RUSSIALINK Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov’s interview with Kommersant newspaper, published 19 April 2017”

Sergei Ryabkov file photo

“Question: Do you know when and where President of Russia Vladimir Putin will meet with US President Donald Trump? Sergey Ryabkov: We have reaffirmed our readiness for such a meeting several times. We understand that contacts at the highest level are crucial for adjusting the agenda, areas of focus and the direction we are moving in. We confirmed our willingness […]

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NEWSLINK: “Unequal Russia: is anger stirring in the global capital of inequality?” – The Guardian (UK)  

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“With the richest 10% owning 87% of all the country’s wealth, Russia is rated the most unequal of the world’s major economies. Amid falling oil prices and a wave of protests, Shaun Walker asks how Russians really feel about life’s inequalities. …”

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NEWSLINK: “A New Organization Is Battling Russia’s Culture of Impunity. To end the attacks on journalists, activists, and writers, Freedom of Speech is standing for the best traditions of Russian civil society.” – The Nation/ Nadezda Azhgikhina

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

“… the declaration of the new association, Freedom of Speech, appeared on the website of Ekho and other media, demanding that the perpetrators of the threats be held responsible and also that there be an end to the culture of impunity in general. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Kremlin Stringing Kadyrov Along on Oil” – Russian and Eurasian Politics/Gordon Hahn

Ramzan Kadyrov file photo

“Chechen President and strongman Ramzan Kadyrov recently may have finally won long-sought concessions from Moscow in oil related industries, something he has been fighting to attain from RosNeft since he came to power in the once war-torn North Caucasus republic in early 2008. In November 2009, Kadyrov and Sergei Bogdanchikov, then head of RosNeft, Russia’s state oil giant, wrested from oligarch […]

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RUSSIALINK TASS: “Putin’s spokesman dismisses rumors about plans to appoint Kudrin as prime minister”

Alexei Kudrin file photo

“Rumors linking the activities of former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, Head of Russia’s Center for Strategic Research, with his possible appointment as prime minister are nothing more than political exercises, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. The Kremlin spokesman pointed out that Kudrin was a broad-range expert ‘so it is only natural that he has an opinion on a […]

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NEWSLINK: “What Does Russia Want? What Does America Need?” – The National Interest Event with Steven Pifer, Paul J. Saunders, Angela Stent, Michael Kofman, Dimitri K. Simes

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

“On April 17, the Center for the National Interest hosted a panel discussion entitled ‘What Does Russia Want? What Does America Need?” Speakers included Steven Pifer, director of the Arms Control and Nonproliferation Initiative and a senior fellow for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at the Center on the Unites States and Europe at the Brookings Institution and former U.S. […]

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NEWSLINK: “Why the New Cold War Is More Dangerous Than the Preceding One; Questionable but orthodox Cold War narratives make actual war with Russia more likely than during its 40-year predecessor.” – The Nation/Stephen F. Cohen

Berlin Wall, Fencing, Barbed Wire, Women

“Nation contributing editor Stephen F. Cohen and radio-show host John Batchelor continue their weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. …”

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NEWSLINK: “The Syria Crisis Has Evolved into an International Power Struggle; The prospect of an accidental military confrontation with Russia and its allies have never been greater” – The National Interest/ Robert G. Rabil

Syria Map

“No doubt, as reflected by many voices in Washington, DC corridors of power and media, the recent American cruise missile strikes against Syria’s al-Shayrat Air Base in response to the Assad regime’s chemical attack on Khan Shaykhun in Idlib Province was hailed as the right thing to do. Moved by horrifying images of children losing their lives to the internationally […]

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NEWSLINK: “INTO THE UNKNOWN: U.S.-RUSSIAN RELATIONS UNHINGED” – Valdai Discussion Club/ Robert Legvold

Stylized Russian and U.S. Flags with Number 200, 1807-2007

“… That the Russian leadership wanted a less hostile U.S. administration and a less confrontational relationship with the United had become plain even before Trump entered the White House. But whether this was a realistic possibility simply led to the next set of unanswered questions.”

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NEWSLINK: “Pulling the U.S.-Russia Relationship Back from the Nuclear Brink; The downward spiral in U.S.-Russia relations makes the objective of reducing nuclear risk all the more urgent.” – The National Interest/ Kingston Reif and Maggie Tennis

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“This week U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the first high-level sit down between the Trump administration and Russia since President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Though the discussion is likely to be dominated by the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons last week and its aftermath, the two diplomats […]

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NEWSLINK: “An American Dream Fulfilled. While the United States government was secretly preparing to bomb Syria, I was in my Siberian university classroom” – The Nation/Sarah Lindemann-Komarova

Russia Map

While the United States government was secretly preparing to bomb Syria, I was in my Siberian university classroom. It was the first day for a new group of third-year linguistics students. … After the class all told me something about themselves, I asked the stranger where he was from, as he was clearly not Russian. His name was Ali (the shortened version […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia needs American help to seal the deal in Syria; After the air strikes, closer co-operation between Putin and Trump is more likely” – Financial Times/ Dmitri Trenin

Syria Map

“The Russian reaction to the use of force by the U.S. president was strong but measured. Moscow condemned it … but gave no order to Russian air defence units in Syria to intercept American missiles. Nor did the Kremlin cancel the forthcoming visit by secretary of state Rex Tillerson. …”

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NEWSLINK: “SELECTION AND MAINTENANCE OF THE AIM” – Irrussianality/ Paul Robinson

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

“… the first ‘principle of war’ as taught to British and Canadian military officers is ‘selection and maintenance of the aim’. Pick a bad aim, or fail to maintain a good aim and instead get sidetracked into pursuing something else, and failure will almost certainly ensue. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Syria crisis: G7 leaders couldn’t change Vladimir Putin’s mind on backing Assad – even if they wanted to. Russia now relies on Syria for its new status as a great world power – and the West knows the risks of leaving a power vacuum in the Middle East.” – The Independent (UK)/ Patrick Cockburn

File Photo of G7 Leaders and other Officials Around Round Table at the Hague, with Flags

“It is very unlikely that Russia will change its support for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, despite calls to do so from foreign ministers from the G7 nations gathered in Italy in the aftermath of the use of poison gas in Syria and the US missile strikes. Russia owes its return to great power status in the eyes of much of the […]

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NEWSLINK: “How the Tumultuous ’90s Paved the Way for Putin’s Russia” [Book Review of “WHO LOST RUSSIA? How the World Entered a New Cold War”] – New York Times/ Rajon Menon

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

“… So who lost Russia? Russia’s leaders, primarily Putin, who neither built democracy nor made Russia a partner of the West? Or the West, which was never serious about respecting Russia’s interests, let alone a partnership? Conradi doesn’t provide a clear-cut answer to his question. Given the complexities he grapples with, who can blame him?”

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NEWSLINK: “Why Trump’s missiles are shaking Putin’s home front; He may be the hero of Crimea, but for the Russian leader the US strike on Syria could hardly have come at a worse moment” – The Guardian (UK)/ Mary Dejevsky

U.S. Naval Vessel Firing Tomahawk Cruise Missile at Night

“… Moscow’s generally careful and differentiated response so far suggests that Putin himself has not given up on the prospect of better relations. Nor would it make sense for him to do so. By refusing to rise to the myriad anti-Russian charges flying around Washington, the Russian president has already invested a large amount of political capital in a fresh […]

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AUDIO: Reconsidering Russia Podcast #6: Fred Weir

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Reconsidering Russia Podcast – April 4, 2017) [DJ: Listen to the interview with the best Western journalist in Russia here: mixcloud.com/reconsidering-russia/reconsidering-russia-podcast-6-fred-weir/] [note from JRL web editor: embedded audio also should load below] “Guest: Fred Weir, Moscow Correspondent at The Christian Science Monitor, discusses Russian politics and society, US-Russian relations, the centenary of the Russian Revolution, Nagorno-Karabakh, Ukraine, the American Rust […]

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NEWSLINK: INTERVIEW AND INTRODUCTION: “Yevgeny Yevtushenko – His Poetry Engaged and Enraged Readers at Home and Abroad [2017 reprint of 1987 Interview” – The Progressive/ Yevgeny Yevtushenko/ Katrina vanden Heuvel

Yevgeny Yevtushenko file photo, adapted from image at archives.gov

“Editor’s Note: Yevgeny Yevtushenko, internationally acclaimed Russian poet, novelist, essayist, playwright and film director died on April 1, 2017. He was 83. In honor of his tremendous work and legacy, we are sharing an interview he did with Katrina vanden Heuvel for our magazine in 1987. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Russia’s March manufacturing PMI continues its strongest expansion since 2011” – bne Intellinews

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Russian manufacturing continues its strongest expansion since 2011 in March with the Markit PMI score of 52.4, almost the same as the previous month’s 52.5, while positive sentiment amongst Russian manufacturers reached a 22-month high. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Yevgeny Yevtushenko obituary. Rebellious Russian poet and author of Babi Yar, who became a celebrity in the west” – The Guardian (UK)/Robin Milner-Gulland

Yevgeny Yevtushenko file photo, adapted from image at archives.gov

“… Yevtushenko was from early on obsessed with travel, first within the USSR and then, as invitations came in from abroad, anywhere in the world he could manage to get to. By 1962 he had become a celebrity outside Russia, and featured on the cover of Time magazine. His many public readings in the west were packed, and a slim volume […]

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NEWSLINK: “Propaganda or alternative worldview? RT, Russia’s voice to the world. The international television news channel RT was an attempt to promote Russian influence in the world. How far has it succeeded?” – Le Monde Diplomatique/ Maxime Audinet

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

“Russia’s state-owned international news channel, RT (formerly Russia Today), celebrated its tenth birthday in December 2015 with a promotional video that showed Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief, in Soviet uniform, inspecting her staff at their Moscow HQ. …”

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NEWSLINK: “The Best Moments in U.S.-Russian Relations” – Origins/Pietro A. Shakarian

Stylized Russian and U.S. Flags with Number 200, 1807-2007

“… Although the bad episodes are clearly what most Americans remember about the relationship, there were many friendly moments as well. These constructive episodes complicate a history that is often painted as invariably antagonistic. Keeping this complexity in mind, here are ten of the better moments in U.S.-Russian relations. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Where the Russians Are. A color-coded map of the U.S., showing which states have the highest percentage of Russian immigrants [2005/2000]” – Russian Life

United States Map

“North Dakota is not normally the place one thinks of as having a large Russian emigre population. Yet, according to 2000 US Census Data recently released, fully 3.5% of that state’s population, or 22,514 individuals, are of Russian extraction — the highest percentage in the nation. …”

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NEWSLINK: “The St. Petersburg Bombing: Why It Won’t Bring America and Russia Together. While Washington and Moscow face a common enemy, they will continue to fight separately.” – The National Interest/Nikolas Gvosdev

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

“… this attack — as much as it seems to validate Trump’s assertion that Russia, the United States and the nations of Europe face a shared threat from groups like the Islamic State, their offshoots and their imitators — is not going to lead to any policy shifts, nor does it portend any sort of improvement in U.S.-Russia relations. There […]

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RUSSIALINK TASS: “Funeral ceremony for famed poet Yevtushenko anticipated on April 4”

Yevgeny Yevtushenko file photo, adapted from image at archives.gov

“The funeral ceremony for poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko will take place next Tuesday at the earliest, his close friend Mikhail Morgulis told TASS on Sunday. Celebrated Soviet and Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko died in the United States aged 84 on Saturday. …”

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NEWSLINK: “The UN’s Nuclear Weapon Talks May Be The Most Important Thing Nobody’s Paying Attention To. On Monday, a quixotic and necessary conference kicked off at the United Nations” – Huffington Post/Alexander Zaitchik

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“Over protests from the U.S. and other nuclear powers, more than 120 countries began work on a treaty at the United Nations this week with the aim of banishing nuclear weapons from the face and the oceans of the earth. In a sign of mounting nuclear anxiety around the globe, the conference timeline is extremely condensed by U.N. standards. As […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov answers questions from readers of the newspaper Argumenty i Fakty” – Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Sergei Lavrov file photo

“Question: What happened to Vitaly Churkin? Are there any grounds for thinking that his death was not accidental? Who will be the new Russian representative to the UN? Is Russia again facing the pro-American company at the Security Council alone?”

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NEWSLINK: “Alliance with Syria tightens Russia’s ties with Iran; Continuing cooperation on Syria was high on the agenda of a meeting between Putin and Rouhani, but other agreements were made as well” – Asia Times/SERGEI BLAGOV

Middle East Map

“As Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Moscow this week, the two sides pledged to develop cooperation on Syria, as well as bilateral economic ties. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Are Russia’s oil wells truly in danger of drying up?” – Russia Beyond the Headlines/Vzglyad/OLGA SAMOFALOVA

Oil Well file photo

“Russia’s economy is heavily dependent on the energy sector. Oil and gas alone are estimated to account for 16 percent of GDP, 52 percent of the federal government’s revenue, and 70 percent of the country’s exports. Russia’s future without oil is inconceivable, and would debilitate the country tremendously. Therefore, investments in the exploration of new oil reserves are imperative, but […]

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NEWSLINK: “Where Will Russia’s Protests Lead? The anticorruption wave could give way to greater instability” – The National Interest/Alexander Lukin

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

“March 26 saw widespread protests against corruption in Moscow and several other big Russian cities. The formal cause was the absence of reaction by the authorities to the film He Is Not Dimon to You, produced and distributed online by the Foundation Against Corruption, headed by opposition activist Alexei Navalny. The film accused Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of corruption, showing […]

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NEWSLINK: “The arts thrive in Putin’s Russia – though they play a complex game of censorship; Russia’s art scene prospers in a bizarre critical climate fostered by the Kremlin. We may not know the rules, but we know our place” – The Guardian (UK)/Natalia Antonova

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

“… The Russian state’s paradoxical nature becomes especially apparent when considering the country’s thriving arts scene. It is these contradictions of governance, and their peculiar influence on the Russian art world, that aid and abet Putin’s rule, and ultimately, help generate support for the Russian president. So is there censorship? Yes, some people would argue – but it’s not clearly […]

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NEWSLINK: “Fear and Loathing; Three new books embody our tendency to misinterpret Russia” – Book Forum/Sean Guillory

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

“THE LONG-STANDING ANIMOSITY and suspicion between Russia and the United States have reached such a frenzied pitch of late that the very idea of good relations has begun to feel impossible, almost ahistorical. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Russia-gate’s Unasked Questions; Comey’s testimony settles nothing” – The American Conservative/Philip Geraldi

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“… If the #FBI began its investigation of team #Trump in late July – after the nomination process but before the election – and the Trump campaign office was located in Trump Tower, doesn’t that confirm that Donald Trump is right when he insists that his office was ‘wiretapped’ during the summer even if his word choice was not apt? […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH/Gazeta.ru: “Live longer! Putin calls for improving life expectancy. Russia’s leader hopes that by 2025 average life expectancy will reach 76 years. To achieve this target, authorities must combat not only alcoholism and drug addiction, but also reduce the number of road accident deaths.”

Man in Silhoette with Bottle of Alcohol and Head in Hand

“Russia’s leader hopes that by 2025 average life expectancy will reach 76 years. To achieve this target, authorities must combat not only alcoholism and drug addiction, but also reduce the number of road accident deaths. …”

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RUSSIALINK TASS: “Russian-US experiment to simulate outer space mission named SIRIUS”

Space in Low Earth Orbit with Partial Sun

“A series of joint experiments by NASA and the Moscow-based Institute of Medical and Biological Problems (IMBP) to simulate a flight to the outer space was named SIRIUS, an acronym for Scientific International Research In Unique Terrestrial Station. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Manafort had plan to benefit Putin government” – AP Exclusive/JEFF HORWITZ, CHAD DAY

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

“… Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of … Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics, The Associated Press has learned. The work appears to contradict assertions by the Trump administration and Manafort himself that he never worked for […]

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NEWSLINK: “WEAPONIZING COMEDY” – Irrussianality/Paul Robinson

Satellite Dishes

“… The basic conclusion of the report is that in Russia, ‘the entire “official humour industry” … is directly Kremlin-controlled’. Working for the Kremlin, Russian comedians use humour to reduce their compatriots’ stress and make them feel more comfortable and thus more accepting of the political system. They provide audiences with a positive sense of social identity, which is contrasted […]

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NEWSLINK: “Key Democratic Officials Now Warning Base Not to Expect Evidence of Trump/Russia Collusion” – The Intercept/Glenn Greenwald

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… The principal problem for Democrats is that so many media figures and online charlatans are personally benefiting from feeding the base increasingly unhinged, fact-free conspiracies … there are now millions of partisan soldiers absolutely convinced of a Trump/Russia conspiracy for which, at least as of now, there is no evidence. And they are all waiting for the day, which they […]

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NEWSLINK: “The paranoid attempts to tie Trump to Russia are distracting US liberals from their real problems” – Quartz: James Carden

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sergei Lavrov, Seated With Flags

“… Rather than being driven by a wave of popular sentiment, today’s hysteria is a product of elite resentment, suspicion, and anger over Clinton’s loss to the populist Trump. Then, of course, there is the added element of blame shifting. Democrats are clearly seeking to blame Clinton’s loss on Russia, and the Kremlin offers a convenient foreign target. But is […]

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NEWSLINK “Russia Quality Of Life Indicators Worse Than China’s” – Forbes/Kenneth Rapoza

Moscow Roads

“… According to the big data cost of living number crunchers at Numbeo, Russia’s biggest problems are weather; Moscow traffic that makes the 405 in Los Angeles and the Marginal in Sao Paulo seem tame; outrageous real estate prices in city centers, and pollution. Russia may be known for great culture, world-class great museums and home to one of the […]

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NEWSLINK: “What Does Vladimir Putin Want? [interview with Alexander Vershbow]” – New York Magazine

Alexander Vershbow file photo

“… Q: Assuming all the intelligence agencies are right that Russia meddled in the election, why do you think they would do so? It reflects a broader kind of hostility on the Russians’ part towards the West. It was brewing for some time, and I think it burst into full flower after Putin came back into the presidency in 2012. […]

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NEWSLINK: “Unquiet American; Putin is unlikely to be brought in from the cold, says former U.S. envoy to Moscow Michael McFaul” – Politico.eu

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

“… How does the #Putin era end? ‘When Putin is no longer in power,’ responds #McFaul. ‘And I think he’ll stay in power for as long as he can.’ A natural end to Putin’s presidency is ‘unlikely,’ he says, ‘given the kind of system he’s built around himself, that really relies on one charismatic individual at its core.’ The #Russians […]

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NEWSLINK: “First Encounter Between Trump, Putin Likely To Come At G-20” – Forbes/Kenneth Rapoza

“The much anticipated meeting between President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart may take place in Germany during the G-20, according to press reports …. The meeting is key for setting the direction of Russia-U.S. ties, which have been severed over the last two years of the Obama Administration. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Yatsenyuk on BBC Hardtalk: ‘Ukraine has lots of lunatics in politics'” – Kyiv Post/Denys Krasnikov

Arseniy Yatsenyuk file photo

“Ukraine’s ex-Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has made an appearance on the BBC Hardtalk show hosted by Stephen Sackur. Yatsenyuk, who left the prime minister office nearly a year ago in April 2016 and was replaced by Volodymyr Groysman, followed other top Ukrainian politicians who appeared on Hardtalk in recent years, namely President Petro Poroshenko, ex-Odesa governor Mikheil Saakashvili and Kyiv […]

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NEWSLINK: “Angels and Demons in the Cold War and Today” – New York Times/Stephen Boykewich

Stylized Russian and U.S. Flags with Number 200, 1807-2007

“… Today, the American commentariat is again trapped in a narrative of angels and demons, with … Putin our latest Mephistopheles. Efforts to depict a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence – thus far without evidence – have reached a such a pitch that even implacable Putin critics like the journalist Masha Gessen and the former American ambassador […]

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NEWSLINK: “From Russia, with Panic; Cozy bears, unsourced hacks-and a Silicon Valley shakedown” – The Baffler/Yasha Levine

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“… It seemed like a plotline from a vintage James Bond film. From his Moscow lair, Vladimir Putin struck up an alliance with Julian Assange to mount a massive cyber-offensive to discredit Hillary Clinton and her retinue of loyal Democratic Party operatives in the eyes of the American public. The plot was full of twists and turns and hair-raising tangents, […]

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NEWSLINK: “From Russia with love – lessons for today from a revolution 100 years ago” – Ottawa Citizen/Paul Robinson

File photo of Czar Nicholas II in Military Uniform Outdoors with Soldiers in Background, adapted from image at defense.gov

“One hundred years ago this week, a protest about food shortages in the Russian capital, Petrograd, turned into the violent revolution that overthrew Czar Nicholas II and brought the Romanov dynasty to an end. The liberal-minded provisional government that assumed power did not last long, succumbing to another revolution eight months later, which inaugurated 70 years of Communist rule. It […]

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