NEWSLINK: “This is as good as it gets” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“This is as good as it gets. That was the conclusion of Fitch Ratings’ Global Economic Outlook for September 2017. The global economy is in a bit of a sweet spot as the bounce-back growth is strong and the last of the 2008 crash effects are fading away. Commodities prices are high and growth in both developed and emerging markets […]

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NEWSWATCH: “European University at St Petersburg faces research-only future. With latest application for teaching licence rejected in long-running battle with authorities, time is running out to start the new academic year” – Times Higher Education (UK)

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

“Russia’s ‘European’ university is contemplating a future as a research-only institution …. The European University at St Petersburg, a private postgraduate institution, has been wrangling with the government since last year, when it endured a series of snap inspections by authorities and had its teaching licence suspended. Officials claimed that EUSP, which has just 250 students and offers courses in the […]

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Is This The Geopolitical Shift Of The Century?

Middle East Map

(Oilprice.com – Cyril Widdershoven – October 7, 2017) Dr. Cyril Widdershoven is a long-time observer of the global energy market. Presently, he holds several advisory positions with international think tanks in the Middle East and energy sectors in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The geopolitical reality in the Middle East is changing dramatically. The impact of […]

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NEWSWATCH: “A Bernie Sanders campaign veteran advises a surging opposition movement in Russia” – Washington Post/ Andrew Roth

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

“Vitali Shkliarov, a 41-year-old political operative born in Belarus, speaks the gospel of Bernie Sanders in the style of a Silicon Valley executive. Technology, he says, is a key to access …. The idea got a test drive in Moscow’s recent municipal elections … the veteran of the Sanders and … Obama campaigns sees it as part of a worldwide movement. * […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-192 :: Wednesday, 11 October 2017

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 2017-#192 Wednesday, 11 October 2017 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott […]

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Interfax: Russia shouldn’t sever relations with U.S. even if Washington pushes for it – Slutsky

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 10 (Interfax) – The way the United States has treated Russia’s diplomatic facilities looks like Russia is being pushed to break up bilateral diplomatic relations, State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Leonid Slutsky said in an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda published on the newspaper’s website on Tuesday. “We will not yield to provocations,” Slutsky said. Komsomolskaya Pravda cited […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-191 :: Tuesday, 10 October 2017

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 2017-#191 Tuesday, 10 October 2017 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting with Chairperson of the Central Election Commission Ella Pamfilova” – KremlinRu

Russia Regions Map

(Kremlin.ru – October 9, 2017) Vladimir Putin had a working meeting with Chairperson of the Central Election Commission Ella Pamfilova, who informed the President of the outcomes of elections that took place on the unified voting day, September 10, 2017. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ms Pamfilova, could you share your assessment of the outcomes of the unified voting day? […]

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NEWSWATCH: “A Visit to Russia: Can Relations Be Improved? If the administration wants to work with Moscow, it will find a willing though admittedly difficult partner” – The National Interest/ Paul J. Saunders

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“… Beyond Russia’s interference, of course, U.S. and Russian officials would have to develop workable and sustainable solutions to at least some of the issues that now divide them. Setting aside the 2016 presidential election, the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine is probably the most difficult of these. U.S.-Russian differences in Syria – while significant – are simpler. In both […]

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Painting The Kremlin Facade

Kremlin and River

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Oct. 9, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/daily-vertical-putin-65-brezhnev/28782055.html) So Vladimir Putin turned 65 this past weekend, which, incidentally, is longer than 43 percent of Russian men can expect to live according to a new World Bank report. Last month, he surpassed Leonid Brezhnev and became Russia’s longest ruling leader since […]

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Russian Science in Crisis, Says New Academy of Sciences Chief

File Photo of Test Tubes with Algae Displaying Different Colors, Part of U.S. Energy-Related Research; from nrel.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 9, 2017) Russian science is in a crisis state, according to the new head of the country’s Academy of Sciences. The physicist Alexander Sergeyev was approved by President Vladimir Putin as the academy’s new president after his election late last month. In an interview published Monday by the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper, Sergeyev said that […]

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Washington Post coverage of Russiagate

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

October 8, 2017 The notorious Kremlin-linked ‘troll farm’ and the Russians trying to take it down https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/the-notorious-kremlin-linked-troll-farm-and-the-russians-trying-to-take-it-down/2017/10/06/c8c4b160-a919-11e7-9a98-07140d2eed02_story.html?utm_term=.d27065c3abb0 October 9, 2017 Google uncovers Russian-bought ads on YouTube, Gmail and other platforms https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/10/09/google-uncovers-russian-bought-ads-on-youtube-gmail-and-other-platforms/?utm_term=.1314cf8ad2f0 October 9, 2017 Russian operatives used Twitter and Facebook to target veterans and military personnel, study says https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/10/09/russian-operatives-used-twitter-and-facebook-to-target-veterans-and-military-personnel-study-says/?utm_term=.313a59a7b68d  

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-190 :: Monday, 9 October 2017

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 2017-#190 Monday, 9 October 2017 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School […]

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NEWSWATCH: “OPEC Pushes Russia to Continue Helping on Oil Prices” – Wall Street Journal/ Benoit Faucon, Summer Said, Nathan Hodge

File Photo of King Salman of Saudi Arabia Seated Next to Saudi Flag and Gesturing, adapted from image at defense.gov

As King Salman becomes the first Saudi Monarch to visit Moscow, The Wall Street Journal reports on efforts by OPEC to keep Russia in an ad hoc coalition to suppress global oil production. “Saudi Arabia and OPEC are lobbying Russia to stay on board with their efforts to raise oil prices, amid signals that Moscow wants to end its participation in costly […]

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RUSSIALINK: “[Putin at] Russian Energy Week Forum plenary session” – KremlinRu

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

[This excerpt includes only the comments by Putin] [Click here for Q&A and video with English interpretation: en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/55767] Vladimir Putin attended a plenary session of the first Russian Energy Week (REW) Energy Efficiency and Energy Development International Forum. Following the plenary session, Vladimir Putin had a brief meeting with foreign guests of the Russian Energy Week who arrived in Moscow to […]

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Putin Budget Points to Another Lost Decade for Russia, ‘Nezavisimaya Gazeta’ Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 4m 2017) The three-year budget the Russian government has proposed suggests that Russia will continue to stagnate, poverty will continue to grow, and the country will fall further and further behind the developed world and even its nearest neighbors, according to the editors of Nezavisimaya gazeta. In a lead article today, […]

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The Best Quotes From Putin at the Russian Energy Week Forum

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 4, 2017) President Vladimir Putin took part in the Russian Energy Week forum in Moscow on Wednesday, where he spoke about North Korea, his relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump and electric cars. Here are some of the highlights: On the elections next year – “I haven’t decided whether I’m going to run at […]

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NEWSWATCH: “‘No miracles’: labor shortage set to hit Russia’s GDP” – Reuters/Denis Pinchuk, Maria Kiselyova

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“A dearth of young people joining Russia’s workforce because of a low birth rate will shave several percent off potential economic growth in the next five to six years, Economy Minister Maxim Oreshkin said. … the labour shortage made it hard for technology companies, among others, to recruit staff they need …. * * * ‘To a large extent economic growth […]

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Putin Is Filling the Middle East Power Vacuum

Syria Map

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Donna Abu-Nasr – October 3, 2017) The Israelis and Turks, the Egyptians and Jordanians — they’re all beating a path to the Kremlin in the hope that Vladimir Putin, the new master of the Middle East, can secure their interests and fix their problems. The latest in line is Saudi King Salman, who on […]

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Moscow and Washington: Stopping the Slide

File Photo of U.S. Embassy Moscow, with Russian Foreign Ministry Building in Distance

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Jill Dougherty – October 4, 2017) Jill Dougherty is an expert on Russia and the former Soviet Union. In her three-decade career with CNN she served as Foreign Affairs Correspondent, based in Washington, D.C.,where she covered the State Department and provided analysis on international issues. A question is haunting the ever-worsening relationship between Russian and […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russian Studies is Thriving, not Dying; At least in Political Science, Russian studies is alive and well” – The National Interest/ Timothy Frye

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

“As U.S.-Russian relations continue to spiral downwards, popular commentators decry the lack of expertise on Russia in the United States. … The only problem is that Russian studies is thriving, at least in Political Science, the field I know best. … There are many reasons for the all too simplistic treatments found in much popular discourse about Russia from the […]

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Interfax: U.S.-led coalition stages fatal provocations against Russian troops in Syria – Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 4 (Interfax) – The U.S.-led coalition in Syria inspires terrorists into attacks and stages fatal provocations against Russian servicemen, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “The US-led forces’ activities in Syria cause many questions. In some cases these forces mount allegedly accidental strikes against the Syrian Armed Forces, after which the Islamic State counterattacks, in other cases they […]

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Interfax: Russian authorities know how to address gap between rich, poor – Putin

Hands Opening Envelope Containing Cash

MOSCOW. Oct 4 (Interfax) – The widening gap between the rich and the poor is “a real problem” for Russia, but there is an understanding how to address it, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “With regard to the ‘scissors’ between rich and low-income people. This is a real problem on which we definitely should be working,” Putin said at the […]

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[1993] NEWSWATCH: “Yeltsin crushes revolt; Parliament taken in tank battle; Opposition parties and newspapers banned” – The Guardian (UK)/ Jonathan Steele, David Hearst [from Oct. 5, 1993]

Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin

[From 1993 archived article:] “President Boris Yeltsin moved swiftly last night to stamp his absolute power on Russia by suspending a range of political movements and closing opposition newspapers after the surrender of his main parliamentary opponents in the wake of the assault on the Russian White House. * * *  After a grisly 10-hour gun battle in which tanks punched […]

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Saudi Arabia to Plan Russia Deals, Deepening Energy Ties

File Photo of King Salman of Saudi Arabia Seated Next to Saudi Flag and Gesturing, adapted from image at defense.gov

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Wael Mahdi , Elena Mazneva, Ilya Arkhipov – October 3, 2017) Saudi Arabia is looking at unprecedented deals to acquire #oil and #gas assets in Russia, deepening ties between the world’s largest energy exporters as the Saudi king prepares to visit Moscow later this week. OPEC’s biggest crude producer is considering investing in Russia’s largest oil […]

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New York Times Covers Russia [Headlines & Links]

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

October 3, 2017 ‘Look Up! Sputnik!’ 60 Years Later By MICHAEL KHODARKOVSKY https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/03/opinion/sputnik-cold-war-space-race.html [“America’s response in 1957 was a huge investment in space technologies; within 12 years, it had put the first men on the moon. Today, too, a major investment in cybersecurity by a much wealthier and more innovative West might remind Moscow that it cannot afford or win […]

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Re: Russia’s Americans

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

Subject: “Russia’s Americans” Date: Tue, 3 Oct 2017 From: Deena Stryker <deenstryk@gmail.com> Recently Johnson’s Russia List ran a story about the dearth of Russian experts available to participate in serious projects seeking to mend US-Soviet relations. The fact that fewer college students are studying Russian than in former periods caught my attention because last May I travelled to Russia for […]

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Enter Huntsman, Trump’s New Man in Moscow; Even as relations spiral, Washington’s new ambassador is talking tough

File Photo of John Huntsman, Men in Military Uniforms and Others, adapted from image at army.mil

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich – September 29, 2017) Jon Huntsman, confirmed as the next U.S. Ambassador in Russia on Friday, has made little secret of what sort of diplomat he intends to be. He will meet dissidents, end human rights abuses and help solve the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, all while cultivating a “necessary” relationship with […]

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Interfax: Kremlin calls wave of governors’ dismissals ‘rotation process’

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

MOSCOW. Oct 2 (Interfax) – Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov has connected the appearance of a large amount of information about dismissals of governors to a rotation period. “No doubt, there is a process of rotation taking place in the body of governors now. Naturally, this leads to a huge amount of information flows,” Peskov said, when asked about […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-186 :: Monday, 2 October 2017

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 2017-#186 Monday, 2 October 2017 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School […]

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NEWSLINK: “How to tame Putin. A transatlantic working group report” – Politico

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

“1. Keep Ukraine — at least most of it — out of Putin’s hands. … 2. Give Ukraine some kind of junior status in the European Union. … 3. Keep up economic pressure on Russia through sanctions. … 4. March 2018 is a key moment for Putin. … 5. Governments need to share more secrets with the private sector. … 6. […]

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NEWSLINK: “Facebook can’t protect elections on its own” – Washington Post editorial

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“… Existing federal regulations place stricter requirements on political ads on radio and television than those on the Internet. There’s a reason for that: The use of online advertising in political campaigns has spiked in prominence in only the past few years, before most rules governing election spending were written. As a result, Facebook had no legal responsibility to let […]

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NEWSLINK: “‘We are nothing, let us be all.’ The century of revolution. The first communist revolution had almost as many consequences for the rest of the world as it did for Russia itself. Its demise has brought about another type of universalism: capitalist globalisation.” – Le Monde Diplomatique/ Serge Halimi

File Photo of Revolutionaries Marching in Moscow in 1917, adapted from image at state.gov

“… The ‘end of communism’ seemed to settle the great debate that opposed the main currents of the international left after the Russian Revolution, the defeat of one of the protagonists entailing the victory of the other, social democracy’s revenge on its boisterous sibling. That triumph was short-lived. The centenary of the storming of the Winter Palace is coinciding with […]

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NEWSLINK: “Latest Fake News Panic Appears to Be Fake News. A Republican Senator and much of the mainstream media punks itself, proving we should all spend more time outside.” – Rolling Stone/ Matt Taibbi

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

“The headline on the Washington Post story was scary enough: ‘Lawmaker: Russian trolls trying to sow discord in NFL kneeling debate”‘ …”

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NEWSLINK: “U.S.-Russian exchange provides optimism in ‘Cold War’ freeze; Relations between Russia and the US are on a downward spiral of sanctions and accusations. But on the 50th anniversary of the first US exchange program to the Soviet Union, its alumni have a different take on ties.” – Deutsche Welle/ Emily Sherwin

Stylized Russian and U.S. Flags, 200, 1807-2007

“… For decades, until the collapse of the Soviet Union, CIEE’s center was the only way for Americans students to study at a Soviet university and get a glimpse of Soviet reality. Today, the CIEE program still provides language courses, as well as electives on subjects like literature, history and politics at St. Petersburg State University. There is also a […]

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NEWSWATCH: “White House Must Extend New START Arms Control Treaty with Russia; Statement by Lisbeth Gronlund, Global Security Program” – Union of Concerned Scientists

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… New START – gives the United States and Russia until February 2018 to reduce their deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550. It is set to expire in early 2021, but can be extended for another five years …. Trump suggested he would scrap it because he believed it favored Moscow. But … administration officials said last week that the White House […]

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NEWSLINK: “From free info exchange to Kremlin tool; Russia’s homegrown Web; The Soviet Union had a working Internet surprisingly early, and its isolation and highly educated users have kept it separate even in a well-connected world.” – Le Monde Diplomatique/ Kevin Limonier

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“The Ukrainian government blocked access to a number of Russian online services this May, including search engine Yandex and Facebook equivalent VKontakte. Kiev accuses these services, widely used in Ukraine, of sharing data with Russian intelligence, especially the personal data of soldiers fighting separatists in the Donbass region. This measure stopped millions from accessing their favourite sites, and showed the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “About 60 foreign planes, 12 ships seen on reconnaissance mission near Russian borders over week” – Interfax-AVN

Russia Map

“Fifty-eight foreign planes were performing reconnaissance missions near the Russian border over the past week, the Russian Defense Ministry said. … Air defense standby forces performed nine flights to intercept aerial targets …. Most reconnaissance missions were observed in the Western strategic sector (46); seven … in the Arctic, four in the East, and one in the South ….” Click here for: […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Senate Confirms Huntsman as US Ambassador to Russia” – AP

File Photo of John Huntsman, Men in Military Uniforms and Others, adapted from image at army.mil

“Jon Huntsman … former Utah governor … won easy confirmation Thursday as U.S. ambassador to Russia …. by voice vote. He breezed through his confirmation hearing last week as Republicans and Democrats praised his qualifications …. Huntsman has twice served before as a U.S. ambassador. … to Singapore under President George H.W. Bush and … to China under President Barack Obama before returning […]

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Two Years on, the Stakes of Russia’s War in Syria Are Piling; Russia may have helped Assad win the war, but crucial decisions lie ahead

Syria Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Vladimir Frolov – September 29, 2017) Two years ago, on Sept. 30, 2015, Russian warplanes launched their first airstrikes in Syria, plunging Russia into a civil war that had already been festering for four years. Moscow intervened in Syria vowing to fight Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, terrorist groups banned in Russia. Its objective was […]

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Putin Now Looking to History Rather than to the Russian People, Stanovaya Says

Putin Descending a Staircase

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 27, 2017) Vladimir Putin views the upcoming presidential elections as being not so much about legitimizing him as the leader of the Russian people but rather as a ruler “who wants to write him name down in history,” according to Tatyana Stanovaya; and that shift will affect both the campaign and […]

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Interfax: Poll shows quarter of Russians say political, economic protests possible

Moscow Protest File Photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW – September 28, 2017) An overwhelming majority of Russians, 69 percent, believe that mass protests against deteriorating living standards or in defense of people’s rights are unlikely in Russia, the Levada Analytical Center told Interfax, down from 74 percent in February. Twenty-six percent of the 1,600 respondents polled in 137 populated localities in 48 regions on Sept. […]

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[John F. Tefft:] On the Day of My Departure; We need to rebuild trust between our two countries.

John Tefft file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – John F. Tefft – September 28, 2017) John F. Tefft is former U.S. Ambassador to Russia. When I first joined the diplomatic service, working on the Soviet desk in the 1980s, our relationship with Russia was at a low point. The Soviet Union had just shot down a Korean Airliner, with almost 100 Americans including […]

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NEWSLINK: “How Russian trolls tried to organize anti-immigrant rallies, and more;   Are Russia’s ‘Friends’ Hiding in Your Facebook Feed?” – The Nation/ Bob Dreyfuss

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“All of a sudden, Facebook—and perhaps Twitter and Google, too—find themselves at the center of the Russiagate investigation. You can’t say you didn’t see this coming. …”

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Chemical disarmament completed in Russia”- KremlinRu

Chemical Weapons Hazard Symbol, adapted from image at dni.gov

(Kremlin.ru – September 27, 2017) The President listened to a report via videoconference on the destruction of Russia’s last remaining chemical weapons. Mikhail Babich, Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Volga Federal District and Chairman of the State Commission for Chemical Disarmament, reported to President Vladimir Putin on the completion of chemical disarmament ahead of schedule. Also in attendance at the […]

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NEWSLINK: “Exclusive: Russians Impersonated Real American Muslims to Stir Chaos on Facebook and Instagram” – TheDailyBeast

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

“Kremlin trolls stole the identity of an authentic U.S. Muslim organization-first to smear John McCain and Hillary Clinton, then to sing her praises. …”  

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Government members – KremlinRu

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

(Kremlin.ru – September 27, 2017) President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues. Today we will primarily discuss the budget, because work on it is wrapping up and the draft will be submitted to the State Duma soon. I will give you more details in a minute. But I would like to first address the situation around VIM-Avia airline. Yesterday, […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-184 :: Thursday, 28 September 2017

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 2017-#184 Thursday, 28 September 2017 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School […]

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