JRL NEWSWATCH: “Every fifth Russian worker earns less than $250 per month” – bne Intellinews

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“Every fifth Russian worker earns less than RUB15,000 ($250) per month, according to … a study by the RIA Rating agency [cited by] … RIA Novosti …. Over 33% of people living in 22 regions earn less than this amount, according to the survey. [The worst were] Dagestan … (46%) … [and the] Karachay-Cherkess Republic (44%). In six regions, two […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Kudrin renews push for tough policy talk” – Bear Market Brief

Alexei Kudrin file photo

“… Kudrin, went on record with RBK ahead of today’s ‘Russia Calling’ economic forum, asserting that in the last decade Russia has experienced economic stagnation unseen since the Second World War. He appears to be continuing his search for a public, honest discussion of foreign policy. … … annualized GDP growth at 1% over the last ten years … predat[ing] […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Georgians Set to Vote in Hotly Contested Presidential Runoff” – AP

Georgia Map

“Two of Georgia’s former foreign ministers are facing off against each other Wednesday in a tight runoff that will mark the last time Georgians elect their head of state by popular vote.  Georgia, a nation of nearly 4 million people in the volatile Caucasus region south of Russia, is transitioning to a parliamentary republic. Presidential powers have been substantially reduced […]

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RUSSIALINK: “What Drives the Russian State; To understand what makes Putin and his allies act the way they do, you need to look beyond the myths” – New York Times/ Alexander Baunov/ Carnegie Moscow

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“Since … Putin came to power … analysis of Russia … has largely focused on two interpretations …. The first argues that Russia is a mafia state in which the main aim of the ruling elite is to steal money at home to conceal and spend abroad. The second states that Mr. Putin is a hostage of his own popularity […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia-Ukraine Standoff Intensifies Over Captured Vessels; Kiev has troops on military alert and demands Moscow releases the ships and crew members” – Wall Street Journal/ Thomas Grove, Ann M. Simmons, Emre Peker, Georgi Kantchev

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

“Ukraine’s defense ministry put its troops on military alert … a day after Russian forces fired on and detained three Ukrainian naval vessels near the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, a move that threatened to reignite tensions between Moscow and Kiev.  … Poroshenko has called for martial law – that could last for 60 days after being enacted and give […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia rewrites nuclear rule book to fire first” – The Times (UK)/ Marc Bennetts

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… Senators in [Russia’s] Federation Council … have recommended … allow[ing] … [P]resident [Putin] to order nuclear strikes in response to enemy use of conventional weapons, a significant departure from the military doctrine that prohibits first use unless Russia is threatened by [WMD] or if its ‘very existence is in jeopardy.’ The council proposes that Russia be allowed to retaliate […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “New Ukrainian Opposition Party Names Presidential Runner; A pro-Russian candidate could present a real challenge to Poroshenko, pundits say, if the squabbling opposition parties join forces” – Transitions Online

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“The split between the successors to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions widened this week when the parliamentary Opposition Bloc stripped its co-chairman Yuriy Boyko of membership.  … three days after Boyko threw his hat into next spring’s presidential race …. Earlier this month, Boyko and another Opposition Bloc member, Vadym Rabinovych, announced the formation of an offshoot […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Baron Sobyanin; Moscow’s mayor squashes competition but transforms his city; Sergei Sobyanin has turned his city around” – The Economist

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

“… The previous mayor, Yuri Luzhkov… ruled Moscow as a medieval fief since 1992, developing a reputation for corruption and crass taste. Historic buildings … crashing down, glitzy shopping malls … traffic [grinding] to a halt … his [construction magnate] wife became the country’s richest woman. … Sobyanin set out to break with the Luzhkov era …. focus[ing] on urban […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Losing the Plot – Ukraine’s Opposition Seeks a Strategy; Ukraine’s pro-Russian opposition is targeting next year’s parliamentary elections, not the presidential ones-so is Russia. But they cannot agree among themselves on who their leader should be and what their strategy is” – Carnegie Moscow/ Konstantin Skorkin

Rada File Photo

“Disoriented since the downfall of former president Viktor Yanukovych, the parts of Ukraine’s opposition more sympathetic to Russia have not disappeared. They are regrouping, with an eye mainly to next year’s parliamentary elections, seeing the presidential election as all but lost. But they have yet to find a common leader or unifying idea. …”

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian, US Officials Say Space Cooperation Remains Strong” – AP/ Washington Post

International Space Station file photo

“Russian and U.S. space officials hailed the joint work of their programs Monday and said cooperation remains strong despite political tensions …. Roscosmos director Dmitry Rogozin and Bill Gerstenmaier, head of NASA’s human explorations and operations, said after a conference marking the 20th anniversary of the International Space Station that their agencies plan to collaborate on developing a moon orbiting […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S.-Russian Relations and the ‘New Cold War’ Metaphor [Excerpt]” – PONARS Eurasia

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

(PONARS Eurasia – Mark Kramer – November 2018) Mark Kramer is Director of the Cold War Studies Program and Senior Fellow at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. [Full text ponarseurasia.org/memo/us-russian-relations-and-new-cold-war-metaphor] Over the past twenty years, observers such as Stephen F. Cohen have argued that relations between the United States and Russia have been plunged […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Pre-election poll gives Poroshenko highest ‘anti-rating’ of all presidential candidates” – Kyiv Post/ Daria Shulzhenko

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“… [incumbent President] Petro Poroshenko is facing an uphill battle for re-election ….  Nearly 50 percent of Ukrainians won’t vote for Poroshenko under any circumstances, according to [a] poll … conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, the Razumkov Center, and the Rating Group sociological organization. … giv[ing] Poroshenko the highest ‘anti-ranking’ …. The poll shows presidential candidate Yulia […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “A Dissident Wins a Bittersweet Victory Over Putin; Europe’s rights court condemned the Kremlin’s persecution of Alexei Navalny, but the ruling could push Russia further away from the West.” – Bloomberg/Leonid Bershidsky

European Court of Human Rights Building file photo

“… Russian dissident Alexei Navalny has long had a catch-and-release relationship with … Putin and his regime. … [T]he European Court for Human Rights ruled that arrests in 2012 and 2014 violated Navalny’s rights. … likely to bring Russia a step closer to breaking off its remaining ties with European institutions.  The Putin regime has been playing an unpredictable game […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “IMF, World Bank see little progress in fight against corruption in Ukraine” – Interfax-Ukraine

International Monetary Fund Logo Over Ukraine Flag

“… key donors of Ukraine – the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank – note low effectiveness of the Ukrainian authorities in the fight against corruption. ‘We see good and important progress in setting out institutions for tackling investment …. Shortcomings in the judicial system and corruption are some of the key reasons why investment is so low […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia draws closer to Southeast Asia with arms and energy trade; Putin to attend regional summit to build on economic and political cooperation” – Nikkei Asian Review (Japan)/JUN SUZUKI, TOMOYO OGAWA

File Image of ASEAN Logo, adapted from image at ustr.gov by Steven C. Welsh :: www.stevencwelsh.info :: www.stevencwelsh.com

“… Putin will for the first time attend the East Asia Summit, to be held in Singapore …. Putin aims to boost arms and energy trade with the region … [and is] seeking new partners to help offset the pressure of Western sanctions over its annexation of Crimea. … Putin will … attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations leaders’ […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. military might ‘struggle to win, or perhaps lose’ war with China or Russia, report says” – CBS

File Photo of F-22 Fighter and Ground Crew

“Absent renewed investment … and … strategic realignment of its … capabilities, the U.S. military could lose the next state-versus-state war it fights, according to … the National Defense Strategy Commission. ‘America’s ability to defend its allies, its partners and its own vital interests is increasingly in doubt’ … ‘It might struggle to win, or perhaps lose, a war against […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Congress Likely to Shelve New Russia Sanctions as Clock Runs Out” – Bloomberg/ Saleha Mohsin, Laura Litvan, Anna Edgerton, Daniel Flatley

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

“Congress isn’t expected to pass legislation ordering new U.S. sanctions on Russia before the end of the year, as lawmakers focus instead on government spending measures, judicial nominations and a farm bill, key senators said. A bipartisan group of senators moved swiftly over the summer to assemble new proposals for Russia sanctions …. But as Congress enters the so-called lame […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Capital flight from Russia triples y/y to $42.2bn in January-October” – bne Intellinews

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“The net outflow of capital from Russia in January-October 2018 was up to $42.2bn, a three-fold increase from the $14bn that left Russia in the same period a year earlier, according to preliminary estimates from Central Bank of Russia (CBR) …. Approximately half of this amount is accounted for by operations of banks to repay external liabilities[;] the other half […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Poll: 63% of Ukrainians see Russia as aggressor” – UNIAN (Kyiv)

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

“Almost two-thirds of the citizens of Ukraine, or 63%, consider the Russian Federation to be an aggressor country vis-à-vis Ukraine, according to a nationwide poll conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, the Oleksandr Razumkov Ukrainian Centre for Economic and Political Studies and the Rating sociological group …. ‘We asked … “Is Russia seen as an aggressor country vis-à-vis […]

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

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

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

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. midterms make Putin’s rocky road to Trump even rockier” – Christian Science Monitor/Fred Weir

“Americans weren’t the only ones closely watching U.S. midterm results. Much of the world was too, including Russia. A Democratic House will complicate Vladimir Putin’s efforts to cut deals with President Trump.” “A lot has changed since [Trump and Putin] last met in Helsinki in July – and not in Russia’s favor, according to much of Russia’s foreign policy community. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia clashes with Western oil buyers over new deals as sanctions loom” – Reuters

Oil Well file photo

“Russian energy majors are putting pressure on Western oil buyers to use euros instead of dollars for payments and introducing penalty clauses in contracts as Moscow seeks protection against possible new U.S. sanctions. … Western oil majors and trading houses have clashed with Russia’s third and fourth biggest producers, Gazprom Neft and Surgutneftegaz, over 2019 oil sales contract terms during […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Challenges U.S. in Hosting Taliban at Afghan Talks” – Bloomberg/Henry Meyer, Eltaf Najafizada

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

“Russia is challenging the U.S. by hosting the Taliban at a Moscow peace conference in the latest source of friction …. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who pressed Russia to cancel a similar meeting in September, sent four senior members of his nation’s High Peace Council … * * * Russia, which backs Taliban demands for a pullout of American forces, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The tenth city: Rostov-on-Don; We move to Russia in our series on Europe’s second-tier cities; Ancient trading traditions have survived Bolshevism and war” – The Economist

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“… [Rostov-on-Don has] roots as a trading hub …. Russia’s gdp growth is slow at around 1.5% … [yet] the Rostov region is … at twice that … powered by booming farming, retooled manufacturing and an active citizenry. … [G]eography, tradition and mild weather make[] Rostov among Russia’s most entrepreneurial cities. … [where] 44% of the workforce is employed in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Reaches Out to Afghan Leaders for Taliban Talks, Angering Kabul” – Reuters

Afghanistan Map of Ethnicities

“Russia has quietly invited a group of senior Afghan politicians to talks with the Taliban in Moscow, bypassing President Ashraf Ghani’s government in a move that has angered officials in Kabul who say it could muddle the U.S.-backed peace process. … confirmed … by six of the eight leaders, who include former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, or their aides, and […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. overtakes Russia to become the world’s biggest oil producer” – bne Intellinews

Offshore Oil Rig file photo

“The U.S. overtook Russia to become the world’s biggest producer of oil in August …. Russia has been the biggest single producer of oil in terms of barrels produced a day for several years, but the shale oil revolution in the U.S. has seen production there skyrocket …. As average oil prices rose to over $65 in the first quarter […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Trump’s plans to scrap a nuclear pact with Russia could heighten tensions in Asia” – CNBC/Nyshka Chandran

File Photo of Nuclear Weapon, B61 Gravity Bomb

“If the U.S. exits the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia, Washington will be free to develop and install weapons on its military bases around Asia. That’s unlikely to sit well with China, who may look to compete with the U.S. Any reaction from China to U.S. provocation, however, could spill over into India and Pakistan.” “Washington’s plans to withdraw […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “NATO Dusts Off a Cold War Skill: Moving Troops; Alliance is holding its biggest military exercise in decades, testing its ability to transport soldiers and equipment by road, rail and water” – Wall Street Journal/ Daniel Michaels

U.S. Army Tanks in Transport Arriving in Germany, adapted from army.mil

“… NATO’s largest exercise since the Cold War. … [involves] 50,000 troops …. [m]oving forces from 30 countries to Norway for … Trident Juncture …. [T]en thousand vehicles, 250 aircraft and 65 ships were dispatched …. * * * NATO and the [EU] … [have] agreed to deepen cooperation … including [with] mobility. The EU … spends billions … annually […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Inflation Stalking Russia Adds to ‘Hopelessness’ Among Consumers” – Bloomberg/ Anna Andrianova, Evgenia Pismennaya, Zoya Shilova

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“The mood among Russian consumers is souring just as inflation increasingly eats into their purchasing power. Faster price growth and an unsteady ruble are hurting household finances, contributing last quarter to the biggest plunge in consumer confidence since 2015. … mirror[ing] a broader loss of momentum in the economy … slow to rebound despite higher oil prices. … Fed up […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Entrepreneurs of political violence: the varied interests and strategies of the far-right in Ukraine; For Ukraine’s far right, violence has become a source of influence and power [Excerpt]” – OpenDemocracy/ Denys Gorach

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

(opendemocracy.net – Denys Gorach – October 16, 2018) Denys Gorbach is a leftist activist and researcher working on the Ukrainian labour movement. [Full text: opendemocracy.net/od-russia/denys-gorbach/entrepreneurs-of-political-violence-ukraine-far-right] “The recent wave of anti-Roma pogroms in Ukraine has spawned a new series of texts on right-wing violence. However, a significant part of this literature still mostly relies on discourse analysis, which cannot fully explain […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Sanctions Unlikely to Pass Congress Before November” – Bloomberg/ Arit John, Anna Edgerton, Natasha Doff (Sept. 27, 2018)

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

“… Congress is unlikely to pass any new sanctions on Russia, including proposals that would affect its sovereign debt and energy projects, until after … November elections. The House is likely to go on recess … and not return until after Nov. 6 balloting, according to a Republican aide and a lawmaker. No bills on sanctions against Russia are scheduled […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Regional Elections Rundown” – Bear Market Brief (Sept. 28, 2018)

Russia Regions Map

“Moscow’s political control over regional governments is slipping, opening the door for local elites to gain greater control …. [including] greater de facto control over natural resources, creating opportunities for external investment but … increasing corruption risks …. [T]rend[s] [are] rooted in a sustained decline in living standards … also prompt[ing] unprecedented protest activity and a more confrontational … ‘systemic’ […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S., Russia Clash at U.N. as Lavrov Calls for Easing of North Korea Sanctions” – Wall Street Journal/ Jessica Donati (Sept. 28, 2018)

File Photo of UN Building with Flags

“The Trump administration worked to move ahead on its top diplomatic priority – the denuclearization of North Korea – but ran head-on into opposition to its plans from Russia, which called for the easing of United Nations sanctions against Pyongyang. The proposal by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the U.N. Security Council ran directly counter to the U.S. demand […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s pension reform still seen as unjust, but less willing to protest” – bne Intellinews [Sept. 27, 2018]

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“The number of Russians willing to protest … unpopular pension reform and the hiking of the retirement age has dropped … from 53% in September to 35% in August, according to [the] Levada Center …. confirm[ing] previous reports that … Putin scaling back the reform managed to calm the masses. … [But] downplaying and squeezing the reform, despite popular discontent, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Is Putinism the Russian Norm or an Aberration?” – Current History/ Michael McFaul

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

“Policies chosen by Putin, not innate forces of history, culture, or tradition, pushed Russia in a more autocratic direction  . . .” “… Putin has ruled Russia for so long that it’s hard to imagine Russia without him. He has been Russia’s central decision maker as president or prime minister for nearly two decades, with six more years left in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Via arms and trade, Russia plots long-term Syrian future” – AP

Syria Map

“… A longtime client of Russian weapons manufacturers since well before the war, Syria also was a reliable trading partner. And Moscow is furthering that relationship by rebuilding roads, pipes and skyscrapers wiped out by seven years of war – including destruction wrought by Russia’s own weapons. … Russian companies are seeking a diverse trade base, with food, farming and […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “In breakaway Ukraine, those who live by the sword are dying by it; Could an anonymous cull of Donbass’ violently charismatic separatists precede a peaceful solution?” – Asia Times/ Giovanni Pigni

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

“Yet another leader in Ukraine’s breakaway Donbass region has met a kinetic end: … leader of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, Aleksandr Zakharchenko … assassinated by … outdoor bomb blast on August 31. Reaction to his death was predictably mixed. Thousands of supporters gathered in [Donetsk] streets … to honor [his] memory …. [while] in Kiev, Ukrainian nationalists celebrated the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia to Supply Syria With Air-Defense System, Raising Tensions With Israel; The delivery of the S-300 raises the risks of escalation with Israel in a complex ground-and-air conflict involving multiple countries” – Wall Street Journal/James Marson/ Felicia Schwartz

Syria Map

“… [Russia] plans to send a powerful air-defense system to Syria, escalating tensions with Israel following the downing of a Russian war plane last week that the Kremlin has blamed on Israeli forces.  Syrian air defense systems shot down the Russian reconnaissance plane, killing 15 service members on board, as they defended against Israeli military jets that were attacking Iranian […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s war is transforming Ukraine” – Washington Post/Anne Applebaum

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

“… [I]ntegration of … Donetsk refugees into schools and communities in the central and western parts of the country is … part of a broader story: the integration of the war into the consciousness of Ukrainians. … the Russian-Ukrainian war continues. One of the Russian-backed separatist leaders was killed in a bomb attack in August. Skirmishes take place most days, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Oil Production Jumps to a New Post-Soviet Record” – Bloomberg/Elena Mazneva

Oil Well file photo

“Russia’s crude production has jumped to a new post-Soviet record, boosting … budget revenue as it prepares for talks with OPEC+ on further cooperation, according to a [Russian] government official. … currently fluctuating between 1.54 million and 1.55 million tons a day — driven mainly … Rosneft … 11.29 million to 11.36 million barrels a day, beating the previous record […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia is throwing out suspicious gubernatorial election results in Primorsky Krai” – Meduza

Russia Regions Map

“Russia’s Central Election Commission is urging regional election officials in the Primorsky Krai to invalidate the results of last Sunday’s runoff gubernatorial election. Commissioner Ella Pamfilova justified the recommendation on the grounds that it is impossible to determine the race’s outcome reliably because of significant violations at multiple polling stations. … the commission’s ‘recommendation’ is more like a direct order, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Air Has Seeped Out of the Russia/Collusion Balloon” – Washington Examiner/Michael Barone

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“‘I did not, and of course I looked for it, looked for it hard.’ That was Bob Woodward … replying to … Hugh Hewitt’s question, ‘Did you, Bob Woodward, hear anything in your research, in your interviews, that sounded like espionage or collusion?’…. [And] none of Mueller’s indictments and guilty pleas point toward confirmation …. [I]t appears that, beyond a […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “World Anti-Doping Agency Reinstates Russia” – AP

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

“[WADA] reinstated Russia on Thursday despite a wave of protests, ending the nearly three-year suspension of the country’s drug-testing program because of a state-sponsored doping scheme. WADA’s decision after a vote of its 12-member executive committee was called ‘the greatest treachery against clean athletes in Olympic history’ by the lawyer of the whistleblower who helped uncover Russia’s cheating. WADA decided […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Former Bush adviser has three steps to rebuild U.S.-Russia relationship” – CBS News

File Photo of Stephen Hadley At Table Leaning Forward, with USAID Logo Partially Obscured in Background, adapted from image at usaid.gov by Steven C. Welsh :: www.stevencwelsh.com :: www.stevencwelsh.info

“… according to Stephen Hadley, former national security adviser to … George W. Bush … three crucial factors need to be addressed before rebuilding the [U.S.-Russian] relationship can begin. … [1] ‘One, we get through our election in November and it is clear that the Russians have not tried to manipulate that election in 2018 the way they did in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Blames Israel for Loss of Plane Shot Down by Syria Air Defenses; Moscow said it reserved the right to ‘respond adequately’ to the loss” – Wall Street Journal/Thomas Grove and Felicia Schwartz

Syria Map

“… the Russian Defense Ministry said [a] Soviet-designed Ilyushin-20 was brought down by Syria’s S-200 air defense systems as Damascus tried to defend against strikes by four Israeli F-16s on government targets. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu spoke to his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman after the plane was downed and warned that Moscow ‘reserved the right to take steps to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia-China trade turnover up 25.7% in January-August 2018” – bne Intellinews

Asia Map

“… The two countries set a target to hit $100bn of trade turnover a few years ago …. if trade continues to expand at the same pace as over the first eight months of this year trade turnover should top $100bn by the end of this year. … The EU remains Russia’s biggest trading partner with a turnover of €231bn […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Woodward: No Evidence Of Trump-Russia Collusion, I Searched For Two Years” -RealClearPolitics/ Ian Schwartz

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… Bob Woodward said that in his two years of investigating for his new book, ‘Fear,’ he found no evidence of collusion or espionage between Trump and Russia. Woodward said he looked for it ‘hard’ and yet turned up nothing. ‘…. Did you, Bob Woodward, hear anything in your research in your interviews that sounded like espionage or collusion?’ Hugh […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Communists Say Election Stolen by Pro-Putin Candidate” – Reuters

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

“… With 95 percent of votes counted on Sunday night, Kremlin-backed United Russia incumbent Andrei Tarasenko was trailing his Communist rival by around 5 percent. But on Monday, the local election commission said Tarasenko had won by just over 1 percent, an unlikely turnaround that the Communists said was evidence of rigging. The scandal is awkward for Putin, who met […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘Serious’ rivalry still drives China-Russia relations despite improving ties” – CNBC/Nyshka Chandran

Asia Map

“The strategic partnership between China and Russia, long marred by mutual suspicion, has risen to new heights with recent news of joint projects of more than $100 billion and large-scale army drills. But such cooperation belies the rivalry that defines the relationship between Chinese President Xi Jinping and … Putin …. Beijing’s economic and commercial activities in Moscow’s backyard – […]

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

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

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

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