“Johnson’s Russia List Want Ad” – The JRL Needs Your Support

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Dear JRL recipient, I want and need your support. It’s obvious. Johnson’s Russia List is needed more than ever these days. No further elaboration or exhortation is required. Please do also check out the fabulous and lively JRL archive at russialist.org $50 is the normal annual contribution. Business-users should contribute more. A minimum contribution of $25 is suggested. HOW TO […]

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Interfax: Putin calls ‘media attacks’ a reaction to the consolidation of Russia

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking At All-Russia Popular Front Gathering

(Interfax – April 25, 2016) Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that media attacks on Russia were the reaction to the country’s strengthening, its capability to protect own interest. “You are right, this is surely the reaction of our opponents (let’s call them this way) to the consolidation of the country. It’s just that such a player, who is independent, sovereign, […]

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BBC Accuses British, Russian Media Of Skewing MH17 Reporting

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(RFE/RL – Carl Schreck – April 25, 2016) The BBC has issued a rare defense of an upcoming documentary about the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine, accusing British media of distorting its report about a tragedy that killed 298 passengers and crew in July 2014. A report by Britain’s Sunday Express tabloid “misrepresented” the BBC program, […]

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Hard Work vs. Magic

Kremlin and River

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Maxim Trudolyubov, Senior Fellow, Kennan Institute. Editor-at-Large, Vedomosti Daily – April 19, 2016) Russian officials still refer to “conditions for doing business” or “quality of governance” when discussing the country’s economic performance. But the lack of gravitas in these conversations is palpable. Russia’s official economic policymakers command an excellent understanding of the country’s economic problems, […]

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Fifteen Characteristics of Russian Propaganda

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 18, 2016) Russian propaganda makes use of so many techniques to succeed that Moscow novelist and commentator Elizaveta Aleksandrova-Zorina performs a useful service by listing in an article in “Gazeta.ru” 15 of its favorite and, it should be said, effective methods (gazeta.ru/comments/2016/04/14_a_8178095.shtml). These include: A black and white division of the […]

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Ben Aris : JRL#71 response/Brian Whitmore

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

Subject: JRL#71 response/Brian Whitmore Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2016 From: Ben Aris <baris@bne.eu> (Ben Aris, editor-in-chief – bne IntelliNews – bne.eu) I would like to respond to item #9 in JRL #71 of April 15 “What I learned on Russian TV” by Brian Whitmore. I should do a ripose entitled “what I learned from reading this piece”, but I am […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Truth and Justice regional and local media forum

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

(Kremlin.ru – St Petersburg – April 7, 2016) Vladimir Putin took part in the third Truth and Justice regional and local media forum. The media forum is organised by the Russian Popular Front and focuses on topical issues in regional life, the development of independent Russian journalism, and international issues. The forum participants include journalists from all around Russia, bloggers, […]

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Putin calls free press enemy of frauds, bribers, not administration

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

ST. PETERSBURG. April 7 (Interfax) – The free press can be an enemy only for frauds and bribers, not the administration as such, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “The free press can only be an enemy for frauds, bribers and criminals, but there can be no such situation for the administration as such, which is serving people,” Putin said at […]

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Direct Line with Vladimir Putin will take place on April 14 at midday

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

(Kremlin.ru – April 7, 2016) The 14th annual Direct Line with Vladimir Putin will start at midday Moscow time on April 14 and will be broadcast by television channels Channel One, Rossiya 1, Rossiya 24, and radio stations Mayak, Vesti FM, and Radio Rossii. Following the same format as previously, the President will speak directly with people from around the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Mikhail Lesin’s Strange Death in U.S. Follows a Fall From Russia’s Elite” – New York Times

U.S. Capitol at Twilight With Washington Monument, National Mall, Washington, D.C., Environs and Sunset in Background

It took more than four months for the city’s medical examiner to announce the cause of death … not a heart attack … but rather ‘blunt force injuries.’ But the autopsy left the manner of death undetermined. … fuel[ing] speculation … Lesin might have been murdered, presumably by a financial or political rival …. *** police … continue to treat […]

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The Soviet Adventures Of Steve Jobs

Mac Computer file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Carl Schreck – April 1, 2016) In the summer of 1985, a young commercial attache at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow sat down with two representatives of the California computer company Apple who were visiting the heart of the Soviet empire. One was an “older guy,” the attache, Mike Merin, recalls. The other was “this lanky, […]

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News Flash! The Truth Is Heard On Russian TV

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

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – The Daily Vertical: Brian Whitmore – April 1, 2016) Every once in awhile, a voice of reason and truth can be heard — even on Russian state television. What? You don’t believe me? Well, look, I saw it with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears — and I don’t think I was […]

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TRANSCRIPT EXCERPT: Remarks by the President at the 2016 Toner Prize Ceremony [excerpt re: Putin]

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

(White House – March 28, 2016) The White House Office of the Press Secretary March 28, 2016 Remarks by the President at the 2016 Toner Prize Ceremony. (excerpt re Putin) THE PRESIDENT: I’ll tell you — I probably maybe shouldn’t do this, but what the heck, I’m in my last year. (Laughter.) I had an in-depth conversation with President Putin […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Baltic Elves Taking on Pro-Russian Trolls; What at first looked like as a social media grudge match could be a precursor to invasion, war, and resistance in the Baltics” – TheDailyBeast.com

Map of Baltics and Environs, Including Kaliningrad

Mindaugas is an unassuming, thirtysomething advertising agency director by day … ferocious cyber-warrior by night. He started a phenomenon … in Lithuania … countering Kremlin propaganda and disinformation …. ‘We needed to call our group something. … we were fighting trolls. … I said, “Let’s be elves.”‘ There were 20 or 30 at first, when the trolls began … leaving […]

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Russia Is Giving up on Its Tragedies-and on Itself

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 13, Issue 45 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Pavel K. Baev – March 7, 2016) Pavel K. Baev is a research professor at the Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) and nonresident senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings. President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating is regularly accepted as a proxy […]

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VIDEO & ARTICLE: “The Masters Of Nothing”

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

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – The Daily Vertical: Brian Whitmore – March 11, 2016) Is it real or is it parody? Chechnya’s human rights ombudsman said a group of journalists and human rights activists brutally assaulted en route from Ingushetia this week may have staged the attack themselves. Meanwhile, the head of the Russian Skating Union said that the reason Russian […]

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Russia Uses More Tools Than Just its Military to Influence, Threaten Neighbors

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

(U.S. Naval Institute – Panel: news.usni.org – John Grady – March 10, 2016) Russia’s meddling in countries along its borders “has deep roots” and likely would continue after President Vladimir Putin finally leaves the Kremlin, an expert in political risk said Wednesday. Agnia Grigas, a fellow at Occidental College and author of the newly released Beyond Crimea: The New Russian […]

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Hooliganism case opened after attack on journalists and rights activists on Ingush-Chechen border

Caucasus Map of Chechnya and Caucasus Environs

MOSCOW. March 10 (Interfax) – A criminal investigation has been opened after unknown persons attacked a minibus carrying human rights activists and journalists on the administrative border between Ingushetia and Chechnya, in Russia’s North Caucasus, last night, a spokesman for the region’s security services told Interfax. “A criminal case has been launched under Article 167 (deliberate destruction or damage of […]

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Leaked NATO report praises ‘professionalism’ of Russia’s air force in Syria

satellite-dish-big-disa-mil

Russian mass media have been discussing a classified NATO report that praised the performance of the Russian aerospace contingent in Syria. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – NIKOLAI SHEVCHENKO, RBTH – March 9, 2016) A number of Russian publications have referred to a leaked NATO document that allegedly acknowledged the “efficiency” and “professionalism” of Russia’s aerospace forces in Syria. […]

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Why we don’t publish articles about Putin

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

Mainstream media in the west and Russia is fixated on the Russian president. Here’s why we’re not. (opendemocracy.net – MAXIM EDWARDS, THOMAS ROWLEY, NATALIA ANTONOVA, MIKHAIL KALUZHSKY – March 4, 2016) Maxim Edwards is Commissioning Editor at oDR. Tom Rowley is lead editor at oDR. Natalia Antonova is Associate Editor at oDR. Mikhail Kaluzhsky is Lead Russian-Language Editor at oDR. […]

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Russian media silent as U.S. extends sanctions against Moscow

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

The U.S. has extended its economic sanctions regime against Russia. While the mass media kept quiet on the news, one or two outlets speculated about the possible reasons behind the decision as well as about the likely outcome of a coming EU vote on whether to follow suit. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – NIKOLAI SHEVCHENKO, SPECIAL TO RBTH […]

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NEWSLINK Russia Direct: “How does the Internet fit into Russia’s security strategy? Against the background of continuing confrontation with the West and growing domestic authoritarianism, the Kremlin is continuing on a path of increased state control of the Russian Internet and a significantly expanded view of information security.”

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NEWSLINK TASS: “Russian blogger stands trial on charges of insulting believers’ religious feelings”

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

Mail.ru Overtakes Yandex as Most Valuable Russian Internet Company

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 1, 2016) Russian Internet giant Mail.ru Group has topped a ranking of the most valuable companies operating in the Russian Internet segment for the first time, according to a rating released by the Russian version of Forbes magazine Monday. Mail.ru Group includes the mail.ru portal as well as the Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki social networks, […]

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Standing Up for Reason: Russian Academia Fights Pseudoscience

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Daria Litvinova – February 22, 2016) A young woman named Nikol looks to the camera, wiping away what seem to be tears of happiness. She has reason to be happy, having navigated through to the next round of the Russian television show “Battle of the Psychics.” Somehow, she had managed to select the one car […]

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Russians Still Get News from TV But Trust It Far Less than They Did, Gudkov Says

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, February 21, 2016) More than eight out of ten Russians still get their news from television, but the share of them trusting that source has fallen from 79 percent in 2008 to only 41 percent now, a trend that is leading ever more of them to rely on family members and close […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian Premier Bypasses Ban on File-Sharing Site” – Transitions Online

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

Determined users can easily slip past Russia’s strict anti-piracy laws. … Medvedev used his personal iPad to reach the site during a meeting in which measures to combat piracy were under discussion…. the banned file-sharing website RuTracker …. Click here for Transitions Online: Russian Premier Bypasses Ban on File-Sharing Site  

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NEWSWATCH: “Countering Putin begins with knowing what his regime is saying” [Bring back FBIS] – The Hill/Stephen Blank, Glen Howard, Enders S. Wimbush, Paul Goble

satellite-dish-big-disa-mil

Recent media accounts have argued that the U.S. government suffers from an absence of high-quality expertise on Russia. * * * One such solution that does not require legislation is directing the intelligence community to resume the daily electronic Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) now supervised by the Open Source Center. … a daily electronic feed of worldwide media, press, […]

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RBTH: NATO vs. Russia: Why all the recent talk of World War III?

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

British military exercises that may have been carried out with potential deployment in eastern Ukraine in mind, recent comments by NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg and a BBC film depicting a Russia-NATO nuclear conflict following a pro-Russian uprising in Latvia are all doing their part to further stoke tensions between Moscow and the Atlantic Alliance, when a more measured approach is […]

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Moscow’s Steamship Bolshoi Keeps Rolling

Bolshoi Theater file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Raymond Stults – February 9, 2016) [DJ: Bolshoi Babylon available on HBO in the US] In the summer of 2013, a British film production team was given unprecedented access to the Bolshoi Theater for purposes of making a documentary about the theater’s inner workings. Titled “Bolshoi Babylon,” the film made its debut on cable television […]

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Review: Arkady Ostrovsky’s ‘The Invention of Russia’

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

This new history tells a compelling, if normative, story of how Russia’s journalists and entrepreneurs threw off their former shackles, only to put them back on again. (opendemocracy.net – Maxim Edwards – February 3, 2016) Maxim Edwards is Commissioning Editor at oDR. He writes on nationalism, inter-ethnic and inter-religious relations, with a focus on post-Soviet countries. His articles have appeared […]

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What Do Russians Really Think? The Truth Behind the Polls

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Eva Hartog – February 4, 2016) [Charts here http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/what-do-russians-really-think-the-truth-behind-the-polls/558537.html] The champagne corks were already popping for New Year’s Eve celebrations when several thousand Crimeans received an unexpected phone call. The voice on the end of the phone was a pollster from the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM). The pollster had just two questions:”Do you […]

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VIDEO & ARTICLE: ‘I Love Russia. I Am A Patriot:’ Pussy Riot Strikes At Prosecutor

File Photo of Pussy Riot Members in Courtroom Enclosure, With Man Showing Papers to One While Female Guard Looks On

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Anna Shamanska, Michael Scollon – February 3, 2016) They have made a scene at the altar, crashed the Sochi Olympics, and taken numerous lumps for taking on Putin’s Russia. Pussy Riot, the Russian punk rock collective of fierce Kremlin critics, is now going after the man that lords over Moscow’s version of justice — Prosecutor-General Yury […]

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Virtual Stalinism

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

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – February 2, 2016) Russian officials seem to have developed an execution fetish of late. One example, of course, is the disturbing video Ramzan Kadyrov posted on Instagram showing opposition figures Mikhail Kasyanov and Vladimir Kara-Murza in the crosshairs of a sniper’s rifle. Another is the bizarre series of animated clips Vladimir Putin’s All-Russian […]

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Just How Bad is Putin? Ever More People Are Counting the Ways

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 31, 2016) As the number of Vladimir Putin’s violations of international law and normal morality grows, ever more people are offering lists of the actions for which he must be held accountable. Three particularly interesting examples of that trend have been offered over the last several days. Russian journalist Oleg Kashin […]

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Article on Russian-Chechen Tensions Draws Chechen Ire

Caucasus Map of Chechnya and Caucasus Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – January 27, 2016) Chechnya’s regional legislature has demanded an investigation for possible “extremism” into an article by a Russian political analyst who wrote that mutual resentment between Russians and Chechens has been growing and was on the verge of an “explosion.” Magomed Daudov, speaker of the Chechen parliament, said political analyst Andrei […]

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How Russians react to BBC’s War and Peace

Leo Tolstoy file photo

RBTH’s pick of the best comments made by Tolstoy’s compatriots. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – NATALIA MASHINISTOVA, SPECIAL TO RBTH – January 26, 2016) Although BBC’s new War and Peace adaptation hasn’t aired on Russian television yet, the most curious Russians have found a way to check it out on the internet. Any foreign attempt to adapt what […]

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