Big Weapons, Big Meeting: Could Trump, Putin Agree On New Arms Control Deal?

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – WASHINGTON – July 14, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/big-weapons-big-meeting-could-trump-putin-agree-on-new-arms-control-deal-/29365115.html) Just before departing Washington to travel to the NATO summit in Brussels, a meeting with Britain’s prime minister in England, and an upcoming meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, U.S. President Donald Trump made […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Iran Role in Syria Key Item at Trump-Putin Summit” – AP

Syria Map

“As fighting wanes after seven years of war, the U.S. has made curtailing Iran’s influence in post-war Syria a strategic objective – one strongly backed by Israel. … officials from the U.S. and Russia have signaled that a broad framework for such a deal is likely to be the main outcome. But any agreement is likely to be carefully phrased […]

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Stephen J. Cimbala: “Arms Control and the Trump-Putin Summit”

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

Subject: Arms Control and the Trump-Putin Summit Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2018 From: STEPHEN CIMBALA <sjc2@psu.edu> Arms Control and the Trump-Putin Summit By Stephen J. Cimbala Stephen J. Cimbala is Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Penn State Brandywine. Dr Cimbala is an award winning Penn State teacher and the author of numerous works in the fields of national security […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Trump, Putin May Agree to Resume Stalled Arms Control Talks” – Reuters

Russian Nuclear Submarine

“… When [Trump and Putin] meet in Helsinki … they are likely to touch on whether to extend the “New START” agreement to 2026 and what to do about … the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) …. Historically, arms control has been an area where Washington and Moscow have been able to talk to one another even when their broader […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH/ RUSSIAWATCH: “How to Reduce Nuclear Risks in Helsinki” – Wolfgang Ischinger, Igor Ivanov, Sam Nunn, Desmond Browne/Russian International Affairs Council

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… First, begin discussions on how to increase decision time for leaders to reduce the risk of a false warning of a nuclear attack or a nuclear accident or miscalculation. … Second, begin discussions on reducing and managing cyber nuclear risks. … Third, work jointly to restart bilateral crisis management dialogue, including among uniformed military leaders in charge of nuclear […]

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NEWSLINK: “This Is How Vladimir Putin Manufactures Conflict Between Nations” – Observer/John R. Schindler

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

“… The casual manner with which Kremlin spies ruthlessly exploit others for their own ends is not a nice story, given that their methods embrace violence and life-ruining measures as nonchalantly as Westerners order a cup of coffee. The cornerstone of the Chekist worldview is provocation, what the Russians call provokatsiya. It’s not new, indeed it was honed into a […]

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NEWSLINK: “Semi-state Security Actors and Russian Aggression” – Lawfareblog/Kimberly Marten

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

“… missing from much of the discussion is the fact that a variety of semi-state security groups, with a hazy relationship to Moscow’s central authorities, are playing an increasing role in Russian actions both at home and abroad. The United States and other Western states must develop a better understanding of the complex motives and economic interests held by these […]

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NEWSLINK: “‘They Will Die in Tallinn’: Estonia Girds for War With Russia; The head of the tiny NATO member’s special forces details his country’s preparations for a conflict many here see as inevitable” – Politico/Molly K. McKew

Map of Baltics and Environs, Including Kaliningrad

“… The Kremlin invaded Georgia to prevent its accession to NATO. Russia used different means to accomplish the same goal with Ukraine, and then attempted to assassinate the prime minister of Montenegro in a last-ditch effort to forestall the same — all of which expose the Kremlin’s deep paranoia about its former vassals defending themselves from Russian belligerence. The Baltics, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine’s army advances slowly at Russian front” – Kyiv Post/Illia Ponomarenko, Volodymyr Petrov

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

“For the Ukrainian military, this heavy strike by Russian-led forces, who hold ground just three kilometers to the south, came as no surprise. Despite dozens of cease-fires having been agreed at the negotiating table in Minsk (the latest one was supposed to start on July 1), the relentless stalemated warfare in the Donbas still drags on, with exchanges of fire […]

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Ukraine’s ‘Creeping Advances’: A Win-Win Tactic? For more than two years Ukraine has been quietly “de-occupying” a grey zone between its troops and Russian-backed separatists. No matter how Russia and the West respond, Ukraine’s leadership stands to benefit.

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Huseyn Aliyev – July 5, 2018 – https://www.russiamatters.org/blog/ukraines-creeping-advances-win-win-tactic) Soon after the start of Russia’s official military involvement in Syria, another army, hundreds of miles away, ramped up its activity: Ukraine’s armed forces became emboldened in their war with separatists in the east. Under the radar, they have been retaking control of a narrow strip of contested, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Moscow’s Bread and Circus” – Kennan Institute/Maxim Trudolyubov

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

“…. Increasing taxes, raising the retirement age, even starting another war because Russia is doing so well in soccer are the recurring jokes on Moscow’s streets. People compete in creativity in trying to imagine what else the government can do to them while everyone is distracted by the World Cup. One of the jokes is that Putin will now present […]

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NEWSLINK: “In Eastern Europe, Militaries Gird Against Russian Might and Manipulation” – New York Times/Eric Schmitt

Map of Baltics and Environs, Including Kaliningrad

“… The bloggers had borrowed a page from the playbook of Russia’s so-called hybrid warfare, which American and Lithuania officials say has increasingly combined the ability to manipulate events using a mix of subterfuge, cyberattacks and information warfare with conventional military might. The 12-day military exercise, which involved 18,000 American and allied troops spread across four countries formerly part of […]

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NEWSLINK: “How Russia’s Military Is Becoming Even Deadlier [with comment]” – The National Interest/Dave Majumdar

Syria Map

“… From the Russian perspective, Moscow’s campaign in Syria affords the Kremlin invaluable combat experience that is helping it to refine the capabilities of its military forces. … In the Kremlin’s view, one of the most important reasons for Russia to continue its campaign in Syria is to further refine its newly developed precision-guided strike capability. ‘Syria is not a […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Cessation of hostilities in Donbas Ukrainians’ biggest expectation from next president – poll” – Interfax

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

KYIV. June 26 (Interfax) – A cessation of fighting in eastern Ukraine is the prevailing requirement of the country’s citizens for the next president of Ukraine, being backed by 63% of respondents in a poll conducted by the Rating sociological group on June 14-24. Forty-nine per cent are expecting more efforts to fight corruption, 40% want a revival of manufacturing, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “An outrageous penalty; As the World Cup begins, Russia should free Oleg Sentsov; A film-maker locked up for protesting against the annexation of Crimea is on hunger strike” – The Economist Editorial

Oleg Sentsov file photo, adapated from image at csce.gov

“… Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian film director serving a 20-year sentence … in Siberia. … was jailed for protesting against … Putin’s illegal annexation of Crimea and the war Russia’s president unleashed in eastern Ukraine …. Sentsov started a hunger strike demanding the release of all 64 Ukrainian political prisoners from Russian jails. The … World Cup … June 14th […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin says he’s making Russia great again. In reality, it’s crumbling; The country has been bolstered by European disunity but that obscures a multitude of ills” – The Spectator (UK)/Owen Matthews

Kremlin and River

“[Despite the World Cup and] … patriotic hype over grand multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects like a new bridge to Crimea and shiny stadiums, Russia is crumbling. … [Russia’s own statistics indicate] 68,100 schools in 2000; 41,100 now. … 10,700 hospitals [when Putin took power, now reduced to] 5,400. … living space declared unfit for habitation has more than doubled … […]

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NEWSLINK: “A political prisoner in Russia is starving. The world should take notice” – Washington Post Editorial

Oleg Sentsov file photo, adapated from image at csce.gov

“Four years after Russia invaded and illegally annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine … a courageous activist and filmmaker named Oleg Sentsov … imprisoned in a Siberian penal colony above the Arctic Circle, embarked on a hunger strike to demand the release of 64 Ukrainian political prisoners held by Russia … his health has seriously deteriorated … he has lost […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Russian Gordian Knot begins to unravel” – Asia Times/Norman A. Bailey

Syria Map

“… Putin said two completely unexpected things: first … Iran should evacuate its forces from Syria and stop interfering with events in the northern Arab arc (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon). Second … Israel has a right to defend its borders, whether in the north or in the south (Hezbollah and Hamas territories respectively). … within a few days of a meeting […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Pushes NATO to Ready More Forces to Deter Russian Threat” – Reuters

NATO Meeting file photo

“The United States is pressing European allies to ready more NATO battalions, ships and planes for combat … to shore up NATO’s deterrence against a potential Russian attack. … seek[ing] broad agreement for the plan … when … defense ministers meet, laying the ground for endorsement by NATO leaders at a [July] summit …. [envisioning] 30 land battalions, 30 air […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s Success Masks Russian Weakness” – Wall Street Journal/Walter Russell Mead

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

“Despite … Putin’s successes, Russia remains weak, and its leverage over other nations is limited. China can woo its neighbors with multibillion-dollar projects like its ‘One Belt, One Road’ trade initiative. Russia has much less to offer: If China is a tiger, Russia is a pussycat on stilts. … Putin can obstruct Germany’s faltering European project, but he lacks the […]

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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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NEWSLINK: “Don’t Be Fooled – Ukraine Is Not a Frozen Conflict. There are signs of escalation in the simmering conflict.” – The National Interest/Lyle Goldstein

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

“With the North Korea and Iran pots both simultaneously coming to a boil, it’s naturally hard for national security specialists to take on any more complex and dangerous issues. Yet Syria and Yemen demand major attention as human rights catastrophes. … U.S. troops are still somehow mired in Afghanistan – ‘the forever war’ …. there is the seeming possibility of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Israel and Russia Agree to Remove Iranian Forces From Syrian Border, Report Says; Israel reportedly gets ‘green light’ to strike Iranian targets as long as it does not endanger Syrian regime. Report follows call between Netanyahu and Putin, meeting between Israel’s defense chief and Russian counterpart” – Haaretz (Israel)/

Syria Map

“Israel and Russia have reached an understanding on pulling Iranian forces out of southern Syria, the London-based Asharq al-Awsat reported …. reached after … Netanyahu spoke to … Putin … [by] telephone, while Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman had held talks with his Russian counterpart. … the sides [reportedly] agreed it was necessary to remove Iranian forces from southern Syria and […]

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NEWSLINK: “Who Killed the Kiev Protesters? A 3-D Model Holds the Clues. A team of civilian investigators used cellphone videos, autopsy reports and surveillance footage to reconstruct a virtual crime scene.” – New York Times Magazine/Mattathias Schwartz

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“… Most of the deaths occurred within half an hour along a few hundred feet of streetscape. The scene unfolded before dozens of cameramen, smartphones and security cameras. But these recorded fragments from the day were overshadowed by a fight over what they really showed: The claims of grief-stricken activists, who blamed the Ukrainian paramilitary for shooting the protesters, collided […]

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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 AUDIO: “In Russia, Scant Traces And Negative Memories Of A Century-Old U.S. Intervention” – National Public Radio (NPR)/Lucian Kim

U.S. Troops Marching on Vladivostok Street ca. 1918, Followed by Other Allied Troops, adapted from image at almc.army.mil

[Transcript, photos, original audio: npr.org/sections/parallels/2018/05/28/608455970/in-russia-scant-traces-and-negative-memories-of-a-century-old-u-s-intervention]  “… civil war was raging across Russia … [between] the Bolsheviks … [and] the ‘Whites’ – supporters of the deposed czar, republicans, social democrats, Cossacks. … the Bolsheviks withdrew Russia from [World War I] in March 1918. … More than 8,000 U.S. troops started landing in Vladivostok in August 1918 to guard Allied military stocks … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s Endgame in Syria Has Arrived; It’s not an Assad victory – it’s a frozen conflict” – Foreign Policy Magazine/Jonathan Spyer

Syria Map

“Syria increasingly seems to be moving toward de facto partition accompanied by ongoing low-level military conflict and a functional, but sluggish politics – a so-called frozen conflict. This may have been the goal all along for … Putin, who has initiated and managed such conflicts elsewhere, including in Georgia and Ukraine. * * *  Russia has … preserved the integrity […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Military: More Bark Than Bite; Russia remains a long way from possessing the ability to overwhelm larger, better equipped peer competitors” – The National Interest/Richard Connolly, Mathieu Boulegue

File Photo of Close-Up of Line of Russian Soldiers in Dress Uniforms for Parade, adapted from image at georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov with credit to Eric Draper

“… on the one hand, senior Russian officials, including the president, are publicly declaring the existence of a range of advanced new weapons systems, while on the other hand, spending plans suggest that the defense burden should decline into the early 2020s. … While official rhetoric in relation to military modernization – and in particular to the development of new […]

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RUSSIALINK: “About half of Russians confident Russia has status of great power – poll” – Interfax

Russian Soldiers Marching

MOSCOW. May 21 (Interfax) – About half of Russian citizens are confident that Russia maintains the status of a great power; about a quarter of those polled identified the army as one of the key factors of power, while 17% of respondents named the president’s activities, according to the Russian Public Opinion Research Center’s (VCIOM) poll, the results of which […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Keeping the ‘New Cold War’ Cold: Nuclear Deterrence With U.S. and Russian Nuclear Force Modernization [Excerpt]” – PONARS Eurasia/Keith Darden

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

(PONARS Eurasia – Keith Darden – May 2018) Keith Darden is Associate Professor in the School of International Service at American University. (PONARS Policy Memo) After two decades of dramatic reduction and deliberate neglect, the nuclear arsenals that were at the center of security relations between the Cold War superpowers are reaching the ends of their operational lives. Rather than […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine should blow up Putin’s Crimea bridge” – Washington Examiner/Tom Rogan

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

“… Ukraine should now destroy elements of the bridge. While that course of action would be an escalation against Putin and … almost certainly spark Russian retaliation, this bridge is an outrageous affront to Ukraine’s very credibility as a nation. … from Putin’s perspective that’s the whole point. The bridge cost Russia’s near-bankrupt government billions of dollars, but it offers […]

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Behind the wire: pride and paranoia in one of Russia’s closed towns; Thousands of Russian citizens live in “closed towns.” I visited one of them, Lesnoye, to find out how people live today.

Montage of Radioactivity Symbol and Russian Map with Russian Flag, adapted from images at .gov sites

(opendemocracy.net – Ivan Chesnokov – May 16, 2018) Ivan Chesnokov is a Russian freelance journalist specialising in social issues and conflicts. His work has appeared in Takie Dela, the Moscow Times, RBTH, and other publications, and he is engaged in several multimedia journalism projects. [opendemocracy.net/od-russia/ivan-chesnokov/behind-the-wire] A shabbily dressed older man in a cap with ear flaps, looking like a character […]

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RUSSIALINK: “U.S. magazine’s call for bombing of Crimean Bridge reflects opinion of part of U.S. political elite – Aksyonov” – Interfax

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

SIMFEROPOL. May 17 (Interfax) – The article published in a U.S. weekly calling for the bombing of the Crimean Bridge is a reflection of the opinion of the U.S. political elite, Sergei Aksyonov, the head of Crimea, said. “Essentially, the U.S. media outlet is disseminating calls for terrorist activities under the guise of freedom of speech. Unfortunately, it is not […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Opening of Crimean Bridge motorway section” – KremlinRu

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

(Kremlin.ru – May 15, 2018) Vladimir Putin took part in the opening ceremony of the Crimean Bridge motorway section and drove the lead vehicle of the construction equipment convoy. Vladimir Putin visited the Consolidated Traffic Management Centre and heard reports on the readiness of utility teams to operate the transport route across the Kerch Strait. The head of state also […]

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Putin Hits Out At U.S. In Red Square Parade Speech

Russia Map

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – May 9, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-marks-end-of-world-war-ii-with-military-parade-on-red-square/29216745.html) Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued veiled criticism of the United States in a speech before a Red Square parade marking the anniversary of Germany’s defeat in World War II, listing “pretentions to exceptionalism” as a factor that drove Nazi aggression and […]

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NEWSWATCH: “To pay for a ‘Russia first’ agenda, Putin takes ax to military spending” – Christian Science Monitor/Fred Weir

File Photo of Close-Up of Line of Russian Soldiers in Dress Uniforms for Parade, adapted from image at georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov with credit to Eric Draper

“… [At his inauguration] Putin surprised many … declaring … a relentless focus on domestic development … partially paid for by sharp cuts in defense spending. … [a] projected surge in spending on roads, education, and health care …. A key source of that funding will be [taken from] the military budget … growing by around 10 percent annually for […]

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NEWSLINK: “U.S. trains troops for front line in ‘hybrid war’ with Russia” – CBS

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

“… The U.S. is supporting its ally Ukraine in a war against Russian-backed militants. The rebels have seized swathes of territory in eastern Ukraine since 2014, in a conflict that’s killed 10,000 people by some counts. … Ukraine says thousands of Russians are fighting in the east, alongside the rebels. Moscow has repeatedly denied it’s involved in the conflict ….”

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NEWSLINK: “The Navy is resurrecting a fleet to protect the East Coast and North Atlantic from Russia” – Washington Post/Alex Horton

Aerial Photo of Pentagon and Environs

“The U.S. Navy has reactivated a fleet responsible for overseeing the East Coast and North Atlantic — an escalation of the Pentagon’s focus on a resurgent Russia and its expanding military presence. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Popular Putin prepares for Cold War 2.0; As US-led Western hostility against Moscow mounts, Vladimir Putin’s new government is bound to be a war cabinet” – Asia Times/Pepe Escobar

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

“… Putin is expected to announce a new government. And a bombshell is in the making. The new cabinet is bound to be a Stavka: that is, a war cabinet. …”

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NEWSWATCH: “NATO General Surprised By Lack Of ‘Visible Russian Interference’ In Armenia Crisis [Excerpt]” – RFE/RL

Armenia Map and Flag

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – PRAGUE, May 4, 2018 – also appeared at https://www.rferl.org/a/nato-general-surprised-by-lack-of-visible-russian-interference-in-armenia-s-crisis/29208187.html) “A NATO general says he’s surprised that Russia is not more openly involved in Armenia’s recent tumultuous events that led to longtime leader Serzh Sarkisian being pushed from power. General Petr Pavel, the chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, told RFE/RL on […]

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NEWSLINK: “NATO Prepares for War With Russia With Simulated Naval and Cyberattacks” – Newsweek/Cristina Maza

Globe Highlighting NATO Members

“… As tensions ratchet up between Moscow and the West, NATO countries, especially those like Estonia that border Russia, are increasingly preparing for the worst. The Locked Shields live-fire cyber exercise is a key part of that preparation. …”

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A frontline factory, an embattled oligarch and Ukraine’s industrial drift; For the future of this chemical plant in eastern Ukraine, trade policy with Russia looms large.

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

(opendemocracy.net – Brian Milakovsky – May 2, 2018) Brian Milakovsky lives in eastern Ukraine where he works on post-conflict economic recovery. He has worked on ecological and humanitarian issues in Ukraine and Russia since 2009. [Text with links opendemocracy.net/od-russia/brian-milakovsky/a-frontline-factory] The enormous Azot chemical plant looms on the outskirts of Severodonetsk, a factory town of 110,000 in eastern Ukraine. Severodonetsk became […]

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Russia, Despite Military Ventures, Cut Defense Spending By Most In Decades

Russian Soldiers Marching

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – May 2, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-despite-ventures-syria-ukraine-cut-military-spending-last-year-most-since-1998-economic-collapse-western-sanctions-recession/29203634.html) Western sanctions and a long recession forced Russia’s military to slash spending by 20 percent last year, its first drop in nearly two decades, a closely followed think-tank report said. Despite Russia’s flexing of its military muscle around the world, with its […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Defying Russia, Trump provides Javelin anti-tank busters to Ukraine” – Financial Times/Roman Olearchyk

File Photo of Soldier Firing Javelin Shoulder-Mounted Anti-Tank Missile

“The U.S. has delivered …Javelin anti-tank busters to Ukraine … the first provision of lethal weaponry to Kiev despite warnings from Moscow …. [T]he handheld fire-and-forget precision Javelin systems stand to help Ukraine’s army repel future attacks by Russian-backed militants who seized control over Far Eastern breakaway regions in 2014 after Moscow occupied Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. U.S. and Ukrainian officials […]

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NEWSLINK: “Q&A: Ukraine’s Got Javelins Now. So What?” – Atlantic Council/Melinda Haring

File Photo of Soldier Firing Javelin Shoulder-Mounted Anti-Tank Missile

“On April 30, the U.S. Department of State confirmed … the delivery of Javelin antitank missile systems to Ukraine. This issue has been long-standing: the Obama administration refused to send the weapons to Kyiv, while President Donald Trump changed course. Some experts warn that giving Ukraine lethal defensive weapons will only enrage the Russians and escalate the war, while others, […]

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West, Russia ‘Share Interest’ In Afghan Stability, Top U.S. Commander Says

File Photo of U.S. NATO Troops Atop Ridge in Afghanistan

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – April 28, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/afghanistan-west-russia-share-interest-in-stability-top-u-s-commander-says/29197663.html) The West and Russia have a shared interest in Afghanistan’s stability, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan has told RFE/RL. “We both share an interest in countering the terrorists who threaten our country and threaten Russia and threaten Central Asia,” General John […]

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A Military Coup Against Putin Although Unlikely Cannot Now be Excluded, Felgengauer Says

Russian Soldiers Marching

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 28, 2018) Tensions within the Russian political elite are now higher than at any point in years, Pavel Felgengauer says; and as a result, he “does not exclude even a military coup in Russia. This perhaps is an extremely low probability scenario, but one must not exclude it completely.” Felgengauer, one […]

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NEWSLINK: “Time to show Russia a military parade – In Syria” – Brookings Institution/Shalom Lipner

Syria Map

“Editor’s Note: Nowhere are Russia’s footsteps more pronounced today than in the Middle East, its old Soviet stomping grounds, where the locals are increasingly deferential to Putin. The question is what Trump intends to do about the situation, writes Shalom Lipner. This piece originally appeared in The National Interest. …”  

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NEWSWATCH: “The Soviet roots of invoking fears about World War III” – Brookings/James Kirchick

“Editor’s Note: Dire predictions about foreign intervention leading to ‘World War III’ aren’t merely the most predictable and laziest form of anti-interventionist ‘logic,’ argues Jamie Kirchick. They’re also an insidious echo of Soviet propaganda, routinely deployed to undercut the West’s defense of democracy and important international norms. …” Click here for: “The Soviet roots of invoking fears about World War […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Armenia: Why Has Vladimir Putin Not Intervened So Far and Will He?” – Russia Matters/Simon Saradzhyan

Armenia Map and Flag

“The resignation of Armenia’s Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan after more than a week of mass protests in Russia’s backyard begs the question: Why has Moscow not intervened …? … fist-pumping demonstrators bring to mind ‘color revolutions” in the post-Soviet neighborhood that the Kremlin seems to abhor, like the ones in Georgia and Ukraine. But even genuine color revolutions (which Armenia […]

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