NEWSWATCH: “#Panetta: #Putin Wants To Restore the Soviet Union; The former secretary of defense has made similar remarks before, but this time he was more direct” – U.S. News

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

#Russian President Vladimir #Putin’s main interest is restoration of the Soviet Union, former Secretary of Defense Leon #Panetta said …. ‘Let’s not kid anybody,’ said Panetta, who also served as CIA director and White House chief of staff. ‘Putin’s main interest is to try to restore the old Soviet Union. … that’s what drives him.’ Panetta added of the current […]

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#Putin approves #Russia’s new foreign policy blueprint

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(RIA Novosti – December 1, 2016) President Vladimir #Putin has signed a decree approving #Russia’s new Foreign Policy Concept, state-owned RIA Novosti news agency reported on 1 December. The key points of the document, according to RIA Novosti, are as follows: USA – The risk of a war, including a nuclear war, between the leading powers is low, but the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “‘We’re OUTBREEDING you!’ Putin taunts West as he unveils drive to boost Russian birth rate” – The Daily Express (UK)

Couple in Hospital with Newborn

… Putin… issued an extraordinary putdown to the West as he boasted that Russia was outbreeding its rivals and unveiled new scientific measures to up the country’s birth rate further still. … plans to roll out 94 “hi-tech” perinatal centres across the country during his annual address to parliament. … Putin pledged a series of measures, from scientific to social, […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-225 :: Friday, 2 December 2016

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2016-#225 Friday, 2 December 2016 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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TRANSCRIPT: “Joint meeting of the Council for Culture and Art and the Council on the Russian Language”

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

(Kremlin.ru – Dec. 2, 2016) Vladimir Putin is chairing a joint meeting of the Council for Culture and Art and the Council on the Russian Language in St Petersburg. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues, We have gathered today in St Petersburg, which has a very concentrated cultural programme these days. The International Cultural Forum is taking place […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Magnus Carlsen Overwhelms Challenger in Tiebreakers to Win World Chess Championship” – New York Times

Chess Pieces File Photo

“It took nearly three weeks, 12 closely fought games and a day of high-speed tiebreakers to decide the World Chess Championship … victory went to Magnus Carlsen … Norwegian grandmaster, leaving Sergey Karjakin to return home to Russia in noble defeat. ‘Karjakin only wanted to prove he was Carlsen’s equal,’ said Denes Boros, a Hungarian grandmaster and chess commentator …. […]

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Russia Weaponized Social Media in U.S. Election, FireEye Says

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Chris Strohm – December 1, 2016) Russia’s government didn’t just hack and leak documents from U.S. political groups during the presidential campaign: It used social media as a weapon to influence perceptions about the election, according to cybersecurity company FireEye Inc. Material stolen by Russia’s intelligence services was feverishly promoted by online personas and numerous fake […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Kremlin.ru – December 1, 2016) [Complete text in Russian and video: http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/53379] Vladimir Putin delivered the Annual Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly. The Address was traditionally delivered at the Kremlin’s St George Hall. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon colleagues, members of the Federation Council, State Duma deputies, citizens of Russia, Today, as usual in these annual addresses, […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-224 :: Thursday, 1 December 2016

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2016-#224 Thursday, 1 December 2016 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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How Russian Propaganda Really Works in the West

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – November 28, 2016) Until recently, the phenomenon of Russian government propaganda was only interesting to a small group of Russia experts, news junkies and counter-propaganda fundraisers. It was mainly seen as a tool for keeping Russians supportive of Vladimir Putin. No longer. Thanks to post-U.S. election blame games, and the upcoming election season […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Turchynov hopes Trump’s administration approves lethal weapon provision to Ukraine” – Interfax-Ukraine

ukraine-us-army-convoy-poland-army-mil

“National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov said he hopes that the new U.S. administration will make a decision on granting lethal weapons to Ukraine. ‘I do think that Ukraine has a chance to get lethal weapons. … The position of the Republican Party towards Ukraine is sufficiently clear and consistent. All their votes in the Congress and […]

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IMF: Russian Economy Will Contract 0.6 Percent in 2016, Recover In 2017

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – November 30, 2016) The International Monetary Fund said the Russian economy should continue to contract this year, with gross domestic product dropping 0.6 percent, but says it will begin recovering in 2017. The projections from the Washington-based IMF, issued November 29 after a team visited Moscow earlier this month, were roughly in line with other Russian […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting of Primakov Readings International Forum

Yevgeny Primakov file photo, with William Cohen in partial profile

(Kremlin.ru – November 30, 2016) Vladimir Putin addressed a meeting of the International Forum Primakov Readings devoted to studying Yevgeny Primakov’s academic and political heritage. The International Forum Primakov Readings took place on November 28-30 in Moscow with the support of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Primakov Institute of World Economy and […]

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Russians Toast Recession as Pubgoers Drink ‘Less But Better’

Man in Silhoette with Bottle of Alcohol and Head in Hand

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Khrennikov, Andrey Lemeshko – November 30, 2016) A staple drink of Russia’s recession comes in different flavors but it’s best consumed standing up. Food is optional. Not a beer country until the arrival a decade ago of a central European tradition of sit-down bars that married brews with hearty meals, Russia is now reveling in […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-223 :: Wednesday, 30 November 2016

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2016-#223 Wednesday, 30 November 2016 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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Lavrov says no breakthroughs at Normandy Format meeting

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MINSK. Nov 29 (Interfax) – Today’s meeting of the Normandy Quartet foreign ministers has brought no breakthroughs; it is noted that implementation of the Minsk Agreements in the area of security and politics remains stalled as no specific steps have been agreed upon, although the earlier agreements made by leaders of the fours countries are not being questioned, Russian Foreign […]

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Streaming Wars: The Real Fight Behind Russia’s False YouTube ‘Ban’

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 30, 2016) Internet video giant YouTube will not be forced out of Russia under a new bill regulating online streaming services, the Russian government has confirmed. “We can officially say that all talk of YouTube facing legal restrictions is simply not true,” Deputy Communications Minister Alexei Volin told the Rambler News Service on Wednesday. […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Maxim Oreshkin

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Kremlin.ru – November 30, 2016) President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Oreshkin, how long have you been working as Deputy Finance Minister now? Maxim Oreshkin: Practically two years. Vladimir Putin: Two years. Before this, you were… Maxim Oreshkin: Department Director at the Finance Ministry, and before that, I was in banking, at VTB and the international bank. Vladimir Putin: You […]

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NEWSLINK The Nation/Stephen Cohen: “False Narratives, Not ‘Fake News,’ Are the Real Cold War Problem. Any détente initiatives by President-elect Trump must break with spurious U.S. accounts of the new Cold War.”

Artist's Rendition of U.S. Embassy, Moscow, with the Russian Foreign Ministry in the Background

“Nation Contributing Editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments are at TheNation.com.) ….”

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RUSSIALINK RT/Russia Today: “Russians warm towards West & favor rapprochement, poll shows”

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

“The latest poll has shown that the proportion of Russians who favor warmer and closer relations with Western nations is growing fast and has almost reached the historical maximum registered in 2000. …”

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D.C. EVENT: “Enchanted Evening of Vocal and Piano Duets” – Russian Chamber Art Society Concert in Washington, December 8

Tchaikovsky Sheet Music

Subject: Russian Chamber Art Society concert in Washington December 8 Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2016 21:14:38 -0500 From: Mary Kruger <mary.kruger.network@gmail.com> Concert: “Enchanted Evening of Vocal and Piano Duets” Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. Presented by the Russian Chamber Art Society at La Maison Francaise Embassy of France 4101 Reservoir Road, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20007 Street parking available […]

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Russians Want West to Make Up with Them and Don’t See Why Ukraine Should Be an Obstacle, New Poll Suggests

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 29, 2016) In presenting the latest Levada Center poll on Russian attitudes toward the West, the center’s Aleksey Grazhdankin says that a majority of Russians think that the initiative for improving East-West ties should come from the West and “do not understand why the actions of their country in Ukraine” have […]

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Russia’s Central Bank Wants You to Believe; Governor Elvira Nabiullina has introduced her own version of forward guidance. The results are mixed.

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anna Andrianova – November 29, 2016) [Charts here bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-29/russia-s-central-bank-wants-you-to-believe] When central bankers start making predictions about what they’re going to do in the future, reality often has other plans. Just ask Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, or Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. Recent attempts at so-called “forward guidance” — telling the public how interest rates […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-222 :: Tuesday, 29 November 2016

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2016-#222 Tuesday, 29 November 2016 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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NEWSLINK CNN: “Dining under Putin: How sanctions are fueling a Russian food revolution”

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

“Import bans have failed to put the kibosh on Russia’s culinary inventiveness. Restaurants are returning to what Russia does best, such as traditional dishes made with root vegetables such as beetroot.”

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian Campaign in Syria Exposes Moscow’s Defense Gaps; Deployment of warships to assist Assad regime lays bare weaknesses in Russian military’s naval aviation and carrier operations” – Wall Street Journal

File Photo of Deck of Russian Aircraft Carrier Admiral Kuznetsov

“A flotilla of Russian warships in the Mediterranean … provid[es] a high-profile show of force in support of the Syrian regime. But … also throw[s] into sharp relief the limits of Moscow’s conventional military. … the quarter-century-old Kuznetsov lacks the kind of powerful catapult system … featured on U.S. carriers, forcing Russian planes to carry lighter payloads and less fuel […]

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Kremlin Media Doesn’t have Long-Term or Profound Impact on Young, Surveys Show

Adapted File Photo of TV Set in Russia with Camera, Camerman, Woman on Set in Background

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 28, 2016) Surveys of university-age Russians over the last decade show that these young people quickly accept the regime’s list of enemies but almost as quickly shift when the regime’s outlets do and that these shifts have little impact on the way in which young Russians view their country’s place in […]

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In Russia’s media, censorship is silent; A new survey of 100 Russian journalists reveals their perceptions of professional challenges, objectivity and freedom.

Satellite Dishes

(opendemocracy.net – Nataliya Rostova – November 23, 2016) Nataliya Rostova is a visiting scholar at the Kennan Institute and author of the GorbyMedia project. The idea of conducting a survey of Russian journalists came to me after seeing something similar in New York magazine, which earlier this year polled 113 people working in the US media on the problems and […]

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Kremlin announces new personnel decisions in connection with election of officials to Russian Academy of Sciences

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

MOSCOW. Nov 28 (Interfax) – More personnel decisions will be made in connection with the election of officials as corresponding members and academicians of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian presidential press officer Dmitry Peskov said. “Some more personnel decisions are sure to be made,” Peskov told reporters, responding to a question as to why not all officials who were […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-221 :: Monday, 28 November 2016

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2016-#221 Monday, 28 November 2016 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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

Siberian River, Forest, Mountain

(Kremlin.ru – November 25, 2016) Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Council for Strategic Development and Priority Projects to discuss support for non-resource exports and environmental development. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues. Today we will look into measures to support non-resource exports and to improve the environmental situation in the country. We need to form a […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-220 :: Saturday, 26 November 2016

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2016-#220 Saturday, 26 November 2016 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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NEWSLINK DailyBeast: “Sorry, Hillary Clinton Fans. There’s ‘Zero Evidence’ of Election Hacking.”

Multilingual Polling Place Sign from U.S. Election Polling Place

“Democrats cried hallelujah when computer scientists reportedly pressed Hillary Clinton ask for recounts. But even those experts say an election hack is beyond unlikely.”

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NEWSLINK The Nation Magazine/Stephen F. Cohen: “The Friends and Foes of Détente With Russia; The mere adumbration of Trump-Putin cooperation has sent American Russo-phobic cold warriors into a frenzy of preemptive opposition

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“Nation Contributing Editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their weekly discussions of the new US–Russian Cold War. … Last week’s discussion revisited episodes of US–Soviet détente in the 20th century, from Eisenhower and Nixon to Reagan, and the lessons to be learned from them. One was a pro-détente president’s need for determination, leadership skills, advisers, and domestic allies […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Warning Russia on Hacking Isn’t Enough” – New York Times Editorial

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

… A stronger White House response would begin with … Obama revealing more information about how the hacking was done and by whom. He could also … disclose Russian computer codes, embarrass wealthy Kremlin officials by exposing their overseas bank accounts and even disable Russian networks. … impose sanctions on Russians … responsible for the hacking or on military leaders […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH/Kommersant: “Russians think their country should become ‘a great power'”

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

“The majority of Russians assume that the country will be a great power in the future and are ready to accept hardline policies for the sake of order in the country, according to a survey by the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Most people are more concerned about personal problems than those of the state, however.”

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Memorial publishes on its site list of almost 40,000 NKVD officials from 1935-1941

Joseph Stalin file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 24 (Interfax) – A database of almost 40,000 NKVD officials of the ‘Great Terror’ era was published on the website of the Memorial society, the organization told Interfax. “Access to A. N. Zhukov’s directory ‘Personnel of the State Security Bodies of the USSR. 1935-1939’ has been opened on the Memorial website,” Yan Rachinsky, co-chairman of the human rights […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-219 :: Thursday, 24 November 2016

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2016-#219 Thursday, 24 November 2016 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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Russia Is Finally Making Headway In Its Pivot East

Asia Map

(Oilprice.com – Colin Chilcoat – November 22, 2016) Russia’s long planned pivot east found itself unexpectedly wrong-footed in early 2014, following the Crimean referendum and subsequent western rebuke. The global collapse of oil prices – and that of the ruble – later that same year further eroded Russia’s leverage in Asia. Fast forward to the present and we’ve seen substantially […]

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Big Western Companies Are Pumping Cash Into Russia

File Photo of Ikea Store with Russian Language Facade and Shopping Carts

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Khrennikov – November 22, 2016) [Charts here bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-23/bouncing-back-putin-s-shrunken-economy-lures-foreign-investors] Even before the U.S. presidential election raised hopes of warmer ties with the Kremlin, some big Western companies were betting Russia’s economy will soon come out of the deep freeze. Big retailers like Sweden’s Ikea Group and France’s Leroy Merlin SA have begun pumping billions of dollars […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-218 :: Wednesday, 23 November 2016

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2016-#218 Wednesday, 23 November 2016 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: “Donald Trump’s New York Times Interview: Full Transcript”

Donald Trump

“… What do you see as America’s role in the world? Do you believe that the role … TRUMP: That’s such a big question. FRIEDMAN: The role that we played for 50 years as kind of the global balancer, paying more for things because they were in our ultimate interest, one hears from you, I sense, is really shrinking that […]

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RUSSIALINK TASS: “Mutually beneficial ties with U.S. are more important than ‘reset’ – Peskov”

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

“… The Kremlin, just as U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, does not like the term “reset” with regard to relations between Moscow and Washington. However, the Russian presidential administration hopes that good mutually advantageous relations with the U.S. will be restored. “As for a ‘reset’ in relations, perhaps, we can agree with the president-elect. This word has indeed discredited itself, as […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: “U.S. Officials Defend Integrity of Vote, Despite Hacking Fears”

Multilingual Polling Place Sign from U.S. Election Polling Place

“The Obama administration said … that despite Russian attempts to undermine the presidential election, it has concluded that the results ‘accurately reflect the will of the American people.’”

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RBTH: Russians rediscover their Jewish identity

File Photo of Torah Scrolls

After decades of Jewish emigration from Russia, today a new generation of young Russians is learning about their past with the help of a number of cultural organizations. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ALEXANDER CHERNYSHEV, SPECIAL TO RBTH – November 18, 2016) Starting in the late 1980s, a flood of Russian Jews left the country for new homes […]

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RUSSIALINK TASS: “Russia’s economic line after minister’s dismissal to remain unchanged – view” [Andrei Kostin]

Alexei Ulyukayev file photo

“The dismissal of Alexei Ulyukayev from position of the economic development minister would not affect the country’s economic line, VTB’s CEO Andrei Kostin said ….”

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NEWSLINK bne Intellinews: “Russia’s Watcom shopping index back at 2015 levels as consumption recovers”

File Photo of Older Russian Woman Shopping in Grocery Store

“… The Russian shopping footfall index accelerated once again in the 44th week of the year as consumer confidence gathers momentum and the hoi polloi go shopping thanks to a slew of improving (but still far from ideal) macroeconomic indicators, according to the Watcom Shopping index. …”

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NEWSLINK AFP: “Obama wants Ukraine deal ‘before term is up'”

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

“US President Barack Obama said he told Vladimir Putin … that he wants to reach a settlement that solves the Ukraine crisis before he leaves office in January. ….”

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NEWSLINK Financial Times/Neil Buckley: “Putin’s delight at Trump win may soon wither. Russia support for US president-elect’s foreign policy is likely to become strained.”

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… Donald Trump’s victory has prompted near-jubilation in Russia. Even before the president-elect spoke to Vladimir Putin last week and pledged to rebuild ties, the Kremlin spokesman suggested the two men’s foreign policy views were ‘phenomenally close.’ Ordinary Russians, who spent much of last month being warned by state media that Washington was about to trigger a third world war […]

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