NEWSWATCH: “Marking time” – Kyiv Post Editorial [re: Ukraine]

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

“… Ukraine celebrates the 26th year of its independence …. in the Donbas, Russia’s war on Ukraine is a deadly stalemate …. in Minsk, peace talks to end the Kremlin’s military intervention and restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity are going round in circles …. In Kyiv, it’s politics as usual … with a powerful president lording over … an oligarchical system. The reform […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine’s TB problem is ticking time bomb for Europe; Controlling the airborne disease takes on additional urgency this year as the country seeks to integrate into EU with a new visa-free regime” – Politico/ LILY HYDE

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

“… Odessa has the highest rate of TB in Ukraine, with 110 cases per 100,000 people in 2016, and rising fast. Closely linked with migration, instability and poverty, controlling this airborne disease takes on additional urgency this year as Ukraine seeks to integrate into Europe thanks to a new visa-free regime. Part of a migration corridor from Central Asia and […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Show Trial of a Russian Theater Director; If it is not clear by now, let me say it in no uncertain terms: The #Serebrennikov case is a show trial” – Moscow Times/ John Freedman

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

“The arrest of director Kirill Serebrennikov … created a firestorm of reaction …. Serebrennikov’s arrest is the latest development in an affair that went public in late May. At that time, he was questioned about funds allegedly embezzled from theater projects mounted by an entity called Seventh Studio, an offshoot of the Gogol Center, where Serebrennikov has been artistic director …. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “You’ve Lost Control Again; Black Lists and Total Monitoring: Agora’s New Report on the Surveillance of Russians; A person’s life is utterly transparent to the secret services” – The Russian Reader/ Republic.ru/ Damir Gainutdinov

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

“The Agora International Human Rights Group has released a report entitled ‘Russia under Surveillance 2017: How the Authorities Are Setting Up a Total System for Monitoring Citizens.’ …. The Russian state has been harvesting an unprecedented amount of information about its citizens …. It maintains a system of black lists … and has been engaged in a relentless assault on internet […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Corruption Case Puts Sechin in the Spotlight” – Carnegie Moscow Center/ Konstantin Gaaze

Igor Sechin file photo

“The high-profile trial of former Russian economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev is not playing out according to the script that most analysts had expected. The prosecution’s case increasingly relies on the testimony of one man, state oil chief Igor Sechin, making this master of Kremlin intrigue potentially politically vulnerable. The powerful reputation of the official said to be Russia’s second most […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Report of Ukraine Witness to DNC Hacking Stirs Confusion” – AP

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“A report that a cooperating witness has emerged out of Ukraine to help the FBI’s inquiry … is drawing confusion and denials in Ukraine. … The New York Times says a malware author linked to the hacking of the DNC’s servers had turned himself in … But Ukraine’s Cyberpolice said … the unnamed individual had no established links to hacking The Times’ story has […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The problem isn’t Putin, it’s Russia; As relations worsen, US must realize Russia will not soon, if ever, become a liberal democracy” – PoliticoEU/ THOMAS GRAHAM

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

“The introduction of new sanctions by the United States on Russia has sent relations between the two countries to lows not seen since the end of the Cold War. Each side blames the other and claims to be seeking better relations …. the truth is that relations between the two countries have always been rocky, and the periods of cooperation […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Communists Pursue a Red Revival” – Stratfor

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

“… The [Communist] Party’s rise, coupled with that of … other dissident factions, will not pose an immediate threat to the Kremlin, but … represents a trend that the current administration can’t afford to ignore in the long term…. cracks are beginning to show in the system that has supported … Putin’s government for 17 years. Demographic shifts, economic stagnation and building pressure […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Front Line Drawn Across Russia’s Backyard” – Stratfor

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“Globalization has changed how we think about time, space and distance, but geography is still the same where it counts: national security. … former Soviet states lining Russia’s border know this better than most … their proximity to the eastern giant renders them more vulnerable to Moscow’s hybrid warfare …. Nations like Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova sit on the front line of […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Why New U.S. Sanctions Could Be a Ticking Time Bomb for Investors in Russia” – Moscow Times/ Elisabeth Braw, Nabi Abdullaev

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

“The 755 staff forced to leave the U.S. embassy by … Putin may seem to have little to do with private companies wishing to invest in Russia. But in reality, they’re closely linked. … international companies planning to invest in Russia or already doing business there now face more uncertainty. And six months from now, a ticking bomb wrapped in […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia to become a net borrower for first time in a decade” – bne Intellinews

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“… Russia has been dipping into its rainy day Reserve Fund to cover the federal budget deficit but this fund is due to run out of money sometime next year. Now the government is actively preparing to dip into its other sovereign fund, the National Welfare Fund, that was set up to meet future pension payments, but now will be […]

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NEWSWATCH: “DID RUSSIA KILL A U.S. PRESIDENT? NEW CIA DOCUMENTS REVEAL SPY’S THEORY ABOUT JFK’S DEATH” – Newsweek/ TOM O’CONNOR

John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy and Other Parties in Open-Air Limousine On Street Just Before Assassination, With Crowd in Background, adapted from image at archives.gov

“The U.S. government released Monday a large trove of documents pertaining to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, including previously top-secret audio files and transcripts of the CIA interrogating a former Soviet spy who claimed to have intimate knowledge about the killer’s connection to Moscow.  In accordance with the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, which mandates that […]

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NEWSWATCH: “New Challenge to U.S. Power: Chinese Exceptionalism; Once-reticent citizens now see their country as ascendant-and America in decline” – Wall Street Journal/ Te-Ping Chen, Josh Chin

Asia Map

… Chinese exceptionalism is on the rise. … challeng[ing] a decades-old tenet of U.S. foreign policy … that argued exposure to the West would lead Chinese to embrace Western values. … President Xi’s signature slogan, the ‘China Dream,’ appeals to Chinese who aspire to a middle-class lifestyle and cheer China’s return to international prominence. … China’s government exercises near-absolute authority over education, […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia Risks Decades of Low Growth Under U.S. Sanctions: Putin Adviser”- Reuters

Alexei Kudrin file photo

“Russia risks being saddled with U.S. sanctions for decades, curbing economic growth and preventing it from regaining its status as a leading economic power, an adviser to President Vladimir Putin said …. Alexei Kudrin told Reuters that the current proposed tightening of sanctions in Washington should not have any serious impact. But he called for a major structural reform program […]

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NEWSWATCH PONARS Eurasia: “See our updated list of course syllabi & recommended reading”

Eurasia Map

(PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – June 15, 2017 – ponarseurasia.org/article/see-our-updated-list-course-syllabi-recommended-reading) Several PONARS Eurasia members have made their syllabi available to our readership. Visit the Course Syllabi/Recommended Reading page: ponarseurasia.org/article/see-our-updated-list-course-syllabi-recommended-reading

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NEWSWATCH: “The Diplomacy of Dog Walking in Russia” – Foreign Policy Magazine / Amie Ferris-Rotman

File Photo of U.S. Embassy Moscow, with Russian Foreign Ministry Building in Distance

“Since [the early 1990’s] Svetlana has walked the dogs of American diplomats in Moscow. The 52-year-old Russian is not a U.S. Embassy employee but has come to this work through recommendations by American pet devotees … [she]doesn’t remember how many dogs … “… definitely under 100 … more than 60.” … what started out as a side job … while raising her children has […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Strengthening Strategic Stability with Russia” – RAND/ Christopher S. Chivvis, Andrew Radin, Dara Massicot, Clinton Bruce Reach

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

(RAND Corporation – Christopher S. Chivvis, Andrew Radin, Dara Massicot, Clinton Bruce Reach – July 2017) This report analyzes trends in strategic stability between Russia and the United States, examines Russian views on the subject, and assesses current prospects for stemming the erosion of strategic stability between the two countries. Such prospects exist, but they would require a sustained effort […]

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NEWSWATCH: “What Did Trump and Putin Tell Each Other?” – New York Times editorial

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

“…  Trump initiated the conversation without the benefit of his own interpreter or the participation of any of his national security advisers. Only … Putin’s interpreter was on hand. … Putin, after all, is an adversary, not an ally. … Spicer told reporters the dinner discussion involved ‘pleasantries and small talk.’ … Trump [said that] the two men discussed ‘Russian adoptions’ … … Lavrov told […]

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NEWSWATCH: “IMF says Russia’s economy is gradually recovering” – bne Intellinews

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“The IMF projects real growth of GDP in Russia at the level of 1.4% in 2017 …. According to the World Bank, the Russian economy will grow by 1.3% in 2017, while Russia’s economic development ministry put the figure at 2%. … noticeably in the last two months … both real disposable incomes and construction activity [have been] improving. …” Click […]

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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: “Russia Crawls Back To Life, But Locals Feel Uneasy” – Forbes/ Kenneth Rapoza

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Russia’s economy surely is better than it was a year ago. But, tell that to the Russians. … 45% of them believe the ‘worst is yet to come’ despite a nice 3.1% recovery in economic growth over the last 12 months ending in May, according to … VTsIOM…. Higher food prices and declining savings were the biggest concerns …. Thanks to […]

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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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