S. Senate; A move to block sanctions relief has been defeated, averting a likely spike in global aluminum prices but also spotlighting the tough road ahead for Congress in shaping policy on Russia” – Council on Foreign Relations/ Stephen Sestanovich

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

“Fifty-seven senators … tried unsuccessfully … to keep … Trump … from going forward with sanctions relief for Russia’s largest aluminum producer, Rusal, and its parent companies. … highlight[ing] internal tensions over Russia policy and the difficulty Congress faces …. Sanctions against Russia have enjoyed strong support in Congress since the annexation of Crimea …. The Treasury Department claimed … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin Push to Dump Dollar Proves Hard Sell With Russia Inc.” – Bloomberg/ Natasha Doff, Evgenia Pismennaya, Anna Andrianova, Annmarie Hordern, Andrey Biryukov, Anna Baraulina, Ilya Arkhipov, Yuliya Fedorinova

File Photo of Assorted U.S. Cash, adapted from image at tsa.gov

“Russia’s central bank dumped $101 billion last year in its biggest-ever shift away from the U.S. currency amid fears of new sanctions. But the Kremlin’s drive to wean the rest of the economy off the greenback has been slower going. Despite … Putin’s regular public exhortations to accelerate ‘de-dollarization,’ even the country’s state-owned companies are sticking to the currency. Shifting […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Sorry, but Trump is not ‘tough on Russia’; The administration has taken some tough stances toward Moscow. Why does the president disavow them?” – Washington Post/ Michael McFaul

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

“… The Trump administration has a tough policy on Russia, one that I mostly support. But Trump himself does not. For the past two years, he has consistently made it clear that he does not support his own administration’s policy toward Russia. The Trump administration’s National Security Strategy states very bluntly that ‘China and Russia challenge American power, influence, and […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “State Duma refuses to resume cooperation with PACE, increasing chances that Russia could leave the Council of Europe ” – Meduza

Russian State Duma Building file photo

“Federal lawmakers in Russia say they are opposed to sending a delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) …. a plenary session of the State Duma … endorsed an announcement refusing to resume cooperation with PACE until Russia’s voting rights are restored …. According to the Duma[] … more than half the judges now working in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin can’t afford to ditch the dollar” – Reuters/ Steven E. Halliwell

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Paul Manafort, while managing Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, is accused of passing private polling data to his Russia business partner, a man with alleged ties to Russian intelligence. … revealed in an unsealed court filing … likely to stoke the case in Congress for increased sanctions …. [T]he reverberations will be felt in Moscow, where anger and frustration over […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Washington theaters shine a spotlight on Vladimir Putin” – Washington Post/ Nelson Pressley

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

“The Russian president was satirized … in the delirious ‘Putin on Ice (that isn’t the real title …)’ at Baltimore’s Single Carrot Theater. Putin is unnamed but unmistakable in Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph’s ‘Describe the Night,’ an Obie Award winner last year as best American play …. [C]ementing Putin as a stealth theatrical headliner is ‘Kleptocracy,’ a new drama […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Constitutional Court decides to ease limits on foreign involvement in the media – a bit” – Meduza/ Mikhail Zelensky, translation by Hilah Kohen

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

“Russia’s Constitutional Court issued a decision … regarding Article 19.1, a law that governs mass media. The law prohibits foreigners from founding or controlling media outlets in Russia, but the Court ruled that it requires correction. The new ruling indicates that the prohibition itself is just ‘because that sort of influence might threaten the security of state information,’ but the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why Russia’s Economy Is Headed for Trouble; A lack of real reforms and a hyper-dependence on oil has prevented the emergence of a healthy, diverse economy” – The National Interest/ Michael Rubin/ American Enterprise Institute.

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

“… Putin’s lasting legacy … will not be his wars in Georgia or Ukraine nor the new submarines, fighter jets, nuclear weapons, or hypersonic missiles whose manufacture and unveilings he has overseen. Rather, Putin’s historic legacy will likely be inheriting a country with great economic potential and leaving it an empty husk.  After so many years in power, Putin has […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Huge crowds greet Putin in Belgrade” – Intellinews/ Valentina Dimitrievska

Map of Serbia and Environs, and Broader Map of Europe Highlighting Serbia

“Thousands of people welcomed … Putin … as he arrived for a one-day visit to Serbia to discuss the Kosovo issue and bilateral cooperation. Russia is one of the biggest allies and supporters of Serbia and one of the biggest investors in the country. Most Serbians consider Russia as a brotherly nation with historical, cultural and religious ties. … During […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “No end to World War II in sight in the Kuril Islands; As Abe and Putin prepare to deal, a dispute that dates back to the final hours of World War II looks unlikely to be resolved” – Asia Times/Giovanni Pigni

Map of Northern Japan, Kurill Islands, Sea of Okhotsk, Portions of Russian Far East

“… Japanese-Russian negotiations over the disputed Southern Kuril islands took place … in Moscow, ahead of … [a] summit between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and … Putin. … the only obstacle preventing the two nations signing an official peace agreement to end World War II. … The Kuril archipelago … [includes] 56 islands stretching from the Russian peninsula of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Ukrainian Harvard team” – Kyiv Post/ Nataliya Katser-Buchkovska

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“… After the 100-day EuroMaidan Revolution forced Kremlin-backed President Viktor Yanukovych into Russian exile in 2014, Ukraine demanded a new kind of leadership. The revolution played its role in history and brought about significant change in government, politics and civil society. However, now the time has come for Ukraine to step again on the path of steady evolutionary growth and […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The revival of Russia’s cinema industry” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

File Photo of Reel of Film

“Russia’s cinema business is growing three times faster than the real economy, but it’s a bumpy ride. In 2018 Russian movie-goers set a new record with 56mn visits to a cinema to generate a box office take of RUB13.5bn ($200mn). With one Russian in three having a night out in front of the silver screen, the growth of the business […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian lawmakers amend criminal code to reduce pressure on social media activity” – bne Intellinews

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

“… the State Duma … adopted amendments to … partially decriminalise … [criminal] code[] Article 282 … widely used for … offences involving social media content. As reported by … Meduza, first-time offenders will now face … misdemeanour charges, risking a RUB20,000 fine ($287 at the current exchange rate) or a 15-day jail sentence, instead of felony charges and a […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Strobe Talbott: It’s Already Collusion; We don’t need news reports to tell us that Trump is giving Putin what he wants. Take it from this longtime Russia hand: It’s staring us in the face” – Politico/ Strobe Talbott

Strobe Talbott file photo, adapted from image at state.gov

“… We already know that that the Kremlin helped put Trump into the White House and played him for a sucker. Or put it this way: Trump has been colluding with a hostile Russia throughout his presidency. We’ll see if it started before that. … Strobe Talbott … distinguished fellow in the foreign policy program at the Brookings Institution … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Trump Confronts the Prospect of a ‘Nonstop Political War’ for Survival” – New York Times/ Peter Baker

New York Times Masthead from 1913 adapted from image at loc.gov

“WASHINGTON – So it has come to this: The president of the United States was asked over the weekend whether he is a Russian agent. And he refused to directly answer. The question, which came from a friendly interviewer, not one of the ‘fake media’ journalists he disparages, was “the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked,” he declared.  But […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: @Anders_Aslund tweet re: Trump and Putin

Twitter Logo and Faint World Map

(Anders Aslund – Twitter @anders_aslund – January 13, 2019) [Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council] “Everything suggests that #Trump is #Putin’s agent: secret meetings, persistent public praise, undermining US foreign policy interests & alliances. The actual Kremlin payment can easily be done #offshore in anonymous companies as the #SteeleDossier suggested.” [embedded live feed of tweet should load below:] Everything suggests […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Managing Russia’s dissolution” – The Hill/ Janusz Bugajski

Russia Regions Map

“Russia’s ongoing attacks on Ukraine and … persistent subversion of Western states demonstrates that Washington and Brussels have failed to restrain Moscow’s imperial ambitions. Engagement, criticism and limited sanctions have … reinforced Kremlin perceptions that the West is weak and predictable. To curtail Moscow’s neo-imperialism a new strategy is needed … [to] nourish[] Russia’s decline and manages the international consequences […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘The art of rejection’ A new report reveals the hidden mechanisms authorities use to restrict protests in Russia” – Meduza

Moscow Protest File Photo

“Article 31 of the Russian Constitution states that citizens of the Russian Federation ‘shall have the right to assemble peacefully.’ However, when protests are not approved by local authorities, those who join them can face arrest, professional consequences, and even criminal charges. The anti-corruption protests that swept Russia on March 26 and June 12, 2017, as well as the Voters’ […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia to resume forex purchases after sanctions hiatus; Moscow will spend Rbs265.8bn between next Tuesday and early February” – Financial Times/ Max Seddon

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Russia’s finance ministry said it is resuming foreign currency purchases on open markets after fears over U.S. sanctions saw it halt them last year to head off a slide in the rouble rate. … Rbs265.8bn … next Tuesday and February 6, the ministry said in a statement on Friday. … the first since the central bank … stopped them in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s GMO debate looks a lot like America’s – with more geopolitics” – Christian Science Monitor/ Fred Weir

File Photo of Wheat Field in Kenya, adapted from image at usda.gov

“… faced with something new, Russian lawmakers have generally found it easier to ban it than … debate it, even if such prohibitions often prove dysfunctional …. case in point: Russia’s legislation banning … production of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) … nominally implemented … to keep Russia’s food supply ‘pure.’ The passage two years ago of the law … prohibit[ing] […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Europe is fast-becoming a natural gas battleground for Russia and the U.S.” – CNBC/ Holly Ellyatt

Gas Flame file photo

“With 28 countries and a combined population of around 512 million people, the European Union is something of a prized market – and political battleground – for the world’s largest energy exporters …. Russia has long been the dominant source and supplier of natural gas to Europe’s mass market but the U.S. is looking to challenge Russia … [with] U.S. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Enforce the Monroe Doctrine on Russian Moves in Latin America; The Trump administration needs to adopt a firmer policy toward Moscow’s intrusions into Latin America” – The National Interest/ Ted Galen Carpenter

Latin America Map

“… Moscow[ has sent] two nuclear-capable bombers to Venezuela to show support for Nicolas Maduro’s leftist regime. Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu said … Russia would continue to send military aircraft and warships to visit Venezuela as part of … bilateral military cooperation. … The Trump administration increasingly is concerned about the Maduro regime’s ugly authoritarianism, the meltdown of the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia in Africa: Is it becoming a key player?” – BBC/ Kumar Malhotra

Africa Map

“Russia’s recent activities in Sudan and the Central African Republic have been the subject of intense speculation. … along with renewed economic ties, private Russian military contractors are reported to have been active in both countries. … particularly sensitive in Sudan, where there have been widespread, often violent anti-government protests. Moscow has been increasingly turning its attention to sub-Saharan Africa, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “In former Soviet states, a new tech-savvy resistance is stirring; From Russia to Armenia to Belarus there has been a surge in online justice campaigns. And it’s making a difference”- The Guardian/ Barbara von Ow-Freytag

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

“… innovative activism is emerging across the former Soviet Union. I work for an organisation that supports civic activists and I see a new energy, self-belief and creativity that defies the pessimism permeating western debates about civil society in the region. … these Generation Z activists … [have] linked … with designers, tech experts and artists to test new forms […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian inflation, growth to remain low in 2019 says World Bank” – bne Intellinews

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Russian inflation is in focus for 2019 as prices began to rise at the end of 2018 and ended the year slightly above the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) target rate of 4%. … the World Bank says that inflation will remain low this year and growth will be 1.5%, the same as in 2018 …. The U.S. government has […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Soldier, spy: more details of Vladimir Putin’s past revealed; Russian president, on a visit to a fortress, says he commanded a howitzer artillery battalion” – The Guardian/ Marc Bennetts

FSB Headquarters Building file photo

“… Putin has revealed that he commanded an artillery battalion during the Soviet period, a detail of his shadowy biography … previously unknown. … Putin’s official biography makes no mention of [it] …. According to the Kremlin, Putin joined the KGB immediately after graduating [in law] from … Leningrad State University in 1975. … [spending] 16 years … rising to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Curious Story of an American Arrested by the Kremlin” – Stratfor/ Scott Stewart

Kremlin and River

“Highlights Russia has arrested an American corporate security director, Paul Whelan, but he doesn’t have the profile befitting a non-official cover intelligence officer, even though there are elements in his background that would bring him to the attention of the Kremlin’s security services. Russian authorities arrested Whelan not long after Russian citizen Maria Butina pleaded guilty in a U.S. court […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Steele dossier was planned as Hillary’s insurance policy” – Washington Times/ Larry O’Connor

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“… highly damaging text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and his paramour, FBI lawyer Lisa Page … [revealed] petty, vitriolic political diatribes while making decisions on the most sensitive investigations of the 2016 political season. Their hatred toward then-candidate … Trump … [and] contempt for his supporters gave reasonable observers every reason to question whether the Hillary Clinton email […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Spy or Not? American Who Loves Russia Ensnared in New Cold War” – New York Times/ Julian E. Barnes, Neil MacFarquhar

File Photo of Russian Food and Nesting Dolls

“He loved to travel around Russia by train, collected tea glass holders stamped with Russian historical scenes and maintained social media friendships with ordinary Russians, from a hairstylist to retired members of the country’s military.  … Paul N. Whelan … former [U.S.] Marine and current security chief for [auto parts manufacturer] BorgWarner … has been accused of espionage by Russia […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Is there a glimmer of hope for the INF Treaty?” – Brookings/ Steven Pifer

File Photo of Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan at Table Signing Documents

“… Russian officials said they would like to discuss INF Treaty compliance concerns. … Washington should test whether those suggestions represent just more Kremlin posturing or a serious effort to save the treaty. … NATO foreign ministers stated that … the 9M729 constituted a material breach of the INF Treaty. Secretary of State Pompeo … said that, if Russia did […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “How to Hit Russia Where It Hurts; A Long-Term Strategy to Ramp Up Economic Pressure” – Foreign Affairs Magazine/ Peter Harrell

“… [S]anctions have done little to change Moscow’s ways. … Any economic pressure … has to starve the country’s military-industrial complex. The United States and Europe know this: they adopted export controls against Russian defense industries … and … Congress passed a law sanctioning foreign companies and governments … [for] ‘significant transactions’ with the Russian defense sector. These sanctions threaten […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian oil output reaches record high in 2018” – Reuters/ Vladimir Soldatkin

Oil Well file photo

“Russian oil production rose to a post-Soviet record high of 11.16 million barrels per day (bpd) last year on an annual average basis, data from its energy ministry showed …. surpass[ing] the previous annual record average of 10.98 million bpd … in 2017. Russian oil output reached 555.838 million tonnes last year, against 547 million tonnes in 2017. Reuters uses […]

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Michael McFaul: “Not a great foreign investment promotion strategy to arrest an American without explanation. Who in their right mind would invest in Russia right now if they had a choice to invest elsewhere?” – @McFaul on twitter

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

[Arrest of American in Moscow] (Michael McFaul – Twitter – @McFaul – Jan. 2, 2019) “Not a great foreign investment promotion strategy to arrest an American without explanation. Who in their right mind would invest in Russia right now if they had a choice to invest elsewhere?” [embedded live feed of tweet should load below] Not a great foreign investment […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Stalin’s Soaring Moscow Towers Sorely Need Body Work” – New York Times/ Neil MacFarquhar

Moscow State University file photo

“… Most of [Moscow’s] so-called ‘Stalin high-rises’ – both residential and government buildings – desperately need renovating. … stuck in limbo … over who will foot the substantial bill. Since the residential apartments were privatized in the 1990s, the government considers the owners responsible. The residents, particularly … impoverished elderly who inherited apartments from … now deposed Soviet elite, believe […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘We are new Russians’: How a hard-drinking nation curbed its alcohol use; Russia now ranks 14th in terms of alcohol consumption globally, and is comparable to France and Germany” – CBC News (Canada)/ Chris Brown

Man in Silhoette with Bottle of Alcohol and Head in Hand

“Once the holder of the dubious title of one of the world’s hardest-drinking nations, Russia has fallen steadily down the list  … Eduard Grigoriev … [a] volunteer with the group Sober Russia … [is a] 21-year-old … self-proclaimed liquor vigilante. … helping police crack down on businesses that break Russia’s ever-stricter liquor laws. … Illegal alcohol sales usually take the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Don’t Tear Up This Treaty; Arms control isn’t perfect. But abandoning treaties without a plan for the future is dangerous.” – New York Times Editorial

Iskander Missile with Launch file photo

“… Owing to [various] treaty commitments, [the United States and Russia], which still hold the vast majority of … nuclear weapons … have reduced their combined total of warheads from roughly 63,000 in 1986 to about 8,100 today. … the agreements helped avoid nuclear conflict …. The Russian violation of the I.N.F. Treaty centers on an SSC-8 land-based cruise missile. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Think tank: NATO must prepare to counter a rapid Russia invasion in Europe” – Military Times/ Stephen Losey

NATO Meeting file photo

“Russia is positioned to quickly defeat forward-deployed U.S. and NATO forces and grab land before reinforcements could arrive, according to a new paper from the Atlantic Council …. In the Dec. 13 paper, ‘Permanent Deterrence: Enhancements to the U.S. Military Presence in North Central Europe,’ former NATO Supreme Allied Commander and retired Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove and former Deputy […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russians spend a third of their income on food” – bne Intellinews

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“Russian spend a third of their income (31.2%) on food, according to RIA Rating … [compared with] two years ago where the share of spending of food crept up to 55% according to VTB Capital (VTBC) …. While incomes have fallen dramatically in dollar terms so have prices … with heavy investment into domestic food and food processing industries in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Boris Yeltsin’s shrine in Yekaterinburg brings tears for a legacy smashed by Putin” – Sunday Times (UK)/ Matthew Campbell

Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin

“… An ailing Yeltsin is believed to have chosen Putin, a former KGB officer, as his successor, because he had a reputation for loyalty. He knew he could count on Putin to protect him and his family. … [H]e made Putin promise to ‘look after Russia.’ In the eyes of Putin’s supporters, he has … [brought] relative prosperity … making […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin on Rap Music: It’s the Drugs That Really Bother Him” – New York Times/ Andrew E. Kramer

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

“Told that rap and hip-hop have grown wildly popular among Russian youth, and that … lyrics are rebellious, mention drugs and include many swear words … Putin mused about banning the music outright … then suggested … he might try to control it. ‘If it is impossible to stop, then we need to lead, and in an appropriate way, direct’ […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Half of Russians now say Vladimir Putin is responsible for the country’s problems, according to new poll” – Meduza/ Levada Center

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

“… more than half the country … holds [Putin] responsible for Russia’s problems and the rising cost of living, according to a new poll by the Levada Center. Late last month, 55 percent of the country said Putin is to blame …. Ironically, the same number … credit Putin with … economic success and rising prosperity …. Nearly two thirds […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “A Cold War Arms Treaty Is Unraveling. But the Problem Is Much Bigger.” – New York Times/David E. Sanger, William J. Broad

Iskander Missile with Launch file photo

“… The United States and Russia no longer have a monopoly on the missiles that … Reagan and … Gorbachev agreed in 1987 to ban with the … I.N.F.[] agreement. … China relies on similar missiles for 95 percent of its ground-based fleet, and Iran, India, Saudi Arabia, North Korea and Taiwan are among the 10 states with similar, fast-growing […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian-Saudi Oil Cooperation Won’t Last; They say they will cut production. But it’s in the interests of both big oil producers to pump as much as they can.” – Bloomberg/Leonid Bershidsky

Oil Well file photo

“There’s a nasty undercurrent to the surprisingly strong Saudi-Russian oil alliance behind the upcoming oil production cuts …. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may high-five … Putin in public, but … expect[s] that Russia will disappear from the oil market …. Eventually … the two big exporters may not be interested in production-cutting deals as they square off for […]

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