Russia Prepares to Blacklist Five ‘Undesirable’ U.S. Media Outlets

Satellite Dishes

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 18, 2017) Russian senators have drawn up a list of five U.S.-based media outlets, including CNN, whose activities in Russia could be restricted in response to a requirement to have the American branch of Russia’s state-funded RT television channel register as a foreign agent. The U.S. Justice Department has asked that the Kremlin-backed RT […]

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Navalny Fund Publishes Retractions in Usmanov Libel Suit

Alisher Usmanov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 11, 2017) The Anti-Corruption Foundation has complied with a court order to publish retractions related to a video critical of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Foundation founder and opposition leader Alexei Navalny was sued for libel in April by Uzbekistan-born Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov over allegations of bribery. Navalny is currently serving a 20-day jail […]

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Washington Post coverage of Russiagate

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

October 8, 2017 The notorious Kremlin-linked ‘troll farm’ and the Russians trying to take it down https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/the-notorious-kremlin-linked-troll-farm-and-the-russians-trying-to-take-it-down/2017/10/06/c8c4b160-a919-11e7-9a98-07140d2eed02_story.html?utm_term=.d27065c3abb0 October 9, 2017 Google uncovers Russian-bought ads on YouTube, Gmail and other platforms https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/10/09/google-uncovers-russian-bought-ads-on-youtube-gmail-and-other-platforms/?utm_term=.1314cf8ad2f0 October 9, 2017 Russian operatives used Twitter and Facebook to target veterans and military personnel, study says https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/10/09/russian-operatives-used-twitter-and-facebook-to-target-veterans-and-military-personnel-study-says/?utm_term=.313a59a7b68d  

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New York Times Covers Russia [Headlines & Links]

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

October 3, 2017 ‘Look Up! Sputnik!’ 60 Years Later By MICHAEL KHODARKOVSKY https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/03/opinion/sputnik-cold-war-space-race.html [“America’s response in 1957 was a huge investment in space technologies; within 12 years, it had put the first men on the moon. Today, too, a major investment in cybersecurity by a much wealthier and more innovative West might remind Moscow that it cannot afford or win […]

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Re: Russia’s Americans

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

Subject: “Russia’s Americans” Date: Tue, 3 Oct 2017 From: Deena Stryker <deenstryk@gmail.com> Recently Johnson’s Russia List ran a story about the dearth of Russian experts available to participate in serious projects seeking to mend US-Soviet relations. The fact that fewer college students are studying Russian than in former periods caught my attention because last May I travelled to Russia for […]

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NEWSLINK: “How to tame Putin. A transatlantic working group report” – Politico

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

“1. Keep Ukraine — at least most of it — out of Putin’s hands. … 2. Give Ukraine some kind of junior status in the European Union. … 3. Keep up economic pressure on Russia through sanctions. … 4. March 2018 is a key moment for Putin. … 5. Governments need to share more secrets with the private sector. … 6. […]

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NEWSLINK: “Facebook can’t protect elections on its own” – Washington Post editorial

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“… Existing federal regulations place stricter requirements on political ads on radio and television than those on the Internet. There’s a reason for that: The use of online advertising in political campaigns has spiked in prominence in only the past few years, before most rules governing election spending were written. As a result, Facebook had no legal responsibility to let […]

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NEWSLINK: “Latest Fake News Panic Appears to Be Fake News. A Republican Senator and much of the mainstream media punks itself, proving we should all spend more time outside.” – Rolling Stone/ Matt Taibbi

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

“The headline on the Washington Post story was scary enough: ‘Lawmaker: Russian trolls trying to sow discord in NFL kneeling debate”‘ …”

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NEWSLINK: “From free info exchange to Kremlin tool; Russia’s homegrown Web; The Soviet Union had a working Internet surprisingly early, and its isolation and highly educated users have kept it separate even in a well-connected world.” – Le Monde Diplomatique/ Kevin Limonier

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“The Ukrainian government blocked access to a number of Russian online services this May, including search engine Yandex and Facebook equivalent VKontakte. Kiev accuses these services, widely used in Ukraine, of sharing data with Russian intelligence, especially the personal data of soldiers fighting separatists in the Donbass region. This measure stopped millions from accessing their favourite sites, and showed the […]

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NEWSLINK: “How Russian trolls tried to organize anti-immigrant rallies, and more;   Are Russia’s ‘Friends’ Hiding in Your Facebook Feed?” – The Nation/ Bob Dreyfuss

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“All of a sudden, Facebook—and perhaps Twitter and Google, too—find themselves at the center of the Russiagate investigation. You can’t say you didn’t see this coming. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Exclusive: Russians Impersonated Real American Muslims to Stir Chaos on Facebook and Instagram” – TheDailyBeast

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

“Kremlin trolls stole the identity of an authentic U.S. Muslim organization-first to smear John McCain and Hillary Clinton, then to sing her praises. …”  

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NEWSWATCH: “The Kremlin creeps into Germany; The far-right AfD was buoyed by social-media campaigns of the kind Russia has used elsewhere” – Washington Post Editorial

Map of Germany

“The German party Alternative for Germany, or AfD, is anti-immigration, anti-Europe-bailout and very anti-Angela Merkel, the chancellor who was just reelected to a fourth term. Founded only four years ago in protest of European bailouts for Greece and riding the backlash to refugees flooding Germany, the AfD reaped 12.6 percent of the vote … and won a place for the first time […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia Reading List” – Michael Kofman

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

(Michael Kofman – via Facebook facebook.com/michael.kofman.9 – September 23, 2017) [Works at CNA Corporation and Kennan Institute] “Putting together a sort of Russia reading list – best in class so to speak. Need some crowd sourced help, can be your articles, or other people’s articles you really liked that help explain some facet of Russia today. Ideally in English since […]

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‘The Death of Stalin’ Comedy Has Russia’s Culture Ministry Bracing for Communist Backlash

File Photo of Reel of Film

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 18, 2017) The Russian Culture Ministry’s public council should pre-screen a satirical movie on the death of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin to avoid repeating the ongoing controversy over a Tsar Nicholas II biopic, a senior council member told the Govorit Moskva radio station on Monday. Scottish director and writer Armando Iannucci’s “The Death of […]

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At Forum, Experts Slam Russian ‘Disinformation’ Campaigns Aimed at West

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

(Voice of America – voanews.com – Cindy Saine – WASHINGTON – September 15, 2017) The German Marshall Fund says it has documented Russian interference in the elections or political affairs of at least 27 countries since 2004, ranging from disinformation campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and other social media to cyber attacks. The Helsinki Commission held a hearing Thursday on Capitol […]

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NEWSLINK: “RT reading list” – Boycott Russia Today/ To Inform is to Influence

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

“From ‘Boycott Russia Today’ … Updated “RT reading list” now in our BRT Notes section, with a dozen 2017 citations having been added …”

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NEWSLINK: “Stories about Russia ‘are so hot right now’ – so BuzzFeed is partnering with Meduza for more substantive Russia reporting; ‘There’s an enormous interest in Russia we really haven’t seen since the Cold war.'” – NiemanLab/ SHAN WANG

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

“… BuzzFeed News is beefing up its Russia coverage by partnering with the Latvia-based online outlet Meduza, which has grown rapidly since its launch less than three years ago. (Elder said this isn’t necessarily the first step to a full Russia site for BuzzFeed, the way, say, BuzzFeed Deutschland is for Germany.) The partnership is editorial, and resources will be […]

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NEWSWATCH: “‘Russia’s propaganda machine amplifies alt-right;’ Fred Weir: ‘I find this quite extraordinary. The suggestion that Russia is behind the pandemonium that currently reigns in Washington strikes me as beyond preposterous. …'”

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

(Fred Weir – Facebook – August 28, 2017 – facebook.com/fred.weir/posts/10213101665152439) “[‘Russia’s propaganda machine amplifies alt-right’] I find this quite extraordinary. The suggestion that Russia is behind the pandemonium that currently reigns in Washington strikes me as beyond preposterous. That Russian media might exploit fissures and factional battles in US politics — maybe with a certain discernible tone of glee — […]

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NEWSLINK: “On Free Press in Russia” – Cornell Daily Sun/ Artur Gorokh

Adapted File Photo of TV Set in Russia with Camera, Camerman, Woman on Set in Background

“… When thinking about the issue of free press, we must address two separate issues: firstly, how much effort does it take for a motivated individual to get access to reliable information and diverse opinion; and, secondly, how informed the typically unmotivated population really is. …”

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NEWSWATCH @McFaul: “I constantly want to remind people that RT and Sputnik are state-owned propaganda organizations. You should too.” – Michael McFaul / Twitter

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

(Michael McFaul – @McFaul – Twitter – August 21, 2017) “I constantly want to remind people that RT and Sputnik are state-owned propaganda organizations. You should too.” [embedded live feed of tweet also should load below] I constantly want to remind people that RT and Sputnik are state-owned propaganda organizations. You should too. https://t.co/BpODfcZuyY — Michael McFaul (@McFaul) August 21, 2017

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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 LOST ARCHIVE OF MAJOR MARTIN MANHOFF” – Douglas Smith/ Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies

File Photo of Reel of Film

“… In early 1952, Martin and Jan moved to the Soviet Union, where he was to serve as assistant military attaché in the US Embassy, then located directly across from the Kremlin on Mokhovaya Street. They remained there for two years when Martin was expelled from the USSR on espionage charges. The couple returned to Washington state …. Martin died […]

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New U.S. Website Aims To Track Russian ‘Disinformation’ On Twitter

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

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Aug. 3, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/us-pro-democracy-group-german-marshall-fund-launches-website-tracking-russian-disinformation-twitter/28656024.html) WASHINGTON — A pro-democracy group has launched a new website to monitor and highlight what it says is Russian-backed disinformation on Twitter. The site, called Hamilton 68, which was launched on August 2, is a project of the Alliance for Securing Democracy, […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russian propaganda has flooded U.S. airwaves. How about some reciprocity?” – Washington Post editorial

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

  “… The asymmetry is a problem. … Putin’s government, intent on undermining liberal democracies by casting doubt on the very notion of truth, and sowing division and doubt about basic Western institutions, has become increasingly adept at weaponizing information. U.S. intelligence agencies have called attention to Moscow’s fake news campaign, as have U.S. allies in Europe. … The wild […]

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Two New Signs Russians are Ceasing to Trust the Kremlin’s Messages

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 25, 2017) In a lead article today, the editors of Nezavisimaya gazeta say that for the first time fewer than half of all Russians say they trust government TV in large part because the economy and its problems are the primary focus of Russians in their everyday lives but the last […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Across Russia, Protesters and Kremlin Backers Seek the Upper Hand; In towns like Izhevsk, a reinvigorated opposition is running into efforts to nip the movement in the bud” – Wall Street Journal/ James Marson

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

“… Protest leaders face fines and jail time for minor infractions, relatives of activists receive warnings from bosses, and students are told not to attend rallies, according to opposition supporters. … The movement has energized Russia’s youth, who make up the bulk of protesters. … But protests are still relatively small. Opposition leaders say people are preoccupied with their own problems, […]

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Anti-Corruption Protests Didn’t Make Navalny More Popular – Poll

Kremlin and River

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 17, 2017) Highly publicized anti-corruption protests organized by opposition leader Alexei Navalny in June did not increase his popularity, the news outlet RBC reported Monday. Citing an unpublished report by independent pollster Lavada Center, RBC said the percentage of respondents who recognize Navalny and the Anti-Corruption Fund that he leads remained unchanged from March […]

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

Kremlin and River

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

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Tributes to Anton Nossik, Pioneer of Russia’s Internet, Cut Across Divides; The Internet’s ‘Pushkin’ died on July 9, just days after turning 51

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Lena Smirnova, Michele Berdy – July 10, 2017) When Anton Nossik, the “godfather” of the Russian Internet, died from a heart attack in the early hours of July 9, heartfelt condolences poured in across generations and political divides. The poet Lev Rubinshtein remembered him from childhood as a “wunderkind.” Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev described Nossik […]

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NEWSLINK: “Will the cliche of the ‘Russian baddie’ ever leave our screens? With James Norton starring in McMafia, an upcoming BBC drama about a mob family, the country’s criminal image shows no sign of disappearing” – The Guardian (UK)/ Stuart Jeffries

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

“… Will McMafia buck or conform to the stereotypes? On the lawn of Munden House, James Norton tells the Guide that he hopes his performance will remind us that Russians are different to what is considered the norm on cinema and TV. He says that one reason he wanted to play Alex, the Anglo-Russian who’s both revolted and seduced by […]

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NEWSLINK: “Media Contempt for Facts Grows Along With the Dangers of War With Russia; “Russiagate” has become a grave threat to US national security-but its discredited foundational allegations persist.” – The Nation/ Stephen F. Cohen

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

“Nation Contributing Editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments, now in their fourth year, are at TheNation.com.) Cohen is increasingly alarmed that as Washington and Moscow drift toward military conflict, the US political-media establishment remains obsessed with “Russiagate”-allegations that Russian President Putin ordered the hacking of the Democratic […]

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Putin’s Next Spectacle

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

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

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

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

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

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Natural Born Liar

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

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore- June 22, 2017) [Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, also appeared at rferl.org/a/daily-vertical-transcript-natural-born-liar/28572901.html] What is the point of lying when what you are saying is obviously, demonstrably, and often ridiculously false? It’s a question worth asking in the aftermath of U.S. filmmaker Oliver Stone’s recent interview series with Vladimir Putin. During the […]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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JOB OPPORTUNITY: [Bilingual Journalist/ Researcher/ Reporting Assistant Position in Moscow with Washington Post] – Michael Birnbaum/ Washington Post/ facebook

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

The Washington Post‘s Michael Birnbaum has posted on facebook about a new opportunity in Moscow with the Washington Post: “… The Washington Post is looking for a highly motivated, resourceful and fast-thinking early-career journalist to fill a position in Moscow as a researcher and reporting assistant. … research, administrative work, and independent reporting and writing. … a passion for news, an obsession […]

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RUSSIALINK Amazon: “The Putin Interviews Paperback – June 16, 2017 by Oliver Stone (Author), Robert Scheer (Foreword)”

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

“WITH SUBSTANTIAL MATERIAL NOT INCLUDED IN THE DOCUMENTARY Academy Award winner Oliver Stone was able to secure what journalists, news organizations, and even other world leaders have long coveted: extended, unprecedented access to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Putin Interviews are culled from more than a dozen interviews with Putin over a two-year span–never before has the Russian leader spoken […]

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Moscow’s English-Language Weekly To Change Hands, Cut Staff

Moscow Times Sample Covers and Mobile Device Display

(©2017 RFE/RL, Inc. – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, June 7, 2017 – article from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, also appeared at rferl.org/a/moscow-times-sold-cut-staff/28533926.html) A Dutch-registered foundation is reportedly poised to acquire the English-language Moscow Times in a shake-up that is expected to include major staff cuts and a discontinuation of the print version after a quarter-century in the Russian […]

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Putin Needs an Intelligentsia that Complains but Knows Its Place, Shevtsova Says

Kremlin and River

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 7, 2015) Vladimir Putin needs a constantly complaining but one that knows what not to criticize – his person and immediate entourage – and how not to act – by taking part in demonstrations or in politics – so that Russia will appear to be a civilized country and popular anger […]

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Putin’s ‘Magic’ has Disappeared Like Cinderella’s Coach, Golts Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 6, 2017) Like Cinderella’s coach at the stroke of midnight, Vladimir Putin’s “magic,” his “negative charm, no longer works” as it did in the past, Aleksandr Golts says. Instead, as the recent St. Petersburg Export Forum showed, it has disappeared or more precisely turned into something else entirely (ej.ru/?a=note&id=31172). For most […]

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RUSSIALINK: Direct Line with Vladimir Putin will be held at 12pm on June 15

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium Gesturing

(Kremlin.ru – June 4, 2017) On June 15, at 12 pm Moscow time the annual special Direct Line with Vladimir Putin will be broadcast live by Channel One, Rossiya-1 and Rossiya-24 TV channels, and Mayak, Vesti FM and Radio Rossii radio stations. In line with tradition, the President will answer questions from Russians regarding public and political affairs and the […]

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Talking Heads: How Russia’s Videobloggers are Shaping Public Opinion; As Russians turn from their televisions in favour of YouTube, the Kremlin is struggling to find a primetime slot.

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ola Cichowlas – June 2, 2017) When Sasha Spilberg addressed the Duma on May 22, few Russians under the age of 25 even knew who she was. “My name is Sasha Spilberg and I have over 10 million followers on social media,” the 19-year-old told the Russian parliament as part of a debate on youth […]

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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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