JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin is reckless because we allow him to be” – Washington Post/ David Ignatius

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

“… Putin keeps defying the norms of international behavior. … Intelligence agencies have … evidence … Russian military intelligence officers, from … shadowy Unit 29155 of the GRU, paid … Taliban … whose bombing killed three U.S. Marines in … 2019. … [S]ources … [claim] forensic links between the [Afghan operation] GRU officers … and GRU colleagues who carried out […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian MP Konstantin Zatulin and head of the Duma’s foreign relations committee calls Belarus’ election results a hoax” – bne Intellinews

Russian State Duma Building file photo

“… Putin was amongst the first of a handful of foreign leaders to call and congratulate … Lukashenko on his ‘victory’ in last weekend’s presidential election [in Belarus], but MPs in the Russian Duma said the results were faked and the official numbers are a hoax,] [t]he … elections … held in an ‘atmosphere of total falsification, so [that] their […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Vladimir Putin Is No Mastermind, But He Has Played Russia’s Cards Well; It verges on impossible to forecast what Moscow will do tactically. What it will do strategically, however, is more intelligible and thus more predictable.” – The National Interest/ James Holmes

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“…. The Russian armed forces … have to live within their means. Russia depends heavily on exporting oil and natural gas … [L]ow energy prices constrict … national income and … ability to afford pricey armaments. Prices …  have run off a cliff amid coronavirus lockdowns. … [F]or instance … the Severnoye Design Bureau, a division of the United Shipbuilding […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Unwanted Truths: Inside Trump’s Battles With U.S. Intelligence Agencies” – New York Times Magazine/ Robert Draper

DNI Seal and Smaller Seals of Agencies Related to DNI

“Last year, intelligence officials gathered to write a classified report on Russia’s interest in the 2020 election. An investigation from the magazine uncovered what happened next.” “… the O.D.N.I. at last acknowledged publicly that Russia ‘is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate … Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia “establishment.”‘ … also assert[ing] for the first […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Moscow’s Watcom shopping index almost back to normal as shoppers return to Moscow’s malls” – bne Intellinews

File Photo of Cash Register with Drawer Open and Hands of Cashier

“Moscow’s Watcom shopping index has regained almost all the ground lost from a lockdown on the capital earlier this year” “[The] Watcom shopping index [tracking foot traffic at Moscow’s leading malls] has recovered almost all … ground lost during the [spring] lockdown …. [Moscow’s] infection rate … has fallen …. [T]he epidemic is far from over in Russia …. A […]

» Read more

Degtyarov First of New Generation of Regional Leaders in Putin System, Ivanov Says

Far Eastern Russia and Environs, with Khabarovsk Pinpointed, adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, Aug. 2 , 2020) Despite the travails of his first days in office, Mikhail Degtyarov, Moscow’s appointee as new head of Khabarovsk Kray, represents the harbinger of a new generation of regional leaders, one very different than their predecessors and likely to have unexpected consequences for both Moscow and the regions, Andrey […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK: “Putin signs law allowing 3-day voting in elections, referenda” – Interfax

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

MOSCOW. July 31 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law which allows voting in elections and referenda to be held for three consecutive days. The law was published on the official web portal for legal information on Friday. It enters into effect on the day of its publication. In accordance with the law, voting in elections “may […]

» Read more

VIDEO & EVENT SUMMARY: “The Putin Profile: A Conversation with Dr. Fiona Hill” – Kennan Institute

Redacted File Photo of Fiona Hill, adapted form image at seanmaloney.house.gov

… Putin’s [reign] has lasted over 20 years. … [New] constitutional amendments[] giv[e] him the ability to extend his presidency to 2036 … potentially making him the longest-serving head of state in modern Russian and Soviet history. […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine Cease-Fire Begins in Tense Climate” – Wall Street Journal/ Thomas Grove

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

A cease-fire between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatists … offer[s] the prospect of an end to a slow-burning conflict … claim[ing] thousands of lives in Eastern Ukraine … [Remaining] [p]oints of friction … includ[e] Russia’s control of … Crimea and Kyiv’s resistance to holding elections in separatist strongholds […]

» Read more

EVENT & WEBCAST: “The Putin Profile: A Conversation with Dr. Fiona Hill” – Kennan Institute, Wednesday, July 29

Redacted File Photo of Fiona Hill, adapted form image at seanmaloney.house.gov

… Putin’s presidency has lasted over 20 years. … [H]e further cemented his grip on power with … constitutional amendments[] giving him the ability to extend his presidency to 2036 …. Join us … for a conversation with Dr. Fiona Hill on … Putin, his regime, and how her thinking on Putin has evolved […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “An oil spill in Russia’s Arctic exposes risks for Moscow’s Far North plans” – Washington Post/ Isabelle Khurshudyan, Andrew Freedman

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

“Thawing permafrost in the rapidly warming region leaves Moscow’s ambitious Arctic expansion proposals literally on shaky ground.” “… [S]urg[ing] … climate change in interior Russia – more than three times the global average – is throwing new risks in the way of … Putin’s Far North agenda, among his top domestic initiatives. A key danger is … more infrastructure atop […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “In Russia’s Far East, a New Face of Resistance to Putin’s Reign” – New York Times/ Anton Troianovski

Far Eastern Russia and Environs, with Khabarovsk Pinpointed, adapted from image at cdc.gov

“As the protests swell in the city of Khabarovsk, 4,000 miles from Moscow, residents who had never before found a public outlet for anger are becoming activists.” “… [P]rotests in Khabarovsk reached well into the tens of thousands … establishing this distant city – some 4,000 miles from Moscow – as the site of the biggest popular challenge to … […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Man of steel; ‘Novaya Gazeta’ reports on the backroom business schemes that maybe ruined a Russian governor” – Meduza

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“… [T]here’s a convoluted story of cutthroat competition for a steelworks. … Sergey Furgal, until recently … duly elected governor of Khabarovsk, is now suspected of involvement in four murders committed in 2004 and 2005. While many observers have assumed openly that the allegations are plausible, given the rough and tumble of the Far East’s business world at the time, […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “How Russian imperialism could bring down Putin” – The Hill/ Janusz Bugajski

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

“… Putin has based his domestic support on economic growth and restoring the ‘Russian World.’ With the Russian economy in a nosedive, the Kremlin looks increasingly likely to attack a former Soviet neighbor to revive its imperial credentials. … Russia invaded Georgia to divert public attention from the 2008 financial crisis, and … invaded Ukraine to help quash growing protests […]

» Read more

VIDEOS & ARTICLE: Navalny’s Greatest Hits: FBK’s Best Corruption Exposés During Its Nine-Year History

… During its nine years of existence, the FBK has been instrumental in exposing corruption in Russia, producing dozens of detailed investigative videos on oligarchs, government officials, executives at state-owned companies, and their friends and relatives […]

» Read more

An Isolated Case? Observers Doubt Far East Unrest Will Spread Across Russia

Far Eastern Russia and Environs, with Khabarovsk Pinpointed, adapted from image at cdc.gov

… [Khabarovsk] residents … have been protesting following the … arrest of … popular governor[] Sergei Furgal. After … Putin named a Moscow-based politician with no ties to the Far Eastern region as Furgal’s temporary replacement, the protests took a sharply anti-Moscow turn […]

» Read more

Nicolai Petro: “A comment on Galeotti” [re: U.S.-Russian Relations]

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

Subject: A comment on Galeotti Date: Wed, 22 Jul 2020 From: Nicolai Petro <npetro@uri.edu> Nicolai N. Petro Professor of Political Science University of Rhode Island “Our beef is with Putin, his thugs, spies and oligarchs, not Russia – and we need to make sure that while we win today’s struggle, we don’t waste the chance for better relations with a […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “How is Putin able to remove popularly elected governors?” – Meduza

Russia Regions Map

“… Putin and … Medvedev (… [as] president) have dismissed … 11 governors prior to Furgal. Article 19 of the federal law ‘On the general principles of organization of legislative (representative) and executive bodies of state power’ gives the head of state this right. … in particular situations … [for] inadequate performance of duties and loss of confidence. While the […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Putin sets new 2030 goals as National Projects scaled back” – bne Intellinews

Kremlin and River

“… Putin has signed a ‘July Decree’ … outlin[ing] … national development goals up to 2030 …. risk[ing] … [failure to] fulfill[] … [his] previous economic platform due to the … COVID-19[] crisis. … [with] deadlines for [the] National Projects spending spree … being pushed from 2024 to 2030. [The new platform] outline[s] five development goals: 1) maintaining the population, […]

» Read more

Russian Opposition Must Talk with Siloviki and Attract Them to Its Side, Gallyamov Says

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 15, 2020) Up to now, Russian protests have focused all their attention on Vladimir Putin as if he were the only person who matters; and in the regions, where they have on occasion focused on governors, they have done so because they view the governors as a kind of stand in […]

» Read more

Former Russian Finance Minister Says Economy ‘In Stagnation,’ Needs More Government Spending

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

A respected former Russian finance minister said the nation’s economy is stagnating and the government needs to invest more in education and health in order to drive growth […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin delays $360bn spending plan as Covid-19 batters economy” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy

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

“Volte-face comes shortly after vote that allows Russian president to extend his rule for another 16 years.” “… Putin has delayed his flagship … national investment plan by six years as the coronavirus pandemic pitches Russia into recession and leaves a hole in the federal budget. … Putin unveiled the so-called National Projects two years ago as a much-needed Rbs25.7tn […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Still standing; How Vladimir Putin maintains his support” – Times Literary Supplement (UK)/ Stephen Kotkin

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

“… Putin forced through a plebiscite to zero out … constitutional limits on his rule. … [H]e can run again, in 2024, for two more six-year terms, until 2036, when he will turn eighty-four. …. Putin could have … move[d] Russia onto a stable path of institutional pluralism. Russia’s would-be democrats … Gorbachev and … Yeltsin, started out … popular […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK: “Coronavirus mortality rate way lower in Russia than it is in many other countries, recovery numbers on the rise – Putin” – Interfax

Putin Descending a Staircase

MOSCOW. July 13 (Interfax) – The coronavirus mortality rate is way lower in Russia than it is in European countries with developed public healthcare systems, and the daily increase in new cases remains stable, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “I should say that we are doing fairly well by one of our performance indicators which I view as key, i.e. […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “How Putin pushed aside the oligarchs and made Russia his own” – Washington Post/ Anders Åslund

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

In her deeply researched new book, Catherine Belton tells a dark tale of … Putin’s rise to power and … 20 years as [Russian] leader …. ‘Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took On the West‘ […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s ‘Little Green Men’ In Voting Booths” – Kennan Institute/ Sergey Parkhomenko

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

… independent research and polls show that to make sure the Kremlin could trumpet the longed-for support of 50 percent of the Russian electorate, Putin and his cronies still needed large-scale ballot manipulations during the day and astronomical fraud during the vote count at night […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Authorities Are Targeting Journalists, Historians and Activists. The Rest of Us Could Be Next” – Moscow Times/ Ilya Klishin

Stylized Artist's Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

What’s going on? Nobody knows, but this time it really is scary […]

» Read more

AUDIO JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Denies Allegations It Paid Militants To Kill U.S. Troops As ‘Nonsense'” – NPR/ Lucian Kim

Afghanistan Map of Ethnicities

“… The Russian Foreign Ministry said the initial … New York Times [story] demonstrated the ‘low intellectual abilities of U.S. intelligence propagandists.’ … Putin[] spokesman[] Dmitry Peskov[] called subsequent reports ‘hoaxes’ … damag[ing] the reputation of the media that publish them.  Russian officials spend a lot of time refuting allegations of malfeasance, from the poisoning of a former Russian spy […]

» Read more

How Improved U.S.-Russian Relations Could Weaken Putin’s Case for Remaining in Kremlin Until 2036

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Paul Saunders – July 8, 2020) Paul Saunders is a senior fellow in U.S. foreign policy at the Center for the National Interest. Considering Russian President Vladimir Putin’s stated preferences and Moscow’s reputation for “managing” Russia’s voting, it hardly seems surprising that the Central Election Commission (CEC) claimed an overwhelming level of public support for constitutional […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Here’s why statisticians are calling Putin’s constitutional plebiscite the most fraudulent vote in Russia’s recent history” – Meduza

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

“Researchers who study Russia’s electoral statistics believe … the recent nationwide plebiscite on constitutional amendments is the most dishonest vote the country has seen since the year 2000. … [F]rom a statistical point of view, … official results in many precincts can’t be attributed to fair voting processes. … According to official data from Russia’s Central Election Commission, a little […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “How Putin Views the Iranian Role in Syria: Insights from Bolton’s Memoir” – Mark N. Katz

Syria Map

“[According to Bolton’s new book] … Putin … told Bolton to convey … to Trump [that –] … Moscow did not need Iranian forces … in Syria… [and gained] no advantage [from it] …. Iran’s policy agenda … regard[ing] … Lebanon and the Shi’a were not [Russia’s] … [and] Iranian policy was causing problems …. Russia [wanted] … an Iranian […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Evidence of massive ballot stuffing emerges in Russia’s referendum on constitutional changes” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

“Evidence of massive ballot stuffing emerged in a mathematician[‘s] … statistical study of … the referendum on constitutional changes that would allow … Putin to remain in office until 2036. As bne IntelliNews reported before the vote …. Russian statistician Sergey Shpilkin … made a name for himself … highlighting vote rigging in past elections in Russia … studying … […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Parade’s end; A phoney referendum shows Putin’s legitimacy is fading” – The Economist

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

“A proposal to extend his rule passes, buried in a huge package of feel-good measures.” “… [Following voter-luring with offers of prizes and pressures from employers, some of the week-long voting utilized cardboard boxes and other voting was online, creating opportunities to rig the vote.] … [N]ot a proper referendum[,] [i]t had no precedent or legal basis. … did not […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK: “Putin gets Russians’ mandate to reset power – expert” – Interfax

Kremlin and River

MOSCOW. July 2 (Interfax) – The results of the nationwide vote on changes to the Fundamental Law reflect a high level of public trust in Russian President Vladimir Putin, the head of the Foundation for Civil Society Development with close links to the Kremlin, Konstantin Kostin, said. “Many experts are talking about total support by Russian citizens for the constitutional […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Theatrical Method in Putin’s Vote Madness” – New York Times/ Andrew Higgins

Kremlin and River

“The outcome in Russia’s constitutional ‘referendum’ is preordained, but an elaborate spectacle of public affirmation is vital to the leader’s legitimacy.’ “Russia’s seven-day national plebiscite … to keep … Putin in power until at least 2036, delivered the expected verdict …. Less clear … was why … Putin even needed voters to approve … constitutional amendments that, already ratified by […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin a Step Away From Goal as Constitutional Vote Nears End” – AP

Kremlin and River

“… Putin is just a step away from completing his main political project of the year – constitutional changes that would allow him to extend his rule until 2036. … For the first time in Russia, polls were open for a week to help reduce crowds and to bolster turnout amid the coronavirus pandemic. Putin is all but guaranteed to […]

» Read more

Russians Increasingly Angry that They Live in Poverty in a Country So Rich in Natural Resources

Oil Well file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 28, 2020) The pandemic and associated economic crisis have exacerbated widespread anger among Russians that they live in poverty despite the enormous natural wealth of their country and its sale earlier abroad for more than six trillion US dollars. Had even a small part of that money gone to the people, […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Q&A: What Does the Russia Vote Mean for Putin?” – Wall Street Journal/ Georgi Kantchev

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

“The result of [the] vote isn’t in much doubt, but the outcome could mean far-reaching changes for Russia as he lays plans to prolong his reign.” “Russians are casting … ballots in a [referendum] vote … expected to pave the way for … Putin … to remain … until 2036. … [T]he parliament and … highest court have already approved […]

» Read more

Putin Driving Russia to Where the USSR was in 1991, Zyuganov Says

Kremlin and River

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 22, 2020) Gennady Zyuganov, the leader of the KPRF which is the only parliamentary party that has come out against approving the constitutional amendments by referendum, says that Vladimir Putin’s recent actions have been “not simply disappointing but depressing.” In the course of a wide-ranging 3,000-word interview with Anastaya Melnikova of […]

» Read more

Russia and the West

Satellite

From: David C. Speedie <davidcspeedie@gmail.com> Date: Sun, Jun 28, 2020 Subject: Russia and the West To: <letters.editor@ft.com> (Financial Times) Philip Stephens [“Russia cannot afford a war with the west”, 26 June] contains some home truths about Russia under Vladimir Putin, but comes significantly short of the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. To focus on but a few illustrations: […]

» Read more

Overall Turnout At 9.2 Percent On First Day Of Russia’s Weeklong Constitutional Vote

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

Russia’s Central Electoral Commision … says overall turnout was about 9 percent on the first day of a weeklong vote for constitutional amendments that could pave the way for an extension of … Putin’s rule by 12 years. … [J]ournalists and opposition figures already are complaining about irregularities […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Claims of vote rigging accompany launch of voting in Russia’s constitutional referendum” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

Screenshot of Video at https://twitter.com/CurrentTimeTv/status/1171888101989539842 showing man punching another man in the stomach at Russian polling place while second man was looking down at mobile device

“Russian electoral statistician Sergey Shpilkin says there are already clear signs of ballot stuffing even before the voting in Russia’s referendum on changes to the constitution begins.” “Russia started early voting in its controversial referendum on changes to the constitution on June 25 that will reset the presidential term counter for … Putin … and allow him to remain in […]

» Read more

Russia’s Constitutional Amendments Keep Several Futures Open for Putin

Kremlin and River

“… If adopted, the main change will be to allow Putin to stay in power after the end of his second consecutive — and fourth total — mandate, possibly up to 2036, when he is going to be 84 years old. […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin Wants You to Think He’s Not Going Anywhere” – Moscow Times/ Anna Arutunyan

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

“The Russian president is leaving himself room for maneuver. It remains to be seen, however, how much longer Putin can afford to keep people guessing.” “There’s an acquired habit of reading between the lines of everything President Vladimir Putin writes or says. Given the subterfuge of Russian state power, it’s an understandable one. The Victory Day Parade, the plebiscite to […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia cannot afford another 15 years at war with the west” – Financial Times/ Philip Stephens

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

“Vladimir Putin should brush off the cold war cobwebs in pursuit of a hard-headed look at national interests.” “… Putin is proposing … the option of another 15 years in office. He could … continu[e] to shake his fist at the west. Alternatively, he could brush away the cobwebs of the cold war and begin to recognise the challenge to […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Vote to Extend Putin’s Rule Faces Little Protest in Russia” – AP

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

“They’ve offered prizes ranging from gift certificates to cars and apartments. … put up billboards … enlisted celebrities to urge a ‘yes’ vote. … encouraged state-run businesses like hospitals and schools to pressure employees to register at the polls. Russian authorities seem to be pulling out all the stops to get people to vote on constitutional amendments that would enable […]

» Read more
1 2 3 59