Sarah Lindemann-Komarova: “Russia’s Happy Ending”

Russia Map

Subject: Russia’s Happy Ending Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2018 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> Russia’s Happy Ending By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova [Founder, Siberian Civic Initiatives Support Center 1995 – 2014. Helped to establish this as the hub for the first civil society development support network in the former Soviet Union.] Link for article with pictures and video medium.com/@ECHOSiberia/russias-happy-ending-c77b332a6eec How much money do […]

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

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

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

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RUSSIALINK: “Meduza Chief Editor Resigns Following Sexual Harassment Claims” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nov. 9, 2018) The Russian-language Meduza news website has announced the resignation of its chief editor Ivan Kolpakov following reports that he had harassed a co-worker’s wife at a staff party. Kolpakov, who served as Meduza’s chief editor since 2016, reportedly groped the buttocks of a colleague’s wife at a party last month before telling […]

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NEWSLINK: “Why It’s Still in Russia’s Interest to Mess With US Politics” – AP

Multilingual Polling Place Sign from U.S. Election Polling Place

PARIS – Sweeping accusations that the Kremlin tried to sway the 2016 U.S. election haven’t chastened Russian trolls, hackers and spies – and might even have emboldened them. U.S. officials and tech companies say Russians have continued online activity targeted at American voters during the campaign for Tuesday’s election, masquerading as U.S. institutions and creating faux-American social media posts to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Americans Are Easy Marks for Russian Trolls, According to New Data; A Daily Beast analysis of Twitter data shows the Kremlin troll farm’s English-language propaganda is nine times more effective than its disinformation in Russian.” – Daily Beast/Kevin Poulsen

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

“… Best estimates trace the founding of the Internet Research Agency to August 2013, and for eight months of its existence the Saint Petersburg troll farm was focused on influencing citizens in Russia and Russia’s near abroad. Then in April 2014 the Kremlin-linked organization launched ‘Project Lakhta,’ according to federal prosecutors, aimed squarely at the United States. The IRA’s first […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russian Studies in the Era of Trump” – Ohio State University Slavic and East European Journal

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

“… Russian Studies in the Era of Trump: A SEEB Series Organized by Ani Kokobobo: Researching Russian Conspiracy Theories in the Age of Trump by Eliot Borenstein … Making Russian Great Again: Language, Dissent, and Critical Pedagogy by Thomas Jesús Garza … Teaching Chekhov in the Time of Trump by Anne Lounsbery … Redefining the Russian Civilization and Culture Survey […]

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NEWSLINK: “Is a New Russian Meddling Tactic Hiding in Plain Sight?” – New York Times/Kevin Roose

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

“To an untrained eye, USAReally might look like any other fledgling news organization vying for attention in a crowded media landscape. Its website publishes a steady stream of stories on hot-button political issues like race, immigration and income inequality. It has reader polls, a video section and a daily podcast. But this is no ordinary media start-up. USAReally is based […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Plot to Subvert an Election; Unraveling the Russia Story So Far” – New York Times/SCOTT SHANE, MARK MAZZETTI

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

“For two years, Americans have tried to absorb the details of the 2016 attack -hacked emails, social media fraud, suspected spies – and President Trump’s claims that it’s all a hoax. The Times explores what we know and what it means.”

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NEWSLINK: “How Putin Works to Weaken Faith in the Rule of Law and Our Justice System” – Lawfare/Suzanne Spaulding, Harvey Rishikof

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

“The ‘Secure Borders’ Facebook group was not the product of outraged Twin Falls residents. It was created by Russian operatives as part of Russia’s ongoing campaign to weaken our institutions of American democracy — in this case, by sowing discord and painting the justice system as an agent of politicians. …”  

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[Re:] American Intelligence [… Trump, Ukraine, Russia … “Fear: Trump in the White House/Woodward” … Politico ]

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

Fear: Trump in the White House Bob Woodward – p.230 “McMaster (National Security Adviser) said that, at 6:03 a.m., Trump had tweeted:

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

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

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

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NEWSLINK: “‘THE AMERICANS’ TRUE GIFT? LOOKING INSIDE THE MIND OF VLADIMIR PUTIN” – Wired/Emily Dreyfuss

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

“Before he was president of Russia, Vladimir Putin was an intelligence officer in Dresden, East Germany. His job there was to recruit ‘illegals,’ USSR spies who would embed in everyday life and report back to the KGB. If you’ve ever watched the FX show The Americans, then you’re familiar with how this all worked: The focal characters of that show […]

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RUSSIALINK: “TV Still Russia’s Biggest News Source, but Trust Plummets – Poll” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 13, 2018) Television remains the biggest news source for Russians but has become less trusted over the past decade, according to a new poll published by the independent Levada Center. Seventy-three percent of respondents told Levada that they get their news from television, down from 85 percent this spring. Online news outlets were the […]

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U.S., EU Warn Ukraine Ruling Endangers Press Freedom, Corruption Fight

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – September 5, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/u-s-eu-warn-ukraine-sedletska-ruling-endangers-press-freedom-corruption-fight/29473976.html) The United States, the European Union, and international media watchdogs have expressed concern over a Ukrainian court ruling that gives the authorities access to the cellphone data of an RFE/RL investigative reporter spanning a period of 17 months. The court decision could […]

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Russian Officials Warn Google Not To ‘Meddle’ In Elections By Hosting Navalny Videos

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Sept. 5, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russian-officials-warn-google-not-meddle-in-elections-hosting-navalny-videos-youtube/29472527.html) Russian officials say they have warned U.S. Internet giant Google against “meddling” in local elections scheduled for this weekend by allowing Kremlin foe Aleksei Navalny to post videos calling for mass protests on YouTube. Representatives of Russia’s election commission, the Prosecutor-General’s Office, […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin Gets Love From New State TV Show as Poll Ratings Slide” – Moscow Times

Kremlin and River

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Sept. 3, 2018) [https://russia.tv/brand/show/brand_id/63170/] Russian state television started a new weekly show devoted to Vladimir Putin, lauding the president’s leadership qualities, physical energy and attentiveness to public needs. The first hour-long episode of “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin” broadcast in prime time on Rossiya-1 TV on Sunday featured breathless commentary on Putin’s meetings and visits in the […]

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Andrei Liakhov: “Short comment on Weir/Galeotti (Re: 2018-#157–Johnson’s Russia List item #1)” [Re: re New York Times: “Kremlin Sources Go Quiet, Leaving C.I.A. in the Dark About Putin’s Plans for Midterms”]

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

Subject: Short comment on Weir/Galeotti (Re: 2018-#157–Johnson’s Russia List item #1) Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2018 From: Andrei Liakhov <gaffriloff@yahoo.co.uk> Short comment on Weir/Galeotti What these two gentlemen miss in their assessment of the NYT totally improbable story is this: NYT was asked to publish this totally as a diversion for the Russian counter intelligence in an attempt to divert […]

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

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

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

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “… Apart from … whether … U.S. intelligence … has such a cohort of well-placed spooks that it can be cavalier about their security, the willingness today especially of the NYT and WaPo to run stories based pretty much entirely on ‘some spook we can’t name us told us this’ is quite alarming. …” – Mark Galeotti

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

(Mark Galeotti – Facebook – August 28, 2018) [live feed of facebook post should load below; click here for direct link: facebook.com/markgaleottionrussia/posts/1652509411544245; core text also pasted in further below] [additional copy of core text pasted below, in case embedded loading delayed] Fred Weir is spot on here. Apart from the wider issue of whether the US intelligence community has such […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Fred Weir: ‘This is amazing, astounding, really …’ [Re:] New York Times: “Kremlin Sources Go Quiet, Leaving C.I.A. in the Dark About Putin’s Plans for Midterms'” – Fred Weir/Facebook/New York Times

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

(Fred Weir – facebook – August 25, 2018 – facebook.com/fred.weir/posts/10216143412434220) [live embedded feed of facebook post should load below; click here for direct link: facebook.com/fred.weir/posts/10216143412434220; text and link also recopied further below as back-up]   “This is amazing, astounding, really. All these stories, including this one, splashed over front pages, are purporting to tell us something about the most sensitive […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia trolls ‘spreading vaccination misinformation’ to create discord” – BBC

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

“Troll accounts that had attempted to influence the US election had also been tweeting about vaccines, a study says. Many posted both pro- and anti-vaccination messages to create “false equivalency”, the study found. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Russia’s got the gas and is ready to set fire to our system of democracy” – Miami Herald/Markos Kounalakis

Kremlin and River

“… even a currency crunch won’t stop Russia’s foreign interventions because, despite punitive sanctions, the price of oil, ultimately, pays for its troublemaking. High energy prices are the cost of power transferred from Europe and the United States to Russia and other petrostates. The higher the Brent crude price and the market for natural gas, the greater Russia’s domestic tranquility […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s VK announces privacy changes to protect users from arrest” – bne Intellinews

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

“Russia social media site vKontakte (VK) expanded its privacy functions to give its users more tools to protect them from arrest, the company said …. The Kremlin has been cracking down on online criticism of the government. Vedomosti reports that of 182 criminal cases launched in 2017 for social network posts, 138 were based on VK posts, with another four […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why Bloomberg Got It Wrong; Today’s dominant ‘party lines’ are often shaping reporting to a greater extent than the facts” – The National Interest/Paul J. Saunders

File Photo of Jared Kushner adapted from image at defense.gov with photo credit to Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro, adapted by Steven C. Welsh www.stevencwelsh.info :: www.stevencwelsh.com

“George Orwell was never overly impressed with the news media, which he considered often more interested in advancing preferred narratives than reporting the facts. … Today’s dominant ‘party lines’ are likewise often shaping reporting to a greater extent than the facts. … Bloomberg reporters Caleb Melby and David Kocieniewski, who recently sought to insinuate the Center for the National Interest […]

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Research the revenge: what we’re getting wrong about Russia Today; Data-mining and analysis will not reveal what makes Russian propaganda tick.

Kremlin and River

(opendemocracy.net – Vasily Gatov – August 15, 2018) Vasily Gatov is visiting fellow at the Center of Communication Leadership and Policy at USC Annenberg, and is a Russian media researcher and author based in Boston. He has over 30 years of professional experience in domestic and international media, as well as media analysis, strategy and development. [opendemocracy.net/od-russia/vasily-gatov/what-we-are-getting-wrong-about-russia-today] I personally know […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Kremlin urges social media prosecutions to stay within ‘reason'” – Interfax

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

(Interfax – August 14, 2018) The Kremlin has called on investigators and courts in Russia to stay within reason when prosecuting social media users for content they have posted online. “Of course, it is impossible to use general phrases here as each case is unique and needs a separate investigation … But, of course we know that there have been […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Misery” – Irrussianality/Paul Robinson

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

“… If the only American media you consumed was the New York Times, you’d come to the inevitable conclusions that a) Americans are united in their obsessive hatred of their president, and b) it’s all the fault of those horrible Russians who colluded with Trump to get him elected. But judging by the bestseller list, it’s not the New York […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Venediktov quit Ekho board of directors to avoid conflict of interest over radio station’s budget” – Interfax

File Photo of Interview on Ekho Moskvy Radio

MOSCOW. July 30 (Interfax) – Ekho Moskvy editor-in-chief Alexei Venediktov said he quit the radio station’s board of directors over a conflict of interest; the decision to replace him with his deputy Yekaterina Godlina was made and approved by shareholders back in late June. “The decision was due to the fact that a majority of the board of directors supported […]

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Trump Bump and Trump Filter Bubble: How the media’s obsession with Trump may encourage the Russian propaganda machine

Satellite Dishes

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Andrey Miroshnichenko, Sergei Samoilenko – July 27, 2018) Andrey Miroshnichenko, is a Ph.D. student in communication and culture at York University, Toronto. Sergei Samoilenko is professor in the Communication department at George Mason University. [Text with links: kennan-russiafile.org/2018/07/27/trump-bump-and-trump-filter-bubble-how-the-medias-obsession-with-trump-may-encourage-the-russian-propaganda-machine/] The recent Helsinki summit put U.S.- Russia relations back in the headlines. The critical coverage of the […]

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George Beebe: Subject: Correction re article in The National Interest (JRL #132 item 9)

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

Subject: Correction re article in The National Interest (JRL #132 item 9) Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2018 From: George Beebe <gsbeebe@me.com> The folks at The National Interest bungled the authorship of the “Trump-Putin/Cold War” article attributed to me. It was, in fact, written by Daniel McCarthy. I have a separate article on the subject that should be online soon. [Re. […]

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NEWSLINK: “Summitgate and the Campaign vs. ‘Peace’; Not surprisingly, Trump’s meetings with NATO and Putin are being portrayed as ominous events by Russiagaters” – The Nation/Stephen F. Cohen

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

“As Cohen pointed out in previous discussions, U.S.-Russian (Soviet and post-Soviet) summits are a long tradition going back to FDR’s wartime meeting with Stalin in Yalta in 1943. Every American president since FDR met with a Kremlin leader in a summit-style format at least once, several doing so multiple times. The purpose was always to resolve conflicts and enhance cooperation […]

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NEWSLINK: “Implausible Deniability: Novichok Victim Dies: Did the Kremlin Really Lose Control of its Deadliest Poisons? The real question is where does the Russian criminal state end and the criminal underworld begin, and how do they work together in what amounts to a new murder incorporated?” – Daily Beast/Amy Knight

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

“… Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley visited … Salisbury and somehow ingested the exotic nerve agent used in the poisoning of Russian defector Sergei Skripal and his daughter …. Sturgess died. … a 44-year-old mother of three. … the police now have a murder case on their hands.  The masterminds of the Skripal attack, at least, are thought to be […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russiagate’s ‘Core Narrative’ Has Always Lacked Actual Evidence; The unprecedented allegation that the Kremlin ‘attacked America’ and ‘colluded’ with its president in order to elect him is based on two documents devoid of facts or logic” – The Nation/Stephen F. Cohen

Multilingual Polling Place Sign from U.S. Election Polling Place

“… Cohen reminds listeners that the Russiagate scandal, which first leaked into the media in mid-2016, has already done immense political damage during these two years. …”

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NEWSLINK: “David Dimbleby on a Russia in crisis and the holes in President Putin’s defence” – The Times (UK)

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

“With coercion and cunning propaganda, the president has kept Russians in line. But on a pre-World Cup visit David Dimbleby finds money is running out and the Kremlin’s cultivation of a siege mentality is starting to backfire”

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RUSSIALIST: “Journalist Who Faked Own Death in Kiev Demands $50,000 for Interview” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 5, 2018) Arkady Babchenko, the exiled Russian journalist who faked his own death in Ukraine to evade what he says was a Russian assassination plot, has set a $50,000 price for an exclusive interview. Ukrainian security officials said they staged Babchenko’s apparent murder last week to thwart and expose a Russian plot to assassinate […]

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Reporter’s Notebook: After A ‘Death’ And ‘Resurrection’ In Kyiv, Confusion And A Desire For Answers

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Christopher Miller – KYIV, June 1, 2018 – article also appeared at rferl.org/a/reporters-notebook-after-death-and-resurrection-in-kyiv-confusion-and-desire-for-answers/29266391.html) The news arrived with a soft ping that hit like a ton of bricks: “Arkady was just killed.” Dozens of members of a Facebook Messenger group for journalists in Ukraine and Russia understood at once it […]

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Amid ‘Russiagate’ Hysteria, What Are the Facts? We must end this Russophobic insanity

Jack Matlock file photo, adapted from image at usembassy.gov

(Jack F. Matlock Jr. – June 2, 2018) Jack F. Matlock Jr., Ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987 to 1991, is the author of Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended and Superpower Illusions: How Myths and False Ideologies Led America Astray-And How to Return to Reality. [Short Version: thenation.com/article/amid-russiagate-hysteria-what-are-the-facts/] [Longer version: jackmatlock.com/2018/06/musings-russiagate-hysteria/#more-982] Whom the gods would destroy, […]

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NEWSLINK: “Translating “The Americans,” and Seeing a Mirror of My Own American Experience” – The New Yorker/Masha Gessen

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

“… I immigrated to the United States with my parents in 1981, the year the show begins. … * * * In its quest for uncanny accuracy, ‘The Americans’ was full of lessons about Russia, spies, the Cold War, and life. The most important of these, surely, is that eternity will come crashing down when you least expect it to.”

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RUSSIALINK: “Ukrainian president reacts to criticism of Babchenko’s staged murder, praises security operation” – Interfax

Petro Poroshenko file photo, with additional men in background, adapted from image at state.gov

KYIV. May 31 (Interfax) – Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has responded to critics of the Ukrainian security services’ special operation that involved staging a murder of the Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko in Kyiv. “You should be accusing Russia, not the Ukrainians. The Ukrainians are doing everything possible to keep themselves together and to defend themselves. I can assure you it […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘Assassins were trying kill Babchenko. He has every right to do anything to survive. (As someone who also has had death threats lodged against me, I find lectures about how hunted people are supposed to act to be insensitive.)'” – Michael McFaul/Twitter

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

(Michael McFaul – @McFaul – Twitter – May 31, 2018) “‘Assassins were trying kill Babchenko. He has every right to do anything to survive. (As someone who also has had death threats lodged against me, I find lectures about how hunted people are supposed to act to be insensitive.)’” [embedded live feed of tweet also should load below] Assassins were […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Whatever It Was, We Didn’t Do It” – New York Times Editorial

Kremlin and River

“… Russia’s reaction to all accusations of foul play [has been consistent], whether … [to] well-documented charges by the Netherlands, Australia and other nations that [Russia] was responsible for downing a Malaysian jetliner over Ukraine in 2014, killing 298 … the British accusation that Russia was most likely behind the poisoning of a double agent and his daughter in England […]

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NEWSLINK: “Babchenko’s Death and Russia’s Dark Power; Russia has adopted a policy of blessing freelance murders carried out in its name” – Moscow Times/Mark Galeotti

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“Editor’s note: Since the publication of this article, Arkady Babchenko has appeared at a press conference in Kiev, and said his ‘murder’ was part of a sting operation. … Another dead critic of the Kremlin. Another round of knee-jerk accusations and denials. Another funeral.  Does the Putin regime murder its enemies as a matter of policy, does it simply create […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “SUNY New Paltz graduates told to help preserve democracy, beware of fake news [Excerpt]” – Daily Freeman (Kingston, New York)/William J. Kemble

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

“Graduates of the Class of 2018 at SUNY New Paltz … were encouraged to preserve democracy by not buying into fake news coming from an apparent Russian propaganda campaign. James Ottaway Jr., president of Ottaway Newspapers, raised the urgency during his commencement address, saying there is a responsibility for people to avoid taking a shallow approach when reviewing information that […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Battle Against Kremlin Propaganda Network RT” – Daily Beast/Jamie Ross

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

“The Kremlin-funded news channel RT is facing an existential threat in one of its most important target markets. An onslaught of 10 simultaneous investigations into alleged breaches of impartiality laws leave it in serious danger of losing its broadcasting license in the United Kingdom. After years of broadcasting a pro-Russian take on the day’s news to a small but loyal band […]

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NEWSLINK 2007: “David Johnson in the Moscow News [11 years ago]” – Sean’s Russia Blog/Sean Guillory/Moscow News

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

“Since the merits of David Johnson and his, in my opinion, indispensable Johnson’s Russia List is such a hot topic of debate, I point readers to his interview in the Moscow News. It is rare that we actually hear what the man behind JRL actually thinks about Russia. Most of the time critics infer his views from the copious numbers […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin Signs Order to Restructure Government Ministries” – Moscow Times

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

President Vladimir Putin has signed an executive order to restructure several government ministries after meeting with Prime Minister-designate Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday. Among other shifts, the order created a Ministry of Science and Higher Education separate from the Education Ministry and added digital development to the portfolio of the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media, while adding a tenth deputy […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Don’t ‘overdo’ it online, if you fear the fuzz; A linguist explains the messy science that fuels Russia’s anti-extremism policing” – Meduza

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

“The number of ‘extremist’ crimes committed in Russia has been growing for the past several years. According to the ‘Sova’ analytical center, police launched 563 extremism investigations in 2016 and 858 new cases in 2017. Most of the suspects in these investigations are ordinary Internet users who have expressed their political views on social media. Dozens of these people have […]

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NEWSWATCH: “After a week of Russian propaganda, I was questioning everything” – PBS Newshour/Elizabeth Flock

Satellite Dishes

“… Enter Radio Sputnik. Like its sister outlet RT … a Russian government-funded media outlet, widely seen by Russia experts as a vehicle to disseminate disinformation for the Kremlin, and, like its space-dwelling namesake, to make the West look bad. … RT is television[ …] Sputnik lives on the radio, a wire service and website. Both RT and Sputnik are […]

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UKRAINELINK: “With influence activities exposed, Kremlin acts even more boldly – Estonian intel chief” – UNIAN

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

“The fact that Russian influence operations were thrust into the public limelight with revelations of Moscow’s interference with U.S. elections did not deter the Kremlin; on the contrary – it takes pride in it, according to Mikk Marran, Director General of the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service. From the Kremlin’s perspective, influence operations are ‘cheap, reliable and essential,’ Marran wrote ….” […]

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