U.S. provides list of 60,000 children previously adopted in Russia – Astakhov

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

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 12, 2013) The U.S. authorities have provided Russia with a list of children adopted by U.S. families in Russia in the past, Russian children’s rights commissioner Pavel Astakhov said. “The list has 61,625 children. But these are those whom adoptive parents brought from Russia into the country officially, with a migration visa,” Astakhov said in an […]

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Sobyanin Daughter’s Apartment Triggers Controversy

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Irina Filatova – August 13, 2013) A seven-story apartment complex on a quiet Moscow street just a five minute walk from the Cabinet building is widely known as the White House, not only thanks to the color of its facade. The house is reportedly home to high-profile government officials inhabiting vast apartments valued at millions […]

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Abortion: A matter of life and death; Russian abortion rates, still relatively high, are falling steadily

Ultrasound and Photo of Prenatal Child file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Kristen Blyth – August 13, 2013) In the days of the Soviet Union, abortions were shockingly common. “My grandmother once told me that she had 12 abortions,” Dasha, a Muscovite in her late 20s, told The Moscow News. “My former landlady – she’s 67 now – and I once had a conversation about having children. […]

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Quarter of Russians allege violations of their rights in past 2 years – poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – MOSCOW. Aug 13, 2013) Nearly half of Russians (47%) think their rights cannot be protected in the majority of cases, and 38% claim the opposite. Twenty-four percent said their rights had been breached in the past 24 months and only 7% managed to defend themselves, the Public Opinion Foundation said in comment on a poll of 1,500 respondents […]

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Russia’s Courts, Judges Struggle to Win Public Trust ­ Poll

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 13, 2013) ­ Russia’s courts and judges have yet to win the public’s trust ­ or so suggests a poll by the Public Opinion Foundation released Tuesday. Just 27 percent of respondents said they think Russian courts and judges are doing a good job, 35 percent said they were doing a bad job, and 38 […]

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Five Days in 2008 that Shook the World But Didn’t Change It

Georgia Map

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 10, 2013) Five years ago this week, Russian forces invaded Georgia after Tbilisi took actions that Moscow regarded as provocations, thus setting in train the first and so the only use of force between two internationally recognized states on the territory of the former Soviet Union since the very first years […]

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Economic Growth Slows Again, Sparking Recession Fears

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Irina Filatova – August 12, 2013) Russia has recorded another quarterly decline in its economic growth rate, fueling concerns about a possible recession and casting doubt on President Vladimir Putin’s hopes to attain annual growth of 5 percent over the next few years. The negative dynamic could intensify pressure on the government and the Central […]

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Putin’s Strong State Enables Corruption – Poll

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 12, 2013) ­ The Kremlin’s centralized control over executive power in Russia facilitates graft, the majority of respondents in a new nationwide poll released Monday said. Forty-one percent of respondents in a new poll by independent Levada Center say that the “power vertical” which brings regional and municipal authorities under the federal government’s close control […]

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Obama as Non-Statesman

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

From: Wayne Merry <wmerry@earthlink.net> Subject: Obama as Non-Statesmen Date: Sun, 11 Aug 2013 I often criticized Bill Clinton and George W. Bush for their tendency to condescend to other countries in their public statements, and especially toward Russia, but Obama’s press conference really takes the cake.  He has learned nothing since his foolish remarks at the start of his presidency […]

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NEWSLINK: Snowden’s father gets visa, to leave for Russia soon

Edward Snowden file photo

[“Snowden’s father gets visa, to leave for Russia soon” – Reuters – August 11, 2013 – reuters.com/article/2013/08/11/us-usa-security-snowden-idUSBRE97A08Y20130811] Reuters reports that Russia has granted a visa to the father of Edward Snowden, former NSA Booz Allen IT support contract employee-turned-fugitive activist.  Lon Snowden is said to be planning to travel to Russia soon. But apparently he has not spoken to the […]

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NEWSLINK: The Snowden Affair: Questions and Answers with Olga Oliker

Edward Snowden file photo

[“The Snowden Affair: Questions and Answers with Olga Oliker” – RAND Corporation – rand.org – August 7, 2013 – http://www.rand.org/blog/2013/08/the-snowden-affair-questions-and-answers-with-olga.html] RAND Corporation and its analyst Olga Oliker address U.S.-Russian Relations and Russia’s granting of asylum to Edward Snowden, former NSA administrative IT support contract employee: The decision by Russia to grant temporary asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden […]

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Moscow has U.S. Internet surveillance server – Vedomosti quoting Snowden’s disclosures

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Interfax – August 12, 2013) One of the servers of U.S. global system of monitoring Internet users is located in Moscow, Vedomosti daily reported on Monday quoting information shared by former CIA employee Edward Snowden with The Guardian. Vedomosti says this follows from a 2008 presentation of the U.S. National Security Agency published on the Guardian’s website on July 31. […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Remarks by the President in a Press Conference [excerpt re Russia]

File Photo of Barack Obama Sitting at Desk with Mike McFaul Standing Next to Him Facing Him

(The White House – Office of the Press Secretary – August 9, 2013) Q Thank you, Mr. President. I wanted to ask about some of the foreign policy fallout from the disclosure of the NSA programs that you discussed. Your spokesman said yesterday that there’s no question that the U.S. relationship with Russia has gotten worse since Vladimir Putin took […]

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Lavrov, Kerry Dismiss Cold War Talk

File Photo of John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov at Separte Podiums, Kerry with a Visible Earpiece; Adapted from Photo at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – August 12, 2013) Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu met with U.S. officials in Washington to show that “there is no Cold War” despite President Barack Obama’s cancellation of a summit with President Vladimir Putin. At a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck […]

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Looking beyond the US-Russia stalemate

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

(opendemocracy.net – Rebecca Cousins – August 12, 2013) Rebecca Cousins is Program Director for BASIC in Washington D.C., before which she was a career diplomat with the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.  She was recently awarded an MBE for her role in the UK’s consular in-country response to the 2011 Japan earthquake and subsequent Fukushima nuclear incident. The cancellation of […]

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The Audacity Of Navalny

Alexei Navalny file photo

(RFE/RL – Brian Whitmore – August 8, 2013) There’s just no escaping Aleksei Navalny. Whether one thinks he’s Russia’s greatest hope, or the most dangerous man in Russia, he is absolutely dominating the conversation right now. The ruling United Russia party is complaining about his online fundraising, as is Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Television personality Ksenia Sobchak is worried about his aggressive […]

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Russia’s Ryabkov Details Problems in Russo-American Relations; Interview with Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov

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

(Interfax – August 7, 2013) Sergey Ryabkov, deputy head of the Foreign Ministry of Russia, who is responsible for Russo-American relations and nonproliferation in the Russian foreign-policy department, speaks in an interview with Interfax about the influence of the Edward Snowden situation on bilateral relations, outlines the prospects of a settlement of the Iranian nuclear program following Hasan Ruhani’s assumption […]

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Obama’s cancellation of meeting with Putin will not grow into trend – analysts

File Photo of Barack Obama Sitting at Desk with Mike McFaul Standing Next to Him Facing Him

(Interfax – August 8, 2013) A number of political analysts interviewed by Interfax are of the view that U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to cancel his one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in September will not be followed by Washington’s skipping other forums hosted by Moscow, and the situation itself will be played down. “In this situation, the matter […]

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Russians notice Ukrainian pro-Western policy but still like their neighbor – poll

File Photo of Ukrainians with Ukrainian Flag in Public Square Near Tower with Golden Dome

(Interfax – MOSCOW. Aug 8, 2013) Most of Russians like Ukraine and a fifth of them say the bilateral relations are improving but a half asserts the pro-Western policy of Kyiv, the Public Opinion Foundation said. The number of respondents partial to Ukraine has grown from 30% to 53% in the past four years, while the percentage of those expressing […]

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U.S. Fugitive Snowden Can Work, Travel in Russia – Official

Edward Snowden file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 2013) ­ Former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden is legally free to travel around Russia and occupy any non-state job in the country, a senior migration official said on Friday. Last week Russia granted Snowden – who is wanted by the United States on espionage and theft charges after leaking classified information about the US […]

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Despite Wariness, China-Russia Relations Warming

China Map

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Richard Solash – August 9, 2013) They share a border running 4,300 kilometers, but have long been divided by mistrust. However, if the past several months are any indication, China and Russia are enjoying a distinct warming in relations. A historic oil deal in June and a major joint military exercise in July are the clearest […]

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Disappointment in Putin Has Doubled Since 2001 – Poll

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking At All-Russia Popular Front Gathering

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 9, 2013) ­ The number of Russians who are disappointed in President Vladimir Putin has more than doubled since his first year in power, according to the latest in a series of nationwide polls that started in 2000. Twenty-two percent of respondents professed disappointment in the country’s long-standing leader last month, compared to 10 percent […]

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No progress in nuke arms reduction unless Russia, US agree on ABM – diplomat

Missile Defense Control Room file photo

(Interfax – August 7, 2013) Further steps towards nuclear arms reduction are impossible unless Russia and the USA come to an agreement on ABM, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has told Interfax news agency as reported on 7 August. “The whole of factors affecting strategic stability lead us to conclusion that today there is very few real and serious prospects […]

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Interfax: Russian analysts believe Obama gave in to pressure of ‘cold war’ lobby

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

(Interfax – August 7, 2013) Russian political analysts believe that the cancelation of plans of U.S. President Barack Obama to have a one-on-one meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin stems from strong pressure on the U.S. president on the part of hawks in the Congress and Senate. “This indicates that Obama is failing to lead relations with Putin toward […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Interview of the President by Jay Leno, The Tonight Show [excerpt re Russia]

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

(The White House – Office of the Press Secretary – NBC Studios – Burbank, California – August 7, 2013) For Immediate Release Q    Now, were you surprised that Russia granted Snowden asylum? THE PRESIDENT:  I was disappointed because even though we don’t have an extradition treaty with them, traditionally we have tried to respect if there’s a law-breaker or an […]

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Thirty Border Conflicts Simmering Among Russia’s Federal Subjects

Map of Russia

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 8, 2013) At the present time, there are approximately 30 territorial disputes among Russia’s federal subjects, a situation that makes changing borders anywhere a such an extremely dangerous proposition  that one Moscow commentator calls these conflicts “a slow acting bomb under Russian sovereignty” as a whole. Indeed, Ruslan Gorevoy argues in […]

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Interfax: Russian deputy premier attempts to allay gay fears ahead of Sochi Olympics

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Interfax – August 7, 2013) Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitriy Kozak has said that there can be no infringement of the rights of people of nontraditional sexual orientation during the Sochi Winter Olympics, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 7 August. “There will be no infringement of (the rights of) persons on the grounds of sexual orientation during the […]

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Moscow Dismisses Western Criticism of Gay Propaganda Law

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 7, 2013) ­ A senior Russian Foreign Ministry official on Wednesday deflected Western criticism of the so-called anti-gay law, saying the recently adopted legislation did not violate the rights of sexual minorities in the country but was aimed at protecting minors. “As to the criticism of our law banning homosexual propaganda we have to reiterate […]

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New Khodorkovsky Investigation Gathering Pace – Report

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 8, 2013) ­ Deputies from Russia’s State Duma and senior officials could be questioned by investigators looking into a decade-old case against jailed tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, sparking renewed fears that fresh charges against the once powerful businessman are imminent, Vedomosti newspaper reported Thursday. Legal experts were first questioned in September last year in connection with […]

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Amendments to Protest Law Reduce Fines, Organizer Responsibility

Moscow Protest file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 8, 2013) New amendments purport to fix constitutional issues with the 2012 law on public demonstrations, but legal experts say the measure can still be used to infringe on Russian citizens’ freedom of assembly. The amendments, drafted by the Justice Ministry and headed to the State Duma, were based on the results of a […]

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Medvedev-led government still fails to live up to Russians’ expectations – poll

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev with United Russia Logos Behind Him

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 8, 2013) The performance of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s government, which was appointed a little more than a year ago, continues to draw criticism from quite a large number of Russian citizens, Levada Center sociologists told Interfax on Wednesday, referring to the results of a recent public opinion survey. Twenty-three percent of respondents said in July […]

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RIA Novosti: 42% of Russians Say Government Cannot Improve Country – Poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 7, 2013) ­ Only 16 percent of Russians think that the federal government could improve the country in the foreseeable future (down from 45 percent in July 2010 and 21 percent in July 2011), while 42 percent think it could not, according to a poll published Wednesday. Only 5.9 percent of respondents to a survey […]

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Obama Snubs Putin in Sign of Tensions in U.S.-Russia Ties

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Terry Atlas & Margaret Talev – August 8, 2013) President Barack Obama’s decision to snub Russian President Vladimir Putin sends their relationship to a new low. In effect, Obama is replacing his effort to “reset” relations between the two nations with Cold War-style realpolitik, after a series of Russian actions contrary to U.S. interests. Even before […]

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Poll suggests positive shift in Russians’ attitude to Georgia

Tblisi, Georgia, File Photo with Building with Tower on Hillside and City Buildings in Valley in Distance

(Interfax – August 7, 2013) Ahead of the fifth anniversary of the so-called “five-day war” between Russia and Georgia back in August 2008, more Russians show a positive attitude towards Georgia, Russian privately-owned Interfax news agency reported on 7 August, quoting the results of a recent poll conducted by an independent pollster, the Levada Centre. The full results of the […]

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Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#144 :: 8 August 2013

Map of Russia

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#144 :: 8 August 2013 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support […]

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Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#143 :: 7 August 2013

Map of Russia

Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#143 :: 7 August 2013 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php POLITICS 1. Interfax: Medvedev has no doubt about decision to force Georgia […]

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Five Years After The War, South Caucasus Still Caught Between Russia, The West

Map of Azerbaijan and South Caucasus Environs Including Portions of Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Iran, Caspian Sea

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – August 7, 2013) Azerbaijan is arming to the teeth. Armenia is growing increasingly disillusioned with Russia, its main protector. And the potential for armed conflict in the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region appears higher than it has been in years. The increased tensions surrounding the Armenian-controlled separatist enclave inside Azerbaijan — where there have been […]

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‘Migrant Camp’ Inspires New Facilities

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – August 6, 2013) The Federal Migration Service has drafted a bill to set up 83 new detention centers for illegal immigrants across the country as Moscow’s three holding facilities run out of space following a week of raids on city markets. Some 1,400 alleged illegal immigrants from Vietnam, Azerbaijan, Syria, Morocco, Kyrgyzstan, […]

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Navalny loses potential voters in Moscow, Sobyanin gains – poll

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 6, 2013) The number of Moscow citizens intending to vote in the upcoming Moscow mayoral elections for Sergei Sobyanin is growing, while the share of those planning to support his main rival Alexei Navalny is decreasing, the research center of Superjob.ru portal said. “Over a half (53%) of those who have already decided on their votes […]

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Russians rate tobacco, alcohol low amongst disease causes – poll

Shelf of Alcoholic Beverages with Red and White Tape Across It

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 6, 2013) Russians tend to blame their diseases on themselves, while low living standards and bad environmental conditions are deemed less significant, sociologists said. Daily stress and fears top the list of causes of diseases, Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) told Interfax. Other essential factors are bad environmental conditions (26%), age (24%), a shortage of […]

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Putin Blasts Rogozin Over Rearmament Failures

Dmitry Rogozin file photo

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 145 – Roger McDermott – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – August 6, 2013) Moscow’s highly ambitious military rearmament plans to 2020 always appeared destined to encounter major setbacks linked to the capacity of the domestic defense industry to deliver the modernization of weapons and equipment for the Armed Forces. However, on July 31, within […]

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Investigation into State Duma deputy Starovoitova’s murder reopened – aide

Russian Duma Building

(Interfax – ST. PETERSBURG. Aug 6, 2013) The Federal Security Service (FSB) department for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region has reopened an investigation into the 1998 assassination of State Duma deputy Galina Starovoitova, Ruslan Linkov, Starovoitova’s former aide, told Interfax on Tuesday. “The investigation was reopened on August 1. It was done because certain investigative procedures can be conducted […]

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Sentence Reduced In Yukos Case

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – August 7, 2013) The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday to cut the sentence of former oil tycoon and Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev by two months, but their supporters called the move a “pathetic gesture” and their lawyers promised to appeal the court’s decision. Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were […]

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‘Dissident’ Priest Stabbed to Death in Pskov

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – August 7, 2013) One of Russia’s most revered priests, widely considered a “dissident priest” for his strong criticism of the Russian Orthodox Church, was stabbed to death on Monday night in the northwestern town of Pskov. Pavel Adelgeim, 75, was found dead by his wife late Monday, with the suspect still at […]

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Thirty-Seven Business Leaders Back Navalny in Moscow Mayoral Race

Alexei Navalny file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 7, 2013) ­ A group of 37 CEOs and entrepreneurs from Russian internet companies and start-up businesses have announced their backing for opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s bid to become mayor of Moscow, in a rare intervention in favor of opposition politics by Russian business. Their support for Navalny at the upcoming election, at which he […]

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‘Melting of Permafrost is Converting Much of Russia into a Swamp’

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 7, 2013) Two-thirds of the territory of the Russian Federation is covered by permafrost, and the melting of this ice is rapidly “converting a large part of Russia into a swamp,” according to studies by British and Russian scholars reported and discussed this week in Moscow’s “Novyye izvestiya.” Researchers at the […]

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TRANSCRIPT [Putin]: Seliger 2013 Youth Forum (transcript continue)

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Kremlin.ru – August 2, 2013) Vladimir Putin visited the Seliger 2013 National Youth Education Forum, taking place in Tver Region on July 14-August 5. The President met with the Seliger-2013 forum participants and examined the best youth projects and public initiatives. This was Vladimir Putin’s fourth visit to Seliger. He previously visited the forum in 2009, 2011, and 2012. Seliger […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Dmitry Medvedev’s interview with the Position programme for Georgia’s Rustavi 2 TV network

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – August 6, 2013) Dmitry Medvedev’s interview with Nino Shubladze, host of the political talk show Position, broadcast by Georgia’s Rustavi 2 TV network on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the war in South Ossetia. Nino Shubladze: Thank you very much, Mr Prime Minister, for granting us an interview. There are, of course, very many important topics […]

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Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#142 :: 6 August 2013

Map of Russia

[links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#142 :: 6 August 2013 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: russialist.org/funding.php POLITICS 1. Moscow Times/BBC Monitoring: […]

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