Putin’s Arms Bazaar Is in a Serious Sales Slump

File Photo of Buk-1 SAM

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Tobin Harshaw – April 25, 2017) Tobin Harshaw writes editorials on national security, education and food for Bloomberg View. He was an editor with the op-ed page of the New York Times and the paper’s letters editor. Russian President Vladimir #Putin is mighty proud of his #military’s performance in #Syria. And, as I have written, it’s […]

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New Poll Says Putin’s ‘Crimean Consensus’ Is Fading

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 24, 2017) Most Russians still support Vladimir Putin’s presidency, but the surge in popularity Putin has enjoyed since the annexation of Crimea in March 2014 is beginning to fade, according to the latest poll by the independent Levada Center. The president’s approval ratings remain high: 22 percent of Russians say they fully trust Putin, […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Council of Legislators

Tauride Palace file photo - adapted from image © A.Savin, Wikimedia Commons

(Kremlin.ru – April 24, 2017) Vladimir Putin met with members of the Council of Legislators of the Russian Federation Federal Assembly. By tradition, the meeting took place at the Tauride Palace and was timed to coincide with Russian Parliamentarianism Day, marked on April 27. Improving legislation for countering corruption, regulating trade and import replacement, and parliamentary oversight of regional policy […]

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The Man Who Definitely Didn’t Kill Boris Nemtsov; As the murder trial comes to an end, Vladimir Putin seals his political pact with Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Mikhail Fishman, Daria Litvinova – April 20, 2017) [Videos here themoscowtimes.com/articles/the-man-who-definitely-didnt-kill-boris-nemtsov-57779] There was something off about the latest meeting between Vladimir Putin and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. In footage released by the Kremlin on Thursday, neither man seemed at ease, with Kadyrov looking around confusedly, and Putin fidgeting slightly in his seat. Compare this scene […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting of the Pobeda (Victory) Organising Committee

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Kremlin.ru – April 20, 2017) Vladimir Putin chaired the 39th meeting of the Russian Pobeda (Victory) Organising Committee in the Grand Kremlin Palace. The main item on the meeting’s agenda was developing humanitarian cooperation with other countries at government and public level in the aim of promoting objective information about Russia’s history and present, including its role in the victory […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] State Council Presidium meeting on national consumer rights protection system

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – April 18, 2017) Vladimir Putin chaired a State Council Presidium meeting on the national consumer rights protection system. At a State Council Presidium meeting on national consumer rights protection system. Meeting participants discussed the effectiveness of the national consumer rights protection system and the state consumer rights protection strategy to 2030. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, […]

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Government forecast for annual GDP growth of 1.5% in 2018-2020 does not meet president’s goal – Belousov

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW. April 17 (Interfax) – The government’s forecast for Russian GDP growth in 2018-2020 of 1.5% a year under the baseline scenario does not meet the goal set by the president of achieving growth higher than the global average in 2019-2020, presidential aide Alexander Belousov told journalists. The government forecast for 2% GDP growth in 2017 is “the maximum possible […]

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Putin’s Subordinates have More Freedom of Action Now than Before 2014, Stanovaya Says

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 16, 2017) Vladimir Putin still retains the power to decide what issues to delegate to subordinates and what to retain under his personal control, Tatyana Stanovaya has; but several recent cases show that the space for independent action by his subordinates has grown and the likelihood of their being punished for […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Working meeting with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

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

Mr Medvedev briefed Vladimir Putin on the key points of the report on the Government’s work in 2016, which will be presented to the State Duma on April 19. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Medvedev, on April 19 you will present to the State Duma the Government’s report on its work last year. What will you be presenting? What […]

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‘Young Russians Love Putin, State Ownership and Socialism,’ Poll Finds

Russia Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 17, 2017) The massive participation of young Russians in the March 26 anti-corruption demonstrations led many Russian and Western analysts to predict that the rise of a generation born or at least grown up after the end of the Soviet Union will have a profound and positive impact on the future […]

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VIDEO & TRANSCRIPT: [Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson] Remarks With Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a Press Availability

Rex Tillerson file photo, adapted from image at state.gov

US Department of State [Tillerson] Remarks With Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a Press Availability Press Availability Rex W. Tillerson Secretary of State Moscow, Russia April 12, 2017 [transcript follows below video] FOREIGN MINISTER LAVROV: (Via interpreter) Good evening. This has been a long day. We have had talks with State Secretary of the U.S. Rex Tillerson. Right now, […]

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NEWSLINK: “Pulling the U.S.-Russia Relationship Back from the Nuclear Brink; The downward spiral in U.S.-Russia relations makes the objective of reducing nuclear risk all the more urgent.” – The National Interest/ Kingston Reif and Maggie Tennis

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“This week U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the first high-level sit down between the Trump administration and Russia since President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Though the discussion is likely to be dominated by the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons last week and its aftermath, the two diplomats […]

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NEWSLINK: “The White House is getting smarter on Russia – but still has a lot to learn” – Washington Post Editorial

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

“… Though President Trump has yet to make a critical remark in public about Vladi­mir Putin, his aides are lambasting the Kremlin for its tolerance of, and possible complicity in, a chemical-weapons attack by Syria. … “

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Interview to Mir broadcasting company

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

(Kremlin.ru – April 12, 2017) Vladimir Putin gave an interview to Mir television and radio broadcasting company on the eve of his visit to Kyrgyzstan. The interview took place on April 11. President of Interstate Television and Radio Company Mir Radik Batyrshin: The Collective Security Treaty Organisation celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The benefits for Russia’s allies are clear. […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia needs American help to seal the deal in Syria; After the air strikes, closer co-operation between Putin and Trump is more likely” – Financial Times/ Dmitri Trenin

Syria Map

“The Russian reaction to the use of force by the U.S. president was strong but measured. Moscow condemned it … but gave no order to Russian air defence units in Syria to intercept American missiles. Nor did the Kremlin cancel the forthcoming visit by secretary of state Rex Tillerson. …”

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov

Moscow Roads

(Kremlin.ru – April 10, 2017) Mr Sokolov briefed Vladimir Putin on the transport sector’s main results in 2016. Subjects of discussion included air, sea, rail and road transport, and also road construction and projects for developing Crimea’s transport infrastructure. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Sokolov, let’s examine the full range of issues under the Transport Ministry’s responsibility: freight, road […]

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NEWSLINK: “How the Tumultuous ’90s Paved the Way for Putin’s Russia” [Book Review of “WHO LOST RUSSIA? How the World Entered a New Cold War”] – New York Times/ Rajon Menon

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

“… So who lost Russia? Russia’s leaders, primarily Putin, who neither built democracy nor made Russia a partner of the West? Or the West, which was never serious about respecting Russia’s interests, let alone a partnership? Conradi doesn’t provide a clear-cut answer to his question. Given the complexities he grapples with, who can blame him?”

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NEWSLINK: “Why Trump’s missiles are shaking Putin’s home front; He may be the hero of Crimea, but for the Russian leader the US strike on Syria could hardly have come at a worse moment” – The Guardian (UK)/ Mary Dejevsky

U.S. Naval Vessel Firing Tomahawk Cruise Missile at Night

“… Moscow’s generally careful and differentiated response so far suggests that Putin himself has not given up on the prospect of better relations. Nor would it make sense for him to do so. By refusing to rise to the myriad anti-Russian charges flying around Washington, the Russian president has already invested a large amount of political capital in a fresh […]

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Five Telling New Poll Results from Russia

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 6, 2017) Polls in Russia are anything but reliable guides to popular attitudes: Pollsters in many cases structure their questions to get the results those in power want; and the population often tells those conducting surveys not what they in fact think but rather that which they believe the authorities want […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Trump’s new Russia expert wrote a psychological profile of Vladimir Putin – and it should scare Trump. Review of ‘Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin’ by Fiona Hill and Clifford G. Gaddy” – Washington Post/Carlos Lozada

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

“… It’s hard to know who really runs U.S. foreign policy these days, but to the extent that Hill can influence the Trump administration’s views on Russia, this book suggests a more clear-eyed, realpolitik perspective on Putin’s intentions and capabilities, with low expectations for the rapprochement Trump imagined during the 2016 campaign. In this telling, Putin sees the United States […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to families of those killed and injured in explosion in St Petersburg metro

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – April 3, 2017) The President was briefed on the blast in the St Petersburg metro by the security service heads, in particular, Director of the Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov. Mr Putin instructed the city authorities to take all necessary measures to help the families of those killed and injured. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: As you know, […]

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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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TRANSCRIPT: The Arctic: Territory of Dialogue international forum. [excerpts re Putin]

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

(Kremlin.ru – March 30, 2017) Vladimir Putin is taking part in the filurth international forum The Arctic: Territory of Dialogue. The forum’s theme this year is People and the Arctic. The participants are discussing ways to improve the quality of life in the Arctic, maintain its unique environmental potential, boost sustainable socioeconomic development of the Arctic regions and strengthen international […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Trump’s Rapid Rapprochement Plans With Russia Fade; Investigations into Russia’s alleged interference in U.S. presidential election complicates relationship” – Wall Street Journal/CAROL E. LEE/PAUL SONNE/THOMAS GROVE

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“Expectations that … #Trump’s election would lead to a rapid U.S. rapprochement with #Russia are fading, as the White House pushes off the #Kremlin’s proposals for a meeting with … #Putin and takes an increasingly skeptical view of reaching a grand bargain with #Moscow. … high-level national-security officials discussed possible approaches to Russia, looking to nail down elements of administration policy […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting on Arctic region’s comprehensive development

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

(Kremlin.ru – March 29, 2017) In the course of his trip to Alexandra Land in the Franz Josef Archipelago Vladimir Putin held a meeting on the comprehensive development of the Arctic region. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Sergei Donskoy, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, and Special Presidential Representative for Nature Protection, the Environment, and Transport […]

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Survey: Two-Thirds Of Russians Hold Putin Responsible For Corruption

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – March 28, 2017) More than two-thirds of #Russians believe that President Vladimir Putin is “entirely” or “significantly” responsible for massive corruption among state officials, according to a new survey by the Levada Center. [http://www.levada.ru/2017/03/28/institutsionalnaya-korruptsiya-i-lichnyj-opyt/] The March 28 survey found that 79 percent of Russians believe corruption has “completely infected” or “significantly infected” Russia’s organs of state […]

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Is #Navalny a ‘Young and Sober’ #Yeltsin or ‘the #Putin of Tomorrow’?

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 28, 2017) Aleksey #Navalny’s new prominence and his success in attracting young people – which some see reflected in the fact that he now has more “likes” than Moscow TV (politsovet.ru/54872-navalnyy-obognal-po-chislu-podpischikov-pervyy-kanal-rt-i-rossiyu-24.html) – #Putin loyalists are attacking him and others asking what kind of a leader he may be. Putin’s press spokesman […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Valentina Tereshkova

File Photo of Valentina Tereshkova in Space Suit with Helmet Open, adapted from image at starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov

(Kremlin.ru – March 6, 2017) Vladimir Putin extended his birthday greetings to Valentina Tereshkova, pilot cosmonaut, the first woman in space, Hero of the Soviet Union, and State Duma deputy. The President issued an executive order awarding the Order For Services to the Fatherland I Degree to Ms Tereshkova, deputy chairperson of the State Duma Committee for Federal Organisation and […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Why Russian protests are making the Kremlin rethink 2018 presidential elections. The implicit choice in next year’s elections was looking like ‘Putin or nothing.’ But the breadth of protests Sunday organized by anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny is changing that equation.” – Christian Science Monitor/Fred Weir

Russia Regions Map

“… staging significant protest actions in almost 100 #Russian cities Sunday, Alexei Navalny has laid down a serious challenge to Vladimir Putin. The anti-corruption blogger-turned-politician wants to run for president in elections that are barely a year off, and has been conducting himself as if his campaign were already under way. The Kremlin has the means to prevent him, by invoking a […]

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Putin to Stress Superpower Status in Presidential Campaign; Restoring Moscow’s global influence will be a dominant theme of the 2018 election, experts say

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Mikhail Fishman, Matthew Kupfer – March 23, 2017) In 2016, Donald Trump rode a wave of popular discontent to the White House on the promise that he would “make America great again.” As Russia’s presidential election, scheduled for March 2018 draws nearer, President Vladimir Putin may try a similar tactic – by contending that he […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH/Gazeta.ru: “Live longer! Putin calls for improving life expectancy. Russia’s leader hopes that by 2025 average life expectancy will reach 76 years. To achieve this target, authorities must combat not only alcoholism and drug addiction, but also reduce the number of road accident deaths.”

Man in Silhoette with Bottle of Alcohol and Head in Hand

“Russia’s leader hopes that by 2025 average life expectancy will reach 76 years. To achieve this target, authorities must combat not only alcoholism and drug addiction, but also reduce the number of road accident deaths. …”

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Putin Nominates Bank of Russia Head Nabiullina for New Term

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas, Stepan Kravchenko – March 22, 2017) Russian President Vladimir #Putin told Bank of #Russia Governor Elvira Nabiullina he plans to nominate her for a new 5-year term, praising her stewardship of the central bank as the country emerges from the longest recession this century. “The central bank under your leadership has done a #great […]

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NEWSLINK: “PUTIN’S ECONOMY IS SO BAD, MANY RUSSIANS CAN’T AFFORD NEW SHOES” – Newsweek

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“To see the state of Vladimir Putin’s economy, look down at Russians’ feet. The weakening ruble is making Russians more cautious about their purchases, and annual shoe sales across the country have dropped in recent months as Russians wait for their footwear to completely wear out before buying new ones ….”

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Council for Strategic Development and Priority Projects meeting

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – March 21, 2017) Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Presidential Council for Strategic Development and Priority Projects at the Kremlin. Participants in the meeting reviewed progress in the implementation of priority projects in healthcare, as well as measures aimed at enhancing labour efficiency. Transcript of the meeting of the Council for Strategic Development and Priority Projects President […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia cannot live with the west – or without it; Technological backwardness increases its dependence on liberal democracies” – Financial Times/Lilia Shevtsova

File Photo of G7 Leaders and other Officials Around Round Table at the Hague, with Flags

“Great power status and the desire for external domination have long been central components of the Russian system of personalised power. … With diminishing resources, the Kremlin has increasingly resorted to intimidating … liberal democracies into accepting Russia’s grand ambitions. At the same time, the country has to wrestle with … how to preserve its role as a global power without […]

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Russian Civic Nation ‘Already Exists,’ Doesn’t Need to be Declared or Defined, Kremlin Official Says

Kremlin and River

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – March 18, 2017) Staunton, March 18 – Two weeks ago, efforts by the working group Vladimir Putin set up to define the meaning of a civic Russian nation (rossiiskaya natsiya) collapsed when the leaders of that group announced that they were refocusing a draft law on nationality policy more generally (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2017/03/putin-tishkov-push-to-define-civic.html). But yesterday, […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH: “What do Russians dream about when they sleep?”

File Photo of Dogs Dressed as Batman and Robin, adapted from photo at whitehouse.gov

Most Russians dream about people, fish, children and snakes, claims a Yandex study based on the analysis of search queries. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – IGOR ROZIN, RBTH – March 20, 2017) A study conducted by the leading Russian search engine, Yandex, shows what Russians most frequently see in their dreams. The results are based on search queries […]

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NEWSWATCH: “For the Kremlin, Boosting Turnout Is Key Task for 2018 Vote” – AP

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

“With a year to go before #Russia’s presidential election …. #Putin is set to glide easily to another term against a familiar pack of torpid rivals – leftovers from past races. But the Kremlin must figure out how to overcome one major problem in Russia’s political environment: public apathy. Putin’s strategists are searching for ways to draw more people to […]

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NEWSLINK: “What Does Vladimir Putin Want? [interview with Alexander Vershbow]” – New York Magazine

Alexander Vershbow file photo

“… Q: Assuming all the intelligence agencies are right that Russia meddled in the election, why do you think they would do so? It reflects a broader kind of hostility on the Russians’ part towards the West. It was brewing for some time, and I think it burst into full flower after Putin came back into the presidency in 2012. […]

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NEWSLINK: “Unquiet American; Putin is unlikely to be brought in from the cold, says former U.S. envoy to Moscow Michael McFaul” – Politico.eu

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

“… How does the #Putin era end? ‘When Putin is no longer in power,’ responds #McFaul. ‘And I think he’ll stay in power for as long as he can.’ A natural end to Putin’s presidency is ‘unlikely,’ he says, ‘given the kind of system he’s built around himself, that really relies on one charismatic individual at its core.’ The #Russians […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Plenary session of Congress of Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Kremlin.ru – March 16, 2017) Vladimir Putin addressed a plenary session of the Congress of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. The congress is being held as part of the X Russian Business Week (RBW) on March 13-17, hosted by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. The RBW participants coordinate proposals on key areas of interaction between the […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with General Director of Agency for Strategic Initiatives Svetlana Chupsheva

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – March 15, 2017) Vladimir Putin had a working meeting with General Director of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives [ASI] Svetlana Chupsheva. The discussion focussed on the Agency’s work on key activity areas, in particular, developing the investment climate and business activity in Russia and support for social and business projects. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ms Chupsheva, have […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Why Study Russian History?” – American Historical Association Blog/E. Thomas Ewing and Virginia Tech Students enrolled in HIST 3604: Russia to Peter the Great

File Image of Ivan the Terrible Etching, adapted from image at loc.gov

“… we often took examples from current news or recent history and established connections to the historical period covered . … Russian history from its founding in the ninth century until the beginning of the era of Peter the Great in the late 17th century illustrates how this emerging nation-state navigated complex processes such as building a national political order, sustaining […]

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Hitler’s Anschluss and Putin’s – Similarities and Differences

File Photo of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Riding in Convertible

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 13, 2017) Seventy-nine years ago today, Adolf Hitler issued the law on the unification of Austria and Germany, an event subsequently known as the Anschluss, and one that both resembles and differs from what Vladimir Putin did in the case of Ukraine’s Crimea, according to two Ukrainian experts. Yuri Shapovalov, a […]

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Who will make Russia “great again”? Russia’s legal-rational establishment has yet to emerge. But the rise of Alexei Navalny demonstrates that when it does, it will inevitably be nationalist.

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

(opendemocracy.net – Anna Arutunyan – March 15, 2017) Anna Arutunyan is a Russian-American journalist and the author of The Putin Mystique. A former fellow at the Kennan Institute in Washington, she currently lives and writes in Moscow. There has been quite a bit of whiplash in the way Alexei Navalny, Russia’s most promising opposition leader, has been regarded. One moment, […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with Government members

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – March 14, 2017) Vladimir Putin held a meeting with Government members in the Kremlin. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues, We will begin with s number of current issues. The epidemic level seems to be on the decline, but the situation is still serious. Even Mr Medvedev could not stay out of harm’s way, and caught […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting of the Prosecutor General Office’s Board

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

(Kremlin.ru – March 14, 2017) Vladimir Putin attended a meeting of the Prosecutor General Office’s Board, where he assessed the prosecution agencies’ performance in 2016 and outlined their priority tasks for 2017. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues, As usual at these board meetings, we will discuss the prosecution agencies’ performance in 2016 and set the priorities for […]

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NEWSLINK: “First Encounter Between Trump, Putin Likely To Come At G-20” – Forbes/Kenneth Rapoza

“The much anticipated meeting between President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart may take place in Germany during the G-20, according to press reports …. The meeting is key for setting the direction of Russia-U.S. ties, which have been severed over the last two years of the Obama Administration. …”

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