Medvedev Backs Ph.D. Plagiarism Crackdown

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 7, 2013) Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday that the “number of phony doctorates surpasses all possible limits,” and that he supported a crackdown on plagiarism in Ph.D. dissertations. Allegations of plagiarized dissertations have hit some of the state’s highest officials, including Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky and even President Vladimir Putin, who the Brookings […]

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Kremlin rethinks long-term military threats facing Russia; Putin Considers New ‘Defense Plan’ as ‘Reform’ Dies

File Photo of Russian Nuclear Missile on Mobile Launcher Near Woods

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 21 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Roger McDermott – February 5, 2013) Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is considering signing into law a new “defense plan,” setting out in a comprehensive document the long-term threat assessment and strategic environment facing Russia over the next few decades. It will mark an effort on a grand […]

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Putinism In Winter

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

(RFE/RL – www.rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – February 5, 2013) Somebody is out to get Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Or somebody is setting up Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. Or both. Or neither. But regardless, something pretty weird appears to be going on. A slick feature-length video appeared online last week attacking Medvedev for selling out Russia’s interests in the […]

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Medvedev Seen Clinging to Job as Putin Frets About Economy

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer and Ilya Arkhipov – February 6, 2013) Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is clinging to his job as President Vladimir Putin grows increasingly frustrated with his protege’s inability to boost growth, three current and former Kremlin advisers said. Putin criticized Medvedev’s government last week for failing to adapt to a “post-crisis” economic model. That followed […]

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Trial of Putin Foe Shows No Russian Investors Are Safe

Alexander Lebedev file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer – February 5, 2013) “Are you totally out of your mind?” Russian newspaper tycoon Alexander Lebedev exclaimed as he jumped to his feet. He stared combatively at property developer Sergei Polonsky, who had taunted Lebedev for ridiculing his claim to be a major charity donor. As tempers flared during the recording of a TV […]

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Russia’s 5% GDP growth – fat chance, Mr Putin

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – www.bne.eu – Moscow Blog – February 5, 2013) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called on the government to pick up the pace of economic growth and raise it to 5% in the near future, which might “require some changes in the budget policy.” The battle lines are being drawn for probably one of the most important […]

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Is Putin afraid of the Caucasus?

Map of Caucasus and Central Asia

(www.opendemocracy.net – Daniil Kotsyubinsky – February 4, 2013) Daniil Kotsyubinsky is Russian historian and journalist based in St. Petersburg Russian lawmakers have given preliminary approval to a law to allow governors to be appointed in the country’s 83 regions, reversing last year’s move to restore direct elections. As Daniil Kotsyubinsky reports, this issue is unimportant in itself, but it exposes […]

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Putin’s Anti-Western Statements are Not About Russian Domestic Politics Alone, Makarkin Says

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 1, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/02/window-on-eurasia-putins-anti-western.html) Vladimir Putin’s support for “the conservative wave in contemporary Russia” is not just part of his broader effort to set the country’s “silent majority” against the opposition, Aleksey Makarkin says. It is also a reflection of the Russian president’s disappointment in the foreign policy course he pursued […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Putin Speech at a concert marking the 70th anniversary of victory in the Battle of Stalingrad

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking with Flag Behind Him and Microphones in Front

(Kremlin.ru – February 2, 2013) Volgograd PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon. Dear friends, dear veterans, Over these days our entire country, our entire nation is celebrating a glorious date, the 70th anniversary of our army’ victory in Stalingrad. This is one of the best examples of courage and heroism in international military history. It is no accident that […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin:] Meeting of the Council for the Local Self-Government Development

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking with Flag Behind Him and Microphones in Front

(Kremlin.ru – January 31, 2013) The Kremlin, Moscow Vladimir Putin held a meeting of the Council for the Local Self-Government Development. Participants discussed improving the regulation of local self-government institutions. PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, colleagues. I am glad to welcome everyone to our Council’s meeting, one which is attended by the new members. Heads of urban districts, […]

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Last Year’s Repression ‘Worst’ in Decades

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Moscow  Times – moscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – February 1, 2013) A leading rights group lashed out at President Vladimir Putin on Thursday by saying he had “unleashed the worst political crackdown” in the country’s post-Soviet history after returning to the Kremlin last year. Human Rights Watch’s annual report, released Thursday, says the string of restrictive laws enacted since […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Putin chairs meeting on government priorities through 2018

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking with Flag Behind Him and Microphones in Front

(Kremlin.ru – January 31, 2013) Vladimir Putin chaired an expanded meeting of the Government of the Russian Federation. The meeting discussed the guidelines for the Government’s performance through 2018. * * * PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, colleagues, Last year we outlined a strategy for our activities in the long term. We identified our priorities and targets in […]

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Civil society needs to be supported, strengthened – Putin

Vladimir Putin file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 31 (Interfax) – Russia needs to develop democratic institutes and strengthen civil society, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday to summarize results of the expanded government meeting. “We have to go beyond the government policy fundamentals until 2018, which have been presented today, so to solve all problems faced by the country and to keep all promises given […]

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Russia Must Tap Investment Potential – Putin

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking with Flag Behind Him and Microphones in Front

MOSCOW, January 31 (RIA Novosti) ­ The Russian government must turn the country’s enormous investment potential into a real flow of foreign capital, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday. Putin was addressing a government meeting discussing Russia’s economic development to 2018, including measures to boost the country’s economic growth and reduce its dependence on raw material exports. Russia has fundamental […]

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Indifference Not Support ‘Foundation’ of Putin’s Regime, Gudkov Says

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 30, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/01/window-on-eurasia-indifference-not.html) A majority of Russians today does not feel any sympathy for the Putin regime or is not prepared to show any “active support” or “active opposition” to it, according to Lev Gudkov, head of the Levada Center. Instead, they manifest a kind of “inert indifference” about those […]

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Kerry Seen as Best Choice for Putin

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – January 30, 2013) Moscow pundits gave a warm welcome to John Kerry on Tuesday, as U.S. senators were expected to confirm their veteran colleague as secretary of state. But they warned that U.S.-Russian relations were set for a potentially bumpy ride during President Barack Obama’s second term, contrasting with the “reset” […]

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Privatizations should be done in Russia, but infrastructure needs to be readied – Putin

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking with Flag Behind Him and Microphones in Front

NOVO-OGARYOVO. Jan 25 (Interfax) – Privatization deals should be carried out on Russian markets, but the infrastructure needs to be put in place, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting dedicated to stock market development. “These deals should occur on Russian trading floors,” he said. “Privatization done within the country is testament to the fact that our plans to […]

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Putin: Use Sport to Stem Population Fall

Football - Soccer File Photo

[RIA NOVOSTI] MOSCOW, January 24 (R-Sport) – Sport is a crucial weapon for Russia to fight its demographic crisis by keeping people healthy, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday. Russia’s population has fallen by more than five million since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 as a result of lower births rates and life expectancy, although recent government estimates […]

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Expect More Anti-Americanism in 2013

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Michael Bohm – January 18, 2013) Michael Bohm is opinion page editor of The Moscow Times. An increase in anti-Americanism stands out as one of the most dominant features of the Kremlin’s policy in 2012. Since the propaganda campaign worked so effectively on many Russians, we can expect even more state-sponsored anti-Americanism in 2013. The […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting on economic issues

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking with Flag Behind Him and Microphones in Front

(Kremlin.ru – January 16, 2013) The Kremlin, Moscow Vladimir Putin held a meeting on economic issues to discuss the financial results for 2012 and measures to develop Russia’s economy. PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, colleagues. We will discuss the results for 2012 today and look at additional measures to ensure economic growth. The situation in the global economy […]

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Only president can evaluate efficiency of ministers – Medvedev

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

NOVOZAPOLYARNY, Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District. Jan 15 (Interfax) – Evaluation of the government efficiency is an exclusive area of the Russian president, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev believes. “In the opinion of Medvedev, the only person eligible to evaluate the efficiency of certain ministers and the government is the president,” the prime minister’s press secretary Natalia Timakova said. She thus commented on […]

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Russia’s pension impasse — is there a way out?

File Photo of Two Elders Walking Outdoors

(www.opendemocracy.net – Andrei Zaostrovtsev – January 11, 2013) Andrei Zaostrovtsev is lecturer at the M-Centre at the European University, St. Petersburg and professor of the Higher School of Economics One way Vladimir Putin has retained his popularity among Russians has been by increasing retirement pensions and other social benefits, and as a result the state pension fund is deep in […]

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Russia’s ‘tandem’ govt era over – Primakov

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

MOSCOW. Jan 15 (Interfax) – The “tandem” government era in Russia is over, argued former prime minister Yevgeny Primakov, president of the Mercury Club and a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. “Today Russia has some new characteristics that distinguish it from the previous period. One of them is the end of the tandem era. This does not at […]

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Russia Now Faces ‘Years of Reaction,’ Moscow Commentator Says

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking with Flag Behind Him and Microphones in Front

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 12, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/01/window-on-eurasia-russia-now-faces.html) In the absence of any deep division within the power elites ­ — and there is none evident now ­ — Vladimir Putin’s current turn to repression is completely logical from his point of view and guarantees that the Russian Federation now faces “years of reaction,” however much […]

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Putin Playing Regions against the Capital to Maintain Himself in Power, Oreshkin Says

Map of Russia

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 9, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/01/window-on-eurasia-putin-playing-regions.html) Like Nicholas II and Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Putin is putting the regions and their more traditionalist values in play against the emergent civil society in Moscow as part of his effort to keep himself and his allies in office and in control of Russia’s enormous natural wealth, […]

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U.S. to have to reckon with ‘Putin factor’ till 2018 – analyst

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

MOSCOW. Jan 9 (Interfax) – The fact that Foreign Policy magazine has declared Russian President Vladimir Putin last year’s most influential figure in global politics, business and public affairs means “the so-called ‘Putin factor’ will play a significant role in the foreign policy of the United States for the next five years,” a Russian political scientist said. “Foreign Policy is […]

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Analyst: Alleged stability apparent source of Putin’s top Foreign Policy rating

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

MOSCOW. Jan 4 (Interfax) – A Russian analyst has argued that this year Russian President Vladimir Putin will keep the leading role in global politics attributed to him by Foreign Policy magazine, which declared Putin the world’s most influential political, business and public figure in 2012. “The fact that President Putin is recognized as the most influential person of the […]

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NEWSLINK: Russian patriarch says religion law must not go too far

Patriarch Kirill file photo

(Russian patriarch says religion law must not go too far – Reuters – Alexei Anishchuk – January 6 – click here for full article) In the aftermath of the Pussy Riot prosecution, Reuters covers the Russian Orthodox reaction to Russia’s law on anti-religious offenses: Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church and a long-standing ally of President Vladimir […]

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TRANSCRIPT: News conference of Vladimir Putin

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking with Flag Behind Him and Microphones in Front

(Kremlin.ru –  December 20, 2012) Kremlin.ru December 20, 2012 News conference of Vladimir Putin Moscow Vladimir Putin’s news conference took place at the World Trade Centre on Krasnopresnenskaya Embankment. Over 1,000 Russian and 200 foreign journalists were accredited to cover the news conference. Channel One, Rossiya-1 and Rossiya-24 TV channels and Radio Mayak, Vesti FM and Radio Rossii radio stations […]

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NEWSLINK: USA to reckon with ‘Putin factor’ after magazine power ratin – pundits

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

[USA to reckon with ‘Putin factor’ after magazine power rating – pundits – BBC Monitoring/Ekho Moskvy Radio – January 4, 2013 – no open link exists to this product] Ekho Moskvy Radio addresses what it terms Foreign Policy magazine’s move to call Russian President Vladimir Putin the world’s the most powerful person, including the fact that the magazine actually listed […]

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2012 in Review: Russia Turns in on Itself

New Year's Eve in Red Square with Crowd and Fireworks

(Voice of America – Russian Service Crossfire – Donald N. Jensen – January 3, 2013) Russian state has struggled unsuccessfully since 1991 to reconcile ­three disparate, somewhat contradictory sources of legitimacy.  It portrays itself as democratic, but the trashing of the 1990s by the Putin regime deprives the current system of a founding myth.  During the Putin era there have […]

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Russian Orphan Teo Caught as Putin Blocks U.S. Adoptions

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Elise Young – January 2, 2013) Kip and Kim Blackman call him Teo, a dark-haired, dark-eyed Russian orphan who is small for his 19 months and not yet walking or talking. Embracing him in a children’s shelter in Volgograd in October, they promised to bring him to Hedgesville, West Virginia, to meet their four biological children, […]

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Putin Declares War on Orphans, NGOs and the U.S.

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

(Bloomberg editorial – bloomberg.com – January 2, 2013) On New Year’s Day, a law took effect in Russia banning U.S. families from adopting children there. Not only is this use of orphans to score a political point repugnant, it also reflects a worrying defensive and isolationist trend in President Vladimir Putin’s foreign and domestic policies. The adoption ban was rushed […]

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Putin’s New Year’s Address Prompts Speculation About His Health

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking with Flag Behind Him and Microphones in Front

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 3, 2013) President Vladimir Putin’s New Year’s video address on Monday night ­ – his first such address in four years after returning to the presidency in May ­ – has already become a hit on the Internet. But while some may have been impressed with the president’s warm words, others were more focused […]

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NEWSLINK: You’re a Mean One, Mr. Putin; Was 2012 the year Russia’s president finally lost it? – Anders Åslund

Vladimir Putin file photo

[Foreign Policy – Anders Åslund – December 28, 2012 – http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/12/28/Putin_orphans_Russia_crackdown] Anders Åslund examines the state of Russian politics, characterizing it as marked by repression, anger and a realization of a need for change but lacking a grasp of effective alternatives other than personal flight: … I have not found the mood in the Russian capital so depressed since the […]

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NEWSLINK: Putin’s Artful Jurisprudence

File Photo of Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin

[Putin’s Artful Jurisprudence – The National Interest – William Partlett – January 2, 2012 – http://nationalinterest.org/article/putins-artful-jurisprudence-7882] Writing for The National Interest, William Partlett examines aspects of rule of law issues in post-Soviet Russia within the broader context of Russian political and economic power, including unfolding developments under the Putin regime(s). First recalling some of the events of 1993: AT 8:00 […]

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[Putin] New Year’s Address to the Nation

New Year's Eve in Red Square with Crowd and Fireworks

(Kremlin.ru – December 31, 2012) Moscow PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Friends, We are saying goodbye to 2012 which becomes history. This was an important year for our country. I would like to sincerely thank you all for your efforts, your work and achievements, your trust and support. In these moments, we are particularly aware of the fleeting of time, […]

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2012: the year the Kremlin lost control of the script

Kremlin Aeriel View file photo

(Peter Pomerantsev – www.opendemocracy.net – December 28, 2012) Peter Pomerantsev is a British TV producer. For many years, he sold British programmes to the Russian TV industry. He now lives in London. Throughout the Putin heyday, Russian political discourse was invented, manipulated and owned by a handful of Kremlin spin doctors. Over the last year, that changed. Though they failed […]

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Amendments might be made later to anti-Magnitsky Act law – Russian Justice Ministry

Vladimir Putin file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 28 (Interfax) – In the future, amendments could be made to the law on measures against people responsible for human rights abuses against Russian citizens, which Russian President Vladimir Putin signed on Friday, Russian Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov said. “The practice will show in the future whether some adjustments should be made, and if yes, we will do […]

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Putin Implores Cabinet to Act

Kremlin Aeriel View file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – December 28, 2012) President Vladimir Putin on Thursday commanded the Cabinet to make good on his costly campaign promises, in a sign that he may be unhappy about how they are being fulfilled. This is the second time that Putin highlighted his intention to get the Cabinet to keep his word, after […]

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Russian Government Officials to Commute by Helicopter in 2013

File Photo of Russian MI-26 Helicopter in Afghanistan with MI-17 Helicopter In Background

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Irina Filatova – December 28, 2012) President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev are likely to swap their armored limousines for helicopters next year, as the city center will be equipped with several landing pads, head of the presidential affairs office Vladimir Kozhin said Thursday. The pads might appear on the territory of the […]

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Putin: Capital Outflow Is Russian Business Expansion Abroad

Cash, Calculator, Pen

MOSCOW, December 27 (RIA Novosti) ­ Officially registered capital outflow from Russia frequently reflects Russian business investment abroad, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday. “As for capital outflow, this process is not viewed as simplistically as is frequently talked about. Capital outflow in our conditions does not mean direct capital flight,” he said. A substantial part of this capital is […]

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Most of Russians like Putin’s answers at Dec. 20 press conference – poll

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking with Flag Behind Him and Microphones in Front

(Interfax – December 27, 2012) The Dec. 20 press conference by President Vladimir Putin caught the attention of more than half of Russians. Thirty-four percent watched the press conference live, either fully or partially, and 18% learned the main points from news programs. Forty-eight percent did not follow the presidential press conference, the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) told […]

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Putin’s Start Points to Authoritarian Rule Through 2018

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Voice of America – James Brooke – December 24, 2012) MOSCOW ­ Vladimir Putin’s six months back in the Kremlin may say a lot about his next six years. In May, angry protests greeted Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin for a third term as president of Russia. On inauguration day, Putin’s motorcade swept through eerily empty streets of Moscow, […]

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NEWSLINK: Vladimir Putin gives big news conference in tough debate with journalists

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking with Flag Behind Him and Microphones in Front

[Vladimir Putin gives big news conference in tough debate with journalists – ITAR-TASS – RUSSIAN PRESS REVIEW – December 21, 2012 – http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c142/606821.html] Itar-Tass covers Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent marathon press conference. Putin reportedly claimed he had not read a recent Duma bill banning U.S. adoptions of Russian orphans, and allowed that the Duma was responding emotionally to the […]

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Putin Focuses on Domestic Issues in ‘Tepid’ Address

Vladimir Putin file photo

MOSCOW, December 21 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian President Vladimir Putin’s first state-of-the-nation address after returning to the Kremlin earlier this year, delivered Wednesday, outlined a broad strategy for domestic development, offering no major policy updates and avoiding foreign policy issues almost entirely. At times, the speech implicitly acknowledged demands articulated by opposition activists over the past year, but it did […]

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Putin accuses opposition of lack of agenda

Kremlin and St. Basil's

MOSCOW. Dec 20 (Interfax) – President Vladimir Putin has accused Russia’s opposition of destructive ambitions and a lack of constructive agenda. “They should have their agenda, their proposals for solutions to problems that face the country. In this sense, I very much expect that, after the law on the freedom of registration of political parties comes out, political struggles will […]

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Putin Shows He’s Back in Business

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking with Flag Behind Him and Microphones in Front

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – December 21, 2012) President Vladimir Putin on Thursday signaled a return to the classic days of his presidency by presiding over a 4 1/2-hour news conference, which at times resembled a call-in show as reporters from the country’s far-flung regions scrambled to pass personal messages to the head of state. The […]

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TRANSCRIPT PART II: News conference of Vladimir Putin [continued/earlier part in JRL #225]

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking with Flag Behind Him and Microphones in Front

[Click here for Transcript Part I] (Kremlin.ru – December 20, 2012) Moscow QUESTION: Mr President, I am Alexander Kolesnichenko from Argumenty i Fakty. I am an adoptive parent myself, and regardless of the foreign policy context I considered the amendment passed by the State Duma yesterday to be outrageous, inadequate and, sorry, cannibalistic. The people who have passed this law […]

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Putin Likens Libya Now to Syria in Event of Invasion

Syria Map

MOSCOW, December 20 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated his opposition to military intervention in Syria on Thursday, emotionally citing the volatile situation in Libya as a sign of what would likely happen as a result. Libya “is disintegrating,” Putin said at a major press conference in Moscow, pointing to the fractious groups that have been struggling for […]

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