TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with leaders of parties that gained State Duma seats following elections

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Kremlin.ru – September 23, 2016) Vladimir Putin met with leaders of political parties that gained seats in the State Duma based on election results. The President congratulated meeting participants on winning the State Duma elections. Mr Putin also asked the 7th State Duma deputies to support Vyacheslav Volodin as a candidate for State Duma Speaker. Yesterday State Duma Speaker Sergei […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with Chairperson of the Central Election Commission Ella Pamfilova and commission members

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Kremlin.ru – September 23, 2016) Vladimir Putin met with the chairperson of the Central Election Commission and the commission’s members to discuss the results of the recent elections. Elections for the State Duma and for various local jurisdictions were held in 60 Russian regions on Election Day, September 18, 2016. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ms Pamfilova, colleagues, I would […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian politics. The hollow election. The lowest-ever turnout for Duma elections suggests Vladimir Putin is losing touch with his political base.

Russia Regions Map

The Economist reports on low participation in Russia’s 2016 Duma elections. … The Kremlin made every effort to ensure the elections were as sterile and low-profile as possible. It banned and harassed genuine opposition parties and their leaders. … it persuaded many that nothing depended on voters. The official turnout was 48% – the lowest ever in the history of […]

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Putinism like Communism in the Past an Even Graver Threat than Kremlin Leader Himself

Vladimir Putin

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 23, 2016) That Vladimir Putin represents a threat to the countries around Russia’s periphery and to the principles on which the international order has been based no one disputes, but some both in Russia and the West are beginning to recognize that Putinism as a manner of rule is an even […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with leaders of parties that gained State Duma seats following elections

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Kremlin.ru – September 23, 2016) Vladimir Putin met with leaders of political parties that gained seats in the State Duma based on election results. The President congratulated meeting participants on winning the State Duma elections. Mr Putin also asked the 7th State Duma deputies to support Vyacheslav Volodin as a candidate for State Duma Speaker. Yesterday State Duma Speaker Sergei […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Why the Kremlin’s big win in Russian elections may not be a victory” – Christian Science Monitor/Fred Weir

Russian State Duma Building file photo

… United Russia … may have won a crushing victory in Sunday’s parliamentary elections … undoubtedly … a huge boost for … Putin. But the most common remark about the now-concluded election campaign is that it was “very boring.” … an odd moment for Russia …. buffeted by two years of economic recession and still-escalating political tensions with the West. […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Medvedev and Putin] Visiting United Russia party’s campaign headquarters

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Kremlin.ru – September 18, 2016) After the polling stations closed, Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visited the election campaign headquarters of the United Russia party. The United Russia party candidates who took part in the election in Moscow and the Moscow Region, along with volunteers and United Russia party activists took part in the meeting. Prime Minister Dmitry […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Answers to media questions

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

(Kremlin.ru – September 17, 2016) Vladimir Putin answered questions from Russian journalists upon completing his working visit to the Republic of Kyrgyzstan. The President of Russia participated in a meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of State. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon. What are we going to talk about? What would you like to know? Question: Mr […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Government members

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – September 19, 2016) [More detailed Russian version here kremlin.ru/events/president/news/52913] The Government’s demographic and social policy priorities for 2017 and the upcoming three-year period were the main items on the agenda. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues, Before we start our work today, I would like to say a few words about the results of the State […]

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NEWSLINK Los Angeles Times/Max Boot: “Who’s better for his people? Putin or Obama? The answer is obvious.”

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

“… I am no defender of President Obama. I was a foreign policy advisor to John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012, and I have been very critical of Obama’s weak foreign policy. I think the Iran nuclear deal, the withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 and the hands-off policy toward Syria, in particular, have been catastrophic mistakes. I am […]

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NEWSWATCH: Michael McFaul and Barack Obama share insights about Russia

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

Michael McFaul on Twitter, Sept. 9, 2016: [tweet will appear below, yet might take some extra time to load for some users] If Obama seized control of Fox, allowed only supporters in Congress, closed the NRA & arrested Trump, he too might have 80% approval rating — Michael McFaul (@McFaul) September 9, 2016 Barack Obama, Speech in Philadelphia, Sept. 13, […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Post-Election Economy: Down, But Not Out. Parliamentary elections are rapidly approaching, but this time politicians aren’t making any pie-in-the-sky promises.” – Moscow Times/Boris Grozovsky

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

By any measure, the Russian economy is deep in a classic recession: GDP has dropped for the sixth consecutive quarter. If Russia had political competition, these elections would pose a challenge for both the ruling party and the opposition. But without real competition, politicians are under little pressure to lift the economy out of the current crisis. … * * […]

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NEWSLINK New York Review of Books: “The Real Power of Putin”

Putin Descending a Staircase

Benjamin Nathans reviewing: The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin by Steven Lee Myers … Putin Country: A Journey into the Real Russia by Anne Garrels … Authoritarian Russia: Analyzing Post-Soviet Regime Changes by Vladimir Gel’man … The Strong State in Russia: Development and Crisis by Andrei P. Tsygankov … Putinism: Russia and Its Future with the […]

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Any Vote Is A Vote For Putinism

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Garry Kasparov – September 9, 2016) Garry Kasparov is a Russian politician, a former world chess champion, and head of the Human Rights Foundation international NGO. The views expressed in this commentary, which he wrote for RFE/RL’s Russian Service, do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL. Translated from the Russian by Robert Coalson There are […]

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Putin Grooms a New Generation of Leaders; The Russian president is removing old allies and replacing them with young loyalists, likely ensuring his leadership will continue until 2024.

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Arkhipov, Henry Meyer, Gregory White – September 8, 2016) After 16 years in charge, Vladimir Putin is shaking up his team to cement his control into the next decade. The 63-year-old leader is pushing aside some longtime allies and grooming young lieutenants – many of whom share his background in the security services and aren’t […]

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VIDEO NEWSWATCH: PBS NewsHour: “How would the candidates navigate high-stakes ties with Russia?”

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

(PBS Newshour – September 8, 2016) What kind of relations should the U.S. have with Russia and President Vladimir Putin? It’s a question that could affect the future of the Syrian conflict and European security, and the two candidates have strikingly different takes. Judy Woodruff speaks with former Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon, an advisor to the Clinton campaign, […]

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Interfax: Military-industrial complex capacity should not be used to produce pans, needs to target demands of healthcare, energy sectors – Putin

File Photo of Russian Tanks in Military Parade

TULA. Sept 8 (Interfax) – While manufacturing the hi-tech civil products, the Russian military-industrial complex should target the needs of the healthcare, energy, aircraft and ship construction, space and information technology sectors, it is unacceptable to produce frying pans on high-grade equipment, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “Our military-industrial complex certainly has the potential to meet these challenges, it possesses […]

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Putin Successfully Using New Political Technologies to Keep His Antiquated System in Place, Shevtsova Says

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 5, 2016) Vladimir Putin is with remarkable success using modern political technologies to keep himself and his increasingly antiquated and decaying system in power, Liliya Shevtsova says. But he can do so only for so long, and there are signs that he and his system may not last as long as […]

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Putin as Complex as he is Predictable

Putin at Desk

Subject: Putin as Complex as he is Predictable Date: Mon, 5 Sep 2016 From: Dale Herspring <falka@ksu.edu> Putin as Complex as he is Predictable Dale R. Herspring, a University Distinguished Professor Emeritus and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, is a Retired US diplomat and Navy captain). Talking to officials in Washington when Vladimir Putin’s name comes up, […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Answers to journalists’ questions

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

(Kremlin.ru – September 5, 2016) Vladimir Putin answered Russian journalists’ questions following his working visit to China to take part in the G20 Summit. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon. Let’s dispense with opening remarks and get straight into the discussion. I will try to answer the questions of interest to you. Question: Mr President, this year, for the […]

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Putin’s Iron Grip, Forged in the Fires of Terrorism

Kremlin and River

(Stratfor.com – Lauren Goodrich – September 4, 2016) Sept. 4 marks Russia’s Day of Solidarity, a remembrance of two brutal terrorist incidents: the start of an apartment bombing campaign in 1999 and the bloody end of a siege at a Beslan school in 2004. Much as the 9/11 attacks changed the national psyche of the United States, those events altered […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with United Russia parliamentary party and experts

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – September 6, 2016) Vladimir Putin met in the Kremlin’s St Catherine Hall with United Russia parliamentary party and experts representing professional communities and public organisations. Meeting with United Russia parliamentary party deputies and experts representing professional communities and public organisations. Progress on implementing socially significant laws and the May executive orders, as well as proposals on improving legislation, […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Eastern Economic Forum (excepts)

Asia Map

(Kremlin.ru – September 3, 2016) Vladimir Putin took part in the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum. This year, representatives of 35 countries applied to attend the forum. In total, delegations from 56 countries are taking part. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ms Park Geun-hye, Mr Shinzo Abe, friends, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Vladivostok, to the second Eastern […]

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Re: Putin as Complex as he is Predictable

Putin Descending a Staircase

Subject: Re Putin as Complex as he is Predictable Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2016 From: Andrei Liakhov <gaffriloff@yahoo.co.uk> (Andrew Liakhov, a doctor of law, a solicitor of England and Wales, is a retired senior officer in the Russian military intelligence senior … and was a senior member of President Gorbachev’s Administration). I totally agree with Professor Herspring’s assessment of Washington’s […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Interview to Bloomberg

Asia Map

(Kremlin.ru – September 5, 2016) Full text of Vladimir Putin’s interview to the international media company Bloomberg has been published. The interview was recorded on September 1, 2016, in Vladivostok. John Micklethwait: Mr President, thank you very much for speaking to Bloomberg. Here in Vladivostok we’re on the edge of the Pacific and on the eve of the second Eastern […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Interview to Bloomberg. Part One

Asia Map

(Kremlin.ru – September 2, 2016) [More complete Russian text here: http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/52796] On September 1, Vladimir Putin gave an interview to the international media company Bloomberg in Vladivostok. John Micklethwait: Mr President, thank you very much for talking to Bloomberg. We are in Vladivostok, at the border of Russia, practically the Pacific Coast is its border, and this is already the […]

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Putin Blasts Trump and Clinton for ‘Shock’ Campaign Tactics

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Arkhipov, John Micklethwait, Henry Meyer – September 2, 2016) Vladimir Putin blasted both Donald Trump’s and Hillary Clinton’s tactics on the campaign trail but refused to publicly take sides in a U.S. presidential race in which he’s been accused of secretly favoring the New York real estate billionaire. “They’re both using shock tactics, just each […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin interviewed by the German ARD TV channel

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Government.ru – August 29, 2008) “We are not going to play by some special rules of our own. We want everyone to follow the same rules that are also referred to as international law.” Thomas Roth: Mr Prime Minister, After the escalation of tensions in Georgia, the Western public and politicians, as well as the press and other people, believe […]

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Putin has Degraded Russian Political Discourse to Level of ‘Pathological Ravings,’ Piontkovky Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 25, 2016) One of the most dangerous things Vladimir Putin has done is to degrade the level of political discourse across the board in Moscow to the level of “pathological ravings,” a development that some in the West appear not to understand and thus continue to be affected in the ways […]

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NEWSLINK RBTH: “Businessman takes hostages in Moscow bank in desperate plea to Putin”

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

On Aug. 24, a bankrupt businessman took the staff and customers of a bank in downtown Moscow hostage in a bid to attract the attention of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the plight of those in his position.

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Putin’s Election Grip Is So Tight Even His Nemesis Can Take Part

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Irina Reznik – August 24, 2016) The last time Vladimir Putin’s political party won national elections, ballot-stuffing allegations sparked the biggest protests of his rule. Five years on, Putin appears to be so confident in his hold on power that even his most dogged adversary is welcome to challenge United Russia in next month’s […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s Chance to Change History” – Stratfor

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

Twenty-five years ago, an unsuccessful coup attempt, known as the August Coup, was launched by a group of hawkish Communist Party members and security elites against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, in what was widely seen as one of the key moments that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. * * * A keen student of history, Vladimir Putin […]

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In Putin’s ‘Corporate Fascist State,’ Ideological Labels like ‘Liberal’ are Irrelevant, Inozemtsev Says

Vladimir Putin

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 22) It is a profound mistake to discuss Kremlin politics in terms of liberal, conservative or any of the other ideological labels, Vladislav Inozemtsev says, because in “the corporate state of a fascist type” that Putin has established, individuals even just below the supreme leader are “cogs” in a machine who […]

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NEWSWATCH: “More of Kremlin’s Opponents Are Ending Up Dead. A Pattern That Suggests State Involvement” – New York Times

Kremlin and River

In a series of public meetings on Capitol Hill … [Vladimir] Kara-Murza, a leader in the Russian opposition, urged American lawmakers to expand economic sanctions against the Russian government under a law known as the Magnitsky Act. That would hasten political change in Russia, he argued. … in Moscow a month later, in May 2015, the changes Mr. Kara-Murza detected […]

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Putin Unbound

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

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – August 22, 2016) We’re about to learn where Vladimir Putin really wants to take Russia. We’re about to see what one-man rule really looks like. We’re about to witness Putin unbound and unchained. And this is because, until recently, Putin was basically the front man for a ruling oligarchy — one comprised mostly […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Why We Need Kremlinology Again. How a careful study of behind-the-scenes power struggles can open a window into a closed society” – The American Interest/ Anders Aslund

Kremlin and River

The increasing opacity of Russian politics has opened a window of opportunity for Kremlinology to make a comeback. … I see Kremlinology as the formalized study of hard facts in a closed society, observing appointments, organization, decrees, and formal speeches. Kremlinology has no role in an open society, but Russia today is no open society, though it is far from […]

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The Weird Science and New Kremlin Chief of Staff

Kremlin and River

A bizarre article about “spacial scanners” and “registering the unseen” has been linked to the newly appointed top bureaucrat Anton Vaino. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Daria Litvinova – August 16, 2016) “The market is a manifestation of life. The brightest manifestations of life occur in its condensation: in certain points, certain lines, certain spatial-temporal formations.” For some, this might […]

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Putin’s Regime Stalinist in Form but Not in Content, Shelin Says

Putin Descending a Staircase

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 14, 2016) Last week, Moscow political analyst Nikolay Petrov argued that Vladimir Putin’s regime had shifted from a Brezhnevite to a Stalinist approach in the way it uses the bureaucracy to run the country (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2016/08/putins-neo-nomenklatura-system-shifts.html). Now, Sergey Shelin, a commentator for the Rosbalt agency, argues that while “the current Russian regime […]

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It’s Security, Stupid: How Putin Manipulates National Emergencies

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Moscow Times/Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Maxim Trudolyubov – August 15, 2016) Maxim Trudolyubov is a Senior Fellow with the Kennan Institute and editor-at-large with Vedomosti. Vladimir Putin is both feared and admired for his signature move of creating suspense to keep everybody on their toes. He knows how to make sure his next move is unpredictable. And yet, he […]

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Russia’s Solitary Man; [Putin is firing powerful allies and is setting himself up as tsar]

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – August 15, 2016) Vladimir Putin is throwing his old pals under the bus. He’s replacing them with loyal and docile servants. And he’s building a security apparatus that answers to him alone. A year ago, Putin fired longtime associate Vladimir Yakunin as head of Russian Railways. A few months back, he effectively dismissed […]

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Putin’s Latest Personnel Changes Make a Stable Long-Term Dictatorship More Likely, Pastukhov Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 15, 2016) The retirement of Sergey Ivanov as head of the Presidential administration, whatever the proximate causes, “symbolizes a change in eras of the Putin administration,” from one of a kind of collective leadership to a one-man dictatorship that is likely to last a long time, according to Vladimir Pastukhov. Ivanov’s […]

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Putin’s incredible shrinking circle; Ivanov’s departure leaves few voices able to speak truth to Putin

File Photo of Sergei Ivanov, adapted from defense.gov image

(opendemocracy.net – Mark Galeotti – August 16, 2016) Mark Galeotti is principal director of the Mayak Intelligence consultancy and a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. True to the informal tradition that August brings surprises in #Russia, on the 12th it was announced that Vladimir Putin’s chief of staff, Sergei Ivanov, was leaving his position as head […]

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NEWSWATCH: “THE VERY STRANGE WRITINGS OF PUTIN’S NEW CHIEF OF STAFF” – The New Yorker/Masha Gessen

Kremlin and River

… Putin changed his chief of staff, replacing an old K.G.B. colleague, Sergei Ivanov, with Anton #Vayno, a younger, little-known bureaucrat who has been serving as deputy chief of staff. … The possibilities are endless …. Vayno, who is forty-four, … not a surprising choice. … a member of the Putin clan for years, and, for at least the past […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Can government reshuffles bring any hope for #Russia?” – bne Intellinews/Mark Galeotti

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

The unexpected removal of Sergei Ivanov … has inevitably created a frenzy of kremlinological speculation. A reshuffle is certainly underway … there is clearly some longer-term political goal. However, one aspect which has largely been neglected has been how this will affect the governance of #Russia in the short term, and the perennially any-day-now prospects of meaningful economic reform. … […]

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The Putin Doctrine

Russian Soldiers Marching

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – August 17, 2016) Eight years ago, Georgia’s government apparently started a war with Russia — even though Georgian troops never left Georgian territory. Two and a half years ago, the Ukrainian people apparently started a war with Russia — by overthrowing a corrupt and autocratic ruler in a popular uprising. You really gotta […]

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