Aggressive Nationalism and Anti-Americanism Are the Kremlin’s New Ideological Pillars

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 28 – Jamestown Foundation: jamestown.org – Pavel Felgenhauer – February 14, 2013) This week, speaking at a meeting of Russia’s top security officials­the so called “extended collegium” of the Federal Security Service or FSB­Alexander Bortnikov, the FSB chief, announced: “Geopolitical pressure on Russia, coming from the United States and its allies who still consider […]

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Medvedev Advises Students on Matters of the Heart

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 14, 2013) Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told students at the Siberian Federal University on Thursday that the key to success in love is persistence. When asked how to be successful in dating by a student, Medvedev immediately responded with, “That’s the spirit!” before revealing that he has “had many experiences, as any human being […]

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Corruption has penetrated all spheres of Russian society – Matviyenko

Valentina Matviyenko file photo

KAZAN. Feb 13 (Interfax) – Over 50,000 corruption-related crimes were committed in Russia last year, and around 7,000 people were convicted for them, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said. “These figures show that despite all implemented measures, corruption is one of the most burning issues, moreover, it has penetrated all spheres of social life in Russia: authorities, housing services and […]

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Post-Soviet Integration is Unstoppable – Putin

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

MOSCOW, February 14 (RIA Novosti) ­ Nothing can stop or slow down the reintegration of the post-Soviet space, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday. “We’ve heard some recent nervous and outspoken remarks regarding integration in the post-Soviet space. Let’s put them down to the emotional rhetoric of these politicians,” Putin said at a meeting of FSB (Federal Security Service) […]

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Russia beyond Moscow’s Ring Road Anything But Quiet and Stable

Map of Russia

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 13, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/02/window-on-eurasia-russia-beyond-moscows.html) Russian President Vladimir Putin operates on the assumption, which many observers in Moscow and abroad appear to share, that Moscow may be bubbling with popular unhappiness and organized dissent but that the rest of the Russian Federation is quiet and stable. But a survey conducted by Igor […]

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Putin Submits Bill Banning Officials From Holding Foreign Assets

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Winning – February 13, 2013) President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday submitted a bill to the State Duma that seeks to ban government officials from holding overseas bank accounts or owning foreign-issued bonds and shares. The legislation, part of a raft of measures proposed by the president that ostensibly target corruption and foreign influence in […]

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After Putin

File Photo of Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – February 12, 2013) Leonid Brezhnev did it. Boris Yeltsin did it. Is Vladimir Putin doing it, too? Kremlin leaders tend to be obsessed with succession. They think about it. They worry about it. And they actively try to manage it. In the latter Brezhnev years, the upper echelons of the Soviet elite, mindful […]

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Governors, party leaders, Kremlin envoys’ motorcades will not be escorted by traffic police

Moscow Traffic file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 12 (Interfax) – From now on, governors, party leaders, Kremlin envoys traveling in motorcades in regions, and groups of school children traveling in buses will not be escorted by traffic police, says a government resolution, adopted on December 22, 2012, and enforced on Tuesday. The new procedure was proposed by the Interior Ministry in compliance with the presidential […]

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Kremlin Backs Youth Politics With Reformed Nashi

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle- February 12, 2013) Nashi, the controversial pro-Kremlin youth group known for fierce campaigns against government critics at home and abroad, will be split into several projects under a new name, the All-Russian Youth Society, the Izvestia daily newspaper reported on Monday. A spokeswoman for Nashi appeared to confirm the report, saying the name […]

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‘The Russian People No Longer Exists,’ Russian Nationalist Says

File Photo of Crowd of Russians with One Waving Russian Flag

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 12, 2013 –  http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/02/window-on-eurasia-russian-people-no.html) Maksim Kalashnikov, a leading Russian nationalist commentator, says that “the Russian people no longer exists” and that its disappearance as an integral collective threatens the future of the country because there is no one left to defend it against challenges domestic and foreign. In an interview with “Svobodnaya […]

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Deputy Minister’s Speech on Journalism Sparks Controversy

Kremlin and St. Basil's

JERUSALEM, February 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russian deputy communications minister Alexei Volin explained on Monday that the controversy stirred by his words that journalists were “not tasked with making the world better,” demonstrates the huge gap between how the experts perceive the media and how it works in practice. Commenting on the speech, the Russian Union of journalists said on […]

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Russian Duma Backtracks on Direct Regional Elections

Duma Session file photo

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 25 – Richard Arnold – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – February 11, 2013) United Russia brought a bill before the Duma for a first reading on January 23, 2013, that would permit regional legislatures to cancel direct gubernatorial elections for the “multi-ethnic” regions of Russia. Instead, parties in regional legislatures would pick three candidates […]

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NGOs Slam Volunteer Bill

Federation Council file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Winning – February 12, 2013) Prominent nongovernmental organizations said Monday that a new bill on volunteerism would stifle their work through increased bureaucracy and unnecessary regulation. At a roundtable organized by the Civic Initiatives Committee, a think tank headed by former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, NGOs said it would be senseless to adopt legislation […]

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Russians fear aging more than repression – poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Alina Lobzina – February 12, 2013) Russians have nearly lost their fear of returning to Stalinism while old age and helplessness scare them more, a recent poll showed. The number of those concerned over a new wave of Stalin-era repression, anarchy, and civil wars has shrunk by nine times and 6.5 times respectively in comparison […]

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Public Satisfied with State’s Efforts to Attract Foreign Investment

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Irina Filatova – February 12, 2013) One-fifth of Russians believe that doing business in the country is easier for foreigners than for local businessmen, a survey has revealed. Twenty percent of participants in a poll by the Public Opinion Foundation believe that foreign investors working in Russia enjoy more benefits than their local peers, since […]

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Opposition Leader Udaltsov Put Under House Arrest

Sergei Udaltsov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova and Oleg Sukhov – February 11, 2013) A Moscow court on Saturday placed outspoken leftist opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov under house arrest in connection with criminal charges that he orchestrated anti-government riots last year. The ruling marks the first time since the rise of the opposition movement in December 2011 following disputed State […]

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Support For Western Style Democracy Falling In Russia – Poll

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

(RIA Novosti – February 9, 2013) The number of supporters of the Soviet political system among Russians is growing, and the number of supporters of Western-style democracies is falling, Russian RIA Novosti news agency reported on 8 February, quoting an opinion poll carried out by Levada Centre. According to political analysts, an increase in the number of supporters of the […]

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Medvedev’s Government: A Vegetative Life

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Tatiana Stanovaya – February 7, 2013 – imrussia.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=386:medvedevs-government-a-vegetative-life&catid=53:politics&Itemid=95&lang=en) A large-scale campaign directed against Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev is underway in the Russian media. It is difficult to say who is behind it­Medvedev’s opponents include the security services, liberals, Putinists, and even his own former backers. Tatiana Stanovaya, head of the analytical department at […]

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Navalny Ally’s Apartment Raided

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – February  8, 2013) Investigators on Thursday raided the apartment of Vladimir Ashurkov, director of the Foundation for Fighting Corruption and an anti-Kremlin activist, in connection with a criminal case against opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Navalny, who started the foundation, is accused of stealing 100 million rubles ($3.3 million) from the now-defunct Union […]

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Foreign Agent Law Complaint Sent to Strasbourg

European Court of Human Rights Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – February 8, 2013) Eleven prominent rights groups have sent a complaint against Russia’s so-called foreign agent law, which targets NGOs engaged in political activities, to the European Court of Human Rights. The organizations argued on Thursday that the legislation violates the Constitution and fundamental human rights ­ such as the freedoms […]

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In Russia, Reasons To Fear Year Of The Snake

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RFE/RL – www.rferl.org – Daisy Sindelar – February 8, 2013) Many people enjoy the fireworks and celebrations that come with Chinese New Year. Not everyone, however, is enthusiastic about the upcoming Year of the Snake, which begins February 10. For one thing, the Year of the Snake is traditionally considered a less fortuitous cycle in the 12-year Chinese zodiac than […]

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New Report: U.S. Needs Post-Reset Policy on Russia

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2013 From: Mary McGuire <mcguire@freedomhouse.org> Subject: New Report: U.S. Needs Post-Reset Policy on Russia Freedom House FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Mary McGuire at +1-202-747-7035 or mobile, +1-202-683-0909 New Report: U.S. Needs Post-Reset Policy on Russia Washington ­ February 6, 2013 ­ As President Obama enters his second term, he and his administration should formulate an approach […]

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Belykh’s dismissal as Kirov governor still under consideration – newspaper

Nikita Belykh file photo

(Interfax – February 7, 2013) Despite the fact that members of the Kirov regional Legislative Assembly have dropped the idea of holding a vote of no confidence in Governor Nikita Belykh, his possible dismissal is still under consideration, Vedomosti reported on Thursday. “The issue of Belykh’s dismissal has not been removed from the agenda, and it is still quite likely,” […]

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Fool. Fool. Holy fool; How Pussy Riot is turning the government into a villain – and a crutch

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

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – February 4, 2013) Anna Arutunyan is the politics editor of The Moscow News Just when I thought I was done, they pull me back in. Nearly one year since the girls staged the punk rock dance that got two of them sent to penal colonies, they are still one of the world’s […]

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Quoting the constitution in Yekaterinburg

Yekaterinburg file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova – February 4, 2013) The story, as told by Yekaterinburg-based journalist Aksana Panova on her Facebook page, is nothing short of amazing. Znak.com, an online portal where Panova works, decided to place banners with quotes from the Russian Constitution on the city streets. The banners went up – but not without a struggle. […]

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Law on “foreign agent” NGOs does not work, has “large psychological effect” – Fedotov

Mikhail Fedotov file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 6 (Interfax) – The law on “foreign agent” NGOs has not had a legal effect as yet, Presidential Human Rights Council Chairman Mikhail Fedotov told a press conference at Interfax. “The law in its current form has had a psychological rather than legal effect,” he noted. Not a single organization has been registered as a foreign agent, Fedotov […]

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Religious radicalism in Russia: hell, heaven and the state; The emergence of hardline Orthodox activists highlights the links between church and government

Russian Orthodox Cathedral Moscow file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Kristen Blyth – February 4, 2013) He’s young and slim, with a narrow face and dark beard. Deeply religious and intensely conservative, he supports all the precepts of traditional Christian values: church, family, God. He’s anti-abortion, anti-homosexuality, and opposes teaching evolution in schools. “It’s crazy to think that the world is millions or billions of […]

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Moscow likely behind Kirov lawmakers’ idea of no confidence in Governor Belykh – analysts

Nikita Belykh file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 5 (Interfax) – Political analysts believe the intention of a group of members of the Kirov regional legislature to express no confidence in Governor Nikita Belykh has been endorsed by some influential political forces both in the region and in Moscow. “Mr. Belykh is not very popular with the local elites and is perceived as an outsider. Perhaps […]

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Belykh Faces Ouster by Regional Lawmakers

Nikita Belykh file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – February 6, 2013) Nikita Belykh, the liberal governor of the Kirov region and a former opposition leader, is facing a new wave of pressure from opponents after 19 regional lawmakers announced their intent to put forward a no-confidence vote against him. Investigators raided Belykh’s office last week in connection with the alleged […]

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Putinism In Winter

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin with Heads Bowed Over Microphone

(RFE/RL – www.rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – February 5, 2013) Somebody is out to get Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Or somebody is setting up Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. Or both. Or neither. But regardless, something pretty weird appears to be going on. A slick feature-length video appeared online last week attacking Medvedev for selling out Russia’s interests in the […]

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United Russia’s Liberal Platform Seen as Ploy

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev with United Russia Logos Behind Him

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Winning – February 6, 2013) The ruling United Russia party has founded a “liberal” platform calling for a major overhaul of the party in light of heightened political competition. But analysts said that the party, known as a deeply conservative force led by Kremlin loyalists, had no intention of accommodating liberal attitudes and that […]

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Medvedev Seen Clinging to Job as Putin Frets About Economy

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin with Heads Bowed Over Microphone

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer and Ilya Arkhipov – February 6, 2013) Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is clinging to his job as President Vladimir Putin grows increasingly frustrated with his protege’s inability to boost growth, three current and former Kremlin advisers said. Putin criticized Medvedev’s government last week for failing to adapt to a “post-crisis” economic model. That followed […]

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Trial of Putin Foe Shows No Russian Investors Are Safe

Alexander Lebedev file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer – February 5, 2013) “Are you totally out of your mind?” Russian newspaper tycoon Alexander Lebedev exclaimed as he jumped to his feet. He stared combatively at property developer Sergei Polonsky, who had taunted Lebedev for ridiculing his claim to be a major charity donor. As tempers flared during the recording of a TV […]

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Is Putin afraid of the Caucasus?

Map of Caucasus and Central Asia

(www.opendemocracy.net – Daniil Kotsyubinsky – February 4, 2013) Daniil Kotsyubinsky is Russian historian and journalist based in St. Petersburg Russian lawmakers have given preliminary approval to a law to allow governors to be appointed in the country’s 83 regions, reversing last year’s move to restore direct elections. As Daniil Kotsyubinsky reports, this issue is unimportant in itself, but it exposes […]

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Russian Government Now Views Internet as Main Threat to Its Position, Agora Says

File Photo Dmitry Medvedev at Desk with Laptop Computer

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 4, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/02/window-on-eurasia-russian-government.html) The growth in Internet use in the Russian Federation over the last year has meant that “for the first time, the Internet began to be considered by the Russian government as the main source of threat to its well-being and stability,” according to the annual report of […]

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Police Held Over 5,000 At Russian Political Rallies – Report

Moscow Protest file photo

MOSCOW, February 5 (RIA Novosti) – The police detained at least 5,156 people at political rallies in Moscow and its suburbs in the past 13 months, during modern Russia’s most restive period since the end of the USSR, a new report said. The detentions, often accompanied by violence, were made at some 228 rallies in the period between December 4, […]

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Putin’s Anti-Western Statements are Not About Russian Domestic Politics Alone, Makarkin Says

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 1, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/02/window-on-eurasia-putins-anti-western.html) Vladimir Putin’s support for “the conservative wave in contemporary Russia” is not just part of his broader effort to set the country’s “silent majority” against the opposition, Aleksey Makarkin says. It is also a reflection of the Russian president’s disappointment in the foreign policy course he pursued […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Putin Speech at a concert marking the 70th anniversary of victory in the Battle of Stalingrad

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking with Flag Behind Him and Microphones in Front

(Kremlin.ru – February 2, 2013) Volgograd PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon. Dear friends, dear veterans, Over these days our entire country, our entire nation is celebrating a glorious date, the 70th anniversary of our army’ victory in Stalingrad. This is one of the best examples of courage and heroism in international military history. It is no accident that […]

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Police Began Violence At Protest, Panel Says

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Winning – February 4, 2013) Members of the Kremlin’s human rights council believe that police, not activists, instigated violence at a May opposition protest, a council member said Friday. “The qualification of the Bolotnaya Ploshchad protest as a mass riot was artificially thought up by the Investigative Committee. It does not reflect the reality […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin:] Meeting of the Council for the Local Self-Government Development

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking with Flag Behind Him and Microphones in Front

(Kremlin.ru – January 31, 2013) The Kremlin, Moscow Vladimir Putin held a meeting of the Council for the Local Self-Government Development. Participants discussed improving the regulation of local self-government institutions. PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, colleagues. I am glad to welcome everyone to our Council’s meeting, one which is attended by the new members. Heads of urban districts, […]

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Shoigu the most popular Russian minister – poll

Sergei Shoigu file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 1 (Interfax) – Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ranks first on the Cabinet members popularity chart (the prime minister and deputy prime ministers excluded), with 90% of respondents polled recently giving him highest marks, the Public Opinion Foundation pollster (FOM) has announced. Sixty-eight percent of respondents polled on January 26 and 27 highly appraised his work since he took […]

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Russian official experts say Human Rights Watch politically biased

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – January 31, 2013) Member of the Russian Public Chamber political analyst Sergey Markov has said that a report by the international human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW), which criticized Russia, was politically motivated, Russian Interfax news agency reported on 31 January. “Human Rights Watch is a very good organization on the whole. However, their observations about Russia […]

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Last Year’s Repression ‘Worst’ in Decades

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Moscow  Times – moscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – February 1, 2013) A leading rights group lashed out at President Vladimir Putin on Thursday by saying he had “unleashed the worst political crackdown” in the country’s post-Soviet history after returning to the Kremlin last year. Human Rights Watch’s annual report, released Thursday, says the string of restrictive laws enacted since […]

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United Russia proposes bill allowing regions to forgo direct gubernatorial elections

Map of Russia

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – www.rbth.ru – Yulia Ponomareva, Combined report – January 31, 2013) Nine months after popular gubernatorial elections were re-introduced on the initiative of former President Dmitry Medvedev, a 90 percent majority in the Russian Duma votes “yes” on a bill that gives regional legislatures the right to scrap them. President Putin believes the measure could prevent […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Putin chairs meeting on government priorities through 2018

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking with Flag Behind Him and Microphones in Front

(Kremlin.ru – January 31, 2013) Vladimir Putin chaired an expanded meeting of the Government of the Russian Federation. The meeting discussed the guidelines for the Government’s performance through 2018. * * * PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, colleagues, Last year we outlined a strategy for our activities in the long term. We identified our priorities and targets in […]

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Civil society needs to be supported, strengthened – Putin

Vladimir Putin file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 31 (Interfax) – Russia needs to develop democratic institutes and strengthen civil society, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday to summarize results of the expanded government meeting. “We have to go beyond the government policy fundamentals until 2018, which have been presented today, so to solve all problems faced by the country and to keep all promises given […]

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US-Russian Relations Wither as the Kremlin Seeks out Internal and External Enemies; Medvedev comes under attack for being too pro-Western

File Photo of Barack Hussein Obama and Dmitry Medvedev with Flags, Shaking Hands

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 18 – Pavel Felgenhauer  – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – January 31, 2013) Since the rebellion against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began almost two years ago, many in the West and in the Arab World have eagerly awaited evidence of Moscow beginning to finally ditch the brutal and seemingly doomed Syrian […]

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NEWSLINK: Russian state TV talk show discusses controversial State Duma bills

Kremlin and St. Basil's

[Russian state TV talk show discusses controversial State Duma bills – BBC Monitoring/Rossiya 1 – January 27, 2013] BBC Monitoring reports on the Rossiya 1 television program “Sunday Night with Vladimir Solovyev” and its January 27, 2013, broadcast covering Duma bills: The 27 January edition of the “Sunday Night with Vladimir Solovyev” talk show on state-owned Rossiya 1 TV featured […]

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NEWSLINK: Riot Police Stand By and Watch Attack on Homosexual Activists

Russian Duma Building

[“Riot Police Stand By and Watch Attack on LGBT Activists” – Vedomosti – January 31, 2013] Vedomosti reports on a demonstration in front of the Duma featuring homosexual behavior in the form of same-sex kissing, broken up by “Orthodox fundamentalists,” with police reportedly then arresting only the homosexual demonstrators: … Russian authorities seem to have given up their monopoly on […]

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Russia: Worst Crackdown Since Soviet Era; Government Should Stop Pressure, Reprisals on Civil Society

Kremlin and St. Basil's

From: “HRW Press” <hrwpress@hrw.org> Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2013 Subject: Russia: Worst Crackdown Since Soviet Era For Immediate Release Russia: Worst Crackdown Since Soviet Era Government Should Stop Pressure, Reprisals on Civil Society (Moscow, January 31, 2013) ­ The Kremlinn in 2012 unleashed the worst political crackdown in Russia’s post-Soviet history, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report […]

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