Russia’s Blockbuster Museum: The Tretyakov Reborn

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

Director Zelfira Tregulova has breathed new life into the Tretyakov, toppling art’s ivory tower and attracting record-breaking crowds. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Mongayt – September 26, 2016) [Photos here themoscowtimes.com/articles/russias-blockbuster-museum-the-tretyakov-reborn-55436] People waited in line for up to four hours in temperatures of minus 20 degrees Celsius. There were ambulances and rescue workers on hand, just in case. Volunteers […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-177 :: Monday, 26 September 2016

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

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-#177 Monday, 26 September 2016 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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Soviet-Style Lines Reappearing in Moscow Stores

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 25, 2016) Most observers have focused on Vladimir Putin’s moves to restore the KGB, but they have not paid as much attention to the return under his rule of another feature of Soviet life that most Russians thought they had left behind: long lines at stores for even the most basic […]

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United Russia will not adopt unpopular decisions – Medvedev

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev with United Russia Logos Behind Him

MOSCOW. Sept 24 (Interfax) – The United Russia party, which has won a constitutional majority in the new State Duma, will not adopt unpopular decisions, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who is the party’s chairman, said. “Some people think that the constitutional majority in the Duma and solid representation at the regional level gives the party a right to adopt […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with leaders of parties that gained State Duma seats following elections

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Kremlin.ru – September 23, 2016) Vladimir Putin met with leaders of political parties that gained seats in the State Duma based on election results. The President congratulated meeting participants on winning the State Duma elections. Mr Putin also asked the 7th State Duma deputies to support Vyacheslav Volodin as a candidate for State Duma Speaker. Yesterday State Duma Speaker Sergei […]

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80% of Russians Feel Country’s Economic Decline

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 26, 2016) Some 82 percent of Russians can feel the effects of the country’s economic decline, the Kommersant newspaper reported Monday, citing a report by independent pollster the Levada Center. The number has risen from the 61 percent who felt the pinch back in the fall of 2014. Almost one in five respondents (17 […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-176 :: Friday, 23 September 2016

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

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-#176 Friday, 23 September 2016 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian politics. The hollow election. The lowest-ever turnout for Duma elections suggests Vladimir Putin is losing touch with his political base.

Russia Regions Map

The Economist reports on low participation in Russia’s 2016 Duma elections. … The Kremlin made every effort to ensure the elections were as sterile and low-profile as possible. It banned and harassed genuine opposition parties and their leaders. … it persuaded many that nothing depended on voters. The official turnout was 48% – the lowest ever in the history of […]

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The Russian Opposition Should Do Its Homework

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Vladislav L. Inozemtsev – September 22, 2016) Vladislav Inozemtsev is a Russian economist and Director of the Center for Post-Industrial Studies in Moscow. A landslide United Russia victory and a remarkably poor showing of the opposition forces in Russia’s parliamentary elections earlier this week shouldn’t be attributed entirely to rigged electoral rules or fraud. There […]

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Pamfilova to stay in charge of Central Election Commission until last election complaint processed

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

MOSCOW. Sept 23 (Interfax) – Russian Central Election Commission Chairperson Ella Pamfilova said she would not leave her post until the last complaint regarding the State Duma elections was processed. “Not a single complaint will be disregarded. No one leaves until this Central Election Commission processes the last claim against this election campaign,” she said. “I have been urged to […]

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Putinism like Communism in the Past an Even Graver Threat than Kremlin Leader Himself

Vladimir Putin

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 23, 2016) That Vladimir Putin represents a threat to the countries around Russia’s periphery and to the principles on which the international order has been based no one disputes, but some both in Russia and the West are beginning to recognize that Putinism as a manner of rule is an even […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with leaders of parties that gained State Duma seats following elections

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Kremlin.ru – September 23, 2016) Vladimir Putin met with leaders of political parties that gained seats in the State Duma based on election results. The President congratulated meeting participants on winning the State Duma elections. Mr Putin also asked the 7th State Duma deputies to support Vyacheslav Volodin as a candidate for State Duma Speaker. Yesterday State Duma Speaker Sergei […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s Meddling in the U.S. Elections. How It Helps Him Back Home.” – Foreign Affairs/Gregory Feifer

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

Every four years, whenever there is a U.S. presidential election, a melancholy settles over Russia. When global fascination mounts over the selection of the free world’s next leader, Russians feel ignored. … * * * … On top of its usual peddling of influence, disinformation campaigns, and, in some cases, war, Moscow tried discreetly hacking Ukraine’s elections in 2014. Ukrainian […]

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[Medvedev:] New dynamics in Russia’s socioeconomic development

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru/Rossiyskaya Gazeta – September 22, 2016) Article by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev for the academic journal Voprosy Ekonomiki (Economic Issues) vopreco.ru/rus/redaction.files/10-16.pdf Abridged version (published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta): The Russian economy is undergoing a period of profound transformation. In the next few years Russia will have to fundamentally restructure its economic system in response to the challenges and changes of the […]

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Medvedev Warns Russia of Economic Reform’s ‘High Social Cost’

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 22, 2016) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has warned that the reforms needed to save Russia’s economy will have “a high social cost” for the Russian people. Writing in an article for Russian economic journal “Questions of Economics,” Medvedev pledged that Russian authorities would not revert to Soviet-style planning, but maintained that deregulation was […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-175 :: Thursday, 22 September 2016

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

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-#175 Thursday, 22 September 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 TASS: “Russian PM says economy should be overhauled”

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

Russia’s economy should over the next few years undergo an overhaul to remain competitive in the world, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an article entitled “Russia’s social and economic development: acquisition of new dynamics” for the Voprosy Ekonomiki (Economic Issues) magazine. …

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NEWSLINK Newsweek.com: “UKRAINE REPORTS RUSSIA IS PRACTICING ITS READINESS FOR NUCLEAR CONFLICT”

Nuclear Mushroom Cloud

Ukraine’s military intelligence claims Russia’s nuclear forces have begun training, simulating the conditions of a large-scale conflict. Kiev’s military intelligence posted a statement on Facebook Wednesday, reporting that Russia’s 33 Guards Rocket Army, based in the western Siberian city of Omsk, had kicked off a nuclear combat practice drill. [featured image is file photo]

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NEWSWATCH: “The United States Must Be the World’s Policeman; Only America has the material and moral greatness to stop the slide into chaos and foster peace.” – The Wall Street Journal/Anders Fogh Rasmussen

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

Barely had I been seated before Vladimir Putin told me that NATO – the organization that I then headed – no longer had any purpose and should be disbanded. … in December 2009, I sensed … Putin was challenging the world order that the U.S. created so successfully after World War II. Beginning in 2014, he invaded Ukraine and launched […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-174 :: Wednesday, 21 September 2016

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

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-#174 Wednesday, 21 September 2016 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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Will Russia’s Opposition Draw the Right Lessons From Electoral Defeat?

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Eva Hartog – September 20, 2016) The Russian opposition on Monday awoke to an electoral hangover – in some cases quite literally – after suffering a crushing defeat in the polls that has relegated it to the fringes of political life. “The opposition has lost again. Who’s to blame?” the cover of the opposition-minded New […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Why the Kremlin’s big win in Russian elections may not be a victory” – Christian Science Monitor/Fred Weir

Russian State Duma Building file photo

… United Russia … may have won a crushing victory in Sunday’s parliamentary elections … undoubtedly … a huge boost for … Putin. But the most common remark about the now-concluded election campaign is that it was “very boring.” … an odd moment for Russia …. buffeted by two years of economic recession and still-escalating political tensions with the West. […]

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Russia: the tinderbox in the struggle for a safe climate

Arctic Satellite Image and Map

Russia is at the forefront of the global climate change struggle. We ignore it at our peril. (opendemocracy.net – Daniel Voskoboynik – September 20, 2016) Daniel Voskoboynik is a journalist and campaigner covering human rights, ecology and migration. The Russian region of Yamal rarely makes global headlines. Despite being larger than France, its remote location bordering the Arctic Circle holds […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-173 :: Tuesday, 20 September 2016

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

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-#173 Tuesday, 20 September 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: [Medvedev and Putin] Visiting United Russia party’s campaign headquarters

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Kremlin.ru – September 18, 2016) After the polling stations closed, Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visited the election campaign headquarters of the United Russia party. The United Russia party candidates who took part in the election in Moscow and the Moscow Region, along with volunteers and United Russia party activists took part in the meeting. Prime Minister Dmitry […]

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Duma Vote Shows Changes Won’t Come in Russia via Elections, Commentators Say

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 19, 2016) The most important feature of the Duma Elections was unprecedentedly low level of participation, a reflection of the Russian population’s symmetrical response to the Kremlin’s contempt for its views and an indication that change in Russia “will not come via elections but as a result of some sort of […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Answers to media questions

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

(Kremlin.ru – September 17, 2016) Vladimir Putin answered questions from Russian journalists upon completing his working visit to the Republic of Kyrgyzstan. The President of Russia participated in a meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of State. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon. What are we going to talk about? What would you like to know? Question: Mr […]

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NEWSLINK Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization/Simon Saradzhyan: “Is #Russia Declining?”

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Abstract: This article measures changes in #Russia’s performance in economic, technological, military, and human capital domains and compares this performance to those of five of the West’s leading powers, the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, and Italy, as well as to the world as a whole (wherever possible), to test the hypothesis that Russia has declined versus its Western […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Government members

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – September 19, 2016) [More detailed Russian version here kremlin.ru/events/president/news/52913] The Government’s demographic and social policy priorities for 2017 and the upcoming three-year period were the main items on the agenda. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues, Before we start our work today, I would like to say a few words about the results of the State […]

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NEWSLINK Los Angeles Times/Max Boot: “Who’s better for his people? Putin or Obama? The answer is obvious.”

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

“… I am no defender of President Obama. I was a foreign policy advisor to John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012, and I have been very critical of Obama’s weak foreign policy. I think the Iran nuclear deal, the withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 and the hands-off policy toward Syria, in particular, have been catastrophic mistakes. I am […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-172 :: Monday, 19 September 2016

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

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-#172 Monday, 19 September 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: Excerpts from Dmitry Medvedev’s interview to Sergei Brilyov, host of the Vesti v Subbotu (News on Saturday) programme

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – September 10, 2016) Sergei Brilyov: The Government you are heading has become the most stable Government in the history of new Russia. On the day this programme will be aired it will have been in office for four years, four months and two days. If we look back at the conditions in which your Government started working… Back […]

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Interfax/VTsIOM: Russians differ on work of independent monitors at elections

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

MOSCOW. Sept 15 (Interfax) – A relative majority of Russians (43%) believe that the presence of independent monitors at polling stations makes elections more fair, the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) said. Over one-third of the respondents (34%) believe monitors’ participation does not influence the fairness of elections in any way and eight percent believe their presence only worsens […]

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Russia’s Birth Rate Growing Despite Economic Crisis

Couple in Hospital with Newborn

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 15, 2016) Russia’s birth rate is still increasing, despite the country’s ongoing economic crisis, a report by the Institute for Social Analysis and Forecasting revealed Thursday. The number of births in the first half of 2016 increased by 1.6 percent compared to the same period last year. The children were conceived in the second […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-171 :: Friday, 16 September 2016

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

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-#171 Friday, 16 September 2016 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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Kremlinology: an intervention; Protests and strikes across Russia show that the country’s “silent majority” is becoming louder. But are pundits even listening?

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

(opendemocracy.net – Sean Guillory – September 13, 2016) Sean Guillory lives in Pittsburgh. He hosts the SRB podcast, a weekly podcast on Eurasian politics, history and culture, and blogs for seansrussiablog.org. You can follow him on Twitter @seansrussiablog. Writings on contemporary Russia are mostly variations on the same subject: Vladimir Putin; his rise to and iron grip on power. Western […]

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Russian Opposition Just as Moscow-Centric as Russian Regime, Shtepa Says

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 13, 2016) Russian opposition figures who took part in recent discussions in Tallinn and Vilnius said many “just words” about how totally predictable the upcoming elections in Russia will be, Vadim Shtepa says. But they were also totally predictable in focusing “almost exclusively” on Moscow and how Muscovites will react. Participants […]

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NEWSWATCH: Michael McFaul and Barack Obama share insights about Russia

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

Michael McFaul on Twitter, Sept. 9, 2016: [tweet will appear below, yet might take some extra time to load for some users] If Obama seized control of Fox, allowed only supporters in Congress, closed the NRA & arrested Trump, he too might have 80% approval rating — Michael McFaul (@McFaul) September 9, 2016 Barack Obama, Speech in Philadelphia, Sept. 13, […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-170 :: Thursday, 15 September 2016

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

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-#170 Thursday, 15 September 2016 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Aligned with Russia in Syria, Pentagon awkwardly treads on new terrain” – Reuters

Syria Map

… the reactions of U.S. military officials range from caution to outright skepticism over a Geneva-based ‘joint integration center’ that may soon bring together American and Russian militaries to discuss shared targets for the first time since World War Two. … U.S. officials past and present voiced concerns about the initiative, underscoring the Pentagon’s long-public criticism about the way Russia […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List :: Fred Weir Retrospective 1999-2016 :: Tuesday, 13 September 2016

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

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 :: Fred Weir Retrospective (Christian Science Monitor) Tuesday, 13 September 2016 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at […]

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NEWSLINK New York Review of Books: “The Real Power of Putin”

Putin Descending a Staircase

Benjamin Nathans reviewing: The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin by Steven Lee Myers … Putin Country: A Journey into the Real Russia by Anne Garrels … Authoritarian Russia: Analyzing Post-Soviet Regime Changes by Vladimir Gel’man … The Strong State in Russia: Development and Crisis by Andrei P. Tsygankov … Putinism: Russia and Its Future with the […]

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Any Vote Is A Vote For Putinism

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Garry Kasparov – September 9, 2016) Garry Kasparov is a Russian politician, a former world chess champion, and head of the Human Rights Foundation international NGO. The views expressed in this commentary, which he wrote for RFE/RL’s Russian Service, do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL. Translated from the Russian by Robert Coalson There are […]

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Russian Security Services Forced to Reveal Home Searches

Stylized Artist's Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 7, 2016) Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) must now inform home owners and residents if their property is searched by government agents. The FSB must notify residents 24 hours after the search has taken place, according to a new decree signed on Aug. 12. Contact can be made by post, email or fax, telephone, […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian pollster sees same parties in Duma after election

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(RIA Novosti – September 8, 2016) The head of Russia’s main state-owned pollster has said that the chances of parties that were not represented in the last State Duma winning seats in the lower house in the parliamentary election on 18 September are minimal. Little chance “Now we don’t see chances of overcoming the 5-per-cent barrier,” Valery Fyodorov, head of […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2016-169 :: Friday, 9 September 2016

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

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-#169 Friday, 9 September 2016 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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