NEWSWATCH: “As controversy swirls around Trump, Russia watches helplessly; Many in Russia had hoped that the new president could help smooth relations between Moscow and Washington. But as Russia-tied scandals paralyze Trump’s administration, now the Kremlin just want U.S.-Russia diplomacy not to get worse.” – Christian Science Monitor/ Fred Weir

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

When … Putin offered … to provide Congress with a transcript of his foreign minister’s controversial meeting last week with … Trump … it was not warmly received by US politicians. … its greater significance may be as a sign of just how alarmed … Putin and the Kremlin are becoming about what’s happening in Washington. Kremlin watchers say they feel like helpless observers amid the […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Replies to journalists’ questions (transcript continued)

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

(Kremlin.ru – May 15, 2017) Vladimir Putin answered media questions following a working visit to the People’s Republic of China. Question: Mr President, an international cyberattack was reported on May 12. It hit targets in 150 countries, including agencies, banks and companies in Russia. How much has this attack harmed Russia and the world in general? What can be done […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Fall of Dmitry Medvedev” – Russian and Eurasian Politics/ Gordon Hahn

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

“Opposition leader Alexei Navalnyi’s recent corruption allegations against Russian Prime Minister and former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev poses a grave threat to Medvedev’s political survival in that position. The timing of the allegations is crucial, coming as the presidential campaign approaches as does Putin’s impending decision whether or not to retain Medvedev in the PM’s post. Putin is not left […]

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RUSSIALINK: “A CHINESE SILK NOOSE” – Valdai Club/ Georgy Toloraya

Asia Map

“… In response to the Chinese initiative, Russia advanced an even more ambitious project of a Greater Eurasian Partnership … incorporate[ing] the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and even the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). … However, Russia lacks the resources and integration ties with the numerous countries of the Euro-Pacific space for implementing this ambitious […]

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Thousands Protest In Moscow Against Plan To Raze Soviet-Era Housing

Moscow Aerial View Satellite Image File Photo, adapted from image at jpl.nasa.gov

(RFE/RL – Tom Balmforth – May 14, 2017 – ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc. Article also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-moscow-protests-demolition-krushchev-era-housing/28487244.html) MOSCOW — Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Moscow to protest the proposed demolitions of Soviet-era housing blocks in the Russian capital. The May 14 protest, held on a wide central Moscow street named after Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, marked […]

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Putin Is Taking Lessons From Trump on How to Win at the Polls

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Stepan Kravchenko, Evgenia Pismennaya, Ilya Arkhipov – May 10, 2017) [Text with charts bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-05-10/now-it-s-trump-s-turn-to-show-putin-how-to-win-bigly-at-polls] The Kremlin thinks it knows the secret to Donald Trump’s election victory — and it’s not the kind of hacking you might think. The man Putin hired to deliver the crushing re-election win he’s seeking next March, Sergei Kiriyenko, wants to emulate […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Replies to journalists’ questions

China Map

(Kremlin.ru – May 15, 2017) Vladimir Putin answered media questions following a working visit to the People’s Republic of China. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon. Let me dispense with opening remarks and get straight on with answering any questions you may have. Please, go ahead. Question: I have a question about the forum. This was a big event. […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Belt and Road international forum

Asia Map

(Kremlin.ru – May 14, 2017) Vladimir Putin spoke at the opening of the Belt and Road international forum in Beijing. The event is dedicated to China’s projects – the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. Russian President has arrived in China on a two-day visit. The forum that is taking place in the Chinese capital […]

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Interfax: Internal political struggle continuing in U.S. increases global political, economic tensions – Putin

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

BEIJING. May 15 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said he believes the continuing internal political struggle in the United States creates political and economic tensions worldwide. “As we see, a bitter internal political struggle continues in the U.S., which creates some nervousness not only in politics, but also in the economy,” Putin said at a press conference following his […]

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The Russian Shadow behind the Comey Dismissal

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

(The Kennan Institute –wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – MAXIM TRUDOLYUBOV – May 10, 2017) Maxim Trudolyubov, Senior Fellow with the Kennan Institute and editor-at-large with Vedomosti, has been following Russian economy and politics since the late 1990s. He has served as an opinion page editor for Vedomosti and editor and correspondent for the newspaper Kapital. The Trump’s administration’s highest-level meeting with Russia is […]

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Putin’s Concerns about Election May Allow Protests in Russia to Begin to Work

File Photo of Moscow Protest with Riot Police

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 10, 2017) Vladimir Putin’s desire that nothing should upset his electoral campaign may cause Russian officials to postpone plans for various changes until after the vote if they face or fear they will face mass protests, a trend that might keep things quieter than otherwise but one that gives those with […]

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Putin Regime Now Entering Its Fifth and Final Phase, Yakovenko Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 9, 2017) Vladimir Putin’s regime, which has always been authoritarian and kleptocratic, nonetheless has evolved over the course of the last 18 years through four stages and now is entering its fifth and final one, according to Moscow commentator Igor Yakovenko (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5910CBCC3CA63). The first period lasted from 1999 to 2003, having […]

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NEWS RELEASE & TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Military parade on Red Square

File Photo of Russian Tanks in Military Parade

(Kremlin.ru – May 9, 2017) Vladimir Putin attended the military parade to mark the 72nd anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War. The military parade marking the 72nd anniversary of Victory in the 1941-45 Great Patriotic War. Defence Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu inspected the troops during the military parade. Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Land Forces […]

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‘Putin’s GULAG More Horrible than Stalin’s,’ Researchers Say

File Photo of Prison in Russia with Wall, Barbed Wire, Guard Tower

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 7, 2017) Many people of good will around the world have been horrified by the case of Rizvan Ibragimov who has been subject to electro-shocks and other forms of torture for writing a history of Chechnya challenging the version approved by Ramzan Kadyrov, but they have dismissed such crimes as “Chechnya […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Kremlin Critic Navalny Says Russia Stops Him Traveling Abroad” – Reuters

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

“Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said … authorities in Russia were stopping him [from] going abroad to seek urgent medical treatment after an attack that left him mostly blind in one eye.  … authorities … unexpectedly issued … an international passport … [giving] the impression he could fly to a foreign clinic to get treatment …. But he said a senior official from the country’s prison […]

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Intefax: Differences in views, positions should be no impediment to protecting Russia in name of its people’s future – Putin

File Photo of Kremlin Aerial View, adapted from .gov source

MOSCOW. May 4 (Interfax) – Russian president Vladimir Putin has urged to safeguard and protect Russia for its future regardless of differences in views and positions. “Today I want to say once again: we have just one Russia, and all of us, whatever our views and positions, must safeguard and protect it, make it our cornerstone the future of our […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Unveiling of monument to Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(Kremlin.ru – May 4, 2017) Vladimir Putin took part in a ceremony unveiling a monument to Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich on the site of his assassination in the park by the Kremlin’s Nikolskaya Tower. Acting on Mr Putin’s instruction, the Russian Military Historical Society and the Foundation for Revival of Traditions of Compassion and Charity St Elizabeth – St Sergius […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Joint meeting of the State Council and the Commission for Monitoring Targeted Socioeconomic Development Indicators

Russia Regions Map

(Kremlin.ru – May 4, 2017) Vladimir Putin chaired a joint meeting of the State Council and the Commission for Monitoring Targeted Socioeconomic Development Indicators in the Kremlin. The agenda focused on three main sets of issues: Provision of state and municipal services through the network of multifunctional centres, independent evaluation of social sector service quality, and relocating people from dilapidated […]

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Putin Meets Erdogan as Russia Pursues Syria Diplomacy Blitz

Turkey and Environs Satellite Image

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Ilya Arkhipov – May 3, 2017) Russian President Vladimir Putin continued his diplomatic push for a plan to establish safe zones in Syria backed by peacekeepers as he began talks with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Wednesday. Russia and Turkey can “change the destiny of the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Western sanctions and languid Russian economy; Stringent international sanctions imposed on Russia for its role in the Ukraine conflict have sucked the momentum out of the Russian economy over the past couple of years. The nation’s growth prospects remain lethargic.” – Deutsche Welle/ Srinivas Mazumdaru

EU Map

Talks between … #Merkel and … #Putin … focused mainly on geopolitical and security problems, such as … #Ukraine and #Syria. … [they] did not explicitly bring up … #sanctions at the press conference … with the #German chancellor simply saying she hoped some of the sanctions could be lifted if Moscow helped make significant progress in implementing the Minsk peace plan. * * * The sanctions […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin and Merkel] Press statements and answers to media questions following meeting with Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel

Map of Germany

(Kremlin.ru – Sochi, May 2, 2017) President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to begin by thanking the Federal Chancellor for coming to Sochi and for the opportunity to have a meaningful conversation on preparations for the upcoming July G20 meeting in Hamburg, and review urgent matters on the bilateral agenda, as well as […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Hardliners urge Kremlin crackdown on social media; Russia has introduced increasingly draconian web laws but some are pushing for more” – Financial Times/ Max Seddon

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

“… success in using social media to mobilise youthful anti-corruption protesters has sparked calls for the Kremlin to step up internet censorship. … [A]t a censorship conference … Oscar-winning film director Nikita Mikhalkov … showed a documentary that accused … Navalny of luring children to violent protests against … Putin. ‘… [Young people] don’t know any history and they won’t until they get a rubber […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Kremlin propaganda comes to Showtime. Putin smirks in this trailer when Oliver Stone asks him ‘Why did Russia hack the election?'” – Andrew S. Weiss @andrewsweiss

File Photo of Screenshot of Vladimir Putin in Twitter Video of Trailer of Oliver Stone TV Film Regarding Russia

(Andrew S. Weiss – @andrewsweiss – Twitter – May 1, 2017) [Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment. Russia and Eurasia Program] Kremlin propaganda comes to Showtime. Putin smirks in this trailer when Oliver Stone asks him “Why did Russia hack the election?” Showtime Doc Films @SHO_Docs No topic is off limits. The Putin Interviews, a revealing series of interviews between […]

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Interfax: “Russian police act with far more restraint than some of their European counterparts – Putin”

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

SOCHI. May 2 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed accusations that police in Russia tend to use excessive force in curbing protests, saying that they have acted and will continue to act in line with the law. When asked by some Western reporters to comment on the way Russian authorities deal with opposition groups and protests at a news […]

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Does Putin Still Favor Sidekick Medvedev? After graft allegations sparked anti-Kremlin protests, the political future of Russia’s prime minister is cloudy at best.

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Ilya Arkhipov, Evgenia Pismennaya, Irina Reznik – April 26, 2017) In past presidential elections, Russia’s Vladimir Putin has twice resorted to a sudden ouster of his prime minister to bolster results at the ballot box. Dmitry Medvedev, the longest-serving premier since Putin came to power in 2000, seemed likely to be an exception, even […]

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Putin and Poroshenko Still Talk Regularly, But Kiev Would Rather Ukrainians Didn’t Know

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 28, 2017) Sources in Moscow and Kiev tell the Russian newspaper Kommersant that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko continue to speak on the phone, though both leaders regularly trade harsh accusations in public. According to Kommersant, the latest conversation between Putin and Poroshenko took place in early April. The two […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Minister of Labour and Social Protection Maxim Topilin

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – April 26, 2017) Vladimir Putin held a working meeting with Minister of Labour and Social Protection Maxim Topilin. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Topilin, I would like to discuss with you not only current social policy issues but also the upcoming trends that we will definitely encounter due to a number of objective circumstances. We are certainly […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Government members

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Kremlin.ru – April 26, 2017) Vladimir Putin held a meeting with Government members to discuss import substitution in industry and agriculture. Other subjects of discussion included preparations for children’s summer holidays, work on the draft law on responsible treatment of animals, and the programme to build or reconstruct village cultural centres. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon colleagues. Today, […]

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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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