Ellen Mickiewicz: “New info re RT”

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

Subject: New info re RT Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2017 From: Ellen Mickiewicz <ellen.mickiewicz@gmail.com> Ellen Mickiewicz James R. Shepley Professor of Public Policy Studies in the Sanford Institute for Public Policy and Professor of Political Science at Duke University. Maxim Audinet’s piece about RT in Le Monde diplomatique [JRL#65] provides data that are partly right, partly not. Does the corrective […]

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Deciphering a Revolution; ‘1917: Code of a Revolution’ is the first exhibition marking this year’s centenary

File Photo of Revolutionaries Marching in Moscow in 1917, adapted from image at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Andrei Muchnik – March 31, 2017) In 2017, Russia marks the 100th anniversary of one of the most crucial episodes in its history – the October Revolution. And what better place to hold the first in a series of exhibitions devoted to the centennial than the Museum of Contemporary Russian History – known until 1998 […]

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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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TRANSCRIPT: Truth and Justice Forum of Local and Regional Media

Russia Map

(Kremlin.ru – April 3, 2017) Vladimir Putin is taking part in the fourth Truth and Justice Forum of Local and Regional Media. Excerpts from transcript of Truth and Justice Forum of Local and Regional Media President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends and colleagues. This, I believe, is our fourth meeting. It has become a tradition, and I think […]

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@McFaul: “This is important. Russia has a serious, sophisticated disinformation strategy. We ignore it at our peril. “

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

[Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, @McFaul at twitter.com/mcfaul, tweets about #Russia and disinformation: embedded tweet should load below; tweet also is available at twitter.com/McFaul/status/843706148733693953] This is important. Russia has a serious, sophisticated disinformation strategy. We ignore it at our peril. https://t.co/eq15A6f6HG — Michael McFaul (@McFaul) March 20, 2017

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Almost Half of Russians Say They Can’t Distinguish Truth from Lies in Moscow Media

Satellite Dishes

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 15, 2017) Almost half of Russians – 46 percent – say that they often cannot distinguish “false information from truth” in media reports, while a similar percentage – 46 percent say that they can, numbers that are relatively constant across groups of different ages and social classes, according to Aleksey Levinson […]

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NEWSWATCH: “LIFE UNDER ALTERNATIVE FACTS” – The New Yorker/Mikhail Iossel

There was no real cognitive dissonance existing in the minds of most people in the Soviet Union of the nineteen-seventies and eighties. Everyone knew that everything said on the radio or on television, everything (with the exception of weather reports or sports results) was a blatant lie, spoken pro forma …. no one was duped into thinking this was actually […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Inside the belly of Russia’s ‘propaganda machine’: A visit to RT news channel; US security services have fingered the channel as a key player in the Kremlin’s efforts to sway Western politics. But inside its offices, RT seems a far cry from what the US says it is – and what it aspires to be.” – Christian Science Monitor/Fred Weir

Satellite Dishes

… The network appears to have changed focus about five years ago to become more about promoting the Russian point of view on international affairs, and much less about covering Russia per se. It also became a platform for coverage of social problems in Western societies, government malfeasance, corporate non-accountability, and the dysfunctions of democracy that often contrasts in tone, […]

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Ellen Mickiewicz: “RT”

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

Subject: RT Date: Sun, 8 Jan 2017 19:59:35 -0500 From: Ellen Mickiewicz <ellen.mickiewicz@gmail.com> Ellen Mickiewicz, James R. Shepley Emeritus Professor of Public Policy and Political Science Duke University The Report from the U.S. Intelligence Community is notable for its factual mistakes and misleading conclusions. Whether misleading is deliberate or simply lack of information they could have accessed is not known. […]

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Kremlin Propaganda Effort Ever Less Effective on Russians, Surveys Show

Kremlin and River

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 8, 2016) The messages Kremlin propaganda is disseminating and the actual beliefs of Russians are increasingly diverging, except on the “sacred” issue of approval for Vladimir Putin, surveys show, an indication that his regime’s media efforts are ever less successful in shaping public attitudes, according to Igor Yakovenko. The Russian commentator […]

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NEWSLINK The New Yorker: “THE PROPAGANDA ABOUT RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA”

Satellite Dishes

“In late October, I received an e-mail from ‘The PropOrNot Team,’ which described itself as a ‘newly-formed independent team of computer scientists, statisticians, national security professionals, journalists and political activists, dedicated to identifying propaganda— particularly Russian propaganda targeting a U.S. audience.’ PropOrNot said that it had identified two hundred Web sites that ‘qualify as Russian propaganda outlets.’ The sites’ reach […]

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Russia Weaponized Social Media in U.S. Election, FireEye Says

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Chris Strohm – December 1, 2016) Russia’s government didn’t just hack and leak documents from U.S. political groups during the presidential campaign: It used social media as a weapon to influence perceptions about the election, according to cybersecurity company FireEye Inc. Material stolen by Russia’s intelligence services was feverishly promoted by online personas and numerous fake […]

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How Russian Propaganda Really Works in the West

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – November 28, 2016) Until recently, the phenomenon of Russian government propaganda was only interesting to a small group of Russia experts, news junkies and counter-propaganda fundraisers. It was mainly seen as a tool for keeping Russians supportive of Vladimir Putin. No longer. Thanks to post-U.S. election blame games, and the upcoming election season […]

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Top Kremlin Official Threatens Russia’s So-Called ‘Chief Propagandist’

Sergei Kirienko file photo, adapted from State Department photo at voa.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 2, 2016) Sergey Kirienko, the new first deputy head of Russia’s Presidential Administration, met with political analysts on Tuesday, stating that the Kremlin will not welcome radical political rhetoric in the national news media, according to the Dozhd television station. Kirienko reportedly spent most of the meeting listening to the eight experts in attendance, […]

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NEWSLINK War on the Rocks/Joshua Foust: “CAN FANCY BEAR BE STOPPED? THE CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER OF RUSSIAN INFO OPS”

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“Russia is engaged in an unprecedented, sophisticated attack on the American political system. Defeating it won’t be easy.”

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NEWSWATCH Strobe Talbott/@strobetalbott: “Hitler invented “the big lie” that would be widely believed because no one “could distort the truth so infamously.” [Re: New York Times: A Powerful #Russian Weapon: The Spread of False Stories]

Satellite Dishes

Strobe Talbott of The Brookings Institution comments on twitter about Russia’s information war, forwarding a link from a New York Times article. His “tweet” should appear below, yet it might take some time to load for some users. You can also click here to go directly to the “tweet:” twitter.com/strobetalbott/status/770368906531901440 Hitler invented “the big lie” that would be widely believed […]

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NEWSWATCH: “A Powerful Russian Weapon: The Spread of False Stories” – New York Times

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

The New York Times addresses concerns about Russian disinformation campaigns, including Russia’s reputed involvement with a rash of misleading material on social media disrupting NATO-related debate in Sweden. With a vigorous national debate underway on whether Sweden should enter a military partnership with NATO, officials in Stockholm suddenly encountered an unsettling problem: a flood of distorted and outright false information on […]

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Putin Propaganda Based on Rejection of Possibility of Rational Thought, Shekhtman Says

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 19, 2016) Vladimir Putin’s propaganda is intended to destroy “all the rules of rational thought” just as those who support pseudo-science do, Pavel Shekhtman argues on the Kasparov portal today; but it does so in exactly the opposite way that the supporters of religious fundamentalism attack rationality. Religious fundamentalists reject doubt […]

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Kremlin Propaganda Exploiting Five American Vulnerabilities, Kirillova Says

Satellite Dishes

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 13, 2016) Lenin said that Marxism was powerful because it was true; his successors in the Kremlin have been as successful with their propaganda as they have been because they carefully tailor their messages and techniques to whatever audiences they hope to influence. One of the most damning indications of this […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Russian ‘Firehose of Falsehood’ Propaganda Model. Why It Might Work and Options to Counter It.” – The RAND Corporation

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

… there has been a remarkable evolution in Russia’s approach to propaganda … [with] new dissemination channels and messages in support of its 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula, its ongoing involvement in the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, and its antagonism of NATO …. high-volume and multichannel, … it disseminates messages without regard for the truth. … rapid, continuous, […]

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Russian Elite Not Only Believes Its Own Propaganda But is Basing Its Actions on It, New Russian Document Shows

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 7, 2016) The Moscow Council on Foreign and Defense Policy released at the end of May a document describing Russian foreign policy for the remainder of this decade. It is filled with propagandistic shibboleths heard every day on Russian TV, and the policies that it recommends flow from them rather than […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The danger of Russian disinformation” – Washington Post/Anne Applebaum, Edward Lucas

…authoritarian regimes, led by Russia but closely followed by China, have begun investing heavily in the production of alternatives. Because national media is often weak, it has become far easier for channels such as RT (formerly Russia Today) and Sputnik (a Russian “news” agency) to establish credibility in smaller European markets. … even in larger countries, the Russian use of […]

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Fifteen Characteristics of Russian Propaganda

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 18, 2016) Russian propaganda makes use of so many techniques to succeed that Moscow novelist and commentator Elizaveta Aleksandrova-Zorina performs a useful service by listing in an article in “Gazeta.ru” 15 of its favorite and, it should be said, effective methods (gazeta.ru/comments/2016/04/14_a_8178095.shtml). These include: A black and white division of the […]

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Russia Uses More Tools Than Just its Military to Influence, Threaten Neighbors

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

(U.S. Naval Institute – Panel: news.usni.org – John Grady – March 10, 2016) Russia’s meddling in countries along its borders “has deep roots” and likely would continue after President Vladimir Putin finally leaves the Kremlin, an expert in political risk said Wednesday. Agnia Grigas, a fellow at Occidental College and author of the newly released Beyond Crimea: The New Russian […]

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NEWSLINK Russia Direct: “How does the Internet fit into Russia’s security strategy? Against the background of continuing confrontation with the West and growing domestic authoritarianism, the Kremlin is continuing on a path of increased state control of the Russian Internet and a significantly expanded view of information security.”

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The Great Manipulator

Kremlin and River

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – February 24, 2016) Dmitry Medvedev recently played a telling little head game. When the Russian prime minister said at the Munich Security Conference that Moscow and the West had “slid into a new Cold War,” he essentially created a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t situation. “If the West agrees that it is a new Cold War, then […]

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What Do Russians Really Think? The Truth Behind the Polls

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Eva Hartog – February 4, 2016) [Charts here http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/what-do-russians-really-think-the-truth-behind-the-polls/558537.html] The champagne corks were already popping for New Year’s Eve celebrations when several thousand Crimeans received an unexpected phone call. The voice on the end of the phone was a pollster from the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM). The pollster had just two questions:”Do you […]

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Inoculated Against Russian Propaganda

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Daria Litvinova – December 4, 2015) Immediately following the harrowing terrorist attacks in Paris on Nov. 13, Russian pro-Kremlin media adjusted their rhetoric, abandoning their previous anti-Western and anti-U.S. vitriol even before the Kremlin spoke of a broad military alliance. “A listener called Komsomolskaya Pravda radio station … and said that Americans are not our […]

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Truthiness in Russia; What we’re missing from the propaganda debate: how state propaganda feeds off and enhances public sentiment

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

(opendemocracy.net – Nelli Babayan – November 23, 2015) Nelli Babayan is Fellow at the Transatlantic Academy, German Marshall Fund US and Associate Fellow at the Center for Transnational, Foreign and Security Policy at Freie Universität Berlin. Her latest book is Democratic Transformation and Obstruction: EU, US, and Russia in the South Caucasus. Find her on Twitter @nellibabayan As opinion polls […]

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Kremlin’s Campaign against Russophobia Threatens both Russia and the West, Polish Experts Say

Europe Map

(Paul Goble – Staunton, November 11, 2015) The Kremlin’s revival of a campaign against what it calls “Russophobia” constitutes a threat not only to Western countries but to Russia’s future as well, according to two Polish experts. As such, they argue, it can properly be described as “a weapon of mass destruction.” In a new study, “Russophobia in the Kremlin’s […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Russian Propaganda: Ways and Means – Leon Aron Senate Testimony

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

Statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation On “Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine and the Propaganda that Threatens Europe” Russian Propaganda: Ways and Means Leon Aron, Ph.D. Resident Scholar and Director of Russian Studies American Enterprise Institute November 3, 2015 The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) […]

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Russian Propaganda: ‘The Weaponization of Information’

(Voice of America – Molly McKitterick – November 3, 2015) When a Russian news outlet edited the U.S. ambassador into a picture of an opposition rally, the U.S. Embassy countered by editing the ambassador into a series of improbable photos – for instance, on the moon and at an ice hockey rink. The idea was to show that the original […]

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Communication breakdown in Ukraine’s east; A recent survey conducted by Telekritika, a Ukrainian media watchdog, reveals just how hard it is for Kyiv to communicate with the ‘People’s Republics.’

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

(opendemocracy.net – Marina Denysenko – September 11, 2015) Marina Denysenko is a journalist with experience reporting in Ukraine and the UK. In 2004, she reported Ukraine’s Orange Revolution for the BBC World Service. In 2014, she directed London’s Ukrainian Investment Summit, and is currently researching Ukraine’s institutional response to the challenges of the information war for the Legatum Institute. ‘The […]

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NEWSWATCH Moscow Times/Peter Pomerantsev: West Needs to Up the Ante in Infowar

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

Writing in The Moscow Times, Peter Pomerantsev addresses the heft of the Kremlin media machine and the U.S. response. The West is finally coming to a belated comprehension of the power of the Kremlin media machine. The Soviet Union is no more, but the Kremlin holds a media hegemony over 142 million citizens of Russia and 93 million residents of […]

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Why Putin Is Losing

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

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – August 10, 2015) Are little green men about to appear on the North Pole? Russia’s claim last week, using an extremely creative interpretation of international law, to exclusive economic rights to nearly half a million square miles of the Arctic Sea, was certainly a head scratcher. Sure the territory is valuable due to […]

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Interfax: Medvedev calls on journalists to stay independent when making judgments

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Interfax – June 11, 2015) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev believes the mass media should not become a propaganda weapon. “It is obvious that the work of journalists is often very difficult. Journalism is not held in much regard on the media scene, propaganda is much more important. Objective and honest views often contradict ideologies,” Medvedev said at the World […]

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NEWSWATCH Wall Street Journal: Defense Chief: Subversion, ‘Big Lie’ Are in Russia’s Arsenal. Ash Carter favors more military exercises, better intelligence sharing

Ashton Carter File Photo

[Wall Street Journal – Defense Chief: Subversion, ‘Big Lie’ Are in Russia’s Arsenal. Ash Carter favors more military exercises, better intelligence sharing – GORDON LUBOLD – June 6, 2015] The Wall Street Journal covers remarks by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter after a European trip to discuss Russia and the crisis in Ukraine. Mr. Carter made clear at the end of an […]

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Russian ‘Troll Farm’ Lawsuit Postponed When Defendant Fails to Show

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – June 2, 2015) Russian court hearings into a lawsuit by a former Internet “troll” against her former employer have been postponed after the defendant failed to show up for the proceedings. A city court in St. Petersburg also ruled that the plaintiff, Lyudmila Savchuk – who said her suit was intended to […]

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‘Russia is the Motherland of Crimea’ – What Crimean Schoolchildren Think

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – YALTA, Crimea – April 30, 2015) “Who do you think is responsible for the war in eastern Ukraine?” asked Masha, a 17-year old student at School No. 12 in Yalta, Crimea. I paused. “Russia.” A gasp went around the classroom. Masha looked at me as if I was mad. “No way,” she […]

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Russia’s Media Offensive Seen by the West as Real Threat

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – April 30, 2015) Western governments and institutions are scrambling to devise a commensurate response to Russia’s state-run media offensive, analysts told The Moscow Times on Wednesday amid a wave of reports of Western governments seeking to beef up their own media capabilities. When the Russian authorities moved to establish in 2005 the international […]

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NEWSWATCH: Rep. Ed Royce/Wall Street Journal: Countering Putin’s Information Weapons of War

Ed Royce file photo

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Rep. Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, addresses what he characterizes as a Russian information war, featuring anti-American propaganda and conspiracy theories. Of concern to Royce is that U.S. international broadcasting services that played a stronger role during the Cold War have “withered,” such that Russian propaganda will flourish unless the U.S. services […]

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CONGRESSIONAL HEARING: ‘Confronting Russia’s Weaponization of Information’ Peter Pomeranzev prepared remarks

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

Peter Pomeranzev Senior Fellow, Legatum Institute House Committee on Foreign Affairs April 15 2014, ‘Confronting Russia’s Weaponization of Information’ During the Russian invasion of Crimea last year, most of the world’s journalists seemed confused. Most of the West’s leaders were taken aback. But when it was over, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), General Philip M. Breedlove, defined what had happened […]

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The Trolls Who Came In From The Cold

Satellite Dishes

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Viktor Rezunkov – ST. PETERSBURG, March 16, 2015) Last May, Tatiana N decided she wanted a higher salary than the average journalist can expect. After responding to an advertisement in the popular HeadHunter job-search website, she became a Kremlin-paid Internet troll. Tatiana — who, like others interviewed for this story, asked that her last name not […]

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Putin’s Propaganda Industry Tightens Its Belt

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – January 23, 2015) “One does not economize on ideology” — so, according to historian Roy Medvedev, went a favorite saying of Mikhail Suslov, the man responsible for maintaining the purity of Marxism-Leninism in 1970’s Soviet Union. While high oil prices held, Russian President Vladimir Putin acted in full accordance with this adage, building an expensive, […]

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