NEWSLINK: “Ukraine seeks distance from Moscow with new Christmas holiday” – AFP

Rada File Photo

“Ukrainian lawmakers on Thursday voted for a new public holiday on December 25 in a move that they said would allow the country to distance itself from Russia, which celebrates Orthodox Christmas in January. …”

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  NEWSLINK: “It’s not just anecdotal: the U.S. is rejecting more and more visa requests from Russians” – Meduza

File Photo of U.S. Embassy Moscow, with Russian Foreign Ministry Building in Distance

“The U.S. State Department published data revealing that American officials have increasingly been denying B1/B2 tourist visas to Russian citizens. The adjusted refusal rate for Russians in fiscal year 2017 was 11.61 percent – 1.25 percent higher than a year before. In 2009, the State Department denied just 4.9 percent of Russians’ tourist visa applications. …”

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NEWSLINK: “AP Interview: Russia must be more tolerant, candidate [Ksenia Sobchak] says” – AP

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

“A celebrity Russian TV host who intends to run for president in next March’s election said Friday that she hopes to make the nations’ tightly-controlled political system more inclusive and democratic. The 36-year-old Ksenia Sobchak has cast herself as a ‘candidate against all’ in the March 18 vote. She’s seeking to reach out to those who have grown tired of […]

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NEWSLINK: “‘You can always expect retaliatory measures from Moscow’ Deputy Duma Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy explains Russia’s new legislation against ‘foreign agents’ in the news media” – Meduza

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

“On November 15, lawmakers in the lower house of Russia’s parliament unanimously passed all three readings of amendments to federal laws on the mass media. If adopted by the Federation Council and President Putin, the reforms will empower the Justice Ministry to add certain media outlets to Russia’s registry of foreign agents. State Duma deputies say the legislation is being […]

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NEWSLINK: “Independent Journalists in Russia Will Have to Live Without Their Western Role Models; The Western media’s controversial reporting is affecting independent journalism in Russia” – Moscow Times/ Oleg Kashin

File Photo of Oleg Kashin Outdoors with Boat and Water in Background

“The Western press has discovered that structures close to the Kremlin bought shares in Facebook and Twitter – obviously with far-reaching political designs. * * * At some point, quantity becomes quality, and the Western press has already published so many inaccurate, exaggerated, and knowingly untrue things about this country that the only Russians who seriously consider Milner a Kremlin […]

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NEWSLINK: “Trump and Putin: What Comes Next? Will a future, formal Trump-Putin summit be a game changer?” – The National Interest/ Nikolas K. Gvosdev

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

“… Keeping the tenor of the encounters between the two presidents at Da Nang informal precluded the chance of any intense bargaining sessions on the sidelines. But for the Russian side, it also raises questions – of whether Trump is in fact inclined to bargain with the Kremlin, or whether he has the clout to carry through any agreement in […]

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NEWSLINK: “Leadership In Russia: Hacking, Trust And Where Do We Go From Here?” – Forbes/ Shellie Karabell

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

“… election hacking is only part of the ‘trust’ problem: there’s the Ukraine invasion, Olympic doping scandals, the civil war in Syria. …”

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NEWSLINK: “NATO is headed for a very messy break-up” – Boston Globe/ Stephen Kinzer

Turkey and Environs Satellite Image

“… Recently Turkey and the United States stopped issuing visas to each other’s citizens. This is more than just another travel ban. It is a geopolitical spectacle unique in modern history: two allied countries blocking normal back-and-forth travel. An old relationship has gone deeply sour. …”

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NEWSLINK: “WikiLeaks Publishes CIA Hacking Tool Designed To ‘Impersonate’ Russia’s Kaspersky Lab” – ZeroHedge/ Tyler Durden

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“On September 18th, the U.S. Senate voted to ban the use of products from the Moscow-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab by the federal government, citing national security risk. The vote was included as an amendment to an annual defense policy spending bill approved by the Senate on the same day and was written to bar the use of Kaspersky […]

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NEWSLINK: “Let Trump be Trump; Ronald Reagan was Ronald Reagan” – Washington Times/ Edward Lozansky

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“It is common knowledge that the reason Ronald Reagan fired his first 1980 campaign manager, John Sears, was his loss to George H.W. Bush in the Iowa caucuses straw poll. Mr. Sears was replaced by William Casey, with Edwin Meese and Michael Deaver getting more involved in the campaign, and all of them urging to let ‘Reagan be Reagan.’ This […]

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NEWSLINK: “The reality of neo-Nazis in Ukraine is far from Kremlin propaganda” – The Hill/ Lev Golinkin

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

“… The most infamous neo-Nazi group in Ukraine is the 3,000-strong Azov Battalion, founded in 2014. Prior to creating Azov, its commander, Andriy Biletsky, headed the neo-Nazi group Patriot of Ukraine, members of which went on to form the core of Azov. Biletsky had stated that the mission of Ukraine is to ‘lead the White Races of the world in […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia, Trump, and the 2016 U.S. Election; Charges of foreign power interference in the U.S. presidential election have raised grave national security concerns and touched off multiple federal inquiries that could drag on for months” – Council on Foreign Relations/ Jonathan Masters

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain » Read more

NEWSLINK: “Kremlin Cash Behind Billionaire’s Twitter and Facebook Investments” – New York Times/ Jesse Drucker

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at » Read more

RUSSIALINK TRANCRIPT: “Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a meeting with members of the Association of European Businesses in Russia Moscow, October 31, 2017” – Russian Foreign Ministry

Sergei Lavrov file photo » Read more

NEWSLINK: “Anton Troianovski named The Washington Post’s Moscow Bureau Chief” – Washington Post

Historic Washington Post Masthead, adapted from image at

“… Anton Troianovski of the Wall Street Journal will become The Post’s Moscow bureau chief.  Anton has distinguished himself over a nine-year career at the Journal that has included assignments in New York and Berlin. He has covered commercial real estate, telecoms, and, since 2013, has led the Journal’s coverage of German politics and society, delivering insightful and revelatory work […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin: Russia Ending Conscription” – Russian Defense Policy Blog

File Photo of Russian Military Conscripts Boarding Train with Gear

“… Putin significantly changed the script for Russian military reform on October 24 by indicating intent to end the draft in favor of volunteer contract service. … Putin told his young audience: ‘While I don’t have a ready-made answer, in the same vein if we try to develop this practice further, then maybe we’ll come up with something, but in general […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the global themed conference titled 100 Years of the Russian Revolution: Unity for the Future – Moscow, October 31, 2017” – Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

File Photo of Revolutionaries Marching in Moscow in 1917, adapted from image at » Read more

NEWSLINK: “U.S. Special-Operations Forces Have Quietly Moved Onto the Russian Border; The percentage of special operators deployed to Europe quadrupled last year” – The Nation/ Nick Turse

Globe Highlighting NATO Members

“… Since 9/11, U.S. Special Operations forces (SOF) have grown in every conceivable way from funding to manpower, the pace of operations to geographic sweep. On any given day, about 8,000 special operators – from a command numbering roughly 70,000 in total – are deployed in around 80 countries. Over the course of a year, they operate in about 70 […]

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RUSSIALINK: “What Does the Decline of Clans in the North Caucasus Mean for Moscow?” – Carnegie Moscow/ Konstantin Kazenin

Caucasus Map of Chechnya and Caucasus Environs

“Recent speculation that Russia wants to topple the ‘traditional’ clan system in the North Caucasus misses the point: the clan system is in no way traditional, and it is collapsing on its own. The real question is whether the federal center will find other allies in the region when it falls. …”  

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NEWSLINK: “Sobchak and the presidential reality show; Why does the Kremlin allow socialite Ksenia Sobchak to take part in the presidential elections? Distraction? Theatricality? According to security expert Mark Galeotti it reflects the limitations of Putin’s hyper-presidential system. ‘Vote against all’ is a way out for the population” -RaamopRuslandNL/ Mark Galeotti

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

“The news that Ksenia Sobchak, part-time opposition gadfly, erstwhile reality TV host, and full-time celebrity, plans to stand in the 2018 presidential elections has – rightly – been interpreted as a Kremlin bid to ‘sex up’ what otherwise seemed unbearably tedious elections and also to split Alexei Navalny’s opposition camp. That Sobchak presented herself as the ‘against everyone’ candidate, simply […]

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File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

56 video interviews and transcripts; Interviews include Yevgenia Albats, Masha Gessen, Julia Ioffe, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Michael McFaul, Molly McKew, Victoria Nuland; Transcript of interview with Thomas Graham #27 ….

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NEWSLINK: “Putin Disappoints Investors With Quick Exit From Moscow Forum” – Bloomberg/ Ksenia Galouchko, Jake Rudnitsky, Andrey Biryukov, Anna Baraulina

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

“… Putin left some guests at Moscow’s main investment forum surprised and disappointed after he broke with his tradition of taking questions from the audience and left after a brief speech. After comments that lasted about 12 minutes at a panel at the VTB Capital Forum on Tuesday, Putin left the stage, leaving behind the sanctioned lender’s Chief Executive Officer Andrey […]

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EVENT: “Russian Perception of America in Turmoil: A Russia-Eurasia Forum with Dr. Fyodor Lukyanov [Wednesday Oct. 25 in Washington, D.C.]” – Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)

File Photo of Banner with SAIS Logos in Washington, D.C., Near Gray Wall, adapted from image at

“The European and Eurasian Studies Program invites you to a Russia-Eurasia Forum with Dr. Fyodor Lukyanov, editor of Russia in Global Affairs, on ‘Russian perceptions of American in Turmoil.’ Moderated by Professor Charles Gati. Light Lunch provided. RSVP required. Fyodor Lukyanov is Chairman of Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, the oldest Russian NGO providing expertise in foreign policy field, […]

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[PDF 53 pages] NEWSLINK: “The Kremlin’s Platform for ‘Useful Idiots’ in the West: An Overview of RT’s Editorial Strategy and Evidence of Impact ” – EuropeanValuesNet

Satellite Dishes

“This Report provides a detailed overview of the history, agenda, and evidence of impact of the Kremlin-funded international broadcasting network RT (Russia Today). In recent months, RT has come under increasing scrutiny for its role in the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign against the West. Unlike other agents of this campaign, which operate primarily behind the scenes and whose ties to the […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Kremlin’s Platform for ‘Useful Idiots’ in the West: An Overview of RT’s Editorial Strategy and Evidence of Impact” – EuropeanvaluesNet

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

“European Values Think-Tank presents a new Kremlin Watch Report, ‘The Kremlin’s Platform for “Useful Idiots” in the West: An Overview of RT’s Editorial Strategy and Evidence of Impact’, authored by Monika Richter, Kremlin Watch Analyst. The Report is accompanied with an appendix document, the RT Guest List.”    

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NEWSLINK: “A Russian Take on ‘The Americans’ Scares Moscow Liberals; The political conversation in Putin’s Russia increasingly revolves around cinematic versions of reality.” – Bloomberg/ Leonid Bershidsky

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at » Read more

NEWSLINK: “Russian health officials want an all-out war against smoking in public (and other places)” – Meduza

No Smoking Symbol

“Russian Health Ministry officials want to expand dramatically the list of places where smoking is prohibited. … [to] include … communal apartments, within 10 feet of public transportation stops … underground and overground walkways, within 10 feet of shopping malls … in private vehicles in the presence of children … ‘in the presence of anyone who objects to the consumption […]

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